The French region of Provence is famous for its sunny climate, beautiful natural landscapes, and picturesque towns. The most well-known cities in the area include Marseille and nearby Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arles, and Toulon. Depending on where you want to travel in the region your options to get there include taking the train, driving, or flying.
If you want to discover Provence "like a local," this 7-day itinerary that also takes you to the French Riviera and Monaco is a great option; if you prefer family-friendly fun, check out this 8-day itinerary; and finally, this 7-day itinerary gives you a chance to hike and explore the hilltop villages of the region.
Duration: 1.5 to 8 hours
Marseille is the largest city in Provence (and the second-largest in the country) and is a good entry point into the region. The distance from Paris is 480 miles (775 km). You can take a direct flight from Paris Orly Airport (ORY), TGV (high speed train) from Paris Gare de Lyon (3.5 hours), or rent a car drive to Marseille and the rest of Provence (8 hours, depending on your destination).
If you'd rather skip Marseille altogether you can also take a train from Paris to Avignon (3.5 hours), Arles (3.5 hours), or Toulon (4 hours).
Most people choose to take a train down from Paris and rent a car to explore the region from there, or drive directly down from Paris. Because Provence has so many lovely small villages to explore, renting a car gives you more freedom to see the countryside and head off the beaten path.
Duration: 1.5 to 6.5 hours
Options for traveling from Bordeaux to Provence (313 miles / 505 km) include flying to Marseille (1 hour, plus travel to/from the airport), driving (approximately 6 hours), or taking a train (6.5 hours).
If you decide to drive there are several scenic places where you can stop along the way, such as the medieval walled city of Carcassonne, the small seaside village of Collioure and the fishing port of Sète, to name a few.