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Provence travel guide and itinerary

Idyllic villages, stunning landscapes, great wine and a whole lot of romance. Provence seems to have it all. That’s not to mention its amazing culinary and the stunning lavender fields which blooms in June-July. It’s hands-down one of our favorites regions in the world, and if you are planning a trip there, we’d say you’re in for a treat. In this post you will find our Provence travel guide filled with fresh and highly-curated recommendations!

In addition to the recommendations, we also put together a perfect itinerary for your trip to Provence. Below you will find tips on top things to do, best hotels, remarkable restaurants, as well as all the practical information you need to plan your trip. Please use the index below to guide you through the post and let’s dream of warm and delightful Provençal days together!

Provence Travel Guide

Best time to visit Provence

Due to its privileged location in the South of France, Provence boasts mild temperatures during most seasons and averages an incredible mark of 300 days of sun per year. Thus, it’s safe to say there’s no bad time to visit Provence, except during the peak of winter when it might snow in the higher villages and peaks. During the months of December to March, I’d say it’s a better idea to head to the French Alps, which are equally magnificent.

Best time to visit Provence
Best months to visit Provence

Despite being an all year-round destination, it’s during spring and summer the region shows its true colors. Especially in the last half of June and the first half of July, when the lavender bloom usually occur. We visited Provence between June 29th and July 12th, and it perfect timing to see the lavender fields in full bloom and to take part of the many summer festivities like the Lavender Festival in Apt.

During this period, expect higher price tags, bigger crowds and high temperatures, but all worth it in my opinion. The landscapes are truly a dream come true and it’s hard to think of a better place to be in Europe during these weeks!

If you’re planning a honeymoon or romantic trip to the South of France, you may want to read this post!

Best things to do in Provence

Whether it’s meandering through its charming, postcard-worthy villages, losing yourself amidst fields of lavender and vineyards, or marveling at natural wonders like the Calanque de Cassis, there’s always something to captivate around the corner. Rest assured, there’s no chance of a dull moment in this breathtaking region of France. So now, let’s dive into the best things to do in Provence!

1) Visit the most beautiful villages

Provence is home to some of the most picturesque and romantic villages in the world. Imagine narrow cobblestone alleys weaving through pastel color buildings, quaint squares echoing with history adorned with ancient churches, and intimate restaurants awaiting your visit. Some of these villages sit atop hills, offering breathtaking panoramas of the sprawling vineyards and mesmerizing lavender fields below. They’re just magical!

Although most villages in Provence are gorgeous, it’s safe to say some are more remarkable than others. To ensure you’ll have the chance to enjoy the absolute crème de la crème Provençal, I curated a list of the 22 most beautiful villages in Provence in this post. And as a spoiler, let me tell you our 5 top favorite villages in Provence:

Best things to do Provence
What to do in Provence

Top 5 villages in Provence



Fontaine de Vaucluse

Moustier Saint Marie

Lourmarin + extra magical village close-by: Cucuron


Read a complete guide to Fontaine de Vaucluse clicking here!

2) Valensole Plateau

Valensole is more than just a village; it’s also the name of a plateau area comprised of several charming villages. It’s where the most stunning lavender fields are located, and so it’s a place you simply must visit Provence. Especially if you are visiting during summer time, when the lavender flowers bloom and the landscape become a true sea of purple rows exuding the most magical aroma of lavenders.

You can surely visit Valensole Plateau on a daytrip, but to truly soak in the beauty of the region, I’d recommend spending a night. The village of Valensole has some adorable accommodations and delightful restaurants to explore. Use it as your base, then venture out, driving through the Valensole Plateau to find the most mesmerizing lavender landscapes.

Provence travel guide
Provence travel guide

I wrote all about our favorite lavender fields in Provence in this post, so make sure to check it out for comprehensive information. In a nutshell, let me say the most beautiful lavender fields in Valensole are located at:


Top 5 lavender fields in Valensole

D8 from Valensole towards D953

D56 between Valensole and Puimoisson

D56 from Puimoisson towards Moustier St. Marie

D6 between Manosque and Valensole


If you decide not to book a car for you Provence trip, it’s possible to join day trips organized from Aix en Provence or Marseille. Please find conditions and details here!

3) Indulge in some local wine-tastings

If you are a wine lover like us, you may already know that Provence produces incredible wine. Although the region is mostly known for their rosé labels, we were quite surprised to find out that Provence vineyards also excel on making red and white wines. That’s why visiting vineyards for some seriously good wine-tastings is an absolute must-do while in Provence.

