Relaxing in lavender blooming Provence

Impressionist landscapes, quaint villages with their magical atmosphere, an oasis of relaxation and lavender fields in bloom. Traveling through Provence reveals a mix of natural wonders, colors and charm. Starting in June, along scenic routes of this region in southern France you will encounter endless purple lavender fields in bloom. These landscapes express their colors under the hot sun; the blooming lavender bushes become like sheets in the wind, spreading an exciting and refreshing scent across the region. In this multi-faceted beautiful region of France daily life continues its flow in the villages, full of history and charm, as authentic reflections of the very places that inspired Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne.

Provence is an ideal place to be cuddled, cared for, and to think about your wellness. Here you will find beauty to please the eyes, gastronomy of the highest level, and a wholesome dedication to relaxation, massage and aromatherapy. The region’s countless wellness centers and thermal baths draw on centuries of traditions in the medical application of plants, flowers, herbs and fruits of the earth.

A truly unique region that promises to sweep you off your feet with its excellence, Provence is a perfect starting point to also enjoy the Popes Palace in Avignon, the French Riviera and the wild Camargue with its Côtes du Rhône wines.

French Alps & Nature Experience

Not only is France known for its museums, cathedrals, castles, fine wines and cheeses, but the mountains which cover about one third of the country stand unparalleled worldwide for their splendor and incredible variety.

Renowned as one of the most extensive ski areas in the world, France boasts a total of 357 ski resorts and ski slopes. Here you can practice your favorite winter sport while taking in some of the most awe-inspiring views anywhere. Megève, Courchevel and Chamonix are heavens for those who love skiing, snowboarding, snow racket hiking, or relaxing in thermal baths and spas.

During summer the French mountains offer something equally special. More than half a dozen national parks, 40 regional parks, as well as numerous natural reserves, provide outdoor possibilities for exploration of hiking trails and the natural world. The Badlands area, the youngest French national park, is a jewel just outside Marseille. Similar in shape to Norwegian fjords, here the brighter light and the color of limestone mix beautifully with nature’s green and the blue of the Mediterranean Sea.

A little further west the Verdon River runs through deep gorges creating impressive views of emerald green water against sheer stone walls up to 1500 meters high. A true paradise for lovers of outdoor sports, such as climbing, rafting and sailing. To discover these off the beaten path places truly promises unparalleled experiences of a lifetime.

Biking France Experience

With its central location in Europe, France represents a large part of the network of European cycling routes that traverse the continent. These bike paths vary along with the landscape, from the rugged Alps to the mysterious Brittany, from the expansive lowland areas bordering Belgium to the Pyrenees Mountains in the south.

While you can depart from Saint Malo for a 1,000 mile ride to Nice along the most famous cycling routes, you may opt to indulge yourself on the less traveled paths to explore hidden gems and locations best visited on two wheels. Bike peacefully through the Bordeaux area, cross the Dordogne River and ride along endless acres of vineyards and make your way to the quaint medieval walled town of Saint-Emilion. Or start in the wonderful Roman town of Arles in Provence and pedal your way south to the scenic natural reserve of Camargue. Or if you are up for the challenge, trace the Tour de France routes in the Midi-Pyrenees region where the challenge of ups and downs add to the experience of incredible panoramic views.

As you climb a hill embrace the encouraging words of “bon courage” being shouted from passing cars. You and your bike will feel welcomed everywhere, and especially so if you end your ride completely exhausted, “sure la jante” as the locals say.