Upon arriving in Provence by train (approximately 5 hours from Paris) and hopping into our rental car we were greeted with rich landscapes, earthy tones and charming villages, each with their own unique architectural character.
Wherever you to choose to base your self during your stay in Provence there are seemingly endless villages to explore by car (or bike if you can take the hills and/or heat). Here are six gorgeous villages to explore in Provence.
Aix-en-Provence was our base for several days during lavender season. There are daily farmers’ markets and plenty of yummy restaurants options to choose from after a long day of village exploring.
In the mornings make sure to grab some fresh road trip supplies from the Luynes market, which you learn more about via my Aix-en-Provence market guide.
Ansouis was the first village that we visited during our stay and in my opinion the most beautiful. Complete with flower filled lanes, calming fountains and some pretty charming local felines.
Wander up to the church for a lovely view of the village and surrounding vineyards.
If you are visiting during the summertime make sure to cool off at Sainte-Croix-Du-Verdon. The turquoise lake is so vivid up close and there are plenty of places to swim, paddle or hike. Make sure to bring some waterproof footwear as the rocky beach can take a bit of getting used to.
Moustiers Saint Marie
En route to the flower fields of Puimission and Valensole is the more touristy yet still very charming village, Moustiers Saint Marie. The incredible mountain backdrop upon driving into the village was seriously impressive and there are plenty of people watching opportunities if you veer off the main streets. You may even catch the locals playing a game of pétanque.
A must visit for lovers of photography or Roman architecture. Each summer Arles hosts a photography festival where many artists exhibit their work. There are many colourful streets to wander, plenty of places to stop and people watch and even a Roman amphitheatre and ruins.
The hillside village architecture is certainly some of the prettiest in Provence and is best seen from one of the roadside vantage points as you are travelling up the top. Once at the top you get a great view of the lush greenery and vineyards.
Have you ever been to Provence?
Let me know your favourite villages in the comments below.