Provence is a vibrant mix of romantic tradition and surprising, fast-changing modernity: hilltop villages and colourful cities, châteaux and fishing cabins, lavender fields and spectacular rocky calanques, rosé wine and bouillabaisse, Cézanne and van Gogh, pétanque, scuba diving and Olympique de Marseille, cutting edge French rap and elegant summer festivals of theatre and classical music.
Marseille sums up many of these contrasts. It is France's oldest city, with a rich and flavourful history. Yet it has also undergone a radical facelift over the last decade under the ambitious Euroméditerranée development programme.
This year the city itself, along with much of the surrounding region of Southern Provence, is the European Capital of Culture: click on the link for our events diary and full guide to the best of what's going on during Marseille-Provence 2013.
Today a tourist trip to Provence has never been easier, thanks to a high-speed TGV rail link from Paris and Lille (with frequent connections from London), low-cost flights to Marseille, Avignon, Toulon and Nîmes and fast-expanding cruise-ship traffic.
This site covers the sights and attractions in the areas around Marseille, as well as around Aix en Provence and Avignon, both of them grand provençal cities in their own right. As we grow, it will become a complete travel guide to Provence.
So, whether you're planning a weekend break, an extended stay, the purchase of your dream house or just an armchair visit to the most beautiful corner of France, do come and check regularly what's hot and fresh under the Mediterranean sun.
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