After seven weeks wandering around the delights of Provence, we reflect on our love affair with this radiant region of France as we finally said farewell to its borders, heading towards the southern Alps.
We’ve been struck most by Provence’s abundance, her simple yet provocative beauty and her diverse landscape. Nowhere else have we seen such a flirtatious exchange between mountain and coast, where the lapping azure waters with their alluring appeal, tantalise the very foothills of these Provençal giants and yet to no avail. The mountains rule and with their lofty gaze they serve to remind you that they have the true reign of this terrain.
It is clear in Provence, that Mother Nature is in charge, despite human intervention. From her gorges that run deep through the earth, her mountains that scale the heights of sky’s ladder and her rolling hills that nurture the rainbow coloured patchwork of fields; from red poppies, golden corn, green acres of vineyards and olive groves, to the ruby cherries and the endless stretch of the purple lavender, which must be given centre stage for its Provençal roots. Never underestimate the captivating spell that the lavender castes as you enter her domain, as she takes you to heaven and back with her smell, her colour and her sound.
And all of this is before you reflect on Provence’s kaleidoscope of shutters that keep out the scorching summer sun, her salmon shaded roof tiles and ochre coloured houses. Her intrinsically crafted stone walls and churches will impress you, whilst the many villages that precariously perch upon each and every hill to ward off their enemies will enchant you with their cobbled streets, narrow winding alleyways that hold so many untold secrets and hidden cafes where you can watch the world go by beneath the mesmerising mimosa trees.
The Côtes d’Azure
The word Provence can not be uttered without the mention of the glitzy, glamorous Côtes d’Azure, which plays host to the rich and famous from Nice, to Cannes and St Tropez. And yet away from their sparkle and celebrity, lies the treasure of their old towns where history writes its own story of intrigue, legacy and courage. They invite you to move past the boats and cruise liners to peek at their true essence, hidden beyond the marinas and en vogue boutiques. There you will capture an authenticity that will charm your heart and move your soul.
Words alone cannot begin to convey the depth of our trance with Provence and all that she offers. Pictures can surely conjure up just a little of her overwhelming abundance that commands respect from her audience. And so I leave you with a gallery of images that capture just a little of this area’s staggering elegance and raw beauty that will have you returning moment after moment – even if only in your dreams.
Provence in Pictures
It’s best to leave aside the words as Provence needs nothing more than a visual presentation to strike deep into your heart. Click on the main image below to access the gallery. And we hope that the simplicity of these 32 images will be enough to feed your wanderlust and inspires you to travel there one day. If you’ve already been, then perhaps it will remind you of your love affair with this great region.