Provence is a wonderful place to visit no matter the time of year. For much of the year you will experience bright, sunny and dry conditions. The exception is the cold, dry winds of the mistral that strike southwards down the Rhone Valley. It is surprising how quickly it turned a wonderful spring day into a blustery, winter one. Hopefully, your France vacation won’t coincide with the unpredictable mistral winds that can reach speeds of more than 100km/hour and can damage crops, cause forest fires and keep everyone inside. Typically, this weather condition is more common in winter and spring.
Provence covers a rather large area and it is broken up into five areas:
- Marseille – Definitely worth a visit, Marseille features an old port, lively markets, wonderful and delicious harbourside restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.
- Aix En Provence – Considered one of France’s most graceful and popular cities it features a fusion of majestic public squares, shaded avenues and mossy fountains. Located only 25kms from Marseille, why not pop by for an afternoon of sightseeing.
- The Vaucluse – One of most picturesque spots you can visit. Many of the towns amazingly date back to Roman times and you’ll find unbelievable Gallo-Roman structures. Be sure to visit some of the towns on market days when everything bursts into life. This area is home to Avignon. If you visit in the summer, try to time your visit with the annual performing arts festival.
- Arles & The Camargue – Famed for being home to Vincent Van Gogh, it is easy to see why the painter may have found Arles both soothing and visually exciting. Little has changed since Van Gogh painted the city’s winding streets and shady squares. Bullfighting is very popular here and the city comes alive on fight days.
- Northeastern Provence – In the northeastern section of Provence, the land of sun and olive trees meets the land of snow and melted cheese! Consider visiting the town of Digne-Les-Bains, a laid back town named for its thermal springs. The town holds a large festival in August in honor of Lavender production which is worth the trip.