While vacationing in Provence you can find much opportunity to combine cooking with your outdoor recreation.
The village markets supply the ingredients and the back roads that connect the villages will reveal hiking trails that go through the olive groves and vineyards and biking roads and cliff climbing opportunities are in many places in the Alpilles Hills
Hiking trails through the olive groves of Mouries
Each village has its market day, as much a social event as an opportunity to shop.
Provence Cooking, A Culinary Vacation in Provence
day when vendors come from distant areas with fish meat wines and produce. This is the time to buy fresh fish and other ingredients not available in the village markets. Wine and olive oil,cheese and especially fish come in mobile vans from the wholesale markets of Avignon and Marseilles to the festive markets.
Hiking trails through the vineyards and olive oil groves around Mouries, St Remy, and Les Baux connect the villages and vineyards.
Market day in St. Remy
melons ripening in June
This makes Spring a great time for a culinary vacation or a hiking and biking vacation where Provence cooking of the many healthy French food recipes will be part of the vacation. Provence vacation rental, vacation Gites, or villas often come with a full kitchen that includes a gas stove, an oven and a food chopper, grinder, or a processor for the hobby chef. With a full kitchen at hand you can use the local fresh produce and spices to do some healthy French cooking. Chicken recipes using herbs de Provence and Provence recipes using Provence lamb smothered in thyme and savory and cooked over a bed of Rosemary will do it for the few meat recipes.
Provence vegetable recipes will include tomato, zucchini, and eggplant. Simple Provence dessert recipes include fresh fruit and Provence goat cheese and a glass of Cotes du Rhone.
Provence cooking depends on the Provence village markets to provide produce and fish not found in the village shops. Vendors come from distant areas with wine and olive oil, cheese and especially fish delivered in mobile vans to the festive markets.
Provence village cooking depends on the cheese
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You can save by renting a house or vacation apartment for your Provence vacation but you need to shop well ahead of your intended dates and you should do some research.
Read the revues listed, look at photos, and look at the property with the Google satellite maps, street view if possible. Does the location match the photos supplied by the owner, is the house really in the village or on the coast, water view, mountain view etc. Check the neighborhood with Google satellite street view; the cafés can get pretty noisy on weekend nights even in a small village.
- Reviews, Photos, Google Satellite Map
Communicate with the owner or property manager by email and save the records of correspondence. Communicate by telephone to verify that they are actually at that location. Ask questions via email or telephone.
Does the kitchen have an oven and full stove or is it a hot plate on the counter. Is there a washing machine, loaner bikes, pool, AC, WiFi, or is it dial-up. Are there cleaning charges, extra charges for electricity, gas, rubbish removal etc. How many stairs must you climb to reach the villa or house, is there secure parking
Pay by credit card. Pay a deposit but not the full amount before your visit, and only after looking at the agreement or contract. Wire a small deposit and then call to confirm that the owner or manager received the bank transfer.
Check Google for any forums or negative reports about the rental company or property.
You will be asked to pay a security deposit and sign a contract stating the conditions for the return of the deposit. If the contract is complicated or harsh and the owner or manager offers no reviews, no photos, and no flexibility in the payment method, keep shopping.
International flights serve Paris, Marseilles, Local flights reach Nimes and Avignon.
TGV Fast trains serve Avignon, Aix, Nimes, and Marseilles from Paris. Local trains serve Arles
Rental cars are available at CDG and at the TGV Stations in Paris, Avignon, Marseilles, and Nimes. Available also in Arles.
Autoeurope is available in Avignon at the TGV train station.