Marseille: (30 Kms): the city of Marseille deserves to spend at least one day to visit it. You need to go and see the Mucem, the old harbor and make a detour in Le Panier’s neighbourhood… Go up to Notre Dame de La Garde, one of the most beautiful places of the city where you have a panoramic view. Why not a boat trip to visit If Castle and berth at the Frioul’s Islands for a swimming well deserve?
The Calanques of Cassis (48 Kms): you can find these well-known rocky inlets by boat leaving from the little fishing harbour, or during a hike (elected among the most beautiful in the world). The 3 most beautiful are Port Miou, Port Pin and En-Vau’ Calanques.
Practical info: you can park your car at the free parking called Les Gorguettes and take a shuttle that will bring you to the city centre for 1€.
Les Baux de Provence and The Lights Quarries (75 Kms): this little village up in the Alpilles mountains is very representative of the Provencal villages with its authenticity, its small producers who display and sell their local products. You will also be able to discover the light quarries show at Les Baux de Provence. The lights projections bring the stones to life, delight enchant this unique place and transport people to another visual and sound dimension. This year, Dali has the place of honour. The children love it!
Les Gorges du Verdon, Sainte Croix Lake and its lavender fields (128 Kms): Les Gorges du Verdon are located at the north of green Provence and the Verdon. This is the biggest canyon in Europe and it offers breath-taking landscapes. This is also the perfect place to go for a family trip for bathing or water sports.
If you want to see the lavender fields, you need to go to Valensole Plateau where you will find spectacular landscapes (from mid-May to mid-July).
Luberon and its small villages (40 Kms): This area is full of small villages each one more beautiful than the last such as Gordes, Bonnieux, Lacoste, Rousillon,… Senanque Abbey is a sistercian jewel that still shelters monks. Why not going and do a hike in the provencal Colorado? To finish, you can come back via Iles sur la Sorgue, the capital of second-hand goods dealers and Fontaine de Vaucluse where you can do a stop by the river the Sorgue, that mysteriously comes out of an abyss. This charming place is a classic to visit in Vaucluse.
Camargue and Arles (60 Kms): Arles is a welcoming and charming city given its provencal traditions and the richness of its antique heritage. The antique Arles Museum, the roman arenas, the cathedral and the Saint Trophine cloister, Arlaten Museon, Van Gogh Fondation are must-sees…
At the gates of Arles begins Camargue. In a landscape of marshes and salt manufactures, you can see Saintes Maries de la Mer bell tower and its fortified city (well known for gypsy pilgrimages). There, it’s a patchwork of ponds and salt lands where dark-haired bulls and white horses reigning supreme, with flamingos flying over the city. There are roads and path that enable to cross the regional natural park.
Avignon and the Papal palace (90 Kms): Do you really know the Papal Palace in Avignon? Do you know for example that it is the biggest gothic palace ever built? It was built in only 70 years by the popes who lived there. This Provencal jewel will amaze you given its proportions and its greatness. Go to the Saint Bénézet bridge, it’s a classic that is the main topic of a traditional French song.
Beaches: If you like to rest in the sun, you will find many beaches, naming the Catalans and Prado beaches in Marseille 30 minutes away from the hotel by car (35 Kms), La Ciotat beach (50 Kms), Cassis beach (48 Kms), the Blue Coast beaches at Sausset Les Pins and Carry le Rouet (45 Kms).
The hikes: Around Aix en Provence, you will find the most beautiful hikes of the region. You can surely go up to the Sainte Victoire mountain and reach the cross of Provence or simply walk around in the hills and immerse yourself in the lavender, thyme and rosemary perfumes… Why not go to the Calanques of Cassis, in Marcel Pagnol’s city the Garlaban or in Lubéron? Be careful though, you need to check the meteorological conditions before going, to see if the access is authorized for safety reasons.