The region of Provence is one of the world’s most desired vacation rental destinations. From illustrious beach villas and mountainside chateaus to charming city apartments and traditional old-world houses, it’s a setting one might find on the movie screen. And the views alone are worth the price of admission.
Set in southeastern France, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, Provence extends from the Rhône River on the west to the Italian frontier on the East. Hot, dry summers, mild winters, and abundant year-round sunshine characterize the Mediterranean climate. Its picturesque countryside, busy coastal towns and distinct cultural identity make it a once-in-a-lifetime travel spot for families, friends and couples alike. Provence consists of five main quarters (with Alpes being split into three), each hosting an array of gorgeous vacation rentals of all shapes and sizes.
The French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur as it’s originally called, is most notably home to the eccentric regions of Nice and Cannes. Hillside villas overlook the beaches below as unprecedented oceanic views grace the horizon. Artistry and culture permeate the French Riviera. Picasso spent his summers in Vallauris and Mougins, and the Cannes Film Festival has occurred here every year since the 1930s.
Sun lovers sprawl out on the famous Saint-Tropez beach as zillion-dollar houses and resorts occupy the hills behind. Double down amongst celebrities at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, or scan the contemporary artworks at the famed Fondation Maeght in St-Paul-de-Vence.
The flavors and scents of Cours Saleya market in Nice are a gourmand’s paradise, with fresh homegrown olive oils and local spices. Vacation rentals in the French Riviera offer attractions and experiences to satisfy all five senses.
From Avignon to Luberon, ancient history and gorgeous scenery surround the vacation rentals in Vaucluse. Walk the steps of the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), the largest Gothic palace in the world, or stroll through the Gardens at Saint-André Abbey. Stand on the edge of the Pont d'Avignon, the town’s archaic medieval bridge that inspired the world-famous song “Sur le Pont d'Avignon” (“On the bridge of Avignon”).
Vaucluse is the second largest fruit-producing county in France, and the fourth biggest producer of vegetables. Learn all about it at the “Epicurium Museum of Life” – an educational space devoted entirely to the healthy produce we’ve come to love.
Then satisfy your sweet tooth in Carpentras, where the world’s most authentic black diamond truffles are harvested. House rentals in Vaucluse abound from the river town of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to the mountainous village of Gordes.
Known for its renowned harbor of Toulon, the main port of the French Navy, The Var (as it’s called) is a scenic paradise with nature at your fingertips. Relax in a private beach house on the shores of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the longest sand beach on the coast. Enjoy windsurfing off the peninsula of Giens or kayaking, paddleboarding and swimming in the bay. Backpack through the Massif de l'Esterel mountain range, where the soil and rocks exude a striking red color on the hills from their volcanic origin.
It’s tough to pick one Provence region as “wine country,” but if we had to choose it’d be Bouches-du-Rhône. Vacation rentals here neighbor immaculate vineyards, where the Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes are the stars. Southern Rhône’s most famous wine is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a 19-variety rosé blend of white and red grapes.
Villas and vacation homes in Bouches-du-Rhône offer more than just extravagant wine fields. Stay in the cultural mecca of Aix-en-Provence, where music, dance and entertainment inspire the local scene. Museums and libraries tell the story of a Roman battle ground-turned-artistic center at the turn of the 12th century. Even Vincent Van Gogh spent his final days in the city of Arles in the Rhône quarter.
The town of Marseille is known for its gastronomy, holding exclusive credit to dishes like Aïoli, and its most famous seafood dish, Bouillabaisse.
Separating Marseille and Aix is Magic Park Land, a Wild West-themed amusement park with seaside attractions for the whole family. Children will also marvel at the elephants, leopards and rhinos at the Parc Zoologique de La Barben (Barben Zoo) between Marseille and Avignon.
Winter months are prime for the French Alps regions, as skiers, boarders and snow fanatics camp in the mountainside villas and snowcapped vacation rentals. But warm season offers exhilarating activities galore, like sailing, hiking, climbing and aerial sports such as hang gliding. The Montgenèvre commune of the Hautes-Alpes is a checkpoint in the Tour de France, drawing many cycling fans to the hills.
The small village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup in the Alpes-Maritimes is home to historic sites like the enchanting French Way, a man-made hamlet of medieval hillside homes. No matter where you rent in the French Alps, you’ll have picturesque views of a land that inspires, enlightens and evokes the adventurer inside us all.