Petit Futé
  • Français
  • English
  • Español

The musts of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region

The Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region is located in the south-eastern part of France, not far from the border with Italy. With its Mediterranean climate, the sun shines here for a large part of the year, and the region is a delight for those who like to walk around in the mild winter and take advantage of the summer to get a good dose of warmth. The different departments that make up the region reveal extraordinary landscapes, and the green, hilly regions give way here and there to more arid areas. We also stay here for the beauty of its historical heritage, for its Provencal villages and for its attractive seaside towns. For the PACA region also evokes of course the Côte d'Azur, its beaches and creeks that look like paradise.

The Gorges du Verdon, a bewitching nature

The Verdon gorges are among the most imposing and beautiful in Europe. How not to be astonished by the extraordinary landscapes composed of rocky chaos 300 to 600 m high which plunge into turquoise water of all beauty. There are different ways to enjoy the gorges, for example you can cycle or drive along the roads that run along the canyon, as well as venture out on the many trails that are a hiker's delight. The area is also perfect for those who enjoy kayaking and swimming on hot summer days. Climbing on the cliffs and stops in picturesque villages complete the visit of a jewel of the French territory

Les Sentier des Ocres, a festival of colours

Located in the commune of Roussillon, the Ochre Path is a jewel of the Luberon. Different routes allow you to discover beautiful landscapes, shaped by water, wind and the hands of man. Ochre is everywhere, with variations of colours, and you must give way to long minutes of observation of the geological formations, on which one notes, here and there, the presence of trees and shrubs which bring their share of greenery. Throughout the walk, there are also explanations about the Massif des Ocres du Lubéron, its history, geology and flora. This protected site leaves incredible images in your mind

A hike along the coastal path in Nice

After discovering the main sites of interest in Nice: the Promenade des Anglais, Old Nice and the museums, what could be better than to treat yourself to a moment's walk along the coastal path? With a starting point very close to the port, it allows you to reach the town Villefranche-sur-Merin one afternoon. The path is a superb opportunity to enjoy the splendour of the Mediterranean landscape. One then successively takes steps carved into the rock, areas of ochre earth or small wooden footbridges. The discovery of the fauna and flora is part of the walk and, at every moment, the panoramas offered on the blue of the Mediterranean are as comforting as they are striking

The gorges of Cians, wonder of the Alps

The Cians is an alpine torrent that follows a 25 km long course through narrow clues to finally flow into the Var. Over time, the river has carved impressive gorges in the limestone and red shale that offer one of the most beautiful geological spectacles in the Alps. On a hike, you will pass through different valleys carved into the mountains and you will be amazed at the nuance of the colours. Depending on the place, the rock goes from white to blood red, giving the impression of being in the middle of a "Little Colorado of Nice". One must also pay attention to the presence in number of the flora, of which several species are protected

The Camargue National Nature Reserve, a paradise for birds

Another place to enjoy extraordinary landscapes in the PACA region, the Camargue National Nature Reserve is one of the largest in France. Several paths allow walkers to immerse themselves in the landscape: forest, marsh, lawn, sansouire and reed bed make up the panoramas and several observation points allow you to observe the fauna which quietly goes about its occupations in the wetland. This protected area notably shelters 283 species of birds (including 269 of heritage interest), bulls and horses. Those who wish to do so can also cycle along the reserve's coastline: depending on the time of day, the colours change and the show is always marvellous

Mount Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne's muse

At Sainte-Victoire there are more than 250 km of marked trails that correspond to different levels of walkers and allow everyone to enjoy the beauty of the environment. The Sainte-Victoire mountain is fascinating by its shape and the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. It is also known throughout the world for having been the model of a great painter: Paul Cézanne, who immortalized it on numerous canvases. While hiking in the area, you should not miss a stop in the town of Pourrières, where Cézanne used to come on holiday in the summer to visit his grandparents. There you will discover pretty typical Provencal houses and a pleasant place to refresh yourself on the terrace of a café

Stop at the Mucem in Marseille

A getaway in Marseille is a great opportunity to reach its main cultural places. And among them is the unmissable Mucem, the Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean. It surprises first and foremost by its modern architecture and its exceptional location on the water. Thanks to the exhibitions, one plunges into the heart of history, anthropology, archaeology, science and art related to all the civilizations that have populated the Mediterranean territory from prehistoric times to the present day. In addition to the permanent and temporary exhibitions, there is a close cultural programme with cinema, performing arts and debate-conferences. Without forgetting the exotic walks in the Mediterranean gardens of Fort Saint-Jean..

