Hot Days and Hot Nights Slowdown for Summer in Provence

Summer “officially” starts for many French families around the middle of July. Bastille Day falls on July 14, and La Fête Nationale is a grand affair with festivities around the country. However, this day also marks the official start of the grandes vacances in France, so travel requires advanced planning and a little luck. Virginie shares the Bastille Day traditions in bilingual text here.

Festival season is well underway in the South of France, with hundreds of concerts, including a series in 40 vineyards. Head to Forcalquier for the annual weekend, July 26 – 29, when the artists’ studios are open to the public – Ateliers Ouverts. Read about the exhibitions and where to grab a bite to eat in Forcalquier.

The 2024 Tour de France is underway, with several stages taking place in the picturesque landscapes of Provence. This year, the race promises an exciting finish on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 21. It’s a historic moment for the Tour de France, as it’s the first time the race will finish outside Paris. Enjoy this thrilling event and learn more about the Tour de France in Virginie’s bilingual article.

Summertime can be hot in the region when you might want to sample a cold beer from one of the many microbreweries. Cheers to making your way through this list.


The Musical Notes of Summer in Provence It’s Festival Season in France

Two sure signs are that summer has arrived in Provence – cicadas and music festivals. It can happen overnight; the cicadas start chanting as the temperatures rise. The solstice occurred on June 20th, but in France, it only feels like summer starts on June 21st when there is music in the streets throughout the country. La Fête de la Musique is an annual festival that began in 1982.

The Perfectly Provence 2024 summer menu has just been published, promising a culinary journey you won’t want to miss. Tour guide and native of Nice Céline O’Donnell selected dishes that will transport you to the French Riviera. From the classic Niçoise recipes – Pissaladière, Truccha, Salade Niçoise, and Tourte de Blettes to her personal favourites, this meal is a celebration of the region’s rich gastronomic heritage. We invite you to explore our Summer Recipe Collection for more seasonal ideas and prepare to embark on a culinary adventure.Summer in Provence Menu Collection

Late Spring Delight in Provence Before the Summer Crowds

At this time of the year, the poppy fields, now a delicate dusty pink, will soon be replaced by vibrant lavender and yellow sunflowers. Take the chance to savour the flavours of the season: asparagus, peas, purple artichokes, rhubarb, and strawberries. Download our Spring Menu Collection, a grouping of recipes that capture the essence of this time of year.

Please read the Perfectly Provence newsletter here.

Strawberries Market Saint Quentin la Poterie

Early June weather is variable in the South of France, but wearing the proper layers is generally excellent weather for exploring on foot, by bike, or in a car. While there are fewer visitors, this is the time to discover these 10 villages in the Luberon. Rustrel is a gem as a base for holidays as it maintains an authentic feel all year yet is only a few minutes away from Apt. Head to Château La Coste before the end of the month to see the Damien Hirst exhibition “The Light that Shines.”

Provence Art Exhibitions and More in 2024

For those who live in France, after a cluster of public holidays (jours fériés) in May, it’s back to work and school. However, this is a terrific (i.e. not crowded) time of the year to see the new show at Carrières de Lumières: Egyptian Pharaohs, from Cheops to Ramses II and the short program The Orientalists.

The new Fondation Blachère location near Bonnieux and the current exhibition—Bandiagara—are worth a visit. After a restoration project, the former Bonnieux train station is now a suitable display space inside and outside, with art studios, apartments, a café, and a boutique dedicated to contemporary African art. The Foundation aims to support and raise awareness for this rich artistic scene.

It’s not all playtime in Provence. With efficient plane and train connections, the South of France is a good choice for corporate meetings, strategic planning, and seminars. Here are five (5) locations offering accommodation and all the technology you need for your meetings.

Continue reading here about art exhibits and more in Provence this year.

Provence in the Springtime So Many Reasons to Visit

The Many Reasons to Visit Provence in May: May is a delightful time of year in Provence. The temperatures are beginning to warm up, but they’re not too hot. The days are longer, so there is more time to explore the charming villages, historic sites, and scenic countryside.

Virginie In Provence wrote an article about May explaining more about the holidays and festivities during this month.

