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Located in the southeast of France, Provence is just west of Italy and the French Riviera; it abuts the Southern Alps in the north and Mediterranean Sea to the south. The region comprises the French departments of Var, Vaucluse, and Bouches-du-Rhône as well as parts of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes.

Provence Cities and Regions


Often described as gritty, seedy, or dodgy, this is France’s second largest city and one of Europe’s most important ports. Marseillaise culture is unique, with a heavy North African influence.


Aix offers chic, Parisian-style shopping on boulevards lined with 17th- and 18th-century mansions. Museums, pre-Roman to modern architecture, and culture converge alongside the well-respected Université de Provence Aix-Marseille.


Once a papal power, this architecturally rich, walled city, centers around the Palais des Papes. It’s famous for its annual performing arts festival in July and the medieval Pont d’Avignon.


The idyllic city where Van Gogh spent one year creating masterpieces like starry night, boasts ruins of cathedrals and castles. It was also the birthplace of Nostradamus.


Take in the plazas, fountains, and cobblestone streets of this affordable, friendly city, then visit two of France’s largest Roman ruins: the Théâtre Antique and 1st-century Arc de Triomphe.

Northeastern Provence

This vast area includes Europe’s largest canyon (Gorges du Verdon), lavender fields, thermal baths, fossil-rich sites, ski resorts, and mountains. The Vallée de l’Ubaye’s trade-related Mexican heritage is fascinating.

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