Provence - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Provence for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

It’s easy to fall in love with the splendour of Provence. This subregion is located in southern France and is part of an even larger region called Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA). You will recognise Provence by its charming hilltop villages, the most beautiful villages I have ever seen. Even if this was not your first region of choice for your next trip, things will change drastically after this blog. The area is known for the small, sweet local markets and overgrown fields of lavender offer an unforgettable experience.

So, are you already searching for where to stay in Provence? No need; this blog will answer that shortly!

Question: Where to stay in Provence for a first-time visit?

The PACA region is divided into six subregions, and Provence is one of them. Although five days will be enough for you to visit all the villages, I would recommend that you stay at least two weeks here. In terms of the best period to plan your trip, I’d tell you to come in late spring to early fall, and if you want to smell the indoor aromas of lavender, then June and July are ideal.

As for the best places to stay in Provence, you should base yourself in Avignon or Aix-en Provence and explore the region.

Other notable cities in this area are:

  • Marseille
  • Aix-en-Provence
  • Avignon
  • Nice
  • Toulon
  • Arles
  • Nîmes
  • Orange
  • Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
  • Cassis

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. In this guide include the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Provence.

Looking for your next travel destination? We got you! Take a look at 7 days in France.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Provence for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Avignon

Avignon, the region’s capital, is a cultural hotspot full of art museums and must-visit landmarks, just like the whole city. Once you visit it, it will definitely become your favourite corner of France. It can be reached from Paris in 3 hours by car or bus, and the nearest airport is Avignon-Provence Airport (IATA: AVN), 8 km from the city.

Here, apart from the best places to stay in Provence, France, you will enjoy the scent of lavender combined with the sights of pallet-dressed houses and excited locals at the vibrant markets.

And what can you expect to see here?

  • Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes)
  • Pont Saint-Bénézet (Pont d’Avignon)
  • Avignon Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms)
  • Rocher des Doms

Why do we recommend these areas?

The Palace of the Popes is an imposing Gothic structure that in the 14th century was the headquarters of the Western Christian Church. Walking through the private chambers, you can go back to the 14th century and feel the importance of this building.

Pont Saint-Bénézet, even better known as Pont d’Avignon is an ornament on the Rhone River and a symbol of the city’s historical importance.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms is a building from the 14th century. It was built on the site of an earlier church, and it was significant because of the process of proclaiming the new pope. What you must see is the ornate altar inside.

And finally, Rocher des Doms, a rocky outcrop near Palais des Papes, with a beautiful garden adorned by a beautiful statue. Once you choose the best option for where to stay in Provence, make sure to put this place on the top of your ‘to-visit’ list!

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Avignon
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Hotel d’Europe
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Airelles Gordes, La Bastide
💎 Best Luxury HotelChez Romain et Saphie
🤩 Best Design Hotel:La Villa des Lavandes
😎 Best for Groups:Appartement Parking Gratuit Surveillé
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Studio Vue Palais des Papes
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Appartement Garance
👌 Safest Area: Aix-en-Provence

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Provence

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Provence is made for leisurely walks and exploring its beauty. It offers so many family-friendly activities like hiking, cycling, and even canoeing. The climate is delightful and mild, and you won’t have to worry about whether your children will catch a cold or get sunburned while playing sports.

One of the best spots you can explore with your family will undoubtedly be the local markets, usually open 1 or 2 days a week, so check the exact days according to your residence.

Books have been written, and stories told about the history of the city, urging you to decide where to stay in Provence as fast as possible! Now, you and your family can witness the most preserved Roman Ruins, the oldest cathedrals and bridges, and the places from which famous artists like Van Gogh drew inspiration.

Allow your children to enjoy running through the meadows or the lavender-purple sea, and then see the unique breed of horses for this area, the Camargue White Horse.

Avignon

This is a perfect place to kick off your South France itinerary. Avignon is a real gem of Provence. It is pleasant for children and safe because it is a university city, and there are many recreational activities for children curious about history and art.

Aix-en-Provence

It is a gorgeous city with an excellent base for exploring, offering easy accessibility to other cities. Here, the local market is open on Thursday, and if you come, you will see the pleasant and relaxing energy of the locals. If you have time to spare, limit yourself to a day trip to Nice.

