The walled towns continued their building stages into the 12 Th and 14 Th Centuries while many rulers came and went including the Popes who resided at Avignon from 1309 to 1376 and built impressive castles. In recent years, these towns have been home and motif to Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
The people of Provence work the land and cherish their traditions; the coliseum at Arles still features bullfighting two times a year along with its other Camargue bull spectacles.
A movement is underway to teach the ancient language of Provencale in the schools and many of the villages hold festivals throughout the year that include ancient music, dance, horsemanship, and non-lethal bull fighting.
Along the Mediterranean, from Nice to the Saintes Maries de la Mere in the Rhone River Delta is called Provence. This region, rich in Roman ruins, Medieval walled cities, and Renaissance art, offers fabled towns like Roman-built Arles and the one-time capital, Aix-en-Provence, along with Solon de Provence, home of Nostradamus, and St. Remy, haunt of the Impressionist painters. The walled cities of Provence ooze history ; Roman aqueducts, coliseum-like arenas, Roman theatres, and Gothic and Renaissance castles are everywhere.
Although rich in history, this area had been largely overlooked by international tourist except those that toured coastal Provence while visiting Cannes, Nice, and St Tropez: the Cote d' Azur to French speakers, the French Riviera in English.
Celebrity chefs like Julia Child then put Provence on the American cooking vacation circuit with her cookbooks and her praise for the bouillabaisse of Marseille (30 to 60 Euros a plate in Marseille's Old Port restaurants), and the simple fare of the region based on fresh produce and olive oil.
Travel Vacation In Provence, Vacation Rntals
Vacation South of France
The hills and valleys of Provence were inhabited as far back as Neolithic times and still have rock tombs of early settlers.
Later settlers constructed beehive-like structures of stone called bories with an estimated 3000 still standing around Gordes and Saignon.
Germanic Celtic tribes and Italian Ligurians inhabited Provence before the Greek (600 BC) and later Roman settlers (100 BC) built permanent dwellings of stone.
From the first century BC to the third century AD the Romans built an extensive road system throughout Provence, the best example perhaps, the first century Julian Bridge on the road between Gordes and Lacoste that, until recently, carried automobile traffic over the Coulon River, a feeder of the Durance River.
Impressionist painters, and the discovery of Provence's hiking, climbing, kayaking, and biking opportunities had generated a wave of American tourist keeping the rentals full nearly year round until the Euro became so much stronger than the dollar. Even with the dollar discounted around 30 percent, Provence still draws Americans, usually in May and June, and in September and October, the months when the European travelers are back to work and not on their six-week July/August vacations.
Many of the villages in Provence are storybook quaint, full of ancient stone buildings with tile roofs and narrow cobble streets open only to pedestrians.
Lavender fields of rich purple color the hillsides the last week in June and into July and 12Th Century chapels crown the hilltops in the Medieval walled villages. Farming of rice in the south and wheat and lavender in the north along with raising of sheep and the practice of viticulture and olive production are the primary industries in largely rural Provence.
Hiking Biking Kayaking
Renting a House
Rent a house or vacation villa to experience a brief period of living the village life, shopping for the daily provisions, and cooking with the locally grown produce. You can home base in a convenient village and make day trips by rental car to surrounding hill towns of stonewalls and Medieval castles. Reach the hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and cliff climbing.in the hills and river valleys from a vacation rental house.
Renting a house, even if it just for a week or two, is a good and economical way to enjoy all that Provence has to offer.
Rentals can accommodate several families or just two people. When your search begins on the web, start first with the number of people that you will accommodate.
How Many People
The regions of Provence are called departments and include Hautes Alpes, Alpes de Haute Provence, Alpes Maritimes, Bouches du Rhone, Var, Vaucluse, and the Drome Provencale.
Decide on the region and the price range you seek. Some villages are more expensive than others but the area is well served by good roads so that you can base in one place and reach many villages and walled cities in an hours drive.
Transportation will be of crucial importance. Will you have a rental car? (40-60 USD per day and plentiful in the major cities and TGV stations)
If you are with an auto rental, lodging in one of the larger towns or cities would be a better option unless you want the solitude and isolation of a country villa or retreat.
Transportation: Local buses make trips between major cities stopping at towns and villages along the way. See Schedule Below.
Prices for rentals could list in Euros or the British Pound.
Next came English writer Peter Mayle's "A Year In Provence," Europeans took to the countryside of the Luberon and Vaucluse looking for distressed cottages and old farms to buy as fix-up vacation homes and rentals. Otherwise the countryside of Provence has changed little in five hundred years. No massive development, no malls, and just a few high-speed roads. The one major innovation, the high-speed TGV train; with top speeds of 180 MPH; it puts Avignon two and a half hours from Paris.
A Year In Provence
A Villa or Vacation rental at the foot of a walled city could accommodate up to 15 access to recreation, culture, shopping
Saignon on the hilltop overlooking Apt is postcard perfect and near enough to the larger city to offer transportation
Arles was a Roman city in the first century
A limited menu family run mom and pop style restaurant in the Village of Apt, La Manade on Rue Rene Cassin should not be missed
Plain Trees (Sycamore)
Non-lethal bull fighting
Markets in Arles
Season: High, Mid, Low
High: July August
Mid: April, May June, September, October,and School Vacations
Low: November,December, January, February, March
The bridge over the Rhone below the Palace of the Popes in Avignon
The Roman Arena in Arles still hosts bull fights
The Roman Theatre in Arles
Vacation Rentals in Provence offer the culinary vacation, hiking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, and sight seeing in Provence, the South of France.
|Provence Events and Sightseeing
|Provence Lodging, Villa, Vacation Rental
|France Events and Sightseeing
Avignon Palace of the Popes
Renting a Vacation House In Provence
Renting a house or vacation villa with family or a group of friends is a good way to save on a vacation in Provence. Avignon is a good central base where you find train and bus service, an airport, and good, high- speed roads.