A Trip to the South of France

Recently, Meg, a reader of BNOTP, traveled to Provence. While there she stayed in the village of Apt. This was the beautiful view of the village from her balcony apartment.

Village of Apt in Provence


They stayed in a charming old converted convent named La Madone.

La Madone, Village of Apt, France


I looked at the photos of the rooms in La Madone online and they are beautiful!

La Madone, Provence


Meg captured this scene in the village market during her trip.

Village Market in Apt, France


She and hubby visited Avignon, a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhone river.

Avignon Bridge


In this picture you can see the wall that surrounds Avignon.

Avignon City Walls


They also visited several cities/communes in the south of France including Arles. While there they saw the Roman Amphitheatre. Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888-1889 and amazingly produced over 300 paintings and drawings during that period, per Wikipedia. You can see the river Rhone in the distance in this photo. What a beautiful view!



Arles Cafe


While in the southern French town of Arles, Meg visited the Roman amphitheatre. The amphitheatre was constructed in 90 AD and could seat 20,000 spectators. It was built to provide entertainment by way of chariot races and hand-to-hand battles. Today it’s used for bullfighting during the Feria d’Arles and for plays and concerts during the summer.

Roman Amphitheatre in Arles, South of France


Here’s how the Arles amphitheatre looked during the 18th century. The amphitheatre actually became a little town with a public square and buildings to shelter the population after the fall of the Empire in the 5th century. So amazing that it once looked like this! The buildings were all removed between 1826-1830 when the amphitheatre was designated a historical monument.

Arles Amphitheatre during the 18th century

Photo from Wikipedia


You can see one of the Medieval towers in this photo.

Arles and Roman Amphitheatre


Meg visited the town of Gordes during her trip.

Village of Gordes in the South of France

Photo from Wikipedia


Imagine living in Gordes with these views everyday. I wonder if after a while one would just take it all for granted.



Meg also visited Fontaine-de-Vaucluse where she took this photo. Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is located  in a valley at the foot of the Vaucluse Mountains. It’s named after the spring of Vaucluse, which is the largest spring in France and is the source of the River Sorgue.

Fontaine de Vaucluse


About this wonderful trip to the south of France, Meg said, “I truly left my heart there and would love to go back.” Meg, thanks so much for sharing these wonderful photos. I hope to see it in person one day!

Have you ever been to Provence? What are your favorite cities to visit on a trip to France?

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  1. I have always wanted to visit France. There is a cute book called Tout Sweet about a young woman who left her job in London and moved to a village in France and renovated a home there. There are three books in the series but the first is the best. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.

  2. My husband, four-year-old son, and I spent four weeks in Nice, France. We also took the train to several seaside cities (Cannes, Antibes, Monacco). It was AMAZING! We did spend one weekend in Paris, and honestly my advise would be to skip Paris and head south. It is a dream come true!

  3. We went to Gordes several years ago on a walking trip. Wonderful! this May we are going to southern France, starting in Montpelier then on to Carcassone, the largest medieval village in Europe. We will see many villages in France and some in Spain also. Lots of castles, walls, etc. Can’t wait! Oh, and the best food we’ve ever eaten in Provence!!

  4. Thank you Susan for posting the photos for me. Now I want to go back!! 🙂 I believe it was Pam from Crumbly Cottages who requested these.
    As one poster here said, skip Paris, I agree. I was disappointed when I visited many years ago and find the rest of France to be much more interesting, especially Provence. Everything is so quaint, we visited 16 in all, over ten days then made our way *home* to England for another few weeks.

    • Pam ~ crumpety cottage says

      Meg, you are so right! I am so glad you got to see so many places! That is what amazes me, you really got around and saw a lot! Gosh, I would love to go. I would also prefer to be out in the countryside, but I would still want to see Paris, at least once. I want to sit at a little outdoor cafe and eat pastries and drink cafe au lait. How touristy does that sound? Lol. But still I would love to experience it. To see a place like that, with culture and architecture going back a couple of millennia, and to experience something so different from our day to day lives (no matter how good they may be) would just be a wonderful experience. I wish we could all get around and check out each others homes and lifestyles. 😀 Thanks again for sharing them. Next time, remember to invite me. 😉

    • Meg, the place you stayed is so beautiful. The reviews for it on Trip Advisor were glowing! If I go to that area, I want to get information from you about La Madone.

      • Susan, the owners are so nice, they are there if you need them and each
        Weds evening they throw a wine and cheese party for the guests. It was most interesting meeting people from all over the world.
        Each morning they hang a linen bag with fresh bread and croissants and jam.
        We had the two bedroom apartment with the balcony. If you ever do go, I will have to tell you how to get to the house, it is really strange as the front door is up a very narrow lane, but you have to leave your car near the canal.
        The apartment is how it should look, baroque furniture , tall windows, very provincial!!! My husband the philistine and a previous builder and painter and decorator, was longing to give it a paint job. No culture in his soul. 🙂

  5. I am in France for few months these pics speak beauty

  6. Martha in Michigan says

    What beautiful pictures-we have 3″ of snow here today!
    Just wanted to let you know that I didn’t get your March 30 post. Just that one day, no other problems. Wonder if I was the only one?

    • Martha, that is strange. Glad it came today! Check your “spam” file. Every now and then they can end up going into spam in error.

