My Top Ten List of Favorite Things from the Provence Trip

I can’t stop thinking about our Provence trip and thought it might be fun to share a list of my favorite things about our Provence trip.

It wasn’t easy coming up with this list of my favorite things. That is because I easily could have included twenty-five favorite things! Some of my favorite things are ones that everyone who has visited this magical spot love also, and some are very nuanced and specific. Just thinking about the trip brings a smile to my face. I hope that you enjoy them and that they make you smile too!

List of Favorite Things from France
Favorite Places

My Top Ten List of Favorite Things

List of Favorite Things

Thank you to all of you who followed along to experience the magic of Provence. When I first began thinking about this trip, I knew it would be special. This is definitely one of those times when the experience far outweighed the expectation.

My suitcases are emptied. The laundry is done. All of my treasures are unpacked and I am super excited that everything made it home safely and in one piece!

I thought it would be fun to share my favorite things that I loved about our Provence trip. If you have been, I would love to hear what your favorite things were. If you are thinking about planning a trip to Provence, GOOO! Buy the ticket. Book the tour. You will be so grateful you were able to experience this spectacular slice of heaven!

And my list of favorite things is not in any particular order!

#1 – Baguettes Must be Sold for One Euro or Less

Wait, what?

It’s true! When you buy a baguette at a boulangerie, the price is always one euro (or less)! Baguettes are subsidized by the government to allow everyone an affordable and tasty option for fresh bread. It is also a wonderful way to support small businesses. I mean, let’s keep the boulangeries in business. I was more than happy to do my part!

#2 – Colored Shutters and Charming Small Villages

The Town of Apt

I had seen pictures of the Provence region. You know the photos of sun-bleached buildings with ice cream-colored shutters. What I had not anticipated is that when walking on the cobblestones of these small villages, you could actually feel the collision of the past mixed with the present. Unlike our homes in the United States, the facades of the buildings in Provence are not picture perfect which makes them perfect for pictures! Each crack or chip in the exterior tells a story. We wandered through villages that had been built in the 14th century. Not much had changed on the outside. The insides had been updated with electricity and running water, but there are no mini-mansions in these villages, which just added to their charm.

The shutters, in muted colors of the rainbow, are not just pretty to look at, they actually opened and closed several times each day. They are closed in the mornings to keep the heat out and then opened in the evenings to let the cooler air in.

The shutters on our home are decorative. I have never, ever used them! Do you use yours?

#3 – The Aroma of Lavender Everywhere 

We were very lucky to have booked our trip at the height of the lavender season. There are fields and fields and fields of gorgeous purple flowers. Depending on the elevation of the village, the color was deeper, (closer to cutting), or lighter shades of purple (still ripening).

What I had not anticipated was that not only were the fields beautiful to look at, they also smelled heavenly and they literally buzzed. Bees are critical to lavender production and the fields buzzed with bees drunk on lavender. The bees had no interest in us as we gingerly passed them to get a photo. How glorious is that?!

#4 – Fresh Croissants Every Morning

Settling In on Our First Day in Provence France.

Each evening, before we locked our door and went to bed, we would hang a beautiful linen bread bag on the door to our apartment. Each morning, as soon as the local boulangerie opened, Tracey, who leads the French Larkspur tours, would be there to buy fresh croissants for us. Once we woke up, we would open our apartment door and find the linen bag filled with a freshly baked croissant for each of us. It was such a thoughtful gesture and such a decadent way to begin each day. This is truly one of my favorite memories.

#5 – Great Prices Everywhere (and we were surprised!)

Provence Antique Market

When we were in France, the exchange rate was $1.06 which means that one US dollar is about €0.95, and because inflation is so high here in the US, everything in France was less expensive. I shared that I found a small-ish chandelier for only $32 US dollars! Now, I think I am a pretty savvy flea market shopper, but I didn’t even negotiate, the prices were that good!

A Wonderful Day in Provence

#6 – Dinner in our Apartment Every Night with a Baguette, Cheese, Fig Jam, and Fruit 

Settling In and Lunch in Provence

I cook dinner every night for me and my husband Dave. Every single night. But dinners were so different in Provence!

Our daily walks over the bridge to the fromagerie to pick up some freshly made cheese and a quick stop at the boulangerie for a baguette were our daily needs for our nightly dinner. We dined on baguettes, cheese, french fig jam, and fruit every single night! Some evenings, we added items we had picked up at the farmer’s market that day. Fresh strawberries for me and fresh olives for Maryliz. (I detest olives, but she was so excited about the ones she had found at the market! )

#7 – Light Skies Until 10pm

A Wonderful Day in Provence

We were up early every morning and after we finished our daily croissant, we were out the door by 8am. We visited the markets and brocante each day followed by a lunch reservation at 1pm. It was very hot the week were there, so we would head back to the apartment each day around 4pm.

