10 reasons why Provence is a perfect holiday destination

Written by on March 19, 2015 in Provence-Alpes

gorgeous-provence

“Since my childhood I have been visiting Provence and from that early introduction it remains my most favourite area to go on holiday” says author Darina Nykl…

Ten reasons why Provence really is the most perfect holiday destination…

1. The climate of Provence

Provence has mild winters and hot summers. With an average of 2800-3000 hours of sunshine per year and less than 80 mm of rainfall it makes for an ideal holiday destination even during the winter months.

Summer on the coast in Provence as well as inland where the cicadas announce a new day with their chirping – this is what makes it such a great place.

2. Variety in landscape

provence-1

The deep red colour of the volcanic rock of L’Esterel, the olive groves with their silver leaves, lavender fields, the pines, cypresses, fig trees and exotic vegetation. Provence is a collection of many travel destinations with a variety of activities like hiking and water sports; culture and the beach. And all this against the backdrop of an azure sea where sailing boats float to the rhythm of the waves.

3. Provencal food

Ratatouille – colourful vegetables straight from the market, which you have visited during the early morning. At the vegetables stall look for the most beautiful purple aubergines, green and red peppers, garlic, onions, zucchini and the reddest, juiciest tomatoes. At the spices stall hundreds of herbs are beautifully displayed in earthenware bowls. For ratatouille you need basil and herbes de Provence (thyme, marjoram, rosemary and savoury). Stop at a chateau and buy some locally made wine, Cotes de Provence rosé, for your evening meal and enjoy it while you watch the sun set from your terrace.

4. The light

Everything you discover in Provence looks beautiful by the special light that prevails. The colour of the sea, the steel-blue sky, the colour of the houses with their yellow and orange walls. It is also called “the land of light” and it is truly enchanting, having inspired many painters over the centuries including Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

5. The silence in the inland

provence-peaceful

The shrill sound of the cicadas, the sweltering heat. On the coast it is a buzzing sound, but if you drive a few kilometres inland, you can feel and hear the silence. Small sleepy villages, where they still have a siesta. Take a walk through the pine forests, have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful view of the valley. Take a drive and enjoy the scenery around you and stop in a village where you sit on a terrace near a bubbling fountain where you order a pastis. La vie française!

6. Typical Provencal houses

Mas is the name given to a farmhouse, built with local stone. Originally the “mas” was intended as a storage area for agricultural products, a self-sufficient economic unit, which stored fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk and so on. A mas has no windows on the north side, due to the mistral – a dramatic wind that can sweep through the area. The windows are narrow for protection against the heat during the summer or cold during the winter.

Nowadays the “mas” is often transformed into a luxury villa or cottage.

7. The colourful markets

provence-market

If you enter a Provencal market, all your senses come alive. The smells, the colours, the crisp fresh bread, cheeses and Provencal tablecloths. It’s a big colourful party and social happening, where you can certainly find inspiration for your lunch or dinner.

8. The Café Culture

Early morning, on a terrace in the sun. Enjoying a café au lait and a croissant. In the afternoon enjoying a fresh salad with a baguette on a terrace in the shade of a parasol, overlooking the petanque court. In the evening enjoying a good wine and the sunset. Should I say more?

9. The local craft

provence-pottery

The local crafts are weaving, pottery, wood and stone carving. These products are sold in the small shops of the villages. It’s a pleasure to see these authentically made items and to find that not everything is mass produced.

10. The Provencal lifestyle

Everything I have mentioned you can file under the Provencal lifestyle. Enjoying the landscape, nature, food and many lovely towns and villages makes Provence a wonderful holiday destination. I have one piece of advice: taste the true Provencal life and live like a local…

More on Provence:
Ten photos that will make you want to go immediately to Cotignac Provence! 
The Matisse Chapel Provence
The Enchanting Chateau Margui Provence

Darina Nykl lives in Holland where she works in a hospital and is an author. She blogs about the stories she is writing which are mostly set in Amsterdam, Paris, Provence and the Cote d’Azur, places that inspire her:  darinanykl.com

Tags: ,

Related Articles

Guide to Menton French Riviera

Menton is said to be the warmest town on the French Riviera with around 316 days of sunshine a year! During the time of the Belle Epoque, royals from around Europe flocked to the town and luxury hotels and villas were built in a magical setting – which you can see to this day. It’s […]

Continue Reading

10 Great Things to do in Nice, the sunny city!

Nice is one of the sunniest cities in France – with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, and often warm enough to dine al fresco even in winter, it’s a great place to visit. There’s loads to see, do and fall in love with and there’s so much to do but here are […]

Continue Reading

Women’s Tour of Provence

Provence is one of those utterly luscious places that if you see it once, you will always remember it and long to return. Bordered by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Alps and the Rhone River, Provence is a sun-drenched paradise with a gentle climate. Set at the crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean, […]

Continue Reading

The Ultimate Campervan holiday in the south of France

Imagine, you arrive in the south of France, collect your fabulous campervan from Cookies Campers and take a tour, discovering the beauty of the area and the freedom of the open road. With a campervan it’s possible to park up close to the most beautiful beaches and stop off at the most picturesque villages. Shop at the […]

Continue Reading

5 gorgeous gardens to visit in Provence

We take a look at 5 absolutely stunning gardens to visit in Provence which are inspiring as well as beautiful. They’re all quite different, from classic to contemporary but they have one thing in common – they are truly magnificent and all are open to the public. Read the full article in The Good Life France […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top