Provence, a stunning region in southern France


Provence

a stunning region in southern France


Lavender field Provence

Ancient market towns, coastal scenery, beautiful mountains, fields filled with glorious lavender, vineyards and good cuisine.

Well, this region is all these things and more.

It’s a stunning part of southern France, attracting visitors in their droves ever since Roman times.

Artists, writers, the rich and famous, and typical holidaymakers have all found a fabulous atmosphere, great weather, and hospitality.

Where is Provence?

It is no longer one of the provinces of France; it’s a geographical region and was historically a province.

It was the first Roman province beyond the Alps as they made their way further west into Europe.

Today the boundaries mostly correspond with the modern-day region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, and it spans a distance from the Mediterranean coast – where it includes the attractive French Riviera – inland to the mountains of the Alps.

The region has been a part of France for over 500 years. Yet, it still keeps its own cultural and language differences, including a varied cuisine that blends Mediterranean and seafood.

Weather and climate

With such a variety of elevations – the low-lying coastal regions, to the Alps mountains – the weather can be quite different from one area to the next.

Along the coast, there’s a lovely Mediterranean climate with mild weather all year round, including hot and relatively dry summers, with calm and damp winters.

The Mistral winds are a distinctive feature of Provence’s climate – it’s a cold and dry wind that mostly blows during the winter.

Up in the higher mountains, the climate changes to Alpine with plenty of snow and colder temperatures – there are some excellent ski resorts to try if you enjoy skiing.



nice-seafront310

Popular Towns and Cities

You will find many of the country’s finest towns and cities here.

The French Riviera includes the upscale and luxurious resort towns of  Nice,  St Tropez,  and Cannes,  while further west along the coast, Toulon and Marseille.

Inland, the scenery and the culture change as you rise to more significant elevations heading into the mountains; towns like Aix-en-Provence and Avignon are popular, as is the beautiful hillside town of Gordes.

Saint-Paul de Vence is also a beautiful village attracting artists from all over the world.

The Wine and Cuisine

One of the things that Provence is best known for is its wine and cuisine.

Wines have been produced here since the Phocaeans settled around 600BC.

Wines have been abundant in the centuries, but they have not always been perfect.

Low-quality varieties have been removed, and the vineyards are now producing much more delicate wines, many of which are rosés.

Choose a good glass of wine to accompany your meal when you’re staying in Provence.

The cuisine here does have a heavy Mediterranean influence with abundant vegetables, and on the coast, seafood is good.

ratatouille310

Try a traditional ratatouille (picture above) with some conventional bread of Provence, called Fougasse, or a traditional provencal stew, called Daube.

In Marseille, the classic seafood dish is Bouillabaisse, made with three main fish and many others added.

The dish is heavily seasoned, and many dishes will incorporate the well-known mixture of dried herbs, Herbes de Provence.

Things to do in Provence
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