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Best Places to Stay in Provence, France – The Ultimate Provence Guide!


Oh, Provence. This sun-soaked corner of France has lured visitors for centuries with its unique and captivating charm. I mean, who wouldn’t be seduced by strolling through fields of fragrant lavender, taking in the stunning natural vistas, exploring crumbling châteaux and walking in the footsteps of illustrious artists? Provence is, after all, the perfect natural canvas.

But with so many things to see and do, how on earth do you choose the best place to stay in Provence? With something to offer everyone, there really isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach to choosing where to stay in Provence.

I’ve gotten to know the region and its diverse offerings during our time living here, so I’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best places to stay in Provence!

Best places to stay in Provence, France

Where to Stay in Provence, France

Whether you’re after a romantic escapea beach retreat, or an action-filled adventure holiday, Provence has you covered. Read on to find out where to stay in Provence, to make the most of your time in the region.

Looking for more Provence travel inspiration? Don’t forget to join our free Facebook group Provence Travel Planning!

Best Villages to Stay in Provence

As a general rule, head away from the coast to find the pretty hillside villages synonymous with this part of France.

Best place to stay in Provence region. Where to stay in Provence, France

The Luberon Valley is a sure bet. Brimming with charisma, the Luberon is where you can step back in time and enjoy the authentic Provençal way of life. There are many amazing villages to enjoy in the Luberon – including some of France’s most beautifulDespite their seeming similarities, they are all unique in some way. Pick your favourite as a base and rent a car to explore the bucolic landscape that spills forth in front of you.

Roussillon is famed for its unique colour palette – taken from the very ground it’s built on. Ochre deposits in the earth make this area of the Luberon glow a deep amber colour. The village houses are coated with a traditional ochre rendering, providing resistance against the harsh sun. The result creates a vibrant contrast to the deep green vegetation surrounding the village.

Visiting the village of Gordes on a luxury lavender tour in Provence, France

Gordes is possibly the most famous village in the Luberon, largely thanks to its starring role in the movie A Good Year. One of the few villages that are left with its striking château intact, it makes an attractive and impressive sight when viewed from afar.

My other favourites are Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ménerbes and the village of Cadenet for its enchanting ruined château.

Don’t miss: The Ochre Trail near Roussillon is a short walk through a former ochre mine. The landscapes are incredible! And how Roussillon got its nickname “little Colorado”. Nearby, Rustrel also has ochre-coloured landscapes and is a lovely spot for a long walk through the forest.

Read also: Guide to the Luberon Valley


Luxury – La Bastide de Gordes

Mid-Range – Villa des Roses

Budget – Chez Christel

Best Area to Stay in Provence for Lavender Fields

From June to August Provence becomes a patchwork of purple fields as the famed lavender fields come into bloom. And while you can find violet visions throughout the region there are two spots that stand out from the crowd.

Lavender field in Valensole

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque is a sacred place at all times of the year. But come summer, it’s doubly impressive as the flowering lavender fields frame the 12th-century monastery.

Meanwhile, further east at the Plateau de Valensole, lavender fields fan out as far as the eye can see.

Don’t miss: If you’re a fan of lavender, a visit to Provence’s lavender museum is a must-do while you’re in the area! Here you’ll learn about what makes the plant so special and how it has been a vital part of Provençal living for centuries.

Read also: Where to find the best lavender fields in Provence.


Luxury – La Bastide de Moustiers

Mid-Range – Les Terrasses de Valensole

Budget – Maison d’hôtes du Grand Chêne

Best Place to go for Wildlife

For wildlife in Provence, there’s no better place to go than the Camargue. This river delta plays host to over 400 species of birds including the pink-billed greater flamingos. 

The 930 km2  area of wetlands and marshes is also home to herds of white Camargue horses who graze freely, and the much revered Camargue cattle.

Don’t miss: If you’re short on time in the Camargue and want to make the most of your visit, head straight to the Parc Ornithologique where you’ll have flocks of flamingos at your fingertips (almost).


