Colloquially known as Le Midi, or the midday, due to the sheer amount of sunshine it enjoys, it’s pretty clear why the south of France is one of the country’s top holiday destinations. Given all of the captivating regions that Southern France has to offer – from the stretching vines of Bordeaux to the majestic mountains of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – it’s undoubtedly difficult to choose where to venture to first on a getaway. But, if you’re looking for our top pick, this would have to be Provence in summer.

Strikingly beautiful and culturally rich, the Provence region of France is an ever-popular destination in the country, for more reasons than just the exceptional weather it enjoys. The region’s allure continues to draw travellers to its landscapes year after year given its thriving nature and settlements drenched in fascinating history. 

No matter what you love on your travels, the sunlit region of Provence has something for everyone. But if you’re still umming and ahhing about whether your next summer getaway should be in French Provence, let us convince you that your time is best spent discovering its treasure trove of experiences that will leave you longing for more.

Why Visit Provence in the Summer?

Whilst there’s no bad time of year to visit this French region, there is certainly a ‘best’ time to go to Provence if you want to witness its beauty in the best light. That time is summertime. 

As many of the top places to visit in Provence are home to thriving flora and abundant fauna, the glorious sunlight that illuminates the region on most days during the summer season casts a radiant glow on these landscapes. This creates the picture-perfect backdrop to your dream holiday!

But, of course, summertime also brings with it some of the finest weather of the year, and Provence truly experiences the very best of this in the south of France. With minimal rainfall and balmy temperatures often reaching up to 30°C, make sure to pack your shorts and t-shirts, and not forget your sunglasses!

1. The Camargue Nature Reserve

Camargue Nature Reserve

The Camargue is one of the most sensational places to visit in Provence if you’re in search of nothing more than a peaceful and wildlife-rich experience. It is a delta of the Rhône River and the second largest delta in the whole of the Mediterranean. Feeding into several étangs, or small coastal lakes, you can revel in the tranquility of not only stretching, grassy plains but also winding waterfronts, which are truly breathtaking.

All the colours of Provence are worn by the native flora and fauna of the Camargue. Black bulls, Camarguais white horses, and bright-pink flamingos move through dusky sea lavender and salt cedar trees in this area of outstanding natural beauty. 

You can spot them in their natural habitat, not only during walks or cycle rides but also on horseback or even on boat trips on the region’s serene waterways. These are just a couple of activities from the expansive list of things to do in Provence to inspire you for your next trip!

As you explore the nooks and crannies of this French oasis, be sure to celebrate its beauty for as long as possible if you can. There are many dedicated picnic sites along the region’s waterways where you can stop and indulge in your surroundings, and even pack and picnic in advance – which we’d recommend – as they make for the perfect lunch spot for nature lovers and families!

2. The famous lavender fields

Provence lavender fields

When you think of Provence, we wouldn’t be surprised if a sea of purple lavender springs to mind. Nestled in the region’s rolling countryside, you’ll find row upon row of vibrant lavender bushes, vivid in colour and coupled with their lingering sweet scent that’s intoxicating.

The lavender fields are some of the best locations to visit in the Provence region, and one of the most popular, too, particularly in summer as the sunshine casts its radiant glow across its picturesque landscape. Of all of the lavender-filled areas of Provence, there are two that have developed a reputation for being unequivocally breathtaking: Luberon and Plateau de Valensole. 

The Luberon Valley’s lavender fields are one of the most captured lavender locations in the world, with some of the most beautiful areas backed by historic monasteries and woven between expansive vineyards. Also, the Plateau de Valensole has certainly developed a name for itself which means it is now recognised worldwide. Filled with lavender visible from almost every angle, but also tall sunflowers and charming historic landmarks, the area perfectly balances history and culture with nature.

Perfect for romantic picnics and offering ample photo opportunities, if you’re considering where to go in Provence, the region’s lavender fields are a real must-visit!

3. Fine wines and Mediterranean climes

Provence wine

Sunshine and sea breezes make the southern coast of France a perfect place for vineyards to thrive and grow grapes for some of the most sumptuous and delectable wines that have won accolades and awards for years on end. The world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine has been produced in the region for hundreds of years, and Côtes-du-Rhône wines are all protected by the Appellation d’Origine Controlée label, meaning these wines can only be produced in their native Provence.

If you, like many others, consider yourself to be a self-proclaimed connoisseur and wine lover, then Provence is just one of the must-visit places in France that you need to venture to so that you can expand your viticultural horizons. 

Raising a glass in the region’s many independent vineyards as you meander through the vines makes for an enriching experience that engages all of the senses. Remember that you can learn a lot about the wine-making process and traditions in the region at its vineyards and wineries to deepen your understanding of why it’s so extraordinary.

