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When and why to visit Provence France
By:Carolyn Clayton

Provence, which is in the south of France, is the most popular region for tourist and holiday makers. The reason it is so popular is that it has everything, a great seaside, great natural environment and a great cultural heritage. Simply the area is beautiful and stunning with pleasant weather all year round.

The best time to visit Provence France is in the off-season months between April and May and also at the end of September. To be fair Provence is lovely all year round but around this time weather is usually very pleasant and not hot. Around this time the roads, towns and beaches are less crowded. But if you were to visit in July and August you may see overcrowded resorts, plenty of traffic jams, high temperatures and expensive facilities.

There are three national parks in Provence and four nature parks. The Parc National du Mercantour is a high alpine park. It is very popular with hikers and ramblers and is rich in wildlife. Wolves, wild goats, chamois and golden eagles are amongst some of the creatures found here. The Parc national des Ecrins and the Parc National de Port Cros are the other two. The nature parks found in this area are The Camargue has over 400 species of birds with the pink flamingos being the most popular. The Luberon is a dry hilly area which offers spectacular views of the Provencal countryside. With beautiful fields, picturesque villages and hillside it is a magnet for artists. The Vendon is the biggest canyon in Europe whish is a 1000 ft deep in places, and is popular for adventure sports, such as rafting, kayaking and canyoning. The last natural park is the Queras which is similar to the two alpine parks mentioned above.

The food in Provence is pretty much Mediterranean. Fish is a big part of the food in the area but what the area stands out for is its use of use of herbs and vegetables with aubergines and olives as a favourite. There are a lot of vineyards in the area which makes wine one of their specialities. Dry ‘rose' wines are often served with local dishes.

Art lovers will be in their element in this part of the world. Whether it's finding a place to site and draw or paint the beautiful scenery or visit the many museums in the area. Musée Ile-de-France, Fondation Maeght are a couple worth visiting. The Musee Picasso is where Picasso worked for several months in 1945. He didn't have a studio at this time so the curator of this museum at the time offered him space to work. It is thought this was one of his most creative periods.

Want to bring a touch of Provence to your home? Boutique Provencale offer a huge range of provencal tablecloths http://boutiqueprovencale.co.uk/shop/home-accessories/table-linen/tablecloths.html and home accessories including dishes Pottery http://boutiqueprovencale.co.uk/shop/home-accessories/china-and-pottery/cookware-storage.html which will give any home that French country feel.

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