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An artists’ sanctuary, Provence lures in guests with its sun-kissed landscapes and enviable local weather. The last word romantic vacation spot, it’s the proper place to get misplaced in nature, in a slower tempo of life, and expertise the joie de vivre the South of France is famend for.
Learn on to seek out probably the most romantic issues to do in Provence, to your subsequent fling in France!
Go to the Calanques Nationwide Park
The Calanques Nationwide Park close to Marseille is an space of immense pure magnificence. Spanning the coast between Les Goudes (in any other case generally known as the tip of the world) and Cassis, the park is the primary in Europe to envelop land, sea, and concrete areas. Throughout the park, you’ll discover unimaginable hikes, gorgeous seashores, aromatic pure flora, and underwater treasures too.
Set out for the day, pack your mountain climbing footwear and a picnic, and begin your trek from both Port Miou (on the jap finish), Calanque de Callelongue (on the western finish), or the Luminy College (center). These three trails will take you thru among the most breathtaking surroundings in France.
Stroll among the many aromatic lavender fields
Certainly, the lavender fields of Provence are among the many most lovely points of interest within the space, and can’t be missed if you happen to’re visiting in summer season. From late June the panorama is laced with purple rows of those wonderful flowers, and their unmistakable aroma fills the air.
The Valensole plateau is the place you’ll discover probably the most concentrated variety of lavender fields, interspersed by sunflowers and sage. However you’ll additionally discover pretty fields within the Luberon, and the Sault plateau is the place to go in August, because the lavender blooms later within the greater altitude. In fact, the lavender fields additionally make the perfect backdrop for a romantic picnic for 2, or for a souvenir portrait session.
PS: Take a look at this overview on Provence from Discover the Riviera.
Stroll by way of the markets of Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is named market metropolis, and when you go to, you’ll know why it earned this repute. Within the hotter months, market stalls unfold up Cours Mirabeau and fan out into the town, each day of the week.
Every space has its personal distinctive theme, beginning with antiques round La Rotonde, easing into trend and crafts as you stroll down the tree-lined boulevard, and spreading into recent meals as you proceed alongside to Place des Prêcheurs. You’ll additionally discover a flower market in entrance of the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and a day by day meals market at Place Richelme – good for grabbing goodies for a picnic to get pleasure from in one in every of Aix-en-Provence’s leafy parks.
Watch the sundown from a rooftop bar in Marseille
In the event you’re on the lookout for probably the most romantic issues to do in Marseille, head to the Vieux Port. It’s right here you’ll really feel a special sort of vibe than you’ll expertise within the extra refined cities of Aix-en-Provence or Avignon, but it surely’s one price exploring if you wish to expertise the vigorous spirit of France’s second metropolis.
After spending the day discovering the neighborhoods, museums, and markets that encompass the internal metropolis, head to a rooftop terrace to observe the solar sink over the Mediterranean. The Rowing Membership is situated on the finish of the outdated harbour, reverse the MuCEM and gives an informal setting, typically with stay music and tapas to accompany your apéro.
Rent a ship and cruise up the Verdon Gorge
The Verdon Gorge is among the most spectacular pure points of interest in Provence. The 50km lengthy canyon will be explored from above – by automobile, bike or foot – or under, by boat. Take the latter possibility if you happen to’re on the lookout for probably the most relaxed journey. You possibly can rent kayaks, pedal boats, or motorized boats from the jetty on the northern tip of the Lac de Sainte-Croix. Take one out for the afternoon, cruise up the canal, then come again to the lake and discover a quiet nook to ‘drop anchor’ and go for a dip.
Swim & sunbathe on a hidden seashore
Provence is house to an unimaginable shoreline, with a few of France’s most interesting seashores. And regardless of its reputation, it’s nonetheless attainable to seek out romantic coves and secluded spots to loosen up and whereas away the hours swimming and sunbathing. A few of these hidden seashores will be discovered on the Cote Bleue – the Cote d’Azur’s lesser-known sibling. Hike alongside the coast, in both route, from Niolon to seek out the seashores solely the locals frequent. Plage de la Pointe de Figuerolles is a favorite, as is the gorgeous Calanque de l’Everine.
Drive by way of the villages of the Luberon
There are few extra iconic, and romantic, issues to do in Provence than driving by way of the hilltop villages of the Luberon. From the well-known cobbled alleyways of Gordes, to the sunshine hues of Roussillon, to the understated magnificence of Menerbes – all of them have their very own distinctive enchantment.
