I love Provence. Ever since I studied in Nice as a teenager I’ve been enamored with the region. But most of my travels in southern France have focused on the coast. Which is a shame, because there are so many amazing places to discover in the interior. And that’s why I’m excited to spend 36 hours in Provence discovering the under-the-radar inland highlights.

36 Hours in Provence

36 Hours in Provence

I’m here with my boyfriend for a quick weekend getaway. After our flight from London we drive to Var, where we’re ensconced in vineyards and serenaded by cicadas.

Tourtour, Provence

It’s beautiful, peaceful, and everything the bustling Cote d’Azur isn’t.


We start our visit the way any trip to France should: wine tasting. There are lots of wineries with tasting rooms in the Lorgues area, and the local rose wines at Chateau de Berne go down a treat.

Hotel in Provence

Afterwards we hike through the vines, taking in mountain panoramas and rocky terroir as we go. There are beautiful trails here, and it feels good to stretch our legs after a long journey.

Vineyard in Provence


But our 36 hours in Provence are going quickly, and we want to cover more ground. We hop in the car and head north to Tourtour, a hilltop village that deserves its place in the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France association.

Tourtour, Provence

The narrow streets and colorful shutters are reminiscent of Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Eze, two of my favorite towns in Provence.

Tourtour, Provence

It’s less crowded here, though, and we have fun getting lost in the lanes and having lunch with a view on the terrace of a restaurant in the main square.

Tourtour, Provence


From Tourtour we continue our journey with a visit to Aups, a market town on the edge of the Verdon Natural Regional Park.

Aups, Provence

Aups is larger than Tourtour, but still has plenty of pretty streets to explore, archways to duck under, and yellow facades with turquoise shutters to admire.

Aups, Provence

We stop for a coffee (ok, and an ice cream) at one of the cafes, absorbing the ambiance and seeking out more of the details that have awed us from the time we arrived.

Shop in Aups, Provence


After another beautiful drive through the hills, we come to the last stop on our trip to Provence. Vinon-sur-Verdon is full of stone stairways, pink checkered facades, and colorful doors.

Vinon-sur-Verdon, Provence

As we climb the hill, we take in grapevines hanging from stone houses, cats napping on post boxes, and gardens running wild.

Vinon-sur-Verdon, Provence

The view from the church at the top has all the ingredients of a Provencal scene: orange tile rooftops, verdant hills, and singing birds. But I’m still obsessed with the details closer in, and as we make our way back down I’m delighted by the flowers and painted houses.

Vinon-sur-Verdon, Provence

And that pretty much sums up how I feel about this undiscovered part of France. As much as I enjoy Nice and adore Antibes, I’ve loved getting to know Var. Its towns and villages, wineries and walking paths have won me over and made me excited to come back again and uncover more of Provence’s secrets.

Chateau in Provence

How about you? How would you spend 36 hours in Provence?

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36 Hours in Provence

24 Comments on Lady’s Secret Guide to 36 Hours in Provence

  1. I’ve been studying Fench for a while and I think I have to go to France… I mean, I need practive, no? 😉 And Provence screams my name, specially the countryside. Besides I’ve been seeing lots of Provence blog posts around the web lately (and now I feel the ruge to go because I see it everywhere!) but none of them where dedicated to a short period of time. This comes in very handy since we can only travel during weekends.
    By the way, I’ve loved your recent talk with Traverse!

  2. I loved this post. Provence is definitely high on my list of places to visit that I haven’t been able to get to yet. Have you also visited Vaucluse? That’s the department I’ve always fixated on but you definitely made a strong case to include Var in my future plans. Also, I was hoping to see a few pics of lavender fields taken by you since your photos are always so amazing. Thanks again!

  3. Such beautiful photos of my favorite place in France! Every single summer while growing up my family and I would drive from Denmark to France to spend 3 weeks of our vacation in beautiful Provence. Love all the incredibly charming villages, the lavender fields and of course all the delicious fresh fruits and veggies at the local markets (:

  4. In Var I should highly recommend Correns. It’s the authentic Provence, very few tourist (except on the bio fair in August) but real people. You can climb on the cliffs of Vallon Sourn 3 miles from the village, you can go down the river Argens on a canoe, and enjoy the white wine of the village. Correns grows organic wine and vegetables. Narrow streets, painted walls, a beautiful church, there is everything. I spend a lot of time there, and every time I come back I feel “wow, this is a beautiful place”

  5. Beautiful places. I have only been to Paris and I’m so sad that I did not get to explore more of France. Hopefully, I will go back next year and see more of the countryside.

  6. I’ve wanted to visit this region ever since the show ‘A Year in Provence’ was on TV when I was a child (am I showing my age as an ’80s kid?) Your pictures are gorgeous and it’s only made me more determined to visit soon!

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