The Best Time to Visit Provence: 10 Reasons to Plan Your Trip in the Fall

I am often asked what is the best season to visit the South of France. It‘s hard to choose since I have been to Provence in every season and there is always something to love. For example the winter gets pretty chilly but that sun brings the good vibes and makes a nice escape from Paris, the Spring shows us all the blooms and it gets warm enough to head to the beach and the crowds haven’t arrived quite yet, and the Summer of course is popular for the lavender fields but can be extremely hot and crowded. My favorite season is hands down the early Fall and the months of September and October.  Here are 10 reasons to plan your next trip to Provence in the Fall. (Disclaimer: I admit that many of the reasons apply year round but reason number 1 and 2 coupled with the fact you kind of get the place to yourself, should be all you need to agree with me.) 
When is the best time to visit Provence ? The Fall is the best time to visit Provence !

1. The Weather

The weather in the Fall is close to perfection. The days are bright and sunny and most evenings bring a little chill that requires a light jacket or sweater. I find this perfect so that I can explore during the days with the sun on my SPF-protected face and then get cozy with a glass of wine and good conversations when the sun goes down.  So what should you pack?
You can really wear anything you would in the summer months but bring a sweater, a coat, or a light cape. If you like to do a dramatic costume change for the evening then I recommend long sleeves. In the crazy climate change times we live in, the sweet spot: layers. You should also know about the Mistral, which is a crazy wind that randomly shows up some days (year-round) and can last for a day or more. It can be intense and rather annoying so on these days a sweater is absolutely necessary and so is activity indoors. People who don’t live in the South of France say it is the punishment for having the best weather in France most of the time.⠀⠀
When is the best time to visit Provence? Fall is the best time to visit Provence!

2. The Colors

The autumn season brings such rich hues of yellow, orange and red colors. I love seeing these colors creeping up houses in the villages and in the vineyards that are days or weeks

When is the best time to visit Provence? The Fall is the best time to visit Provence!


3. The Markets
Almost every little village and city has a market day where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables from local farmers. The sellers are friendly and will share their knowledge and expertise if you ask, and sometimes if you don’t ask. Moments at the market bring me joie de vivre because you connect with people but also find unique treasures to pack home in your suitcase. And when the market in Paris is kind of chilly in Paris come late September and October, it is a sunny affair in the South

When is the best time to visit Provence? The Fall is the best time to visit Provence!


4. The Provençal Architecture
There is a reason that so many foreigners flock to the South for vacations and weddings. It is beautiful! The architecture and the gardens are to die for! I enjoy seeing the styles of houses and shops that seem very typical to the South of France. The village houses are slightly different from the countryside villas but they all share the common theme of colorful shutters, big beautiful doors, and a very specific style of landscape architecture with cypress trees, thyme and sage bushes, and olive tree lined paths. I could photograph doors

When is the best time to visit Provence? The Fall is the best time to visit Provence!

5. The Villages
Provence is full of tiny villages with windy streets and each one is as charming as the next. Some are on hilltops, some end as quickly as they begin, some seem like ghost towns, and some are bustling with life and activity, but all full of mystery, charm, fascination, and history. And when you visit in the Fall, after the Summer crowds have passed through, you feel like you have

When is the best time to visit Provence ? LFall is the best time to visit Provence !

6. The Food and Wine
It doesn’t rain too much in Provence but the unique vegetation and landscape produce such a rich and specific food and wine culture. There are so many vineyards, which somehow make me smile as I drive through the country seeing the symmetrical rows of vines. Rosé is the Queen wine of the region so you will find that on the menu year-round. I enjoy a lot of seafood and fish dishes, thanks to the proximity to the Mediterranean but also love all the seasonal dishes that show up on menus

When is the best time to visit Provence? Fall is the best time to visit Provence!



7. The People
I enjoy how friendly people in Provence are. I find they are always willing to chat and move so much slower than people other parts of France. Perhaps it is all that time they spend enjoying slow lunches and the great weather but they are very relaxed and nice. If you can hear the difference between the Southern accent and a Parisian one, it’s a bonus, because it’s quite charming. I love that Provence is full of expats as well, because they all have such interesting stories about why they decided to move and call the South of

When is the best time to travel to Provence?


8. Slow Lunches
Nobody in the South of France seems to be in a hurry. When they sit for dinner and especially for lunch…they sit, the loathe, they linger and they enjoy. They enjoy those hours, (and I add plural because it is never a quick affair), to savor their meal, their wine, and the

What is the best season to visit Provence? The Fall !



9. The History
Provence has been a source of inspiration and fascination for so many American expats and French artists. Why? Because it is dripping in history and inspiring landscapes. There are roman ruins, turquoise waters, rolling hills, medieval villages…so much to draw inspiration from and all while taking it in a slower pace of life. Some names you might know that lived or spent significant time in the South: Julia Child, MFK Fisher, James Baldwin, Peter Mayle, Cezanne, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and


10. One region with many different areas to explore
The South of France is a region of France that is made of different areas: The Cote d’Azur and Provence. And within Provence it breaks down further into the Luberon, the Alpilles, the Var, the Vaucluse. It’s hard to choose a favorite and you usually don’t have to choose because you can cross from one area to the other easily by car. You can go antique shopping in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in the morning,  stop for a cafe and snap some pictures in  Roussillon (the “Colorado of France”), drive past some vineyards almost ready for the harvest, then stop in the little city of Aix-en-Provence for lunch, before driving 55 minutes to Cassis for a swim

When is the best time to visit Provence? Fall is the best time to visit Provence!


If you would like to be notified when we launch the dates of our Fall 2023 retreat in Provence or for 2024 retreat dates then send an email to See you in Provence! 

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