Wondering which are the most charming towns in Provence to add to your bucket list? Check out this comprehensive list of gorgeous Provence villages; you’ll want to visit them all!
Provence is the quintessential French countryside region. It’s described by many as a fantasy dream come true because of its pastoral landscapes and picturesque towns.
If you want to visit a region in France that best depicts the French lifestyle, you need to include Provence in your southern France itinerary.
Home to legendary wines, hilltop villages, delicious food, balmy climate, and a thriving market scene, it’s no wonder why it has been a favorite among holidaymakers for centuries now!
Get ready to fall in love with Provence when you explore and get to know the different towns that are absolutely worthy of a detour. You’ll be captivated by the snow-capped peaks, coastal views, spectacular cliffs, and so much more.
I put together this comprehensive list of the most beautiful villages in Provence you just have to visit and include in a France road trip. Check it out!
Moustiers Sainte Marie
Considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, there is no reason to miss out on Moustiers Sainte Marie. This town is filled with churches, aqueducts, chapels, old village walls, and fountains. It’s a town that looks straight out of a fairytale book!
You’ll be spellbound by the gorgeous array of pastel-colored tiles and limestones that make up the town’s architectural façade.
This village is also within a UNESCO site that spans up to 60 towns within the Alpes de Haute Provence. It’s a relatively small town with roughly 700 residents, and here you’ll find plenty of restaurants and artisan shops to satisfy culinary and shopping enthusiasts.
Apart from its thriving tourism industry, the town’s economy is based on its ceramic tradition.
Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence is a small college town in the Provencal region of France but even if you aren’t a student, there are plenty of things to see and do in this lovely town.
It’s best known as the birthplace of Paul Cezanne, a Post-Impressionist painter, so his childhood home is one of the recommended tourist attractions in this town – in fact, there is a walking trail that links important buildings that relate to his personal life and career so you can both get the tour and learn about Cezanne.
You’ll quickly notice that there’s also a white limestone mountain that overlooks the city, which provides a picturesque backdrop. If you need to get away from the bustling chaos of the city, Aix en Provence is the perfect place to visit because of its laid-back vibe. It’s also a great place to be based to go on a few great day trips from Aix en Provence.
You’ll be able to walk leisurely among its peaceful gardens, local markets, and art galleries, and enjoy the charm of one of the most beautiful villages in Provence. Or, if you prefer, you can join a guided tour.
➤ The Provence Lavender Fields Tour guides you through the most wonderful purple fields in Provence, with chances of taking pictures, wandering through the aromatic rows, and learning about lavender production. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ You can also take a City Walking Tour around Aix en Provence to discover its hidden gems, and listen to curious tales, fun facts, and some of the city’s history. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Lacoste is yet another spectacularly beautiful Provence village, and a testament to its popularity is the fact that the town’s population doubles in size during the peak of the tourist season in the summer.
This is a picturesque town atop the mountain that overlooks the village of Bordeaux. To the east, you’ll enjoy the view of the Grand Luberon Mountains and to the south, the Petit Luberon.
This town is also known for is its cobblestone streets which when coupled with the vernacular language, feel as if you were stepping back in time. The Maison Forte is the oldest building in town that has been around since the 9th century.
Arles is one of the most venerated towns in Provence, France. It’s home to over 30,000 residents and features a few historic monuments that remain intact to this day. The town of Arles is most well-known for the Roman wonders that are prevalent here.
There is a variety of things to see and do in the town of Arles to satisfy your longing for history and culture. The central attraction in Arles is the Amphitheatre, an oval arena that is more than 2000 years old. Today, It’s still being used for concerts and bullfights.
Other notable attractions in town include the Arles Theatre, Van Gogh Heritage site (he lived here after all!), Church of St. Trophime, and the Montmajour Abbey.
➤ The 2-Hour Private Walking Tour is ideal to explore Arles’ highlights and learn about its history with a customized itinerary and at your own pace. Your guide will provide insights and useful suggestions as well. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
When it comes to the discussion of the most beautiful hilltop villages of Provence, Gordes is a name that always shows up on the list. It has the quintessential elements that add exceptional charm to this town such as cobblestone paths, winding streets, and stunning views.
The town stands on the edge of a plateau that many famous movie stars have called their home.
As you explore the town on foot, you’ll discover walls made from flat stones, old doorways, and stunning arcades. Some of the must-see attractions here include the Senangue Abbey, Pol Mara Museum, The Moulins de Bouillons Museum, and St. Firmin Church.
Needless to say, Gordes is essentially a postcard-pretty town.
