ByBest Of Provence Tours

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The best of Provence by the Guardian

It’s France’s poster region for l’art de vivre – but where do you start? Here’s our insider pick of the best places to stay, eat and visit in its cities and picturesque towns and villages

Have we missed your favourite or do you have a tip you’d like to share? Join in the discussion in the comments below

St Croix lake and Verdon River in Provence
The turquoise waters of the Lac de Sainte Croix are great for swimming. Photograph: Lightkey/Getty Images

Gorges du Verdon

Arriving at the spectacular-setting of the Hotel des Gorges du Verdon is a relief after a series of nerve-jangling hairpin bends on the D952. All is sparkling, modern, eco-friendly and full of the greens, gingers and lavender tones of the Gorges region. It’s a short walk to the start of the route des Crêtes (for serious walkers), but it’s just as good to watch them leave from the terrace and stay for a dip in the hotel pool.
+33 4 92 77 38 26, hotel-des-gorges-du-verdon.fr, doubles from €161.50 B&B, or €1,050 a week

Where to eat
Auberge du Point Sublime for its name alone.
Rougon, +33 4 92 83 69 15, auberge-pointsublime, dish of the day €17

Don’t miss
The turquoise waters of the Lac de Sainte Croix are great for swimming and boating, otherwise it’s hiking, rafting, canoeing and canyoning in the gorges.

St-Rémy-de-Provence

Hotel Gounod, St Remy de Provence
Hotel Gounod, St-Remy-de-Provence

Composer Charles Gounod wrote his opera Mireille here and gave his name to the town’s oldest hotel. Hotel Gounod stands on the corner of the main market square in St-Rémy-de-Provence and the madcap interior is full of musical memorabilia, as well as a collection of religious statuettes and curiosities. The hotel also has a tea room and is near the restaurants, chocolate shops and boutiques of one of France’s oldest and prettiest towns. The Roman village of Glanum and the sanatorium where Vincent van Gogh “stayed” are just up the road.
+33 4 90 92 06 14, hotel-gounod.com, doubles from €99

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