Provence is a landscape bursting with possibilities. This is a region with a remarkable range of things to do thanks to the diversity of its terrain – the beaches and coastlines of the French Riviera, the challenging Alps, enchanting hidden wetlands and rural idylls bursting with fields of corn and lavender. Whether you’re looking for gentle exploration or something that requires a bit more adrenaline, there’s a huge amount the region offers as a holiday destination – not least our luxury chateaux in Provence and villas in the Côte d’Azur where you can enjoy the amenities and extras to suit you. And if you need something to do during your stay, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Provence & Côte d’Azur below…
1. See the countryside on two wheels with e.bike Tours
Walking through the countryside can be too slow, driving can be a bit too fast (and if you’re the unlucky one at the wheel, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the scenery either). The best choice, then, is surely to cycle. E.bike Tours have half-day and full-day expeditions around the cities and coastline of the region, which can include cruising around the historic sights of Marseilles and speeding along the breathtaking coastline of Calanques National Park. You can pedal by basilicas, charming little ports and sandy Côte d’Azur beaches – perhaps even stopping at the ones that take your fancy. You don’t have to be a Tour de France winner to enjoy these cultural expeditions; the bikes are all electric, which means that it’s a less tiring experience. What’s more the bikes even create a fan effect to keep cyclists cool beneath the baking Provençal sun.
Location: 38 Quai de rive neuve, Marseille, France
Book: Online at e.bike Tours
2. Drift through a National Park with Bleu Evasion
If you’d prefer to see the wonders of Calanques National Park from the water instead of the land, then Bleu Evasion’s boat excursions are the perfect way to spend a day. The creeks and inlets of the rocky coastline are often only accessible by boat, and you’ll get to access some of these secret coves as part of your trip. On your private boat you can stop for snorkelling, rest on a beach or just lounge on the luxurious craft itself, eating and drinking while bobbing on the picture-perfect water of the Mediterranean. For the thrill-seekers, some of the boats offer wake-boarding or tubing, but the day is shaped to your preferences so you can explore the colourful coastline in whatever way you see fit.
Location: 17 Rue Audemar Tibido, 13008 Marseille, France
Book: Online at Bleu Evasion
3. Roll around Nice with Mobilboard Segway Tours
The quirky, eco-friendly Segway has hit the cities of Europe in a big way, offering a unique method of sightseeing that manages to cover more ground than walking while still allowing diversions down smaller streets. Nice, with its neoclassical buildings and maze of museums and galleries, is ideal for exploring this way. Groups can take part in guided tours of varying lengths, which take in the highlights of the historic city. Alternatively, you can hire the mini-motors from Mobilboard for a self-guided tour. Start on the Promenade des Anglais, a palm tree-lined road that stretches along the waterfront, passing palaces and hotels, before heading to landmark sights such as the Nice Opera and the Natural History Museum.
Location: 2 rue Halevy, 06000 Nice, France
Book: Call +33 4 93 80 21 27
4. Drive supercars with Liven Up
Petrol heads will relish the chance to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or a Ferrari with Liven Up’s tours of the Riviera. An instructor joins you as you drive around the sights of Monaco, Eze or Nice in some of the greatest cars ever built – and the kind that few will ever buy. It’s an utterly extravagant experience and one that’s full of thrills. The V8 or V10 engines will positively roar as you wind around the spectacular roads near Eze or follow the course of the Monaco Grand Prix. Not only will you get the chance to drive one of these magnificent machines, but you’ll also be touring some of Provence’s most interesting sights in the process – though it’s perfectly understandable if you’re too caught up in the car to notice them.
Location: 208 Boulevard de Mercantour Space A 06200 Nice
Book: Online at Liven Up
5. Get your adrenaline going with Fun Kart
Finding something to do that the friends will enjoy is a difficult task, there’s no doubt about that. But with Fun Kart you get the ultimate group experience. Located just 30 minutes from Nice, with three circuits, banked corners and ramps going all over the place – what awaits you is a fun, action packed friendly race, which will be spoken about for a long time to come! And should you need a pit stop to refuel, you’ll find a restaurant on site.
Location: Route de Gourdon, 06620 Le Bar-sur-Loup,France
Book: Call +33 4 93 42 48 08
6. Tour a perfume factory at Maison Galimard
Having being a producer of perfume since the 14th century, Grasse is considered by many to be the world capital of the smelly stuff. The Grasse-based Galimard Museum and Factory offers insights into centuries of perfume production. Guided tours are free and will help explain the methods of extracting scents from natural sources and how the fragrances are devised. The shop at the end of the tour offers several samples to try and bottles to buy. The real draw, however, are the group workshops where, under the instruction of Galimard’s experts, you can create your own bespoke aroma and take home a bottle of your very own signature eau de toilette.
Location: 73 Route de Cannes, 06130 Grasse, France
Book: Call +33 4 93 09 20 00
7. Hit a hole-in-one with Golf du Luberon
The rolling hills and historic buildings of the Luberon exemplify the beauty of Provence-Alps and are, therefore, the perfect place for a relaxing round of golf. Seasoned golfers will enjoy the challenges of a new course in a scenic location, as each one of the 18 holes offers a new spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. Beginners are also welcome at Golf du Luberon, with lessons offered to newcomers, as well as shorter routes and putting greens to try out before hitting the full course. Stop by the on-site restaurant afterwards to talk about your finest shots and embarrassing misses over a glass of Provençal wine.
Location: La Grande Gardette, Chemin du Golf, 04860 Pierrevert, France
Book: Call +33 4 92 72 17 19
8. Speed around Nice with Jet Evasion
This Jet Ski ride is a real treat for a group experience! The guide allows you to take a peek at the amazing luxury villas in the Cote d’Azur and secluded beaches along the coast. Safety is essential, so a professionally qualified instructor will ensure you’re in the best hands whilst you get your adrenalin rush. The fleet of jet ski’s include lightweight racing models – and for the more adventurous spirits the Yamaha Superjet is great for competitions and ensures you cross the finish line first – so by all means get ready to liven up your holiday.
Location:Promenade des Anglais | Plage de Carras,06200 Nice, France
Book: Call +33 6 61 45 87 97
9. Take a private tour with Experience Provence
Such is the size and diversity of Provence-Alps that perhaps the best way to see the most of it is with a guided tour. Experience Provence offer curated, private expeditions into the heart of the region. You can pick and choose different elements from their suggested routes, maybe spending some time on one of their aroma tours through glorious purple lavender fields before trying something cultural in a city such as Aix-en-Provence or Avignon. Whatever it is in Provence-Alps that takes your fancy, from hilltop villages to the wilderness of the Camargue, then Experience Provence will take you there. Taking you round all of these dramatic sights is an English-speaking guide and Provence native, who will provide informative commentary with a local perspective.
Location: 54 rue Ivan Miro, 84000, Avignon, France
Book: Call +33 (0) 698 108 892 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Feeling ready to take on Provence and everything it’s got to offer? Talk to our concierge team and let them know what you’re looking for in your accommodation and they’ll find the perfect villa, chateaux or holiday home for you! And if you’re looking for more travel tips and holiday inspiration, why not take a look at our blog? We’ve got some great articles for stoking that wanderlust, including some great activities for grown ups in the South of France, some amazing vegetarian restaurants in France and Spain and even some beautiful wedding venues in France if you’re feeling romantic.