Over the summer my boyfriend was invited to go to Monaco for a film festival with a plus one (THAT'S ME). Although Monaco is beautiful and the stomping grounds of the rich and the famous it really isn't ideal for a couple people taking time off to go explore France, so we made it a point to get out on little day trips when he wasn't working and stay a couple days longer to explore Provence.
The process for planning the trip wasn't the easiest I'd say. There are a ton of beautiful little towns in Provence and they are all spread apart. So after our arguing of what side of the road they drive on over there we pre- booked a car, and after every traveler review/ lonely planet chapter we booked a hotel with option to cancel in every region.
Packing for the trip was easy. I always try to pick somewhat of a character and kind of stick to it. Going to a place like France is a memorable moment in anyone's life. I always want to wear something where I can show my children my trip and them think their mom was cute. I knew we were going to be in the car a lot so I also wanted to bring stuff that was comfortable but photo ready when I see something cute on the side of the road. Also when packing to go somewhere underdeveloped it's good to pack light, and by underdeveloped I mean no elevators. Here are a few staples that I took on the trip:
Below is my little guide of some of my favorite things, some photos with my 35mm and some iphone:
This had to be one of my favorite places. We bought wine, swam in the beautiful water, ate Pizza and head home. We didn't have time to enjoy the food, as we only went on a day trip from Monaco so I dont have many recommendations other then that it is beautiful.
After renting our car we drove to out first destination in Provence which was 3 hours away from Monaco. We pulled up to what looked like a run down castle to find out it was the most beautiful place on earth. After booking be sure to contact them and reserve dinner as the couple cooks for you, and there isn't much within an eight mile radius:
There are tons of little towns within Provence so pick a few and stop at them, I loved Gordes the most. I followed this guide when stopping in towns: Here
Next we stopped in Marseille, as it didn't seem as touristy and close to all the little coves along the water that I wanted to visit. Unfortunately it wasn't really what we expected. It is sort of like an older Paris, not ideal when you are trying to get south of France vibes, so I called a friend that I knew lived there and she saved us, took us to the best restaurants and to the coves that the locals go, oh and not only did she play wonderful host she has a beautiful clothing line called Van Palma.
Stay: Mama Shelter
Eat: La Cantinetta (By far one of my favorite, I still try to recreate their food)
BONGO (By far the cutest place, a taco place owned by a husband and wife, she does all the cooking and he serves all the tables)
Beach: Sormiou (Be sure to make a reservation at the restaurant and have lunch then beach)
Saint Paul de Vence
Ok, our last stop was the BEST. Honestly it was everything we were looking for. A friend gave us this recommendation and we should have been here the whole time. It happened to be national music day, a law that lets anyone play music in the streets as loud as they want, as long as they want. It was full of art, with the touch of old France.
Stay: La Colombe d'Or (This hotel was everything. It was the old stomping grounds of many artists, creatives and influencers. With a pool that will take your breath away and food to write home about. With a humble Spanish touch the walls are covered in the art of Picasso, Calder and many more as artists used to trade art for food here)
Food: Be sure to at least make a reservation for both meals that the hotel, they were amazing.
Do: We walked around all the little shops, give yourself a couple days as the art is great and not cheep so give yourself time to think.
Some Instagrams through the trip: