provence, france

Provence

After just one day in the Provence area of southern France, I knew I would be planning a trip back! Luckily I had five days to explore and experience all there is to the French countryside before departing for my next destination. Provence is home to some of the most beautiful villages in the country, maybe even the world. Every place you visit is more charming than the last!

City Guide

  • AIX-EN-PROVENCE

    If you’re looking for a bigger city vibe with lots of shopping and restaurants, plan a visit to Aix-En-Provence. It’s not as charming (in my opinion) as the smaller villages we visited, but it’s certainly worth seeing if you have extra time!

    My favorite shopping – Sezane (clothing), Souer (clothing), Pans Des Lumiere (bath products), Rose et Marius (candles).

    BONNIEUX

    Just like Sault is known for lavender fields, this area is known for poppies! Worth a drive through it if you have the time.

    ANSOUIS

    Restaurants

    La Closerie – we walked by this place, but since it was the morning it wasn’t open yet. Looked really cute and the menu looked great too!

    Le Grain de Sel

    Things To Do

    Sunday Market (weekly) – this market happens every Sunday and can be found just below the chateau at the Place du Lavoir!

    Chapel – climb to the very top and step in this gorgeous old chapel. It features dark interiors, beautiful art and colorful stained glass windows!

    GARGAS

    Hotels + Spas

    Coquillade – a beautiful hotel just a few minutes drive from our AirBnB in Apt! We had dinner here one night and it seemed like a lovely place to stay. The accommodations were charming and right up against a winery – they had a large pool and a few restaurants/dining options as well.

    GORDES

    Hotels + Spas

    Bastile de Gordes – incredible luxury hotel built into the hillside of Goult. Featuring a number of terraces to eat, lounge and drink, a beautiful pool and a fabulous Sisley Paris spa, it’s a great destination for a day trip or a week long visit!

    Restaurants

    La Trinquette – this spot can be find right off the main square, but down a nondescript path. If you’re not looking for the sign you may miss it! Try the stuffed squash blossoms and burrata with shaved white truffles.

    Le Mas Tourteron

    Le Bon Temps

    L’Outsider

    Things to Do

    Abbaye Notre Dame de Senanque – this beautiful old abbey is currently under renovations, but it is still worth a visit to see the exterior! Especially when the lavender fields are in bloom…

    Viewpoint of Gordes – we discovered this viewpoint of the Gordes hillside on our way to see the abbey! Great place to park and get some gorgeous photos of the beautiful village from across the way. If you want to go straight there, Google Maps suggests the address for the viewpoint is 13 Route de Cavaillon.

    Chateau de Gordes – 10th Century Chateau

    Saint-Firmin Church – a church dedicated to Saint-Fermin that was built in the 18th century!

    GOULT

    We visited this village late afternoon and I wish we’d had more time or could have gone back! So charming and pretty.

    Restaurants

    La Bartavelle – a cozy restaurant a short walk from the main square featuring classic French cuisine. Everything was so good! I loved the lamb two-way entree I ordered, as well as the cherry dessert. Reservations recommended!

    La Carillon – a Michelin-starred spot right on the main square. Reservations required!

    La Terrasse

    L’ISLE SUR LA SORGUE

    A small town right on the Sorgue river! Known for its antique market and shopping around town.

    Things to Do

    Sunday Antiques Market (weekly) – it was so fun to walk through the Sunday morning market! Be sure to hop across the street and peruse the actual antique stores behind the contemporary art museum. So many gorgeous furniture finds!

  • LES BAUX

    Beautiful fortified hilltop village featuring incredible views, shops, and restaurants. Such a special place! Highly recommend visiting this one.

    Things To Do

    Carrières de Lumières – an old quarry the now projects a variety of artist’s works on the walls. Right now Van Gogh is up (until January 5, 2020) and we heard it is amazing! Purchase tickets in advance – we tried to go the day of and it was completely sold out.

    Château des Baux de Provence – the fortified castle at above the village. Great views of the countryside up here!

    LOURMARIN

    This village was another one of my favorites! A very popular spot too – I’d recommend going early in the day if you want to avoid major crowds.

    Restaurants

    Nonni – an Italian restaurant where we had lunch. As someone who is not a fan of crowds, I loved that this spot was a short walk away from the main square. Quieter and less busy! Try the Italian salad – features artichoke hearts, pesto, tomatoes, cheese and prosciutto… yum!

    C En Provence – the BEST gelato! So many interesting flavors.

    Things To Do

    Sunday Market (weekly) – this popular market happens every Friday morning in the center of town. It features everything from gourmet foods and produce to straw totes and jewelry!

    Château de Lourmarin – a converted castle that overlooks Lourmarin!

    MENERBES

    Hotels + Spas

    La Bastide de Marie – a lovely French farmhouse located on a winery.

    Restaurants

    Le Galoubet – we had a delicious dinner here of goat cheese salad (wrapped in crispy pastry – yum!), beef stew and creme brulee.

    Bistro le 5 – great place to grab happy hour! Pretty views of the Provence landscape.

    Things To Do

    Ménerbes Market – happens every Thursday morning in the center of the village! Features very specialized food stalls and vendors.

    ROUSSILLON

    The most colorful village we visited! Very small – not many restaurants. Visiting this place won’t take you very long, but it’s definitely worth seeing!

    SAINT-REMY

    While not as big a city as Aix-En-Provence, it does have a bigger, busier feel than the other villages listed on this guide. There are a bunch of great restaurants here, so it would be a nice spot to explore while you stop in for lunch!

    Restaurants

    L’Aile ou la Cuisse – this is where we ate lunch on our visit! They do a really nice three-course lunch special that’s a pretty great deal. Everything we ate was delicious, but the lamb was my favorite.

    L’Auberge de Saint-Remy

    Gus Restaurant

    Things To Do

    Site Archéologique de Glanum – ancient archaeological site below the Alpille mountains.

    Monastery Saint-Paul de Mausole – a monastery where Vincent Van Gogh spent a bit of time during his life! Beautiful wheat fields and gardens.

    SAULT

    This town and surrounding valley are known for lavender! The town itself isn’t much to write home about, but drive around below to see all of the many lavender fields in bloom. Lavender season starts June 14th!

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