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To experience the wider area of PROVENCE a car is needed (see car rental) , but it is still possible to have a really good break if you are into walking and just enjoying the immediate area. A taste of Provence
Lorgues is only 2kms away and is a typical Provençale town and has the largest market in the Var which has to be seen to be believed. Here you can buy anything from a double bed to a bunch of grapes. There are also many cafes to enjoy a coffee or glass of wine whilst relaxing outside in the warm sun, or under the shade of the avenue of lime trees which frame the main street. Narrow lanes branch of the main street and contain many old and pretty buildings. Lorgues is also a bustling thriving community with a full calendar of events to choose from through the summer months., and the town buzzes with activity and " joie de vie". In the quieter months of May and September, none of the atmosphere is lost and these can be two of the best months to visit, especially with lower airfares.
The Gorges du Verdon is a 40min drive away and is known as the Grand Canyon of Europe. Its spectacular views and walks make for a memorable day out and the Gorge can be driven on both sides. At the mouth of the Gorge, the river runs into Lac de St Croix where peddle boats can be hired to experience the gorge from the river.The Haute Var extends to the foothills of the Alps and again makes for an enjoyable days excursion through mountains and forests. If you are visiting between November and March, it is possible to drive up to the snowy slopes beyond Grasse and Castellane. If something a little more challenging is required, there are several good ski resorts within 2 hours drive, Isola 2000 being the best known
Provence is also famous for its perfumes and the lavender fields of the Haut Provence are an amazing sight in May before the flowers are harvested and crushed before being blended for scents and fragrances. Grasse is the main town for the perfume industry and is about an hours drive from Lorgues.
Out and About
Olives and Vines are the main crops grown here, and the vineyards are a fascinating site whatever the time of year; bright new green shoots in the Spring, bunches of deep red grapes in the late summer followed by the harvest in Sept. All of this is followed by a kaleidoscope of autumnal colours from golden yellows to deep purples as the season comes to a close.
Many local vineyards also welcome visitors for " tastings " and guided tours, Chateau St Roseline at Les Arcs being one of the better local vineyards to visit with its famous chapel said to be the home of the relics of St Roseline. Lindsay Phillips lives in our Chemin and owns the smallest "English" vineyard in the Var and is always pleased to see passing visitors
The Cote d'Azur is only 40 minutes away where the seaside ports of St. Raphaël, St. Maxime and St. Tropez all have their own individual characters. Ferries run between most of them and make for a fun way of visiting and experiencing the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean. Cannes, Nice and Monaco are a little further along the coast, and the Italian border is only 2 hours away, all accessible by rail from Les Arcs.
The Tortoise Village An unusual and interesting afternoon can be spent at the Tortoise village which is half an hours drive away. It is Europes only conservation and breeding site for the Hermann Tortoise which can be found roaming in the hills around this part of Provence. The Tortoise village is located in a typical Provencal scrubland area of green oaks and cork oaks, rosemary and lavender. It covers about 3 hectares and shelters about 1500 tortoises and you can see how these animals are cared for, fed, and protected.
Provençale Life takes full advantage of the beautiful Mediterranean climate and this is reflected in the food and relaxed atmosphere and the table is central to the whole way of life here. The local town markets are a riot of colour and aromas as local traders offer an amazing variety of fresh produce to be either experienced in one of the many excellent restaurants or to be taken home to be " experimented with.Local and other French wines are also very much part of French cuisine here, and a really good wine can be acquired and enjoyed for just a few euro.
A favourite pastime here, winter and summer, is Boules, and in every village you will encounter an intense game in progress watched by many enthusiastic supporters and "advisors" You can get your own hand in on the Arc-en-Provence court , but be warned, it's a bit addictive.
Life is unhurried here and it is not unusual to have to wait patiently by a checkout while a hand is shaken, a cheek kissed, or a conversation leisurely held. There is a vibrancy to daily life which is both attractive and infectious and this very quickly becomes part of the whole holiday experience.
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