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Things to do in Provence

Things to do in  Provence

Welcome to Provence

Provence, in southern France, is technically part of a larger region in the country, maintains much of its historic regional identity. Known for its charming towns and lavender fields, scenes captured by artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, and Renoir, the region – which includes the French Riviera – extends from the Mediterranean Sea up into the Luberon and the Alps, with coastal Marseille as is its largest city. Visitors relax on the beach at seaside resorts like Nice and Cannes (two hours from Marseille), and explore the coastal nature reserve of the Camargue (a little over an hour). Further inland, fountain-filled Aix-en-Provence was once the capital of Provence, while Arles boasts a well-preserved ancient Roman amphitheater. Travelers flock to Avignon's main draw, the papal palace complex, the base of the papacy for most of the 14th century (all about an hour away. Meanwhile, the small towns that dot the countryside demonstrate the region’s wealth of culture and history. Half- and full-day tours brings visitors to one or more that fit their specific interests, from markets to mountain towns. Picturesque Les Baux de Provence offers a glimpse of a medieval village, and can be combined with the nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region tastings. The air around the hilltop town of Grasse smells of lavender, so it makes sense three perfumeries are headquartered there. Pause to cool off in the river running through the Gorges du Verdon, a chance to swim under the Pont du Gard–an ancient Roman aqueduct.

Top 10 attractions in Provence

#1
Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

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Marseille is France’s largest and busiest port, welcoming over 1.5 million cruise passengers to its shores each year. As the gateway to Provence and the south of France, Marseille is a popular stop on Europe cruise itineraries, and offers ferry connections to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria, and Tunisia.More
#2
Gordes

Gordes

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Made famous by Peter Mayle’s bookA Year in Provence, the Provençal village of Gordes boasts an idyllic setting atop the Vaucluse plateau. With its maze of cobbled lanes, honey-colored stone buildings, and medieval chateau, it’s easy to see why Gordes is hailed as one of France’s most beautiful villages.More
#3
Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

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Reaching a height of almost 160 feet (49 meters), the three-tiered Pont du Gard bridge was part of a 31-mile (50-kilometer) Roman aqueduct network that carried water from a source at Eure to bathhouses, fountains, and patrician villas in Nîmes. Constructed in the first century, the ancient engineering marvel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#4
La Turbie

La Turbie

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Perched on a hilltop looking down over the Cote d’Azur and just minutes from the border of Monaco, La Turbie makes a worthwhile detour for those en-route to Monte Carlo. With its narrow paved streets and stone-brick archways, the small village offers an authentic slice of old Provence, and its baroque church and medieval buildings make for a pleasant walking tour.The undisputed star attraction of La Turbie is the striking Tropaeum Alpium or ‘Trophy of the Alps’, a grand 35-meter-tall monument that looms over the town and was built by the Romans in 7 BC. North of the Tropaeum, walking trails run up into the surrounding hills and offer impressive lookouts over the Mediterranean coast below, with views spanning Cap Ferrat, Antibes and as far as Vintimille bay in Italy.More
#5
Vallon des Auffes

Vallon des Auffes

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With its charming jumble of fishing boats and fishermen’s cabins clustered around the small harbor, and framed by the arches of a stone-brick bridge; visiting Vallon des Auffes feels like stepping back in time. Located along the Marseille Corniche, the historic port village is a world away from the bustling city and makes a tranquil detour for those traveling along the coastal road.Despite its diminutive size, Vallon des Auffes punches well above its weight when it comes to gastronomy and its handful of waterfront restaurants are well known for serving delicious fresh fish and seafood. Top restaurants include Chez Fonfon, L’Epuisette and Chez Jeannot, while the most celebrated dish is Provencal specialty bouillabaisse.More
#6
Palais du Pharo

Palais du Pharo

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The Palais du Pharo in Marseille was built for Napoleon III and was once home to the city’s medical school. The palace is now used for municipal events and conferences and is famous for great views over the Mediterranean Sea from the palace gardens.More
#7
Roussillon

Roussillon

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While Provence is more a state of mind than a place – you can't actually point to Provence on a map – the hilltop village of Roussillon is exactly what visitors think of when they say they want to visit Provence. Picturesque, compact, colorful and with astounding views of the countryside, this village in the Vaucluse couldn't be more charmingly Provençal if it tried.The almost candy-like colors of the buildings come from the surrounding earth; Roussillon lies on one of the largest ocre deposits in the world and has prehistoric origins. After a stroll around the village, take the Giants' Causeway (Sentier des Ocres), a cliffside trail loop that features the bright orange sands and plenty of forest to explore.More
#8
Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

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Perched atop the city’s highest hill, the magnificent Notre-Dame de la Garde, which is visible from all over the Marseille, is one of the city’s most striking landmarks. The Romano-Byzantine basilica dates back to the 19th century and is best known for its grand bell tower, which is capped with a gleaming gold statue of the Virgin Mary.More
#9
Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

