Provence is now made up of 5 departments: the Alpes de Haute Provence, the Var, the Bouches du Rhône, the Vaucluse and the Alpes Maritime. It’s a very old region which is located in the South East of France. This region has existed since the Paleolithic period. Throughout the centuries, the region has always remained present, undergoing numerous geographic and political changes.
Formerly this region was divided in two : Haute Provence and Basse Provence. The Haute Provence is a moutain region where the earth is not very fertile . While the low Provence is a region more hot where many fruit trees can flourish. At the administrative level, Provence is currently an integral part of the region Provence Alpe Côtes d’Azur .
Natural parks and cities
Provence alone brings together 5 parks / protected areas : the Regional Natural Parks of Provence, Alpilles, Luberon and Camargue and the protected area of Ventoux.
You can find some of the most beautiful villages from France such as Baux-en-Provence (Bouche du Rhône), Moustiers-Sainte-Marie (Alpes de Haute Provence), Tourtour (Var), Ansouis (Vaucluse) and other large tourist towns rich in heritage, such as Avignon, Arles and Aix en Provence.
The land of lavender
Provence is currently known at a national and international level for its Lavender . It turns out that this plant is believed to be native of Persia. Its name comes from the word “lavare” in Italian which means wash . This plant was already used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to perfume their baths and their laundry. In France, the cultivation of lavender appeared in Burgundy in the “gardens of the simple”, then from the 16th th century, the essence was distilled in Provence . This one heals wounds and serves as dewormer . It is only at the 19 th century with the development of industry and perfumery that we began to cultivate this wild plant on larger land, in order to make it a source of income .
Currently two species are cultivated in the region: the “true” lavender and the finelavender . They grow in Mediterranean scrubland, between 600 and 1400 meters above sea level. They are enhanced by the PDO lavender essential oil from Haute-Provence. There is another variety: thelavandin , made from the crossing of fine lavender and aspic lavender. This plant is cultivated at a lower altitude: between 200 and 1000 meters.
A multifaceted region
It is a land of contrast , inwarm colors and welcoming landscapes. We go from the scrubland, to the rock cliffs, to the olive groves and to the vineyards.
But Provence is not just beautiful landscapes. It is also a rich cultural life , a well valued historical heritage , but also outdoor sports activities : canoeing , rafting , aqua-hiking and its famous Imbut course , canyoning , mountain biking, Déval-Bike , Trott’Elec , hiking, paragliding, sailing… something to delight everyone.