4. City of Culture: Marseille


Crowned the European Capital of Culture in 2013, Marseille offers a great taste of big-city life in the South of France. This bold port city is one with rich cultural diversity, a captivating historical timeline, and natural heritage, with a bustling atmosphere that is simply infectious.

Marseille is one of the great places to visit if you love a little bit of everything. The gorgeous cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Garde, for example, provides stunning views of the historic port, old town, and the mountains beyond for those keen to savour the best views of the region. 

And who doesn’t like to do a spot of shopping during their travels? You can certainly practice your French haggling at the daily fish market at the Quai des Belges. Or, learn about the city’s fascinating history of resistance at the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe, for the history buffs among us! 

If it’s the culinary scene of Provence, France that you’re hoping to get a taste for though, Marseille is the place to be, with its many traditional and authentic eateries serving up a diverse range of Provençal dishes that are truly mouthwatering. Finally, if you long to feel the sand between your toes, the scenic coastline and beaches of Marseille are just what you need.

Of all the cities in Provence, Marseille shouldn’t be kept off your list of places to visit, and in the summertime amidst the glistening sunshine, it’s without question that its attractions and landmarks will be nothing short of spectacular.

5. Aix-en-Provence


Situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of the south of France, the university city of Aix-en-Provence is known for its literary and artistic heritage as well as a laid-back and quintessential French way of life.

Filled with busy markets, visitors can shop to their heart’s content in this Provençal city. Equally, lovers of the arts will feel right at home here, as it has served as inspiration and the perfect setting for artists to pursue their abilities and create some of their best works. 

One of the most iconic names is Paul Cézanne, a renowned French post-impressionist painter, whose work, at the time, influenced great artistic movements. In the city, there’s even a Cézanne Trail that visitors can venture on, allowing visitors to walk in the footsteps of this great artist and learn much about his life. 

Equally, you can connect with the stunning scenes that inspired much of his works, such as the steep slopes of Mont Sainte-Victoire that he slaved over in painting after painting, insisting none truly captured its beauty. So, whether you stay in the city itself or venture just beyond its borders, prepare to be mesmerised and encounter many of the best places in Provence to immerse yourself in, which are truly an artist’s paradise. 

6. Avignon


Of the plethora of cities in Provence, Avignon is another that makes our list of the best places to visit in the region in the summertime. Drenched in culture, history, and religion, the city’s attractions and landmarks are captivating and offer a glimpse into real Southern French living.

Exploring the streets of Avignon will transport you back in time. Enclosed in its medieval walls are landmarks representing some of Provence’s most significant events, as well as the religion that was so heavily ingrained in its culture throughout history. The Palais des Papes, for example, is one of Avignon’s most distinguishable features due to its grand architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great significance, as one of the most important medieval gothic structures in Europe and a seat of Western Christianity during the 1300s. 

But of all of the things to do in Provence whilst you’re visiting Avignon, just simply weaving your way through the maze of streets that is the city’s historic old town is a truly peaceful and magical experience. Indulge in the local cafe culture and people watch as the world goes by, or get lost in its streets as you admire the charming squares and architectural wonders that can be found at every turn. 

7. Arles


Last on the list, but by no means least, Arles is another recommendation in our list of the best places to visit in Provence. This city boasts a significant history that is grounded in artistic heritage, and it promises colourful landscapes that will inspire its visitors, much like it did many significant art figures.

Vincent Van Gogh, for example, was inspired by Arles, meaning it featured in many of his works, which speaks volumes for the sheer extent of this town’s beauty and enchantment. He lived in the town for over a year and found beauty in some of its simplest of settings, including Café du Forum and The Yellow House, which are two of his most iconic works. 

Arles’ beauty has also been recognised by even the likes of ancient civilisations, who found it to be a fitting setting to build some of their most important societal structures. The Romans occupied the town thousands of years ago, building a Roman theatre as well as an amphitheatre. Now, visitors can see the ruins for themselves upon a visit to the town to bear witness to its impressive history. 

So, with a vibrant and intriguing historic and artistic scene, Arles makes it into our books as one of the best towns in Provence to visit during any trip to France.


Every corner of the beautiful region of Provence will be an enchanting destination to visit beneath the radiant sunshine in summertime. But, if you’re looking for expert guidance on where you should visit first, we hope this article has given you the inspiration you need for a selection of the best places to visit in Provence. Whether the thriving natural landscapes of the Camargue have caught your attention, or the cultural capital of Marseille is more your style, you’re spoilt for choice thanks to the array of unforgettable experiences that Provence has on the cards. 

Fancy heading to Provence in summer? We’ve got a spectacular collection of villas in the region to make your holiday extra special. Feel free to contact our friendly concierge team should you have any questions or need further inspiration from a team of experts to help plan your dream Provençal getaway.

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