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France
- info - Provence -
Slopes covered with lavender, olives, vineyards and sunflowers not only make for great beauty but lively marketplaces in many of the small towns. Provence also has a wealth of culture and history.


Vaucluse

The city of Orange has two of the best Roman ruins in Europe. The Roman theatre, where concerts are still played and the Commemorative Triumphal Arch, both built in the 1st century AD are sights not to be missed. Avignon "City of the Popes". In 1309 the papal courts were moved here and remained until 1377, in which time the seven popes who lived there transformed the Papal Palace into a grandiose castle with heavy fortifications. While in Avignon the popes founded "Chateau Neuf du Pape", arguably one of the finest wines to come out of the Cote du Rhone.

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Bouches-du-Rhone

Arles was the center for the impressionist painters Van Gogh and Gaugin. Arles is most famous though for its Roman Amphitheatre and the Eglise St-Trophime with its ornately carved main portal of saints and apostles.

Les Baux-de-Provence, a picturesque ruined city on a rocky plateau overlooking two valleys was the home of powerful feudal lords from 1145 until 1632 when Cardinal Richelieu dismantled it. There are museums dedicated to the history of Les Baux-de-Provence as well as some breath taking views.

Worth a trip to see is the Abbaye de Senanque. Located outside the town of Gordes, the Abbaye de Senanque is a simply decorated Abbey and is most famous for its fields of lavender and tranquil environment. The fields of lavender have been repeatedly photographed against the backdrop of the abbey church and is one of the most recognizable scenes of Provence.

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Climate - predominately warm and sunny. Dry sunny winters average temp 14 deg C, frequently warm and sunny spring and autumns average temp 24 degree C; and long hot summer days which can last late into the evening. Average temp 28 deg C

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