In this post you’ll find our reviews and recommendations of the best vineyards in Provence.If you’re keen on deep-diving into the unique wine-making techniques of each spot, this is for you. But if you’d rather keep it simple and get straight to the point, here it goes our top 5 vineyard recommendations in Provence.

Vineyards in Provence

Top 5 vineyards in Provence

Domaine de la Vallongue

Domaine des Peyres

Domaine Perréal

Domaine de Fontenille

Chateau Grand Callamand


4) Take part of Provençal markets

Provençal markets are simply delightful. It’s a time and place where local and travelers are brought together to browse and shop from the multiple stalls selling delicious local products and enticing merchandise. We were completely fascinated by the ones we visited, especially the ones in Lourmarin and Apt, where we could find everything from antiques to locally sourced onions.

Markets in Provence: best things to do
Markets in Provence: best things to do

The highlights for us were the incredibly succulent Provençal cherries and the cheeses. Also the heavenly truffle parmigiano we bought from a stall in the Apt market, as well as macarons, hand-made soaps and lavender oils. If you’re up for a picnic, it’s also possible to shop roasted chicken with potatoes, Mediterranean dishes and falafels!

5) Wander in lavender fields

There are many lavenders fields spread across Provence beyond the most popular ones in Valensole. If you are visiting the region between June and July, make sure to go “lavender field hunting” and enjoy the most beautiful views and aromas. Our favorite fields are listed in this post, but if you prefer to have them easily integrated to your Google Maps, make sure to get our personalized map.

Lavender fields: best things to do in Provence
Lavender fields: best things to do in Provence

6) Explore in Gorges du Verdon

Amidst towering limestone cliffs lies the Gorges du Verdon, one of the most mesmerizing place in the whole of France. Its waters, a shade of turquoise so vibrant it seems almost otherworldly, carve through the canyons creating a sight that’s nothing short of spectacular. While the view from Pont du Galetas offers an arresting first impression, you must navigate in its waters to really soak in the beauty of this place. Whether you choose to paddle or take a swim, immersing yourself in this magnificent canyon is a must do while in South of France.

You can rent kayaks, paddleboats or electric boats by the river bank close to Pont du Galetas. Once you’ve enjoyed the Gorges, we recommend you head to one of the many beautiful and secluded bathing spots around Sainte-Croix lake. We really enjoyed the first one coming from Moustier Saint Marie. It’s tagged in our personalized map, so if you want the pin directly integrated to your Google Maps, make sure to get it here.

Gorges du Verdon: best things to do in Provence
Gorges du Verdon

If you decide not to book a car for your trip to Provence, you can join an organized tour to Gorges do Verdon. Check best prices and conditions here, but don’t miss visiting, as it’s a truly unique spot

7) Enjoy Carriére de Lumiere

No trip to Provence is complete without a visit to Carrières des Lumières, the most amazing art instalation we’ve ever seen. Or should we say experienced, given that Carrières is a fully immersive art exhibition? Imagine stepping into a massive limestone cavern, only to be surrounded by iconic paintings and masterpieces projected onto the cavern’s colossal walls. The vibrant lights, vivid colors, and captivating sounds all play their part in this immersive symphony of art. It’s a one of a kind experience and we couldn’t recommend it more!

8) Visit Senanque Abbey

Senanque Abbey is one of the most well-known postcards from Provence. Which is totally understandable, because the sight of a medieval Abbey surrounded by beautiful lavender fields surely is striking. Established way back in the 10th century by Cistercian monks, this Abbey has stood the test of time and functions as a monastery up to this today. It’s possible to visit the Abbey’s beautiful exterior gardens as you wish, but if you’re interested on checking the Abbeys interior, it’s advisable to book book the tickets in advance.

9) Enjoy a Lavender festival

Every summer in Provence, a time-honored tradition comes to life as villages pay homage to France’s most iconic flower: the lavender. Throughout the region, Lavender Festivals are organized, showcasing the beauty and significance of this aromatic flower. If you’re visiting Provence during summer, you should definitely plan to take part in it. These are the most esteemed Lavender Festivals in Provence:

Best things to do in Provence
Best things to do in Provence

Top 5 Lavender Festivals in Provence

In Apt, on the first or second Sunday in July

In Valensole, on the third Sunday of July

In Digne-les-Bains, on the first weekend in August

In Sault, on the 15th of August

Please make sure to double check the festivities dates, as it may vary from year to year


We had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Lavender Festival in Apt, held in mid-July. The ambiance was absolutely enchanting: the air resonated with traditional French medieval music, stalls showcased the finest lavender products, and the overall atmosphere was nothing short of dreamlike. It was definitely a once and lifetime experience and one I 100% recommend if you are planning to visit Provence during summer.

