If you're planning a trip to the South of France, then you won't want to miss out on the beautiful region of Provence. Known for its rolling hills, lavender fields, and quaint villages, Provence is a popular destination for both French and international tourists. But with so many towns and cities to choose from, where should you stay in Provence? In this article, we'll explore the best places and hotels to stay in Provence, so you can plan the perfect trip.
The Best Places to Stay in Provence
Known as the cultural heart of Provence, Aix-en-Provence is a must-see for anyone visiting the region. The city is full of beautiful architecture, including the stunning Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur and the Musée Granet, which houses an impressive collection of art. Aix-en-Provence is also home to some excellent restaurants and shops, making it a great place to base yourself for a few days.
Avignon is another popular destination in Provence, thanks in part to its well-preserved medieval architecture. The Palais des Papes, the largest gothic palace in the world, is a must-see, as is the Pont d'Avignon, a famous bridge that spans the Rhône river. Avignon is also known for its excellent theatre festival, which takes place every July.
If you're looking for a more laid-back vibe, then Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is the perfect place to stay. This charming village is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, making it a great place to relax and soak up the Provencal sun. The village is also home to the impressive Roman ruins of Glanum, which are well worth a visit.
Arles is another great destination for history buffs, thanks to its impressive Roman amphitheatre and theatre. The town is also famous for its association with Vincent van Gogh, who lived and painted in Arles for a year. You can visit the hospital where van Gogh stayed and see some of the landscapes that he painted during his time in the town.
The Best Hotels in Provence
1. La Mirande, Avignon
La Mirande is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Avignon. The hotel occupies a 14th-century mansion and is decorated in a traditional Provencal style. The hotel has a Michelin-starred restaurant and a beautiful courtyard garden, making it the perfect place to relax after a day of sightseeing.
2. Villa La Coste, Aix-en-Provence
Villa La Coste is a modern hotel located on a vineyard just outside Aix-en-Provence. The hotel has an impressive art collection, with works by the likes of Ai Weiwei and Tracey Emin on display. The hotel also has its own winery, where you can sample some of the local wines.
3. Domaine de Manville, Les Baux-de-Provence
Domaine de Manville is a luxury hotel located in the beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence. The hotel is housed in a former 18th-century farmhouse and has been beautifully restored. The hotel has a spa, a golf course, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, making it the perfect place to indulge in some relaxation and luxury.
4. Hotel Le Cloître Saint Louis, Avignon
Hotel Le Cloître Saint Louis is a charming hotel located in the heart of Avignon. The hotel is housed in a former 16th-century Jesuit monastery and has been beautifully restored, blending historic charm with modern amenities. The hotel features a tranquil courtyard garden, where guests can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The hotel also has a restaurant serving delicious Provencal cuisine, made with locally-sourced ingredients. With its central location and comfortable rooms, Hotel Le Cloître Saint Louis is the perfect base for exploring Avignon and the surrounding area.
Tips for Choosing the Best Place to Stay in Provence
When choosing where to stay in Provence, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Location: Think about what you want to see and do in Provence and choose a location that will make it easy to do those things. If you're interested in history and culture, then a city like Avignon or Aix-en-Provence might be a good choice. If you want to relax and enjoy the countryside, then a smaller village like Saint-Rémy-de-Provence might be a better option.
- Budget: Provence has a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury villas. Think about how much you want to spend and choose a place that fits your budget.
- Amenities: Consider what amenities are important to you. Do you want a hotel with a pool? A spa? A restaurant? Make a list of the things that are important to you and choose a place that offers those amenities.
- Reviews: Before booking a place to stay, read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of what to expect. Look for reviews that mention things like cleanliness, location, and staff friendliness.
Provence is a beautiful region of France, full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you're interested in exploring medieval cities, relaxing in the countryside, or indulging in luxury, there's a place to stay in Provence that's perfect for you. From the charming villages of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Arles to the cultural centers of Aix-en-Provence and Avignon, there's something for everyone in Provence.
- What is the best time of year to visit Provence?
The best time to visit Provence is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
- What is Provencal cuisine?
Provencal cuisine is a type of French cuisine that features fresh, locally-sourced ingredients like herbs, olives, and tomatoes. Popular dishes include ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and tapenade.
- How far is Provence from Paris?
Provence is approximately 700 kilometers (435 miles) from Paris.
- Is it easy to get around Provence without a car?
While it's possible to get around Provence using public transportation, having a car is the easiest way to explore the region.
- What are some must-see attractions in Provence?
Some of the must-see attractions in Provence include the Palais des Papes in Avignon, the Roman amphitheatre in Arles, and the lavender fields in the Luberon region.