| Quality Villas

a week in provence | quality villas


There is a
plethora of fun activities and sights to see to keep everyone entertained
during your holiday in one of our family friendly France villas. The region is
often drenched in sun and you can make the most of the good weather relaxing
next to the crystal blue Mediterranean waters or amidst the fields of brightly
coloured flowers that are so powerful, they inspired the likes of Van Gogh and
Cezanne. The scenes in the area are typically and unapologetically French, with
bustling markets boasting local, fresh produce, roman ruins, medieval villages
and a group of old men gathered in the town square for the weekly game of
pétanque. Whether you’re there for a long weekend or a two-week break, we’ve
put together a few things to add to your Provence bucket list and keep you busy
during your time away. If you can’t fit them all in during your stay, fear not,
for once you get a taste for this beautiful area of France you’ll undoubtedly
be coming back for more, so save it for your next visit!

 

Palais des
Papes and Pont D’Avignon

The Palace
of the Popes is a truly spectacular site, representing the churches influence
throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century and
should not be missed during a holiday in Provence. The building is the biggest
Gothic palace in all of Europe and visitors can see over 20 rooms full of
scenes in historic events, including beautiful art work from professional
painters such as Matteo Giovannetti, which can be found in the pope’s private
chambers. There are also various cultural events held here during the summer
months, so be sure to keep an eye out for art exhibits and performances from
the Avignon Theatre festival that may be happening during your visit. Whilst
you’re in the city, it would be silly not to visit the Pont D’Avignon, which is
listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge attracts visitors throughout
the year and only four arches remain. Steeped in history, this bridge played an
important part of pilgrammages to Italy and Spain during the Middle Ages and
makes a fantastic backdrop to any holiday selfie! 

 

Saint-Remy-de-Provence


About 20 km
south of Avignon lies Saint Remy de Provence, a charming village that truly
represents what it is to be French in the 21st century. The sleepy
town is host to a traditional town square, with many authentic shops, cafes and
restaurants. A lovely place to sit and watch the world go by with people you
love, or head up with a good book for a relaxing morning coffee. On Wednesday,
the usually peaceful and tranquil village transforms into a bustling community
thanks to the popular market, which sells everything from melons that were
grown just metres away to an array of provincial goods, great for souvenirs!
The Roman ruins are fascinating, and the opportunity to explore should not be
turned down. Interestingly, the village was also home to Van Gogh while he was
receiving, undeniably unsuccessful, treatment for psychiatric problems.

 

Beach days
at Cassis


It wouldn’t
be a holiday in the South of France without some time for rest and relaxation
at any of the stunningly delightful beaches. Cassis is somewhat of a hidden
gem, overshadowed by its more popular counterparts, but that certainly doesn’t
make it any less beautiful. The beach is defined by white limestone cliffs and
sheltered by inlets called calanques. The wide expanse of golden sands is
perfect to catch up on some well-deserved rest after all the sight-seeing and
good for a catching a tan. For a truly authentic experience, go French style,
sans bikini top!

 

Marseille’s
Vieux Port


Marseille
is the second-largest city in France and has areas of nitty, gritty urban life
to reflect this, but don’t let the occasionally harsh exteriors put you off
making a visit. Head down to the Vieux Port where bustling markets show off the
finest provençal produce and a century old fish-market with all the latest
catches from the boats just behind. Narrow winding streets with traditional
boutiques are not far away, as well as pedestrianised shopping streets if
you’re after a real spree. This city is a great place to sample the freshest of
bouillabaisse, containing all types of fish from local waters and is seasoned
for taste with an array of herbs. 

 

Camargue
Wetlands

The
Camargue Wetlands is a natural park located in Provence which has fantastic
opportunities to observe rare birds and other wildlife in their habitat. Best
visited in spring and summer months, the wetlands consists of 780-sq-km near
the Rhone River and is home to over 500 species of migratory birds. The area is
roamed by wild white horses, black bulls and flamingos, all making for a great
family activity as you embark upon somewhat of a self-guided safari. This spot
is perfect for escaping the crowds at bustling cities and appreciating the
wonders of Mother Nature. For a more adventurous activity, families can rent
bikes and cycle or do a horse ride through the area.

  

Les Baux


One of the
most visited spots in France, Les Baux is located around 25 km south of
Avignon, just beyond Saint Remy de Provence and is an incredible place to spend
a day or two exploring. The rocky terrain and dramatic cliffs overlook a valley
full of olive groves and vineyards, giving you unparalleled views of the best
example of the landscapes on offer in the South of France. The village itself
is host to grey cobbled streets between medieval buildings, with many shops and
restaurants for you to wander during your time here. The Chateux-fortress area
is well worth a visit and you can indulge on the long and complex history of
the site. The spectacular village has been home to human inhabitants since
6,000 BCE and was home to some of the most powerful feudal lords in France in
the middle ages.  

These are
just some of the many activities you can get up to during your time in France.
The area has so much to offer, and if your planning your first trip to the
region, we bet it won’t be your last!

Image credit: François Philipp

 

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