Provence

(Culture, Eats, Adventure)

Because France is awesome and we don’t have something planned for every minute of every day, here are some things that may tickle your fancies.

Provençal Culture

Over 12,000 square miles, whose six départements cover the Luberon mountains; the beaches of the Côte d’Azur; iconic fields of lavender; France’s second largest city, Marseille; the only other city the papacy ever found fit, Avignon; gallons of rosé; and tons of seafood and olives.

Things are quieter, slower and far more rustic than in Paris, but there’s plenty of glamour (hey, Saint-Tropez!), art (the area seduced Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse, Chagall, Cezanne, Picasso and more), history (roman aqueducts and ruins, churches, marks of the French Resistance, the Château d’If in the Calanques where Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned), and gastronomy.

Friendly but proud, most residents of Provence don’t, in fact, much care for Paris. Some still speak Provençal, and cities like Aix will display street signs in both languages.

The Luberon, and particularly Vaucluse, is known for its gorges and cliffs, home to medieval hilltop hamlets like the infamous Gordes, or Lacoste, atop which sits the Marquis de Sade’s former castle. The Spring and Summer weather, when the mistral isn’t hitting, pulls everyone outside to the markets and the the table for very leisurely, very fresh shared meals and local wine.

Eats

* Please be sure to check for availability. Most restaurants are closed 1-2 days a week. Need a reservation? Sierra would be happy to call for you and jabber in French.

Adventure

RELAX:

  • L’Occitane Spa in Manes – 54 min from Goult
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape tasting and tours in Avignon – 53 min from Goult
  • Watch the sun set overlooking Gordes – 17 min from Goult
  • Stroll through Aix-en-Provence counting fountains – 1h 05min from Goult
  • The Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Arles – 1h 05min from Goult

BEACH:

  • Cassis – 1h 28min from Goult
  • For a real adventure Ile des Porquerolles2h 47min from Goult

ADVENTURE:

  • Boat tour of Les Calanques (then, eat here)- 1h 36min from Goult
  • Canoe/Kayak the Sorgue River40 min from Goult
  • Explore the beautiful ruins at Les Baux de Provence- 55 min from Goult
  • Football in Marseille – 1h 15min from Goult