Avignon is one of the most popular villages in Provence, France and it’s the kind of place you just don’t want to leave. It’s filled with ancient history, culture, art, and life; no wonder it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
You could lose yourself for hours wandering the narrow streets of the town, among its fortified walls. In fact, it’s one of few towns in France with mostly pedestrian streets so you are free to explore the shops, attractions, and other sights without having to think about the traffic.
The town is filled with many old yet picturesque squares, especially in the old town area. They range from small and shaded to wide and open as well as plenty of tree-lined squares that add to the town’s charm.
To make the most of your visit to Avignon, here are a few must-see sites you can’t miss – Place du Palais, Place de’l Horloge, Place de la Pignotte, and Pont d’Avignon.
If you’d rather learn more about Avignon and its history, I recommend these guided tours.
➤ With the Avignon Walking Tour you’ll get to admire the hilltop views and the town’s architecture, wander in its medieval streets and alleys, and visit the Pope’s Palace (entry included). ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ The Provence in One Day Tour is a comprehensive excursion from Avignon that takes you to some of the wonderful towns mentioned on this list, as well as to other highlights in the Provencal countryside. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
➤ Book the Chateauneuf du Pape Wine Tour if you’re a wine enthusiast because you’ll get to taste the world-famous wine right where it’s produced. You’ll visit several vineyards and learn about what makes this wine so special. ➥ BOOK IT HERE
Cassis is a picture-perfect fishing town that looks like it’s a masterpiece of a great artist. Quite close to Marseilles, this town will delight your eyes at every turn. It’s hard not to fall in love with Cassis with its outdoor cafes, striking cliffs, stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, and fabulous food.
Sometimes referred to as the little treasure of the French Riviera, Cassis brings all the charm that you’d expect from an exquisite fishing village. You can just wash away your worries when you marvel at the colorful boats being reflected in the water as you sit down in one of many waterfront restaurants.
Sault is a fortified village in the region of Provence, perched atop a high ridge with an overlooking view of the valley and the lavender fields that fill the town with a pervasive fragrance.
This town is cherished for its beauty and character but is also an ideal destination for sightseeing. Among the top sights to explore are the Notre Dame de la Tour Church, The Boyer Nougat Factory, The Lavender Road, and the Municipal Museum.
This town is also known as the ideal departure point for exploring Mont Ventoux, as well as other distinguished attractions such as the Lure Mountain, Toulorenc Valley, and the Gorges of the Nesque.
Uzes is known as the hidden gem of Provence. Claimed by many as the epitome of French life, you’ll see that it offers a little slice of French perfection.
Head to the old town where you’ll discover the real charm of this town and be delighted by its vast array of picturesque architecture. In particular, this town is famous for its Renaissance architecture that provides a glimpse into the town’s past as an important trading center.
There is also a strong Roman link to this town and you’ll definitely see glimpses of that, as well as understand why it’s one of the best towns in Provence!
Uzes is recognized for its lively farmer’s markets, along with famous attractions in the form of its arcaded central square, elegant mansions, and gorgeous cathedrals. Foodies will be delighted with Uzes’ range of sublime places to dine, too.
Les Baux de Provence
Les Baux de Provence might be a small village, but known as the star of the Alpilles it’s one of the prettiest villages in Provence.
Set on a rocky spur with panoramic views of the Crau plain and Camargue, Les Baux de Provence draws over 1.5 million tourists every year (its actual population count is only 400!). One of the reasons why tourists flock here is the old houses that are a fascinating part of the town’s 4,000-year history.
The history of Les Baux de Provence dates back to 6000 BC, where it’s well-preserved because of its strategic location atop the mountain that used to give it excellent protection from attackers.
Today, this history is evident in the many architectural features of the village. In fact, there are plenty of listed historic monuments within the village that have been carefully restored by the French government so you’ll find a lot to see.
Lourmarin is one of the stunning towns of Provence, France nestled amongst vineyards, almond trees, and olive groves. It’s the quintessential countryside town that becomes highly animated during the summer season.
Walking around the village, you’ll notice the predominance of Mediterranean architecture along with old restored houses, public squares, and winding narrow streets. Surely, this is the perfect town to go to if you want to embrace that true-blue Provencal ambiance.
When you visit Lourmarin, don’t forget to check out the listed Villa Medicis de Provence Castle and the Boite a Sel belfry.
Roussillon is one of the best villages in Provence for its charming aspect, and it will surely make you want to stay! Situated at the foot of Monts de Vaucluse and surrounded by an impressive natural bounty, it’s an absolute must-see for anyone visiting this part of Luberon.
