Things to do in Provence in October

Find all the best things to do in Provence in October with this guide to the region's plenitude of activities, events, and festivities in the autumn.
Things to do in Provence in October
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Come the end of the high season, Provence, in all of its diverse splendour, enters a winter lull that is full of treasures beneath the sleepy surface. The landscapes, particularly in the winegrowing areas, burst with a palette of warm glows; the withering vines flaunt for one last time their capacity to please aesthetically, as the valley floors become a patchwork of gold and amber and red. 

There are plenty of things to do in Provence in October despite the cooling weather and increased rainfall. On a more general level, the relative quiet means that the hiking trails and cycling routes adopt a serenity unseen during the months of summer. While the weather is colder, there are still clear days, when the relative cool makes for pleasant activity weather and a picnic seems the only sensible way of spending lunch on your adventure-filled day trips. On some days, the Mediterranean will even entice you for a quick dip, before the waters become too icy in the later winter months. 

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Our best things to do in Provence in October 

Enjoy the tail end of the grape harvest


As the last grapes are picked, the vines begin to change into their autumnal wear; the sprawling vineyards carpet the landscape in fiery colours, making a truly mesmerising sight wherever you intend to visit in the winegrowing regions of Provence. Wander amongst the relatively dormant vines on an utterly peaceful crisp morning stroll, or gaze down upon the valleys from one of the lofty peaks in the Alpilles or Luberon natural parks on your walking holiday. 

While most of the grape harvests take place in September, some towns and villages celebrate the year's produce at the beginning of October, depending on the year's growth. People come together to participate in a collective salutation to the fruits of the region's fine traditions of winemaking. Wine flows between musical performances, and locals and visitors alike come together in an effortlessly merry atmosphere, even at the close of a difficult year of cultivation. 

The Towns and villages come to life with festivities


Once the crowds of the summer have dissipated, the locals begin their own festivities. Festivals throughout the region begin to spring up to celebrate the fruits of the earth that have been produced each year. Different foods are paid tribute to during these festivals, beginning with the famous Olive Festival in Ollioules at the beginning of October. Guided tours and family-friendly entertainment abound, as people come to learn about the processes of olive farming and unite in an appreciation of the delectable fruits cultivated in the region. 

In Saint-Trinit, another worthy candidate receives its due accolades: the mushroom. In the middle of October, come here to taste the depth and variousness of flavours that these fungi flaunt. The markets that line the streets of this picturesque town, however, are about much more than just taste; they are about community, making them one of the best things to do in Provence in October if you wish to immerse in the region's splendid culture. With a plethora of harvests taking place, this is a great time to saunter the market stalls and discover the delicacies and produce of each town and village. It is a time of discovery as the streets become aglow with the fresh flavours and colours of the summer season. 

Swap the lavender fields for crocuses


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In the autumn and the winter, the quintessentially Provencal fields of lavender, which draw in crowds and send their piquant aromas dancing on summer breezes each year, are slowly and subtly replaced by a different vibrance. Crocus farmers in the colder parts of Provence begin their harvests of saffron in October, with warmer parts of the region harvesting in November. The harvest sees the petalled palettes of purple reveal their "red gold" - saffron - almost as a reward to the farmers for their care and patience in cultivating the plants. A visit to these saffron farms will not only be easy on the eye, but will undoubtedly involve some tasty treats to indulge on. 

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez


This one is for the thrillseekers, for those who are looking for some high-octane things to do in Provence in October. Here at Le Collectionist, we arrange a number of unforgettable activities for our guests to enjoy on their luxury France holidays. One of our favourite activities across the board is to participate in the legendary regatta that takes place in St Tropez each year.

Clamber aboard the mighty Moonbeam - a Scottish vessel that participates in Les Voiles de Saint Tropez year in, year out. Skim across the surface of the sea with your experienced skipper at the helm. As the wind whips against the sails, you will feel the true power and majesty of this sleek sailboat. 

Feast at Michelin-Starred restaurants with Tous au Restaurant 


At the end of the high season, Tous au Restaurant gives people access to some of the best restaurants at reduced rates. Founded by Alain Ducasse, the "Everyone to the Restaurant" scheme does what it says on the tin by bringing together people and restaurants. This is a great opportunity to discover the gastronomic delights of the region at some of the finest restaurants. Dive into the delectable dishes of some of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in the region, such as one-starred Alcyone in Marseille, where the best Mediterranean and Provencal flavours await. 

A grape day out: Participate in the amusing Rallye Sainte Victoire

Gear up and team up for a circuit race through the best wineries and cellars of the Saint Victoire region. Each year, local estates throw open their doors for a day of tastings and activities, as teams bundle into their cars to race from vineyard to vineyard. Either sign up to enter the competition, or simply partake in the grape. This is an excellent way to discover the wines of the area, as well as learn the history of viticulture and the chateaus that play host to this day of merriment. 

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Provence is a region of great variety throughout the year, which is one of the many reasons it is one of our favourite luxury holiday destinations. Explore our collection of luxury villas in Provence to springboard your next exploration of things to do in Provence in October.

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