Provence

Provence © Salva Barbera
No other region of France stirs the imagination and stimulates the senses as strongly as Provence. The soft light and the vivid, pastel-coloured landscapes have inspired writers and artists from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton to Van Gogh and Picasso.

The fragrant countryside, redolent with wild herbs, is scattered with historic fortified medieval towns such as Avignon and Aix-en-Provence and the ancient Roman towns like Orange and Arles with their intriguing monuments, arches and coliseums.

Provençal cooking is known worldwide for its contributions to French cuisine, including Seafood Bouillabaisse, Ratatouille, and Daube Provençale Stew. Its wines have a poorer reputation, but have improved considerably in recent years and Provençal rosé is becoming increasingly popular as a Provence souvenir.

On the coast is the great port of Marseille, a melting pot of cultures pleasurably in contrast to the traditional social landscape of most French provincial towns. Low-cost airlines and a fast TGV train from Paris have made Provence increasingly accessible and this, combined with glorious weather, puts it high on any list of the world's most desirable destinations.




Attractions

Vendome Pavilion, Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is the cultural and touristic capital of Provence. This beautiful university town has been an inspiration to many great writers and painters, most famously Paul Cézanne, who was inspired by the Provence countryside to produce his masterpieces, some of which can be...  see full details



Pont d'Avignon © Donald Albury

Avignon

Situated on the River Rhone, the historic holiday destination of Avignon is famed for being the Vatican of the 14th century. Six successive Popes resided here from 1309. Avignon is one of very few French cities to have preserved its ramparts. Within these...  see full details



Chateauneuf-du-Pape © Larry

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a medieval village on the side of a hill, dominated by the ruins of an ancient château towering above. The château was the pope's summer retreat from the Palais and although all that remains are the foundations and two outer walls it...  see full details



Theatre of Orange © Mark Goebel

Orange

Just north of Avignon, Orange was the former seat of the Counts of Orange, a title created in the 8th century and passed to the Dutch crown in the 16th century. The family's most famous member was Prince William, who ascended the English...  see full details



Saint Remy de Provence © Marc Ryckaert

Saint Rémy de Provence

While it's a bit off the beaten path for most holidaymakers in France, St-Rémy de Provence is among the most attractive and interesting towns in Provence, and is well worth the 12 mile (19km) journey from Avignon. The city centre has many beautiful...  see full details


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P&O Ferries boasts the largest fleet of ships offering a wide range of services and facilities on cross channel ferries and the Continent. Passengers can book a ferry online, or with their call centre.
Families
The short hop over the channel makes family holidays in France a big favourite, and with sandy beaches, awesome nature reserves and culture-soaked cities family holidays in Spain are always ideal as well.
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A ferry to France with P&O give you many holiday options whether it's the cosmopolitan and romantic ambience of Paris or the laid back way of life in Provence. There is also the 'best fare sailing', providing cheap ferries for this route.
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