After arriving into Marseille Airport at 11am, we visited these 5 villages in one day. With less than 24 hours to explore, we created a jam-packed Provence itinerary! Depending on how long you have, you could easily stretch this out to spend longer in each spot.
Route: Lourmarin -> Bonnieux -> Domaine de Marie Vineyard* > Ménerbes -> Roussillon -> Gordes
Driving time: 1 hour 17
*prebooking required for tastings and tours
What You’ll See
5 Beautiful Provence villages and incredible countryside in between. From Roman structures and red cliffs to perched hilltop villages and, of course, a vineyard, this tour takes in a lot! For an overview of each village and more pictures, see this post.
How To Travel Around Provence
Realistically, you’re best off hiring a car. The car hire places are right outside the airport terminal at Marseille, so it makes the whole process very straightforward.
Driving In Provence
The roads are quite narrow around some of the small villages and we found that people really know the exact width of their cars! Oncoming cars will drive almost towards you then squeeze effortlessly past at the last moment. Be warned but don’t be alarmed… I do recommend hiring a small car to make life easier though!
A lot of the roads have loose bits of gravel or stone chippings on them and we heard them hitting the car when we were driving along. For this reason, we were really glad we had a hire car and didn’t drive ours over. The paint would have been wrecked! Also people driving straight towards you is slightly more tolerable in a hire car, n’est-ce pas?
When to Visit Provence
Summer is undoubtedly the best time to pop to Provence. The lavender fields are in full swing from the end of June with Sunflower fields joining them in late July and August. Also the weather is mostly warm and dry. If you’re trying to avoid crowds then aim for June and September.
Where to Stay in Provence
There are places to stay in each village if you’d like to experience each one more fully. However, if you’d like to stay in one place, it has to be Gordes! It’s exquisite and has a good selection of restaurants, fantastic bakery and stunning views. There’s a lovely hotel – La Bastide de Gordes – or Air BnBs and bed and breakfasts.