international travel, travel

Travel Guide :: 24 Hours In Provence (a Love Story)

As an Italian, I have a hard time admitting that the French do anything better than us, but when it comes to Provence (and pastries), I have to say… they absolutely win. Out of all the stops on our Mediterranean trip with Princess Cruises, this was by far my favorite. Between the outdoor markets, wine tasting, fantastic shopping, and – most importantly – the scenery – this region might be the most charming destination I’ve ever experienced.

Saint Rémy de Provence

a charming corner of saint remy in provence | 24 hour travel guide from coco kelley

Even though our port for this excursion was Marseille, there were so many places we wanted to see that we opted for a private driver and guide for this day, and I’m so glad we did! My girlfriend Christy and I buddied up with the adorable Cassie from Hi Sugarplum (and her hubby!) to explore Provence together. Between her list and ours, we pretty much nailed it as far as our tour went!

fresh bread at the outdoor market in saint remy, provence | 24 hour travel guide from coco kelley

little olive trees the farmer's market in saint remy, provence (france) | fresh bread at the wednesday market in st. remy, provence | 24 hour travel guide from coco kelley

The public market is on Wednesdays, so we completely lucked out with our timing. We browsed through stalls and stalls of soaps, olive oils, meats, produce, fresh bread and a few pretty little delights like these potted olive trees! I so wanted to smuggle one home with me.

a charming creperie in saint remy, france | guide from coco kelley

mint green windows and doors in saint remy provence (france) | 24 hour travel guide from coco kelley

The streets were absolutely charming and it was a perfect day to simply wander through and pick up plenty of little souvenirs from the shops and vendors along the way before heading off to our next destination.

Shop: One of my favorites stops was Libellule (gorgeous linens!!!) and NM Deco was delightful too.

Eat: The colorful Le Bistro de Marie is decorated with so many fun antiques you’ll think you’re at the flea!

the charming town of l'isle-sur-sorgue in provence is known for its antique markets | 24 hour travel guide by coco kelley

the charming town of l'isle-sur-sorgue in provence is known for its antique markets | 24 hour travel guide by coco kelley

L’Isle-Sur-Sorgue

L’isle-Sur-Sorgue is, in fact, completely surrounded by water – the River Sorgue splits and wraps its way around this tiny ‘island’ whose historic water wheels still turn. This town is an antique shopper’s heaven, so I’m shocked I didn’t come away with some great treasure, but a quick roam through town topped by lunch was all we had time for!

the charming town of l'isle-sur-sorgue in provence is known for its antique markets | 24 hour travel guide by coco kelley

antique shopping in l'isle sur sorgue | 24 hours in provence travel guide by coco kelley

Shop: The worn art deco facade of Fauque Beyret will lure you right into this shop filled to the brim with textiles.

Eat: The charming outdoor seating at Le Jardin du Quai is just what you need after a long day of shopping.

Roussillon 

the red cliffs of roussillon france | 24 hours in provence travel guide by coco kelley

If you had told me you could find red rocks like this in the middle of Provence, I wouldn’t have believed you. Luckily, our fantastic guide said that seeing it was a must! While the town itself is a bit touristy, it was totally worth a walk through. The colors of Provence against this red were such a change from what we had seen all day! And the views were amazing too.

the red distinctive red clay of roussillon in france | 24 hours in provence travel guide by coco kelley

colorful facades in roussillon, france | 24 hours in provence travel guide by coco kelley

the red distinctive red clay of roussillon in france | 24 hours in provence travel guide by coco kelley

Lourmarin

wine tasting at domaine de fontenille in lourmarin, france | 24 hour guide to Provence by coco kelley

Lourmarin was our last stop of the day, and I have to say I regretted that immediately. I would have spent a whole, languid, lovely day there. The shopping alone was such a distraction that we barely made it up the hill to the Chateau which I’m sure is most visitors’ first destination. Our priority, however, was touring through the small town and enjoying a glass of rosé at the Domaine de Fontenille tasting room (If you’re looking for a place to stay, their hotel looks absolutely divine and amazing!) 

shopping in lourmarin | 24 hour guide to Provence by coco kelley

the charming town of lourmarin in provence | 24 hour guide to Provence by coco kelley

The thing about most of Provence is that you feel like you’re on a movie set – it’s almost too perfect and idyllic a setting! I had to stop myself from taking photos at every turn, but now that I’ve been I know that I will absolutely be back – we didn’t even get to experience the lavender in bloom or consume nearly enough cheese and wine from the markets. A return trip for me will be a must!

Sources

This trip was sponsored by Princess Cruises. Thank you for supporting the companies that support coco kelley!