10) Calanque de Cassis

If you’ve wondered where the most beautiful water in France is, here is the answer: Calanques de Cassis, in the south of Provence. Nestled between imposing limestone fjords lies the calanques with some of the most mesmerizing water colors I’ve ever seen. Among them, Calanque d’En Vau stands out as the most beautiful. To witness its beauty, embark on a boat or kayak excursion from Cassis or traverse the scenic hiking trails.

Hiking there is not easy, but it’s worth it and you can find detailed instructions in this post from Le long weekend. If you prefer to go on a guided hike, you can book in advance here. The boat and kayak excursions can be booked in advance here!

What to do in Provence
Calanques de Cassis: best things to do in Provence

Now that you’ve discovered the best things to see and do in Provence, let’s jump into some practical recommendations!

How long to stay in Provence

It all depends on your interests and availability, but I’d recommend staying for at least 10 days if you want to make of most of your trip and experience all the Top 10 things to do in Provence. If possible, plan for 12 to 14 days to explore at a leisurely pace and fully immerse yourself in the Provençal atmosphere. Specially if you are visiting Provence during summer, when the high temperatures will demand some down time by the pool during the day!

How long to stay in Provence
How many days to stay in Provence

On our first visit to Provence, we stayed in Aix en Provence for 6 days and went on day-trips from there. It was possible to explore some of the best places, but definitely not all of them – and to be honest, it ended up being a quite tiresome trip. Thus, on our most recent visit, we planned for staying in 5 different places during the course of a 14 days trip across Provence. This itinerary significantly reduced driving times and allowed for more time to appreciate the region. It was an ideal period to get an overall sense of the region, but (believe it or not), there was a lot we couldn’t cover. Yet another reason to return for the third time!

What to do in Provence in 5, 8 and 12 days

There’s a wide variety of things to do and places to see in Provence. A first glance at the map may feel overwhelming, but don’t worry – distances are not that long and it’s possible to craft a coherent itinerary depending on the number of days you plan to spend there. Here are some suggestions:

5 days in Provence

Travel itinerary in Provence

5 days itinerary in Provence

1 day in Aix en Provence

1 day between Les Baux-de-Provence, Carriéres de Lumiéres and Fontaine de Vaucluse

1 day between Sénanque Abbey, Gordes and Roussilon

1 day between Lacoste, Bonnieux, and Saignon

1 day exploring Valensole Valley


If you have only 5 days to visit Provence, I recommend choosing 1 or 2 home-bases, from where you can easily take day trips. Aix en Provence is a good place to stay, as well as Oppède or Apt.

8 days in Provence

8 days in Provence itinerar

8 days itinerary in Provence

1* day in Aix en Provence

1* day in Cassis and its Calanques

1 day between Les Baux-de-Provence, Carriéres de Lumiéres and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

1 day between L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Fontaine de Vaucluse

1 day between Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, Roussilon and Goult

1 day between Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux

1* day exploring Valensole Valley

1 day between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Gorges du Verdon

The days marked with * can be extended to 2 or 3 days, as there’s a lot to explore in the destination and nearby area


With 8 days in Provence, it’s possible to go beyond the basics and explore a few different areas. I recommend choosing 2 or 3 strategic home-bases, from where you can easily take day trips and reduce driving time. Aix en Provence is a good place to stay, as well as Fontaine de Vaucluse, Oppède or Apt, Lourmarin and Valensole.

12 days in Provence

12 days itinerary in Provence

12 days itinerary in Provence

1* day in Aix en Provence

1* day in Cassis and its Calanques

1 day between Les Baux-de-Provence, Carriéres de Lumiéres and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

1 day between L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Fontaine de Vaucluse

1 day between Sénanque Abbey, Gordes and Roussilon

1 day between Oppède le Vieux, Ménerbes and Goult

1 day between Lacoste, Bonnieux, Apt and Saignon

1 day between Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt and Sault with lavender fields

1 day between Lourmarin, Lauris and Cururon

1* day exploring Valensole Valley

1 day between Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and Gorges du Verdon

1 day between Cotignac, Sillans-la-Cascade and Tourtour

The days marked with * can be extended to 2 or 3 days, as there’s a lot to explore in the destination and nearby area


12 is an ideal number of days to spend in Provence. You’ll be able to visit the most beautiful villages in Provence, Gorges du Verdon, Valensole and Cassis. I recommend choosing 3 to 4 strategic home-bases, from where you can easily take day trips and reduce driving time.

