Windows on Provence
Overview of Provence
The Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur lies between the mountains and the sea, stretching from the Mercantour National Park to the Rhone river delta and from the Barre des Ecrins to the Marseille calanques. Made up of six departments, the region has a spectacular coastline, beautiful sunshine, azure-blue sea, rich historical heritage and many “chic” and trendy towns. The coastline stretches from the Côte d’Azur in the Var to the Camargue with 40km of fine sandy and pebbled beaches. Famous ports include Saint Tropez, Marseille, and Toulon, with smaller coastal villages such as Bandol, Cassis, with La Ciotat dotted in-between. The superb islands and 33 sailing ports allow thousands of boats to moor all year long.
The true heart of Provence lies in the rolling hills that link the sea to the Alps. The unique Verdon river canyons are one of the natural jewels of Provence. In the back country you'll discover the fields and colourful landscapes which fascinated and inspired Van Gogh, Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Renoir, Matisse, and Cocteau. Enjoy the pleasure of meeting artists and craftsmen in Biot, Vallauris and Grasse, who have revived old techniques and have given life to past arts such as the creation of precious ceramics, stained glass, carved wood figures, glass blowing and perfume making.
Discover the sumptuous traditional dishes and put a little sunshine on your plate: ratatouille, farcis nicois, pissaladière, anchoïde, soupe au pistou, beignets de fleurs de courge, artichauts barigoule, aïoli daube à la nicoise, and the world-renowned bouillabaisse. Provence is of course renowned for its rosés and table wines. The vineyards start from the southern part of the Rhone Valley and include the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Provence, where French vineyards started over 25 centuries ago. Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Village, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Luberon, Côtes du Ventoux, Gigondas, Tavel, Côtes de Provence, Bandol, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence are just a few of the most popular red and rosé wines from the region.