South of the snow-covered Alps, between the vineyards of the Rhone Valley and the famous Côte d'Azur… Welcome in Provence. A wonderful region with unique and outstanding lights.
A true delight for painters: Van Gogh and the Alpilles, Paul Cezanne and the Sainte-Victoire mountain, Monet and the Estaque, Renoir, Picasso… All of them came to immortalize the landscape, but the reality is much more extraordinary than any painting!
The coast and the hills of Provence inspired Impressionism and many of these sceneries are now classified and protected natural parks that both tourists and locals enjoy. From the Verdon canyon, the largest in Europe, to the Calanques of Marseille and Cassis, not to forget the hills of the Luberon, the provençal panorama moves the ones who come to discover it.
For History lovers, rest assured, Provence is a very old region whose name comes from the Romans who left us an incredible heritage: bridges, theatres, triumphal arches, arenas… Some of these outstanding infrastructures are more than just remnants. They still represent today a place for the exhibition of the provençal culture throughout different shows.
Even if the Romans’ civil engineering still impress today, it would be a shame to overlook what their successors left us: wonders now classified among the UNESCO World Heritage, to cite but few examples such as the Popes’ Palace in Avignon or the Saint-Trophime cathedral in Arles.
Recent centuries also left their own mark on our beautiful region. In Marseille for example, the capital of Provence, where the “Bonne Mère” basilica towers over the city and protects it since the 19th Century. The oldest city of France is nowadays the dynamic capital of the region and a booming city where modern architecture mixes with the old one.
Now, let’s talk about the provençal gastronomy, a rich and diversified cuisine. Thanks to its 300 days of sunshine per year, the meals are cooked with different herbs, olive oil and fresh fruits and vegetables that grow all year round thanks to its rich soils. The local gastronomy is, characterized by many vegetables, which will make the vegetarians happy, that can be served with Mediterranean seafood or delicious pieces of meat such as the Sault lamb or the bull from Camargue. The local cheeses will perfectly end your meals with some lavender honey, our regional blue gold.
Do not hesitate to taste the local specialties served with some of the most delicious wines produced in our region. Your taste buds will never forget the savours of the “ratatouille”, a mix of provençal vegetables, the bull “gardianne”, or the famous Provençal stew the “daube provençale”.
Here, most of all during summer, the rosé wine prevails! It represents almost 80% of the Côtes de Provence PDO, the main regional appellation. Not to forget of course the delicious, dry and fruity white wines, the tasty muscatels or the powerful and tannic reds. A large choice that will satisfy any wine lover!
While visiting the region, you will understand that Provence is not only breathtaking landscapes, thousands of years of History set in stone or a sunny Mediterranean gastronomy. It is a way of life, a culture that you have to discover and above all experience between the stall of local markets, while strolling in the narrow streets of hilltop villages or talking with the locals during a pre-lunch drink.
So now come and immerse yourself in this wonderful culture with your A La Francaise passionate and local guide who will be the highlight of your stay!