Photos - Featured Slideshows

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  • Dispatches from Provence - 1 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    XL Airways launched seasonal nonstop New York-Marseille service in early June, giving tourists easier access to the city that is Europe's Capital of Culture this year and to all the appealing attractions in the area. Nadine Godwin, representing Travel Weekly on the inaugural service, took a look at a fast-evolving Marseille and, in the area, Avignon and Saint-Tropez. Pictured here, an evening view of Marseille's Vieux Port with the city's iconic Notre-Dame de la Garde highlighting the scene. Photos by Nadine Godwin

  • Dispatches from Provence - 2 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Chateau d'If, made famous by Alexandre Dumas' 19th century novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo." The book's hero was fictional but the fortress, in Marseille's harbor, has been used as a prison.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 3 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    One of the several trains that take tourists on sightseeing rides in downtown Marseille.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 4 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Marseille's modern European and Mediterranean Civilizations Museum (referred to everywhere as MuCEM). The structure's black exterior has a surprisingly light and airy texture when seen up close.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 5 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The newly debuted MuCEM building, at left, linked to the historic Fort Saint-Jean, both part of Marseille's European and Mediterranean Civilizations Museum.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 6 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The M Pavilion, at right, a temporary building providing tourist assistance, including information and booking services associated with Marseille's year (2013) as Europe's culture capital. The InterContinental Marseille-Hotel Dieu is visible in the background.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 7 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Exterior of the InterContinental Marseille-Hotel Dieu.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 8 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The lobby of the InterContinental Marseille-Hotel Dieu, very modern interior space for a hotel that was an 18th century hospital.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 9 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Historic walls surrounding the old center of Avignon.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 10 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The 14th century papal palace in Avignon, saved from the depredations of 18th century French revolutionaries because it was too big and difficult to knock down.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 11 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    A close-up view of the palace.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 12 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The basement kitchen at Avignon's La Mirande Hotel, where visitors may take cooking classes or even have dinner.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 13 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The Pont d'Avignon, Avignon's bridge of legend and song.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 14 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Chanel's location in Saint-Tropez.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 15 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Rooftops in Saint-Tropez, seen from the height of the village's 16th century citadel.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 16 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    View of the colorfully painted houses that line the Saint-Tropez harbor where yachts moor by the hundreds.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 17 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Some of the visiting boats moored in the harbor at the edge of Saint-Tropez, a fishing village gone upmarket.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 18 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Picture-postcard view of Saint-Tropez from the top floor of the village's Hotel de Paris.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 19 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Exterior view of the Hotel de Paris in Saint-Tropez.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 20 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Lobby bar at the Hotel de Paris in Saint-Tropez.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 21 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    Exteriors of some of the "houses" that comprise the Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 22 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    The author's suite in the Hotel Byblos, Saint-Tropez.

  • Dispatches from Provence - 23 of 23

    Dispatches from Provence

    In the photo above, a celebratory spray showers an XL Airways aircraft at Marseille. This was not the plane that carried the author, but the celebratory experience was the same. Photo provided by XL Airways

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