2600 years of history have made Marseille a cosmopolitan and multicultural city. With its strong identity, Marseille is proud of its difference and today can claim to be the second city of France and a Mediterranean metropolis. Its many attractions, the sun, the sea, the culture, make Marseille an essential place to visit in the South of France.
Built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon, Gordes is one of the most well-known hilltop villages in the region, and one of the most beautiful in France. Breathtaking view from the top of the village, Abbey of Sénanque with its famous lavender field, the stony Bories village attract lots of touristes from all over the world. Famous book «A year in Provence» of Peter Mayle and the movie «A good year» of Ridley Scott made this place even more popular.
Roussillon is famous for the rich deposits of ochre pigments found in the clay near the village. The large quarries of Roussillon were mined from the end of the 18th century until 1930. During the 20th century, mining techniques were modernized and this resulted in a gradual closing-down of ochre mines in and around Roussillon. Nowadays this fantastic landscape, The Ochre Path, with canions and cliffs of ochre colors is among the most visited touristic spots of Luberon.
Formidable Popes' Palace is the emblem of the city and inspiring monument to the importance of Avignon in the Christian world of the Middle Ages.
Built in the 1300s, the palace would become the biggest gothic edifice in all of Europe. A tour of the palace, which includes the popes' private apartments with their fabulous frescoes, is one one of the musts of Avignon.
Today, Avignon is a prestigious cultural capital with its world-renowned Theatre Festival.
In the department of the Bouches du Rhône, not far from Marseille, Cassis is the must to visit. "One may have seen Paris, but if one hasn't seen Cassis, one hasn't seen anything" – Qu'a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, a ren vist" – the quote of Frédéric Mistral is not just typical Provençal exaggeration...
Cassis is built like an amphitheatre by the sea between Cap Canaille and the rocky inlets of the Calanques. The ochre colour of the impressive cliffs of Cap Canaille, the highest in France, contrast with the white of the mountains of the Calanques. These two listed natural sites count amongst the most beautiful on the Mediterranean Sea.
Gorges du Verdon
The biggest canyon in Europe and the exceptional natural site, visitors come to Verdon from around the world. With its turquoise water, the site is listed as one of the “Grand Sites of France”. Verdon region is a home to splendid villages such as the picturesque Bauduen and Ste-Croix-du-Verdon, the very high hilltop village of Aiguines, Moustiers Sainte Marie, known for its fine porcelain, Castellane... With the beaches, the aquatic activities on the lake of Sainte-Croix, hiking and canoeing-kayaking, lovers of sports and adventure will live their dreams.
Arles, city of art and history, has been listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1981. More than 100 of its Roman and Romanesque buildings and ruins in the preserved historic centre are listed as “Historic Monuments”. Beside it, Arles is the place where Vincent Van Gogh lived and worked during 1888-1889, this period of his life was very productive: around 300 masterpieces, including the most impressive and famous ones.
Les Baux de Provence and Carrières des Lumières
Built on a rocky outcrop, the Citadel of Les Baux de Provence offers you incomparable panoramic views over the Alpilles mountain range. The twenty or so residents who live within its walls jealously protect a patiently restored and unparalleled heritage. With the château of Les Baux and the Carrières des Lumières, this veritable open-air museum is a not-to-be-missed stop in Provence for the more than one million visitors who come here each year.
In the Rhône Delta to the south of Arles, the Camargue covers an area of 1500 km² between the sky, the sea and the sand. In a landscape of ponds and lagoons, horses and bulls roam freely amongst the pink flamingos and hundreds of other animal and bird species.
On foot or horseback, discover its ranching culture, its traditions and its towns with their rich past, the sea and the ponds, enjoy aquatic activities or just lazing on the beach. Camargue is a really special place with unforgettable landscapes.
Covering approximately 800km2, this plateau is the biggest area in France devoted to growing lavender. The blooming period from mid-June to mid-July is an explosion of colours and the inebriating scent fills the exceptionally pure air of the region.
During that period, the Tourist Office of Valensole organises guided tours on the theme of lavender. And throughout the year, the distilleries welcome you to visit their lavender farms and discover the steps in the distilling of lavender. Each year on the 3rd Sunday of July, the town of Valensole organises its Lavender Festival.