Where to stay in Provence

The choice of where to stay in Provence naturally depends on the itinerary you’ve planned for your trip. In our experience, these are the best villages and hotels to stay:

Where to stay in Provence

Aix en Provence: Check our Aix in Provence travel guide for recommendations

Fontaine de Vaucluse: Stay at the magnificent Hotel du Poéte

Apt: Stay at La Providence, which has a beautiful lavender field and a pool with the best view!

Oppède: Stay at Domainne les Roullets, an idylic property in the heart of Luberon

Gordes: Stay at Mas de la Beaume, which has a fantastic location and a pool!

Lourmarin: Stay at Le Galinier, a super cozy and stylish Beaumier Hotel

Valensole: Stay at Les Terrasses de Valensole, the most charming hotel in the area

Sillans-la-Cascade: Stay at Longo Maï, a super charming hotel close to the waterfalls

How to get to Provence

Flying to Marseille Airport is the most practical way to get to Provence. From there, you can rent a car and reach Aix en Provence, which is the gateway to Provence, in about 1 hour.

Since flights to Marseille are not always budget-friendly, I recommend checking flights to Nice and Cannes on the French Riviera. Both cities are connected to major European hubs and are about 2 hours away from Aix en Provence. If flying to the Riviera ends up being the best option for your itinerary and budget, why not spending some days exploring the vibrant French coastline? These 2 are perfect destinations to combine and you can check some itinerary suggestions to the South of France here!

Getting around Provence

Renting a car (or bringing your own depending where you’re from) is definitely the best way to explore Provence. It will provide you with the flexibility and convenience you need to go beyond the mainstream attractions and discover the most charming corners of Provence!

The roads are well-maintained and internet connection is quite reliable, making it easy to navigate with Waze or Google Maps help. Whenever possible, choose the less traveled road, which are the ones without tool controls. Cruising through the small roads is actually one of the best things to do in Provence and it will definitely connect you with the Provençal atmosphere!

Book your rental car here

How expensive is Provence

Provence may not be a cheap destination, but I can guarantee it’s worth every penny you’ll invest. To help you plan for a reasonable travel budge, I’ve compiled our travel expenses below. I’d say we did a very comfortable trip, but it really wasn’t a luxury one. If you are aiming for the same standars, please consider the following costs:

How expensive is Provence
How much traveling to Provence cost

Food: I must admit that I found food quite expensive there, even though I come from from Sweden, one of the more expensive countries in Europe. I recommend budgeting around 65 to 100 euros per person per day for all meals if you plan on eating out. In my experience, main dishes were priced around 20 to 35€ at regular restaurants, and around 35 to 50€ at more upscale ones. Crepes range from 7 to 15€, and glasses of wine about 7€ each.

Car Rental: The rental cost of a Fiat 500 for 14 days was 390€. Additionally, we paid for the full coverage insurance, which cost 250€. We don’t always get full coverage insurance on our trips, but this time we fortunately decided to. The car was badly damaged while driving through a rural roads, and the expenses would have been much higher than the cost of the insurance. Ouph!

Readers of the blog can get a quote from the best car rental companies for their trip by clicking here. Through our link, you’ll secure emergency assistance and special discounts.

Hotels: We spent a total of 1700€ for 14 nights in Provence in July. Our accommodation choices were comfortable and charming, but not luxurious.

What to pack for Provence

Light and comfortable clothes are the key. Think of linnen or cotton materials in light colors and airy design. It gets really hot during summer and you’ll certainly need the freshest outfits you can think of. Here are some additional recommendations:

For women: pack summer dresses in various styles, from flouncy to long ones. Skirts, linen pants, fresh tops, and shorts are also great items to bring to Provence. Flat and comfortable shoes should be your way to go and you absolutely won’t need high heels or heavy makeup. Bring scarfs and a light jacket for outdoor dinners, just in case it gets chilly.

For men: You can pack linen shirts and fresh fabric shirts, as well as t-shirts, shorts, and fresh pants. Shoes should be casual and comfortable.

You should not forget to bring sunscreen with maximum UV protection, sun hats and sunglasses.

I hope these tips were useful to you. If you’re planning a trip to Provence, make sure to check other exclusive travel guides about Provence by clicking here. And if you have a question or an additional tip to fellow travelers, please leave a comment below!

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