Provence France
The Beautiful South of the Country

Provence France is a southern region bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. It is known for its beautiful landscapes, amazing vineyards, pine forests, olive groves and lavender fields. To the south on the Mediterranean is the French Riviera called Côte d'Azur with the cities of Nice, Cannes and St Tropez.It is an important region for French Tourism.




Cassis is one of Provence port cities

Cassis is one of the port cities of Provence France


Cassis

This is one of Provence’s port cities, with a dramatic seaside setting with impressive cliffs. It is an idyllic fishing village, that has maintained this look for years.

The houses and buildings are pastel-colored adorning the harbor with colors, smells and tastes. One particular dish is famous in this town, a very particularly prepared bouillabaisse.




Avignon was the residence of the Pope for 70 years in the 14th century

Avignon was the residence of the Pope for 70 years in the 14th century


Avignon

This town is always remembered for the religious conflict that took place in the 14th century, when Pope Clement V, moved to France and specifically to this city and out of Rome for 70 years.

The famous Palais des Papes can still be seen in Avignon today, surrounded on all parts by the busy city center.

Visit the Les Halles market to get a taste of this region’s flavor, take a drink in one of the patios and enjoy shopping in Avignon.


Aix-en-Provence

This university city is located on the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southern France and its claim to fame is that post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne was born here.

He inspired frequently on the white limestone mountain Sainte-Victoire overlooking the city and its surrounding countryside.



Gordes

It is a mix of old French town and elegant resort, making it one of the most beautiful towns in the region. During summers it is flocked by celebrities looking for a quiet retreat.

Some of the best views of the area can be seen from the narrow streets leading in and out of the city center. Visit Abbaye of Sénanque, where monks still live and produce local honey and liqueurs.


Roussillon

The orange buildings of this town glow on sunset. Its unique colors of beige and cream are due to large deposits of ocher clay in the vicinity.

While Provence is known for its fertile landscape, this area is a pleasant change of pace with its stark red cliffs and dramatic canyons. Just relax in one of the streets cafes and enjoy the architecture.



Provence France

St Remy de Provence inspiration of Van Gogh

St Remy de Provence inspiration of Van Gogh


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

This is where Van Gogh spent a year painting its beautiful rolling wheat fields and olive groves. Those were his most productive years, during which he composed Starry Night, among other famous works.

Stroll and find the most exclusive boutiques and famous eateries, then venture out of town to visit the ruins of Glanum, a Celtic Roman city with an intact Triumph Arch dating to the First Century B.C.


Porquerolles

Tall cliffs, surrounded by crystal clear waters and white sand beaches are what makes this town so exclusive. Îles d’Hyères, a chain of four islands off the coast of Var, take you back to the Caribbean.

This village dates only to the 19th century and looks very much as an Italian port.




Le Barroux

This tiny village is just a long street with incredible narrow alleys with colorful shutters and balconies with flower boxes hanging from the facades

Barroux, from the 12th century, sits on the top of a hill with the town circling its base, before giving way to sweeping vineyards and olive groves on all sides. On a sunny day, you can see Mont Ventoux in the distance.


 

Vaison-la-Romaine

This picturesque hill was settled by the Celts, not the Romans. Today this town is a mix of old and new with medieval era streets leading to the Colline de Chateau on the south side of Ouvèze River. The town is full of al fresco cafes and shops selling the region’s lavender and olive-based products. Ruins of an original Roman villa and theater can be seen just outside the city center.



Ménerbes

Its claim to fame was that many celebrities, including one of Picasso’s models settled here in the 20th century.

This charming village with buff colored buildings seems to disappear on the leafy landscape and then you see the Protestant-built citadel, a reminder of Ménerbes’ time as an important Protestant stronghold during the French Wars of Religion.



The Old Port of Marseille is a must on a trip to Provence

The Old Port of Marseille is a must on a trip to Provence France


Marseille’s Vieux Port

Marseille is the second largest city in France. It is big and noisy and for year was an important port with vessels arriving from all over the world. I once arrived in Marseille by boat from Haifa.

One of the most important sites is the Vieux Port, or Old Port, with market stalls full of Provençal products, Moroccan like souks, and a centuries old fish market with its wares coming straight off the boats behind it.

In its neighborhoods the streets are narrow and a few pedestrian malls such as Rue St-Feereol.

And very important, try a steamy bowl of bouillabaisse, a traditional fish stew containing different kinds of fish, shellfish and vegetables, flavored with a variety of herbs and spices likegarlic, orange peel, basil, bay leaf, fennel and saffron.



For more information visit France Tourism Website



Map of Provence France

Map of Provence France


images credits for provence france

cassis by pj marriott
avignon by gunther
aix by hogne
gordes by fernando tassone
rousillon by keg1036
st remy n/a
porquerolles by hog
le barroux by stem porse
vaison by bonaber
menerbes by allie caulfield
marseilles by jan arkenstejn

all courtesy of Wikimedia commons

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