In the South of France, between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, sits a region of light and vibrant color. Just three hours by TGV from Paris, the sky here is azure and the sun shines. In Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, the sea is at your feet and the Alpine peaks merely few hours away by car.
From the Calanques of Marseille to the port of Saint-Tropez, via the harbor in Toulon, the islands of Hyères and the Port-Cros National Park, the Mediterranean will gently rock you in its sapphire waters. The Ecrins National Park, the Queyras Natural Regional Park, the Maures mountain range, and the Lubéron reveal a maze of paths and tracks ideal for hiking and walking. Head for the Gorges du Verdon or the waters of Durance for canoeing, rafting and other white-water sports. In wintertime, the ski resorts of the Alps in the High Provence area – including Orcières, Serre-Chevalier, Sauze/ Super Sauze, Le Dévoluy, La Grave, and la Meije – offer all kinds of snow sports, from snowboarding to luge, to skiing, snow kiting and snowshoeing. In summer, the mountain lends itself to hiking, climbing, and via ferrata.
In the shadow of the Palais des Papes, discover Avignon. In Marseille, the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la Garde watches over your visit. From the Roman Arena in Arles to the Vauban City in Briançon, to the château des Baux in Provence, explore the history of the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur region. At the Granet Museum (which has a marvelous view of the Mountain of St. Victor), follow Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne or Van Gogh and share their fascination with the light and the landscapes of the region.
As for the cuisine, the contrast is striking between the hearty mountain dishes (including gratins dauphinois, ravioles, rissoles, and creuzets d’Ecrins) and the light, perfumed dishes of Provençal and Mediterranean cuisine (ratatouille, aioli, pesto, bouillabaisse, bourride) that put a healthy dose of sunshine onto your plate. On the sweet side, try the honey, calissons (candy made from almonds and melon), chocolate mendiants and quince paste. The aperitif is a big part of local culture in Provence. Try a pastis or a cold glass of one of the local wines (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes-de-provence,Rasteau, Bandol). You will find these products, as well as olive oil, in the markets of Provence.
The Corso in Cavaillon, the Easter Feria in Arles and the "Pilgrimage of the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer are events that proudly highlight the colorful traditions of Provence and Camargue. The Chorégies d'Orange classical music festival, the Avignon Festival, the International Lyric Art Festival of Aix in Provence, and the Festival in Ramatuelle attract culture vultures and art lovers from all over the world.
A stay in Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur is an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere between the sea, hills, and mountains, to discover breathtakingly beautiful natural sites, and remarkable towns and monuments.
Succumb to the charm of this region, which has so many marvels to share with you.