Villages of Provence

Villages of Provence


The villages of Provence are still alive with the spirit.

Let's set the stage! The villages of Provence often and rightly evoke the typical atmosphere portrayed in the films of the great Marcel Pagnol. In fact, some of them - Saint Rémy de Provence, Eygalières and Fuveau, where 'The Well Digger's Daughter' was shot in 1940 - have been the locations for various famous movies. The villages have changed over the years, but they are still redolent with the very special ambience of the South.

Our Provencal villages are simply sublime – the world's finest in fact! And if people throughout the world envy them, there's a good reason…
Each village has its own special personality. Some are built perched on rocky spurs and offer exceptional vistas, while other spread out over the plains.
Our seaside villages, whether resorts or fishing harbours, are totally picturesque too.
But all of them are typified by their muddle of sometimes very-steep little lanes – most are very narrow too, which makes it easier to parley with the neighbours… You may well come across a gran, nan and snoring cat sitting in front of their door.
The village entrance is typically lined with chestnut, plane, or lime trees bedecked with chirping cicadas. Then you'll come to the pretty fountain or sometimes an ancient stone washtub – it may look like someone put it there as a decoration but no, it's all genuine!
A lot of local shops have now disappeared from our villages, but you'll still find a boulangerie where you can buy delicious bread and savoury 'fougasses', a little grocery store for bits and pieces and a bar resembling a remake of Pagnol's famous 'card game' scene, where you'll find people noisily debating the Olypique de Marseille's latest performance around a Pastis.
Sometimes, depending on the size of the village, you'll find a market on the square where locals buy up fresh vegetables for their ratatouille and fine sea bass from the fish truck.
And during your stroll, you may well come across a designer shop or arts & crafts studio hiding around a corner…

Market place

A provencal alley

Dive in! There's nothing like a full immersion in village life to get you in the Provence mood and enjoy plenty of fun moments – just like the ones you see in the Pagnol films!
Most things happen on the village square. This is where everyone gets together for traditional celebrations around a beef stew, tripe & trotters, aïoli, sardine banquet or roast chestnuts, depending on the season.
There's nothing like a game of boules to digest your meal but beware - 'la pétanque' is not to be taken lightly here! You point or you shoot, but you never muck around… And to round up the day in a fun way, we light up lanterns, dance the 'farandole' with the kids around the Saint John's Eve bonfires in summer and dress up for carnival in winter.

Although they are more modern nowadays, our villages still exhale the heart and soul of Provence and our villagers are committed to upholding their traditions and lifestyle.
Every village has a story to tell - whether big or small, mysterious or scandalous - and its own 'Pagnolesque' local figures. You can enjoy one of the regular guided tours organised by town councils and tourist offices to glean an insight into their secrets and plunge into the days of Pagnol…

An old and picturesque village

He who has seen Paris but not Cassis can say they have seen nothing

Things to do

Traditional fairs

Traditional fairs

Provence takes pride in its history and still celebrates its traditional festivals. Transhumance migrations in St-Rémy, the fair in Arles or pilgrimages in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: all the dates.

Fontvieille et son patrimoine culturel et naturel

Fontvieille et son patrimoine culturel et naturel


Itinéraire pédestre traçant ses courbes sur les flancs Sud du massif des Alpilles, à 10km au Nord d'Arles et à 6km à l'Ouest des Baux-de-Provence en bordure du Parc Naturel Régional. Parcours sans difficulté technique, régulièrement ombragée ou à l'abri du mistral grâce à la…

19 November to 04 December
Fête des Bergers (Shepherd's Fair), Istres

Fête des Bergers (Shepherd's Fair), Istres


The shepherds’ festival at Istres pays homage to Provençal tradition, to TransHumance and to the land of La Crau.

The entire agenda



The 'OM'

Read more


Read more

Christmas in Provence and 'Santon' Figurines

Read more
More inspirations

Serving tourism

Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme is a non-profit ‘association loi 1901’ organisation.It is entrusted by the Conseil Départemental (or regional council) to promote tourism in Bouches-du-Rhône while respecting the environment and local residents, and guaranteeing visitors a top-quality experience.

The best of the destination

So that everyone’s hopes and tastes are catered for, Bouches-du-Rhône Tourisme promotes must-see destinations which take visitors off the beaten track, using its deep understanding of the area and its neutral role as a non-profit organisation.