Archive for February, 2015


bandeau Join us in France

 

 

 

We invite you to listen to the recent interview of Véronique Flayol by Annie for the Join us in France Podcast site.

 

I LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

 

Véronique Flayol

Véronique Flayol

Frederic Ganga

Frederic Ganga

La Ciotat is a fascinating town too often forgotten when visiting the Coast between Marseille and Toulon. By its proximity with two highly touristic villages, Cassis & Bandol, the town is rarely part of classic tours when it completely deserves a visit for a few hours or even for a whole day if you wish to enjoy beach activities as well as exploring the historic town centre.

La Ciotat 04

This is in the heart of town, two steps from the harbour, that you can encounter Frédéric Ganga, poet and town crier. This extra-ordinary Guide will walk you through the streets of La Ciotat singing and reciting texts that where written here by famous History or Legend characters. Wearing a medieval costume, he’s leading the way and share anecdotes or riddles at every places of interest: Rue de la Tasse, Grimaldi’ House, ancient fortification walls, Place Sadi Carnot, the Church, Pénitents Bleus, Place Pierre Gauthier, Rue des Poilus…

L'Eden: first movie theater in the World

crieur 03The story teller brings to life Celtic-Ligurian fighters, Greek travelers, Roman builders, Ganteaume and Napoleon ; he joyfully remind us that Cinema and Pétanque game were invented in La Ciotat and tells us how with humour and eloquence.

For one hour and a half, preferably at sunset to appreciate the visit at the coolest hours of the day, get the chance to sign up for a lively and entertaining stroll with the Minstrel of La Ciotat!

For further information about possible visits in English & French, please contact us by email cecile@tourguideprovence.com or call +33(0)669 230 857.

Happy visitors in La Ciotat

Happy visitors in La Ciotat

About Made in Provence Tours: French Tour Designers and Guides-Interpreters, Cecile & Veronique have created private and exclusive excursions in the Bouches-du-Rhone & Var areas for Guests to experience an authentic Provence, take part in workshops or genuine meetings with the local community and independent producers. Presenting the hidden gems discovered off the beaten tracks during their own traveling, they always look for authenticity and excellence and share with passion the best of what the South of France has to offer.

Cassis in Winter

Cassis in Winter

Many visitors worry that Provence villages shut down completely between November and Easter, and this is certainly true for some of them, dedicated to seasonal tourism. But other places remain busy and certainly winter is a good time to come to Provence if you want to avoid the flood of tourists. No worries about parking!

Provence in winter is quite far from the usual images people would have in mind such as lavender or sunflower fields.
Climate in Provence is different than the one known on the Riviera: it’s hotter in Summer and colder in Winter mainly because of the Mistral, this very cold and strong wind which blows down the Rhône Valley from the Alps towards the Coast. Good point is that Mistral guarantees a clear blue sky with glorious sunshine which helps a lot enduring coldness! The further East you go, the less strong the Mistral blows. It can even be relatively mild in the area of Toulon and Hyères. Cassis, the famous charming typical fishermen village, enjoys a pleasant year-round microclimate as well.

Picking olives in Provence

Picking olives in Provence

Winter is also time for yearly olives harvest. You can attend many popular “Olive Fairs” organized all through the region. They offer tasting sessions, culinary workshops and present stalls with local food based on olive oil (“Aioli” for example, delicious hot or cold dish made of boiled vegetables and steamed cod fish served with a strong garlic sauce)

traditional Aioli dish

Aioli dish in Provence

 

 

Good size towns such as Martigues, Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Aix en Provence, Arles or Aubagne see all their shops opened during Winter and can be considered as year round destinations. Everywhere in Provence, open air markets are still on twice a week minimum and keep their attractiveness thanks to entirely different range of products than in Summer time: parsnips, pumpkins, oranges and tangerines, apples and pears… Though the absolute star on specialists’ stalls is undoubtedly the black truffle!

"Marché aux Truffes"

“Marché aux Truffes”

Truffle season starts mid-November at Richerenches. But clever and gourmet the one who knows how to wait for mid or even end of Winter to get the “black diamonds” at their best… Many towns and villages across the inland Var disctrict called “The Green Provence” host regular truffle markets during the winter season. A good one to recommend is Aups every Friday morning.

For all these reasons and even more, we invite you to break the clichés and come to explore Provence now!