Greetings dear readers and friends! Well, fall in Provence is just whipping past us… witnessed by the fact that Christmas decorations are already on sale in most stores around town. Not to mention that they’re preparing to open our local Christmas market (in Toulon) any day now. No complaints here, as Christmas in France is an equally beautiful time of year, but I thought I might share some colors or the season before we slowly slip into the winter months.
Because fall in the South is quite spectacular and a real “explosion” of color!
From the markets – which are featuring more and more “decorative” objects for the season like gourds and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes – to the muliple “foodie-themed” festivals that take place around the region, fall is a perfect time to explore the natural side of Provence and sample some of its finest regional products.
Or a chance to visit hidden-treasures like the Chartreuse de la Verne, a monastery near the village of Collobrières – which is famous for its annual chestnut festival (the biggest, and most-attended, food fête in the region).
Apart from the food festivals that highlight the products of the season, fall is a particularly nice time to visit because of the temperate weather that lasts well into November. Gone are the blistering-hot days of the end of summer – where mid-afternoon required setting yourself up in the nearest air-conditioned café. Fall days may be shorter, but they are still full of sunshine and allow for whole days spent along the seaside.
This fall season has been especially nice as far as the weather is concerned. Our town, Toulon, is quite full of retired folks, and it’s always amazing to see many of them swimming in the sea into November. I was down at the beach last Wednesday morning chatting with a women who told me I absolutely had to take a “bain”, dip, in the sea – said she’s been doing it during the holiday period (All Saints’ Day) for as long as she could remember. It was 10am!
You may not find yourself swimming in the sea in November, but you will enjoy all the beauty of Provence if you come for a visit in the fall…
Bon weekend and bon voyage!