Preparing Christmas in Provence
Many people know Provence as a region in France that is considered a top vacation destination, not just for the French, but for tourists from all over the world. Boasting incomparable beauty and a charming culture, as well as numerous specific attractions and sights, Provence is certainly deserving of being high on pretty much everybody’s vacation list. And to be sure, during the holiday season the charm and allure of Provence is emphasized even further!
Many people prefer to spend Christmas and the surrounding holiday weeks at home. However, for those who like to get out and visit a destination abroad, Provence is an excellent choice. With that said, here are a few helpful tips for visiting this gorgeous region for the holidays.
The village of Crillon-Le-Brave covered in snow.
Consider A Stay At Aix-En-Provence
Marseille may be the most well known destination within the region of Provence, but Aix-en-Provence is an incredible alternative still within driving distance of the coast. And besides the convenience and beauty of the area as a destination, it’s particularly delightful during the holiday season, when its streets are lit extensively in celebration of the season. It’s simply an incredibly charming location.
Be Aware Of The Calendale
This is a term you’ll likely hear when preparing for a trip to Provence. The Calendale is essentially the name given to the Christmas season, which in Provence is extended even longer than in most other parts of the world. In fact, the Calendale lasts for roughly 2 months. It’s nothing official, but a strong indication of the festivity you’ll encounter throughout Provence.
Prepare Shopping In Advance
There are plenty of wonderful local markets throughout Provence (with a particularly lovely one in Avignon each year), and if you prefer, you can do your Christmas shopping there. However, if you’d rather go for a more relaxed method of Christmas shopping while on vacation, M&S online is always an option. The large scale retailer has websites specifically geared toward several countries throughout Europe, with the French specific site offering convenient delivery of a wide range of products. This can be a great way to get your holiday shopping done quickly and on-the-go, but without sacrificing the quality of your products.
Witness The Festivals
Provence has plenty of lovely holiday festivals, all of which can add some extra cheer to your stay. “Droles de Noels” in Arles is one particularly appealing option. It features droves of visual and performing artists who are essentially running a never-ending street festival in the week leading up to Christmas.
Enjoy The Local Feast
Provence’s traditional Christmas meal is a bit different than you might expect, as noted by the Marseille and Provence tourism info page. Generally speaking, the holiday dinner is very structured and tiered with various courses, some of which symbolize Biblical significance—but none of which are served at the expense of a delicious meal!
Article by Cinthya Craig