Summer is upon us, meaning a lot of people are preparing to leave for their annual vacation. Especially after a year like 2020, during which we barely had the chance to leave the country, this is a very exciting event. Yet after such a long time, preparing for a holiday actually doesn’t come naturally anymore. What did you have to pack again? How did you find and book your different hotels before? Where did you find info on what to do and what to see? All of a sudden, everything seems chaotic and a bit stressful, to be honest.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide how you want to plan your vacation. Maybe you’re a true history fanatic and you like to look for historically significant monuments and remnants in the area you’re travelling to. There’s nothing like some Roman ruins and medieval castles, right? Or maybe you like to concentrate on food when you’re away from home. You check out restaurant reviews, look up the newest additions to the region and of course you also try to squeeze a very ‘traditional’ place into your busy eating schedule. Or, yet another option, you wish to concentrate on art, considering both internationally-renowned and local artist while making a selection. Maybe you combine a visit to a big museum with a gallery tour nearby, or maybe you just walk around and see what you stumble upon.
Since the arrival of social media, there is, however, yet another type of tourist out there. A type who always has his or her phone in hand, who’s always looking for an aesthetically pleasing spot. Someone who, every now and then, manages to annoy their company because they take half an hour to make one simple picture. Yes, we’re talking about the Instagrammer a.k.a. amateur-influencer. And yes, we’re dedicating this article to them by pointing out some of the most picture-perfect places the Provence had to offer. Be aware though, you might not be the only one wanting to make a snapshot at these spots.
1. Sault and Valensole
Who says Provence, says lavender. Even though it’s probably not the most common plant in the region, it’s certainly one of the most picture-perfect ones. So if you want your Instagram feed to be complete, you better go looking for a lavender field as quickly as possible. Literally, because the plants are often harvested at the beginning of July. The best time to go see the purple-colored landscapes around Sault or Valensole is therefore at the end of June or the very start of July. Don’t forget your hat though, as there’s no hiding from the sun when you’re standing in the middle of a lavender field!
Maybe you’ve heard about the Calanques, maybe you haven’t, but one thing’s for sure: if you’re around Marseille, you can’t miss this little gem of nature. The coastline between Marseille and Cassis is actually one big national park and a bit of a playground for both hikers, divers, and climbers. Moreover, the steep white cliffs covered with arid vegetation throwing themselves into the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea are just perfect for an Instagram picture. You’ll have to go the distance though, as you can’t just drive up to the coastline.
Are you looking for a typical Provençal village with just that little extra? Then you should definitely consider a visit to Cotignac. A simple walk through the mostly traffic-free streets suffices to make an overload of Instagram posts. Yet if you want to take things one step further, you’ll have to climb the stairs all the way to the top of the cliff towering over the village. There, you won’t just benefit from a splendid view over the surroundings but you’ll also have the chance to see some of the troglodytic houses carved into the rock.
4. Gorges du Verdon
You’ve probably already seen them. The pictures of people kayaking their way through the Gorges du Verdon, where the hellishly blue river carved its way through the pale rock, leaving a scaringly deep canyon. Of course, you could just take a picture from above, but let’s be honest, that’s not really fair and, more than that, you wouldn’t be able to take the best shot possible. No, if you want to take an Instagram-worthy picture, you’ll have to face the water yourself – always with some professional accompaniment though, as the water levels vary strongly.
5. Col de la Bonette
You might not associate the Provence with mountains, yet believe us, they’re there. More even, one of the highest mountain passes in the Alps is located in the region: the Col de la Bonette. Getting there is quite an undertaking in itself and offers you stunning views of the surroundings. Yet once you’re there, on top of the world, the landscape looks a lot like something you’d expect to see on another planet. So if you’d like your followers to believe you’ve just made a trip to the moon, this is your chance.