Luxury – Hôtel L’Estelle en Camargue

Mid-Range – La Tramontane

Budget – Hostellerie du Pont de Gau

Best Places for Beaches

If there’s one thing Provence knows how to do well – it’s coastlines. From the dazzling shorelines of the Côte d’Azur to the secret swimming holes of Porquerolles, life’s a beach in Provence!

Plage de la Grande Mer, Cassis, France

My two favourite swimming spots are located either side (but seemingly a world away) of Marseille. Cassis is a lovely little portside town that makes the ideal base for a beach holiday.

The Plage de la Grande Mer is a family-friendly beach located right next to the village centre. But if you’re up for a walk, Cassis is also the starting point for the Calanques de Cassis where you’ll find seductively secluded coves tucked between towering stone promontories.

Alternatively, head to the beachside village of Sainte Croix to find the iconic Mediterranean beach experience. The petite Plage de Sainte-Croix is a popular spot in the summer months but outside of the school holidays, it’s a true oasis.

Don’t miss: If you’re up for a bit of a hike, continue along the Calanques of cassis walkway right down to Calanque d’En-Vau where you’ll be rewarded with the most amazing secluded beach and stunning views!


Luxury – Hotel Les Roches Blanches (Read our review here)

Mid-Range – Les Jardins de Cassis

Budget – Interhotel Cassitel

Best Place for Walking in Provence

The rugged landscape of the Alpilles makes the perfect backdrop for walking in Provence. Wander between the olive groves, cypress trees, hills and valleys that inspired many a Van Gogh painting.

Take in the magnificent views, find hidden waterfalls, climb through forgotten caves and discover the famous rock with two holes.

Les Alpilles, Provence

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is the perfect base for exploring the Alpilles region and its walks. This typically Provençal town has been beautifully restored and its a pleasure to stroll its attractive town centre brimming with craft shops, cafes and boutiques.

Don’t miss: The Alpilles were brought to life with Van Gogh’s paintings. Get an insight into the life of Saint-Rémy’s most famous artist at the Musée Estrine.


Luxury – Hotel Château des Alpilles (Read our review here)

Mid-Range – Hotel du Soleil et Spa

Budget – Canto Cigalo

Best Places to Stay in Provence for Adventure

If you’re after adventure, there’s one place you’ll find it in spades – the Verdon Gorge. Famous for its striking turquoise coloured water, the Gorges du Verdon also earns the title of the deepest canyon in Europe.

Verdon Gorge

It’s the ideal place to indulge in watersports such as kayaking, rafting and sailing. But if you’re after more adrenaline, you can also try your hand at canyoning, rock climbing and even bungy jumping!

Don’t miss: Depending on which vantage point you’re after, both walking the kayaking the Verdon Gorge allows you to experience the canyon at its finest.


Luxury – Hotel & Spa des Gorges du Verdon

Mid-Range – Château de Trigance

Budget – Les Bastides de Chanteraine

Best Town to Stay in Provence for Antiques

There’s one village in Provence whose name is synonymous with antique shopping. It is L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. This picturesque village of the Luberon Valley is the third-largest centre for antiques in Europe. Here you’ll find antique and bric-a-brac stores galore, plus a weekly market held on a Sunday. The two major antique fairs of the year take place over Easter and mid-August – so pop them on your calendar!

L'isle-sur-la-Sorgue makes a great day trip from Aix en Provence

Apart from antiques, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is famous for the canals that flow throughout the town. The moss-covered water wheels that pepper the village are the only remnant of what was once a booming textile industry in the area.

Don’t miss: 10 minutes from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue you’ll find Fontaine de Vaucluse – which is the name of both the charming village and its famous spring. The spring feeds the river Sorgue and is the biggest in France. It’s an excellent day trip to the village and a short walk to see the spring.


Luxury – La Maison Sur La Sorgue

Mid-Range – Grande Hotel Henri

Budget – Mas Clement

Best Place for Ancient sites

There’s no shortage of historical attractions in Provence, but some of the most impressive sites are situated near the southern city of Arles. Discover the Roman Amphitheatre that dates back to 90 AD. Visit the iconic Church of St. Trophime, and make the journey out to the Barbegal aqueduct and mill

Where to stay in Arles

You can also use Arles as a base to explore the ancient city of Glanum, located near Saint Remy de Provence, the medieval castle of Les Baux de Provence (named one of the finest historical sites in France) and the Pont du Gard near Nîmes.

