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 top France holiday destinations. Our top pick? Provence. But it’s not just the weather in Provence that makes it a wow-factor getaway. There are plenty of attractions to enjoy in this sunlit region, so we’ve put together our top five reasons to summer in Provence.
1. The Camargue Nature Reserve
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. The river delta feeds several étangs (small coastal lakes), which now have dedicated picnic sites nearby – perfect for nature lovers and family trips!
2. The famous lavender fields
When you think of Provence, we wouldn’t be surprised if a sea of purple lavender springs to mind. One of the most popular reasons to summer in Provence is the picturesque lavender fields, perfect for romantic picnics and photo opportunities. The smells of the flowers will send you into a calming daze and the buzzing of bees and floating butterflies just adds to the magic. It’s a real must-see!
3. Fine wines and Mediterranean climes
Sunshine and sea breezes make the southern coast of France a perfect place for vineyards. The world-famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape 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.
4. City of culture
Crowned the European Capital of Culture for 2013, Marseille offers a great taste of big-city life. The gorgeous cathedral of Notre-Dame de la Garde is highest point for miles around, and provides stunning views of the historic port, old town and the mountains beyond. 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.
5. An artist’s paradise
With just a glance at this stunning region, it’s clear why it has drawn so many artists and writers to its shores over the centuries. While staying in one of our luxury Provence-Alpes villas, you’ll find everything from street names to bars and restaurants paying homage to the literary giants of yesteryear. A day-trip to the east of Aix-en-Provence should go some way to explain why artist Paul Cézanne became so obsessed with the steep slopes of Mont Sainte-Victoire that he slaved over painting after painting of the mountain, insisting none truly captured its beauty.
Fancy spending your summer in Provence? We’ve got a stunning collection of villas in Provence to make your holiday extra special! Feel free to contact our friendly concierge team if you have any questions.