Sojourn amid Provencal charm
Part of the elite club of the ‘Most beautiful villages of France’, Les Baux-de-Provence is an unmissable location while planning a leisurely visit in Provence. Nestled in the Alpilles Mountain, carved in an arid white rock, this village embodies Provencal charm. Acquaint yourself with the architectural diversity of this small town as you walk past the beautiful citadel and impressive decors enhancing the allure and traditions of the countryside. Don’t miss the Carrières de Lumières, a gallery in a former quarry that’s now dedicated to extraordinary, immersive art exhibitions.
Savour Provencal cuisine that is brimming with its light aromatic flavours like the aïoli, anchoïade, bourride, tapenades. Do not miss the famous Bouillabaisse soup, a classic Provençal fish soup savoured with potatoes and slices of bread accompanied by a thick and spicy sauce rouille and grilled garlic croutons; the Ratatouille, a well-known delicious vegetable stew which can be served hot or cold; La Soupe au Pistou (vegetable soup served with pasta and pistou sauce). If you are craving for some dessert, then try the Calissons, a speciality of Aix-en-Provence –tiny treats made of crushed almonds & candied melon topped with royal icing. A local drink which is a must try in Provence is the –Pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur and the drink for apéritif hour in the south of France. Pastis is filled about a quarter full in a tall glass to which you can add water as per your liking. Oh! And do not leave Provence without shopping for Olive Oil from La Bastide du Laval in the Lubéron Regional Park and between November and March, do grab some Truffes – truffles.
Did you know that St Tropez aspires to become the first vegan destination in France? The very chic St Tropez is renowned for its Mediterranean menus that are curated by some of the greatest Michelin starred chefs to enhance flavours and fragrances. Several restaurants in the Gulf of St Tropez propose special vegetarian or vegan menus. The destination aims to cater to the requirements of its vegetarian guests. The most popular delicacy is its dessert - Tarte Tropezienne – whose recipe remains a secret.
Dive in the Calanque culture
Next up, drive along the coastal highway from St Tropez to explore this rare calanque culture after a sumptuous Mediterranean meal. Provence’s natural wonders, inlets of the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the series of rocky cliffs – The Calanques are a must see. Linking Marseille and the pretty port town of Cassis, these marvellous Mediterranean ‘fjords’ will surprise you with their unique characteristics.
Forming a part of the Parc National des Calanques – a protected national park since 2012, these majestic limestone structures lend a stunning backdrop to a unique ecosystem consisting of a 140 kilometres long trail, marine biodiversity, rare vegetation thriving on a micro climate, fishing ports, quaint homes and a wide range of water sport activities. For simple discoveries of the Calanques , excursions of varying lengths run out of Marseille and for those who are in for some sporty immersive experiences, follow the signposted footpaths to cross over the limestone cliffs and dive straight to admire the shining sea beds with your masks and flippers. Here’s a tip; for some spectacular sights from the top of the cliffs, drive up to Cap Canaille on the ‘Route des Crêtes’ towards la Ciotat about 27km off the centre of Marseille and voilà!
A one-on-one with nature at the Gorges du Verdon & Lac Sainte Croix
For green pleasures, stunning landscapes and for a shot of adrenaline, the Gorges du Verdon at just two hours from Marseille is the perfect address! A vast palette of picture-perfect shades of nature, widespread playground for outdoor enthusiasts, Europe’s largest canyon awaits you. Situated in the Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon, the Gorges – high or low are absolute musts for visitors. What’s sure to grab your attention and admiration is the gorgeous Lake Sainte Croix – the 22 sq. km. and 90m deep lake is a preserved natural space offering an array of water sport activities for the active vacationers and some soul soothing time for others.
Campsite, hotels, vacation rentals, there is something for every taste and for every wallet.