Don’t miss: Catch a live concert at the Théâtre Antique. Located next to the Amphitheatre, this 1st-century Roman theatre makes a breathtaking venue for an evening out.


Luxury – L’Hôtel Particulier

Mid-Range – Le Mas Montredon

Budget – Hotel le Mas des Ponts d’Arles

Best Place to Stay in Provence to be Centrally Located

Aix-en-Provence is my favourite city in Provence and one which is deservingly very popular with visitors. The old capital of Provence has so much going for it. Not least the historic old town centre with its wonderfully curved and cobbled streets, the many cultural events held throughout the year, the secret gardens, the almost daily markets, and the masses of museums and art galleries!

Best Hotels in Aix en Provence France

It’s not only a fantastic destination in its own right, it also has the advantage of being centrally located. If you want to see everything Provence has to offer without having to change accommodation as you go, then Aix is the best city to stay in Provence. It’s only around an hour’s drive to the Camargue, Avignon, the Luberon and the Verdon Gorge. Meaning you can explore by day and wine & dine in Aix by night.

Don’t miss: During the summer months, the streets of Aix-en-Provence set the stage for the annual Festival d’Aix. Don’t miss the chance to catch an Opera or two during this world-renowned music festival in July.


Luxury – La Maison d’Aix (Read review)

Mid-Range – Hotel Cezanne Boutique Hotel (Read review)

Budget – Les Quatre Dauphins (Read review)


Best Place to Stay in Provence for Culture

Avignon is the place to be for a hefty dose of culture. Set within medieval ramparts, the old town centre is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s home to some of the most impressive sites in Provence, including the amazing Palais des Papes, the Roman Avignon Cathedral and the famous four arches of the Pont Saint-Bénézet.

Pont d'Avignon

Every summer, Avignon hosts an arts festival aptly named the Festival d’Avignon. The 70-year-old festival showcases theatre productions throughout Avignon during a jam-packed 4-week schedule. But the fun doesn’t all take place in Summer, cultural events are scheduled in all year round, with another large dance Festival taking centre stage in February.

Read also: Top things to do in Avignon and Best day trips from Avignon

Don’t miss: Les Halles Market is a covered food market in the heart of the city. It’s a popular meeting spot and an absolute must-do while visiting Avignon. Sample the delicacies of Provençal cuisine while mingling with the locals.


Luxury – La Mirande (Read review)

Mid-Range – Les Jardins de Baracane (Read review)

Budget – Le Magnan (Read review)


Best Place to Stay in Provence for City Living

Marseille is a bustling metropolitan city with an upbeat vibe. It’s also a city of contrast. While the Vieux-Port has been refreshed in recent years with an ultra-modern makeover, a few streets back you’ll find the grungy bars and true character the city is renowned for. A great place to shop, sightsee, or simply sit in a waterfront cafe and people-watch.

Best places to stay in Marseille

Marseille ticks all the boxes for a city fix while still being a great base to explore the Mediterranean coast of the South of France.

Don’t miss: A walk up to the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde is an essential part of your visit to Marseille. Rising above the city skyline, the Roman-Byzantine style, 19th-century church is a sight to behold. And needless to say, you’ll have the best view in the city!


Luxury – Hotel C2

Mid-Range – Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille (Read review)

Budget – Mama Shelter (Read review)


Best Places to Stay in Provence for Families

With so many things to do with kids in Provence, I couldn’t pick just one best spot to enjoy a family holiday. The southern cities of Aix and Marseille cater very well for younger visitors, but outside these main centres, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly attractions also.

Best hotels in Provence for kids. Where to stay in Provence, France.

The Village des Automates near Saint-Cannat is a favourite, as is the Parc des Labyrinthes Géants near La Roque-d’Anthéron. Kids will also love the many castles to explore and the abundant lakes and playgrounds throughout the region.