Keith Van Sickle, Author, shares the activities celebrating Marcel Pagnol’s life. 2024 is the year of Marcel Pagnol in Provence, marking the 50th anniversary of his death in 1974. Several special events will be held throughout the year to celebrate the life and works of this brilliant author and filmmaker.

Stephanie Villegas’s spring menu combines some of the season’s best flavours in a 3-course dinner. Enjoy the taste of Provence this spring. If you are in the region, book one of her new Cooking and French Conversation classes – fun, delicious, and educational.

19 Spring Menu Ideas from Provence Easy Recipes for Entertaining

Warmer days and market stalls brimming with just-picked ingredients mark this lovely season in the South of France. As the daylight hours get longer and the temperatures rise, shifting from hearty winter meals to lighter seasonal options suits the local produce.

Spring Menu Ideas

It’s the time of the year for asparagus, strawberries, peas, fresh herbs, lamb and more. This Spring Menu Collection includes recipes from Perfectly Provence contributors and culinary friends. They have created seasonal menus inspired by spring in the South of France. This year, we combined 19 of their delicious recipes into a unique “Spring Recipe Collection,” available for download here.

Continue reading

Summer Holidays in Provence and the Olympic Flame Travels from Marseille

Summer is two months away with its promise of lavender fields, chilled rosé, and swimming in the Mediterranean. However, there is plenty of activity in Provence before the summer break, with the Olympic flame scheduled to arrive in Marseille’s Vieux Port on May 8th aboard the magnificent, 3-masted ship Belem. Here are some details about the Olympic Flame relay route leading up to the opening ceremonies in Paris on July 26th. If you are in Marseille for this exciting historical event, Lynne shares some ideas for enjoying a few days in France’s second-largest city.

Continue reading

Art, Flowers, and Villages Reasons to Visit Provence in the Springtime

Rain or no rain, the flowers are always beautiful in Provence at this time of year. The poppies, iris, and wisteria are beginning their annual floral display. The flowers are one of many reasons to visit Provence at this time of the year. Please contact us if you want to learn about our partner’s tours.

Alpilles Vineyards in Provence

The Alpilles and Luberon Valley are popular destinations for charming villages, markets, vineyards, and historical sites. We put together this guide for the Alpilles villages to help with your travel planning. The perched villages in the Luberon and popular market towns such as Lourmarin (Fridays) and Apt (Saturdays) should be on your list. Still, we invite you to discover Rustrel, a quiet, centrally located village that is a great place to base for a week in the region.

Please read the full newsletter here.

Enjoy the Signs of Spring in Provence

Springtime is elusive in Provence, although slightly more predictable on the Côte d’Azur. It is not the season for lounging poolside in your new bathing suit.

Temperatures are variable at this time of year. We hiked on the coast in March, enjoying summer temperatures, only to throw on winter layers a few days later when facing a mistral wind. However, March is a great month to visit and play golf. If you are near Aix-en-Provence, plan to visit Paul Cézanne’s Atelier before the summer crowds.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Marcel Pagnol’s passing, with several events celebrating some of his famous books and films.

Perfectly Provence Spring Menu 2024 Collage

Private chef and cooking school owner Stephanie Villegas created this delicious 2024 spring menu. This 3-course meal includes seasonal produce – peas, artichokes and berries – and mouthwatering roast chicken. Enjoy the taste of Provence this spring.

French Riviera Carnaval Season Brings the Promise of Spring

After mid-winter celebrations in Provence, life returned to “normal” on the French Riviera after the annual festivities in Nice and Menton wrapped up on March 3rd. In Nice, the 151st Carnaval de Nice celebrated the “King of Pop Culture” with floats, flower parades, music, and street performances. This year’s Olympics were the theme for the 90th Fête du Citron® in Menton.

Some of our other favourite coastal destinations, Antibes, Cannes, St Jean Cap Ferrata, and Villefranche, are popular all year, even if the water is a little cool for swimming in March. The town of Vence, a short drive from Nice, has a pedestrian-friendly old centre that is well worth visiting.

Continue reading here to learn more about what’s happening on the French Riviera at this time of the year.

If you are contemplating a trip to the South of France, here is our Vistor’s Guide to the Alpes Maritimes.