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Provence is the dream destination in southern France. Thanks to Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, I had the opportunity to go on a five-day tour to Provence, an experience I want to share with you here.
This text is the start of my series of Provence blogpostst. In this blogpost I want to give you a general overview about the things you might like to know, or where to find the information, if you are planning to do a trip to the dream destination in the South of France. In my next post I will give you a more general overview that will give you a good first impression of our trip. In further blog posts, I will then get into deeper insigts of our tour on some specific topics. You will find all posts of my Provence series linked at the end of this post. So here we go!
The Provence does not exist
Where exactly is Provence located?
Well, THE Provence does not exist. – yes, you’ve read that properly! Because geographically, Provence is not specifically defined, but is part of a larger region. Worse, and misleading, the term Provence is often referred to as whole Southeast France.
In the year 1956 France (the mainland of France, to be correct) was, for administrative reasons, divided into 22 regions. One of them is the huge region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA). Its boundaries range from the peaks of the Haut-Alpes in the north to the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Marseille in the south and from the Rhône Delta in the west to the Italian border in the east.
During our five day trip, it was all about “savoir-faire in Provence” (inspired by the well-known savoir-vivre of the French in general) and we toured the departements Buches-du Rhône and Vaucluse. I will link you the further blogposts on this topic at the end of this post.
The best time to travel
With 2500 – 3000 hours of sunshine per year, Provence is the warmest and sunniest area in France with a mainly Mediterranean mild climate.
The best time for a visit to Provence is spring and fall, because the temperatures are pleasantly warm and not as hot as in summer. Moreover there are less tourists than in summer.
The smell of lavender fields
The exact time for the lavender to bloom depends on the temperatures in spring. The earlier in the year it gets warm in Provence, the sooner the lavender blossom will show up. If you really do not want to miss the lavender blossom, plan your trip for the period from mid-June to the end of July.
The most famous lavender field of Provence is in the abbey “Abbaye de Sénanque” in the Vaucluse department. Since every year masses of tourists come here to see the beautiful fields, it is neither idyllic nor allowed to enter the lavender fields. But there are plenty of other beautiful spots where you can experience the lavender blossom in a much more pleasant way.