Handpicked accommodations for families

Hotel d’Europe Avignon

Wondering which are the best places to stay in Provence? Family rooms for five distinguish Hotel d’Europe, featuring one bed and a sofa in the living room. I also recommend choosing the Junior suite or Suite with a terrace. A night here costs 330 euros for an apartment; in the flats, you have a private bath and a minibar.

Book Hotel d’Europe here

Relax and unwind at Hotel d'Europe

Have a great time at Hotel d'Europe

L’Oustau D’Alberta Aix-en-Provence

L’Oustau D’Alberta is located in a 16th-century building, a 5-minute from Avignon Bridge. The flat occupies 60 square meters and has a kitchen with a dishwasher and oven, a bedroom, a living room with a flat-screen TV and a bathroom. It can accommodate four guests and is located 26 km from the nearest airport.

Book L’Oustau D’Alberta here

Private room at L'Oustau D'Alberta

Have a pleasant stay at L'Oustau D'Alberta

 1.2 Couples

Searching for where to stay in Provence with your loved one? The city is famous for its romantic sun-kissed streets, and lavender fragrance that fills up the air. Every Provence village radiates a captivating charm you can’t help but fall in love with. This region is a soak in endless sunshine and energy to enjoy during your honeymoon or romantic France getaway.

Gordes

This village has the best hilltop location, and the view of the entire village from one place across the street is a true highlight. It’s a rock formation made for waiting for the sunset and drinking wine in the best company. To find this location, write “Town View Point Gordes” on Google Maps and go! If you start from the centre, you don’t even have 30 minutes of hiking, which is worth every step.

The village captivates with its medieval stone houses and small charming cafes and restaurants hidden in the narrow streets. While you’re exploring these streets, buy yourself a lavender ice cream.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

It is the former home of van Gogh and many other artists who found inspiration in this village. It is even more beautiful than Les Baux de Provence, created for dynamic travellers and couples who like hiking and exploring. The town has a lovely, convenient location, making it one of the best places to stay in Provence, France.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Airelles Gordes, La Bastide Gordes

Airelles Gordes, La Bastide offers luxurious and superb service, and you will first notice the decor from the 18th century. Your enjoyment will reach the next level thanks to the spacious rooms and suites with private baths with bathtubs or separate showers.

Every morning, you can enjoy a buffet breakfast and taste regional wines in the hotel restaurant in the evening. Additional amenities are the four treatment rooms, fitness centre and indoor pool. The hotel also offers car rental.

Book Airelles Gordes here

Make yourself at home at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide

Enjoy your time at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide

Le Regardeur Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Breakfast and Bеd options are set up in a real At Gallery with beautiful artwork even in your bedroom. Couples who have previously visited Le Regardeur give it the highest rating. It has free parking, a quiet street view and excellent breakfast. The nearest airport is 19 km away.

Book Le Regardeur here

Experience comfort at Le Regardeur

Have a wonderful stay at Le Regardeur

1.3 Luxury traveler

Still haven’t decided where to stay in Provence? The city will win you over with the best selection of luxury hotels and boutique chateaux or private villas. These same resorts usually have sophisticated spa relaxation facilities. And for gourmets, here are a few Michelin-starred restaurants known for top service and superior quality food:

  • La Bastide de Capelongue- Luberon
  • L’Oustau de Baumalu- Les Baux de Provence
  • Le Petite NIce- Marseille

I would also highlight the private wine tours available for groups of a maximum of 10 people.

Les Baux-de-Provence

This place has breathtaking views of the most beautiful village, and the hiking trails that it offers are no less than a perfect escape from reality. There is no resort here with a reputation for lousy service; on the contrary, they all provide a luxurious stay and unforgettable enjoyment.

Gordes

Here we are again in old stone houses. This place reminds me of Deia Mallorca, and if you have been to both places or at least seen pictures, I’m quite sure you will agree with me. Besides, this lavish dream is only 1 hour from Avignon.

If you have time, take advantage of the Day trip to Roussillon, the place with the largest ochre or pigment deposit. That’s why all the houses here have pink or red pigment. Although this may not sound enticing enough to you, trust me, you will be amazed by the sights in these two places.

