Southeastern France is possibly one of the most underrated places on earth. Steeped in rich history, unbelievably scenic and perfect for being discovered by means of walking or hiking, it offers travellers looking for a slightly more back-to-nature trip a great opportunity. Provence, the area’s most spectacular region, offers plenty of reasons that make it ripe for discovery. And there’s a lot more to it than its sleepy hilltop villages, bounty-producing vineyards and busy outdoor markets too.
In fact Provence, when taken at a slow pace and with the opportunity of a guide, provides the kind of trip that can rival any other one you might possibly wish to take this upcoming spring and summer. Still have reservations? Here are even more reasons to discover Provence on foot.
St. Remy is one of those must-visit spots that all walkers should make their way through on a trip through Provence. Taking a walking tour and you’ll also have the chance to learn more about what makes this little historic commune so special, owing to its place in history as home for the last years of van Gogh’s life.
More on that theme; you’ll also get to see out from the window view that inspired possibly his widest known work, The Starry Night.
If that’s not reason enough to check out St. Remy, then there’s also its thriving town centre filled with amazing cafes and restaurants to explore and enjoy at your own pace.
Make sure you pack in Gordes to your Provence schedule, it’s one of the prettiest villages in the whole country and home to medieval cobblestoned streets that don’t make it difficult to imagine times past. In Gordes you can also see one of the region’s most famous symbols, the lavender, which grow in abundance in the surrounding fields. You can also learn more about these from the monks that help cultivate them.
Vaison la Romaine Market
Aside from all the beauty of Provence you’ll probably be just as much bowled over by its local produce.
One of the benefits of taking a walking tour in this region is the ability to move at your own pace, meaning you can fit a visit the market at Vaison la Romaine quite easily into your schedule if you’re the type of die-hard foodie that wants to taste a hundred delicious things. This market is home to lots of local food and market stalls, where you can try a whole range of France’s greatest exports, including cheese, bread, wine and olives.
Last but not least, perhaps the greatest reason to discover Provence is to get up close and familiar with beautiful Avignon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site in it’s own rite, Avignon is best known as the former seat of the pope during the medieval age and for its astounding Gothic complex which once played host to seven of the former holders of the Catholic churches’ most prestigious position.
Provence is a place like no other. And all it asks of you is to strap on your walking boots, head out into its fields and get moving. It’s all there waiting to be discovered.