Are you ready to join us on an exclusive trip to the Provence? Earlier this year we took a direct train from Brussels to Nîmes in the south of France. We stayed with a group of friends at Charles’ impressive countryside house to live the good life.
A one way ticket for this direct train was 140 EUR per person, which is not cheap…but given the direct train, it is really a very fast, comfortable and beautiful ride. We find it way more comfortable than going by car or by airplane. We have sushi on the train (sold in Brussels south station) and enjoy a good apéro while sliding through the countryside.
Upon arrival Charles and Gagou were so kind to pick us up and take us to their Mas de Bronzet, but if needed you can also easily take a local train or cycle around in the region.
The house is truly impressive and has plenty of history, as it is one of the traditional “Mas” in the region. It has a huge domain with olive trees and a beautiful swimming pool. The house can be reserved on airbnb as well… but in that case you might want to go with the whole family and have your parents pay for it.
The purpose of the trip was to relax, talk, cook together, visit some villages, go for a morning run,… and that’s exactly what we did. We tipically spend mornings having breakfast and reading by the pool, while in the afternoon we visit a small village.
In the evening we did multiple group meditation sessions in the chapel next to the house. The old stone chappel gives already a vibe of calmth that gets you immediately into the right mood to spend half an hour focussing on your breath and mind. Once we are all zen, we’re ready for the apero and diner.
Since it can be rather hot in the region, cooling down in the pool is a must to survive. So a daily portion of swimming brings some sports and refreshment.
After bronzing by the pool, it’s time for some visiting:
Our first trip goes to Les-Beaux-de-Provence (combined with a stop in Saint-Rémi-de-Provence). The small pitoresque village on a rock, overlooks fields with olive trees and vineyards. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon stroll and for watching the green scenery.
If you had enough sun, there’s also the Carrières de Lumière just next to the village, which is good to visit…but the queue was just too long so we skipped it. Maybe try this out when it’s not high-season.
For the second trip we take our folding bikes and head off to Arles. A drive of less than an hour, through the fields and next to the Rhône river. When arriving in the old center of Arles you soon understand why so many artists and photographers found their inspiration there.
You can easily spend multiple days visiting Arles. Take a walk around all the historic buildings like the Arenas, the churches and just get lost in the small streets.
A place you must go for dinner is on the terrace of Le Galoubet. You will have to make a reservation, but the menu is really worth looking forward to. Another restaurant option could be Chardon, not far from Le Galoubet.
For the next trip we head to L’isle-sur-la-sorgue. It is significantly further away from Beaucaire, but completely worth the trip if you love antiques. The place has plenty of galeries and shops next to the river where they sell furniture, decoration, airplane parts for your living room, modern art,… plenty of things to keep your eyes gazing around for multiple hours.
As a last trip, at only twenty minutes by bike from the house, you can go find Beaucaire. The city lays next to the Rhône and is less of a touristy place. It still has its cosy farmers market next to the harbor and a citadel/castle to visit. It’s a good base to go food shopping and just hang around for a bit.
So, that was quite some visiting and relaxing, wasn’t it?
These were five intense and beautiful days in the provence with a group of lovely people. To be repeated as soon as possible.