The lyrical landscape of Provence combines ancient olive groves, rolling lavender fields, deep canyons and distant snow-tipped peaks, dotted with quiet villages. Rent a car and explore some of France’s oldest roads, stopping off at medieval settlements and other points of historical interest. Highlights include the Gorges du Verdon, featuring epic rocks and crystal-clear waters, and the intense ‘Ochre Pathway’ in the county of Roussillon. Further afield, in Provence’s southwest corner, the Camargue’s UNESCO-protected National Park showcases wetlands, small white horses, and blush-pink flamingos. Or, head south to the Mediterranean Sea, a gleaming shade of cerulean blue, reflecting sweeping skies and glitzy beaches.
History & Art
Unravel Roman history as you follow a trail of monuments, buildings and centuries-old vineyards. Top picks include the amphitheatres in Orange, Arles and Nîmes, as well as the impressive Pont du Gard aqueduct. Add a portfolio of Art Deco delights, splendid old churches and prehistoric sites, and it’s easy to see why lovers of all things old and beautiful frequent this glorious part of France. Picasso, Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse and others all came to Provence, not just for the scenery, but for the amazing light, resulting in dazzling pieces of art. Be sure to visit local studios and galleries, filled with impressionist art, as well as works by modern artists.
Food & Drink
Typical Provençal ingredients include olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and wine, all produced locally and combined with other seasonal delights to make the most delicious dishes - including Bouillabaisse, a saffron-tinged fish stew originating from Marseilles. Head to local markets filled with fruits, jams, pastries, cheeses and herbs, such as rosemary and thyme. Consider a tour of the vineyards – the climate and terroir are perfect for grapes, which have been grown here to produce wine for over 2,600 years! Rosé wine is the region’s favourite tipple, though there is still a great selection of reds and whites. Wherever you go, expect to eat and drink well.
Don’t miss an excursion to Grasse, perfume capital of the world and location of legendary perfume manufacturers, shops and museums. Enjoy guided tours and sniff delectable aromas as you learn the basics of perfume making, even creating your own signature perfume. For a natural scent, the summer sees the vibrant lavender fields in full bloom, their heavenly fragrance filling the air. Crowds flock to see this purple-hued spectacle at locations like Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque or the Plateau de Valensole. You can follow the glorious ‘Routes de la Lavande’ at your own pace and feel your senses come alive!
Close to our featured hotel, the picturesque, hilltop village of Tourrettes is typical of the area. From the square at the bottom, amble gently up to the clock tower at the top, passing an 11th-century church and rows of quaint, old houses. Rest awhile in a leafy square and soak up traditional French village life, hearing the sounds of clanging dishes from kitchen windows, children chattering with friends, and older generation gents playing pétanque. The pretty castle on the hill to the west is Château de Puy, a replica of École des Cadets in St. Petersburg. For thrill seekers, close by you can find a popular gliding centre.
Please contact our Travel Consultant for flight details.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.