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Discover Provence

Its fragrant blues, plane trees, purple waves of lavender, hilltop villages and olive groves.
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Provence, French Riviera, Côte d’Azur... all synonyms for deep history, natural beauty and hidden treasures.


The region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur has been visited by so many painters, writers, photographers and jet setters over the years that it has acquired the image of a shimmering promised land. However, for all its modernity, Southern France is also steeped in history and natural beauty. The Greeks and the Romans, who first settled there, shaped the history, the architecture, the cultural life and the agriculture for centuries. This is where café terraces are shaded by plane trees, where fragrant blue and purple waves of lavender fill the countryside with their unmistakable scent, where perched hilltop villages overlook fields of sunflowers, vineyards and olive groves…


♦ Marseille is the oldest city in France but today it is home to some of the country’s most cutting edge art and music, not to forget fashion.
♦ Aix en Provence, one of the most romantic towns, is an international center for students, contemporary dance and opera.
♦ Avignon, home to the Papacy for more than a century, is crowned by the monumental Popes’ Palace and hosts one of Europe’s most significant theatre festival every year in July.

The Provence region stretches between the Mediterranean and the Alps, from the Italian boarder, to the Rhône river delta, from the Ecrins Range to the Calanques fjords outside Marseille. The diversity of landscapes along the coast, in the hinterland and the mountains provides a wide range of cultural and leisure activities: the beaches are but 2 hours away from the ski resorts and shapes the people, the lifestyle, the gastronomy, the wines…

The coast: wide sandy beaches, breath-taking cliffs, or lovely little creeks dot an almost 500 miles stretch of coastline. Along the way you’ll find well known harbours like Saint Tropez, Marseille, and Toulon, and small, lively family seaside resorts like Hyères, Cavalaire, Bandol, and Cassis.

The hinterland: it is the heart of Provence. The Verdon Canyon, unique in Europe, is one of our natural jewels. The colourful, fascinating landscapes, painted by Cézanne (Aix-en-Provence) and Van Gogh (Arles), or described by Petrarch, Giono, Pagnol and by Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence, A good Year…)

The Alps: up to 13 600 ft. Ski resorts two hours away from the seaside… with exciting summer leisure activities as well, traditional tiny hamlets and villages, and wide-open protected spaces such as the Ecrins National Park, the Queyras Regional Park with a rich and varied flora and fauna.


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Handpicked Tours in Provence

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Highlights of Provence

Highlights of Provence

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  • Cannes

    Cannes is on the stunning coast of the Riviera and is all that is chic about France. Plenty of Maseratis, Ferraris, spa treatments, private beaches, brand name shopping, the famous annual Cannes Film Festival, Michelin star restaurants and other showpieces. It also boasts the famous and very stylish Hôtel Martinez and other beautiful properties but there is a modest side to Cannes. There are many quality, small, less expensive hotels, good shopping, farmers’ markets and brocante stalls (second hand pieces) where the people who live there go to shop.

    The reputed promenade in Cannes borders the sea up to the famous Palais des Festivals. The palace is the first mythical building along this path which was transformed into a boulevard in 1860 and became the glamorous “Croisette”.

    And there’s always the beautiful coastline and hinterland to explore.

  • Grasse

    Imagine a medieval town stretching lazily over the hillsides and bathed in the soft sunlight of the French Riviera. Imagine a corner of Provence adorned with Tuscan colors. Imagine the fresh smell of flower fields whose fragrances drift right into the heart of the city. Imagine an industry that speaks of poetry. Imagine that you are in Grasse…

    For two hundred years, the city of Grasse has proudly proclaimed itself to be the “Perfume Capital of the World,” and rightly so! Where were the modern perfume techniques invented? Where were perfumes such as Rochas, Dior, and the mythical Chanel N° 5 created? In Grasse, of course!

    At the economic heart of the city, the perfume industry has given way to tourism. Three establishments – Fragonard, Galimard, and Molinard – organize guided tours of their production lines and allow visitors to buy products whose production process they have followed.

