I think everyone has a picture in mind, when thinking about the Provence. Cities, villages, nature and architecture – Provence has a lot to offer.
In the following, we present you some of Provence’s clichés and some not so well known places. And we give you some useful advice.
Pont du Gard
We enjoyed some very expensive aqueduct-fun here: 18€ per person and car. After 8 pm, it just costs 10€.
We wanted to see the Pont du Gard in the evening with the best light – which is by the way the perfect place for picnic. A lot of families and other groups had a good time swimming in the Gardon river (former Gard), which is obviously the best idea in the heat of august. It was a very busy place.
The Pont du Gard is one of the most important and well preserved constructions of the Roman Empire, probably dated back to the 1st century AD. It was once part of a 50km long waterline from Uzès to Nîmes. It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage!
Our trip to Provence started with a first-world-nightmare for us: In August the lavender still should have been there, but it wasn’t. We knew the harvest time changes every year. But nevertheless: No lavender, no fun. That’s just it.
However, a few days later, when we had already almost forgot the lavender, there were still a few left between Rustrel and Sault. They looked as if it was already time for being harvested, but they were so gentle and waiting for us!
Notice: If you want to see endless lavender fields, beginning until mid of July is the best time. The largest and most beautiful fields are located around Valensole and Vaucluse.
You can buy lavender souvenirs almost everywhere. I bought mine in Abbaye de Senanque and in Avignon. The prices are almost the same everywhere. (Not very cheap)
There are some more places in the world, offering you fields of sunflowers. But in Provence, they’re mostly located next to lavender fields – flower porn at its best!
Most sunflower fields had already had their best time at the beginning of august. We would also recommend July, as there are more of them and they’re in better condition.
We could still find some places with beautiful flowers!
Wine yards in Luberon
There’s not much to say about this. The Luberon is known for its good rosé wines. 60% of the produced wines in this area are rosé, 30% red and the other 10% white wine.
Just look out for the signs at the street. There are lots of wine tastings in private wineries. We can recommend Domaine de Tara (located between Rousillon and Gordes)!
Gorge du Verdon
Together with Tara Canyon in Montenegro, this is Europe’s largest canyon. The Verdon Canyon is also called Grand Canyon du Verdon.
Not far from here, you can find Lac de Sainte-Croix, a barrier lake in the natural park of Verdon and France’s second largest. Lot of people are swimming here.
The Verdon is flowing in this lake.
The view points are not always easy to reach, at least in august. Due to the many cars and the many people trying to get a look at the elements of nature.
Colorado Provençal de Rustrel
We really never heard of this before we planned our Provence trip. The different colours of the ocher rocks in the Natural Park of Luberon (near Apt), give you the feeling of somewhere in the US, not Europe.
There are three wandering paths: Way 1 is very long and exhausting, but you can enjoy amazing views. Way 2 is steep and stony and extremely exhausting, especially in august. It’s way too hot out there. We definitely do not recommend way 1 nor 2. We returned after half of the way and took way number 3. Maybe it’s better in the morning. Way 3 is still exhausting, but way more comfortable. We were deeply impressed by Colorado de Rustrel!
Be careful with what you’re wearing: The ocher cannot be easily washed out, maybe not even at all. Maybe you should take some extra clothes with you. Some of the visitors came along with the colour all over their face. They were trying hopelessly to wash it down at the restrooms. Notice: War paint is only fun, if you can remove it.
The region still wins ocher from the rocks as it is used for natural colours and applied arts.
Entrance: 6€ per car.
Another cliché are the villages of Provence. But that’s in another article.
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