At Only Provence we often get the question–When is the best time to visit? In all honesty, it is a very difficult question to answer as every season in Provence offers a unique advantage.
Provence in the summer: Lavender, sunflowers and more….
There is a reason why people from all over the world flock to Provence during the summertime… Let’s start with the weather – long sunny days to wander through markets. afternoons lounging by the pool, and evening meals on the terrace. The sound of buzzing cicadas, know as “cigales,” provide the backdrop to the season and the markets offer a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Let’s not forget Provence’s signature flowers are in bloom during the summer months –sweeping fields of sunflowers in July and lavender from end June to August.
The summer months also offer the largest selection of restaurants, endless antiques, art and music festivals
The few downsides to this high-season: The popular villages can get quite congested with tourists and the rates for renting villas are at peak during this season with many families reserving a year in advance. Strolling the markets you might be apt to hear more English and you most certainly will have to reserve ahead when going out to eat in the evenings.
Fall – The Best Kept Secret
We believe that fall in Provence is one of the world’s best kept secrets. At the end of August the crowds slowly dissipate and with the days shortening you can literally feel the region take a long awaited breath. The days remain hot and sunny yet the evenings and mornings bring a delightful and welcome nip to the air. Meals on the terrace continue, though you might retreat to the comfy couch around a lit fireplace with a book before turning in. Meals shift from light salads and tartes aux onions to a warm vegetable Pistou soup or ratatouille.
Harvesting the grapes: The best part about fall in Provence revolves around the ripening grapes in the now colorful vineyards. There is a palpable buzz in the air as vintners await the exact moment for the “vendange,” the harvesting of the grapes.
Provence Villa Rental rates on the villas drop with availability in the most sought after villages opening up. In sum, visiting Provence in the fall is a complete win-win.
Winter: Quiet and Cozy
While the weather might not always agree in the winter season (even bringing some ice and snow), there is a certain magic to visiting Provence in the winter time. With rental rates at their absolute lowest, it can offer an fantastic option for a getaway over the holiday season. Some of the smaller villages do partially close down so selecting the right location will be key (and we are here to help!). Winter Christmas markets bring cured hams from Corsica, foie gras from the Southwest, the best Champagnes and of course, those highly-sought truffles…
Small wild flowers are still in bloom and the warmth of the sun will have you hiking in short sleeves during the day. Come home to sit by the fire and enjoy a glass of wine and a meal of “Daube” – the local beef stew served over egg noodles.
Combine your week or two in Provence with a weekend trip to the Alps for a bit of ski time.
Spring: A Waking up…
Although you might still get a taste of the mistral winds in March – May, or a day of spring rain before the hot summer months, you will no doubt be blessed with fields of wildflowers. The cherry and almond trees are in full bloom. Poppies seem to be the favorite though, springing up sometime early May. Spring in Provence is all about waking up..and you can feel it in the local bustle of the market heaping tables of fresh asparagus and strawberries. By Easter, most of the villages are back into the swing, opening up from a winter’s rest and preparing for the busy summer season. Locals jump at the at the first chance to lunch outdoors in the sun over a glass of wine. Spring is a great time to enjoy long walks in the countryside during the day and warm fireside chats in the evenings.
Like the fall, Spring is a great season to visit with mild weather and reasonable villa rates. Luxury Villas For Rent In Provence