Provence is a region in France that combines a portion of the Alps and the French Riviera, which makes the country's southeast so interesting. Provence itself features rolling hills covered in vines and lavender set against the backdrop of jagged mountains. And while the Rhône River cuts through its cities of Avignon and Arles, the always-popular city of Aix-en-Provence sits just north of France's oldest city, the buzzy and multicultural Marseille.
To give yourself that quintessential French experience, spend your time in Provence tasting its signature Provençal cuisine with trips to markets, a cooking class, wine tastings, and olive grove exploration. Along the way, stop to admire the cities, towns, and hamlets dotting the countryside while learning about the region's unique and vibrant history.
Explore the Cities & Villages
Provence is a historical gold mine with many interesting cities and villages worth exploring. First, wander the charming streets and markets of Aix-en-Provence while tasting the area's signature cuisine. Then visit historical Avignon and traipse the hilltop villages of scenic Luberon.
Walking Tour of Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is famous for its unique cultural heritage, one filled with rich traditions and art. Discover this popular city with a walking tour through its labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets, stopping at sites such as the Romanesque/Gothic Saint-Sauveur Cathedral and the 14th-century Town Hall. Other highlights include ruins from the Roman Empire and the buzzy Cours Mirabeau, a thoroughfare lined with leafy trees, markets, and cafés. Read More
Avignon & Hilltop Villages of the Luberon
Explore Avignon and its charming hilltop villages in the surrounding Luberon countryside. The city of Avignon holds many centuries of fascinating history, as it was the seat of the Catholic popes in the 14th century. You'll visit Le Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the Pont Saint-Bénézet medieval bridge. Then head out into the picturesque countryside of Luberon, stopping at scenic towns such as Gordes and L'Isle Sur la Sorgue, plus the 12th-century Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sénanque. Read More
Food & Wine
Overall, France is a foodie haven, but certain regions offer distinct tastes that you can't find anywhere else; Provence is one of them. Learn to cook the Provençal cuisine that gives the area its gastronomical reputation, plus visit vineyards, markets, and olive groves.
Olive Oil Experience & Wine Estates
Explore the famed olive groves and wine estates of Provence, set near Fontvieille in the Alpilles Mountains. First, learn about the region's olive oils in a 13th-century Provençal farmhouse, where you'll also enjoy a cooking class. Then follow the Route de Vins through the Alpilles Nature Reserve, stopping at four wine estates. Discover traditional French winemaking and taste everything from organic reds made with syrah, grenache, and cabernet sauvignon grapes to refreshing rosés with citrus, mango, and dried fruit notes. Read More
Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence
With Aix-en-Provence hosting so many different food markets, it's no surprise that Provençal cuisine is a way of life! Learn about the region's culinary heritage by perusing its markets and taking a cooking class with a local. After meeting purveyors and learning about typical products such as herbes de Provence, olive oil, truffles, figs, and honey, you'll drive through the scenic Montaiguet Forest to your host's country home. Learn how to prepare several traditional recipes and enjoy the fruits of your labor, all paired with local wine. Read More
Chateauneuf du Pape & Gigondas Wine Tour
Provence houses several distinct wine areas, one of the most unique being Chateauneuf du Pape. Chateauneuf du Pape produces red and white wine and has a unique soil complex, which you'll discover on a tour of a vineyard. Stroll through the vines with an expert, learning about the soil's characteristics and origins, plus the area's wine heritage dating back to the 14th century. Enjoy lunch and two wine tastings as you dive deeper into Provence's viticulture. Read More
View the Lavender Fields
No trip to Provence is complete without visiting the lavender fields. Sometimes, touristy experiences are popular for a reason, as is the case with lavender and Provence!
Become an expert in France's "purple gold" with a lavender tour in Provence. Two of the most picturesque lavender regions are Sault (known as the "lavender capital" of Provence) and Roussillon (famous for its lavender fields and rustic landscape). Highlights of this experience include visiting a traditional Provençal market, the idyllic hilltop town of Gordes, the Senanque Abbey, and the Lavender Museum. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Provence Itinerary
Provence is an excellent destination if you want a trip with a little diversity. The region is great for foodies, wine enthusiasts, and history buffs, but you can easily combine your trip to Provence with the French Riviera, the French Alps, Lyon, or even Italy. When determining how much time to spend in Provence, give yourself at least 2 or 3 days to tackle the cities and towns—and one week to combine food, wine, and lavender with the beach.
If you'd like to add in other regions of France, two weeks is a good starting point. Many visitors like to combine Paris with Provence and the French Riviera to get a varied taste of the country's culture. Luckily, southern France has a fairly mild climate, so you can visit Provence at any time of the year. Even the winter months host several festivals and holidays to enjoy!
Past kimkim travelers enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in Provence: