Exploring Provence

Last year I was able to be part of a photography retreat in the south of France. I already heard and read a lot about Provence, but I had yet to visit the region. I found this reason alone to stay a few extra days and explore the beauty of the area. At the end of September, with the temperature still incredibly comfortable, Provence was the perfect escape for a bit of relaxation and peace of mind.

Guards in Salon de Provence France
Large Street Mural in Salon de Provence France

I spent the first few days of my trip in an extra cozy family hotel in the town of Fontvieille called La Ripaille. Located in the center of Provence, the hotel gave me the ability to see many of the surrounding towns with only a short drive. My first excursion was to the lovely neighboring city of Saint-Remy de Provence. This authentic French town showed us all the beauty of its ancient history, narrow streets, city squares in the shade and plenty of shops to pass the afternoon.

Teddy Bears in Saint Remy de Provence France
Market Goods in Saint Remy de Provence France
Patissier in Saint Remy de Provence France

The enormous nature reserve of Le Camargue provided huge lakes, lots of birds, wild horses and even pink flamingos! Because the area covers so much ground, there was almost no one in sight during our entire visit. The warm weather was also inviting and convinced me to spend the day sitting, relaxing and enjoying the peaceful quiet. From Le Camargue I moved to one of Provence’s larger cities, Avignon. Also an ancient city, this town had many different faces. From the historical area to the shopping district and the industrial spots, Avignon had a lot to offer.

View from the Saint Agricola Church in Avignon France
Detail at Saint Agricola Church in Avignon France
Window Paintings in Avignon France

The last stop on my tour of the region was to the Salon de Provence. One cannot take a trip to Provence without experiencing the world famous Savon de Marseille (soap!). I didn’t realize how important soap was to the region, but every tourist shop, grocery store, supermarket and airport sells different variations of the goods. In an attempt to discover how the soap was originally manufactured, I stopped by the ancient “soap factory” of Rampal Latour in Salon de Provence. It was an incredibly educational experience and taught me a lot about the region, the soap and the history of this magical product.

Rampal Latour in Salon de Provence France
Soaps at Ramal Latour in Salon de Provence France


La Ripaille
Route Des Baux-de-Provence, 13990
Fontvieille, France

Le Hameau des Baux
13520 Le Paradou, France

Helpful Hints

I absolutely loved my stay at the Le Hameau des Baux. The Feather & Stone workshop was held in this 4 star hotel and it was worth every cent! The accommodations were lovely and the food was to die for. It was really a dream come true.

Born in Belgium, my parents gave me the name Gert knowing it was very easy to pronounce in Dutch, only to quickly find it could be challenging for other languages. Being a professional wedding photographer, I love beautiful details and telling a story with images. I love life, travel, making people happy, music and beautiful things. In the end, my goal is to capture this on film.