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As Europe's only protected park to contain land, water, and semi-urban areas, Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques) is a mecca for outdoor adventurers. Whether you want to snorkel and sail, kayak and climb, or hike and watch out for wildlife, France's answer to the Garden of Eden has it all.More
#10
Cours Mirabeau

Cours Mirabeau

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At the center of picturesque Aix-en-Provence is Cours Mirabeau, a plane tree–shaded avenue lined with chic stores, patisseries, and restaurants. Marked along its length by fountains, this street is the most popular place in town for a pre- or postlunch stroll and a must-visit stop on guided tours of the town.More

Trip ideas

How to Visit the Lavender Fields in Provence

How to Visit the Lavender Fields in Provence

How to Spend 3 Days in Provence

How to Spend 3 Days in Provence

Top activities in Provence

Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
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Half Day Pont-du-Gard, Uzès, Nîmes Tour from Avignon
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Full Day Best of Provence Tour from Avignon
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Recent reviews from experiences in Provence

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Great tour
Maxim_N, Jul 2021
Cotes de Provence Wine Tour from Aix-en-Provence
Although its a bit early in the morning, it frees up your afternoon to visit the town of Aix-en-Provence.
star-5
Excellent tour
Boubker_E, Jul 2021
Full-Day Provence Villages and Lavender Fields Tour from Avignon
The guide was very nice and professional, everything was on point, we spent a great day visiting La Provence A must to do if you want to see the beauty of this area, I reccomand 5/5.
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Totally recommended
Hanna_P, Jun 2021
Full-Day Provence Villages and Lavender Fields Tour from Avignon
Incredible provence views were breathtaking and lavender fields are must to see !
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Great day!
Lucia33, Jun 2021
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
Would definitely recommend if you are short on time and want to see all the best bits.
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Wonderful experience specially sunset at Lavender fields
Kashif, Jul 2021
Sunset Lavender Tour in Valensole with pickup from Marseille
Managed to see sun flower fields as well.
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Wonderful views and great guide!
Stephanie_Y, Jun 2021
Full day lavender tour Luberon and Sault
Because of the cooler spring, we were a little early to see full blooming lavender south of Avignon, but our guide quickly shifted and gave us the option to stay on the original course and see the early blooms or head north and see full blooms.
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Merci beaucoup, Gordana!
Michael_W, Feb 2020
Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
The tour was well paced and we were able to see many highlights of the region without feeling rushed or that we were skipping anything.
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Great tour!
Navigator657553, Oct 2019
Luberon Villages Half-Day Tour from Aix-en-Provence
This is a great way to see many beautiful and historic areas of Provence.
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The right way to see Provence
LynetteH2254, Sep 2019
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
What a wonderful way to see a bit of Provence.
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Fun and full day in Provence!
tapsnilloc, Jul 2019
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
Definitely recommend for those who only have a day to see Provence and don’t want to drive.
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Great tour
Q8096IJjohnp, May 2019
Marseille Shore Excursion: Private Tour of Aix-en-Provence and Cassis
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, spoke great English, and very flexible.
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So fun!
Adventure48569903543, May 2019
Marseille Shore Excursion: Half Day Tour of Marseille by Electric Bike
We got to see so many sights and view this gorgeous provence with time to spare to explore on our own.
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The tour was good! However the tour...
sanjaydeshmukh, Oct 2017
Marseille Shore Excursion: Aix-en-Provence Tour from Marseille
Other than Cezanne, there is not much to see in Provence...
star-4
A very full day! The only Wish we...
Christian B, Oct 2017
Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Les Baux de Provence Tour from Marseille
The only Wish we had had more time in Avignon, a city WAY too big to visit in 90 minutes!!
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We had a great time. Moustiers...
birdmoore, Apr 2018
Verdon Gorge and Moustiers Ste-Marie Tour from Aix-en-Provence
If you'd like a getaway day to see the countryside and mountains of provence, this tour is the perfect choice.
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Remi did a splendid job as our...
Natalie M, Aug 2017
Provence Lavender Small Group Half-Day Trip
Great way to see Provence in 5 hours.
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The driver, Bruno, was fantastic...
Tom, Sep 2017
5-Hour Private Sightseeing Tour of the Provence from Marseille in Luxury Car
On time, courteous, friendly, excellent English.
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I LOVED this tour! It was amazing to...
Alissa B, Jul 2017
Provence Lavender Small Group Half-Day Trip
It was amazing to see the lavender fields in their glory.
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A great way to see the highlights of...
Brian M, Oct 2017
Full Day Best of Provence Tour from Avignon
A great way to see the highlights of Provence...
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Mathew was great! We were the only 2...
Nora C, Jun 2016
Provence Small-Group Sightseeing Tour: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Cassis
I would highly recommend this is you want to see Aix-en-Provence and Cassis.
Frequently Asked Questions
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