Provence in July, the ultimate summer scorcher

July in Provence is a time when the region truly shines, offering an irresistible combination of warm weather, vibrant festivals, and natural beauty. Imagine clear blue skies, the aqua sea, crusty French bread, succulent tomatoes, fresh garlic, olives ripening on the trees, and the calming scent of lavender. As local experts, we are excited to guide you through what to expect, what to bring, and how to make the most of your visit here.

The weather in July and what to pack for it

July in Provence can be described with two words: sunshine and warmth. The region's diverse landscape means you can enjoy a cooler Mediterranean climate further inland from Nice, while the northwest, in places like Avignon, typically experience a hotter, drier Continental climate. Temperatures often range from between 25°C to 35°C, with long, sunny days that roll into mild evenings, perfect for exploring the French countryside and enjoying al fresco life.

The essentials to bring to Provence in July

When deciding what to fit in your suitcase for Provence in July, preparing for the strong summer sun is the absolute priority. Our non-negotiable is a high-SPF sun cream to protect your skin from the midday sun. There is a lot of exploring to do in Provence, so staying hydrated is crucial - pack reusable water bottles, especially for those days spent wandering the outdoor markets and historical sites. A trendy sunhat and sunglasses will help shield you from the intense midday sun and fit in with the local fashion, while lightweight, breathable, light-coloured clothing will help to keep you cool.
Comfortable walking shoes are essential for navigating cobbled streets and hiking trails. If this is something you are interested in hearing more about, we have made a guide for our favourite trails in Provence here. If you are staying with us, you will likely have a private pool, so remember to pack your swimwear for a refreshing dip or for visiting the local beaches. However, evenings in Provence can be cooler, so be sure to include a light jacket or wrap in your luggage.

Why July in Provence?

Provence in July is full of energy, from the fragrance of blooming lavender and ripening summer herbs to the taste of fresh, local wines and seasonal cuisine. This is also the time when the region moves into its high summer season and comes alive with festivals and events, celebrating its rich cultural heritage. The atmosphere is perfect for those looking to truly become a part of the authentic Provencal way of life. With the sun shining for roughly fifteen hours a day, from sunrise around 6am to sunset after 9pm, you will have plenty of time to explore.

What’s on in July?

The Avignon Festival, one of the world's most prestigious arts festivals, transforms the historic city into a giant stage with theater, dance, music, and visual arts. Held annually in July, performances take place in iconic venues like the Palais des Papes and intimate courtyards, creating an atmosphere buzzing with creativity. With a variety of shows, including family-friendly performances and workshops, there's something for everyone at the Avignon Festival, making it a must-visit for art lovers.

Bastille Day on July 14 is another highlight and an absolute must-see for visitors. This national holiday commemorates the French Revolution with family-friendly celebrations across the region. Expect parades, fireworks, concerts, and communal meals, all free of charge.

For the most impressive fireworks displays on Bastille Day, head to Marseille or Aix-en-Provence. These cities offer spectacular shows with dazzling whizzes, bangs, and sparkles, typically starting between 10pm and 11pm. We recommend arriving early to secure the best viewing spot. Our insider tip is to follow the locals to viewpoints further away from the central celebrations for the best views. Prepare for a full day of festivities by packing water, suncream, and snacks for the kids. Traditional parades, local markets, and captivating street performances will keep you entertained all day. The locals enthusiastically participate, so expect busy streets, road closures, and bars spilling out into the walkways. Whether you are in a small village or a bustling town, you will experience the festive atmosphere and patriotic spirit that make Bastille Day in France truly special.

How to escape the heat

While the July sun can be quite intense, there are plenty of ways to stay out of the sun and still enjoy your holiday in Provence. We have included some of our cool family friendly favourites below.

Visit the Calanques

These stunning coastal inlets near Marseille are a must-visit for beach enthusiasts. The crystal-clear waters provide the perfect respite from the harsh heat of the sun. To access the Calanques, you will need to hike, so we recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid the midday sun. The closest Calanque is approximately a thirty-minute walk from the port of Cassis and is accessible for families. Make sure to bring an umbrella, as there is not much shade once you get to the beaches.

Explore underground caves

This is a fantastic family-friendly activity, and most importantly, it is cool. You can expect to walk around 230 metres into the cool interiors of the Grotte de Thouzon or the Grottes de Saint-Cézaire. You can do it alone, or you can book a guided tour that takes around forty-five minutes. This adventure not only offers a refreshing break but also an opportunity to discover the fascinating geological formations and history of these stunning caves.

Indoor markets

Why not make use of indoor markets to avoid the harsh midday sun? Here are a couple of our favourites in Provence:

Les Halles de Nîmes

Les Halles de Nîmes is an iconic indoor market that operates daily, offering an array of local produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Situated in the heart of Nîmes, this market is an excellent spot to explore regional specialties and enjoy a leisurely shopping experience in a covered setting - out of the sun.

Les Halles d'Avignon

Les Halles d'Avignon is another popular indoor market, located in the historic centre of Avignon. Open every day except Monday, this market features over forty stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, charcuterie, and artisanal products.

lavender market festival
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Lavender

Fancy braving the sunshine?

Are you a sunworshipper who doesn’t shy away from the midday rays? We know plenty of ways to enjoy the sunny days and explore the local area.

Experience the lavender

Take a family trip to the Lavender fields in Valensole Plateau or the Abbaye de Sénanque for stunning views and photo opportunities. We have the perfect guide to finding the most stunning lavender fields to fill your instagram with, read more here.

Cycling tours

Why not leave the car at home and rent bikes and explore the countryside on well-marked trails. Provence offers routes suitable for all skill levels and we are sure there will be a delightful sun terrace enroute to quench your thirst.

Visit a vineyard

If you consider yourself a connoisseur and wine lover, you must visit Provence’s renowned vineyards. Many offer picnic bundles and wine tastings, allowing you to wander among the vines and enjoy a picnic against the idyllic backdrop of the vineyard. The region is famed for its Rosé, and any wine enthusiast must give it a try. If this sounds appealing, speak to our concierge team about booking a wine tour or tasting experience for your next trip to Provence.

The beach

The Mediterranean coast is dotted with family-friendly beaches to suit every taste. Visit Plage de la Salis for a family-friendly beach in Antibes with calm waters or for more activities, visit the Blue Coast, perfect for swimming, hiking, and snorkelling, with coves and inlets to explore.

beach south of france
Calanques in July

We hope you now feel well-prepared for what to expect in Provence in July. To visit at this time is to experience a little bit of everything that makes Provence so wonderful. We hope this guide has you dreaming of summer in the south.

A bientôt,

The Provence Holidays Team