    • Martha, I was just looking at the posts that went out via email and I must have done something wrong on Monday because it’s not showing that Monday’s got mailed out. Feedblitz has changed the process and there’s one extra step now when sending a post, so apparently I never completed the process. I’m glad you mentioned not getting it. I will pay more attention each time I send out a post to make sure it really goes out. Thanks again for mentioning that!

  7. Beverly Cook says

    We spent two weeks in Vielle Antibes on the South Coast. Storybook! Speaking some French definitely added to our enjoyment of the area and its people! Eating out was expensive (although divine!) so we bought fresh from the farmers’ markets and small shops and made our own meals in our apartment. We then walked the town and stopped for wine and cheese. Charming part of the world. (And I, too, would take the South Coast over Paris any day!)

  8. Margo (Margaret) Kuhn says

    My daughter and I spent 2 weeks last spring touring all of France. It was an amazing trip and I loved it. From North to South is quite different, and I was amazed at so much farmland and open spaces. The villages were so beautiful and quaint. Nice reminded me too much of Southern California. I think it was my least favorite part of France, for that reason (too much like home). Ha ha. The people were wonderful and we learned how to find great food, although all the food was good, some was great and amazing.

    We also took an evening and went down to Monte Carlo, which was fun.

  9. crumpety cottage says

    Beautiful. How wonderful to make that trip and see so many beautiful places. It’s so different from the way we live. Thanks, Meg, for sharing.

  10. crumpety cottage says

    Gosh, Susan, reading through the comments I am amazed at how many of your readers have visited France! That’s so wonderful. 🙂

  11. Hubby and I spent two weeks in France a few years ago. Although I’m madly in love with Italy, I really enjoyed our trip to France. We went all over the place: Paris, Nice, Hon Fleur, Normandy towns, Avignon, and a few other places I can’t remember names of. I loved Hon Fleur because our hotel was 20 steps from the main Catholic church in the old town center. As we sat and sipped wine all day from the hotel garden, we literally watched “Four Weddings and a Funeral” actually happen at the church–the church was very busy that Saturday! :0) I’ll never forget one of the brides riding up in a convertible Rolls Royce with her father, her long veil flying in the air, her father looking dapper in his formal top hat. And following the funeral, the church organist decided to play a FANTASTIC requiem funeral piece by Mozart. The organ music was so loud, beautiful, and moving that tourists (including us) crowded into the church to listen. Everyone burst into applause when the organist finished playing. I had never been to a funeral that ended in applause LOL! France is a great country to visit, I’m sure hubby and I will go back again someday.

  12. Each photo could be a painting! *sigh* franki

  13. Fascinating photos! I have never been to France, would love to go, and right now the conversion rate is such that it’s a good time to do it (USD is stronger than the EUR). But I still have places in the US I want to visit too – what a dilemma. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Marlene Stephenson says

    Some day it is on my list and i would have to find someone to go with me. I love looking at pictures and dreaming so,thanks.

    • If you book a tour on a riverboat, like Viking, you can go by yourself. We have traveled on 3 of their two week tours and there are always a few people traveling “alone”. Fear not. It’s the perfect way to practice your social skills.
      Every meal you choose where you sit. Lone or “singles” just politely ask, “May I join you?” If the table is not set for 2, I have noticed everyone will gladly welcome you. Even tables of 5 or more will be happy to include you.
      The tours in each city are so interesting, you won’t miss out. However, if you go with a “friend” you might not enjoy your trip as much. This is a time to spread your wings and explore what you want to do. No compromising and deciding when you eat, get up or go to bed; sounds like heaven to me. Trust me, it’s an education you can’t get anywhere else.

  15. Gordes looks lovely. So much local color with all the stone.

  16. Oh! How Beautiful!
    I learned something new this morning…
    Really enjoyed and loved reading your post!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Wishing you an Awesome Good Day!

  17. What a gorgeous place, I would love to visit. I would get lost in the architecture. The scenery near the water is spectacular. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  18. Such beautiful photos and makes me want to go back to Europe!

    When I was in France we stayed in Paris and visited Versailles and the town of Chartres and visited the amazing and beautiful Chartres Cathedral which was built between 1194-1250) – so an incredibly medieval gothic style church that was still amazingly intact. It had a labyrinth in it and beautiful windows!

    One of my favorite parts of this trip was taking the train out to Chartres and going past all of the fields of lavender. Just fields and fields of purple – absolutely breathtaking!!

  19. Vicky from Athens says

    What perfect timing for this post! My sister and I are headed to SE France at the end of this month. We’ll fly into Marseille and stay in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, doing day trips out in different directions. The huge Sunday market there is not to be missed, I’m told! We’ll spend one day in Cassis on the Mediterranean. We’ll drive to Annecy in the Alps for a few days of touring and then fly home out of Lyon.
    The photos are so beautiful and I really can’t wait to get there and begin wandering!

  20. Danièle Bihiet says

    Dear Susan,

    When I found your blog and liked it I decided to read it from the beginning ! I’m not quite finished, it’s really heavy in posts …! I read you might plan a trip to Provence. In addition to most towns and villages mentioned in the post. I would advise to visit Uzès as well. I go to Provence every easter and Uzès is my favourite town. The weekly market is the best, the shops are great and the whole town has been restored. It’s glowing in a rustic way and very chic.

    Thank you for all the nice moments I’m spending reading you.

    Danièle from Belgium

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