The Calanque d'En-Vau, a paradise by the sea

In the Calanques National Park, the one in En-Vau is particularly impressive. Lovers of sublime panoramas can start by reaching the En-Vau belvedere, because one of the most beautiful ways to marvel at the Calanques is to be able to observe them from the heights. Then, once you arrive on the pebble beach, you simply enjoy the beauty of the cliffs that plunge into a translucent Mediterranean sea with different reflections of blue. Sunbathing, swimming and kayaking for those who like it, the En-Vau cove is a little corner of paradise from which it is difficult to leave

Écrins National Park, the call of the mountain

All those who wish to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and regain strength in a natural environment should join the Écrins National Park in the Hautes-Alpes. Here, extraordinary hikes await visitors, discovering mythical summits, numerous glaciers and mountain lakes. Playful circuits are also proposed to families to discover the territory while having fun. And for those who enjoy outdoor sports, mountain biking, climbing, rafting and kayaking are also available

The Queyras Regional Nature Park, between nature and heritage

Another place to enjoy the force of nature and its resourcing effects. The Queyras Regional Nature Park, in the heart of the Alps, offers hikers the opportunity to cross high perched passes, cross deep gorges and stop at the edge of a lake for a picnic in complete tranquillity. The numerous trails reveal superb mountain panoramas that must be enjoyed at all times and a hike over several days can also lead to charming, welcoming huts. You should also think about discovering the architectural heritage, with pretty chapels and the impressive perched fortress of Château Queyras. A stop in Saint-Véran allows you to discover a typical and classified village

Port-Cros, island of many treasures

Together Porquerolleswith the Île du Levant, Port-Cros forms the marvellous Îles d'Or. It also benefits from the status of national park since 1963. This piece of land in the open sea is appreciated for its extremely well-preserved natural environment as well as for its rich biodiversity. If it is the smallest island of the archipelago, it is also the most mountainous and it is pleasant to walk along one of the hiking trails that lead to the heart of nature and to the most beautiful beaches where you can swim in translucent water. These include the beaches of La Palud and Port Man. On the heritage side, you should not miss the opportunity to visit its forts, including the Fort du Moulin located high above the village of Port-Cros

Stop at the abbey of Le Thoronet

Passing through the PACA region, lovers of religious architecture can go and see the beautiful Thoronet Abbey, one of the three Cistercian abbeys of Provence. It was built at the end of the 12th century in the hinterland of the Massif des Maures and catches the eye by the purity of its lines and proportions. Devoid of sculptures, its beauty and harmony result from the play of architectural volumes. Its very geometrical Romanesque style is quite exceptional. During a stroll, you will discover its church, cloister, vestiges of the hotel business, courtyards and gardens. The place is a call to silence and meditation and it is one of the most visited sites of Vareach year.

The Estérel massif, between the Mediterranean and limestone Provence

The Estérel massif offers another landscape of the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, that of red rocks flowing into the Mediterranean. Its geological history is fascinating, since the massif was attached to Africa before becoming attached to the French Riviera at the time of the formation of the Mediterranean Sea. Hiking in a scenery that is in many ways exotic, one discovers jagged landscapes and rugged reliefs. The vegetation also flourishes on the red rocks and offers a wide range of colours with the blue of the sea. On foot, by bike or on horseback, a stroll in this beautiful area is an opportunity to have fun identifying its key places: Mont-Vinaigre, the Saint-Barthélémy rock or the Ours peak

The Palais des Papes, Avignon's flagship monument

The residence of the sovereign pontiffs of the 14th century is the largest Gothic building of the Middle Ages. During a stroll, visitors will discover more than twenty places, including the popes' apartments decorated with superb frescoes, cloisters and ceremonial halls which in the past hosted feasts and ceremonies. From the terraces, you can enjoy a fabulous panorama of the city of Avignon. To better understand the history of the place and the city of Avignon, a digital tablet allows you to go back in time and dive into the heart of the papal court. This not-to-be-missed monument of Avignon with its exceptional architecture also hosts exhibitions, theme tours and concerts throughout the year

The ancient theatre of Orange, testimony of the Roman period

The ancient theatre of Orange, built during the reign of Augustus, is the best preserved in Europe. It constitutes a precious heritage of the Roman Empire to be discovered absolutely, so much its stage wall, 103 m long and 37 m high, is in perfect condition. King Louis XIV even considered it to be the most beautiful wall in his kingdom. It was designed at the time to welcome the Gallo-Roman public, to spread Roman culture and language, and to provide a showcase for entertainment. Up to 9,000 spectators could be accommodated. Today, the most beautiful way to discover this jewel of architecture is still to attend a concert, where the acoustics are very good

To be read next:
Dubai's must-sees
The Essentials of New Orleans
The must-sees of Brussels
Brussels' must-sees
The inescapable ones in Havana
Macedonia's must-sees
The musts of Paris
Belgrade's must-see attractions
The must-sees of the Bay of the Somme
Prepare for your trip Provence-Alpes-Côte D'Azur
Car Rental
Tailor-made trip
Accommodation & stays
Find a hotel
Holiday rental
Services / On site
Book a table
Activities & visits