Fast Facts for Provence – France

Lavender Field in Provence

Lavender Field in Provence

All you need to know about holidaying in Provence – from its eponymous lavender fields and historic market towns, to the cultural delights of Aix-En-Provence (where Cezanne came from) and Marseille, the Western regions of Provence offer a calming retreat from the glitz and glamour of the French Riviera in the South.

Climate Provence usually enjoys hot Mediterranean summers lasting from May until August, with temperatures averaging 21°C in July and 6°C in winter. The warmest weather occurs on the coast (Marseille hits 29°C in July) and swimming in the sea can often be enjoyed as late as October. However, it becomes particularly cold in Arles, Avignon, Orange and Marseille when a strong, icy wind called Le Mistral blows down from the Alps and through the Rhône valley. This usually happens during winter and spring, resulting in strong gusts of wind and a noticeable drop in temperatures for a period of 3-9 days. Autumn sometimes sees flash floods created by sudden storms, while the high mountains usually have snow from November to March.

Currency The official currency in France is the euro (€). One euro equals 100 centime coins. At the current exchange rate: £1 = € 1.16 $1 = € 0.81

Language French

Voltage Guide: 220V, 50Hz. Standard European two pin plugs.

Country Dialling Code: +33

Regional Dialling Code: 04

Visa Requirements EU citizens require a valid passport for a stay of up to three months. Non-EU citizens require a visa, except USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand citizens. Tourists intending to stay in France longer than 90 days need to apply for a residence permit (carte de séjour) at a local town hall (mairie) or departmental préfecture.

Vaccinations None required.

Tipping By law a service charge of 10-15% is included in all restaurant bills. In addition to this it is customary to leave a tip of 10% if you are pleased with the service. Taxi drivers expect a tip of around 10% while hotel porters, doormen, hairdressers and tour guides usually receive €1 – €2 for their service. Public Holidays 1 January: New Year’s Day 6 January: Epiphany Good Friday (varies) Easter Monday (varies) Ascension Day (40 days after Easter) 1 May: Labour Day 8 May: Victory Day 12 May: Whit Monday 14 July:
Bastille Day 15 August: Assumption Day 1 November: All Saint’s Day 11 November: Armistice Day 25 December: Christmas Day

Alexandra Szydlowska is a freelance travel journalist and editor based in London, UK. She writes for a range of online and print publications, with a special emphasis on Eastern European travel. See also: Fast Facts for the Cote d’Azur.

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6 Responses to “Fast Facts for Provence – France”

  1. Great article Alexandra. I thought you go to the prefecture to apply for the Carte de Sejour. I lived there over 30 years but I didn’t get to go more often to Province. It’s so pretty there and I am glad you get out the info for other people to read.

    • Alexandra Szydlowska

      Thanks, World Traveler. I appreciate the feedback. I’ve double checked the procedure for applying for a Carte de Sejour and apparently it varies from locality to locality. The best thing to do is to check with the departmental Prefecture, local town hall or police station beforehand. Thanks for pointing this out.

      P.s.: I hope one day you get your chance to go to Provence!

  2. I’ve been to France and to Province couple years ago. Things have changed a little. thank you for the article. I appreciate this. province is beautiful and the Lavender fields are so gorgeous. Thanks Dick :)

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