20 Best Things To Do In Provence, France

Are you looking for things to do in Provence?

With its light, colors, and beautiful scenery, there is no question – Provence is among the prettiest French regions.

Situated in southeastern France bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the equally beautiful Italy, it is known for its diverse landscapes – from the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to rolling vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields. Provence simply doesn’t run out of attractions to offer.

20 Best Things To Do In Provence, France

THINGS TO DO IN PROVENCE
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Here’s a list of the fun activities in Provence that you can do when you visit.

1. Take in the beauty of Provence’s lavender fields

lavender field in provence france

If you are looking for things to do in Provence, visiting the lavender fields should be at the top of your itinerary.

Provence is famous for its vast lavender fields, making France second only to Bulgaria in lavender oil production. The fields in the Luberon district around Gordes are the most popular in Provence.

Also, don’t miss the Lavender Museum to learn everything there is to know about lavender.

Read: Best Lavender Fields In France

2. Experience Provence’s natural wonder, the Massif des Calanques

Formed some 12,000 years ago when warming after the ice ages made the sea rise and flood the valleys, the Massif des Calanques is a true wonder of nature. Its series of inlets stretches from Marseille to Cassis.

The Calanques’ pebble and fine sand beaches, small creeks, and turquoise water make it an excellent place to enjoy water sports or just lounge around and take in the breathtaking seabed and landscape.

3. Spend time at the picturesque Port of Cassis

Port de Cassis

Situated right at the foot of the Cap Canaille cliff, Cassis is a good access point to the Calanques.

This seaside resort is a great place to spend some time swimming on the sandy beach just outside the port, dining at one of the port side restaurants, or just simply watching locals play a game of boules called pétanque.

4. Relax at the foot or climb the top of Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Montagne Sainte-Victoire, a limestone mountain ridge in Vauvenargues, between Var and Bouches-du-Rhône, is famed for its many appearances in Paul Cézanne’s paintings.

Saint-Victoire is a popular destination for hiking, climbing, paragliding, and caving.

5. Engage in outdoor sports activities at the Gorges du Verdon 

Flanked by the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie in central Provence, the Gorges du Verdon is a dramatically stunning river canyon made even more beautiful by the combination of Alpine’s best and the Mediterranean terrain.

Its white-water rapids and cliffs are perfect for mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, slacklining, kayaking, and rafting.

6. Marvel at the historical importance of the ancient Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard

Pont Du Gard

The Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct bridge built in the 1st century AD to carry water, crosses the river Gardon near Vers-Pont-du-Gard. It’s one of the popular historic monuments in France and one of the must-visit places in Provence.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is not only the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges but also among the best preserved. If you are visiting the region, this is one of the must-see attractions in Provence.

7. Stop by the medieval towns of Gordes and Les Baux-de-Provence

Gordes and Les Baux-de-Provence are Provençal medieval towns deemed among the most beautiful in France, with millions of people visiting each year.

Gordes is tiny but fun to stroll around, complete with local spas and an ice-cream parlor.

Les Baux-de-Provence, on the other hand, offers stunning panoramic views as it’s perched smugly on a hillside.

8. Visit the charming medieval fishing village in Provence

Le Suquet Cannes France

The old fishing village of Le Suquet in the district of Cannes boasts of candy-colored fishermen’s cottages and yacht-filled marina, with Marché Forville’s food stalls and steep cobbled alleys.

The place is teeming with so much charm that since the influx of British aristocrats, Le Suquet has kept attracting even more people.

9. Walk along the beach in St. Tropez

St. Tropez is a charming old town in the French Riviera. Famous for its exclusive private beach clubs, back in the day it was a quiet fishing village.

Public beaches are aplenty and one of the best ones for walking along and taking in the view is the Plage de Bouillabaisse which is just outside the village harbor.

10. Wander the historic district of Le Panier in Marseille

Le Panier

A visit to Marseille is not complete without Le Panier, the city’s oldest district, and major attraction. Le Panier, literally meaning “the basket,” sits on a hill in central Marseille.

Walk around the narrow streets, shop at traditional Arab souks, and grab a bite at an Algerian restaurant or sample the Marseille seafood stew – bouillabaisse – at a waterfront restaurant in the Vieux Port (Old Port).

11. Explore Cimiez in Provence

Cimiez was founded by the Romans on a hill above the city of Nice and the remains of the grandiosity of the place can still be seen today.

For a high dose of art and history, take a peek into the ancient Roman amphitheater, explore the Cimiez Gardens, and visit Musée Matisse.

12. Drop by the Palais des Papes in Avignon

Palais des Papes

The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) in Avignon is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. It is also one the best historic places to visit in Provence.

Once a fortress and palace, it became the residence of several popes after the civil and religious unrest in Rome in the 14th century.

13. Tour the Palais Longchamp in Marseille

The Palais Longchamp is a monument in Marseille, which houses the Musée des Beaux-arts and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Marseille.

The surrounding Parc Longchamp (Longchamp Park), listed as one of the Notable Gardens of France, features a classic French garden called the Jardin du Plateau.

14. Visit the actual setting of The Count of Monte Cristo 

Chateau dIf provence

The Château d’If is a small island fortress offshore from Marseille – and it’s a popular day trip from the city. It is also a former prison famous for being one of the settings of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

If you’re looking for interesting to see while in Provence, Château d’If is a must.

15. Pay the Cisterian monks a visit in the Senanque Abbey 

This Cistercian abbey near Gordes was founded in 1148. A small community of monks still live there today, welcoming visitors and harvesting lavender.

A visit to the Sénanque Abbey is a must when you’re in Provence.

16. Marvel at the famed fountains of Aix-en-Provence

Fontaine de la Rotonde, Aix-en-Provence

Dubbed the “City of the Thousand Fountains,” Aix-en-Provence‘s fountains are literally a thousand! Everywhere you look, a fountain will fill your eyes. Go and try to count them all!

17. Walk, hike, and swim at the Côte Bleue

Raw and well-preserved, the Côte Bleue (Blue Coast) lies on the stretch of Mediterranean shore between the Camargue and Marseille. It is ideal for walking, hiking, and swimming. It also offers diving and other water sports.

18. Sample Provence’s exceptional wines in Cassis and Bandol 

Aix-en-Provence_vineyard

Provence is known for its sultry summers, lush countryside, and great food. Provence may not close to any major cities, but it is one of the best French wine regions to explore.

Provence has been producing several varieties of rosé wine such as the Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Beaumes de Venise for more than 2,600 years. Be sure to sample some while you are in Cassis and Bandol as it’s one of the fun things to do in Provence.

19. Shop for soaps in Salon-de-Provence 

Renowned for its artisanal olive oil and fragrant soap products sold throughout France, Salon-de-Provence has a soap factory and museum dedicated to soap.

You can visit and buy soap at the Marius Fabre Soap Factory and learn about the history of soap production at the Savon de Marseille Museum.

20. Visit Grasse for gardens and perfumes

Musee International de la Parfumerie

If you’re looking for something different to do in Provence, a visit to one of its perfumeries is a must.

Known as the perfume capital of the world, the old town of Grasse delights all the senses.

It boasts of hills and plains flourishing with jasmine, lavender, mimosa, orange blossoms, and other flowers that are essential in making delicate fragrances.

Learn about the history of perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics at the Musée International de la Parfumerie and tour the famous perfume factories such as Galimard, Fragonard, and Molinard.

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