2024 Olympics — Traveling from Paris to Provence
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Traveling from “Paris to Provence” during 2024 Olympics in France

Planning a trip to France? Next year will be an extra special time to consider visiting as it hosts the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

There are as many ways to visit this beautiful country as there are bottles of wine in the region, but we are have quite a bias towards the “Paris to Provence” combination, which offers the best a big city with the sunny, quiet pace of the South. Add in Olympic events which will take place in both locations in 2024, and you have a one in a lifetime experience.

Here’s some helpful information on what there is to do in these areas–how to get there, and where to stay…

Paris Olympic Events

Paris will be host to many Olympic events with a vast array of different sports while Provence will host both sailing and football. Find all you need to know about the events in Paris here.

Olympic Sailing in Marseille

Marseille will host the Olympic sailing events and 10 matches of the Olympic football tournament. Marseille will host 12 days of sailing competition – from July 28 to August 8, 2024  – bringing together 330 athletes from 40 different nations.  The football matches will be organized in seven of the largest stadiums in France including Paris, Marseille &, Nice (Jul 24-August 6th)

The clock is ticking and accommodations are filling up very fast. Travel directly to Provence for events in Marseille or do a combination Paris to Provence trip to get the best of both worlds.

Planning your Route: Planes, Trains and Automobiles


As most international flights fly into Paris, it makes sense to begin your journey here and of course planning around any booked Olympics events. Three nights in Paris offers ample time to see the city’s most notable sights– Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay etc..

Where to Stay

We suggest staying in The Marais and Beaubourg Quartier (3rd and 4th Arrondissements) or St-Germain-des-Prés (5th and 6th Arrondissements). Bastille (11th Arrondissement) is also a great choice with superb dining options.

There are many options for hotels in these areas, but here are a few recommendations:

La Chambre du Marais: Uniquely decorated 4 star hotel in a great location.

Maison Proust: 5 star option in Le Marais. Belle Epoque-themed decor, personalized service, and a wonderful onsite spa make the 5-star a fantastic addition to Paris’s Upper Marais neighborhood.  

Hotel Fougere: This chic 5 star hotel is just a 2-minute walk from the prestigious Saint Germain shopping boulevard and the metro station.

Where to Eat

The options are truly endless here so we won’t go too deep in the food department but here are a few places to get to you started. We also love the Everyday Parisian blog for authentic advice on eating in Paris.

Classic Bistro: Chez Fernand
Great stop for a super range of French fare at affordable prices

Historic Bakery: Stohrer Patisserie
It’s been around since 1773!

Affordable Michelin star food: Septime

Consider a Seine Dinner Cruise
Sure it’s a bit touristy but you can enjoy many of Paris’ major sights from the comfort of your seat. Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay. Visit SoloSophie’s amazing blog for a pretty complete rundown on which dinner cruise to choose

Make your way to Provence!

The Olympic Torch will do just that ….

When you have had enough of the big city, make your way south for a completely change of pace. Inland Provence is known for its traditional way of life which to this day revolves around the seasons agricultural activities–from wine-making, to olive oils, cheeses, honey and lavender. Making it even more special this 2024 is having the Olympic torch coming through some of its idyllic villages on June 19th! (Rustrel, Apt, L’isle Sur la Sorgue, Mont Ventoux, Orange & Avignon).

Getting from Paris to the South of France couldn’t be easier on the fast TGV train runs from the center of Paris directly to Provence throughout the day. Tickets are affordable and can be purchased online. It takes only 2.5-3 (depending on where you get off) hours on a direct train to either Avignon, Aix en Provence and Marseille.

Olympic Events First? Traveling from Paris to Marseille

If you are attending olympic events in Marseille, you can either stay in a villa near the hilltops villages of Provence and drive 1 hour into the city for events, or we suggest going directly there for a night to have a day or so to explore this fascinating port city before settling down for a week in Inland Provence.


Located at the junction of the Mediterranean Sea and the Rhone River, The port of Marseille is the oldest city in France. Marseille was founded by the Greeks in about 600 B.C. It soon turned into a major trading port and continues to fulfill a similar role today. It recently emerged as an international tourist destination and its neighboring villages provide travelers with countless places to explore and activities to experience.

What to do in Marseille

It makes sense to start your tour of Marseille in the Vieux Port –full of old charm and steeped in its history as an ancient trading port. Nowadays the Old Port still lies at the heart of the city, where the manufacture of Marseille soap began some six centuries ago. You can also where you can find lots of wonderful cafes and restaurants.