Allocate at the very least a day, to permit your self time to indulge within the French artwork of flaneur, and get misplaced in these historic worlds which were preserved and restored remarkably properly. Pack a picnic to get pleasure from overlooking the valley, or pop into lunch at Bistrot le 5 (Menerbes), or L’Orangerie (at La Bastide in Gordes) to get pleasure from a romantic setting with unbeatable views.
Sip wonderful wines at a French Chateau
Moreover meals, the South of France is known for its wine. And one wine specifically. Provence rose has a well-earned repute all over the world, and there are fewer higher locations to pattern it than straight from the producers. The countryside in Provence is peppered with chateaux, so that you gained’t be hard-pressed to seek out one to pop into. However if you wish to plan forward, purpose for Château La Coste north of Aix-en-Provence which delivers a whole artwork and wine expertise, or head alongside to Chateau Gassier close to Mont Sainte Victoire the place you should purchase a pre-made picnic and sip their signature rose among the many vines.
Store for antiques in L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue
The antiques capital of France, L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue is the very best place to go to choose up a novel souvenir or memento to recollect your journey to the south of France. Browse the stalls for little treasures, earlier than continuing alongside the canals to the guts of the outdated city. It’s right here you’ll discover loads extra methods to half together with your cash in boutiques promoting the whole lot from handmade ceramics to genuine Marseille soaps.
The primary market day (Sunday) transforms the city right into a hive of exercise, and after you’ve shopped up a storm, you may dine waterside on one of many bistro terraces. In the event you’re visiting in early August, don’t miss the annual floating market when locals gown up in conventional outfits and promote their wares straight from their boats.
Get carried away by artwork at Carrières de Lumières
Located in an deserted stone quarry, the Carrières de Lumières as we speak hosts one of the outstanding immersive artwork experiences in Europe. Every year, a single theme is delivered to life by way of photos and sound to create an encompassing expertise for the senses. Former exhibitions have included Picasso, Van Gogh, and Dali amongst others.
Positioned within the medieval village of Les Baux de Provence, the expertise can go hand in hand with a stroll by way of one in every of France’s (official) most lovely villages. Don’t overlook to additionally go to the Chateau des Baux de Provence to immerse your self in one other facet of the area’s historical past.
Cycle across the island of Porquerolles
The island of Porquerolles is located simply off the coast of the coast of Provence, close to Hyeres. A doable day journey, however a extra pleasurable brief break vacation spot, the car-free island is an unspoiled gem within the Mediterranean. Take your bike (or rent one there) and spend your days seashore hopping, visiting the island’s vineyards, or mountain climbing by way of eucalyptus forests and olive groves.
Pink lakes and pink birds within the Camargue
There’s no mistaking pink as a color of romance, so if you happen to’re seeking to up the ante, why not plan a visit to the Camargue! House to pink lakes and hundreds of pink birds, it’s positive to go away an impression. Begin with a visit to the Salin d’Aigues-Mortes, the salt lakes that flip pink from the algae current within the water, Dunaliella Salina. Close by, swarms of better flamingos collect on the marshlands of the Camargue. To see their pure magnificence up shut, head to Parc Ornithologique the place you may stroll across the lakes on a wood pathway. The birds are wild, however you’ll discover tons of of them grazing within the muddy marshes if you happen to go to within the hotter months.
Keep someplace pretty: Romantic Locations to Keep in Provence
The Luberon is the very best place to remain if you happen to’re seeking to expertise the romantic nature of Provence. And fortuitously it’s brimming with decadent lodges and B&B’s the place you may indulge and loosen up.
La Bastide de Gordes is famously lavish, and gives guests the final word in luxurious. If that’s not fairly becoming your funds, Le Clos du Buis in Bonnieux gives a extra intimate keep in genuine environment.
Alternatively, simply south of the Luberon, with easy accessibility to Aix-en-Provence you may stay out your French fantasy by staying within the beautiful Chateau de Fonscolombe. With grand gardens, and its personal onsite winery, you’ll by no means need to return to ‘actual life’
In regards to the writer: Nadine Maffre is the creator of Le Lengthy Weekend. A New Zealand-native, she now calls Provence house and she or he loves to assist others uncover the very best of the area by way of her Provence journey guides, and her free Provence Journey Planning group.
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