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Vineyards, looking over towards the village of Taradeau. A holiday in Provence is, for me, mainly about soaking up the atmosphere, and revelling in the clarity of the light.


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.


villecrozeOne of the delights of our recent holiday was wandering through the streets of the old town of Villecroze, having stopped at a modest cafe (in the upper photograph).

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


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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...


While in Provence we used the Rough Guide, of which this link is to the latest edition.


Cheeses and jams on a stall at Le Muy.