From the famous Luberon golden triangle villages that stand proud on rocky faces down to the golden beach destinations of the Côte D’Azur, there’s no shortage of famous sights in the region. But away from all the crowds and the sea of selfie sticks, there’s a whole other world to be discovered in Provence.
Across the national parks of Provence, hundreds of beautiful and charming villages are speckled throughout some of the most beautiful scenery in France. With so many villages to choose from, it can be hard to choose which place to visit, and how to pick the best village to stay in when you visit Provence.
With that in mind, our Featured Village section should help you find out a bit more about some of our favourite villages in Provence. Some more well-known, and others that remain the not-longer best-kept secrets in the south of France.
Eygalières: The Village Feel
Eygalières is a small and unassuming village, located in the North-East section of the Alpilles National Park, surrounded by olive groves, and acre upon acre of vineyards. If you asked almost anyone to paint a picture of a typical Provence village, Eygalières would look a lot like that canvas. It lives and breathes café-culture, with the main street offering a great selection of bars, cafes and restaurants, ranging from light bites and simple cafes to fine dining and luxury gourmet experiences.
As the street winds up the hill by the church, the old village buildings leave their charming mark on passers-by. Ruins of old stone houses and the original church and tower stand proud at the top of the main street, with the stunning views across the Alpilles National Park making the perfect complement to the historical aura of the ruins.
As a fairly compact village, most houses are within a casual walk of the village centre, but for those who choose the tranquillity of staying a little further out, there is free and abundant parking available near the village football stadium, a mere 100m walk from the main village centre.
The Weekly Market
Of course, no French village is complete without a proper local market, and Eygalières is no exception to that rule! Friday morning sees the centre of the village temporarily pedestrianised, as the village streets fill to the brim with local farmers, artisans and ‘producteurs’, each offering their own speciality and Provençal delights.
From fresh local vegetables, to fish, cured meats, and naturally plenty of wine, there’s very few Provençal ingredients that you can’t find here, and being a local market, the stall owners are never shy in sharing plentiful tasters of their best products. For any born foodie, the local market makes the perfect opportunity for diving head first into the local culinary experience.
Asides from the local produce, the market offer a selection of local clothing stores, as well as hats – perfect for anyone who underestimates the heat of a Provençal summer. Local artisans are also to be found, with traditional leatherwork, candles, fabrics and much more to be explored.
Once you’re done shopping, market day in Eygalières is the perfect occasion to take advantage of the abundance of cafes and bars. A short step back from the vibrant stalls, and the great selection of refreshing drinks is waiting for you.
Naturally, when choosing where to stay in Provence, accessibility is a key factor to making the right choice. Fortunately, the positioning of Eygalières only makes for another reason to consider it a great play to stay when visiting the south of France.
Situated in the North-East corner of the Provence Alpilles National Park, the village is a short 15 to 20-minute drive from the nearest exit of the Autoroute du Soleil, the main motorway (freeway), that carves a path from Lyon, through Provence all the way down to Marseille – ideal for those flying to either of the main airports and hiring a car for their stay.
Exploring the Area
For exploring more locally, the village is a leisurely 15-minute drive from the famous towns of St-Rémy-de-Provence and Les-Baux-de-Provence, with both Avignon and the Luberon National Park within a half-an-hour reach of the village.
For the more active amongst us, cycling and hiking can be enjoyed in abundance. With plenty of quiet country lanes for cycling that wind throughout the Alpilles National Park it’s possible to explore the whole area without ever taking the car. What’s more, Eygalières sits directly on the edge of the specially protected Alpilles mountain range, and there are a wide number of tracks and trails leading directly in to the stunning scenery from the edges of the village.
Should I Think About Staying in Eygalières?
Absolutely, and unreservedly, yes.
Eygalières is a great choice for a place to stay in Provence, no matter what time of year you visit. With a year-round local population and great community atmosphere, there’s always plenty going on around the village no matter the season.
Add to that the great luxury properties to be found in the village, both close to the centre, and further out for those seeking peace and quiet, and there’s always a great reason to head to Eygalières for a get-away to Provence. Be it the luxurious accommodation on offer, or the pull of a traditional French village with great restaurants and a perfect situation, there’s plenty of reasons to discover this unassuming gem in Provence.
For more information and things to do in Eygalières you can head to our Eygalières Village Page.
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