Maryliz and I would work in the afternoons, responding to messages and write the blog post for the following day. Around 8pm we would take a break for our nightly feast of bread and cheese and because the air began to chill and the light began to soften around this time, it was a very natural calming end to the day. We would put the finishing touches on the post for the next day and head to bed just as dark was beginning to settle in. At 10:00 pm!

#8 – The Great Inexpensive French Wine. Rose!

Rose wine

The french rosé wine was not only gorgeous in its blush color, but so bright and fresh. It was perfectly light and refreshing, especially given the temperature. I was shocked to learn that some of the rosé wine we tried was as inexpensive as €9. I had never really had a lot of rosé before our trip to France, but I will definitely be adding it to my favorite summer wine list!

#9 – The Amazing Flea Market and Brocante Shopping

I went to France hoping that I would find a chandelier for the beach house. I thought it would be so special to walk through a hallway and look up and see the memories of France. The soft light emitted by the light would remind me of the soft light of the summer evenings spent in Provence in search of this treasure.

I actually found two chandeliers!

There are some photos above of the wonderful treasures I brought home from Provence. I cannot wait to get them styled in our home very soon.

There were so many incredible linens and glass items that I found. I am excited to get started trying to recreate the linen bread bags with some of the linens I found at the flea market.

On this blog, I may sometimes use affiliate links, which means a small commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. The price you pay will be the same whether you use the affiliate link or go directly to the vendor’s website using a non-affiliate link.

#10 – Traveling with My Best Friend

I usually travel with my husband/family and it was such a special treat to travel with my best friend Maryliz. I can’t imagine Dave or my family wanting to spend so many days at vintage flea markets and antique shops, so it was extra fun to just sink into the experience.

We are so similar that we traveled really well together which was also so nice!

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  1. I know I’ll never make it to that side of the world but I’ve enjoyed spending this trip with you visually. Baguettes everyday? I would be as big as a! With all the walking you did though, I guess it would be worth it. I love rolls, baguettes and exotic breads very much. Anything that’s different and out of the ordinary. I just love trying all the different ways one could make breads.
    The scenery that you’ve captured is quite fascinating. I’d consider having them made into photos. They would look so nice in your carriage house.
    The shopping looks fabulous! I love a good bargain and you most certainly got some great bargains!
    Thanks for sharing this lovely trip!

  2. Your trip sounds so amazing! I would love to do it with a friend some day. I’m looking forward to seeing you at Haven. Hugs to you.

  3. Leslie,
    What a beautiful job you have done in depicting the loveliness and charm of your trip. The colorful houses, pots, shutters, and countryside are both stunning, as well as warm and inviting. The French culture seems calmer and less chaotic than life here. I too love the architectural cracks that hold the stories and secrets of both the present and days long ago. That’s quite the opposite of homes here hidden behind gates and privacy fences. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I know your family is glad to have you home safe and sound. The fact that you could enjoy the journey with your best friend sweetened the trip. Those memories will be treasured for a lifetime! Looking forward to seeing your treasures displayed with perfection, as only you can do. 🥰 Welcome home!

  4. Love the enchanting colors of Provence! The incredible light on the buildings is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your amazing adventure and antique finds with us. Can’t wait to see how they look in the beach house.

  5. Just a bit curious….how did you get your treasures home? We travel often but I am always hesitant about buying bigger things. Did you put them on the plane? Mail them? Your pictures are beautiful!

  6. Love the memories of your wonderful trip, they will be with you for ever.
    I bought a lovely chandelier at a flea market in Paris and each time we move it goes with us. I have it in the master bedroom and many a day I lay in bed and remember that wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing!
    Mary Ann

  7. I have so enjoyed your blog posts about your trip to Provence with French Larkspur! I’m going on this tour in June of 2023 with my niece! Two Francophiles who love antiquing and siteseeing. What can be better?!
    I also enjoyed your Amazon video of all the necessary travel items! I bought the luggage, steamer, passport holder, water bottle, charging station, etc. Thank you for all the work that went into making that video. Merci!🥖🇫🇷

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Hope you had a wonderful trip to Provence~ We are just starting to think about making a trip to Provence with friends early June 2024 and wondered if you loved you experience in June. Was it everything you hoped for? Would you recommend anything in particular or change anything you did. My concern would be the heat, we are 71 and the heat wipes me out. My friend is considering renting a villa and then doing road trips, they are not so much into flea markets. Truly appreciate any tips you could offer.
      Best regards,

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