Tourist information for Provence
Provence and the Rhone valley is, for many, the most alluring region in France.
Warm in winter, hot in summer, famous for its wine and its beautiful countryside.
Drive through quiet, rolling hills, among olive groves and vineyards; visit Roman
ruins or enjoy life in the vibrant cities of the area with their outdoor cafes and
outstanding cuisine. See the landscape and clear colours that inspired Van Gogh
at Arles, dance on what's left of the Pont d'Avignon; visit the delta land
of the Camargue with its wild horses and bulls, or drive inland to Europe's
answer to the Grand Canyon - the spectacular Canyon du Verdun. It would take a lifetime
to fully appreciate all that this region has to offer, but start here for a real
taste of France soaked in history and warm sunshine.
Activities in Provence:
Walking, rock-climbing, cycling, skiing, horse riding, bird watching, wine tasting,
boat trips on the Rhone.
Bull-running at Arles, Roman arena at Arles, Palace des Papes at Avignon, nature
reserves at Alpes de Provence and the Camargue, hiking at the Canyon du Verdun,
the ancient settlement at Glanum, trekking around Mont Ventoux.
Towns in Provence:
Aix-en-Provence. Beautiful, civilised, historic city with music festivals
in June and July and loads of restaurants and good nightlife.
Arles. Main city on the great delta mouth of the Rhone, in the centre of
the Carmargue. Roman ruins and arena. Bull running. Although there is a Fondation
Van Gogh it houses works inspired by the artist rather than those of the painter
himself. Near Les Alpilles is a good area for walking, cycling and horse riding.
Walled medieval town very popular with tourists. Sights include the Palais des Papes,
the Petit Palais, the remnant of the Pont d'Avignon and boat rides along the
Camargue. River delta area well-known for its semi-wild white horses and
bulls. It is also a famous nature reserve and bird-watching area but beware the
weather, which can be wild and windy or very hot with lots of insects.
Carpentras. Rather dour old town but surrounded by beautiful rolling hills
dominated by Mont Ventoux and Les Dentelles. Excellent centre for walking and cycling.
Built on the silk industry but now a commercial centre, this is France's second
largest city. A funicular leads to Roman ruins and incredible views of the city
are also available from the Basilique de Fouviere. It has a Musee des Beaux Arts
as well as museums of contemporary art, textiles and puppets. As you would expect
of such a large city, there is a lively nightlife and many restaurants to savour
the local gastronomy. It is also near the Monts du Lyonnais, a quieter, forested
region dotted with small villages.
Montelimar. Famous for its nougat.
Roman theatre and close to Les Dentelles and Mont Ventoux which are good for walking,
cycling and rock-climbing.
Vienne. More Roman ruins.