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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
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
#2
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
#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
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
Gordes

Gordes

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Made famous by Peter Mayle’s bookA Year in Provence, the Provençal village of Gordes boasts an idyllic setting atop the Vaucluse plateau. With its maze of cobbled lanes, honey-colored stone buildings, and medieval chateau, it’s easy to see why Gordes is hailed as one of France’s most beautiful villages.More
#9
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
#10
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

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 Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
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Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
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Full Meal Five Stops in Marseille
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Provence in a Day Tour from Marseille
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Provence Wineries and Luberon Villages Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence
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Half-Day Provence Pont du Gard and Wine Tasting Tour from Avignon
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Avignon Walking Tour including Skip-the-Line Entrance to the Pope's Palace
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Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour
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Chateauneuf du Pape wine tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in 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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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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Great day!
Glenn_L, Jun 2021
Provence Highlights Full-Day Tour from Avignon
Would definitely recommend if you are short on time and want to see all the best bits.
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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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So fun!
courtney_g, May 2019
Marseille Shore Excursion: Half Day Tour of Marseille by Electric Bike
We got to see so many sights and view this gorgeous provence with time to spare to explore on our own.
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Great tour of key sites in Provence
Patrick_B, Oct 2018
Avignon, St Rémy, Les Baux de Provence & Pont du Gard
The selection of sites to visit is perfect for a one-day intro to Provence.
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A very full day! The only Wish we...
Christian B, Oct 2017
Provence in a Day Tour from Marseille
The only Wish we had had more time in Avignon, a city WAY too big to visit in 90 minutes!!
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Since this was my first trip to...
Marilyn V, Sep 2017
Provence in One Day Small Group Day Trip from Avignon
Since this was my first trip to France and I didn't have a car, this was a fantastic way to see small villages in Provence, experience a street market, and see the countryside.
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Loved, loved this tour. Our French...
cgc0404, Dec 2017
Best of Luberon in an afternoon from Avignon
Our French local guide was very personable and spoke excellent English so nothing was lost on us in his very informative commentary.
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The perfect Provence tour! You visit...
jessiedoyle233, Jun 2017
Best of Luberon in an afternoon from Avignon
Would recommend to anyone who wants to see Provence but doesn't have a car, as we covered a lot of ground!
star-4
The tour was good! However the tour...
Sanjay_D, Oct 2017
Marseille Shore Excursion: Aix-en-Provence Tour from Marseille
Other than Cezanne, there is not much to see in Provence...
Frequently Asked Questions
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