It is always nice to bring something home from a trip to a new interesting place. Especially such colorful, vivid, and picturesque as Provence in France. We have created a list of ideas of souvenirs you can bring home from a trip to Provence. Each of them is Provence special. And each of them will help you remember your wonderful journey to Provence for a long time.
Lavender is a true symbol of Provence. If you travel to Provence during the lavender blooming season and you visit lavender fields, we recommend you to choose a lavender souvenir at one of the local special boutiques. It can be lavender itself, lavender essential oil, lavender perfume, lavender cosmetics, or even something more exotic, like lavender honey or lavender liqueur. We recommend to choose a product made of lavender fine, not lavandin.
Wine is an important part of the French culture. In Provence, wine traditions are very rich, as the art of winemaking appeared here more than 2600 years ago. Therefore, you have an extremely large number of options.
Rosé wine is consumed in very large quantities in Provence, especially when the weather is hot. We recommend you to taste rosé wine from Cassis, from Bandol, from Les Baux-de-Provence, and from Lourmarin. These are our favorite places to buy rosé wine. At each place, the wine is different, so take your time and carefully taste all the options))
We recommend to examine two options of red wine. The first one is Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, the second – Bandol wines. These wines are world famous. The choice depends on your taste. Or, as a third option, you can buy several bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Bandol wines. And at home, while drinking this wonderful wine, you may greatly appreciate this idea.
We are very fond of Cassis white wines. Due to unique location and climate conditions, Cassis white wines have special taste. They are among the France best white wines. Cassis vineyards are relatively small, so the AOC Cassis wines are produced in limited quantities. Therefore, the best wine often can be bought only directly from the winemakers.
Savon de Marseille
Savon de Marseille is the genuine Marseille soap, which contains 72% of olive oil. It is suitable for all skin types. The secrets of the artisan Marseille soap production are passed from generation to generation starting from the 17th century. You can find several nice soap boutiques in Le Panier – an old part of Marseille.
Faience from Moustiers Sainte-Marie is one of several pleasant souvenirs you can bring home from a journey to Verdon in Provence. You can buy some exceptionally great looking artisan faience at numerous boutiques in the village. Moustiers Sainte-Marie faience has been known worldwide since the XVIIth century. Such souvenir may become a beautiful decoration of your house interior.
Pastis is a very popular in Provence anise-based alcohol drink. Its name is a Provençal language word, meaning mixture. The true pastis, Pastis de Marseille, has 45% volume of alcohol. Pastis is served as an aperitif. It is consumed mixed with water.
We would like to note that buying pastis together with boules for pétanque for yourself can be a huge step towards the Provençal lifestyle. In some cases, it may be the first sign of your internal readiness to move to Provence.
Boules for Pétanque
Modern pétanque is derived from an authentic Provençal game. It has been extremely popular in Provence for centuries. You have definitely seen people playing pétanque in parks or some central locations in Provençal villages. We recommend you to try playing the game. The rules are not very complex. Chances are that you’ll enjoy it.
Nougat is a specialty of numerous sweets boutiques in Aix-en-Provence. Artisan nougat is very tasty. If you like sweets, you will definitely like it. There are many varieties of nougat. And sometimes it is hard to choose among them as all of them are very good. Although you can find nougat in a supermarket, we recommend you to buy it from an artisan manufacturer.
Calissons, or Calissons d’Aix are diamond-shaped almond sweets from Aix-en-Provence. According to one of the legends, these sweets were created by the royal cuisinier of the Good King René. These sweets were the only thing which could make the King’s future wife Jeanne de Laval smile. As the legend says, she never smiled before trying the delicious calissons. We recommend you to buy them at one of several specialised boutiques, located in the Aix-en-Provence city center.
In Provence, you have a lot of possibilities to buy several interesting antiques and collectibles. First of all, at one of specialised boutiques, selling a great variety of things – furniture, books, elements of interior decor, tableware, paintings etc. A lot of such boutiques work in Marseille, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and in Avignon. The second option is to visit one of traditional French vide grenier or marché aux puces. While it is always fun to attend such events, sometimes you can find some rare and precious things there. In a very good condition and for a relatively low price.
We wish you spend wonderful time during your stay in Provence. And hope the ideas we have listed above will help you choose excellent souvenirs from your journey and keep great memories for a long time.