6 days in the Provence is by far not enough to discover the whole region. It’s a drop in the bucket – but it’s better than nothing. My road trip through the origin of Ratatouille let me from Nice via Pignans to Gordes. Follow my 6 days Provence itinerary and discover some fantastic places, highlights and also some hidden gems.
First base: Pignans and the lovely Hotel Au Mas Saint Pierre*. The hotel lies in the middle of nature and is run by Stephane and Serge who make sure that you feel comfortable. Your stay does not make you feel like you’re staying in a hotel but rather with a family.
Grand Canyon du Verdon
It is said to be one of the must-visit spots when in Provence. Apparently, it is definitely a beautiful and impressive Canyon over a length of 21 km with turquoise water. You can go for a hike starting on the plateau in the beautiful nature resort looking down steep cliffs. One of the hiking routes starts at Point De Départ Du Sentier Martel leading down to the river.
If you’re not into hiking take the car and drive along the river on the curvy road. Up and down it goes, not to recommend for people suffering from carsickness. You can also explore the canyon from the water and rent a boat. It’s a fun thing to do especially when you’re visiting the Provence in the summer when the heat is unbearable.
Type in Pont du Galetas, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and you are directed to the entrance of the Canyon where you will find rental boat stations.
The Grand Canyon du Verdon is one of the most visited attractions in the Provence and jam-packed with people. A quieter alternative for a nice paddle boat tour or a swim in the lake can be found at Lake Quinson or Lake d’Esparron – both east of the Verdon Canyon.
Visit at least one waterfall
If you’re a waterfall junkie then you should definitely visit one during your Provence trip. I loved the 44-meter high waterfall in Sillans la Cascade. You can park your car here and walk the trail along the turquoise river until you reach the platform from you can watch the marvellous waterfall. Unfortunately, you cannot take a bath in the pool of the waterfall but it is still beautiful to watch. You can still have a rest along the river, have a picknick and take a bath or at least a footbath.
The impressive waterfall can be reached after a 20-30 minute walk
A walk along the river – perfect for a bath and a picnic.
Little waterfalls all along the river
Obsessed with waterfalls 😉
4 other waterfalls in the region:
Vallon des Carmes or Cascade du Grand Gaou which are close to Sillans la Cascade
Sources de l’huveaune in Sainte Baume Natural Régional Park
Cascade de Gourbachin about an hour drive from Cannes
Pointe du Rossignol
If you’re visiting the Provence in the summer it might get really really hot. A day at the beach to cool down might be a great change to all the sightseeing. At Pointe du Rossignol between Saint Tropez and Toulon you’ll find a nice beach to spend the day and have a swim in the crystal clear water. Stay there a bit longer, take a walk along the trails on the rocks and marvel at a wonderful sunset.
Gordes is a small village in the Département Vaucluse in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. It is a charming hilltop village with houses made of stone and terra-cotta roof tiles. Artists like Marc Chagall were attracted to the village in the past and today Gordes is considered as being artsy. One of the key attractions of the village apart from the charming cobble-stoned alleys is the farmers’ market where you can buy local wines, fruits, olive oil, lavender products, cheese and artsy accessories. The market takes place every Tuesday.
Roussillon is just a 20-minute drive from Gordes and is also one of the most visited towns of the Luberon area in the Provence. Roussillon is famous for its ochre deposits and its ochre trail Sentier des Ocres which leads you through the ochre lands. The entrance fee is 2,50 Euro and I recommend to visit the trail in the late afternoon in the golden hour when the light emphasizes the colour of the ochre rocks. The village is also considered as an art village with galleries and little shops.
Once the lavender season starts Instagram is full of lovely purple photos. If you want to see the wonderful fields make sure to check when the lavender blossom starts. I’ve done some intense research on where and when to go. The most famous and beautiful fields can be found in Valensole and they’re blooming a bit earlier than others. Sault has some great spots too and the fields in this area usually blossom later.
Some basic tips for your Provence trip:
The roads in the Provence are good but they’re winding up and down. You should have some driving experience and if you or someone who is travelling with you suffer from motion sickness make sure to bring along some medicine.
Bring cash with you. Get some Euros at the airport before you start your Provence itinerary. I have not seen many ATMs and needed to closely watch out for them.
Many restaurants in small villages are closed during the day. Don’t ask me why. Bring some fruits with you in case the chase for an open place takes longer than expected.
When you find a restaurant, plan some time for lunch or dinner. I was in really busy restaurants with one or two waiters serving lots of tables.
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