Provence is a favorite French destination for numerous reasons including its mild climate, picturesque villages and unique foods and wines. Thanks to high speed trains from Paris, it’s possible to add on a weekend getaway to Provence to virtually any trip.
A Weekend Getaway to Provence
How to Get to Provence
The easiest way to reach Provence from Paris is by high speed train. In approximately three hours you can reach Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, or Marseille from central Paris. Trains also depart directly from the Charles de Gaulle airport making it easy to begin your trip in Provence. The Marseille airport serves the region and is just about 20 minutes from Aix-en-Provence.
Day One: Private Tour of the Most Charming Villages in Provence
Begin your weekend getaway to Provence with an overview of some most charming villages in the region. Fall in love with the charming alleys and the atmosphere of a typical Provençal village – Bonnieux where the honey-colored buildings dominate the picturesque little streets. You can even visit the bakery museum, the 12th-century-old church, and the houses from the 18th century, the village welcomes and delights its visitors with its unique environment, ambiance, and varied offers.
For lunch, why not stop in Gordes? This lovely little hilltop village looks like the scene of a postcard or painting, with a dramatic setting. At the center of Gordes, is a lively town square with many cafés, restaurants, art galleries, and souvenir shops. Within a few kilometers, you will find the Abbaye de Sénanque on a picturesque valley on the southern edge of the Vaucluse plateau. Surrounded by fields of lavender flowers, the scene is a profusion of vibrant purple when in full bloom
The day continues toward Roussillon. This village is the capital of ochre, a natural pigment with indelible color. This small village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, blends into the surrounding cliffs. As you walk through the narrow streets and enjoy the small squares, you see and feel the color that is an inherent part of its history.
In the afternoon, learn more about the ocre production, in this region where the rocks have such vibrant color. You will be wrapped up in this landscape with flamboyant and warm orange and red colors.
Where to Stay in Provence
La Bastide de Gordes
This 5-star luxury hotel and spa is not to be missed in lovely Gordes. The perched village is one of Provence’s most beautiful, complete with 12th-century ramparts, a château, and expansive views over the valley below. The Palace hotel itself was a former mansion and it retains every ounce of its former charm: stonework, molding, exposed wood, and vaulted ceilings all surrounded by centuries-old olive trees and soaring cypresses.
The refined rooms are fully equipped, and most offer a view on the valley and the mountains.
The chic Sisley spa has an indoor swimming pool, a hammam, and a fitness facility. The establishment boasts multiple onsite dining options and a bar.
Day Two: Aix-en-Provence and the Provençal Coast
On day two, discover the heartbeat of the amazing Provençal wild seaside along with the Calanques National Park.
Immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe, the Calanques National Park, an impressive limestone natural cathedral. You will reach its turquoise mediterranean waters, little hidden harbors and secret beaches by boat, which is the best way to enjoy its spectacular beauty. Warning: it may leave you speechless.
Enjoy the quaint Cassis village at the end of the National Park before driving across beautiful landscapes to La Ciotat. Once a very important shipyard in Europe, it now focuses on the yacht industry. You will have free time to stroll along its little charming harbor.
Finally, you will continue toward the Castellet village, one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages of France, where you can experience pure Provençal bliss. Situated on a hill, this medieval village from the 12th century has wonderful artisanal shops including Provençal products like gourmet olive oil, lavender soaps, and wines from the nearby Bandol vineyards.
Where to Stay in Provence
Hôtel Villa La Coste
Situated halfway between the historic town of Aix-en-Provence and the famous Luberon Nature Park, this 5-star Palace hotel is set in the heart of the Provençal countryside. It is an international destination for art, architecture and natural beauty and contains a biodynamic vineyard.
The property features 28 Villa Suites. Gardens surround the suites, each with spacious terraces offering truly amazing, expansive views over the vines and the Luberon. The Villas are decorated with artwork from both the owner’s friends and private collection, which gives a personal touch and the feeling of being in a cozy home. Local materials enhance the hotel’s contemporary architecture which complements the natural setting.
The close-to-nature philosophy is evident in each of the four restaurants, all of which feature organic produce.
The spa’s clean lines, natural stones and light wood convey contemporary elegance and keep with the spirit of the property. All natural treatments feature regional ingredients: oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, and clays.
When booking through French Side Travel, guests will enjoy a complimentary guided Art and Architecture walking tour and wine tasting.
A weekend getaway to Provence is the perfect opportunity to discover gorgeous southern France. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process.