The South of France is often associated with summer holidays but in wintertime, Provence is visited by way less tourists and has an entirely different kind of charm. The climate in Provence stays mild in the winter, so you can still explore the area at your leisure and enjoy LOTS of sunshine! It also doesn’t hurt either that accommodation prices usually go down considerably offseason.
Finding a winter home in Provence
If you’re coming to Provence for the winter period, first you have to decide what kind of stay you prefer: a tranquil and relaxing home in one of Provence’s small villages, or a cultural and stimulating pastime in one of Provence’s cities. Most of you know us well enough by now to guess that the first option is more to our liking. We found a cozy family home in lovely Mormoiron, a small village in the middle of Provence’s beautiful countryside with magnificent views on Mont Ventoux.
Rentals on Leboncoin
Browsing through the local virtual french market called Leboncoin gives you great options because the bigger vacation rental sites usually do not mention winter months as bookable. We found ours this way and when you rent long term, e.g. 5 months (from November till April) you can find some really great deals. Here you see some impressions of our lovely place near the village of Mormoiron, and as you can see, there are still PLENTY of sunny days to have breakfast or lunch outside. It is too cold to swim however but having a swimming pool within sight still gives you that true Provencal feeling. You can click on each image to see enlarged… 🙂
Mormoiron is a rural charming Provencal village situated on a hill near the base of Mont Ventoux, a few miles east of Carpentras. The area around Mormoiron is planted in vineyards, cherry orchards and olive groves. The wines produced from the grapes grown in the commune are classified Côtes du Ventoux AOC.
In the meantime, I must admit that I’ve grown very fond of this village full of characterful houses, friendly people and last but not least…everything is at walking distance. No need to take the car for that fresh ‘baguette’ or ‘pain au chocolat’ in the morning, there is also a well stocked mini supermarket…simply put on your shoes and that great smile and get out of that house!
Olive harvest season
Although almost everything is dormant now at the end of November, except for the olives being harvested at this time of the year. As it is our first time being around here this time of the year, it is quite nice to experience this kind of harvest. During one of our many walks we ran into a ‘retraité’ (retired man) who keeps olives as a hobby and he was very happy to explain us a bit more about the procedure and of course to talk about this beautiful region.
Village life in wintertime
The streets of the smaller villages are often very quiet during the winter, except for several hours in the morning when markets are taking place on the main road or square. In Mormoiron we have two weekly mini morning markets on Tuesday and Sunday. Most inhabitants know each other in these villages, and if you make the effort to talk to people you can quickly feel like a local and have a very unique experience here. A rental apartment or house is the perfect base to explore the countryside of Provence from. Be sure to stock up on groceries before heading out to your rental, as in the small villages, restaurants are almost all closed for the winter period. Instead of going out to dinner, you can have friends over and spend your time cooking Provencal meals or great winter soups in your own place, hiking across the golden yellow fields, or by taking a day trip to one of the cities or nearby beach resorts. Although the Mediterranean will be too cold to swim in, Provence’s seaside is still definitely worth a visit in wintertime.
To end this November post in rural beauty…
It is not new to you that we are devoted walkers, and Mormoiron offers a very wide variety of hiking trails. Diesel is more than happy to walk / jump along and looooooooooves the weekly adventures we do during the mostly sunny and dry weekends. Here you see some impressions of our walks in and on top of the ‘Roches Blanches’ (White Rocks)… Mont Ventoux never being far away. Quite impressive, we must say…