How to Spend 2 Days in Provence
With its colorful fishing towns, medieval architecture, olive plantations, and lavender fields, Provence is among the most beautiful regions in France. With two days, you can explore Aix, Avignon, and Marseilles and still have time left over to explore the countryside. Here’s how.
Day 1: Inland Provence
Start your day with a tour of Avignon, characterized by medieval architecture and winding streets. The medieval ramparts are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage Site and include the Pont d'Avignon, the Avignon Cathedral, and the Palais de Papes, an 14th century for which skip-the-line admission tickets are recommended.
Afternoon: Lavender and the Countryside
Take an afternoon tour of Provence’s countryside. If you visit during the summer months, you’ll get to see lavender fields in full bloom, particularly if you make your way northwest from Avignon towards the Vaucluse area.
Night: Dinner and People Watching
Spend the evening in Aix-en Provence, where a pedestrian-friendly city center lends itself well to walking tours. As night begins to fall, grab a terrace seat at one of the many brasseries or restaurants lining the city's main Cours Mirabeau promenade.
Day 2: Coastal Provence
Spend your second day visiting Cassis and Marseilles as part of a day trip, which saves you the hassle of car hire. The fishing town of Cassis offers both cultural attractions and activities for nature lovers; there are plenty of half- and full-day tours here from Marseilles. Just outside of town sits Cap Canaille, the highest sea cliff in France, with beautiful Mediterranean views.
In the afternoon, head to Marseilles; some tours stop in the Vieux Port area for lunch, where seafood bouillabaisse is a specialty. After lunch, head down to the sands of Catalans Beach for a seaside stroll or make your way up to the Pavillion, famous for its mirrored ceiling.
Night: Sunset Cruise on the Mediterranean
As day turns to night, set sail on a sunset dinner cruise along the Mediterranean. If you have energy when you return to shore, go dancing or grab a nightcap at one of Marseille’s many late-night clubs and bars.