Visit Provence and don’t miss the best of it ! Here is information that can be useful to your trip.
The origins of Provence
The origin of civilization in Provence dates back to the 6th century BC when Greek sailors from Phocaea created a colony named Massalia.
The Greeks from Marseille founded a lot of cities in Provence and French Riviera such a Nice, Monaco, Antibes, Hyères and Agde. They were creating commercial outposts in order to trade with local tribes.
The Roman empire then enterred Provence in the 2nd century BC. They founded cities such as Aix-en-Provence, Fréjus, Orange or Arles. The name of Provence comes from the latin word Provincia.
In the 1st century AD, a new religion spread across the Roman Empire. Christianity arrived in Provence by land from Italy but also by the sea as the famous “Saintes Maries de la Mer”. Monotheism started to give a new shape to the Roman society and the declining empire finally collapsed under the waves of invaders.
Centuries later Provence became a autonomous territory under the protection of the French kingdom. Back then the capital city of Provence was Aix-en-Provence. The county of Provence was extending itself from Valence in the north to Marseille in the south and from Arles in the west to Cannes in the east. The city of Nice was never part of Provence. The autonomous county of Provence finally integrated the kingdom of France at the end of the 15th century.
The antiquity in Provence
If you are interested in visiting the oldest buildings and archaeological sites of Provence to understand the foundation and development of civilization from the first Greek colonies to the most magnificent pieces of Roman engineering you shouldn’t miss :
- A visit to the historical center of Marseille
- An exploration of the Roman monuments in Arles
- A tour guided inside the archaeological site of Glanum in Saint-Rémy
- The massive Roman theather in Orange
- The extraordinary Pont du Gard next to Avignon
The middle ages in Provence
If you are interested in understand the way of life in the Middle Ages from the Dark Ages to the most glorious French Kings you shouldn’t miss :
- The Popes Palace in Avignon
- The Christian Monuments in Arles
- The city center of Aix-en-Provence
- The hilltop villages of Provence
- Saint-Tropez and its surrounding villages
The most beautiful landscapes in Provence
Provence has many nature preserved site where landscapes are gorgeous year round. If you want to touch and see the most beautiful nature of Provence you shouldn’t miss :
- The Cape Canaille in Cassis
- The Verdon canyon
- The beaches of Saint-Tropez
- The islands of Hyères
- The Camargue Nature Park
- The Luberon Nature Park
- The Alpilles Nature Park
- The Lavender in Valensole
Wine in Provence
For 2600 years the territory of Provence produces wine. All the wine making know-hows are still alive over the area. From clay amphoras to oak casks, from cement tanks to cement eggs, discover the most fascinating wine domains. You will learn everything about wine making which is considered here to be an Art :
- Chateauneuf du Pape
Farmers market in Provence
There is a farmers market everyday in Provence ! You should just know where :
- Monday : Nimes, Forcalquier, Cavaillon, Lauris, Cadenet, Fontvieille, Luynes
- Tuesday : Saint-Tropez, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Vaison-la-Romaine, Nimes, Gordes, Apt, Tarascon
- Wednesday : Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Salon-de-Provence
- Thursday : Isle-sur-Sorgue
- Friday : Lourmarin, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
- Saturday : Saint-Tropez, Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence, Gap, Manosque, Sisteron, Digne-les-Bains, Gap, Nimes
- Sunday : Aigues-Mortes, Beaucaire, Aubagne, Salon-de-Provence
- Everyday : Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Toulon, Avignon