Melons from Cavaillon, truffles from Carpentras, lavender from Sault, classic Rhône wines – tempting produce is showcased daily in the local markets. The soft valleys and craggy peaks are diverse and beautiful, Provençal sunlight alchemising vineyards and villages into instant art; walkers and cyclists can tackle the Alpine foothills or laze in lavender fields. You could spend a lifetime sampling the culture – summer festivals, specialist honeys, Avignon’s mansions and museums – or you could simply tug the brim of your straw hat down a bit and lie back until it’s time for that apéritif.
When to go
Spring and autumn see the region in its sunniest mood. Only the postcard-prettiest villages get crowded, even in summer. Winter is chilly when the Mistral wind blows.
PlanesNîmes and Marseille airports are best.
TrainsThe train is a comfortable and convenient option. Eurostar from London takes seven hours, with a change in Paris. From July to September there’s a weekly direct train on Saturdays taking six hours.
AutomobilesGreat for exploring the wine regions and the foothills of the Alps, but be careful in villages with steep narrow streets.
TaxisIt’s best to book in advance. Your hotel should be able to arrange a pick-up from the train station in Avignon or the airport in Marseille.