It may be famous for it’s iconic lavender fields but there are also an abundance of beautiful coastal towns in Provence:
Provence in France has a beautifully varied landscape, not just the rolling lavender fields that people tend to associate with the area, from rivers with stunning gorges, the mountains of the Alps, and the craggy but beautiful calanques along the coast. And one thing that it has in abundance is gorgeous little seaside towns, so pretty that you feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard! There are so many to choose from, but here are our top five:
As you leave the motorway and take the winding road through endless vineyards down to into the pretty town of Bandol, you can smell the scent of the pine trees, and of course the sea. At less than an hour from the cities of Marseille and Toulon, Bandol is a seaside resort offering a haven of golden sands and rocky coves, restaurants, bars and a harbour full of swanky boats to admire.
Relax on one of the golden beaches, visit one of the many Bandol vineyards, take a walk to find a quiet rocky cove, or enjoy a meal with a cold glass of rosé, the speciality of the area.
If you want a meal with an amazing view to match the simply amazing food, then be sure to check out La Chipote overlooking Anse de Renécros – it has the bonus of being child friendly too.
It’s easy to imagine yachts, private beaches, swanky bars, and designer shops when you think of St Tropez, but the town also has another side; with its pretty cobbled old town, family friendly restaurants, and cute little public beaches.
Kids will love a visit to La Citadel, a fort overlooking the town, which has an impressive set of cannons and simply stunning views down over the old town and out over the water where super yachts glide by.
After an obligatory people watching coffee break in one of the bars or cafes overlooking the massive yachts in the harbour, take a stroll up into the old town where you will find boutique shops and a whole host of restaurants. The spot overlooking La Ponche beach is particularly lovely and has a few different restaurants to choose from, from super high-end to more reasonably priced but just lovely.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve enjoyed an aperitif of Kir Royal – champagne with a splash of cassis, but honestly didn’t ever pay a thought to where the cassis originates from! Well now I know that it is a super pretty little seaside town !
After walking down the small and steep roads towards the sea, it is hard not to be impressed when you emerge into the old harbour where you are greeted with picturesque pastel buildings with their brightly painted shutters, traditional fishing boats and even a castle ruin atop the cliffs.
Stop for a drink or a bite to eat one of the many bars and restaurants that line the harbour, take a boat trip to discover the nearby calanques, take a swim in the sea at the small public beach, or take the kids on the beautiful carousel.
Antibes holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first places that Mr Dais Like These and I went on holiday together. We loved it so much that we returned the following year, and I am sure we will be back one day soon!
Take a walk around the impressive walled old town which is home to pretty cobbled streets full of shops, bars and restaurants, and then cool down with a dip at the very conveniently located public beach of La Gravette, all with the impressive backdrop of the Alps.
If you have time, also spend some time in very nearby Juan les Pin where there are more pretty beaches and lively nightlife.
Now this is actually a bucket list destination for us, we just didn’t get round to visiting on our recent trip to Provence. With a 12km long sandy public beach fronting the town, a well-preserved pretty old-town and the promise of stunning little coves if you know where to look, Le Lavendou certainly sounds like my kind of destination. There are also some smaller beaches in the area which have restaurants right on the beach, perfect for family friendly dining!
It’s definitely safe to say that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful coastal towns in Provence, I can’t wait to go back to discover some more!
If you are thinking of planning a trip to Provence yourself, then be sure to head across to the Bookings For You website where you will find a whole host of stunning properties available to rent, from huge family villas with pools to apartments in the old towns of some of Provence’s most beautiful cities.