Provence is an area in southeastern France, which extends from the Rhône River on the west to the Italian border on the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the south (administrative region of “Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur”). This area is well-known for many reasons including: wines, perfume, Papal history (with the original seat in Avignon), the arts and lavender.
Why to go: Provence has something for everyone. There are beaches, museums, historic monuments, wine trails and lots of natural beauty.
When to go: The climate across Provence is “Mediterranean”. Summer is hot, however if you want to see those iconic blue/purple lavender fields, July is the time to go! In July, you’re also very likely to see lots of golden sunflower fields. Of course, if you’re not concerned with seeing the fields, any time of year is beautiful in this area.
When NOT to go: September is generally a rainy month, so may not be the best time. Winter is mild and snow is very infrequent so it can still be a good season to go.
Where to go: It really depends on what you want from your vacation. This region includes the French Riviera, so a beautiful coastline if you’re looking for beaches. There are also great wine trails and, of course lavender fields. If you are in search of lavender, the area around the town of Sault is where you want to go.
What to eat and/or drink: This region has lots of local specialties including seafood dishes, fougasse (a local bread), ratatouille, socca (a specialty of Nice), and all kinds of treats made from lavender. There are also many great local wines (particularly rosé) and the traditional liqueur of Provence – Pastis (flavored with anise).
What to bring home: Lavender goodies make great souvenirs/gifts and there are lots of options! If lavender isn’t your “thing”, maybe some perfume from one of the premier fragrance manufacturers in Grasse. Look for those details in a future “Spotlight”.