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Regions — Southeastern France – Provence

Region at a glance


Major City: Marseille

Sunny, bright region of mountains and coastline
Quaint hilltop cities and fashionable, lively towns
Medieval fortresses and Roman ruins
Fields of flowers and lavender made famous by painters

The region of Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur is known for celebrating the simple sensuous pleasures of life. Ideally situated between the Mediterranean coastline and the Alps, the region is geographically diverse with a wide variety of attractions and activities.

Visitors can explore ancient Roman ruins, medieval fortresses and charming hilltop provençal villages. They can hike the Grand Canyon du Verdon, ride the famous white horses in the Camargue or simply take a picnic basket for a day in the countryside. The valleys are carpeted with lavender and the fields are filled with the sunflowers and olive trees that Van Gogh loved to paint.

France's oldest city, Marseille, is a bustling port with a lively local atmosphere. Avignon, once the Papal residence is now a cheerful town of cafés, art galleries and fashionable shops. Aix-en-Provence, a university town filled with students offers tree shaded streets and 17th century mansions and of course, the harbor town of St. Tropez is long famous for its glamour and beauty.

Places of interest

Aix-en Provence          Old town: 17th and 18th century character, Cours Mirabeau, St. Sauveur Cathedral, Fountain of the Nine Cannons and Thermal Water, Museum of Tapestry, Paul Cézanne Museum

Apt          Typical Provencal town in the Alps, Church of St. Anne

Arles          Roman capital and major medieval religious center (the Cloister and the doorway of St. Trophime, Montmajour Abbey, Réattu Museum, Constantin Palace, Antique theater, Pagan Art Museum, Christian Art Museum

Avignon          Ramparts, old city, Papal Palace, old palace, Calvet Museum

Les Baux de Provence          Hilltop city, ghost town and the Cathédral d'Images

Briançon          Highest town in Europe, Ville Haute old town has changed very little since Vauban surrounded by ramparts

la Camargue          Region famous for its white horses and regional cowboys

Carpentras          St. Siffrein cathedral, Regional Provençal Museum, 15th Century synagogue

Cassis          Small fishing port

Digne-les-Bains          A stop on the route Napoleon

Draguignan          Old town and museum, allied military cemetery

Forcalquier          Cordeliers convent, the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, old town

Fontvieille          Alphonse Daudet Square, Provençal antiques

Gordes          Village built on a hill above the Vaucluse plateau, chateau, Senaque abbey, Borie village

Manosque          Home of the writer Jean Giono, church of Saint Sauveur, Notre Dame de Romigier

Marseille          Oldest city in France, Greek, Roman and Christian heritage, old port, Canebiére, Saint Victor Basilica, Historic Marseille Museum, Fine Arts Museum

Mont Ventoux          Lovely climb to the summit

Orange          Roman city, gateway to the Midi, Colline St-Eutrope

Saint-Rémy de Provence          Arc of Triumph, Van Gogh's convalescent home

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer          Ornithological Park

Tarascon          Made famous by Alphonse Daudet's Tartarin apple pie, and fabrics, 13th century castle of King René, 10th century St. Marthe Church, Tartarin's house

Toulon          Beautiful harbor

Vaison la Romaine          Roman city, the French Pompei.

Technical tourism and sports

China, Pottery, Carpets, Pipes, Santons (Clay figures for Christmas nativityscenes), Soleiado fabrics.

Golf, biking, hiking, horseback riding, water sports, petanque (bocce).

Cuisine

Beef is often prepared as a stew called boeuf en daube with vegetables being a main staple served as a gratin, in salads or stuffed with meat. Cuisine of this region emphasizes seasonings such as herbs and garlic.

Bouillabaisse is a popular fish soup. A mayonnaise garlic sauce known as aïoli is also a local specialty.

The Côtes de Provence wine region is mainly known for its dry, fruity rosé wines: Bandol, Bellet, Palette, Cassis. Red wines include Côtes du Rhône, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigonoles.

Travel Discounts for France