Jerry's Provence: The Textures of Southern France

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Jerry and Deena Koffler have traveled with Untours almost 20 times, and to many different destinations, on both Untours trips and Ventures.

You may have already checked out their photos of Holland and the Amalfi Coast here on the blog. If you have, you already know that Jerry is a fantastic photographer, and that he and Deena have an eye for the local foods, markets, architecture, and streetscapes of the towns and villages they visit as travelers.

Provence was no exception! On their recent Provence Untour, they enjoyed exploring the charming villages, lively markets, and lovely waterways on southern France. Here are some of the gorgeous images Jerry captured from a memorable trip full of sun, vistas, warm people, and good food.

Bakeries are a hallmark of any town (large or small) in France, and Isle sur Sorgue and Pernes les Fontaine, Provence Untour hometowns, are no exception. The French still buy a fresh baguette or loaf of bread multiple times a week. You can also buy sandwiches or small snacks in most boulangeries for an easy picnic when you travel.

And for that bread, perhaps some sausage? Ah, the international language of pork. You will find a large selection of artisanal locally made saucissons at the outdoor markets in the region. Enjoy them in France, because you are not allowed to bring them home with you!

But beyond the lure of edibles at market, enjoy the scenery. You may be surprised by all the chateaus and fine, historic homes you pass in your walks and drives in this region. The many waterways add to the romance of these scenes, so it is like moving through a painting. 

Among the many textures and hues at market, look for the basket vendor! We can’t image a more stylish way to tote home your haul from the market than in a handmade reed basket that has been warmed by the sun.

The cool marble and stone of kings and popes is a perfect contrast. Look for shade inside local churches, or visit the regal Palais des Papes, the papal palace in Avignon. It is an easy day trip on the Provence Untour and adds so much to your understanding of the region and its historical importance. 

Of course on this and your other day trips, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Look for little local places where you can pick up some local honey with your soft drinks. You can save the wine for later, including those refreshing and inexpensive local rosé wines.

Canals and rivers lace the countryside in Provence, creating the beauty of reflections and shimmering plays of light. They also attract prim canal boats like this one, so handsome and colorful.

And back to food, Isle sur Sorgue has some very nice chocolatiers. The aesthetics of these sweet shops rivals the quality of their product, which travels well and makes for some excellent souvenirs. Chocolat with a side of refined elegance, even in small town Provence.

There are so many reasons to love Provence, from the grand landscapes to the fine wines and foods to the small pleasures like these.

Explore Provence on a Provence Untour. Stay a couple weeks, or combine it with a week in Paris or a week in Alsace. Bon voyage!

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