Explore twelve terrific destinations in Bouches-du-Rhone
Provence is a must for your travelwishlist! The region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur comprises of 6 departments, i.e. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhone, Haute-Alpes, Var and Vaucluse.In our third blog we explore the beautiful Bouches-du-Rhone:
Aix-en-Provence is a university city and the birthplace of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne. A walking trail links sites including his childhood home, Jas de Bouffan, and his former studio, Atelier Cézanne. The white limestone mountain Sainte-Victoire overlooking the city as well as the surrounding countryside were frequent subjects of his works.
Arles is situated on the Rhône River and famous for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh, which influenced the contemporary art displayed at the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. Once a provincial capital of ancient Rome, Arles is also known for many remains from that era, including the Arles Amphitheatre (les Arènes d’Arles), which hosts plays, concerts and bullfights
Aubagne is situated between Marseille and Cassis, not far from the St. Baume mountains, and is the birthplace of the writer and film producer, Marcel Pagnol. He is the pride of the village and there are exhibitions and culture walks dedicated to him.
Cassis is a commune situated on the Mediterranean coast, about 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) east of Marseille. It is a popular tourist destination, famous for its cliffs (falaises) and the sheltered inlets called calanques. The wines of Cassis are white and rosé, and not to be confused with crème de cassis, a specialty of Burgundy which takes its name from blackcurrants (cassis), not the commune.
5. LA CIOTAT
La Ciotat is also located on the Mediterranean coast 12 km east of Cassis. At its southern tip, the Parc du Mugel botanical garden encompasses tropical plants, pebble beaches and play areas. The grand Musée Ciotaden, amid the cafes and bars of the regenerated Old Port area, features exhibitions on the town’s shipbuilding history and the invention of the game of pétanque. Just north is the Eden Theater, the world's oldest operating cinema.
6. LES BAUX-DE-PROVENCE
Le Baux-de-Provence has been named one of the most beautiful villages in France and has over 1.5 million visitors per year although it has only 22 residents in the upper part of the commune and 436 for the whole commune. It is located in the Alpilles mountains, atop a rocky outcrop that is crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. Its name refers to its site: in Provençal, a bauç is a rocky spur.
Founded around 600 BC by Greek settlers from Phocaea, Marseille is the oldest city of France, as well as one of Europe's oldest continuously inhabited settlements. It was known to the ancient Greeks as Massalia and to Romans as Massilia. In the 1990s, the Euroméditerranée project for economic development and urban renewal was launched. New infrastructures and renovations were carried out in the 2000s and 2010: the tramway, the renovation of the Hôtel-Dieu into a luxury hotel, Le Silo, the expansion of the Velodrome stadium, the CMA CGM Tower, and other quayside museums such as the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MuCEM). As a result, Marseille now has the most museums in France after Paris. The city was named European Capital of Culture in 2013 and European Capital of Sport in 2017.
Nicknamed the "Provençale Venice", Martigues is a point of passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Martigues (now Etang de Berre), close to the Côte d'Azur. The charm of its canals, its docks and bridges made it "The Venice of Provence".
9. SAINTES-MARIES-DE-LA MER
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer is the capital of the Camargue and is situated in the Rhône river delta, about 1 km east of the mouth of the Petit Rhône distributary. The commune comprises alluvial land and marshland, and includes the Étang de Vaccarès, a large lagoon. The main industry is tourism. Agriculture is also significant, and ranchers have raised horses and cattle unique to the Camargue; some of the bulls are used for bull-fighting and for the course camarguaise. There is bus service to Arles, 38 km away.
In the Provence hills, the chic little town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is very popular with artists for its charming boulevards lined with plane trees, pretty narrow streets, shops, cafés and restaurants and its République square, which is extremely lively during market days. The Saint-Paul-de-Mausole monastery, hospice since the 18th century, is famous for having welcomed Vincent Van Gogh. Inspired by surrounding nature, the painter produced some of his most famous works there, such as the Sunflowers (Les Tournesols) and the Cypress (Les Cyprès).
During the Renaissance, Adam de Craponne, a French engineer, changed the destiny of Salon de Provence by building an irrigation canal named after him. Bringing water from the Durance River, it gave birth to the Crau and its 12,000 hectares of wet prairies that today produce the famous Crau hay with its AOC label. It is situated between the Alpilles, Luberon, Camargue and the region of Aix en Provence and it’s history is reflected in the architecture of the old town centre and the soap-makers' quarter.