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

Chez Romain et Saphie Les Baux-de-Provence

Chez Romain et Saphie is 100 square meters, with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a spacious living room with a modern design. There is a well-decorated terrace and free parking in the yard. This holiday home can host 4-5 guests and is surely one of the best places to stay in Provence. The nearest airport is 29 kilometres away.

Book Chez Romain et Saphie here

Enjoy your stay at Chez Romain et Saphie

Have fun at Chez Romain et Saphie

Maison, Gordes

The place enjoys an excellent location with an area of 400 square meters and a complex available for 12 people. There is a beautiful garden and an outdoor pool just for you. There are also BBQ facilities in the yard. The complex’s interior comprises six bedrooms, six baths, a dining area, and a kitchen.

Book Maison here

Relax and unwind at Piscine troglodyte avec vue incroyable à Gordes

Have a great time at Piscine troglodyte avec vue incroyable à Gordes

1.4 Design-lovers

How would you feel if I told you that Provence was the primary source of inspiration for Renoir, Chagall, Cezanne, and even Picasso and Van Gogh? This place offers postcard views of lavender fields and natural aesthetics. In addition to the fact that quite a few historic works of art have been created here, Provence is known for its many stylish antique markets and Provencal fabric making. Enjoy the lavender colour inspiration.

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

Wondering which is the best area to stay in Provence? You might have just found it! It is a small place full of picturesque canals, antique markets, and brocantes.

Here is one of the most beautiful art galleries in Provence, and I have no words to describe the splendour of the architecture. Moreover, the gardens throughout the place are a must-visit during your stay here.

Aix-en-Provence

This place bears the epithet of the most refined, stylish spot in the entire French countryside, which easily answers the question of where to stay in Provence. And it is not by chance because the studio of the indisputable Cezzane is hidden here.

The village has elegant energy, and museums, stylish boutiques, sleek cars and refined gourmet restaurants equipped with high-end furniture. Aix en Provence offers an extra layer of sophistication and elegance, waiting to be explored.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

La Villa des Lavandes – A 300m du Centre, au calme, et au vert ! L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

La Villa des Lavandes is only a short walk to the town centre. There’s plenty of green space for relaxation and a terrace with comfortable wooden furniture. This accommodation is only sometimes available, so it’s best to book it well ahead.

It has four bedrooms, a large kitchen and two living rooms decorated with taste and style. There is also a pool with BBQ facilities nearby in the yard.

Book La Villa des Lavandes here

Private room at La Villa des Lavandes

Have a pleasant stay at La Villa des Lavandes

Hotel Particulier le 28 by Les Collectionneurs Aix-en-Provence

Excellent accommodation for 8-10 people. It is a beautiful house with a lovely, welcoming host. Hotel Particulier le 28 is located in the old town and has a fantastic city view. The details on the internet are like being in a fairy tale. I recommend the Deluxe Family Suite with a private bathroom and kitchen. Spa and room services are available upon request.

Book Hotel Particulier le 28 here

Make yourself at home at Hotel Particulier le 28 by Teritoria

Enjoy your time at Hotel Particulier le 28 by Teritoria

1.5 Groups

Where to stay in Provence as a group? It is an excellent place to visit all the beauties at a maximum distance of 1 to 2 hours. There are a lot of outdoor activities, but for a group visit, I would single out the visit to the lavender plantations and the cute, colourful markets. Ideally, dedicate eight days to Timeless Provence. The Cannes Film Festival is also nearby, and at lunchtime, enjoy flavoursome food and explore souvenir shops.

Avignon

This city is a blend of Gothic and Roman style, with charming boutiques, and for food lovers, there are dining options that will not disappoint you.

Arles

It is located 50 minutes from Avignon and 30 minutes from Les Baux de Provence and hides a rich history, the most authentic of which are the Roman ruins of Van Gogh and the amphitheater of the same name. Art lovers and history enthusiasts cannot miss this place. Also, visit Cafe Terrace at Night, a characteristic cafe for Van Gogh’s work.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Appartement Parking Gratuit Surveillé Avignon

Clean and spacious accommodation with free parking and all the amenities you need in one apartment. The living room has two bedrooms and a sofa with an impressive city view and landmark view. Appartement Parking Gratuit Surveillé can accommodate 5 or 6 people.

