Long Weekend Road Trip through Provence

Advisor - Theresa Baumann
Curated By

Theresa Baumann

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  • France

  • South of France

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Luxury Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Local Culture

  • Sightseeing

  • Outdoors

lavender fields with a mountain in the background
Curator’s statement

Provence is an ideal location for a perfect long weekend road trip. It has the most picturesque and unique landscape from the lavender fields to endless vineyards, glittering beaches and quaint towns at every turn. Spend a long weekend driving through Provence and you'll be looking for an excuse to not leave!

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay

Hôtel Crillon le Brave - Provence

Located in the heart of Vaucluse, this storybook hotel is a destination for the distinguished traveller looking for luxurious design and utmost hospitality.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hôtel Dieu Intercontinental Marseille

Stately hotel in Marseille boasting sleek rooms, an acclaimed restaurant a brasserie

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Guaranteed upgrade at time of booking in the next room category available.

  • Extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Theresa Baumann

Unlock perks by contacting Theresa to book your trip.

Day 1: Arrive in Marseille

rocky coastline next to body of water during daytime

You'll start your trip In Marseille and will check into your hotel before enjoying the Mediterranean sun. I suggest renting a car and driving about 30 minutes to Parc National des Calanques. Here you will find the hidden jewel of Provence for some breathtaking hikes and beautiful sandy beaches with turquoise water. In the summertime, it can definitely get busy, but much less crowded than the more well-known beaches on the French Riviera. After some much-needed Vitamin D head to the fishing town of Cassis for lunch.

After a busy day head back to Marseille for some dinner. Did you know Marseille is known for its pizza? If you're not in the mood for pizza, I would suggest making a reservation at Peron Restaurant for a spectacular dinner right on the water. Be sure to make a reservation during the sunset - it is worth the views!

Day 2: Head to the Countryside

yellow and green fields during daytime

Take the morning to wander around Marseille before heading to the countryside. You'll drive about 1.5 hours to your hotel, Crillon le Brave, a secluded and relaxed boutique hotel. Once you check in I would suggest exploring the hotel grounds where you'll find surprises at every corner. The actual town of Crillon le Brave is very small but the views are endless and during the summer have markets in the town square.

Take the day to relax at the hotel pool and drink all of the Aperol spritzes. For dinner, I would suggest eating at the hotel restaurant, La Madeline. While it is a bit pricey it is totally worth the splurge and always do the wine pairing! They use all local ingredients and every dish is better than the last.

Tip: If you are unsure of what to do visit the concierge. They were extremely helpful and nice suggesting certain things to do or stay away from.

Day 3: Visit the Lavender Fields

fields of purple lavender during sunset

If you're in Provence in the summertime and didn't see the lavender fields, were you even in Provence? Take this day to visit those Lavender Fields and there are so many options to choose from. Drive about 40 minutes to Abbaye de Senaque where they have endless fields of lavender and they make and sell all kinds of lavender products. There is a cost to tour the actual abbey, but the shop and actual fields are free to visit. Lavender season is typically June through July, but can always change depending on how dry/hot the weather is. A few other great towns to see the lavender fields are Sault, Valensole Plateau and Drome. Be sure to go in the morning to beat the heat and crowds!

After exploring the lavender fields drive to Gordes to visit a mesmerizing village propped on top of a hill. The views are endless with cafes and stores at every corner. Pick up some local Herbs de Provence and truffles at Diamont Noir - they will not disappoint as gifts. We went to La Maison du Fromage for lunch and the owners were the sweetest.

For dinner, head back to Crillon Le Brave and head to Restaurant du Vieux Four it's about a three-minute walk from the hotel. Don't wear heels - it's a steep and windy walk to the hotel and had to learn this the hard way.

Day 4: Spend a day at the vineyards

fields of crops during daytime

Vineyards on vineyards! You can arrange a full or half-day wine tour with the hotel or you can drive to the vineyards yourself. We chose to wander around ourselves allowing us to go with the flow. We headed to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region which is mostly known for their reds, but also makes a variety of whites as well. Our first stop was Chateau de la Gardine where we had a private tour of the vineyard and tasting. They were extremely kind and even suggested other vineyards to visit and where to go for lunch.

After head to La Verger des Papes or La Jardin de Paval for lunch. When I went La Verger was closed and happened to wander into La Jardin de Paval which did not disappoint with the food, wine and views! Definitely check out the Castle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which is right next to both restaurants. This way a great find for lunch and not busy at all.

Lastly head to Château de Vaudieu for a tasting and explored some of the grounds. We did not make any reservations prior to visiting and wandered into vineyards mostly by suggestions from either the hotel or previous vineyards.

If you're feeling up to it check out the town of Gigondas which is known for their red and rose wines for more tasting or to just wander around the town. Any town in Provence really does not disappoint and this one is worth the visit.

Day 5: Visit Saint-Remy-de-Provence

stone stairs lined with buildings during daytime

Be sure to check out Saint-Remy-de-Provence before you head home. Yet another picturesque Provence village that just does not disappoint. Vincent Van Gogh spent time here at the asylum and some of his most notable works are from here - think The Starry Night and Irises.

During the summer they had open markets here and in a number of other towns. They all offer different items and lots of local products. Note: check with the hotel on which days the markets are and in which towns!

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide to Spain: Luxury Foodie's Guide to San Sebastian.

Advisor - Theresa Baumann

Travel Advisor

Theresa Baumann

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to France.