ByBest Of Provence Tours

10 reasons why the British love Provence by the Telegraph

 

10 reasons why the British  love Provence

The Valensole Plateau is lavender central
The Valensole Plateau is lavender central CREDIT: GETTY

 

Provence has long been a playground for British tourists: blame the landscape, blame the climate, blame the food. Blame – as some did – Peter Mayle, whose Year in Provence, published in 1989, encouraged plenty of others to follow in his footsteps.

Mayle, who died on Friday, disavowed responsibility for those new arrivals. As he told The Daily Telegraph in 2006: “We are all tourists in one way or another. Tourists have been coming to Provence for thousands of years and no wonder, because it is a lovely place. Tourists always get a bad reputation, but what would happen if they didn’t come and boost the local economy in the way that they do?”

Well, boosting the local economy is a welcome byproduct of a visit, but we come, in the end, because Provence is beautiful. Here are 10 of the views that might inspired your own visit for a week, a month, or even a year.

Luberon

More than anywhere else in Provence, the Luberon region comes to us these days in soft focus, as a voluptuous playground for the cultured – or, at least, the fairly well-off. This agreeable world was well-covered by Peter Mayle. But Mayle’s real talent was also to catch the underlying reality of the Luberon: the village shopkeepers and workmen, the hunters and the farmers. Get your first eyeful of how lovely these Luberon villages are in Gordes. The hazards of history have left it creeping down its hillside with both drama and intimacy.

The Luberon region comes to us these days in soft focus, as a voluptuous playground for the cultured
The Luberon region comes to us these days in soft focus, as a voluptuous playground for the cultured CREDIT: GETTY

Pays Dignois

The Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is where Provence, scarcely tame before, rises truly rocky and rugged to meet the Alps. The Pays Dignois district is in the centre of this remote, magnificent landscape. And the town of Digne-les-Bains is in the centre of that. But the real glory is in the landscape beyond. To the south, the Valensole Plateau is lavender central, a soul-stirring sight in July. To the north and east, the crags, peaks, ravines and valleys comprise a Geological Reserve.