Provence is without doubt a popular destination in the summer and for very good reason. The abundant sunshine encourages everything to burst into life. There is a palpable buzz in the air as people make the most of the stunning weather and warm temperatures. The vines are in full leaf, the sunflowers and lavender in bloom, all of which makes the countryside spectacularly pretty. But it’s not just the countryside that comes to life at this time of year… the towns and villages also become hives of activity and with lots to see and do it can be a fantastic time to get out and explore. But where to begin? I’ve listed five favourite towns and villages below which I think are ‘must visits’ when you’re enjoying a summer holiday in Provence. Le Castellet This beautiful medieval village is perched high up on a hill and has wonderful views from the church square. Entry to the village is by way of two fortified gates (a reminder that this was a feudal village designed to be defended against attackers). Once you’re through it’s time to wander the small streets that are lined with quaint Provencal houses and interspersed with a variety of shops including craft shops, stylish boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Shady squares intersect the streets on occasion, whilst the middle of the village is dominated by the sizeable 15th century Chateau which is now home to the Mairie (Town Hall). From here you are able to enjoy the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside including the Sainte Baume massif as well as the vines and vineyards that are below the village. Whilst you’re in the area you may also want to take a trip to the Circuit Paul Ricard (find out more about the Circuit in this article here). Home to this year’s French Grand Prix it’s a great destination venue with plenty to see and do. Highlights:
- Amazing Views
- Picturesque streets perfect for wandering
- Amazing Beaches
- Abundance of water-based activities available to you including boat trips and scuba diving
- A stroll down Cours Mirabeauit
- Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, a visit to Paul Cézanne’s studio is still worthwhile. Situated on the Lauves hill, planted with olive and fig trees, the Verdon canal running alongside it, the land offers a unique panorama of the Sainte Victoire mountain.
- The Amphitheatre – it’s amazing.
- The Saturday market. It really is huge!
- A stroll along the Saint-Bénézet Bridge
- The incredible Palais des Papes
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