Being an Australian means when we travel to far-flung parts of the globe, frozen cold climates can be intimidating and snow can make even the most mundane places seem like Disneyland but we pretty much have every other kind of extreme weather covered. So when we were warned about the impending “heatwave” passing across the European continent as we planned our week in southern France, we were not particularly worried about the mid-to-high 30 degree temperatures. However, it seems that spending only 2 months in Scotland has seen us completely acclimatise to a very different version of “summer” and when we arrived in Marseille to 37 degree temperatures we went very quickly from refreshed, to nearly melting, to despair when we quickly discovered the French don’t really believe in the concept of air-conditioning!

However we should not have worried because the pace of life here was so much more relaxed that a heat induced afternoon siesta was perfectly acceptable and our plans were simply to sightsee and eat. And for these activities, there are few places in the world with more things to see and better things to eat. Each new town had it’s own unique character and charms, and a seemingly endless selection of food markets everywhere we went!

We could have survived purely off food sampled at market stalls, however this did not stop us from taking away a collection of favourites to enjoy later over a picnic table and for dinner each night. We also were able to enjoy people-watching whilst sipping coffee’s, enjoyed an exquisite al fresco meal at beautiful restaurant in the countryside and ate dessert while watching a live band play in the main street of our village.

Our previous visit to Paris had left us a little disenchanted with France but that is another story. I’m please to report that this time around, we quickly fell in love with these beautiful villages with their timeless charm, the amazing array of delicious local produce and the wonderful relaxed attitude of the locals. Our final morning was a sad ‘Au Revoir’ as we sat (finally) in a village square cafe, amongst the locals, devouring pastries and crepes and watching the world go by.

Locations, in order of appearance: Mouriès (exploring our village) – Saint Rémy (Markets) – Eygalières (Chapelle Saint-Sixte, historic town at sunset, daytime markets) – Mouriès (Friday night street party) – Arles (morning coffee & markets) – Gordes (village on the mountain) – Bonnieux (watching a storm across the Luberon) – Lourmarin (the most charming town in the Luberon) – Saint Rémy (saying au revoir to Provence at Festival Des Pains Artisan Boulanger & Creperie Lou Planet)