Our first trip to the South of France was on the coast only due to the limited time we had. We knew however there’s more for the eye than the glamorous resorts. So when Tim’s mom said they were going for two weeks in Provence we couldn’t wait to join. How could we miss the sun, the wine and the nature!
We stayed in a renovated mazet from the late 19th century (1886). A mazet, as I would discover is a typical provencal stone house. This one was built by the French railways for a train attendant, hence the name, “La Maisonnette de Garde de Passage” (The Train Guard’s Cabin). The road next to the house is where the rail-track used to be.
The house is situated 3km away from Lorgues, a beautiful town with 7,500 inhabitants. There you can find supermarkets, bars, restaurants, shops and a street market on Tuesdays. As with any market, we walked a bit around, bought a few souvenirs and then found a nice terrace to sip some wine 🙂
The house comes with a pool and when we weren’t by the pool or sipping wine at the market, we visited a few places around. One of them was the Verdon Gorge often regarded as Europe’s most impressive river canyon. It is 25km long and at its maximum depth 700m. The whole area is very scenic with gorgeous views and rock formations.
Another point of interest was the waterfall from Sillans-la-Cascade. The walk starts in the little old village and back when we visited (September 2015), it was rather confusing as there weren’t many signs. We asked a French guy who pretended he didn’t remember where it was. When we finally found it, we saw him desperately running around. The walking path at the base is quite narrow and he was maybe afraid we would take the best spot.
One hour away is the French Riviera and one day we drove to Saint Tropez. I actually wanted to reach Monaco but I got car sick. Maybe best to have some pills with you, even if you’re like me who never gets sick. You never know how the curvy roads or the local wine can affect you.
And since I mentioned wine already a few times, while in the heart of the wine region of Provence, we couldn’t miss a visit to one of their wineries. We tried Chateau de Berne, a stunning domain including a hotel, spa, vineyards and restaurant.
How to get there: we drove from Brussels and it took us 12 hours.
Toll road: highways in France are not free. For our route Brussels – Lourges we paid 3 times, each way €30 + €24 + €7. Not all payment machines accept coins so best to have a card ready.
Weather: we visited mid September and the weather was good, around 20°C – 25°C. Expect light rain too, but definitely nice weather for hiking.
Ready to explore Provence? Or have you already been there? Let me know in the comments.