Provence - Alpes - Cote d’Azur France Travel Guide - A Vagabond Life
Provence – Alpes – Cote d’Azur France ranges from the popular and glamorous beaches of the Cote d’Azur to the soaring mountains of the Alps to the wetlands of the Camargue and the rolling fields of lavender in Provence. Man has lived here for thousands of years and has left countless treasures to explore.
Table of Contents
Provence France Map
Things To See & Do in Provence France
Aix-en Provence France
Aix-en Provence was settled in 123BC by the Romans. The historic town of Aix has winding streets and many fine houses. The Cathedral of St. Sauveur was built on the site of a former Roman forum and an adjacent basilica, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century.
Arles – Provence France
Arles was once a Roman city, now all of the Roman monuments in the town have been listed by UNESCO. The town is now the gateway to the Carmargue.
Avignon – Provence France
Avignon’s old city is surrounded by fully intact medieval walls and is an UNESCO world heritage site. In Avignon you will find the Palace of the Popes the home of the popes in the 14th Century and the Calvet Museum a fine art museum. Just outside the town is the Pont Saint-Bénezet, which is also known as the Pont d’Avignon, built in 1171 part of it was swept away in 1169 by a flood and has remained un touched since.
Briançon – Provence France
Briançon Is the capital of the Hautes Alpes department and the highest town in the European Union. The high town is encircled by ramparts built by the famous military engineer Vauban.
The Camargue – Provence France
The Camargue is major wetland and nature reserve in the Rhone Delta bounded by two branches of the Rhône and the Mediterranean Sea. The area it covers is 930 km² and it is Western Europe’s largest river delta, with exceptional biological diversity. The Camargue is home to unique breeds of Camargue Horses and Camargue Bulls, and to more than 400 species of birds including Pink Flamingoes.
Fontaine de Vaucluse – Provence France
Fontaine de Vaucluse is the 5th largest spring in the world and a dramatic source of the river Sourgue as it emerges as a full river at the foot of a cliff.
Gordes – Provence France
Gordes is built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon. Gordes is popular hilltop village and one of the most beautiful in France. Its houses and buildings are of white stone and perch on the side of the mountain.
Marseille – Provence France
Marseille is the oldest city in France with first evidence of first inhabitation being 1 million BC. Marseille has been a major port city for many centuries and remains so today. Marseille has a number historical monuments some of the more notable are the Old Port or Vieux-Port which include the Abbaye Saint Victor and the Fort Saint Jean. Chateau d’If sits on a small island in the bay and was once a defensive castle built to protect the city and later it became a prison.
Orange – Provence France
Orange founded in 35Bc by the Romans is famous for its Roman remains, notably the Roman Theatre which is still used today and the Triumphal Arch of Orange is thought to date from the time of Augustus or Tiberius.
Pont du Gard – Provence France
Pont du Gard is an amazing ancient aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River. It is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long construction built by the Romans in 1st century AD to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus which is now modern day Nîmes. It is listed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Saint-Rémy de Provence France
Saint-Rémy de Provence . Is a walled city with a number of Roman remains. Nostradamus an outstanding physician in ancient times known throughout the world as prophet was born in the town. Doctor Albert Schweitzer wrote The Decay and the Restoration of Civilization and Civilization and Ethics, part of his philosophical study of civilization while hospitalized here during WW1 and Vincent Van Gogh was voluntarily confined in the Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole beside Saint-Rémy. During this period of his life he painted two of his most famous works: Starry Night and Self-Portrait. He was released from the hospital in May 1890 and shot himself on 27 July 1890 dying two days later.
Things To See & Do In Côte d’Azur France
The Côte d’Azur is also known in English as the French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon or Cassis in the west.
The Cote D’azur was one of the world’s first modern resort locations when it became a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. The mid-19th century saw a rail line going through the area and it became a popular vacation area of British, Russian, and other aristocrats. The coast continues to attract many tourists and has some of the most expensive real estate in the world.
Nice is the capital of the Alpes-Maritimes department and the second biggest city of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region after Marseille. The area of today’s Nice is thought to be among the oldest human settlements in Europe. One of the archaeological sites, Terra Amata, shows proof use of fire in ancient times. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseille founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory. Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times. Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength. The capital of the Riviera, Nice was made popular almost 200 years ago by the English seeking the warmth away from harsh British winters, and the seafront is now known as the Promenade des Anglais. The town has plenty to offer including a Matisse museum, a Chagall museum, the famous flower market, the old town, and the gardens of the castle.
Antibes was founded in the 5th century as a Greek colony; it has a protected port and quickly became an important trading colony. The Romans settled in the area around 43BC building amphitheatres and aqueducts that the remains of can still be seen today. The fortified Château Grimaldi dates from the 10th century and now houses the Pablo Picasso museum.
Cannes is most famous for its annual Film Festival.
Grasse is the world’s capital for perfume and is a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire.
Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat
Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat is a small peninsula just east of Nice. It is one of the most exclusive places to live and has of the most expensive real estate in the world. The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a beautiful Italianate villa set among gardens overlooking the sea.
Saint Paul de Vence
Saint Paul de Vence is one of the oldest mediaeval walled towns in the French Riviera. It is in the hills just inland from Nice. Extremely popular with artists and musicians, there are a number of excellent galleries and museums in the town.
Saint Tropez started its life as a 15th century as a military stronghold and is now the playground to jetsetters, fashion models, and millionaires.
World Destination Guide
There are 195 countries in the world stretching across seven continents – so there is an awful lot to see.Where to begin? Many people are inspired by a movie they have seen or a story they have heard, or a desire to see the land of their ancestors.
Use the drop-down on the right to explore the world.