Just Say Bonjour! Q&A with Provence Staff Anne

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Ahhhh, Provence. There’s a reason why countless artists were inspired by this particular region in France, why it’s a hotbed for some of the world’s best food and wine, and why it is one of our most popular Untours. The quaint villages are picturesque, but so full of life and culture. The locals are friendly, chatty, and gladly invite you to live like a local for a few weeks. Need more convincing? We talked to our local Provence Untour staffer about what makes the region so unique and why it makes for the perfect Untour!

What do you love about living in Provence?

I love the light blue sky every morning in Provence. It really changes your life! I also love the nature, the beautiful quality of our fruit and vegetables, and of course our great wines! In fact, I’ve found paradise on earth!

What is something people don’t know about Provence?

Provence is the county of contrasts and extremes. You have sea and mountains, valleys, hills and cliffs, with intense heat and intense cold from one season to the other.

Where are the top places Untourists should explore in Provence?

Ventoux summit is very impressive, Dentelles de Montmirail and Gigondas for the landscape and the wine! Calanque on the Mediterranean sea, Roussillon with its ochre path, and so many other beautiful perched villages. And of course our Roman buildings which are still standing!

Aside from sightseeing, what experiences should Americans seek in Provence?

Enjoy a pastis in the evening on a terrace and start to speak to the local people once all the tourists are gone! Go directly to the farms to buy your wines or fruit and take interest in their way of working and living.

What are some Americans’ misconceptions regarding Provence and the French?

Some Americans might think that we are rude, but no! You just need to say bonjour and you will get back a smile! In Provence people are also much more laid back than in Paris, and we love to chat!

What do Americans typically love about Provence?

Typically, Americans fall in love with our wines, food, and heritage.

What surprises Americans about Provence?

Americans tend to be surprised that we also have some modern buildings and contemporary art. They are also surprised that all our fresh food is so good and tasty; this is because it is locally produced in the French sun. Also, fun fact, in Vaucluse, we are the first producers of truffles in France.

What are some secretly great places that are hidden in Provence?

Some chapels lost in the country (like Saint Sixte Eygalieres), or a mill, or a Roman bridge of 2,000 years old (Pont Julien Bonnieux) round the bend of a path. You might also like to visit Pierre Salinger’s home, La Bastide Rose, in Le Thor. His wife organizes contemporary art exhibitions in their garden.

Why should people book a Provence Untour? What is the advantage of seeing the area this way?

Because you are not a tourist! You will live like a local, buying your baguette early in the morning at the bakery, avoid the crowds with the best spots in town, and enjoy a glass of wine in front of the most majestic provencal landscape.

Any final advice for people looking to visit Provence?

Just be open minded, be happy to test and experience anything new and different!

Want to explore Provence yourself? See the lovely Untours properties and packages here!

Want to meet more of our staff? Read about Alena in Prague, Adriana in Barcelona, or Neil in Ireland.

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