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 the major locals like 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, like the Luberon, a car is the easiest solution. Note: We have additional, detailed running guides for Nice and the Côte d’Azur.