I recently made my first trip to the Provence and I am already planning on going back! I visited the Provence on route to our stay at the Cote d’Azur. The Provence is especially lovely once you visit in June/July because then it is lavender season and you will be able to visit the lavender fields. Read on to see which cities we visited.
On our way to Antibes we managed to stop in Avignon. I knew Avignon was famous for its medieval bridge and because the pope used to live here. Little did I know that the town is super charming, with cute alleyways and lavender shops everywhere. We were there at the start of the lavender season and I was surprised by the lovely smell of lavender on the streets. We bought tickets to enter the bridge (Pont Saint Bénézet also known as Pont d’Avignon) and spent our afternoon enjoying the views of Avignon-town and the palace. Afterwards we did some shopping (L’Occitane anyone?).
We visited Gordes as a part of a daytrip in combination with the Abbeye de Senanque. If you drive from the Cote d’Azur to the Abbeye de Senanque you will see Gordes on your way. From the road at the other side of town you get great views of this pretty village and the nature surrounding it. It is also worth it to take a stroll to the town, as it has cute restaurants with little gardens serving French food. I also loved the small alleyways which give you a sight of the green hills. I think it is best to take two hours to visit Gordes.
Abbeye de Senanque
I had to see the lavender fields and there is no better place to visit them than at Abbeye de Senanque. This is the spot you know from the famous pictures of an abbey located in the lavender fields. The abbey is still in use and you can check the website if you want to plan a visit. However if you mainly come for the lavender fields, you can visit without an appointment or tour and just enjoy the view. They also have a little shop on the premises which is open during the day. We visited when the Lavender just started to “pop”, because we visited around June 15. If you want to see the lavender in full bloom I would recommend to visit in late June or July. It is always smart to do some research regarding the lavender fields before you go (Instagram is a good source).
Aix-en-Provence is located in the middle of the Provence and it is a quintessential Provence town, with markets, old fountains, a promenade which is surrounded by trees, squares with restaurants and sorbet colored doors. In Aix-en-Provence you can also visit several museums, so when you are there in the unlikely event of bad weather, there is still a lot you can do. I absolutely loved the Victor Vasarely museum, I have included pictures below. Aix also has several musea with modern art and you can visit the Art studio of Cezanne (where time has stood still). We had dinner at Les 3 Ormeaux which is located in a perfect Provencal square. We had delicious food and enjoyed a hot, spring evening.