Vitrolles lies on the eastern shore of the Etang de Berre (the largest salt lake in Europe), just a stone’s throw from Marseille-Marignane airport and in the middle of the Salon de Provence, Aix en Provence, Marseille triangle. Old Vitrolles is a little breath of Provençal air above modern-day Vitrolles. Renovated and restored with great care, you will enjoy exploring the narrow mediaeval lanes.
This traditional Provençal fish stew originated in the 18th century when it was first concocted by Marseillaise fishermen, who would prepare it using the leftovers from their daily catch, making the best of what they had in their nets. Over time, bouillabaisse evolved into one of the most luxurious seafood dishes in the world: it is found in every upscale restaurant in the lively seaport city of Marseille
HOW TO GET AROUND: Rent a car to truly experience the magnificent coast and countryside, all the villages on your travelwishlist and much more
WHEN TO GO: The best times to visit Provence are from March to May and September through November, when the weather and the crowds are moderate. Early July is however the best time to visit lavender fields in Provence - lavender fields start to be harvested on the Valensole plateau in mid-July.
SLEEP AT MAS DE L'HERMITAGE (ARLES)
Smile, you are in the right place! A few clicks away from your next moments of well-being! In the middle of the meadows of Crau, between the Camargue and the Alpilles, not far from the historic center of Arles, Mas de l'Hermitage is pleased to welcome you. An 18th century Provencal farmhouse, located in Raphèle-lès-Arles, in the heart of Provence.
PLAY AT CULINARY BACKSTREET MARSEILLE
Quick Bite: From Tunisian brik to Provençal pastis, discover the diverse flavors, people and places that make this vibrant port city so irresistible on this epic food tour. Though the capital of Provence and France’s 2nd-largest city, Marseille proudly grooves to its own Mediterranean beat – a mash-up of big-city grit and small-town sociability mixed with seagull squawks and scooter engines. Bookended by limestone fjords and garrigue hills, this working-class metropolis is profoundly shaped by its seaside location and its deep ties to the rest of the Mediterranean.
PLAY AT DOMITIA TOURS
DomitiaTours is a VTC company for all your trips in Arles, Nîmes and all of Provence. DomitiaTours offers you, with its air-conditioned mini-van, quality services for a unique experience for all your trips in Provence.
PLAY AT E.BIKE TOURS MARSEILLE
e.bike tours marseille believe the sightseeing tour of the city they offer is perfect ! Historic, trivial, playful, they have so many secrets protected by "la Bonne Mère" (the name given to the basilica Notre dame de la Garde) to share with you during your visit.
PLAY AT ECO-CALANQUES
Visit the stunning Calanques by electric hybrid boat from the Old Port of Marseille (tailor-made events, seminar, anniversary, wedding ... ) In the Calanques National Park enjoy the boat equipped for swimming, a healthy meal, relaxation ...........
PLAY AT FADA FOOD TOUR
On their Walking Gourmet Tour you will discover Marseille in the morning with tastings in the oldest neighborhood of this unique city. Your small group will be accompanied by a friendly and informative licensed guide who will help you discover the best places and restaurants to make your visit of Marseille memorable. On the Wine, Cheese and Cold cut tour you will visit the oldest wine shop of Marseille which was established in 1899, and inside, you will taste a local wine with cheese and cold cuts.
PLAY AT OOHPROVENCE
OohProvence is for people in search of inspirational private tours & custom-made tour planning. Whether you're looking for small individual experiences or meaningful time with your partner & family or the chance to reconnect with yourself - OohProvence create tours for those wishing to discover & connect with the local people, culture & traditions of Provence.
PLAY AT PLANETAZUR
Since 2019 Planetazur have been offering a variety of cultural and sporting activities from hiking and snorkelling to cooking workshops and wine tasting. Based in Marseille in the southeast of France, they promote eco-tourism and sustainability through sports, well being and gastronomy in a region rich in culture, history and nature.
PLAY AT PROVENCE AMAZING TOURS
Situated in the capital of Provence, a region well-known for its many attractions, Provence Amazing Tours will show you its unique wonders from the dazzling lavender fields to its delicious wines. From the Calanques of the Mediterranean Sea to the typical neighborhoods of Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Arles and Cassis. And, of course, you'll appreciate the traditional cuisine served by colorful characters.