  • Monaco & Monte-Carlo

    Visit the old town, the Cathedral which is the most important Monegasque architecture feature.  Discover the famous Formula One circuit which was inaugurated in 1929 and has barely changed since! It has become the legendary Grand Prix which all F1 racers dream of winning. At the heart of the Monte-Carlo area, the casino is the symbol of Monegasque glamour.

  • Nice

    Nice has an ideal location right between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, just a few kilometers from the Italian border. It boasts a mild climate, bright sun, diverse landscapes, and of course beautiful beaches with blue azure waters.

    Spend free time in the Old Town: you enter as if walking into a labyrinth, following a tangled thread of streets, you walk past ochre, red and yellow houses with half-open shutters. In this maze, let yourself be guided by the scent of herbes de Provence (Provencal herbs), pissaladière and traditional socca. On the famous cours Saleya, the flower market displays its blazing colors. Take an opportunity to visit the 20th-century collections in Nice’s great museums and galleries, which house prestigious collections with contributions from Matisse, Chagall or even the famous School of Nice.

  • Saint-Paul de Vence

    In Saint-Paul de Vence, pass some legendary locations even before crossing the fortifications. It was at Place de Gaulle that the great names of the cinema, from Yves Montand to Roger Moore, met to play pétanque and enjoy the gentle Mediterranean way of life. Before them, famous painters and sculptors also fell under the charm of this place: Renoir, Modigliani… Nowadays, art in all its forms is present everywhere in Saint-Paul, as show the famous galleries filling the alleys.


  • Aix-en-Provence

    Spoiled by nature and climate, Aix-en-Provence is situated between the Rhône River and the Esterel Mountains, the foothills of the Southern Alps and the Mediterranean Sea.

    At the heart of the Pays d’Aix, the countryside surrounding it, the city is a must for visitors. As the historic capital of Provence, Aix still exhibits the noble beauty of its architecture, but its attractiveness goes beyond past grandeur. Aix, the contemporary, a truly buoyant cultural city, will today satisfy the cultural appetites of everyone, whilst remaining a human-sized town where strolling in the streets is a delight in itself.

    In fact pleasure is an integral part of everyday life here. Be it through its fragrant cuisine, its regional wines which accompany it, the taste for “good things” and well-being is a way of life. Exploring the vineyards of the Aix and South Luberon region is the perfect introduction to the area. The curious gourmet can visit the bustling markets with their colourful stalls, sample the local produce, and even join a wine-making and cookery workshop.

  • Marseille

    – The oldest city of France, founded 2600 years ago
    – 2nd biggest city in France
    – 1st cruise and freight port of France
    – European Capital of Culture in 2013

    With its unique geography, history and culture, Marseille Provence is a whole world waiting to be explored The region is a destination by excellence, lending its natural habitats and settings to exceptional cultural productions and presentations while offering visitors an amazingly diverse array of landscapes, a unique historical heritage, and a popular culture that has retained its warmth and authenticity to this day.

    It is also a gateway to the Mediterranean, offering a taste of the Orient throughout its markets and its wealth of local gastronomy. All this is offered within a 150 km radius and under a sun that shines 300 days a year.


  • Bay of Toulon

    Toulon, Ollioules, La Seyne-sur-Mer and Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer form one of Europe’s most beautiful bays, bordered by high, chalky hills topped with umbrella pines. Sea and mountain live side by side here in perfect harmony. Toulon and Mont Faron mountain are situated at the entrance to the bay. The low dike that can be seen on the horizon was built by convicts and marks the end of the “Grande Rade” (outer bay) and the entrance to the “Petite Rade” (inner bay).

  • Draguignan

    The countryside around Draguignan is laid out in terraces. The area is first and foremost agricultural, and lends itself perfectly to all types of walking and sporting activities. Some of its sights, such as the Gorges de Châteaudouble (also called Gorges de la Nartuby), home to a rich and varied plant and animal life, form part of the Var’s 11 “Musts”. Lucky visitors may spot Royal Eagles nesting in the gorge.

