Creating a Provence itinerary may seem daunting, with so much on offer, it would be easy to miss out on some hidden gems. Provence is one of the most enchanting regions in France. Located in the country’s southeast, this picturesque region is known for its stunning landscapes, hilltop villages, and rich cultural heritage.
From the rolling hills of the Luberon to the dramatic coastlines of the Mediterranean, Provence is home to incredible natural beauty, history and charm and is a delightful region of Southern France. Use this comprehensive guide to maximise your 5 to 7 days in Provence.
How Many Days in Provence?
While you can explore some of Provence’s towns and cities, such as Aix-en-Provence, in just 1-3 days, the best way to see this varied region is by taking 5-7 days to discover more of the natural beauty and hidden villages.
With 5 days in Provence, you can explore some of the region’s main attractions, tour the famous lavender fields and sample local cuisine in the charming towns.
If you have a little longer, spending 7 days in Provence is the best way to get a natural feel for the area without feeling rushed. This way, you can enjoy the main attractions whilst taking your time to live the ‘joie de vivre’ in the Provençal sunshine.
Getting To & Around Provence
Getting to Provence is relatively easy, with a wide range of public transport options that serve the region’s towns and cities.
The main airports for accessing Provence are Marseille Provence Airport and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. These are both major airports with a plethora of international flights available.
Several smaller airports serve Provence, including Avignon-Provence Airport, Nîmes-Alès-Camargue-Cévennes Airport, and Toulon-Hyères Airport. Depending on where you’re flying from, one of these airports may be a more convenient option.
The region’s buses and trains are efficient and affordable, connecting the major cities and towns. The high-speed TGV train is an excellent option for travelling between Provence and Paris or other parts of France. You can view train schedules here.
Once you have arrived in Provence, the best way to get around is by car and have a bit of a Provence road trip. If you need to hire a car, selecting a small vehicle is best, as the roads through the hills are narrow and winding. You can browse car hire options on Rentalcars.com.
Buses and smaller rail lines are available between connecting towns, but many villages and natural areas are only accessible by car, so public transport is not always a viable option.
However, that doesn’t mean hiring a car is a complete necessity. A wide range of full and half-day tours from the main towns allow you to hit the road and see the sights.
5 to 7 Day Provence Itinerary
Whether you are visiting Provence to explore the medieval towns and hilltop villages, see the iconic lavender fields or immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding national parks, this Provence itinerary is your complete guide to making the most out of this spectacular region.
We have taken you on a journey of discovery from east to west, starting in Aix-en-Provence and ending in Avignon. Alternatively, depending on your preferred route, this Provence itinerary can be followed backwards from west to east.
Whether you want to see Provence in 5 days or have an entire week to spend in this scenic region, there is something here for everyone. The summer is the best time to visit Provence, especially if you want to see the rolling hills covered in blankets of lavender.
Visit in the spring or autumn to avoid the crowds, but bear in mind, the main attractions are usually only open from April-October.
Day 1 – Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is the perfect place to start on our journey through Provence. Founded by the Romans in 123 BC, Aix is incredibly charming, with bags of history and culture to discover alongside the beautiful natural surroundings. Although we will be based out of Aix-en-Provence for a few nights, it’s best to dedicate an entire day to this varied city.
The central hub of Aix is the Cours Mirabeau and the old town (Vieil Aix). Wander down the Cours Mirabeau to soak in this bustling town’s atmosphere.
This tree-lined avenue is home to some beautiful architecture, several iconic water fountains and classic Provencal cafes and bars where you can stop off for coffee, baked goods or regional wine. You can also take a walking tour of the Old Town.
The old town is just a stone’s throw from Cours Mirabeau. Wander through the cobbled streets in the morning (8 am-1 pm) to browse the local produce markets. From antiques to charcuterie, fresh fruits and vegetables to tablecloths and crafts.
Aix-en-Provence is recognised worldwide as the home of Paul Cezanne, a famous 20th-century post-impressionist artist. Here you can tour his last studio, Atelier de Cézanne, which is now a museum dedicated to Cezanne and his works.
Rising behind Aix, you can’t miss the towering Mont Sainte Victoire. An iconic landscape that inspired some of Cezanne’s most famous works. If you are an avid hiker, 250km of varied trails through the pine and eucalyptus forests surround the peak, or you can summit the mountain in around 2-3 hours.
