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Things to do in Provence

Things to do in  Provence

Welcome to Provence

Provence, in southern France, is technically part of a larger region in the country, maintains much of its historic regional identity. Known for its charming towns and lavender fields, scenes captured by artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, and Renoir, the region – which includes the French Riviera – extends from the Mediterranean Sea up into the Luberon and the Alps, with coastal Marseille as is its largest city. Visitors relax on the beach at seaside resorts like Nice and Cannes (two hours from Marseille), and explore the coastal nature reserve of the Camargue (a little over an hour). Further inland, fountain-filled Aix-en-Provence was once the capital of Provence, while Arles boasts a well-preserved ancient Roman amphitheater. Travelers flock to Avignon's main draw, the papal palace complex, the base of the papacy for most of the 14th century (all about an hour away. Meanwhile, the small towns that dot the countryside demonstrate the region’s wealth of culture and history. Half- and full-day tours brings visitors to one or more that fit their specific interests, from markets to mountain towns. Picturesque Les Baux de Provence offers a glimpse of a medieval village, and can be combined with the nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region tastings. The air around the hilltop town of Grasse smells of lavender, so it makes sense three perfumeries are headquartered there. Pause to cool off in the river running through the Gorges du Verdon, a chance to swim under the Pont du Gard–an ancient Roman aqueduct.

Top 10 attractions in Provence

#1
Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

Marseille Cruise Port (Terminal Croisières Marseille)

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Marseille is France’s largest and busiest port, welcoming over 1.5 million cruise passengers to its shores each year. As the gateway to Provence and the south of France, Marseille is a popular stop on Europe cruise itineraries, and offers ferry connections to Corsica, Sardinia, Algeria, and Tunisia.More
#2
Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica (La Bonne Mère)

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Perched atop the city’s highest hill, the magnificent Notre-Dame de la Garde, which is visible from all over the Marseille, is one of the city’s most striking landmarks. The Romano-Byzantine basilica dates back to the 19th century and is best known for its grand bell tower, which is capped with a gleaming gold statue of the Virgin Mary.More
#3
Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

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Reaching a height of almost 160 feet (49 meters), the three-tiered Pont du Gard bridge was part of a 31-mile (50-kilometer) Roman aqueduct network that carried water from a source at Eure to bathhouses, fountains, and patrician villas in Nîmes. Constructed in the first century, the ancient engineering marvel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.More
#4
Palais Longchamp

Palais Longchamp

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The grand baroque colonnade and gardens of the Palais Longchamp are home to Marseille’s Natural History Museum and Fine Arts Museum. The imposing buildings and spacious park are popular with tourists and locals alike.More
#5
Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques)

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As Europe's only protected park to contain land, water, and semi-urban areas, Calanques National Park (Parc National des Calanques) is a mecca for outdoor adventurers. Whether you want to snorkel and sail, kayak and climb, or hike and watch out for wildlife, France's answer to the Garden of Eden has it all.More
#6
Cours Mirabeau

Cours Mirabeau

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At the center of picturesque Aix-en-Provence is Cours Mirabeau, a plane tree–shaded avenue lined with chic stores, patisseries, and restaurants. Marked along its length by fountains, this street is the most popular place in town for a pre- or postlunch stroll and a must-visit stop on guided tours of the town.More
#7
Roussillon

Roussillon

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While Provence is more a state of mind than a place – you can't actually point to Provence on a map – the hilltop village of Roussillon is exactly what visitors think of when they say they want to visit Provence. Picturesque, compact, colorful and with astounding views of the countryside, this village in the Vaucluse couldn't be more charmingly Provençal if it tried.The almost candy-like colors of the buildings come from the surrounding earth; Roussillon lies on one of the largest ocre deposits in the world and has prehistoric origins. After a stroll around the village, take the Giants' Causeway (Sentier des Ocres), a cliffside trail loop that features the bright orange sands and plenty of forest to explore.More
#8
Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)

Abbey of St. Victor (Abbaye Saint-Victor)

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This Roman abbey in Marseille has a long and interesting history dating back 1,500 years. Visitors come to tour the basilica and learn more about the building and the community of monks that once lived here.More
#9
Cézanne's Studio (Atelier Cézanne)

Cézanne's Studio (Atelier Cézanne)

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The landscape around Aix-en-Provence was a constant inspiration to artist Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), who was born and raised in the southern French town. Located just outside, Cézanne's Studio (Atelier Cézanne)—the studio where the artist painted some of his most famous works—offers visitors fascinating insight into the life of the postimpressionist artist.More
#10
Lake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix)

