travel adventures: provence

Posted on: Monday, November 14, 2016

This blog post is very delayed, but wanted to continue sharing photos from our September trip to Europe. I previously shared photos from the South of France and London, and today want to share photos from stop #3 – the Provence region!

It took a little under two hours to drive from our stop #2 in Antibes in the South of France to Provence. After some recommendations from friends, we decided to stay in the centrally located town of Aix-en-Provence. We loved it! The town is filled with art schools and universities, so felt a little more bustling compared to some of the smaller towns around. We stayed at this amazing Airbnb, which I couldn’t recommend enough. It was on bustling, brick street surrounded by cafes, shops and restaurants.

While in Provence, we made the most out of having our car and drove to small towns nearby almost every day. Some of the places we visited were Bonnieux (that’s where the adorable home with the purple shutters below is), St. Remy De Provence, Gordes (which was the city below built on a cliff – looks like it’s made of rocks!) and Loumarin (which had an insane outdoor market that literally took over the entire town, plus there’s a nearby castle, pictured below). In each town, we ended up wandering around slowly and exploring, enjoying a glass of rosé (or two) and checking out the local shops and markets.

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My absolute FAVORITE thing about Aix, and the Provence region in general, was ALL OF THE MARKETS! Typically in SF, there are certain days for the flea market, farmers market, etc., but in Provence, there are outdoor markets everywhere, every day. We purchased gifts here for family – local spices and jewelry and soaps and bags of lavender. It’s a complete dream! The local produce was outstanding and we ended up going to markets almost every day for picnic supplies (cheese! fruit! crunchy bread!).

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I don’t really have specific restaurant or cafe recommendations, we kind of just winged it everywhere we went. In some of the smaller towns, there were only one or two cafes anyway! In Aix, there were a lot of options, so we used a mix of Foursquare and just walking around and looking at menus until we made a decision.

One thing I was surprised by was the wine tasting experience in Provence. It’s an amazing wine region, so we were so excited to try the wine! We love to go to Sonoma and other places nearby SF to go wine tasting, but it was totally different here. It seemed like people typically just went to pick up wine from the wineries, rather than do a full on tasting and make a day of it. We didn’t know that before just showing up to some wineries (ha) but still ended up being able to taste and enjoy. One favorite spot was one called Barbarella in a cool cave – more wine pics are below.

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More photos below; thanks for reading! If you have any Provence region recommendations, I’d love to hear them and add to the list for our next visit. xo // Previous travel blog posts here: South of France & London

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