This city is full of vibrant cafes, bars and restaurants. Try some of the regional cuisine in one of the many restaurants in the old town. Provencal cuisine blends classic French with other Mediterranean influences from Italy and Spain. You can also take a food tour to learn more about the city’s cuisine.
Choose between mouth-watering pizza and fresh pasta, delectable Spanish-style tapas, and traditional Niçoise dishes like the comforting ratatouille or the refreshing Niçoise salad. After dark, the city transforms, with late-night entertainment available in theatres, clubs and bars across the city.
Where to Stay in Aix-en-Provence
Hôtel Le Mozart – Mid-range visitors will love this 3-star hote in Aix. There are a number of comfy rooms to choose from, there’s a great breakfast on offer each morning and they have a great location for exploring the city and the Provence region as a whole. Click here to check availability
Hôtel Cézanne – This boutique hotel is perfect for those looking for a luxury stay while travelling through Provence. They have a range of plush rooms on offer, a terrace and bar on site and numerous great amenities for guests to enjoy. Click here to check availability
Aparthotel Adagio – This aparthotel is a great choice for travellers who’d like their own flat while in Aix. There are a number of fully-furnished apartments to choose from in a central location that have everything you may need to enjoy your trip. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Aix-en-Provence hotels!
Day 2 – Verdon & Lavender Fields
Day 2, and it’s time for a day trip from Aix. Weave up through the hills, sprawling vineyards and lavender fields in full bloom.
If you are looking for the perfect opportunity to photograph the iconic lavender fields, the area around the Valensole Plateau has the highest concentration of purple blooms with stunning backdrops of crumbling stone huts, gnarled trees and rolling hills.
Follow the D6 through the plateau, and you are guaranteed to stumble across some of the best photo locations. Keep an eye out for clusters of cars pulled over in laybys – it’s usually a sign that the perfect capture is a short walk away.
Stop off in Valensole for lunch, followed by a sample of some lavender gelato before continuing to the Verdon Gorge.
If you don’t have a car or want to discover the most famous lavender fields without hunting for them, several tours are available from Aix-en-Provence such as this half-day tour or this full-day tour.
The Verdon Gorge is a natural wonder known for its towering cliffs that fall into the turquoise waters of the Verdon River. It is the deepest gorge in France, and its stunning landscapes make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers.
Park your car beside the Pont du Galetas. Standing up on this tall bridge, you can catch a glimpse of the gorge, but the best way to explore the winding river is on the water. Vendors offer kayaks, paddleboards, and pedalos. Bear in mind during the summer months, the water can get low, so you may only be able to traverse part of the length.
Whilst the Verdon Gorge is not accessible via public transport, you can take a full-day tour from Aix. Spend the morning discovering the lavender fields, then enjoy an afternoon on the sparkling turquoise waters.
Day 3 – Calanques and Cassis
A trip to Provence would only be complete with a trip to the stunning Medditerainian coast. The Calanques National Park stretches for 20km along the rugged coastline, with plenty of hikes and secluded beaches to discover along the way.
Start your day in Cassis, a traditional fishing port town on the eastern edge of the Calanques. You can explore this quaint town on foot within an hour, so arrive early and stroll along the marina, coffee and croissant in hand, before heading out into the national park.
There are endless trails to explore with towering cliffs, crystal clear waters and hidden villages. Head out on the Calanques de Cassis trail to see the best bits of this varied landscape in a day hike.
Starting in Port Pin, the trail meanders along the coast, eventually reaching the Calanque d’En Vau. Famously known as one of the best beaches in France, you will be treated to idyllic white sands, turquoise waters and towering cliffs with deep caves.
Allow around 3 hours to complete this hike, with added time to enjoy a picnic and take a dip in the azure sea. You can also take an organised hike if you prefer to go with a guide.
Day 4 – Luberon Valley Villages
The Luberon Valley lies to the west of Aix-en-Provence on the way to our next destination, Avignon. However, this stunning valley with its hilltop villages is more than just a through road.
Made up of three mountain ranges, this ancient valley is surrounded by sprawling vineyards, lavender fields, historical sites and charming hilltop villages. Five of these villages have official’ Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ status (most beautiful villages in France), and it’s not hard to see why.
You could easily spend more than one day exploring these hidden gems, but for this Provence itinerary, we will visit the top 3 villages in one day en route to Avignon.
Our first stop is the Bonnieux, with panoramic views across the valley. Wander through the cobbled streets to reach the church, offering some of the best views across Mount Ventoux and beyond.
