Where to go, what to do and things to see on your vacation in Provence. 

1. Go Antiquing on Isle-Sur-la-Sorge

Visit Isle-sur-la-Sorge. Sunday is antique market day. The shops put out their best wares and the atmosphere is fun and lively. Remember, most stores close at 1 pm on Sundays, so be prepared to do your shopping in the morning. Be sure to stop at La Fontaine du Vaucluse, just down the road.

2. Experience Avignon

Avignon is ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity. Take a tour of the Papal Palace and a stroll on the Pont d'Avignon. Southeast of Place de l'Horloge on rue des Marchands, rue Rouge and adjoining streets, you'll find a pedestrian-only zone chock full of shops and all kinds of restaurants. If you are in Provence during the last 3 weeks of July, don't miss the fabulous theater festival inside and on the streets.

3. The Medieval Village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

See Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a medieval village - and former summer retreat of popes - perched high on a hillside. From there, take a drive in the countryside and sample the produce of the many Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation wine cellars, as well as AOC Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards within the Côte-du-Rhône region. The lovely village of Villeneuve les Avignon merits a stop on the way home.

4. Market Day in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Wednesday morning is market day in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The old village of Saint-Rémy is pretty and picturesque—a must-see while in Provence. Spend the afternoon in Les-Baux-de-Provence. In this village, you will find one of the best restaurants in Provence, the Michelin-rated l'Oustau de Beaumanière. You must make a reservation in advance and be sure you are sititng down when the check comes. Do not miss their crème brûlée!

5. La Camargue

Spend a relaxing day exploring la Camargue. The Camargue was designated as a botanical and zoological nature reserve. Spring and Autumn are the best times for seeing the native birds, bulls and horses. Bring a bird book, binoculars and camera in addition to your bathing suit. The main village on the beach is les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the village has a bull-fighting arena at the water's edge. For a real taste of history, don't miss the fascinating fortified city of Aigues-Mortes which was the point of embarkation of the Seventh Crusade (1248) and the Eighth Crusade (1270).

6. Explore Beautiful Luberon

Explore the beautiful Luberon area, immortalized by Peter Mayle in his book A Year in Provence. Within 20 kilometers you will find some of the most beautiful villages in France: Roussillon, Gordes, Venasque, Ménerbes, Lacoste. In June and July do not miss a trip to the Cistercian abbey Notre-Dame-de-Sénanque founded in the 12th century. The abbey is surrounded by large lavender fields. The fragrant - and homemade - lavender-based products for sale in the gift shop make great souvenirs and help support the order.

7. See the Home of Cézanne

Spend the day in Aix-en-Provence, city of art and birthplace of Paul Cézanne. Visit his studio, follow the Cezanne trail and then relax on the famous Cours Mirabeau, the wide boulevard with terrace cafés and bookshops and beautiful fountains. Sit, have coffee or lunch and people-watch at your pick of the most famous cafés: Le Grillon, Les Deux Garçons, La Belle Époque or Le Café du Cours. If you order wine with lunch or dinner, try one a rosé, for which this region is famous.

8. Relax in the Countryside

Relax. Take a walk in the countryside surrounding your villa. Enjoy some pastries from a local pastry shop. This is a French habit - to buy pastries every Sunday to eat after lunch!

9. A Day in Saint-Tropez

Spend the day by the sea, at the seaside resort town of Saint-Tropez. Relax at a café, watching the largest yachts in the world, wandering the small streets and old picturesque buildings. There are endless possibilities for buying gifts or items of proof that you've been here! But because of weekend traffic, do not go on Saturday or Sunday. A beautiful seaside alternative is to visit charming Cassis where you see the famous calanques - cliffs to the sea. Of course, before leaving you have to enjoy an aperitif here,a Kir made with—you guessed it—cassis (black current liqueur) and white wine or Kir Royale made with champagne instead of wine.

10. Arles & the Van Gogh Museum

Today, visit Arles, the city of Van Gogh. You will find the lovely Van Gogh museum in the center. Visit the major Roman sites, the Arena and the Theater. From the city you can even take in a lovely river cruise on the Rhône River. And don't miss the beautiful Romanesque church, St-Trophime, which was constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries and is just one of the famous UNESCO World Heritage sites in Arles.

11. Visit Uzès

Visit Uzès, one of the most charming villages in Provence. On the way make sure to stop at le Pont du Gard, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985.

12. Tour the Roman City of Nîmes

Visit the Roman city of Nîmes and its Maison Carrée and massive oval Roman amphitheatre right in the center of town.

Before You Leave

Revisit the places you loved the most or to see something you missed. Reflect on all you've done and save the rest for next time. A bientôt !