Oh, Provence… Its colours and light have captivated the greatest painters and poets. The cicada is a fragile insect with a distinctive song, worshipped like a sun god in Provence. Provence is rugged, full of contrasts, poetic and radiant, situated between the waves of the Mediterranean and the first foothills of the Alps. Everyone loves the dry stone walls that sit on the hills where the scents of lavender and garrigue mix with those of thyme, rosemary, cistus and juniper. Olive trees have been an emblem of Provence for many millennium, and their silvery silhouettes stand out against the blue sky that appears so pure and bright in winter. The wise cypress tree stands guard as the mistral blows past.
And let’s not forget the sea and the rocky inlets, coves and sharp edges of the coast.
On the village squares, stroll around the markets and nibble on the delicious olives, almonds and figs. Pick up some olive oil, pots of honey, nougat, goat’s cheese and all different kinds of vegetables, herbs and spices – all grown under the Provençal sun. And of course we can’t forget the famous Provençal rosé.
Whether they cling to the side of hills, perch on a rocky spur, nestle against a cliff or between the grapevines and olive trees, Provençal villages are full of charm and exude the sweetness of life. As you go through the winding roads the villages, often on hilltops, with their terracotta tile-covered roofs, begin to appear. Roam around and lose yourself in the winding alleyways and quietly explore the churches dotted with bell towers.
Var is full of magnificent villages that have remained typically Provençal and not lost their authenticity.
Let’s move on to folklore and traditions. Whether they are in honour of a patron saint or simply organised to celebrate the change of the seasons and the harvest, festivals in Var continue a long tradition of typical Provençal and Mediterranean friendliness. Flower parades, the Festivals of Saint-Pierre, Vineyard Festivals and bravados, etc. The year flows by to the sounds of pipes and tambourines. There is also the magic of Christmas in Provence where several celebrations take place: the nativity and its figurines, Sainte-Luce celebrations, the bowls of wheat, the pastorale (spoken and sung nativity) in the roads, 13 kinds of dessert and Christmas dinner (traditionally on Christmas Eve).
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