Last year in July I was lucky enough to travel to the Provence in the south of France for the first time. It was only a short one-week trip but I managed to see a lot of the beautiful places the Provence is famous for. In this article I will present you the 6 places that I loved most – maybe you will add some of them to your own bucket list!
1. Calanques National Park
Right after my arrival at Marseille airport, I hopped into my friend’s car and we drove straight to the Calanques National Park. Don’t miss this gem if you’re traveling to the Provence! We entered it by car and had to drive down a narrow and winded road to get to the beach. The landscape is amazing and if I had stayed longer I would have loved to go hike in the Calanques.
All excited visiting the Calanques National Park.
2. Saint-Rémy de Provence
In the evening we drove to Saint-Rémy de Provence where my friend lives. It’s a lovely old French town with a market every Wednesday and Saturday from 8am until 1pm. There you can find delicious local foods (vegetables, fruit, pastries, meat, cheese…), clothes, books and handmade soap. The Provence is know for its lavender so naturally they sell a lot of lavender-scented soaps! On my first morning I just had to get the obligatory fresh croissant from the market for breakfast on the patio!
3. Château des Baux-de-Provence
One of my favourite places was the Château des Baux-de-Provence. I really recommend visiting the castle in the evening – seeing the medieval town’s alleyways flooded with golden sunlight makes it extra special! It creates such a warm and romantic vibe. Stroll around town, check out the shops, have a coffee in one of the cafés or take a tour inside the castle. There’s also several lookouts with gorgeous views.
4. Alpilles Regional Nature Park
Saint-Rémy de Provence and the castle are located in the beautiful Alpilles Regional Nature Park. We drove by plenty of olive groves and orchards and encountered a blooming sunflower field not far away from the castle. Is there anything more romantic than running through a field of golden sunflowers flooded with the setting sun’s warm golden light?
If you’re exploring the Alpilles Regional Nature Park it’s also worth visiting the little town Maussane-les-Alpilles. It’s beautifully Provençal and the market place in the center with its many restaurants is the perfect place to have a coffee and simply enjoy the fact that you are in France!
Another gem I highly recommend visiting is the city Cassis. Tourists love it for its Mediterranean flair and the small beach is always extremely crowded (if you’re looking for a quiet beach go to Camargue Nature Park – loved it!). If the overcrowded beach is not your cup of tea then head over to Maison Casalini – they sell some ridiculously delicious ice cream (I had my two fave flavours coconut and pistachio, mmmh) which will help keeping you cool while you explore the city in the scorching summer heat.
These are the places I enjoyed exploring most on my trip to the Provence. I would have loved to stay longer though to spend some more time in each of theses places, especially in Cassis. Next time I will also make sure to explore Marseille – since this was my first time traveling to the Provence I wanted to focus on exploring nature rather than the cities. The south of France would also be an amazing destination for a road trip in my opinion! But that’s an idea for the future…