Experience the charming towns and cities of Provence
The French region of Provence is of historical significance, known specifically for its weather, countryside, tradition, and fabulous food. Historically, it became the first Roman province beyond the Alps, which saw it named Provincia Romana, and its name has been retained ever since. The region is also geographically significant – located on the southern coast of France and, therefore, incorporating a number of the towns that make up the famous French Riviera.
Passengers embarking on Pullmantur Cruises’ Breezes of Mediterranean itinerary will get the chance to explore this beautiful region. Calling into the French Riviera town of Toulon, visitors will get the chance to explore a range of charming settlements, beaches, towns and cities during their time in Provence. This week, we take a closer look at six of the destinations you can visit on respective excursions with Pullmantur.
Also known more simply as Aix, Aix-en-Provence is one of the richest towns in all of France, with plenty to see including many ornate fountains and historic architecture. You can wander the romantic, narrow streets within the inner city and observe the many landmarks that include aristocratic mansions and royal statues. Alternatively, you can sit back with a coffee – or a traditional Pastis – and relax as you watch the world go by.
Situated on the banks of the Rhône River, Avignon is widely regarded as a major city of Provence. While there are many landmarks considered to be worth visiting within this region, one of the main factors for drawing people to Avignon is the Papal Palace – a UNESCO World Heritage site. This 14th-century landmark bears the appearance of a lavishly-decorated fortress, while its purpose was to serve as the seat of the papacy.
The village of Le Castellet offers a glimpse into the traditional culture of Provence, with its beautiful picturesque setting. Locally-made crafts can be found on sale throughout the small and sloping streets. Some would say that the main highlight of the village is the hilltop castle, which offers mesmerising views over the village; while overs would say there is nothing better than being able to sample locally-produced wines from one of the many surrounding vineyards.
The city of Marseille has something to offer for everybody. Those seeking a spot of retail therapy may appreciate the offering available at the Vieux Port (old harbour). Stunning landmarks such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, the fortress of St Jean, and the awe-inspiring Notre Dame de la Garde will more than please anyone interested in the local culture.
St Tropez is undoubtedly one of the most glamourous destinations on the French Riviera, providing a home to many celebrities from around the world. Traditionally a fishing village, St Tropez has attracted the rich and famous since the visit of Bridget Bardot, after World War II. You can wander the streets of this charming village or relax on one of the many beautiful golden beaches – each of which offers the perfect place in which to soak up the Mediterranean sun.
Of course, there is plenty to see and do in Toulon itself as well. Taking away the travel time required to travel to the other destinations listed above, you will have more time to appreciate everything this port town has to offer. The historical centre is particularly impressive and is home to many intricate streets filled with architecture and culture. While wandering the town, you may stumble across landmarks including the 18th-century St Marie de la Seds Cathedral, the monumental clock of Tour de l’horloge and the historical centre of Place Puget. Alternatively, you can head to one of the many beaches available on the expansive coastline.
The Mediterranean cruising season is well underway, with both Horizon and Sovereign set to be based within the region throughout the summer. Both of these vessels will be able to carry you to a range of destinations, while you take advantage of the all-inclusive offering on board – which includes a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at no extra cost.
To find out more about the range of great value cruises available with Pullmantur, contact us today via the freephone number above or by completing the online enquiry form.