The Vieux-Port is also home to Mucem, a museum of culture and civilizations that explains the history surrounding the Mediterranean.

Wander around the Le Panier district – a cool funky artsy area that is also one of the oldest neighborhoods in . You will find plenty of café-filled squares, bistros and unique boutiques.

Stretch you legs while making the climb up to the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, which has been a long-standing symbol of the city as she presides high upon the hill overlooking the ancient city.

Where to Stay in Marseille

If you are coming in for Olympic events, you might prefer to stay a night in Marseille before or after renting your luxury villa which are located about 1 hour drive from the hilltop village in Provence (more on booking a luxury villa and visiting inland Provence below)

We recommend staying central, both in the Vieux Port area, La Canebière (a historic high street in the old quarter ), or Le Painer where, colorful murals adorn the narrow, hilly streets.

Our two favorite hotels:
Maison Montgrand
A charming concept boutique hotel in the heart of Marseille’s historic city center

Hotel Dieux, IHG Hotel – 5 star
set in a superb 18th century building in the historic quarter of Marseille, 350 metres from the Old Port

What and Where to Eat

Since Marseille is a port city, seafood will be the name of the game. The most famous dish to eat is Bouillabaisse- a steaming bowl of fish soup with hints of saffron, garlic and fennel.

Café Simon: A great spot for local seafood with welcoming service.

Chez Loury: A well-known option for sampling the famous bouillabaisse.

La Boite a Sardines:  Le Panier

Even if you don’t love sardines, this is an iconic spot in a trendy area.  Don’t worry there are more options on the menu 🙂

Tree-lined avenue at sunrise, near small town Apt, Vaucluse, Provence, France

Inland Provence-Hilltop Villages, Lavender and Wine…

After a few days in Paris and a night or two in Marseille, you will be ready to unwind in the peace and quiet of the countryside. Book a villa for a week (or two!) and enjoy all this beautiful region has to offer. There are two main areas to choose from when staying in inland Provence– either the Luberon (where you will find most of the hilltop villages) or the Alpilles which is as rich in history and offers unspoiled nature, pine forests, lavender fields and limestone mountains. The regions are about 45 mins from one another so easy to get from one to the other. Both are surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and have equal numbers of charming cafes, boutiques and restaurants.

Experience Provence: What to See and Do

Provence offers a vast array of activities while visiting the region, from historical and cultural to those relating to wine and food.  For decades it has been a popular destination for families, friends, retreats and special occasions. The region is awash with natural beauty all year round, making it an ideal vacation spot for visitors who enjoy active holidays— hiking, biking, golfing or simply wandering the countryside trails.  Only Provence offers a vast selection of tours and activities-from self-guided itineraries to custom-made experiences. Visit our Experience page for all there is to see and do.

Rent a Luxury Villa in Provence

As the luxury property rental market has exploded worldwide, renting a villa has become the preferred choice for accommodations in Provence. Only Provence has the largest selection of luxury properties in the region.

Benefits of Luxury Villa Rentals

One of the many benefits of renting a villa is having a genuinely private yet authentic experience in Provence, complete with in-home chef services. Many of Only Provence’s villas are within walking distance from the best villages in the region.

Below are some of the few great benefits of a luxury villa over other traditional accommodation options:

  • Personalized experiences such as private chefs and organized tours and activities
  • Privacy and exclusivity
  • A dedicated villa manager and staff
  • A sense of feeling at home while staying in a private luxury villa
  • Private luxury villas are ideal for groups of families or friends traveling together.

Whether you are considering attending the Olympics in France 2024 or you simply want to visit in general, we highly encourage the “Paris to Provence” combination as it offers the perfect balance of history, food, wine and culture.

A distinct collection of luxury villa rentals and real estate for sale in the South of France

- offering all comforts and amenities - pool, housekeeping, and chef services.

© 2024 Only Provence.

Jumping the Picket Fence Light Through the Cracks

Only Provence co-founder Lydia Dean writes about their experiences raising a family, building a business in Provence, and later combining the love of travel with giving back in "Jumping the Picket Fence”. In 2021, she published “Light Through the Cracks,” a continuation of her journey, much of which has been based in Provence. Both books are available Amazon, Amazon.uk, and Amazon.Fr.