Discover the best of Provence and explore its charming towns and cities, medieval abbeys, storybook castles, and Roman monuments. Follow this guided tour through its magical landscapes - fields of red poppies, fragrant lavender, olive trees, and sunflowers. The tour begins in Avignon, famed for its Palais des Papes, and moves into the surrounding countryside, including Orange and its Roman-era coliseum, and the charming hill towns of Gordes, Roussillon, and Bonnieux. On to the Bouches du Rhone, featuring Arles, van Gogh's old haunt; Les Baux and its troubadour-era remains; the Camargue, the marshy land of Provençal cowboys and flamingoes; and chic and elegant Aix-en-Provence. After exploring revitalized Marseille, with its new museum, you are introduced to the Var, with its Mediterranean paradises of St. Tropez, Antibes, and the resort islands of Hyères, Porquerolles, and Port-Cros. Farther east awaits the fabled French Riviera, including the glittering towns of St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice, regal Monaco, and Menton, with its new Jean Cocteau museum. Finally, you discover Provence's more rugged side in Haute Provence, domain of the Gorges du Verdon.
Favorites include driving and walking tours (a drive through Var's wine region and walks in Old Aix and Old Nice); detailed features on history, culture, and contemporary life; and 3-D illustrations. The guide also includes an in-depth chapter on Provence's history and culture, and a detailed section of practical information, including how to get around Provence, an extensive listing of handpicked hotels and restaurants, and select activities and entertainment options.
Among the new features added to this completely updated and revised edition are a helpful "charting your trip" section, which helps you plan your week or two-week trip; experiential sidebars that show you how to delve into the authentic side of Provence, including staying in a bastide; the ins-and-outs of shopping at local markets; wine-tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape; and insider tips from local and National Geographic experts.
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