Where Is Provence?

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| By : Christine
I’m a retired 65 years old and I live in western Paris. Born in Alsace, I have always lived in this beautiful region of eastern France. Passionate about travel, culture and literature. Find me on Linkedin.

You’ve probably heard of the French Rivieira.

But do you know which region of France this place belongs to?

This is the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

The Provence is another part of this region.

So Where is Provence in some quick Questions/Answers, straight to the point !


Discover Other French Regions :
Where Is Normandy
Where Is Alsace

Where Is Provence ? My complete answer

1. Which part of France is Provence in?

Provence is a region in southeastern France.

It’s a French region that shares a border with Italy to the east and is bordered by the Mediteranean sea to the south.

Metropolitan France is divided into 13 regions and Provence is a part of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

There are many lavender fields in Provence

2. Is Provence Italian or French?

The region was part of the Roman Empire, like much of Italy and southern France, and has been influenced by Italian culture to some extent.

The Provencal dialect, for example, has some similarities with the Italian language, owing to their shared Latin roots.

But Provence is unequivocally a part of France.

3. What is Provence in France famous for?

Provence is famous for a variety of cultural, historical, and natural attractions:

  • Natural Beauty: the Lavender Fields, the Calanques,The Alps, Beaches

  • Food and Wine: Wine, Olives and Olive Oil, Herbs de Provence, Bouillabaisse
the “bouillabaisse”, a famous dish
  • Art and Literature: The unique light and colors of Provence have inspired many artists (painters or writers)

  • History and Architecture: Roman Ruins and Medieval Architecture in all of the region

  • Cultural Festivals: The Lavender Festival (“fête de la lavande”) or the “Festival d’Avignon” (a theater festival famous in the world)

  • Provencal Language and Music: Provençal is a dialect of Occitan which has been celebrated in traditional folk songs, literature or traditional music and dance.

4. What are the main cities of Provence?

The 5 main cities in Provence with the largest population are:

  1. Marseille
  2. Nice
  3. Aix-en-Provence
  4. Toulon
  5. Avignon

5. How Far Is Marseille From Paris?

Marseille is about 480 miles (775 km) from Paris :

  • About 7,5 hours by car
  • 10 hours by bus
  • 3h30 by high-speed train (TGV)

PS : from center of Paris to center of Marseille.

Provence Map


The Region Of Provence In Details

  • Area: Approximately 31,400 km²

For comparison, you add up the surface area of the U.S States of Connecticut and Massachussets.

  • 4 Departments: Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Vaucluse, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
  • Population: below around 4 millions in the 4 departments.

Population of Provence is the population of 4 departments in the region Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur: Vaucluse, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var.


3 860 651

Source : Insee, population censuses in 2020

INSEE, which stands for “Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques” is the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies in France. It is the French government’s official statistical agency.

  • Major Cities: Marseille (often considered the “Capital of Provence”), Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Toulon, Nice…
  • Top Things to Do in Provence: Strolling through lavender fields, sipping rosé wine in local vineyards, exploring the Calanques by boat, enjoying the beaches along the Mediterranean, visiting the Roman ruins in Arles and Orange, exploring the Sainte-Victoire Mountain made famous by Cézanne, attending the Festival d’Avignon…
Avignon is a beautiful historic city and hosts a famous theater festival every year
  • Local Dishes: Bouillabaisse (fish stew), Ratatouille (vegetable stew), Tapenade (olive paste), Aioli (garlic mayonnaise), Pissaladière (onion and anchovy tart), Soupe au Pistou (vegetable soup with basil paste), Tarte Tropézienne (a cream-filled pastry), Pastis (anise-flavored liqueur)…

Provence Weather :

  • General Climate: Provence experiences a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
  • Climate Influences: The region is primarily influenced by Mediterranean air masses, leading to a relatively stable climate with plenty of sunshine. The Mistral wind can bring colder air from the north, particularly in winter.
  • Precipitation: Rainfall is most common in the autumn and winter months, although it generally remains low throughout the year. Summer is typically dry, with occasional thunderstorms.
  • Temperature Range: Provence has a broad temperature range depending on the season and specific location. Coastal areas are milder, while the interior can experience more extreme temperatures.

Winter in Provence

Winter in Provence is generally mild, especially along the coast.

The Mistral wind can bring sudden cold snaps, making conditions cooler and sometimes icy. Snowfall is rare but not unheard of, especially in the region’s interior and mountainous areas.

Summer in Provence

Summer in Provence is hot and dry, ideal for beach activities and outdoor exploration.

Occasionally, the region experiences heatwaves influenced by hot, dry air masses from Africa.

Nights can be warm but usually offer some relief from the daytime heat.

Seasonality of precipitation (rain)

Umbrothermal diagram and temperatures in Marseille – source: climate-data.org

The Ultimate Guide To Visit Provence

Are you planning a trip in Provence?

Please read all our tour guides about Provence, a wonderful region of France with a lot of things to do :




Antibes & Juan-les-Pins


To be continued… 🙂


Visiting France :

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