Stop in on the various art galleries that line the streets, or, for the baking fanatics, Bonnieux is home to the fascinating Boulangerie Museum, housed in a 17th-century building. There is no doubt that this is one of the most charming villages in Provence.
Next is the ‘Orange Town’, Roussillon. Nestled in an ochre ridge, this charming town is built using the surrounding stone, giving it a remarkable orange tint. Wander through the picturesque streets to discover the local crafts, galleries and cafes.
If you want to get a closer look at the vibrant rock surrounding this town, the ochre trail hiking path is a great way to get up close and personal with the quarries towering orange cliffs and deep canyons. There are two options for this walk, one 50 minutes and the other just 30 minutes. Just don’t wear any white as the minerals tend to stain.
The final village on our whistle-stop Luberon Valley tour is Gordes. The crown jewel of Luberon, we’ve saved the best for last. The cobbled streets are often used as film sets as they ooze classic Provencal charm. Discover a fortified castle, top-end restaurants and wine terraces, the local produce market (Tuesdays) and a contemporary art museum.
Don’t miss the Sénanque Abbey, situated on the town’s outskirts. This 12th-century Abbey is still home to a community of Cistercian monks. Famous for its picture postcard setting, surrounded by blooms of purple lavender, it’s more than just a photo opportunity. Head into the Abbey to discover the ancient history and various lavender-based produce available in the shop.
We end the day in Avignon, the perfect base for exploring the western side of Provence. Head out to dinner in the town centre to get a feel for this charming settlement before we discover more in tomorrow’s itinerary.
Where to Stay in Avignon
Hotel Boquier – This cosy hotel is perfect for mid-range visitors to Avignon. Located in the centre of the city, they have a number of lovely rooms to choose from, on-site parking and a great breakfast available each morning. Click here to check availability
Hotel De Cambis – Those looking for a little luxury during their Provence itinerary will love this plush hotel. Well-located for exploring Avignon, they have a range of wonderful rooms to choose from, a great breakfast in the morning and plenty of amenities to ensure you have a great stay. Click here to check availability
Chapelle du Miracle – If you’d like to have your own flat in Avignon, then these apartments are a good option. There are a number of flats to choose from, all fully furnished with everything you may need and they’re located in an excellent location for exploring the city. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Avignon hotels!
Day 5 – Avignon
Surrounded by towering mediaeval ramparts, Avignon is steeped in history. The town centre of Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is an essential stop on any trip through Provence.
The city is best known for the Palais des Papes. This imposing Gothic palace served as the residence of several popes during the 14th century. Today, the Palais des Papes offers visitors daily tours providing a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
Another iconic landmark in Avignon is the Pont d’Avignon, the remains of a picturesque bridge spanning the Rhône River.
Made famous by a catchy French song, ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’ (dancing on the Pont d’Avignon), only 4 of the original 22 arches remain. Washed away by the force of the Rhone, several attempts were made to rebuild the bridge, but it was abandoned in the 17th century.
Avignon is a foodie’s dream, with several Michelin-starred restaurants and high-quality budget-friendly options available. Showcasing the best of French cuisine, for a special treat, try La Mirande, holders of a regular Michelin star alongside a ‘green’ star for sustainability efforts.
For a more budget-friendly option, try EAT, a modest restaurant offering local cuisine just a short walk from the Pont d’Avignon.
If you only have 5 days in Provence, Avignon is the perfect place to round off your trip with several onward travel options available from the nearby high-speed TGV train station.
Day 6 – Arles & Camargue National Park
Day 6 begins in Arles, a historic city known for its Roman ruins and artistic heritage. Begin with a visit to the Amphitheatre, an ancient Roman arena that once held up to 20,000 spectators.
From there, you can head up to the nearby Roman Theatre, which features stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Vincent Van Gogh is arguably one of France’s most famous artists. He produced several of his most famous works while living in Arles. Here you will find a museum dedicated to his works, including a self-portrait and a Provencal landscape scene.
After spending the morning exploring Arles, make your way to the nearby Camargue National Park, a unique natural area known for its wildlife and beautiful natural marshlands. This region is home to one of the most ancient horse breeds, the Camargue pony and the iconic horned Camargue cows.
Spend the afternoon exploring the sandbanks, one of the only places in Europe you can see wild Flamingos. There are plenty of laybys and wildlife hides where you can stop and watch these pink birds resting on one leg.
