When I was planning our trip to Provence, I had 13 villages starred on my Google maps. Moustiers Sainte Marie village was in the top 5 on the starred list, as I knew we wouldn’t have time to see them all so I had to prioritise. If you are planning a trip to Provence, then Moustiers Sainte Marie village is not to be missed! I’ll be telling you all the reasons why below. Read on to see where to stay near Moustiers Sainte Marie and what other villages not to miss while you are in Provence. Moustiers Sainte Marie is definitely one of the most instagrammable villages here, so have your camera ready, as you won’t stop taking photos. However, make sure not to miss Roussillon, Gordes and Lourmarin also!
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Best photo spots in Moustiers Sainte Marie Village
Moustiers Sainte Marie is built entirely into the side of a huge rock. I wouldn’t bother coming here for sunrise photos, as there is not sun here until the afternoon. We came at about 8am which was nice as all the shops were still shut so we could get photos without any souvenirs and other things around the doors. I would recommend coming either at this time or at sunset. If you have a drone, it is also incredible to see this village from the air! It is hard to capture just how this village sits into the rock behind it, but with the drone you can really see how it is perched on the side of the rock.
On the bridge over the river
There is a small river running down from the rocks behind, and even a small waterfall right by the bridge that connects the two parts of Moustiers Sainte Marie. There are some lovely little shops and restaurants that overhand right over the river. This is a lovely photo spot!
In front of a little French shop
As you walk into Moustiers Sainte Marie, to the left side of the river is a row of lovely small shops. These are all so pretty, and make sure to get here before they open! Luckily, nothing seems to happen here or open until much later on.
The Town Hall of Moustiers Sainte Marie Village
As you walk up from the car park, the first building you will pass is the town hall. The different coloured walls and plenty of flowers make for some beautiful photos. The whole town is quite hilly so it is not ideal for pushchairs and carrying too much!
Little Church on the rock
At the top of this village is a small church built in the rock. You can walk up to here, but we decided to fly the drone instead! If you have more time, see if you can walk up here, for some lovely views of Moustiers Sainte Marie from above!
There are so many lovely streets here that you will find plenty more photo spots! This street was one of my favourites, as you can see the rock behind perfectly. This street is just up the road from the town hall, so you can’t miss it.
Where to park in Moustiers Sainte Marie Village?
There is a parking right at the beginning of Moustiers Sainte Marie. We didn’t see any place to pay, so I’m going to guess it was free! Which is strange, as all of the other towns you had to pay for parking. This parking even had a spot to re charge an electric car. If you get hungry as you get here, the café just behind the parking does some amazing croissants! There is also another car park to the right as you drive into the village, if this one is full when you arrive.
Where to stay near Moustiers Sainte Marie Village?
This is the stunning hotel we stayed in for a few nights while we were in Provence. It is totally secluded, and surrounded by vineyards all around. If you are looking for a luxury stay, then this is the best option around. The rooms come equipped with a Jacuzzi, a huge bed, a steam room/shower room, a big balcony and a desk as well as a sofa. It was like a home away from home, with all the amenities we needed. It was also the perfect place to come back to after a sweaty day exploring different villages in the August heat. The pool is almost Olympic size and there is a separate pool for children and adults. The tall trees all around make you feel as if you have been teleported to Tuscany! It was one of the most incredible places we have ever stayed.
Coquillade Village also has the perfect location to explore Provence from. It was 15 minutes away from the beautiful village of Roussillon, and not much further away from Gordes.
In order to be as close as possible to the lavender and sunflower fields in Provence, I would recommend staying in Valensole. However, make sure to come before the beginning of August, as that’s when the lavender is harvested.
If you want to stay in a slightly bigger town, then Aix-en-Provence is great. It has a whole variety of restaurants to choose from, and has plenty of lovely streets to wander around in the old town. We stayed near here for the last few nights of our trip in an Air Bnb and it was perfect. Staying in the centre of town here is a bit hard if you have a car, as it is expensive to park. For food, I would recommend getting a crepe for a snack. Then there is a great burger place that even has a prawn burger, which I have never had before but would definitely recommend.
What other villages not to miss in Provence?
This was definitely my second favourite village in Provence. My favourite colour is orange, and all the buildings here are an orange colour due to the large amounts of Ochre deposits in the area. Ochre is basically orange coloured rock and clay in the area. It is another village built on top of a rock this time, with beautiful views and cliff top restaurants. Head straight to the town hall once you get here as it really is one of the most beautiful spots around!
Read more: What to do in Roussillon
Yes another village built on top of a hill. Gordes is was slightly busier than Moustiers Saint Marie village and Roussillon but also beautiful. The parking is right at the top of the hill and costs a few Euro for the whole day. You will want to explore Gordes for at least an hour I would say. It is again very hilly, and also the floor is quite slippery so wear proper shoes and maybe go without a pushchair if possible!
Very close by to Gordes is a beautiful Abbey. It is called the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. During lavender season it is surrounded by lavender fields and is really stunning. You can no longer walk inside, but it is still beautiful to see.
Read more: 5 Prettiest villages in Provence
Lourmarin is another small village, with a castle just outside it. The main square has lots of lovely cafes and restaurants. I would say this is one of the smallest villages so you don’t need much time here!
Saint Paul de Vence
We didn’t actually make it here, as it was a bit out of the way. However, when I told a French person who was from the South of France our plans, he said that this town was a must see! I will be going back next year to add a photo to this section so watch this space. If you go in the mean time, let me know how it was!
What else to do during your trip to France?
Visit the pink salt pans
If you are looking for a really unique thing to do while you are in France, then I would recommend visiting the salt pans near Camargue. There is one called Salin d’Aigues Mortes, where you have to go around on a train for 10 Euro per person. Head to my blog on pink lakes in France and here you can see which pink lake you can visit for free and take some stunning photos. It also has the best location to see flamingos near Camargue!
Head to the sea at Marseille!
If you want some beach time during your Provence trip, then Marseille is around 2 hours away. I would recommend heading here and spending a few nights by the beach!
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on Moustiers Sainte Marie village in Provence and will be adding it to your list when you visit!
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