Book Appartement here

Experience comfort at Appartement clilmatisé parking gratuit surveillé

Have a wonderful stay at Appartement clilmatisé parking gratuit surveillé

Arles Holiday – Le Studio Chic Arles

Quiet private and warm exclusive accommodation with one bedroom and private bathroom, flawless heating, and free parking. The airport is 27 km from the accommodation. Arles Holiday – Le Studio Chic is ideal to take multiple rooms for two.

Book Arles Holiday here

Enjoy your stay at Arles Holiday - Le Studio Chic

Have fun at Arles Holiday - Le Studio Chic

1.6 Solo-travelers

Why not step off the tourist tour and explore more, especially if you travel solo? The region is safe and welcoming, with beautiful villages and art inspiration. Also, here, you get flexibility and independence. In fact, there are plenty of places to stay in Provence, France which you can explore on your own!

Avignon

The place has excellent connections with other places, so you can easily explore Provence’s rich history. Go to a wine tasting in Chateaux du Papes or go on a foodie tour and try cheese, fresh-from-the-oven pastries and other specialities.

Aix-en-Provence

It is a very safe and attractive village close to the coast, from which you can organize a day trip to Nice. If you have time, book a lavender tour.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Studio Vue Palais des Papes Avignon

Studio Vue Palais des Papes is in the middle of the city centre and offers you the complete comfort of an apartment with a city view. The host is accommodating and, without any problem, guarantees you heating, wireless WIFI and a studio with one bedroom for two. It is 900 metres from Avignon Bridge and offers a 10% discount for early booking.

Book Studio Vue Palais des Papes here

Relax and unwind at Studio Vue Palais des Papes

Have a great time at Studio Vue Palais des Papes

Hôtel Paul Aix-en-Provence

Still haven’t decided on where to stay in Provence? Hôtel Paul is a cosy place that will instantly win you over with its charm! The staff and atmosphere were exceptionally kind in a clean, nicely designed setting and interior. The breakfast is more than reasonable and can be served in the garden.

Book Hôtel Paul here

Private room at Hôtel Paul

Have a pleasant stay at Hôtel Paul

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

Although Provence is considered a tranquil place, plenty of enjoyable options remain. Marseille’s Vieux Port has a diverse nightlife scene, bars and clubs. The region also offers enjoyable casinos, especially in Aix en Provence and renowned jazz clubs. Those who want a more relaxed and local experience can visit the night markets.

Aix-en-Provence

If you want nightlife to be part of your stay in Provence, Aix en Provence is a must-include stop. The city is lively during the day but not at night. Quite a few students are contributing to the atmosphere. Feel the real pulse of this city at night.

Marseille

Looking for the best area to stay in Provence? In addition to being an aviation club, this is also one of the cities known for its good nightlife. Visit the first, second and sixth arrondissements on an excellent tour, and don’t bypass the Old Port. In the Panier quarter, get to know the funkiest atmosphere and marvel at local restaurants and bars’ beautiful murals and terraces. Here are some suggestions for bars and cafes.

  • Le Rooftop R2
  • Le Baby Club
  • Le Mauda

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Augustins Fountain Studio 

A very comfortable apartment of 31 square metres where a night for two costs 90 euros. It has a well-equipped kitchen, a private bathroom, and a spacious living room. It is located in the very historical centre of the city.

Book Augustins Fountain Studio here

Make yourself at home at AUGUSTINS FOUNTAIN Studio

Enjoy your time at Enjoy your time at AUGUSTINS FOUNTAIN Studio

Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem – central Marseille

It is an excellent location by the old Port, which is only sometimes available, so take advantage of it. Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem is 1 kilometre from the centre and 22 kilometres from the airport. The offer also includes clean towels and bed linen.

Book Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem here

Experience comfort at Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem - central

Have a wonderful stay at Du côté du Vieux Port & Mucem - central

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

You may have heard that Provence is expensive to vacation, but not if you plan. In the off-season, you can find accommodation for 40-140 euros per night; for daily transportation, you can spend at least 10-20 euros per day. Food costs a maximum of 50 euros per day, and that’s if you eat in a middle-rated restaurant.