You can explore the narrow roads by car, but the best way to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness is by bike. There are several hire locations on the edges of the National Park, and the roads often have dedicated cycle lanes. There are also some day tours from Avigon such as this half-day tour.
Day 7 – L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue
To round off the perfect one week in Provence, our last stop is the ‘Venice of Provence’, L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Located just 30 minutes from Avignon, this charming market town is technically an island in the middle of the River Sorgue, connected by scenic bridges lined with brightly coloured blooms.
L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue is often referred to as Europe’s antique capital. Along with the temporary brocants, there are plenty of antique and vintage stores down every alley. You could easily spend the entire day hunting for vintage treasures.
If you can, visit on a Sunday (which is market day) to experience one of Provence’s best markets, with over 300 vendors selling everything from local produce to antiques, pottery, and baked goods.
Just outside of L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue, on the road back towards Avignon, there is a little hidden gem worth a stop. The Grottes de Thouzon is a dramatic cave full of incredible stalactites and stalagmites. You can enter the cave on the 45-minute guided tour, where you will learn more about the geology and the accidental discovery of the cave.
If you are heading back towards Aix-en-Provence instead of Avignon, stop off at the Fontaine de Vaucluse. Here you will discover the source of the Sorgue, a mysterious natural spring.
No one knows exactly how deep this spring is, but during heavy rainfall, up to 200,000 litres of water rushes out every second making it one of the largest springs in the world.
You can rent a kayak from the village to paddle up the river or walk on one of the many trails that snake up through the woods.
Have More Time?
7 days in Provence is plenty of time to soak in the golden sunshine, fill your camera roll with photos of ancient buildings, lavender fields and hilltop villages and enjoy some of the South of France’s finest cuisine. However, if you have more time to enjoy this magnificent region, keep reading to find out what else you can see and do in the surrounding area of Provence.
Located just 20km north of Avignon, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the most famous wine regions, known for its bold Grenache-based reds. Protected by AOC status, 3,000 acres of vineyards across the scenic valley produce this iconic wine.
Of course, the most popular activity in this area is a vineyard tour and wine tasting. There are several options available to discover the wine for yourself. You can opt for a self-guided tour or book a comprehensive, organised tour. If you want to visit just one shop, head to the central Vinadéa.
This wine shop offers free tastings with over 250 variations to choose from. Or, wander through the vineyards surrounding the village, stopping off at tastings along the way.
Pont Du Gard & Nimes
Provence is home to some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world. The Pont du Gard is a stunning Roman aqueduct just outside of Nîmes. Built over 2,000 years ago, it is one of the world’s most impressive and well-preserved examples of ancient Roman engineering.
The aqueduct was constructed in the 1st century AD to carry water over 50 kilometres from the Eure River to Nîmes. Today, Pont du Gard is a popular tourist destination. You can walk across the top of the aqueduct, which offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, or take a guided tour to learn more about the history and engineering.
Inside the city of Nimes, there are plenty of Roman ruins to discover. One of the most famous landmarks in Nîmes is the Arena of Nîmes. This Roman amphitheatre was built in the first century AD. The arena’s exterior showcases a series of arches and columns, typical of Roman architecture. You would be forgiven for thinking you had teleported to Rome!
To learn more about Provence’s ancient Roman history, head across the street to the Maison Carrée. This temple is one of the best-preserved Roman buildings in the world and is now home to a museum showcasing the city’s history.
If city hopping is your thing, Marseille is the third-largest city in France. Located on the Mediterranean coast, this city is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning coastal landscapes.
One of Marseille’s most iconic landmarks is the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a stunning Catholic basilica perched on a hill above the city. Other must-see sights include the Old Port, a bustling harbour that has been a centre of commerce and culture for centuries, and the historic Panier neighbourhood, known for its colourful streets and arts scene.
Marseille’s trade history has heavily influenced its vibrant food scene, an eclectic mix of traditional French cuisine and North African and Middle Eastern flavours. Marseille also is poised as a good jumping-off point if you want to explore the French Riviera.
Provence is a must-visit destination in the South of France. Whether you are a nature lover, wine enthusiast, city hopper, history buff or all of the above, this region has something for everyone. Visit Provence in 7 days to make the most of the sights and activities, but don’t worry if you only have 5 days to spend. You can easily adapt this itinerary to suit any schedule.
Are you planning to visit Provence? Have any questions bout this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!