  • Fréjus

    Built on a sandstone rock overlooking Argens plain, the Roman city of Forum Julii was a large urban centre. Situated on the Via Aurelia Roman Way, it swang major economic and military power within the Provincia Romana. Now ranked an official “Town of Art & History”, Fréjus is literally packed with monuments dating back to the Roman and medieval eras, including an arena, aqueduct, theatre, Paleochristian baptistry, cathedral, cloister and ancient bishop’s palace. The town also harbours a rich military heritage and numerous other treasures.

    Fréjus actively encourages artists to set up their studios in the town’s old quarter, and visitors can enjoy a special itinerary offering a fascinating insight into painting, sculpture, pottery, binding, lithography, glass-blowing, carpet weaving, costume making etc.

  • Gorges du Verdon

    Forming a natural frontier between the Var and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Verdon springs from the edge of Mercantour National Park, to the West of Col d’Allos, crosses the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon (Verdon Nature Reserve) and tumbles into the river Durance at Cadarache (Bouches-du-Rhône department). Measuring a total of 170 km, the river takes its name from the emerald colour of its waters. After Castellane (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department), it flows for 30 km through a deep gorge, commonly referred to as the Verdon Grand Canyon. This gigantic gorge of 250 to 750 metres in depth, seemingly carved by the gods, is actually the result of erosion of the chalky plateaux of Provence by the Verdon.

  • Iles d’Or

    Located off the coast of Hyères-les-Palmiers, the Iles d’Or (Golden Islands) are the jewel of this section of the coast. Packed with reminders of their tumultuous history, they also offer delightful year-round excursions:

    – Porquerolles, the largest of the three Golden Islands, home to beautiful sandy beaches to be explored on foot or by bike.
    – Port-Cros, a national park boasting an immensely rich and well-preserved underwater plant and animal life.
    – Le Levant, a naturists’ paradise…

  • Pays de Faïence

    The eight hilltop villages of Pays de Faïence are situated on the foothills of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, not far from Saint-Raphaël. These ancient strongholds, characterized by their steep, winding streets, overflow with history and heritage in the shape of castles, chapels and churches (many of whose altar pieces are now listed monuments), medieval remains, gates dating back to the days of the seigneurs, old bourgeois houses, etc.

  • Saint-Tropez

    Saint-Tropez is situated on the French Riviera at the end of the Saint-Tropez Peninsula. Saint-Tropez enjoys a privileged situation, being within reach of the airports of La Mole, Toulon, Cannes, Nice and Marseille for international and domestic flights, near to Le Cannet des Maures and Le Muy motorway junctions, as well as the railway stations of Saint-Raphaël, Les Arcs or Toulon.

    Saint-Tropez is what dreams are made of and the town remains a favorite spot for the celebrities, as well as lovers of the seaside, history, art and heritage. Find exclusive and highly diversified accommodation in Saint-Tropez, from palaces to dainty hotels, guest houses, and holiday homes where a warm welcome awaits you.


  • Avignon

    A magnificent view spreads before those who reach Avignon along the Rhône river. The eye takes in the beautiful Pont d’Avignon and the majestic Palace of the Popes rising behind the medieval ramparts that surround the city. Nine popes lived in and ruled from Avignon during the 1300’s, making the city a major political and spiritual capital of the western world and giving rise to a significant architectural heritage much of which is today ranked as UNESCO Heritage for Humanity. In the 17th century, Avignon remained an important crossroads of Italian and French art, and drew many artists. Long a land of refuge, Avignon was a thriving business centre, attracting foreigners, religious communities, artists, brokers, bankers and even political exiles such as Petrarch in the 1300’s. Art and architecture flourished.

    Avignon is surrounded by 4.5 km of stone ramparts built as of 1355. The majestic Palace of the Popes overlooks the city centre, and above the Palace, the Doms Gardens afford magnificent views far and wide. The historical centre is a meander of narrow winding streets, beautiful city mansions, and shady squares with sidewalk cafés from which to watch the world go by.

