Merely mentioning Provence to a seasoned traveler immediately inspires images of sunflowers, vineyards, lavender fields, and olive groves with light that motivated many painters of the post-impressionist era.
Whatever your taste, there’s a wide gamut of activities that should not be left out from a trip, whether it’s traversing the rocky inlets of Cassis and Marseille or the Papal Palace of Avignon.
Pope’s Palace, Avignon
During the period of the 14th century, the world-renowned construction of Pope’s Palace served as the definitive seat encompassing western Christianity. Today, it’s part of an ensemble of structures containing one of the most important as well as largest gothic buildings with a UNESCO listing.
The architecture represents the peak of medieval craftsmanship, and visitors can access over 20 different rooms, including the apartments of Clement IV.
Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, Gordes
A must-visit during the summer in which lavender is blooming, this sight crystallizes everything that tourists love of Provence. The Romanesque building’s grey walls edged with Cyprus trees are a must-see when traveling.
The abbey, dating back to the 12 century, is typically incorporated into tours. If possible, try to arrive early in the morning, when the field receives low-level sunlight, and there aren’t as many other visitors. Monks who work the fields make a living from it. Furthermore, the building is unembellished as well as stark, but it complements the setting masterfully.
Old Port of Marseille, Marseille
This served as one of the ancient trading hubs of Europe from its origins in 6th century BC. Today, the port is a rectangular body of water with three-sided quays from the 1700s that serves as Marseille’s symbol. A place for locals to enjoy evening entertainment, meet up, and have splendid meals. Tourists will be blown away by the seemingly endless rows of yachts.
In addition, the fish market on the Quai des Belges allows visitors to enjoy the catch of the day.
Spanning nearly 25 kilometers across the Verdon National Park is one of the most admired natural sights to see in all of Europe. The limestone canyon is as deep as 700 meters, and a gaze down the river captivates anyone with bright shades of turquoise.
It attracts tourists from everywhere in the world, and one doesn’t need to leave the comfort of the car to get an ever-lasting impression of the views. However, if you do, many enjoy spending a few hours on a boat, stopping to occasionally swim in the sparkling waters.
Get a trust taste of this region of France on the streets of Aix. Those interested in the French culture will have the opportunity to trace the steps of the many icons that once resided here, like Emile Zola, Paul Cezanne, and Albert Camus, to name several. Moreover, traversing the Cours Mirabeau allows a seat at one of the many 19th century cafes that reside under the plane trees. Lastly, maneuvering up towards the medieval cathedral allows the view of 1500-era tapestries as well as a triptych that depicts the Count of Provence.