Les Baux de Provence: The Prettiest Village in Provence

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur

The Provence region is famous for its fantastic food, traditional French way of life and its pretty villages.

You will probably want to combine all three on a holiday to this beautiful area and staying in one of the many gites in Provence allows you the freedom to explore until your heart's content. Widely considered one of the prettiest villages in the whole of France, Les Baux de Provence has spectacular setting in the Alpilles Mountains.

With a population of just 400, the locals are vastly outnumbered by tourists for most of the year but the village still retains its traditional French charm. The village's ruined castle affords wonderful views over the surrounding countryside and is the most impressive of the many ruins you'll see on your visit.

You can enter the castle grounds for a fee and it's well worth it even if you just go for the view. The village caters for tourists very well and, indeed, relies on them for its income. If you're staying in one of the fabulous, rustic gites in Provence, why not incorporate a mini-break with a difference into your holiday?

There are hotels, bed and breakfasts and a handful of self-catering properties in the village and it's a magical place to spend a night or two of your holiday. Staying overnight allows you to really soak up the atmosphere. Most, if not all, hotels in the village have their own websites and it's advisable to book well in advance as space is limited.

For such a small village, Les Baux de Provence has an incredible range of restaurants. Expect to find traditional Provencal cuisine, cooked using the freshest local produce. As with the hotels, the restaurants get extremely busy during the summer months so it's always a good idea to book ahead before you arrive. Les Baux de Provence has a wonderful selection of shops, selling everything from handcrafted souvenirs and gifts to clothing and delicious local produce.

The village caters to a rather upmarket tourist so prices might seem a little higher than in larger towns, but the quality of the goods is usually high. The village itself is pedestrianised and walking along the narrow, cobbled streets will make you feel as you've been transported back in time. There are several small museums and art galleries in the village and sites of interest are around every corner. With picture-perfect scenes at the end of every street, Les Baux de Provence is a photographer's paradise so be sure to take your camera and get snapping.