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My daughter Robin loves lavender. I have always wanted to visit Aix-en-Provence. And thus this Provence France itinerary was created. From its sun-soaked rolling hills adorned with lavender fields to its picturesque medieval villages steeped in tradition, a week in Provence offers a delightful escape for every traveller.
Provence is part of a larger area named Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, one of France’s 22 administrative regions. Quite frankly, you could spend a lifetime exploring and discovering new delights on a trip to Provence France. This 7-day Provence France itinerary is your passport to exploring the very essence of Provence, where lavender fields stretch to the horizon, charming villages beckon with their narrow cobblestone streets, and the Mediterranean sun bathes the landscape in a warm glow.
Provence France Itinerary 7 Days
Note: This South of France travel itinerary
- takes place over the course of 8 days as it includes two half-days of travel time
- started with a Paris to Aix-en-Provence train trip. Book your train travel here.
- is planned using a rental vehicle. Book your rental car here.
- includes a couple of days where the car stays parked
- was followed during the third week of June
Day 1 Provence France Itinerary: Arrival Aix-en-Provence
Getting to Aix-en-Provence: Book your direct train ticket on a TGV (Très Grande Vitesse) train. From Paris, the length of the trip is just over 3 hours. The modern TGV train station is 10 miles (17 km) outside of Aix-en-Provence.
Buses run every 30 minutes from the TGV station to the city centre. If you are planning to rent a car for your Provence France itinerary, the car rental area at the train station is easy to locate.
Drive: Aix-en-Provence TGV station to the centre of town (approximately 23 minutes)
Where To Stay In Aix-en -Provence, France: Right here.
Now it’s time to start this 7-day Provence France itinerary.
Aix-en-Provence is a charming mix of old-world charm and contemporary allure. Start in Vieil Aix (the historic centre of Aix-en-Provence) and get lost in the maze of tiny streets lined with boutiques, name-brand shops and cafés. Stop for a glass of exquisite rosé wine that Provence is known for and spend some time people-watching.
The Provençal atmosphere is immediately apparent with yellow stone buildings lining the elegant streets, cobbled laneways, majestic plane trees and the gurgling fountains that Aix-en-Provence is renowned for.
Or, head to Cours Mirabeau and walk down the wide avenue lined with towering plane trees, 17th-century buildings and classy cafés.
Read More| What to do in Aix-en-Provence – exactly what you need to know!
Day 2: Explore The Hill Towns Of The Luberon
Drive: Car needed all day for this Provence France itinerary to visit hilltop towns in the Luberon; first stop L’Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque (1 hour 30 minutes)
The towns of the Luberon perched on hilltops and tucked into valleys are the focus of the South of France itinerary on Day 2. It is a full day of driving and visiting towns (as many or as few as you desire).
These delightful medieval towns have simply stayed true to their ancient ways of life. Tourism is alive and well but meandering along tiny, cobbled roads is an invitation to step back in time.
Driving from Aix-en-Provence, head straight to L’Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. This Cistercian monastery, founded in 1148, is tucked into a valley. It is a peaceful and grounding start to the day. You might be in luck, depending on the time of year and see the Abbaye surround by lavender fields in bloom. We were there in the third week of June, a little early for the lavender to be in full bloom.
From the Abbey, it is an easy drive to Gordes, one of the most popular hilltop towns in Provence. The best view of Gordes, cascading down the side of a cliff, is from below. Arrive early to get a spot in the very tiny parking lot. Plan to visit Gordes on market day (8 am to 1 pm on Tuesdays) showcasing the region’s rich culinary delights and artisanal treasures.
It’s a 20-minute drive from Gordes to Roussillon, the other village that was high on our priority list. With its warm shades of yellow, red and orange, Roussillon invites you to wander the narrow streets. Be sure to leave enough time to hike along the Sentier des Ocres and savour some lavender ice cream.
A Week in Provence Travel Tip: If you want to visit multiple hill towns of the Luberon, I would suggest staying in Avignon as it is situated closer to the Luberon.
