Provence never disappoints. When it comes to travelling it always has something to offer, regardless of your priorities. It has an amazing and rich history, excellent food, legendary wine and breath-taking nature. The sea and rivers, mountains and valleys are just one part of its beauty. Its towns and villages look like they came straight from a fairy tale. Therefore, let Provence sweep you off your feet and visit these amazing sights that it offers. However, pay extra attention to the tastes and specialties. Prepare your palate for a Provencal adventure and enjoy.
The Vibrant Arles
On the river Rhone and at the very verge of the unique natural area of Camargue, lies the town of Arles. The nature around the town is amazing, but what makes it even more exciting to visit is the cultural and historical heritage. The ancient Romans built the famous Amphitheatre which has been used ever since. The cowboys of Camargue organized bull fights there. Today, theater, music and other types of festival are very frequent. The mixture of cultures: Roman, gypsy, and tzigane, makes this place very special. It even inspired Van Gogh to paint and draw over 100 pieces. You can still visit the famous café from his paintings. While there, you definitely should taste the marinated olives and saucisson D’Arles that even has some donkey meat in it. Combine it with excellent Languedoc cheese. While the Provencal wines are amazing, you must try pastis while in Arles.
The Stunning Verdon Gorge
The Verdon cuts through the limestone rocks of Provence and makes one of the most beautiful gorges that you have ever seen. The waters are turquoise and the limestone rocks contrast the bright waters and make the scenery gorgeous. There are many ways to explore this lovely part of Provence. You can drive, hike, go kayaking, or even rock climbing. A lot of people come here for fly fishing. You can rest at the small town of Castellane, which is the closest place to the gorge. While there, do not miss out on some excellent saucisson and local cheese.
The Soothing Valensole Plateau
Reach the Valensole Plateau, take one long look at the winding and curving fields of lavender and allow that sight and smell to relax you completely. That is what the Valensole is all about. While you visit the medieval buildings and stone houses of this area, don’t get the impression that the lavender oil is all that is being made there. This is the home of the gorgeous Truffe the Valensole cheese that got its name because it resembles a truffle. It has a black rind and it is made from goat’s milk. Taste it and wash it down with some dry white wine.
The Medieval Avignon
The papal palace and the remains of the old bridge of Avignon are two of the most important things that you have to see in Avignon. Once you enter the stone gates, you will feel the spirit of the old days when this was the home of the pope. This is an important stop for every lover of the French cruises. Avignon is also famous for its gourmet tours. When there, try the local specialties like: veal liver with parsley or tartar. Also, try all the delicious bread and pastry that is available all over the town.
The Serene Cotignac
This charming place is near the busy French Riviera, but still distant enough to maintain its dormant and peaceful lifestyle. The Romanesque church and open air theatre, together with houses from different periods make a colorful architectural cityscape. They date from 12th to 18th century. The town itself has 17 fountains and the focal point of city life is Cours Gambetta. Cotignac is surrounded by vineyards which guarantees the abundance of the amazing wine. Also, this is where the olive oil is produced, which means that you need to try Le boeuf en daube, beef in olive oil, lard, onion and herbs. Furthermore, la tapenade is delicious olive puree and capers, eaten as a spread on grilled bread.
Provence stretches from Italy to Mediterranean, and all the way to the Rhone. Therefore, there is really much to see. However, it seems that there is even more to taste. The legendary wines, olive and lavender oils, are all mixed with tastes of seafood, lamb or beef and lots of vegetables. Provence is not a place that you simply see. It is a place that you have to taste, as well.