The south of france
Collected by Diana Smith
The South of France is meant to be savored. From its cuisine to its villages, there is flavor everywhere. Leaving from the beaches of Nice or Montpellier, drive into the hills of Provence. Go slow and be prepared to stop; there’s something to take in around every turn. Stroll the open-air markets, breathe in the fields of lavender, swirl some wine, and eat, eat, eat.
70 Place Richelme, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
In Aix-en-Provence, you can find a market for almost anything — books, seasonal vegetables, flowers, pastries, vintage knickknacks. These markets take place year-round, with locals and travelers pouring into the city's main squares and streets to...
2 Avenue Victor Hugo, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
If there was an award for most confusing location greatness to food greatness ratio, this place would always, always take the prize in my book. Located in a subway-entrance-ish tunnel underneath Avenue Victor Hugo (the stairs are right by the...
10 Avenue Pasteur, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Coffee To Go is hands down the best coffee you will find in all of Aix, and one of the few places that you’re able to get your coffee in a to go cup. Owner and barista, Adrien (the most beautiful man this side of the Atlantic) brought his talent...
11 Place du Forum, 13200 Arles, France
Once known as the Cafe Terrace, this is the place captured so colorfully in Van Gogh's painting of Place du Forum in Arles, in September of 1888. Still in operation today and now named Cafe Van Gogh, it's a lovely little spot to have your espresso...
Place Saint-Paul, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
Vincent van Gogh was a self-admitted patient at the Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy from May 1889 until May 1890. During much of his time there he was confined to the grounds of the asylum, and his works are great studies of the landscape and...
3 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 13210 Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
While on a trip to the wonderful Provence region of France, one of the best days was the day we visited Saint-Remy. It is beautiful in itself, but one of the true gems of the area is Joel Durand's chocolate shop. We had the honor of a private...
12 Rue de Sainte-Cécile, 84580 Oppède, France
Oppede-le-Vieux is a hidden treasure in Provence that so many visitors miss and I'd encourage you to put it (and a stop at this enchanting little cafe) on your must-see list. Due to the design of this hilltop town, you'll have to park in a...
84220 Gordes, France
In the early hours of a summer morning I visited the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque in Provence near the crumbling hill town of Gordes. It was completely silent, with not a soul about. A purple swathe of lavender cut a dash as it graced the old...
84800 L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
A short train ride from Avignon to L'Isle-sur-la Sorgue and an even shorter walk from the train station to the market, you'll find the linens, lavender and soaps of Provence, some good brocante treasures, local art and plenty of good food. Make...
5 Place Gabrielle Andéol, 84190 Gigondas, France
A friend of ours in Avignon took us on an amazing tour of this small part of the Rhone wine region. It included lunch at l'Oustalet (restaurantoustalet.com)in the small town of Gigondas. We sat outdoors and had an amazing meal. The place settings...
1901 Route de Sorgues, 84230 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Every guest room in this 19th-century castle (whose name means “small rocks”) overlooks the vineyards of France’s famous wine region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just outside Avignon. The kingly decor includes canopied beds, and...
486 Chemin de Rhodes, 84000 Avignon, France
When we decided to spend some time in Avignon this past March, the hunt was on to find a hotel; not just a hotel, but the perfect place to stay. I definitely didn’t want to stay behind the walls of the old city as I had my heart set on staying...
1-3 Rue de l'Argenterie, 34000 Montpellier, France
The surrounding Languedoc region was plagued by a reputation for producing cheap bulk wines until the recent arrival of craft winemakers. Find the best in Jean Guizard’s Aux Grands Vins de France, Montpellier’s oldest wine shop. Guizard, whose...
27 Rue de l'Aiguillerie, 34000 Montpellier, France
Imagine yourself among the French aristocracy while dining under Cellier Morel’s 13th-century stone ceilings. The food, however, is anything but archaic: dashi-stewed sea bass and an elevated aligot, a rustic blend of potato and tomme cheese. This...
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