Fields of sun-soaked yellow sunflowers, avenues of lavender, entwined trunks in olive groves: Provence has a consistent and soothing heartbeat.
It offers great variety from a coastline of marinas and sandy beaches to inland areas that provide high culture and small villages where old men play boules and drink pastis in shaded village squares.
Popular home locations include the Luberon and the Alpilles. The Luberon, north of Aix and east of Avignon, was made famous by Peter Mayle’s best-selling book 'A Year in Provence'. It offers beautiful stone homes in a quiet agricultural wine growing area quite different to the high wattage lights of the Cote d’Azur. Villages in demand include Gordes, Bonnieux and Lourmarin, all close enough for a day trip to the wonderful weekend antique markets in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
The landscape of the Alpilles is one of tall plane trees marshalled into symmetrical lines beside country roads and distant mountains including Cezanne’s much-painted Mont St Victoire. The pretty stone market villages of Maussane, Eygalières and St Rémy are popular second home locations.