  • Bonnieux

    The village is characterized by a wide variety of natural or historical sites: its two churches, its fortifications, its remarkable streets and many old buildings such as the Hôtel de Rouvil (former common house from 1859 to 2006), the Hôtel Dieu (hospital from 1749 to 1948, today the town hall) and some large and beautiful houses whose facades one can admire give Bonnieux its unique charm and character.

    On the other hand, 5 km from the village, the Pont Julien (Julian Bridge), is listed as a historical monument since 1914, and was built during the Augustan period (27 BC – 14 AD) on the Via Domitia and reflects the Roman influence in the area.

  • Gordes

    This village can boast about being amongst one of the most beautiful villages in France. It has narrow cobbled streets which thread their way through tall houses. Built against the rock, Gordes clings onto its flanks and whispers the tales of a thousand legends. Gordes is also proud of its castle firmly planted in its very core and which reminds the passer-by of a past rich in conquests but also marked with the sufferings of its inhabitants.

  • Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

    The Sorgues – Monts de Vaucluse area is located between Mont Ventoux and the Luberon range. The crystal clear waters of the Sorgue River flow through and irrigate the area. The many arms of the Sorgues make this land a true oasis of cool green countryside. From Fontaine de Vaucluse, where it finds it source, the Sorgues river then meanders to the town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, which was originally a fishing village built amongst the arms of the river. Today referred to as the Venice of the Comtat, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has many of the water wheels which once powered its textile industry.

    Over the past thirty years, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue has become the capital of antiques, with many antique dealer groupings in the town. There are many galleries and shops, and a large provençal and flea market every Sunday. Each two major antiques fairs are held, one over the Easter weekend and the second one on 15th August. In all over 800 exhibitors set up their wares throughout the town. The Isle-sur-la-Sorgue fairs are among the biggest in Europe.

  • Joucas

    A small village situated on a small butte, with beautiful paved streets lined, with nice stone houses and wonderful panoramas towards ochre cliffs. There you can visit Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, the old wind mill tower, the old olive oil mill as well as a collection of old tools.

  • Lorgues

    Religious buildings, ruins, olive oil mills, and ancient façades all come together under the shaded courts and along the winding streets of Lorgues. Bordered by two rivers, with sloping hills and terraced planting, the land around is also full of little hamlets, chapels and varied vegetation.

  • Luberon

    Wonderful luminosity, gentle lifestyle and warm colours engulf the Luberon ranges and the villages nestled in its hills. A few of them are ranked as among “the most beautiful villages in France”: Gordes, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Roussillon, Lacoste, Ménerbes, etc.

    Sun-gilded drystone walls, ochre-washed homes, terraced fields and shady squares with gurgling fountains all contribute to the warm and gentle lifestyle which dominates here. Artists and craftsmen hone their talents in each village. Vineyards and cherry orchards dot the hillsides, and the plains are planted with gorgeous fruit orchards. The Luberon is an area of lush vegetation and exceptional wildlife, which deserves to be a Regional Nature Park, which can be explored with its various routes and itineraries. Hiking paths beckon to all levels of walkers.

  • Mane

    Mane is a beautiful village situated between Lure Mountain and the Luberon, just at the door of Forcalquier, where you can delight in houses built in stones, the round form of the streets, houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.  You will enjoy wonderful panoramas from the fortified citadel.

  • Menerbes

    From the top of a rocky overlooking the Luberon garrigue and distant vineyards, the fortified village of  Ménerbes and its castle watch over Gordes and Roussillon. Inside, the narrow streets reveal a wealth of heritage: old houses, the town square with its 17th century belfry and bell tower. Like many villages in the Luberon, Ménerbes has attracted several famous artists such as Picasso who used to have a house there…

    Visit The Luberon House of Truffles and Wine and have a wine tasting there. That place is an area of knowledge about the world of truffles as well as South-East wines.

