Belle Provence Travels

A South of France Blog

What to do in Provence… in the Summer

July 1, 2016

Greetings dear readers and friends. Summer is here! And let me just say, thank goodness… this is by far the most exciting time of the year in the south of France. In our little corner of Toulon, the beaches are not full yet, which makes for great strolls along the seaside and early-morning dips in the Med for the brave of heart!  Plus, festival season is up and running. This is my absolute favorite thing about living in Provence… the food festivals.  In past years, we’ve attended several summer food festivals – many in Toulon but also in neighboring Saint Mandrier-sur-Mer, an Aïoli festival in the village of La Crau, a soupe au pistou festival in Ollioules, and by far my favorite… a rosé wine festival in Pierrefeu (August 6th this year). These are only a small sampling of festivals taking place around the region, and I’ve included several others below, plus links for where to find other fêtes taking place around Provence.

Whether you’re a seasoned south-of-France traveler, or this is your first trip “down south” I hope this list will give you a few ideas of how to best spend your summer in la belle Provence!

What to do in Provence in the Summer:

1. Take a ferry to the Île de Porquerolles and spend the day hiking, biking, or simply lying around la plage

2. Make a picnic from goodies bought at the market and take it to the sea – good spots for this are Toulon, Bandol, Sanary-sur-Mer, & Cassis…just to name a few!

3. Attend a lavender festival, dates available from Routes de la Lavande.

4. Attend any number of village festivals… each one with a different “foodie” theme, including fish, soupe au pistou, and rosé wine. Find a list of festivals at Visit Var  and Provence Guide.

5. Spend the afternoon on Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence… enjoying a glass of wine and doing absolutely nothing.

6. Visit the Calanques at Cassis and treat yourself to a gelato along the port at Amorino.

7. Take the train from Marseille to Nice for fantastic scenery – or cut it short and have lunch in Antibes, taking in the views of old town and the giant yachts parked along the quay.

8. Eat a heaping bowl of bouillabaisse, or the catch of the day, at the Vieux Port in Marseille.

9. Take in a theatre performance, or two, at the Festival d’ Avignon.

10. Go on an antiques splurge, or just browse till your heart’s content in picture-perfect Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The bi-annual antique fair takes place the weekend of August 12-15, find all the details here.

11. Visit the Provençal markets as much as possible… they’re at their absolute prettiest during the spring and summer months. (Don’t forget to arrive early!)

Market Sanary

Summer markets, not to be missed…

12. Splurge and get a “thalasso” (spa) treatment at the Hotel Ile Rousse in Bandol.

13. Escape the heat in the “Tivoli of Provence”, Barjols – the village of “100 fountains” and a stone’s throw away from beautiful vineyards where you can visit and sample local wines. 

14. Attend the Toulon Jazz Festival – a series of free concerts hosted all around the city.

15. Visit the “garden of the Mediterranean” at Domaine du Rayol.

16. Do nothing at all (far niente) … spend your days at any of the beautiful beaches along the coast.

17. Cool off with a visit to  Fountain de Vaucluse.

18. Pick-up your favorite guidebook and do any number of self-guided walking tours – my favorites are in Aix-en-Provence, St. Rémy de Provence, & Nice.

19. Dig into a plate of Aïoli, a regional summer specialty… for fish and garlic-lovers only!

Mourillon beach

Or simply do nothing at all…

These are only a few of the fun ways to spend your summer in Provence… please feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below and, as always, bon voyage!

9 thoughts on “What to do in Provence… in the Summer

  1. Pierre says:

    Great post! We also love visiting the villages of the Luberon (Roussillon, Ménerbes, Gordes, Lacoste etc) particularly early in the morning when it doesn’t get too hot – and there are less tourists too which is very enjoyable 🙂 In the same area don’t miss the fascinating Colorado of Rustrel.

    Like

    1. tuularampont says:

      Great tips! I agree… the best is to go early in the morning before it’s too hot, especially in July and August!

      Like

  2. mary Clark says:

    HI – I ran across your blog and I am enjoying it. I am trying to plan a trip to the south of france for july of 2017. Can you recommend anyone that can help me with the planning?

    Like

    1. tuularampont says:

      My apologies for the late reply Mary, this south of France summer has gotten the best of me 🙂 If you need any trip-planning help, you can contact me directly: tuularampont@gmail.com
      Have a great day!

      Like

  3. Elyse says:

    Love your site topics and features. Was hoping you would consider posting more pics..esp of fashion looks, trends what people are wearing and places. Merci!!!

    Like

    1. tuularampont says:

      That’s a great idea Elyse, I’ll get working on it and I really appreciate the feedback, merci!!

      Like

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