Lake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix)

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Set between the dramatic landscapes of the Verdon Gorge and the Valensole plateau, the man-madeLake of Sainte-Croix (Lac de Sainte-Croix) is among Provence’s most popular vacation spots. With sandy lakeside beaches, water temperatures rivaling those of the Mediterranean Sea, and fewer crowds than the French Riviera, it’s the ideal summer destination.More

Trip ideas

How to Visit the Lavender Fields in Provence

How to Visit the Lavender Fields in Provence

How to Spend 3 Days in Provence

How to Spend 3 Days in Provence

Top activities in Provence

Provence Lavender Fields Tour from Aix-en-Provence
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Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
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Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Small Group Provence and Lavender Museum Day Trip from Avignon
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Provence Lavender Fields and Aix-en-Provence Tour from Marseille
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Calanques Trilogy Electric Bike Tour from Marseille
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Full Meal Five Stops in Marseille
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Full Meal Five Stops in Marseille

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Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
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Seaside Tour in Jeep Beetle Cabriolet Marseille La Ciotat Cassis
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Lavender

Lavender

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Recent reviews from experiences in Provence

star-5
Great experience
Karin_S, Jun 2022
Perched Villages of the Luberon Day Trip from Marseille
Excellent itinerary that allows you to visit spectacular places of the Provence.
star-5
Amazing trip!
Tracey_N, May 2022
Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
Highly recommend to all wanting to see this beautiful part of Provence!
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Great Provence trip
Michael_P, Apr 2022
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
Gordana was an excellent vivacious guide, great English skills and driving talent.
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Aix en Provence
Joan_M, Apr 2022
Aix en Provence Tour from Marseille
Our guide Florence was very knowledgeable & helped us a lot to guide us where to visit
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Adventurous, fun, beautiful sidecar tour
Maria_S, Mar 2022
Beer and Wine Tour with Tasting in Aix-en-Provence: Half Day
Our host was very sweet and helped with whatever we needed, he also gave great recommendations of what to do in Aix en Provence!
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A good tour for a time-limited tourist
Joseph_W, Jun 2022
Provence in a Day Tour from Marseille
First up after around 80 minutes in the van was Baux-de-Provence, which was charming, and there was sufficient time to get right to the very top of the castle there - which was a bit precarious in places - to see the stunning view.
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Wonderful day in Provence
Julia_B, May 2022
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
I highly highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to see the sights of Provence and gain more of an understanding of the region while doing so.
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Great Day Trip
Chris_H, May 2022
Picturesque Luberon - From AIX-EN-PROVENCE
I really enjoyed that day tour and I would recommend to my friends to see the beautiful area near Aix en Provence.
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Pretty Provence
Jessica_P, May 2022
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
This tour was an excellent way to see Provence.
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Beautiful!
Anthony_M, Apr 2022
Luberon Villages Half-Day Tour from Aix-en-Provence
Gregg gave guidance on the best places to see in the villages but his best advice was just to ‘get lost’ in the winding streets amid the amazing scenery.
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AMAZING Wine Tour, Can’t Miss!
Melanie_W, Mar 2022
Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
She was punctual, drove safely, spoke great English, etc.
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Great tour
Max_N, Jul 2021
Cotes de Provence Wine Tour from Aix-en-Provence
Although its a bit early in the morning, it frees up your afternoon to visit the town of Aix-en-Provence.
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Excellent tour
Boubker_E, Jul 2021
Full-Day Provence Villages and Lavender Fields Tour from Avignon
The guide was very nice and professional, everything was on point, we spent a great day visiting La Provence A must to do if you want to see the beauty of this area, I reccomand 5/5.
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Totally recommended
Hanna_P, Jun 2021
Full-Day Provence Villages and Lavender Fields Tour from Avignon
Incredible provence views were breathtaking and lavender fields are must to see !
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Merci beaucoup, Gordana!
Michael_W, Feb 2020
Nimes, Uzes & Pont du Gard Small Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
The tour was well paced and we were able to see many highlights of the region without feeling rushed or that we were skipping anything.
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Great tour!
Navigator657553, Oct 2019
Luberon Villages Half-Day Tour from Aix-en-Provence
This is a great way to see many beautiful and historic areas of Provence.
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The right way to see Provence
LynetteH2254, Sep 2019
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
What a wonderful way to see a bit of Provence.
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