  • Mont Ventoux

    Mont-Ventoux peaks at 1912m and is known as the Giant of Provence. Its majestic silhouette dominates the landscape and is classified as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

    From the route, there are exceptional views of the Alps in the North and the Mediterranean in the South. It passes through vineyards, orchards, and fields of lavender, the ideal landscape for a break in the great outdoors.

    It is also a paradise for sporting types who can take on the personal and physical challenge to climb it on bikes or on foot. In winter, it becomes a mountain resort for skiing and snowshoeing. Mont Ventoux is also a land of flavours with the truffles, the cherries of Mont de Venasque and the strawberries from Carpentras.

  • Orange

    Orange is a Roman town with two thousand years of history. Due to its location in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône on the via Agrippa, Orange has remained an important stopping off point since ancient times.

    The Ancient Theatre of Orange, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is well known because of its exceptionally well preserved stage wall. It was an essential place in the life of the city, where the Romans spread their language and culture. The Triumphal Arch, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site, is a major example of Roman art in Provence. As a complement to these two monuments, the town of Orange has a Museum of Art and History, in a 17th century townhouse which includes a Gallo-Roman section with an old Roman land registry of the region, and a section devoted to the history of Orange, from prehistory to the present day.

    Finally, the town is next to the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards which visitors can discover by car or on bikes upon leaving the town.

  • Roussillon

    In Provence, set between the Luberon hills and the beautiful Monts de Vaucluse, lies the village of Roussillon, sparkling with an ochre colour under the deep blue sky. Roussillon is ranked as one of the most beautiful villages of France, and is totally unique.

    Wandering the narrow streets, stairs and squares in Roussillon opens your eyes to the beautiful natural pigments used throughout the village, and the millennium-old knowledge of how to use this generous natural gift. In Roussillon, man has long worked in harmony with nature.

  • Sault

    The village of Sault is built on a rocky spur, at an altitude of 766 meters, dominating the valley of Sault. That is why the commune received its reputation as a Health Resort. Praised all over the world for its cultivation of lavender, the formerly fortified village of Sault is also a witness of intense human activity since prehistoric times.

    Sault is an ideal starting point for excursions and hikes to the Mont Ventoux, the Nesque Canyon, the valley of the Toulourenc, the plateau of Albion, the Luberon and other very nearby places of interest in the Drôme Provençale and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

  • Vaison-La-Romaine

    Located in the Haut-Vaucluse region, Vaison-la-Romaine was a prosperous Roman town: the rich homes and the quality of the decoration that can still be admired today are evidence of this opulent period. The Roman bridge, a major architectural monument, connects the lower town to the medieval town. At the Théo Desplans Archaeological Museum you can see the remains of the sumptuous decorations at first hand and immerse yourself in the daily life of the Romans.

    The evidence of its prestigious past heavily influences the modern-day town, which reveals remnants of the ancient Vasio Vocontiorum, the capital of the Voconce people. The town and its medieval churches complete this panorama where history complements the lifestyle enjoyed by the inhabitants – and they certainly know how to enjoy life around here.

Other interests

  • Provençal cuisine

    As for the cuisine, the contrast is striking between the hearty mountain dishes (including gratins dauphinois, ravioles, rissoles, and creuzets d’Ecrins) and the light, perfumed dishes of Provençal and Mediterranean cuisine (ratatouille, aioli, pistou, bouillabaisse, bourride) that put a healthy dose of sunshine onto your plate.

    On the sweet side, try the honey, calissons (candy made from almonds and melon), chocolate mendiants and quince paste. The apéritif is a big part of local culture in Provence. Try a pastis or a cold glass of one of the local wines (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-de-provence, Rasteau, Bandol). You will find these products, as well as olive oil, in the numerous colourful markets of Provence.

  • The Lavender Museum

    Located in Coustellet, in a traditional farmhouse in the Luberon, the museum reveals to visitors the expertise and the passion of a family who has cultivated and distilled the excellence of fine lavender products for generations.