6 minutes reading time France
Fresh smell of lavender, gently swaying olive trees, many Roman historical towns and villages are only some of the most famous things you are able to see and feel in Provence. This southeastern region of France is well known for its beautiful coast at Mediterranean Sea where many celebrities like to spend their holidays. But it is also known for some many historical monuments and wonderful nature which will leave you breathless, for sure. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful region, do not hesitate.
History of Provence
So many years ago, Roman Empire began to rule over Provence and named it first Roman Empire beyond the Alps. Back then name of the region was Provincia Romana and it stayed under Roman reign until the end of the XV century. Since then, Provence is a perfect place for history lovers, who like to see some of the best preserved ruins of Europe. Corinthian temple stands proudly for more than 2000 years, amazing amphitheatre in Nimes, The Theatre Antique in Orange are just some of the places you really need to see, if you ever choose to visit the region.
How to get there
Provence lies in the southeastern part of France. Coming to the region is pretty easy; no matter how do you want to travel. If you travel from Italy, you will enter the region as soon as you cross the border with France. For starting your trip the best way is to visit Marseille first. It is the biggest city in the region. If you choose to come from Paris, you can take direct flight or you can take the train. You can also take the train to other Provence cities, such as Avignon, Toulon or Arles. If you choose to stay in the region for a longer period, then driving a car is the best option. You will be able to see more places and take more things with you. Public transport in all cities and towns is very good, but when you have a car, you can visit so many little villages which are not really accessible with public transport.
Places to visit in Provence
Lavender fields are first thing you really can’t miss while you are in Provence. Amazing purple color spreads through endless fields of this beautiful plant. Fresh smell of lavender makes you to stay here forever. But, you really need to go further and see so many wonderful places. If you choose to go to the coast, you will be amazed by its divine beaches and incredible places. There are also so many wonderful towns which are worth seeing. And each of them has its own charm.
The biggest city in the region has so much to offer. It is also the biggest port of the coast. Its old port is a place you cannot skip as it has been trading for about 2600 years. Calanques National Park, History museum, Boulevard Longchamp are only some of the places you need to see while you are in the city.
If you ever come to Avignon you need to visit Les Halles market and Palais des Papes. The palace is best known, so as the city, as center of religious conflicts from 14th century. Pope Clement wanted to move Catholic Church from Rome to Avignon for nearly 70 years. His Palace still stands proudly after so many years.
One of the most famous French cities and the fifth largest city of the country is always crowded with people who visit it during whole year. Architecture of Nice is extraordinary as it is a mix of the Belle Epoque style and Baroque. Floral gardens and fabulous sculptures, the Espace Massena, the Chamburn Park are places you really cannot miss. And for sure, you need to grab a cup of coffee in the Promenade des Anglais, while you have wonderful view on the bay.
For sure, the most famous city on the French coast. Everything is special and well known in this amazing city. Not only French people visit it during summer holiday, it also has become one of the first choices of people from all around the world. You should visit old port, Annonciade Museum, church and bell tower from the 18th century, if you like to walk around the place. If not, you will have more than enough things to do, as this wonderful city has so much to offer.
Another famous city in French Riviera and home of one of the most famous film festivals in the world is definitely the city of Cannes. The city is also famous for its luxury hotels and restaurants and it is also one of the destinations where rich and famous people from all around the world chose to spend their holidays. The Promenade de la Croisette is a beautiful avenue near the sea with palm trees. It is also known for its amazing beaches, cafes, boutiques and luxury hotels. The old town, Le Suquet, is also something you need to see in Cannes.
On the other hand, if you are not a big fan of crowded, busy places, Provence has so many incredible villages to offer for a visit. You will experience authentic beauty of the region and for sure stay enchanted with its amazing colorful hilltops, untouched nature and way of life, which hasn’t been changed very much for so many centuries.
Roussillon, Oppede-le-vieux, Goult, Gordes, Saignon and many others are some of those villages, which aren’t hidden gems anymore, but will still take you to some other universe the moment you step into them.
Cuisine in Provence
You really cannot leave Provence without trying some of its tasteful dishes. Daube (beef in red wine with vegetables), Tapenade (olive dip served with croutons), Omelette aux truffes (eggs with famous Provence truffles), Ratatouille (vegetable casserole) are just some of authentic Provence dishes you cannot miss.
No matter where do you stay and what do you visit, Provence will definitely stay in your heart forever. I think smell of lavender, amazing coast with wonderful beaches, cafes with amazing view onto bay, incredible architecture and historical places are more than enough reasons for you to grab your staff and find your way into this beautiful region of France. You won’t regret, for sure and you will go home with tones of amazing photos.