The 12 months of Provence

With just a few weeks of 2018 left we thought now was the best time to start seeking to the yr forward… the place will we wish to go and what will we wish to do?? No, these aren’t self-help, philosophical questions of the type we’re going to see many (many) of filling our social media feeds come January 2019. In no way… I imply fairly actually the place will we wish to go and what we wish to do on vacation over the approaching months! This received me desirous about Provence… these of you who’ve been will likely wish to come again and in case you’ve beforehand visited then there is no such thing as a time like the current (or 2019!).

Provence is an astonishingly versatile area and actually a year-round vacation spot. That can assist you resolve when to plan your journey I believed we’d take a little bit journey by way of the months, starting with December, having a look at what’s on supply at the moment of yr. Whether or not you’re searching for a weekend getaway or two weeks R&R, I’m assured Provence must be on the high of your go-to record. And in case you suppose I’ve missed any key occasions, be happy so as to add them within the feedback under!


I do know, I do know, usually a 12-month information would start in January however, on the time of writing (in November) there may be nonetheless the chance so that you can get your skates on and ebook a visit down right here over the festive interval. In the event you can, you actually should! The run as much as Christmas and New 12 months actually may be very particular and also you’ll be glad you made the journey. Low-cost flights can be found into Marseille courtesy of the low-cost airways like EasyJet and there may be loads to maintain you occupied for 48hrs or extra.

Be sure to discover time to go to a Christmas market (or two) the place you’ll discover some nice presents and loads of incredible foods and drinks to pattern. Strive ice skating in Cassis or head to Arles the week earlier than Christmas to soak up their ‘humorous’ Christmas competition, the Drôles de Noëls, which sees circus performers, puppeteers, magicians and rather more end up onto town’s streets together with scheduled fireworks shows. For sure, in case you can stick round for Christmas itself then do!


I’m biased, however I can’t consider a greater place to welcome within the New 12 months than Provence! New 12 months is enthusiastically celebrated and also you’ll undoubtedly have the ability to discover a good fireworks show to look at. Come the first of January, get up to air that’s crisp and contemporary and a palpable sense of optimism within the air for the yr to come back.

New 12 months apart there may be loads to do throughout January. While some vacationer sights shall be closed, many extra stay open and delightfully freed from crowds. The village of Lourmarin is a basic instance… as probably the most fashionable villages in Provence it’s heaving through the summer season months however a lot quieter through the winter. A year-round cultural programme ensures there may be tons happening and the wonderful bars & eating places stay open. Love seafood? Head to one of many many coastal cities on the weekend to take pleasure in one of many open-air seafood feasts which can be held weekly.


February is a incredible month to organise a mini-break. With the Christmas festivities feeling like a distant reminiscence however spring but to, nicely, ‘spring’, it may be fairly a miserable time of yr. To counter the winter blues, get a weekend break booked in your diary now so you will have one thing to stay up for.

With Valentine’s Day mid-month, it might probably double up as a romantic shock to your important different. Begin your mini-break in Marseille with its infinite cafes, boutiques, museums and eating places. Rent a automobile and head as much as Aix-en-Provence which is a feast for the eyes and senses, from the St. Savour cathedral with its cloisters, to the effervescent fountain of Place des Quatres Dauphins with its water-spouting dolphins.


In contrast to extra northern climes, Spring is certainly on its approach within the south of France come March with temperatures starting to hit 15C. This makes it the right time to go mountain climbing… not too sizzling and never too chilly!

There are infinite trails and tracks to comply with all through the area which work their approach alongside the coast or by way of nationwide parks. The Calanques are one such vacation spot that’s excellent for hikers. Absorb breath-taking views of cliffs and sea plus, in March, you should have this wonderful panorama nearly to your self.