Being at the heart of the world’s biggest deposit of ochre, it’s well-known for its stunning red cliffs and ochre quarries. The shades of red, yellow, and brown of the cliffs and surrounding landscape provide a beautiful contrast to the greeneries. You shouldn’t miss the Ochre Trail while you’re here!
Aside from the natural beauty of Roussillon, you’ll also be dazzled by the beautiful buildings and picturesque maze of streets in town. The ochre facades of the houses provide a wonderful visual pop, especially against the brightly painted shutters. I have to add that this town is also famous for its excellent restaurants and art galleries!
Another stunning village in Luberon is Ansouis, which is mystifying with its tiny streets filled with boutiques and artisan workshops. This is a pedestrian-friendly town because the village squares are well-shaded and you can discover a lot of sights as you navigate its narrow streets.
You’ll come to discover that the Castle of Ansouis, a beautiful medieval castle from the 12th century, is one of the marquee attractions of this town. Although it’s privately owned, it’s open to the public, a visit I’d totally recommend if you want to get a glimpse of its collection of 17th and 18th-century furniture and tapestries.
In addition to the castle, Ansouis also offers a few must-see attractions such as the 12th-century St. Martin Church and museum, displaying stained glass windows, ceramics, paintings, and sculptures.
Saint-Paul de Vence
The town of Saint Paul de Vence is on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by ramparts built on the orders of Francois 1st.
The natural beauty that surrounds this town is undeniable; in fact, many artists such as poets, painters, and writers have come here for inspiration. You can visit the works of these artists at the Fondation Maeght.
The village itself demands to be explored so don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the maze of picturesque streets. There are also little touches that add more charm to the village such as the ancient fountains, porches, gorgeous windows, and gateways.
Goult is a historic town in Provence, yet it’s one of the least visited. Those who dare explore this village will discover the history, nature, and beauty that it has to offer.
Goult is part of the Parc Naturel Regional du Luberon, and has been restored with utmost care to preserve the buildings that were made of ochre and stone.
Fall in love with the ruins of the old ramparts, ancient churches, family chateaus, and ancient doors that are abundant all over town. On another side of the town, you’ll also discover an abundance of vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and olive trees.
Bonnieux is a classic hilltop French village, perched on a narrow, steep ridge, and high on the list of beautiful villages in Provence.
It offers a picturesque scene of old rampart ruins and cliffs that tower over the town. There is also a charming atmosphere in the town as it’s dotted with pretty boutiques, niche houses, shops, galleries, cafes, and gorgeous restaurants.
If you want to experience the best views from the town, head to Foret des Cedres. This attraction is on a mountaintop so you can enjoy unparalleled views of the valley below or go for a lovely picnic in the cool breeze. For the more active visitors, you can go for a memorable hike among the century-old cedar trees.
Saint Remy de Provence
Pretty and picturesque – these are the two most fitting adjectives to describe Saint Remy, one of the most beautiful towns in Provence. With a population of less than 10,000, this town at an elevation of 60 meters is on the plains at the northern edge of the Alpilles.
If you want to experience the heart of this town, you should head to the ancient center of Saint Remy de Provence. This area is filled with medieval buildings, cobblestone streets, pretty squares, and ancient fountains.
You can still find old shops that sell traditional Provencal items such as pottery, and visit the old Gallo-Roman interior circle, one of the few remnants of the past, small enough that you should be able to explore it in half an hour.
L’isle Sur la Sorgue
L’isle Sur la Sorgue, at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau among the plains of Comtat Venaissin, is one of the prettiest towns in Provence, and also one of the most unique. You’ll marvel at its natural greenery and canals that run through the center of town.
It’s known as an island city because the River Sorgue surrounds it as if embracing it. This makes it a great town to explore because you can find little bridges to cross.
Aside from the canal, there are plenty of attractions to marvel at when in L’isle Sur la Sorgue. One of them is the Collegiate church Notre Dame des Anges, which has been around since the 14th century and boasts of an exceptional Baroque interior design.
You’ll also discover many awe-inspiring mansions that had been converted into art galleries such as the 18th-century Hotel Donadeï de Campredon. When you visit this town, make sure to leave your car parked. It’s small and charming enough to explore on foot and allow yourself to be left captivated with its charm.
As you can see, the best Provence villages are quite a few, and they all deserve a visit! Be sure to plan your itinerary with your favorite towns in mind, and get into their laid-back way of life so you explore them leisurely without rushing. You’re on vacation after all!
Sunday 26th of March 2023
I think you mean that Arles' Roman amphitheater is from 400 AD, not 400 years old !!??
Monday 27th of March 2023
Oooh thanks for catching the mistake! My editor should have caught that :/ I just edited it.
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