Things to do in Provence
While its idyllic landscapes are enough to attract attention, Provence is full of little details that are worth a closer look. Urban centers like Marseille and Aix-en-Provence offer a look at modern life, but many of Travel + Leisure's favorite things to do in Provence cater to history lovers. Explore the Roman ruins in the village of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, or marvel at Pont du Gard, the region’s iconic Roman aqueduct. Spanish-style bullfights are now held in Arles’ ancient arena, which once hosted gladiator fights in Roman times.
Travelers wondering what to do in Provence can also plan to visit one of the medieval stone villages that dot the Provencal countryside. Places like Les Baux and Moustiers Sainte Marie have retained their original character for centuries. Similarly, a stop into Avignon wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Gothic-style Palais des Papes, the former home of popes in the 14th century, and a glance at its storied bridge, the Pont D’Avignon.
The list of things to do in Provence wouldn’t be complete without a look into the life of Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne. Tours are available to lead you to the artist’s favorite haunts and to his Aix-en-Provence studio. Then, take a look at his finished masterpieces at the Museum of Classic Art in Mougins or the Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton. The possibilities of what to do in Provence are endless.
Active travel (cycling; walking; sea kayaking; rock climbing) paired with unexpected cultural experiences (storytelling in Ireland; a game of boules in Provence; visiting mask makers in Bali).
The shop stocks the indestructible moleskin riding pants worn by cowboys in the Camargue region of Provence owe their erotic cachet not just to the thigh- girding cut but to a graphic pencil line of contrast piping that runs down the legs.
When it comes to off-the-charts cookies in France, all roads lead to Le Petit Duc, whose Oreilles de la Bonne Déesse, or Ears of the Good Goddess, are an adaptation of an elaborate Roman porridge recipe that uses olive oil, red wine, pepper, honey—and cumin.
This is the defining southern France shopping experience—perfumed, scrumptious, and homespun.
Joël Durand's chocolate flavors swing from the herbal (thyme, rosemary) to the floral (violet, jasmine). Sweetening his international reputation are handcrafted caramel lollipops and edgy jams made with star anise and Corsican citrons.
Arnaud Maurières and Eric Ossart's enthralling one-of-a-kind garden, Le Jardin de l'Alchimiste, showcases the sorcerous power of plants and the sometimes spooky medieval art of alchemy.
A tantalizing array of stalls selling everything from olives and spices to fabrics, shawls, and tablecloths. Be sure to stop by the master chocolatier Joël Durand, who flavors his exquisite chocolates with flowers and herbs.
To purchase the lusty red that Dominique Hauvette turns out under the Baux de Provence appellation at Domaine Hauvette, you'll need an appointment—if you can snag one. The proto–micro estate occupies just 35 acres at the foot of the lunar Alpilles mountains.
Exotic bamboo gardens in Anduze.