Summers are unbeatable in France, especially in Provence. The summer days stretch out long into the evening, the boulodrome comes alive with the sound of the petanque balls clashing. The scented air of rosemary, fig, and thyme are grilled with garlic and olive oil flavoring the daily catch. The Provence rosé is poured, the sun worshipped, the children run free... it is at any moment I expect Marcel Pagnol to walk up alongside of me, though often it is the Mistral that comes by tipping his hat.
When is it best to visit the south of France? I would say June or September when the temperatures are mild and the days are long. When the French are not away on holidays, and the foriegners haven't invaded in force. Where you can manage to park your car close by and have a patch of beach that isn't a mere two inches wide.
Provence in June when the flowers start blooming, the cherries are red on the branch, when the vines wave hello as you drive by, and the cicades don't overwhelm you by their never ending clicking.
But most of all, the best time to come to the south of France...
Is for a brocante. Which means any month. The brocantes open their arms every weekend throughout the year.
Brocantes in the south of any weekend here are a few of my favorites:
Marseilles (Everyday except Monday)
Villeneuve les Avignon (Saturday)
Isle sur la Sorgue (Sunday)
Aix en Provence (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Arles (The first Wednesday of the month)
The latest craze is to rent a vintage car and tour the south of France.
I have always wanted a 2CV, Sacha says, "Impractical is my style." I can imagine driving around Provence, from brocante to brocante in a 2CV with the top rolled down, and after a morning of antiquing, find a quaint spot and have a picnic.
My cousin Daryl and French Husband standing by the sorgue shooting the bull.
Since I have a large family and I live in France we often have a steady stream of visitors.
This weekend we went to St Remy, Avignon, Isle sur la Sorgue and took one of my most favorite drives in the Luberon.
Daryl and French Husband went flying in the Mosquito... Claiming Provence more beautiful from up above. Ha!
Cafes do not float in the sky even if at the local cafe they served "Pipi d'Ange"!
Seriously, the best way to enjoy Provence is on the ground.
Next to a field of poppies in the late afternoon.
Blanket spread out, a bottle of wine, a hunk of cheese and a baguette.
Eyes closed next to someone you love.
Enjoying the summer days.