Day 3 of 7 Days in Provence: Aix-en-Provence
A best Provence itinerary just has to include Aix-en-Provence. With all its elegance, Aix-en-Provence immediately charms. It might be a good idea on this 7 days in Provence itinerary to continue your exploring from the first afternoon. Start in the old town. You’ll discover various historic quartiers, stunning architecture, fountains galore, the daily market at Place Richelme and traces of Paul Cézanne, the famed local painter.
Day 4 South of France Itinerary: Aix-en-Provence, Valensole & Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Where To Stay in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: Right here!
Drive: Aix-en-Provence to Valensole to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (1 hour 35 minutes)
You’re going to love Day 4 of this Provence road trip itinerary!
Aix-en-Provence: Photo Shoot
If you like photography, start your day with an early morning photoshoot in Aix-en-Provence. The streets are empty at 6 am except for the early market vendors setting up their stalls.
Aix-en-Provence is known as the City of a Thousand Fountains and in the early morning stillness, the sound of running water was the most peaceful way to begin the day.
Aix-en-Provence: Saturday Market
Aix-en-Provence’s Saturday market has to be the most amazing French market I have ever encountered. Lavender soaps, flowers of all kinds, and produce enticing you to stay awhile and cook up a French feast are the usual but the Cours Mirabeau is lined with stalls selling clothing, textiles of all sorts, purses, jewellery and unique Provençal goodies. Allow yourself plenty of browsing time and be sure to leave some extra space in your suitcase for your treasures.
Valensole: A Must On A South Of France Itinerary
Valensole is synonymous with lavender. Not just the scent of a dried bunch but endless fields of it blowing in the breeze and host to bees that are in seventh heaven! If you are in Provence in the summer, you just have to have Valensole on your southern France itinerary.
As you follow this best itinerary Provence France, you will find many roadside lavender fields. Sometimes there is a place to pull off and sometimes not. The sight of lavender in bloom as far as the eye can see is more tempting than you can imagine. Stop. Let the delicate scent delight.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie: A Gem On This South Of France Itinerary
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, is tucked below the two mountains where a star that has reportedly been there since the time of the Crusades, hangs on a wire. Follow the busy narrow road into town and cross your fingers that you will find a spot to park. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie’s charm is no secret and draws many tourists.
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie certainly lives up to its nickname the “Etoile de Provence” (the Star of Provence). The waterfall rushes through the centre of the village, the Chappelle Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir clings to the cliff above the town and their famous faïences (fine glazed earthenware) graces store windows.
Plan to stay overnight on your 7 days Provence itinerary and use Moustiers-Sainte-Marie as a base for visiting the nearby Gorges du Verdon.
Day 5 Provence France Itinerary: Gorges du Verdon
Drive: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to the Gorges du Verdon (40 minutes)
For the sheer splendour of seeing the colour of the water, a Provence itinerary must include the Gorges du Verdon. Spending a day at the Gorges du Verdon adds an element of the great outdoors and relaxation into a busy 7 days in Provence. It is a southern France vacation, after all! The Gorges du Verdon is only a short drive from Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Follow the twisting highway and pay attention to the curves in the road as the turquoise hues of the Gorges du Verdon are very distracting! Plan a day of hiking along the trails or rent a kayak and paddle through the stunning waters.
After relaxing on the shores of Lac Sainte-Croix return to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and enjoy a late afternoon stroll. The day crowds head home right about now and it is the perfect time to enjoy Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.
Day 6 of 7 Days in Provence: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie & Cassis
Where To Stay In Cassis France: Right here!
Drive: Moustiers-Sainte-Marie to Cassis (2 hours)
A trip to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie is not complete without a hike up to the Chappelle Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir. This little church perched on a cliff overlooking the town has seen countless pilgrims and tourists alike visit. An early morning hike avoids the crowds and is a tranquil way to start the day.
After lunch, continue the road trip in Provence to arrive at the fishing village of Cassis on the Mediterranean Sea.
Cassis, known for its beaches and white Cassis wine is a gateway to the Calanques. The Massif des Calanques are a series of rugged cliffs that run between Marseille and Cassis.
