PROVENCE in SPRING
The perfect choice for an early spring holiday, with temperatures already starting to hit 15˚C and the days rapidly lengthening, offering a perfect escape from winter.
Provence can get hot during the summer. Really hot! The heat is wonderful and allows for lazy days on the beach however, it’s not ideal for more physical pursuits. March offers an ideal opportunity to do activities, like extended hikes around some fabulous areas of the region.
Two favourite spots to hike are the Calanques and the Gorges du Verdon. The Calanques extend south from Marseille and run along the coast. They are a series of inlets, steep-sided valleys and hidden coves that, due to fire risk, can be closed during the summer months
If you’re into hiking you could build an entire holiday around hiking this region. Equally impressive is the Gorges du Verdon, a river canyon considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful. There are hundreds of routes to hike, but with climbs of 700 m or more you’ll be pleased to be walking the region in the comparative cool of a March spring day.
White water rafting
Thrill-seekers flock to the Ubaye Valley region during spring to make the most of the incredible white water rafting opportunities available from late March, thanks to the rivers that become swollen with spring snow meltwater.
Don’t worry if you’ve never white water rafted before. There are different levels of ‘runs’ available, depending on experience. Not only are you in for an exciting ride across turbulent rapids, but you’ll get to see the countryside from a whole different angle, much of it inaccessible from roads.
Bird watching in the
You may well have heard of the Camargue – a World Heritage Site and home to an incredible array of wildlife, including the world-famous Camargue horses. It’s at this time of year, though, that bird watching can be hugely rewarding by offering a chance to see early returning migrants such as white storks, stone curlews and hoopoes.
You’ll be able to catch the best of the Camargue’s winter birds before they disperse for the summer, such as black-necked grebes, cormorants, red-crested pochards and other waterfowl which gather on the vast Étang de Vaccarès, which lies at the heart of the reserve.
Whilst it might be a bit nippy for swimming, March offers a great chance to get out on the water with conditions often proving ideal.
In addition, don’t miss Les Nauticales, one of the first major boat shows of the year. With 30,000 visitors annually and 200 exhibitors, if you’re into boats it’s not to be missed! The upcoming show is being held between March 14th and 22nd, 2020.
Food and drink
A trip to Provence just wouldn’t be a trip to Provence without making sure you include a food element. Fortunately, March offers all manner of gastronomic delights to enjoy. If you’re quick, you’ll be able to catch the end of the black truffle season. These are wonderful grated over an omelette. The market stalls are beginning to get loaded with early seasonal produce.
Wine is also most definitely on the agenda during March with the nationwide Foires aux Vins running during March. This is the perfect time to get your cellar replenished after a thirsty festive season, with heavily discounted bottles on sale throughout this period.
Provence really starts to come to life during March. Aside from the activities listed above, there is a lot to see and do; museums to enjoy, beautiful towns like Aix-en-Provence to explore, beaches to walk on and restaurants to sample, to name but a handful.
With a vitamin D boost, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and invigorated and ready to make the absolute most of the upcoming spring and summer. We suspect you’ll also want to get some new dates in the diary to pop back and enjoy another holiday in the summer months, as well. Provence is totally seductive during the spring … you have been warned!
Gill @ NotJustTravel says
Stay at Villa Campagne, Saint Saturnin Les Apt, Provence for 7 nights from 23rd May from £2996 for a family of four. This 4 bedroom villa has a pool, fantastic views of the surrounding area and is in the gated resort of Le Clos Savornin. Price includes return flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to Nice and villa rental.