The vines are starting to come back to life as one other wine rising season kicks off making this a good time of yr to deal with wine!

start line is the ‘Les Printemps de Chateauneuf-du-Pape’ Salon des Vins (6th – 7th April 2019). As many as 90 producers shall be presenting their wines so that you can pattern, so it’s a distinctive alternative to find the range of Provencal wine manufacturing. Even higher, wine may also be bought. As is common with these great French occasions, there shall be tasty ‘eats’ plus a connoisseur market.


The climate is now undoubtedly feeling extra summery making a visit to the Carmargue a really nice expertise.

This famend area is house to greater than 400 species of birds in addition to a lot of different wildlife together with the well-known Carmargue horses. The annual Competition de la Carmargue is being held from threerd to the 9th of Might 2019 and guarantees to supply an in depth program of actions. A should attend occasion for wildlife lovers.


With the true summer season climate lastly right here, the competition and market season actually begins! There are too many festivals to record however in brief, you received’t wrestle to search out occasions to attend. The Fete de la Musique is generally held in direction of the top of June with particular person concert events organised proper throughout the nation.

Market lovers rejoice… while French markets are typically year-round occasions they achieve some added vigour with the hotter climate. Ask your resort for particulars of one of the best close to you.


The most well liked month of the yr! And with it comes the lavender with acres and acres of this sublimely scented, vibrantly purple plant marching throughout the panorama. It truly is a sight to behold and nicely value experiencing in particular person.

And after a day trip exploring the lavender fields why not deal with your self to a decadent night sipping chilled Rosé and having fun with an excellent meal at one of many a number of Michelin starred eating places in Provence. Bastille Day is on the 14th July and shall be celebrated all through France with Provence being no exception. Fireworks are a norm, however Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Toulon supply a few of the greatest, so anticipate a lot of spectacular flashes and bangs!


Time to go to the coast! From Marseille heading east, there are a complete number of seaside experiences ready for you, from the fabulous Parc Nationwide des Calanques with its breathtakingly lovely inlets (now greatest explored from the ocean fairly than on foot), to household pleasant, however ‘elegant’ resorts corresponding to Bandol providing a selection of a number of lovely seashores to take pleasure in.

In-between, the shoreline dips and winds between a number of fishing villages, creeks and bays.


There’s all the time tons happening in Provence throughout September. The climate is only a contact cooler with some arguing that is extra nice than the uncooked warmth of the summer season. As well as, the majority of the summer season holidaymakers have left, making travelling round a little bit simpler. Septembre en Mer (September by the Sea) is a notable attraction with a month of over 200 marine-themed occasions up and down the coast, significantly round La Ciotat, Cassis and Marseille.

The foodies amongst you received’t wish to miss the government-sponsored Fête de la Gastronomie. It is a nationwide celebration of all issues ‘foodie’ usually held in direction of the top of September.


One other nice month for wine lovers! The harvest is in full swing and the energetic would possibly wish to participate… many wineries shall be solely too pleased to simply accept some further assist. Wine festivals (Foires aux vines) additionally characteristic prominently on the occasions calendar. These supply an incredible alternative to replenish with some bottles for Christmas at closely discounted costs. For these of you which can be organised, ebook prematurely for the Saint Victoire rally.

This entails a day-long hunt across the area’s vineyards by automobile with loads of consuming and ingesting concerned (nicely for the non-drivers anyway!). It’s a sell-out occasion annually so keep in mind to register nicely prematurely!


It’s exhausting to consider we’ve nearly already gone full circle with the arrival of November. Regardless of the summer season being over, that is nonetheless a tremendous time of yr to go to. Marseille performs host to Savim – a well-established gastronomy truthful usually held in late November. It additionally occurs to be the most important in France!

Protecting with the foodie theme, head to the village of Richerenches to have a good time the official begin of the truffle season with the primary truffle market of the yr on the historic village of Richerenches.

So, when is one of the best time of yr to go to Provence…? Nicely I’d say January, February, March, April, Might June, July, August, September, October, November or December!

Su Stephens is Proprietor of Olives & Vines. Olives & Vines is a luxurious vacation firm based mostly within the South of France providing stays at their superbly designed vacation home and boutique resort in Le Castellet.

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