But what on earth is a Calanques you ask?
The Calanques are the inlets of water running between steep-walled limestone cliffs. Each Calanque, formed by natural elements, is slightly different from its neighbour. We hopped on a boat right at the main port in Cassis and decided to see these Calanques for ourselves.
The towering limestone cliffs along with azure skies and the salty spray of the Mediterranean Sea are a spectacular vista. Could this one week in Provence get any better?
The Vieux Port (old port) is bustling in the evening with bars and restaurants at capacity. Sitting right by the sea, there are plenty of seafood options in Cassis. Try a platter of fresh French oysters as you ponder life by the shimmering sea. Isn’t this Provence France itinerary the best?!
Day 7 South of France Itinerary: Hike the Calanques & Bestouan Beach
Hiking the Calanques was a highlight and something that had been on this Southern France itinerary from the initial stages of planning. However, the hike is often closed in the summer or by the end of June to avoid forest fires in the intense dry heat. Luckily, the trails were still open to the public for hiking.
A great travel tip is to start early in the morning and bring plenty of water. The trail is rocky and rugged and worth every step! The views through the pine forests to the stunning water below make this day on our Provence France itinerary one of the most memorable.
Find a rocky outcrop and have a picnic, or hike and return to Cassis with a stop at the Plage de Bestouan (Bestouan Beach) for some suntanning, relaxation and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 8 Provence France Itinerary: Cassis & Return to Paris
Drive: Cassis to the TGV Station, Aix-en-Provence (50 minutes) – allow plenty of time for the car drop off. We were sent by google maps on a long, winding route back to the station!
What better way to wrap up our Provence France road trip than a visit to another Provençal market. Wednesday morning is market day in Cassis and as usual with French markets, it was hard to pull ourselves away. Merchants were engaging and the stalls were full of clothing, local artisanal goods and delectable food and wine.
Cassis Market Days: Wednesday and Friday mornings
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
How many days do you need in Provence France?
Determining how many days to visit Provence, France depends on the traveller’s interests and preferences. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, delicious cuisine, and charming villages, Provence offers something for everyone. It is recommended for a Provence France itinerary, a minimum of three to four days to explore the highlights of the region. For those with more time, following the 7-day Provence France itinerary is ideal.
What is the best way to see Provence France?
Travelling through parts of Provence is very doable by basing yourself in a city such as Avignon or Aix-en-Provence and taking public transportation and/or guided tours. I would recommend for a Provence France itinerary renting a car for flexibility and exploring the Luberon.
What is the best time of year to visit Provence?
Spring and early summer offer pleasant weather, blooming flowers, and vibrant festivals while late summer and fall provide a quieter atmosphere with fewer crowds. If you love Christmas markets, people travel from far and wide to the one in Aix-en-Provence.
When are the market days in Provence?
Visiting the vibrant and lively world of a Provençal market is a must on any Provence France itinerary. Here are some best Provence markets to add to your southern France itinerary:
Monday: Arles, Nîmes
Tuesday: Aix-en-Provence, Gordes
Wednesday: St Remy de Provence, Cassis
Thursday: Aix-en-Provence, Roussillon, Menerbes, Goult
Friday: Cassis, Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Bonnieux, Lourmarin
Saturday: Aix-en-Provence, Apt, Oppede-le-Vieux
Sunday: Ansouis, Ilse sur Sorgue
Note: there is a covered market in Avignon that is open daily except Mondays
Provence France Itinerary: In Conclusion
A week in Provence flew by. It was with heavy hearts that we left Cassis, having finished this best 7 day Provence France itinerary, to return to Paris. That is saying a lot as Paris is my favourite city in the world!
7 days in Provence is ample time for the Provençal charm to get under your skin. From the charming streets of Aix-en-Provence to the breathtaking landscapes of Gorges du Verdon, Provence offers an unforgettable experience that will leave a lasting impression. Don’t be surprised if you are already planning your return trip!
I hope you love this Provence France itinerary as much as we did.
Until next time,