cs / en
cs / en
PROVENCE
France

PROVENCE

  • 5 days
  • couples
  • spring, summer, fall

When you say Provence, probably the first thing that comes to mind is lavender. But consider exploring this region in spring or autumn, otherwise you will often be crowded by other tourists. We went on this trip in late March, and it was great. Five days of packed programme await you. You will get to know the beautiful ancient villages and towns, take a peek into the local nature and taste the local gastronomy. If you're craving the scent and colour of lavender, you'll have to travel here in late June and early July, but be prepared to be in the company of many other travellers everywhere at all times. In contrast, in the off-season you can explore all the parts and corners of the region mostly on your own, only ocassionally running into tourists.

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Upon arrival at Marseille Provence Airport, pick up your rental car and head to the beautiful city of Aix-en-Provence. In the evening, you will transfer to your accommodation near Gordes.

You will start your second day with a tour in Gordes, checking out the nearby remains of stone buildings at Le Village des Bories and seeing the pearl of Provence, Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Roussillon, walk in the former ochre quarries of The Provençal Colorado, and visit the town of Sault.

On the third day you will start with a tour of the magnificent Pont du Gard aqueduct and spend the rest of the day in Avignon. The next day, you'll explore the ancient village of Les Baux-de-Provence and visit the great screening at Carrières de Lumières. You'll then see the magical Abbaye de Montmajour Monastery and finish the day in the town of Arles.

On the fifth and final day, you'll enjoy the Camarque National Park and a bike ride along the Mediterranean coast. The whole five days are really packed with activities and sights, so to be able to do everything you have to start at around 8am every day. But if you want you can sleep in and just skip some of the suggested programme.

Author: Jirka Maleček
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Travel Info

Plane tickets – Use your favourite flight search engine. If you don't have a favourite, try kiwi.com.

Restaurants – Prices are a bit higher. They are usually around 20 EUR for a main course. Many restaurants are closed during low season.

Prices at the destination – Generally, prices are quite high. For example, a simple fridge magnet (the traditional souvenir of every tourist) normally costs 3-5 EUR here. Getting a coffee for 1.5 EUR is exceptionally rare, most commonly it costs between 2 and 3 EUR.

Calls and data – For EU citizens, everything is the same as at home. WiFi is common in hotels and restaurants and is free.

When to go – This is a major decision. By the end of March and April the weather will be nice and there won't be as many tourists, but the lavender won't be in bloom yet. On the other hand, at the end of June and the beginning of July, when the lavenders are in bloom, there will be an incredible number of people. We were here at the end of March, the daily temperatures were between 15 and 22°C, and there were practically no tourists (which we really appreciated).

Process

  • Buy your plane tickets

  • Book your accommodation

  • Arrange your car rental

  • Make a timetable for the first and last day according to your arrival and departure time

  • Get your travel insurance

  • If you're going out of season you don't have to deal with buying tickets online in advance. If you are travelling in high season arrange your tickets in advance.

  • Download offline maps, for example in the Mapy.cz app, just in case

What will you see on the way?

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

It is one of the most photographed places in Provence. Especially when the lavender is blooming. But even out of lavender season, it's a beautiful place. The abbey is beautifully integrated into the local landscape. You don't even need to tour the interiors. Anyway, if you want a tour, be sure to book in advance through their website. It takes an hour, is guided and at specific times. There is also a shop on site with lavender products.

Transfer to Avignon

Avignon

The town is located on the left bank of the Rhône River. The historic centre of the city has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

National park - Parc naturel régional de Camargue

Parc naturel régional de Camargue

The Camargue is a region in the Rhone Delta where the coast meets the sea. The river here forms a fairly wide delta. It is a paradise for water birds. Perhaps the most exotic are the flamingos. The white horses of the Camargue are to be found here. You'll also see the odd black cattle – the original Gaelic breed. The park is ideal for easy cycling. There are also plenty of bike hire facilities. A great starting point for exploring the park is the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

Daily itinerary

Day 1

City tour of Aix-en-Provence

Arrival in Provence – the town of Aix-en-Provence. Walk along the main avenue Le Cours Mirabeau with its fountains, plane trees and many cafés.

Day 2

The beauty of Provence

Sightseeing tour of the town of Gordes. Visit the monuments of Le Village des Bories and Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. The village of Roussillon with its ochre mines. Walk in The Provençal Colorado. Visit to the town of Sault.

Day 3

Pont du Gard Aqueduct and the city of Avignon

Visit the Pont du Gard aqueduct and transfer to Avignon.

Day 4

Les Baux-de-Provence and Arles

The birthplace of Nostradamus. Remains of a Gaulish town at the Site Archéologique de Glanum. The magnificent projection at Carrières de Lumières. The medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence and a tour of Arles.

Day 5

Camargue National Park

Transfer to Camargue National Park. Bike ride among the flocks of flamingos. Visit the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Transfer to the airport.

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