One of the many joys of living in Provence is its sensory satisfaction: the light, scent and taste all combine to seduce you…
There is a moment as you travel south, when the light changes. The air becomes softer and warmer, and the magical scents of lavender, lemons, rosemary and pine surround you. Chirping cicadas fill the balmy evening air as you dine outside by candlelight. This is Provence.
It’s a place where you can escape the greyer, more northern climes. The light, so beloved of the Impressionists, sets the scene. Then there’s the colour palette, from February’s yellow, mimosa-clad hills to the dear, azure-blue skies. Old houses of yellowed stone and silvery olive trees frame lavender fields; and whitewashed houses are set off by their powdery, Provençal-blue shutters.
In every village from the north of Provence down to the sea, marketplaces are scented gardens of fragrance. Stalls are laden with herbs, thyme, lavender and rosemary, tarragon, mint and sun-blessed tomatoes. Provençal food always seems to have a hint of garlic and scent of sunshine.
Provence – in a geographical region known administratively as Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – covers an area from Avignon to the Italian border, from the Mediterranean to Mont Ventoux, and thence eastwards through the hills of the Mercantour National Park. It’s a region of bleached landscapes, olive groves, herb-scented garrigue and vineyards. Roman ruins and medieval villages balance the cosmopolitan – and often highly expensive – world of the Côte d’Azur.
The diversity of landscape is amazing. Ancient, fortified villages still cling to the hilltops of old Provence; fields filled with flowers for the perfume industry provide a sensual backdrop around Grasse; and the amazing Verdon Gorge is one of the natural wonders of Europe. West of Marseille sits the land of the Camargue, famous for white horses, black bulls and flamingos, pink from their diet of tiny shellfish.
There’s magic in the lifestyle. It could just be the sun on your back or the aromas of lavender and rosemary wafting past as you savour your morning coffee. Perhaps it’s the delight of or a stroll through the entrancing streets of centuries-old villages, or a walk along the glorious waterfronts that border the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who own a piece of this paradise can enjoy their Provence all year round. Every hillside and town has its own personality, and the choice of property on the market is wide.
Due to the Provençal appeal house prices here haven’t been impacted too much by recession. Property ranges from the simplest apartment to luxury villas offering the ultimate in outside living.
To see our properties in Provence, please click here: http://www.frenchestateagents.com/provence-cote-d-azur-property