Famed for its cuisine and filled with culture, the region of Provence is an enchanting destination for a luxury escape. Beyond your choice of boutique hotel the landscape rolls on for miles, bathed in the beautiful light that has attracted generations of great artists. From the eerie peak of Mont Ventoux to the gleaming Côte d’Azur, this is France at its luminous best.
Hilltop towns and ancient Roman sites, all wrapped up in a lavender-clad landscape.
Things to do
Many picturesque Provence towns are rooted in the Roman era and the region is filled with sites to explore, such as the largely intact Théâtre antique d'Orange. Over the centuries, thousands of artists have been seduced by the landscapes, light and lifestyle. Van Gogh painted 200 canvases here and Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse are inextricably linked to Provence.
Fields of scented lavender, olive groves and pine forests – the Provence countryside is colourful and fragrant. Ancient vineyards carpet the hills and the dazzle of the Mediterranean is in the distance. Arrange a private tour to sample locally-produced olive oil and wine. Or simply relax beside the pristine coast at Cannes and Saint Tropez.
Provence is filled with extraordinary landmarks. A visit to the towering Pont du Gard is high on most visitors’ lists, as this three-tired Roman aqueduct is beautifully preserved, spanning the River Gard at a height of 50 metres. For something a little closer to the ground, wander through the winding streets of Avignon or the 17th-century Old Town in Nice.
A visit to Montagne Sainte-Victoire east of Aix will take you to Cézanne’s favourite haunt.
Top Tip from SLH