5 Top Things to See in Provence for Ukrainian Visitors
Is Provence a good place to visit as a Ukrainian? You bet it is! What’s not to love about a region packed with good wine, fascinating history, ancient ruins, incredible scenery, art… You name it, Provence has it.
From its idyllic Mediterranean beaches to the slopes of the Southern Alps, the region has a wealth of things to see and do. Renowned as one of the most scenic parts of France, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors from Ukraine.
From 2022, you’ll have to make sure you have your ETIAS France for Ukrainian citizens to enjoy visa-free entry. After filling in a quick online registration form, you’ll be all set to see the amazing sights that Provence has to offer.
Discover Historic Avignon
On the banks of the river Rhône, sits the historic city of Avignon. A favourite for visitors from all parts of the world (including Ukraine), this beautiful Provençal city has it all. Scenic parks and gardens, riverside walks, typical French cafés and bistros, shopping boutiques…
If you’re interested in history, this is where Avignon truly shines. The entire historic center of the city was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. This includes the cathedral, the immense Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace), and the famous bridge immortalized in the song “Sur le pont d’Avignon”.
Aside from these impressive structures, the entire old town is a labyrinth of stone buildings built between the 16th and 19th centuries, which give Avignon its unique character.
If you’re coming all the way from Ukraine, be sure to stay in this part of the city. Many hotels can be found in the old quarter. Hotel de l’Horloge, Hotel d’Europe and La Ferme are among the best.
Relax in Artistic Aix-en-Provence
Known to the locals as simply “Aix”, it is often overlooked in favour of nearby Marseilles. Big mistake. Those who visit Aix-en-Provence are often left with a lasting love of the city.
It is known for being one of the most picturesque places in France. Take a wander along the Cours Mirabeau — a wide promenade lined with trees — and take in the flavour of Aix. Relax at a bistro with a café au lait and admire the architecture.
Pop along to the daily markets that spring up across the city. Whether you want to get some typical Provençal goods or simply browse the food and flowers on sale, you’ll feel at one with the locals.
But the real reason you come to Aix is the art. Museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces can be found across the city.
The city is also connected to several notable artists in history. Paul Cézanne had a studio in Aix and frequently painted the nearby Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which is within walking distance of the city center. Pablo Picasso also lived nearby for a period and is buried in the grounds of his chateau on the outskirts of Aix.
Roman Ruins of Provence
Ukrainian history buffs will have the time of their lives in Provence. The very name of the region comes from “Provincia Romana” — its original name in Latin. It was the first Roman province beyond the Alps. And what a legacy the Romans left behind!
Wherever you go in Provence, you’ll find wonders left behind by the ancient civilization.
It is well worth a trip to Nimes for Roman history. The Amphitheater at Nimes is one of the best-preserved in the world.
The immense Theatre Antique in Orange is still used to hold festivals today.
The incredible Pont du Gard aqueduct across the Gardon River is the highest of its kind in existence.
And then there’s Arles. There are so many Roman sites here that the entire city center is one of France’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites (as are the Pont du Gard and the Theatre Antique mentioned above). More on Arles below…
Van Gogh’s Arles
Arles is well worth visiting in and of itself. Besides the intrigue of Roman ruins and amphitheatres, this beautiful city has an important place in the history of art.
Vincent van Gogh. A name everyone knows. Arguably the most famous artist in the post-impressionist movement spent over a year in Arles. During this time, he painted over 300 works, including some of his most famous paintings.
Café Terrace at Night, Starry Night Over the Rhône, and a number of his Sunflowers were painted here.
If you pop in the visitor’s center in Arles today, you can pick up a map to do a walking tour and see the places Van Gogh actually painted.
A number of Van Gogh’s works can be seen on display in Arles at the Fondation Van Gogh.
Mountains and Gorges
There are many reasons to come to Provence. Art, history, wine, culture, the blue waters and beaches of the Mediterranean… It is also a haven for visitors who love the outdoors.
The region stretches inland from the sea and into the Southern Alps. Between the two, there are great opportunities for hiking and other activities. One of the best spots, complete with dramatic views, is Verdon Gorge.
Dubbed “the Grand Canyon of Europe”, Verdon Gorge is 25 km long and up to 700 m down to where the Verdon River cuts through the limestone. The cliffs, forests, rock formations, and caves provide endless possibilities for outdoor adventures.
Hikers, rock climbers, and kayakers all make their way here to do their thing. There are also plenty of people who simply drive out to Verdon and come to the edge for the perfect photo.
There are also designated campsites where you can stay the night. Camp out under the stars and experience the wild side of Provence.