The Provence Adventure (with More to Come)

Though I’ve been to Provence many times, there are places I still hadn’t seen and wanted to visit. This was not only to experience them, but as research for a Provence guide I’m planning to write. Although I intended to continue posting through June,(with apologies), I couldn’t. The trip was busier than I’d planned, so I settled on Instagram (for some spontaneous shots!). Hope you saw those photos! I haven’t finished organizing my photos, so I’ll just include a few here with many more you can look forward to.


The Trip


The trip began in Paris, my second “hometown.” Having spent 13 years there, it’s such a part of my heart I’ll never be able to say goodbye to it (and don’t plan to!) One reason I like to go back is to remember all the places I love, see old friends dear to me, and (no surprise) do more research to make Oliver’s France and my book Magical Paris even more helpful. (See below for a photo I took of Paris from the 56th floor of the Tour de Montparnasse at the Ciel de Paris Restaurant, where I had breakfast.)

After a few days in Paris, I took a TGV to Avignon. The following week was a whirlwind of memories, which I’ll share with you in the months to come. Places like Uzès, Nimes, Cassis, and Nice, to name only a few. Along the way, I’ll also share some new travel tips I discovered there.

Here are some photos (out of over 1700!) to pique your interest in wonderful Provence. Then in the next few months, I’ll drill down to my favorite areas and share more about this enchanted area of France, the second most popular after Paris.

Immediately west of Avignon is a smaller town. Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, where the church officials lived during the time of two papacies. Wander here for a glimpse of their homes and a nearby chateau.

Uzès. This town to the west of Avignon isn’t technically part of the official region of Provence. Rather, it’s part of the region called Occitanie. I’d read about it and had to go see it. And it became one of my favorites. There were clusters of jasmine plants around doors, up walls, everywhere scenting the air.

The route by car between Avignon and Uzès takes you past the Roman aqueduct, Le Pont du Gard. This historical wonder is worth a visit. It’s free to visit, though you do have to pay 9 euros for parking. There is a museum at an additional cost.


If I had to describe Uzès, I’d say it’s reminiscent of Avignon, but with a down-to-earth flair all its own. I’ll write more in a future post about this memorable smaller town.

The next stop was Nimes, which I’ve written about before. This larger town is home to three first-century Roman structures that will amaze you. With some 400 Roman arenas still in existence, the arena in Nimes is by far the best preserved. Parks, a canal, and plenty of bigger-city bustle will keep you entertained.

St. Remy-de-Provence was a stop along the way to Apt. The following day we stopped in Lourmarin and Bonnieux, two picture-perfect villages embodying Provence’s beauty and charm. (There was also the hunt for lavender fields! Unfortunately, too early for full blooms, but we still got some early growth photos.)


Then, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Hyères, then Nice. And along with enjoying Nice, nearby day trips offer too much to tell in this post. Stay tuned for future posts of Oliver’s France.

This photo left is me at the Temple of Diana in Nimes. First-century ruins…amazing!



Stay tuned for more photos and tips for each of the twelve towns I visited in Provence. It’s hard to say which is my favorite!

Here’s a great view of Paris, where I started my journey!