You can see quite a few inexpensive attractions, and the traditional Provençal food does not cost a fortune. However, those olives, lavender, garlic and tomato aromas are priceless.

Avignon

Wondering where to stay in Provence on a budget? For a few bucks, you can visit the most beautiful attraction here, i.e. Rue des Teinturier, a public cobbled street with an old water wheel lined with lush trees. There are also many hidden squares here, and transportation is cheap and efficient.

  • Budget-Friendly Restaurants:
    • Le Moulin à Huile- traditional Provencal cuisine in a charming setting.
    • La Fourchette- a variety of French and Mediterranean dishes well-regarded for its value for money.
    • L’Épicerie- is known for its diverse menu and reasonable prices. It has a relaxed ambience and is a good choice for those looking for budget-friendly dining in Avignon.
  • Budget-Friendly Bars/Nightclubs:
    • Les Halles
    • Le Bar des Amis
    • Le Coeur du Rock

Aix-en-Provence

Just 1 hour from Avignon, this place offers local markets and a student budget-friendly experience.

  • Budget-Friendly Restaurants:
    • Le Petit Bistrot – offering French cuisine.with reasonable prices
    • La Tomate Verte – vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant with a focus on fresh, healthy ingredients
    • Chez Féraud – traditional Provençal restaurant that offers a menu with local specialities
  • Budget-Friendly Bars/Nightclubs:
    • Bar de la Fontaine
    • Le Vieux Tonneau
    • Bar de l’Institution

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Appartement Garance, Avignon

Looking for the best places to stay in Provence? Fantastic space in a beautiful building, Appartement Garance has a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a sofa in the living room, for a maximum of 5 guests. One night costs a total of 120 euros per night. It is located 28 m from the Pont d’Avignon.

Book Apartment Garance here

Enjoy your stay at Apartment Garance

Have fun at Apartment Garance

Studio Centre Historique Aix , Aix-en-Provence

Studio for two, with free WIFI and one sofa bed. There is also a compact kitchen for budget cooking. The apartment is a non-smoking property.

Book Studio Centre Historique Aix here

Relax and unwind at Studio centre historique Aix

Have a great time at Studio centre historique Aix

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Provence

Once again, these are the best areas to stay in Provence once you decide to visit this wonderful region:

  • Avignon
  • Aix-en-Provence
  • Les Baux-de-Provence
  • Arles

3. FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Provence?

Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Les Baux-de-Provence, and Arles are considered some of the best areas to stay in Provence, each offering unique attractions and experiences. Avignon, the region's capital, is particularly recommended for first-time visitors.

Where should you not stay in Provence?

While there isn't a specific neighborhood to completely avoid, it's important to consider your preferences and travel goals. If you prefer a more tranquil experience, staying in larger cities like Marseille might be less appealing compared to the charming hilltop villages like Les Baux-de-Provence.

What should I avoid in Provence?

It's advisable to avoid overcrowded tourist areas during peak seasons, as they might impact your ability to fully enjoy the beauty of the region. Additionally, being mindful of your belongings and practicing general safety precautions is recommended in any destination.

Where should I stay in Provence for the first time?

Avignon is recommended for first-time visitors to Provence. As the region's capital, Avignon offers a cultural hotspot with art museums, landmarks like the Palace of the Popes, and a vibrant atmosphere. It serves as a great base to explore the surrounding areas of Provence.

4. Map + All Sights

Let our map be your guide to the best stays in Provence, where every location promises an unforgettable experience steeped in the beauty and culture of this enchanting region.

5. Summary of where to stay in Provence

For budget-conscious travellers, Aix-en-Provence and Avignon offer affordable accommodations and vibrant local experiences. Luxury seekers may prefer Aix-en-Provence’s refined atmosphere. Families can find comfort in Les Baux-de-Provence and Arles, each offering unique attractions for all ages. Drawing on history and romantic settings, couples may discover Avignon and Aix-en-Provence particularly enchanting.

After learning where to stay in Provence and exploring its gems, check out my new blogs for destinations waiting for you.

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here are a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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