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.
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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.
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