To me, Provence is all about tastes, smells, sounds and warm sunshine: water tinkling in fountains, cooling the summer air, the lavendar fields, the markets with cheeses, fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil. If only the camera could capture all of that.

fountainTo me, one of the delights of summer in Provence is to be able to retreat from sun into the dappled shade of a square, sitting with a drink or coffee, easing the time as the heat of the day builds, preferably with the sound of a fountain in the background - as here, in the square outside the Cathedral in Frejus.

marketMarket days at Le Muy are, for me, what Provence is about - sauntering between the stalls, savouring the smells of cooking, of herbs, of cheeses, watching the way the locals check out produce or prepare ready meals with an almost religious devotion to the senses.

foodPeppers, mushrooms, olives and beans on another market stall in Le Muy.

lavendarLavender fields on the Plateau de Valensole.

Get into the mediaeval fantasy in the cloisters of the cathedral at Frejus.


villecrozeWandering through the streets of the old town of Villecroze is a delight, having stopped for coffee at a modest cafe (in the upper photograph), delightfully tucked away in a side street.

imageAnother atmospheric cafe; this one in the small hilltop village of Tourtour. 

If you like this page, share it!



If the heat and crowds of St Tropez become too much for you, just head up into the hills and take a stroll round the village of Gassin.

There are, of course, many wonderful cities to visit - Aix, Avignon, Nimes - and the coastline is spectacular, from the Calanques to the east of Marseille, along the winding corniche, towards Cannes and Nice. But for the trip on which I took the majority of these photos, we kept inland and just took it easy.

We stayed near Le Muy, a modest town (but enjoying a superb market on Thursdays and Sundays!) inland from Frejus and now linked to Ste-Mazime by a fabulous new road across the Massif des Maures.



Keeping the vines trimmed...


Cheeses and jams on a stall at Le Muy.