Towns

Whether you're planning a weekend Citybreak, a longer trip or just an armchair tour, this is your guide to the most beautiful and interesting towns in Provence. We launch our section with visits to Allauch, Aubagne, Bandol, Carry le Rouet, Cassis, La Ciotat, L'Isle sur la Sorgue, Martigues, Saint Rémy de Provence and Sanary sur Mer. Stay tuned for further additions.

Smaller villages have their own separate section, as do larger towns and cities. Click here for our full guides to Aix en Provence, Avignon, Marseille and Toulon.

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Windmill at AllauchThis pretty, peaceful little hill town with panoramic views across the countryside is just 12 km / 7.5 miles from Marseille. Rich in provençal tradition, Allauch hosts colourful festivals throughout the year.

antiques market smallWhether you're looking for antiques, art and crafts, silverware, table linen, second-hand books or farm-fresh market produce, you're bound to find it in L'Isle sur la Sorgue.

AubagneAubagne sums up the very essence of Provence. In a stunning hillside setting, this historic town is the centre of ceramicists and santon-makers, Marcel Pagnol's birthplace and the Foreign Legion HQ. It even has a pastis distillery.

bandol holel des bainsThe bright, relaxed and unpretentious seaside resort of Bandol has a lot to offer. Expect miles of beaches, great shopping and buzzing seafront restaurants and bars - and some excellent wines.

Carry le RouetA lovely half hour train ride west of Marseille, the modestly charming port of Carry le Rouet will give you a sharp, salty breath of authentic coastal Provence.

The port of CassisOne of the most seductive resorts on the Provence coast, Cassis boasts a stunning location, a lovely harbour, a sprinkling of beaches, exceptional wines and, despite the crowds in summer, an intimate, small-town feel.

wallace fountain hyeres smallHyères sits on the cusp between rustic Western Provence and the cosmopolitan Côte d'Azur. There's a lot to see here, from the gorgeous coastline and islands to its many layers of history.

canal isle sur la sorgueL'Isle sur la Sorgue is just what the name says: an island in the middle of the River Sorgue. And there are many excellent reasons why this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Provence.

La Ciotat Old PortOnce an industrial port, La Ciotat has brilliantly reinvented itself as a tourist destination. Today it's one of the liveliest and least spoiled resorts along this stretch of the coast.

Martigues, a canalWith its luminous open views across the water and great expanses of lakeside frontage, Martigues likes to call itself the provençal Venice.

statue emperor augustus orangeA small, unassuming, rather sleepy town in Northern Provence, Orange attracts tourists for three reasons: its Roman history, its opera festival and its wine.

porquerolles beaches bikes smallIts picture postcard beaches, peaceful woods and vineyards and proximity to the mainland lure over a million visitors a year to the island of Porquerolles.

Van Gogh's bedroom at Saint Paul de MausoleNear the end of his life Vincent van Gogh painted some of his greatest works at Saint Paul de Mausole a beautiful 11th century monastery converted into a psychiatric clinic.

The roofs of Saint Remy de ProvenceEmbraced by a wide, leafy boulevard, the lazily charming old town of Saint Rémy is a maze of winding streets, cafés, squares and fountains with two exceptional attractions on its edge.

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