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. Start the day with Lourmarin, one of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon. Friday is an especially good day to visit as it is market day. You will have free time to explore the village and see the Renaissance château, visit the galleries and artisanal shops, and stop for a visit and wine tasting in the vineyards.
You can have lunch in Lourmarin or another village like Lauris, Ménerbes, or Goult. After a delicious Provençal meal, your private driver will take you along the Combe, a winding road to discover the perched villages of Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ménerbes, Oppède-le-Vieux, Roussillon and Gordes. Depending on the day and your unique interests, the guide will be able to recommend the best places to stop.
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 Aix-en-Provence and coastal destinations Marseille and Cassis. Explore Aix-en-Provence, the city of Paul Cézanne, with a stroll along Cours Mirabeau. Beautiful fountains, lovely architecture, lively cafés, and old churches surround this picturesque Provençal avenue. The market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays is not to be missed.
Afterwards, head to Cassis, a famous fishing village known for its sublime calanques. If you’d like, take a boat ride to explore the forgotten coves, tiny ports, and soaring cliffs of the Calanques National Park. You can also stop for a wine tasting in the vineyards and taste Cassis’ delicate rosé and smooth white wines.
The afternoon will be devoted to Marseille. You’ll see highlights including the Cité Radieuse (Le Corbusier’s building, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the statue of David on the Avenue du Prado, the Corniche, and Vallon des Auffes. A memorable stop will be at the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde where you will enjoy enjoy a panoramic view of the city and its maritime area: the Vieux Port, Frioul Archipelago, and Château d’If.
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.