Provence. Just the word conjures up images of endless lavender fields, olive-tree hills, and long, lazy evenings with a glass of wine and a view over the valley.
We’ve just spent a week of the Honeymoon Trip travelling through the region and loved almost every minute of it (the scooter ride across the mountains was a challenge!).
Here are seven tips for your own visit – one for each day – based on the best things we experienced. Click play to listen to the podcast episode below, or scroll down for some lovely pictures and text.
Monday: Channel your inner Gladiator
Head to the Roman arena in Arles and imagine you were there 2,000 years ago, when it first flung open its doors to the public (in the year 90AD). If you’re lucky, someone will film you imitating and quoting Russell Crowe (see below).
Tuesday: Find flamingoes and wild horse in a national park
Head to the Camargues national Park south of Arles and discover the wonders there. It’s like nothing else in France, there are wild horses, sweeping plains, and dirt roads. Throw in the flamingoes and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the Serengeti.
Wednesday: See the best view of the Mediterranean
Trek up to the cathedral overlooking Marseille and take in the view. It is absolutely incredible. The Alps behind you, the Mediterranean in front, and all of Marseilles stretched out in between. The cathedral itself is a treat for the eyes too, be sure to go inside (and there’s some serious scars from World War II on the outside too). PS: See our scooter bottom right in photo below for scale)
Thursday: Get lost in the old town of Aix en Provence
Sure, France (and indeed Europe) are full of Old Towns. But the one in Aix en Provence had an unmistakeable charm to it. Fountains on every street (it seemed), incredible doorways, and charming little squares for a pitstop on every corner.
Friday: Channel your inner travel writer in Ménerbes
Heard of the book A Year in Provence? Of course you have. Now go and visit the stunning hilltop village of Ménerbes, where it was set. Even if you don’t know the book, the village is a definite pearl of the region with sweeping views in all directions. I will do a full post and podcast episode about this place soon!
Saturday: Dance on the Pont d’Avignon
If you’ve heard the song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon”, you too probably dream of visiting this famed half bridge in the fortified city of Avignon. Buy a ticket to access the bridge (pictured below), get the audioguide, then dance your afternoon away in style.
Sunday: Go antique shopping at the markets in L’Isle sur la Sorgue
There’s a reason people travel from far and wide for these markets – and it’s not just because of the shopping. The town itself is an excellent place for a riverside stroll, a coffee, and an explore. But who am I kidding? Bring some cash and find yourself a Sunday bargain.
That’s it! If you want far more of an explanation about these places, listen to this week’s podcast episode by clicking play below.
Support the show on Patreon here if you want way, way more.
PS: Travel update: We’re 3,000 km in and heading north towards Paris again. Suggestions welcome!
PPS: If you’ve read this far and want more, I’ve added a separate picture from each of these destinations in The Earful Tower’s Instagram stories. Follow now.