Come to Provence and you will find an unrivalled collection of interesting and beautiful sites to visit: small towns with welcoming locals, vibrant and colourful Provencal markets, old Roman excavations and mountains, lakes and rivers to swim/canoe in. It is often said that the countryside here resembles Tuscany, and it is true, except that it is easier to get to! If you are looking for an area that exemplifies “the good life” then Provence should be your destination
One of the reasons that holiday homes in Provence are so popular is that it is easy to get to. Marseilles Provence airport flies to destinations across Europe, as well as to North America and Africa. It has its own station, with direct trains to Nîmes, Montpellier, and Narbonne (west), Orange, Montelimar and Valence (north) and Toulon, Cannes and Nice (east). Avignon and Nîmes both have airports too.
Other cities like Aix-en-Provence and Avignon also have excellent train links with the rest of France and northern Europe.
The A7 motorway runs down from Lyon, through Valence, Montelimar, Orange and Avignon and the minor roads in Provence (away from the coast) tend to be traffic free and ideal for cycling.
For an in-depth analysis, read our market reports covering PACA, Occitanie and the Rhone-Alpes, which include average prices in all of the major towns and cities.
After many years of price growth, we are seeing prices stabilise across Provence, with buyers having more choice than they have seen since the confinements. Broadly speaking you will pay a premium to be near the coast, or to be in any of the Prefectures: Marseille, Avignon, Nîmes, Valence, Privas and Digne-les-Bains.
The Luberon is perhaps the best-known area, but many second-home buyers are now looking in the Gard and Drome Provencale where property values tend to be lower, and offer exceptional value for money.Free PDF to read and download
You will fall in love with the whole area, particularly with the festivals and exhibitions that can be found throughout Provence. Favourites amongst our agents who live and work in the area include the snappily titled Festival International de Piano de La Roque d’Antheron. Established in 1981 it is one of the most prestigious piano festivals in the world, which takes place in the outside auditorium of the Chateau de Florans. Likewise, Les Choregies d’Orange holds plays, concerts and festivals in the Theatre Antique d’Orange, built in the first century by Emperor Augustus it is a UNESCO heritage site and a spectacular concert venue. Another favourite is the Festival d’Avignon, every July the streets turn into a “city theatre” – in the words of the organisers it reconciles architecture with theatre, art and poetry, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.
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Provence has a wonderful climate – according to the local tourist office you can expect over 300 days of sunshine every year, with short winters and low rainfall. This climate makes for some great growing conditions and amongst the vineyards here you will find world-class Côtes du Rhône wines. Head to your local market and you will be able to pick up some great accompaniments too – try the famous olive oil from Nyons, or delicacies such as goats’ cheese, soft fruits (the peaches and apricots are particularly succulent) and an array of vegetables including locally grown garlic, courgettes and safran.
It's not just vineyards though, Provence is famous for its lavender fields. The tourist office recommends the best places to visit, and you should come between June-August. The Chemin des Lavandes in Sault is perhaps the best known. It is a 4km walking trail, but if you are feeling more sprightly try cycling the 33km trail on the Plateau de Sault! There are plenty of others across the Provence and a visit here wouldn’t be the same without the obligatory selfie in front of a lavender field.
Provence spreads out over three administrative regions (PACA, Occitanie and the Rhone-Alpes) and six departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (04), Bouches-du-Rhone (13), Vaucluse (84), Gard (30), Ardeche (07) and Drome (26), you won’t find it on an official map of France. For decades though, econd-home buyers have been saying that they are going to their “holiday home in Provence”. This means that you can expect to hear a cocktail of different accents in your local market – French, British, Dutch, Belgian and German buyers mingle with those from further afield. You will find that many Americans, Canadians and Australians also have property in Provence – attracted by the quality of life (as well as the quality of the local wine).
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