and towns in Provence
areas, cities and towns of Provence
Photo top of page : the
old port, Marseilles
of Provence - what's
where in Provence
: regional park - a small outcrop of arid hills in the
middle of the
Rhone delta, south of Avignon. At the edge of les Alpilles stand the
part-ruined, part-renovated mediaeval city of Les Baux de Provence.
- Rhône Delta: regional park - wetland area,
and the coast. The area is famous for its nature reserves,
wildlife, including pink flamingoes, and its white horses. Rice is
cultivated in paddy fields, and the area also produces a
known as "vin gris". More information : Camargue
d'Azur - See
Provençale: the southern part of the Drome
department, which was historically attached to Provence. Wine growing
area, lavender fields, historic small towns
The dry and rough range of hills, of volcanic origin, that runs along
the Riviera coast from the Var to the Alpes Maritimes departments.
Provence: the Provençal Alps, rising to an
altitude of over 3000 metres, near the Italian border. Two of France's
national parks are
located in Haute Provence
Luberon / Le Lubéron: regional park - a band
of hills and
mountains running east from the Rhone valley to the Alps, between the
river Durance and the department of the Drome, from Cavaillon to
Manosque. This is where Peter Mayle's "Year in Provence" is
set. The area is largely a protected natural area, with dry, wooded
d'Aix: very dry
area of low hills around the town of Aix en Provence, and typically
covered by Mediterranean pine forest.
Riviera (French Riviera) :
there is no formal definition for the extent of the French Riviera; but
normally the term is used to describe the south-east facing coastline
between Hyères and Menton. Sometimes the term is used to
refer to the
French Mediterranean coast to the east of Marseilles. More
information on the French
along the river Verdon, running east-west betwen the departments of the
Var and the Alpes de Haute Provence. The dry limestone hills, crossed
by rivers running down from the Alps, have been cut through by deep
canyons, notably the Verdon
Gorge (regional park) , the depest gorge in
Europe (20 km
long and 300 metres deep).
alpes Cote d'Azur"
Alpes de Haute Provence
05 Hautes alpes
06 Alpes Maritimes
13 Bouches du Rhône
Provence is also parts of 26 Drome and 30 Gard
cities and towns:
en Provence. Historic university city, once capital of
province. Very attractive old town with museums, markets and a large
historic centre. Aix en
Provence tourist office
popular seaside resort on the French Riviera
town situated in the Luberon regional nature reserve.
Centre for the Camargue,
historic city beside the Rhone, with several major monuments including
the famous Roman Amphitheatre and the mediaeval church of Saint
Capital of the Vaucluse department, Avignon is a historic walled
city ; the old city
is a UNESCO world heritage site. Close by the old city stands the
famous mediaeval bridge
over the Rhone, the Pont Saint Benezit, - or what remains of
it, immortalized in the song "Sur
le pont d'Avignon". Among Avignon's other great attractions are the Palace
of the Popes, a fine fortified mediaeval palace (photo
right), the gardens overlooking the Rhone, and t(he city's complete set
of derensive fortifications. Avignon is one of the departure points for
river cruises .
altitude of over 1300 metres, is the highest town in France, and one of
highest in Europe.
A famous Riviera resort, and major venue for festivals and congresses.
Nearby Riviera resorts, very popular with jet-setters, are Saint Tropez
and Juan les Pins
an old country town in the Vaucluse, not far from the foot of the Mont
: capital of the Provence fruit and vegetable
plains round Cavaillon are largely given over the
market gardening and orchards, and the area bursts into blossom from
late February onwards, when most of the rest of France is still in the
grips of winter.
les Bains: between lower Provence and the Alps,
Digne is at the heart of a magnificent mountainous area
small inland town in the Var, close to the Gorges du Verdon.
Mer: port on an inlet 50 km west of Marseilles,
with petrochemical complex and other industrial sites.
Attractive old town on the riviera coast, with
historic centre and big marina.
standing at an altitude of 750 metres, Gap is the capital of the
in the hills inland from the Riviera, Grasse is the capital of the French
perfume industry ; there is an interesting perfume museum.
la Sorgue : small town
in the Vaucluse department, north of Avignon, famous for its bric
brac and antiques markets - notably the Sunday morning antiques market,
one of the biggest in France. The town, once an important silk-spinning
centre, also has fine old water wheels that are still working.
: largest town in the Provence Alps department, though not in the Alps.
Manosque is the capital of the olive oil industry in France, and the
hills around the town have many olive groves. The old town still has
three ancient city gates
Regional capital, and capital of Bouches du Rhone department. France's
biggest port, and the third biggest city in France. See Marseilles
an old town beside the canals linking the lagoon known as the Etang de
Berre with the sea. The centre is pretty.
very old seaside town almost on the Italian border, famous for its
of the Alpes Maritimes department, a major tourist resort famous for
its long beaches and mild climate, but also for its museums (Chagall
and Matisse museums in particular). Nice's long beach along the famous
"Promenade des Anglais", was the first tourist beach in France, thanks
to the arrival of the first British "tourists" in the late 18th
airport is one of the best connected in France. See
: a town in the Rhone valley, north of Avignon, Orange has a
spectacular Roman theatre - the best in Europe - and Roman
triumphal arch, classed as a UNESCO world heritage site. There is a
short opera festival each summer in the Roman theatre.
Paul de Vence :
small hill town not far from Nice, reputed as an artists'
retreat. The attractive small town boasts arts and crafts shops as well
as the top quality Maeght Foundation art gallery.
Raphael: Riviera seaside resort, with an attractive old
town, markets and harbour.
A major naval port, capital of the Var department. La
Seyne sur Mer: a suburb of Toulon, was once one of France's
major shipbuilding centres.
, covering the French Riviera, the Provence Alps, historic Provence and
historically linked to Provence
The spectacular Verdon gorge
Restaurants beside a narrow street in old Nice
A village in the Luberon area, near Manosque
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