Many of the towns and villages of Provence have something quite individual that has defined what they have become and what they are known for. Some have marvellous Roman ruins, stunning views, or perhaps a medieval fortress or two. L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is one of our must-visits and we often plan our itinerary around its most famous attraction—the Sunday market which takes over the entire historic centre of town. However, there’s even more to discover in this totally charming town, and if you’re interested in antiques or simply a vintage treasure to decorate your home, this is the town for you.
We tend to think that there’s not many undiscovered places left in Provence these days. However, there are interesting little corners of the region that still remain relatively untouched and almost devoid of visitors. Simiane-la-Rotonde is one such place: clinging to a small hill on a high plateau to the northeast of Apt and the Luberon, with groves of pines and cypresses rising up the slopes. One of its great joys is that in June and July, the surrounding fields explode in a profusion of lavender, the emblematic plant whose flower is the colour of Provence. What took us there though, aside from the lavender, was to find out about the ’Rotonde’ for which the village is named.
If you’re looking for a very pleasant and interesting day trip from Paris, and you’ve already visited the big headline sites such as Versailles or Fontainebleau, the charming town of Sceaux is certainly one that offers everything you could wish for. Known for its rich architectural heritage, its picture-perfect château, museums, 13th century church, and magnificent parks, it’s hard to believe that Sceaux is less than 10 kms south of Paris.
We have often been asked about visiting Monet’s gardens at Giverny. How difficult is it to get there independently, or is it best to take a tour from Paris? Is it really worth it, or has it become a victim of tourist hype? Are the hordes of visitors a turn-off? Is it possible for those who want to experience the atmosphere and tranquility of a beautiful garden to still enjoy a visit, given its enormous popularity?
From history to fantasy, and everything in between, there are plenty of festivals in France where you can experience the country’s vibrant culture. These events celebrate everything from the latest movies, the medieval period, art, wine, parks & gardens, kites, lemons, and dragons, to theatre, opera, and other different genres of music. Right across the country, the biggest and most important festival in France is of course Bastille Day. However, if you want to make the most of your next trip to France, check out these festivals—by no means an exhaustive list—and start booking now.