Provence, France

See Also Our Running Guides for Marseille and Aix-En-Provence

Provence is the geographical region of southeastern France bordering the Mediterranean Sea from the lower banks of the Rhone River to the Italian border. A scenic magnet for tourism, Provence is known for its wineries, lavender fields, and remnants of Roman architecture. Its varied landscapes include impressive gorges, coastal cliffs, river banks, and valleys at the foot of the French Alps, so running in Provence is a pleasant adventure no matter where you go.

We’ve split up our guide based on Provence’s six “departments”: Bouches du Rhone in the southwest (which includes the cities of Marseille and Aix-en-Provence), Vaucluse (and the city of Avignon) to the northwest, Haute Alpes to the north, Alpes-de-Haute Provence (and its capital Digne) in the center, Var along the central coast, and Alpes Maritimes (including Cannes and Nice) in the southeast. Our guide to running in Provence maps out the best running spots in each district, incuding the most attractive sections of the area’s extensive network bike and walking paths, waterfront promenades, coastal routes, quiet trails and rural roads passing by vineyards and lavender fields.

France’s high speed train network is the chosen way to travel between Provence’s main cities. Within Marseille, Nice, and Avignon, public transit is widespread and easily navigable, and the downtown areas are walkable. For some of the more rural areas of Provence, a car is the easiest solution. Note: We have additional, detailed running guides for MarseilleNice and the Côte d’Azur.

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Provence weather is location-dependent. Coastal spots have typically Mediterranean weather, with warm to hot, dry summers, and mild, somewhat rainy winters. Mountain locations will depend on location and altitude, but will certainly be cooler and wetter.

In some alpine locations in Provence, note that snow could impact the usability of roads and trails.

Most visitors to Provence will arrive in on of the main cities like Marseilles, Nice, or Avignon — where there are plenty of hotels — but there are also some charming B&B’s throughout the countryside. See the accommodations guide at for places to stay.

The main stores and running clubs in Provence are in Marseille and Nice. See our overview map for details on running stores and locations.

Provence is home to several famous races, including The Marathon of Saint-Tropez BayThe Var Verdon Canyon Challenge, and The Natureman Var.

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