Things You Didn’t Know About Provence
When one thinks of France, visions of sunny afternoons spent sipping fine wine and taking in the colorful countryside often come to mind. Perhaps no area in the country embodies this more than the region of Provence. It didn’t become one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations for nothing. But Provence offers so much more than just breathtaking landscapes and delectable cuisine. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Provence.
Named for the river Var, this French department is home to some of the country’s most incredible medieval architecture. It also happens to lead the world in the production of rose wine. The area’s rich soil and warm climate provide the perfect environment for grape growing. There are also beaches and ports galore, offering a variety of water activities to those so inclined. It’s the perfect combination of sunny relaxation and outdoor adventure. And the wine is pretty good too!
You’ve probably heard of massage therapy or physical therapy, but you may not have heard of a popular form of therapy in Provence known as thalassotherapy, or sea water therapy. The word itself comes from a combination of the Greek words ‘thalassa’, meaning sea and therapia, meaning treatment. The theory behind the process holds that certain elements found in sea water can have therapeutic benefits on the skin. Thalassotherapy can be performed in a few different ways: either by inhaling sea fog, receiving a warm seawater shower, or by wearing a mask on your skin made from mud or algae. It’s just one of the many luxurious and relaxing spa treatments that await you in Provence.
Villeneuve les Avignon
A quaint little hideaway in Provence, Villeneuve les Avignon is a charming town with ancient roots dating back to the 6th century. What many visitors don’t realize is that this area was once called home by several Popes and Cardinals. The region is rich with history and intrigue, with a number of medieval forts and fortresses, such as Notre Dame de Villeneuve and Fort St.André, which still stand to this day providing a fascinating testament to centuries past. It’s truly one of Provence’s most treasured gems.
PACA, for short, is one of France’s 22 regions of which Provence is an integral part. Many people don’t realize just how vast the PACA region truly is or that it actually includes six departments. Located in the South-east, it is bordered by Italy, Languedoc-Roussillon, Monaco, Rhône-Alpes and the Mediterranean Sea. Provence is one of the most popular provinces of the PACA region, with its welcoming climate, rich culture and history and diverse landscape.
Beaches between Cassis and Saint Tropez
While it’s certainly no secret that Provence is host to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, many people aren’t aware of some of the smaller, lesser-known ones in the area, particularly those located between Cassis and Saint Tropez. These smaller beaches offer the same pristine sand and ocean breeze, but provide a more private experience. Some of them, like La Voile Rouge and Le Club 55 charge an access fee and feature a variety of amenities from private changing rooms to lounge chairs to hot tubs. Others are public (and free) but still offer a range of services like restaurants and hotels. Any beach excursion in Provence is sure to be enjoyable, but if you can find your way to those that are more off the beaten path, you’ll experience luxury and relaxation at a whole new level.