The best things to do in Provence in May

Usher in another blissful summer with this guide to the best things to do in Provence in May.
The best things to do in Provence in May
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The magical month of May in Provence draws in the early birds who seek warmer climes, those who have been itching to break free from the shackles of a long winter. The region takes on a zestful ambience, as the sun begins to give life back to the beautiful natural world of Provence. 

With the season edging into summer, there emerge plenty of great things to do in Provence in May. With this guide, you can discover some of the different sides of Provence, with events that celebrate its terroir, its art, and a number of other quirky traditions and gatherings. On your Provence holidays, we, here at Le Collectionist, intend to ensure that you can make the most of one of our favourite luxury holiday destinations. Discover more with this guide to the best things to do in Provence in May. 

things to do in Provence in May

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Catch the colours of the first lavender fields


Like a map charting the spread of an empire, the lavender fields begin to trickle down the landscape, charting their territory in the characteristic shades of purple; the recognisable scent dancing on the breeze is the only warning of its pleasant encroachment. In late May, you can enjoy the vibrance of the lavender fields as they begin to blossom without the heaving crowds that are typical of the summer.

The best time to see the fields in peace and quiet is at the end of May or early June, before the school holidays begin. Why not make the experience that much more memorable and contact your dedicated Le Collectionist holiday tailor to arrange for you to see the fields from above? Drift with the breeze in the basket of a hot-air balloon and watch as the patchwork of colours slides by beneath.

The French Riviera's most renowned event: Cannes Film Festival


Watch this lavish resort town come to life with the singular goal of paying tribute to cinema. Each year, one of the world's biggest film festivals takes place on the beautiful Mediterranean coast; star-studded films take to the red carpet and glamorise the Palais des Festivals between the port and the picturesque palm-lined beach. Whilst the event itself is not open to the public, it is a spirited and febrile time to be in this seaside town. Explore our website to find your stylish luxury holiday home to complete the feeling of stardom.

Sm'art - Mediterranean Art Salon, Aix-en-Provence


Typically taking place in May (may differ some years), this is a contemporary art fair where young and burgeoning artists come to flaunt their talents. It has come to be lauded as one of the major exhibitions of contemporary art in France and the quaint town teems with interesting people and artistic flair. 200 artists converge on this fair and sell and exhibit their wondrous works to the general public, with guests of honour and performances as added frills to the already bursting event. Fill your trip to Aix-en-Provence with art by visiting one of the most famous Post-Impressionist painter's studios - Paul Cézanne. 

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Talent from all regions of France and beyond: European Nude Photo Festival in Arles


Another Provencal hub of art is Arles - a place that has come to be known for its influence on the creative genius of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Van Gogh produced some of his most recognisable works in this quaint city on the Rhône River. But its artistry doesn't end with its heritage. Today, a contemporary nude photography festival takes place each year, bringing together some of the best photographers in Europe who capture people in their most stripped back and human form.

The European Festival of Nude Photography has been going for twenty years and not only brings together European photographers, but also honours one local photographer every year. This is a unique and eye-opening way to see Arles and one of our favourite events on the list of things to do in Provence in May.

The fruits of Provence, France: Fête de la Fraise, Velleron


Provence is known for paying tribute to its seasonal produce by hosting festivals and market days. This particular festival is an ode to the sweet season of the strawberry. Every year in the month of May, the small town of Velleron, which is perched just outside Avignon, hosts a day-long market with tastings and stalls selling a wide range of strawberry products, as well as a concert in the evening. Whilst this isn't on the same level as the Cannes Film Festival, it is a far greater way to feel part of the community and partake in a regional thanks to mother nature. 

Festival des Vins Coteaux and the Wine and Vine Festivals of Aix-en-Provence


One doesn't go to Provence without stumbling across or sampling some of the world's finest wines. The region is famous for its ambrosial wines and rosés, and the Wine and Vine Festival held in mid-May is a great way to experience the traditions of winemaking first hand. Winemakers welcome you to their cellars and wineries to sample some of their vinacious offerings. 

The Festival des Vins Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence sees the Cours Mirabeau, a wide thoroughfare in the city, hum with merriment, as people saunter from stall to stall, sampling some of the finest wines at relatively low prices. These are two of the best things to do in Provence in May if you wish to delve into the delectable world of wines.

Discover the beautiful national parks


May is a great time to explore the coastal and mountain tracks that crisscross the stunning national parks of the south. Head to Marseille or Cassis to traverse the cliffy coastal paths in Calanques de Cassis, or cycle the mountains around Luberon. May is the best time to do this before the throngs of the summer descend on the region and before the summer's heat makes physical activity more challenging. 

With Le Collectionist, your luxury France holidays will be a time of effortless bliss. Explore our collection of luxury villas in Provence to find the perfect holiday home from where to tick off these things to do in Provence in May. 

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