My Bag

Art and Nature
in Provence

By Abigail Pyke

View over the Gorges du Verdon, via The Blonde Abroad

Travelling to the the South of France soon? Explore the beauty the region has to offer through art and nature (and sometimes a combination of the two) with our picks from stunning villas, gardens, and of course, the best place to take a leisurely walk through the lavender fields.

The beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, via their website.

Where to see the best art

Spend a day on the island of Porquerolles after taking the beautiful ferry ride from Giens to visit the Fondation Carmignac, filled with contemporary art that's both bizarre and beautiful, from Edouard Carmignac's collection.

Visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, for the perfect mix of art and nature. The petal pink palace is what photography dreams are made of, while the pristine gardens and beautiful collection of porcelain and vintage furniture will keep you busy all day long.

Saint-Paul-de-Vence is an ideal village to immerse yourself in all things art -- the small town might seem tiny, but is filled with plenty to do, including Fondation Maeght. Years ago, this was truly an artists' haven, including visitors and residents among the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and Sartre.

Carrieres de Lumieres is a spot for those looking for an immersive, multimedia experience centred around art. Situated in a quarry, the rotating art exhibitions are projected onto the surface of the rock, creating a beautiful merging of art and nature. This is a must-see in the Provence region.

The lavender fields at Plateau de Valensole, via

Where to immerse yourself in nature

Gorges du Verdon is the spot to go if you're looking for both an exciting or relaxing adventurous day out. For a high intensity day, head to the 1000+ climbing paths, or for something more relaxing, rent a boat or go for a leisurely swim and a lie out.

Domaine du Rayol is our pick for a botanical garden, something we love to visit in any city that has one. The expansive gardens at Rayol is not one to be missed, whether you're looking for a simple and pleasant wander through the different types of trees and plants, or if you're looking to learn more about what you're seeing.

We couldn't end our art and nature guide without including, of course, the lavender fields of Provence. Our pick is Plateau de Valensole, where you can find blooming fields as far as the eye can see. The best time to go is July and August, either for their festival in early July, or just to see the springs in full bloom at your leisure.

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