Here are the best villages to stay in Provence, France! Provence is a region in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. The region is known for its beautiful scenery, light, and colors. From the Southern Alps and Camargue plains to the Côte d’Azur, rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests, and lavender fields, Provence is one of the most alluring places in the world. And it’s no wonder if talented artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, or Pablo Picasso made Provence their home.
This summer, if you’re planning a trip to Provence, you might consider some of the most well-known cities such as Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, and Marseille. But if you want to experience the authentic Provençal beauty that has inspired artists for decades and get away from the main tourist track, there are some villages in Provence that are definitely worth visiting!
Being French, in today’s post, I’ve compiled a list of the best villages and small towns to stay in Provence, France. From idyllic hilltop hamlets to colorful coastal towns, these Provençal villages will amaze you with their unabashed beauty and their peaceful way of life.
Located between Hyères and St. Tropez, the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas is one of the most beautiful villages on the southern French coast of the Mediterranean. It’s a true village of Provence, typical and authentic with its old houses with pink and ocher tiles facing the Mediterranean, and its narrow medieval streets and charming squares beautifully paved. There, you can visit the old village on the hill and two of its emblematic seaside districts: la Faviere and Cabasson. The village has a beautiful view of the sea and the Golden Islands: Porquerolles and Île du Levant.
Where to stay in Bormes-les-Mimosas
Cassis is a small Mediterranean fishing port that features pastel-colored buildings, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants. Overlooked by a centuries-old château, Cassis is well known for its Calanques which are narrow inlets framed by steep, limestone cliffs —and among the most beautiful beaches on the French Riviera. I’ll recommend the Calanque de Port-Miou, where sailboats and pleasure boats anchor and where it’s possible to swim from the small beach nestling at the bottom of the rocky inlet. Cassis is definitely the perfect place to spend a few days!
Where to stay in Cassis
Èze, located on the French Riviera between Nice and Monaco, is one of the most beautiful medieval villages on the French Riviera. Located on a hilltop of a high cliff about 1,400 feet above sea level, the village is famous for its spectacular view, impressive architecture, and stunning geographical location. It has one long, narrow beach called simply “Plage d’Eze” or Eze beach, which you can reach by taking Nietzsche’s footpath or “le chemin de Nietzsche”. It was during his climb up this path from the seashore to the village of Eze that the German philosopher Nietzsche composed the third part of his work Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra).
Where to stay in Eze
With its winding streets, cobblestone paths, and stunning views, Gordes is one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in Provence. Located on a rocky promontory in the heart of the Vaucluse mountains, the provençal village offers a spectacular view of the Luberon mountain facing it. Its castle and the abbey of Sénanque are its cultural heritage, and you will fall in love with its olive oils, wines, and other regional products.
Where to stay in Gordes
Les Baux-de-Provence is located in the Alpilles mountains, atop a rocky outcrop that is crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. With its small streets, charming little squares, shaded terraces, fountains, and craft shops, it’s definitely a must if you visit Provence. Its cultural heritage is exceptionally rich, with twenty-two architectural treasures classified as “Historic Monuments”. Don’t miss to visit the Château des Baux-de-Provence, built in the 11th century for the Lords of Baux, one of the most powerful families of lower Provence in medieval times.
Where to stay in Les Baux-de-Provence
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, or simply Moustiers, is classified among the most beautiful villages of France since 1981. The village in Provence is famous for having preserved some of its ancestral know-how whose earthenware or faïence. The star suspended above the village is the symbol of this place steeped in history, where legends are numerous, while time seems to be suspended there. During your visit, do not miss the beautiful lake of Sainte-Croix with its stunning turquoise waters and the Verdon Natural Regional Park.
Where to stay in Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Ramatuelle is a medieval and picturesque village that stands on the Paillais hill, near St-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime, and Gassin. The village’s architecture is typical of Mediterranean villages revealing porches, stairs, passages, squares, narrow streets paved with flowers, a church, and its bell tower. Ramatuelle is a quiet and peaceful village that contrasts with the very trendy beach of Pampelonne, which build the fame of Saint-Tropez when the who’s who of cinema, fashion, music of the fifties and sixties fell in love with it. During your visit, don’t miss the Tahiti Beach, the Club 55 —which started as a canteen for the team shooting the film with Brigitte Bardot And God Created Woman— and the Epi Plage designed by Jean Castel and Albert Debarge in 1960.
Where to stay in Ramatuelle
Roussillon, located within the borders of the Natural Regional Park of Luberon, is one of the best villages to stay in Provence, France. Situated in the heart of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world, this Provencal village is famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries. Like an artist’s pallet, the red, yellow, and brown shades of the earth form a striking contrast with the lush green pine trees and the vivid blue of the Provencal sky.
Where to stay in Roussillon
Saint-Paul-de-Vence is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. The city walls were built in 1538 by Francis I Valois, King of France, and some of the buildings of historic St-Paul date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The village is well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries such as the Fondation Maeght, and for the 17-century Saint Charles-Saint Claude chapel. Also, some famous artists once lived in or frequented the village, including Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Jean-Michel Folon.
Where to stay in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
- La Colombe d’Or
- La Miette – was owned and lived in during the 1940s by the legendary French poet, writer, and screenwriter Jacques Prévert.
- Le Saint Paul
- Le Domaine du Mas De Pierre
Located in the northern part of the Alpilles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is one of the best villages to stay in Provence France! Far from the crowds of the Cote d’Azur, here, you will appreciate the unhurried pace of life. With its place Jean Jaures, “hôtels particuliers” and ornate houses from the 17th and 18th centuries, the beauty of the village has inspired many artists, writers, and painters. The most famous is Vincent van Gogh who produced more than 150 paintings of the countryside surrounding Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, among which his famous masterpiece “The Starry Night”.
Where to stay in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Et voilà! I hope this guide to the best villages to stay in Provence France will help you plan your travel itinerary to the south of France. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.
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Bonjour and welcome to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. I’m Leonce, born and raised near Annecy, France. Through this website, I want to share with you the passion I have for my home country and for the French art de vivre. Merci for visiting and à bientôt! —Leonce