Each month, we speak to different French natives and ask them to share the “best of” their beloved regions. This month, following our partners’ from Provence-Alps Cote d’Azur (PACA) visits to New-York City, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, we decided to focus on their region, to highlight its hidden gems, and share news. Anne-Marie Bernard, Communications Director at the Regional Tourist Board of Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur, will guide us through this timelessly glamorous region.
Describe your favorite view of Provence
I have two favorites! The first one is the village of Les Baux-de-Provence, in the heart of the Alpilles. When you drive through the valley, between Arles and Avignon, you can see a great stretch of olive fields for as far as the eyes can see, and the village is seated at the top of a hill. It was named one of “Les plus beaux villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France). Each time I see it, I’m overcome by the same emotion. The other view that I never get tired of is The Calanques – typical coves of the Mediterranean coast. I go there often. The water is transparent. It’s calm because some spots are only accessible by foot, yet it’s in the city of Marseille! It’s such a luxury!
If you only had 24 hours in Provence, where would you eat and drink?
I would start my day by having a breakfast at the port of Cassis, in The Calanques. I would take advantage of being in the region and go to wine cellars, especially the Domaine du Paternel, where I would probably buy a bottle of one of my favorite white wines. I would then go to the Vaucluse, at Bonnieux, in the heart of the Luberon and have lunch at the restaurant La Bergerie at the Domaine de Capelongue (Relais & Châteaux, Gourmet Restaurant**, Luxury Hotel). They work exclusively with local products. From the outdoor space, you have a wonderful view of the village and the French-style garden. I would order my go-to meal: a truffle pizza with a glass of Cote du Rhone. Then, I would go to the Chateauneuf du Pape cellars. My favorite is their white wine, it is extraordinary! I would end my day by going for a stroll in the Alps de Haute Provence and have dinner at the Michelin starred-restaurant “La Bonne Etape,” a gastronomic experience cooked by Chef Jany Gleize. He specializes in lavender. I highly recommend the almond honey ice cream! I would end the evening with a walk in the lavender fields.
When is your favorite season in Provence and why?
My favorite season is the fall. The region varies between the Mediterranean coast, Provence and the Alpine side, so the nature displays a large palette of colors at this time of the year: greens pines, brown and yellow oaks, etc. The light is less harsh but the Indian summer continues through November. We have still a lot of sun and a blue sky but the light is softer. It’s also less crowded, it’s still warm and comfortable enough for swimming and hiking!
For more information, please contact:
Anne-Marie Bernard - Communications Director