Don’t miss: As well as all the great kid’s attractions in the area, during the school holidays Aix-en-Provence run several workshops and shows just for the city’s youngest visitors. Pop into the tourism office right next to La Rotonde to find out what’s going on during your stay.


Les Baux de ProvenceMas de l’Oulivié

Avignon – Le Prieure (Read review)

Castellane – Camping RCN Les Collines de Castellane

Provence is such an incredible holiday destination that you’re bound to have a memorable stay. Whether you chose to stay in a historical village, among the lavender fields, or in a vibrant city, I hope this guide has helped you chose the best place to stay in Provence!

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Looking for the best places to stay in Provence, France? Provence is an incredible destination with so much to offer every visitor. Find the best place to stay in Provence - in our ultimate guide to Provence
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Looking for the best places to stay in Provence, France? Provence is an incredible destination with so much to offer every visitor. Find the best place to stay in Provence - for every kind of holiday!

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Thursday 12th of May 2022

Many thanks for your excellent site. Am in the initial stages of a planned return to Provence in September. Sooo, let's see; fly into Marseille, explore two days, then to Aix for a couple days, then to Avignon, and then Nimes and Arles and then why not fly to Florence, and up to Milan? You get the idea. Rushing all over the place and not really seeing anything. Your site has calmed things down. Will take your advice and find a quiet hillside village to stay in, sit back and relax (have a croissant and espresso and people watch) and enjoy a leisurely stay. Florence and Milan will be there for another day.

Nadine Maffre

Friday 13th of May 2022

You're most welcome! Thank you. Haha yes, I absolutely understand the urge to want to see everything. But Provence is best savoured at a slower pace :)

Catherine Carter

Monday 5th of April 2021

Hi Nadine, Really enjoyed reading your article about what Provence has got to offer. We are looking at visit next year but won't have access to a car. Is it still possible to explore Provence without a car? We were thinking of staying in Aix so that we are central for seeing all the main areas of Provence (Avignon, Camargue, Luberon, Cassis etc.) but would be open to other suggestions. Thank-you.

Nadine Maffre

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Hi Catherine, you can certainly get to some places without a car, but I wouldn't say the public transport system here is particularly user-friendly or advanced. Staying in Aix is a good idea if you're planning on taking public transport though, as you'll be able to reach Avignon, Cassis and Arles ok. And some places in the Luberon. I'd recommend taking a tour of the Luberon from Aix to see all the wonderful villages too!


Saturday 11th of May 2019

We're planning on coming to Provence in October from Girona Spain by train. Should we stay in Bonnieux or Gordes for 2 or 3 days?

Nadine Maffre

Thursday 16th of May 2019

Hi Diana, they're both really lovely villages and shouldn't be too busy in October. At a pinch, I'd say Gordes. But Bonnieux is arguably better placed for exploring several of the other 'most beautiful villages' in the Luberon. Gordes, however, is closer to L'isle-sur-la-Sorgue which is also lovely.


Thursday 28th of March 2019

Oh, we are also hiring a car so have the freedom to go wherever the wind blows us


Thursday 28th of March 2019

Hi Nadine

We are flying into Marseilles on 29th June and out of Perpignan 7th July. We want to spend the majority of the time visit quaint French villages in Provence and of course the lavender fields. We would also like to spend 2 nights in the Pyrenees at the end of our trip.

Do you think we should base ourselves in Roussillion (open to other options) and just do day trips out to Sault, Valensole and the other lavender regions? Or is it better to spend a few days in each region? If the latter which towns would you suggest and for how long? We are not really looking for large cities instead, villages with a few restaurants, shops etc.

Many thanks Tina

Nadine Maffre

Tuesday 2nd of April 2019

Hi Tina, it's absolutely doable to visit the villages and lavender fields by basing yourselves in one spot and doing day trips around... And what I'd recommend so that you can relax and enjoy your surroundings instead of moving around. In that case, yes the Luberon is a good choice. Roussillon is a lovely village, but it does get very busy in summer. Other suggestions would be Saignon which is closer to the valensole plateau, or around Apt for ease of commuting to other areas :-)

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