A scenic university city in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Aix-en-Provence is famous for being the birthplace of Paul Cézanne, a well-known impressionist artist. You can find here his childhood home, Jas de Bouffan, and his old studio, Atelier Cézanne. Aside from this, the area is also a great shopping site that features many retail shops and brands. After exploring every nook and corner of the city and experiencing everything it has to offer, now is the time to check out other surrounding tourist destinations. If you want to see the cities nearby, read our list of the best day trips from Aix-en-Provence, France, and have an awesome holiday ahead.
1. Cap Canailles
Nestled between the town of Cassis and La Ciotat, Cap Canaille is a beautiful headland that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It is the highest cliff in France, dotted with many panoramic viewpoints. If you love a good hike, then this day-trip destination is perfect for you. You’ll surely sweat from all the walking and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surroundings. It is also just less than an hour’s drive or 63.8 km (39.64 mi) away from Aix-en-Provence.
The third-largest city in France, and known for being the biggest port, given its location in the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille—even if it is also famous for being a criminal city—is definitely worth visiting for its beautiful architecture, numerous museums, and historical sites. One of its highlights is Vieux-Port, where you’ll find many fisherfolks selling their catch of the day. Another astonishing sight here is Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, which is a Catholic church that has a Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style. There are modern attractions in the area as well, such as CMA CGM Tower and Cité Radieuse complex, among others.
Marseille: 2 Hour Side-Car City Tour
Duration: 2 hour
3. Lac d'Esparron
Nestled in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Lac d'Esparron is a scenic lake that is perfect for travelers who wish to cool down and relax. It is a peaceful summer location that has hilly views and swimming areas, just like the nearby rocky beach. It is also an excellent picnic area for the family, where you can rent a boat to explore the lake. Other nearby attractions include Lac de Quinson, Museum of Prehistory of the Gorges du Verdon, Chapelle Sainte Maxime Quinson, and more.
Once the seat of the Catholic church, Avignon is a lovely commune in France, which is full of incredible sights and Gothic and Renaissance structures that will surely captivate the interest of many travelers. The most popular attraction here that showcases the city’s impeccable style is Palais des Papes, known to be the largest Gothic structure in the whole world. To have an idea of how big it is, imagine four Gothic cathedrals fitting inside the property. Another must-visit, especially during summer, is Place de l’Horloge, which is the main square of the city, where you’ll find the opera house and the city hall, as well as numerous dining options.
5. Fontaine de Vaucluse
A little Luberon town in Florence, Fontaine de Vaucluse is an ancient tourist destination, which is famous for being the location of the source of Sorgue River. It is also known as the largest spring in France and one of the most powerful springs throughout the world. Aside from being powerful, the site where the spring is located is breathtakingly beautiful. Another reason why the village is famous is that it has been an on-and-off home of Petrarch, a Renaissance Italian poet, for 15 years. It is where he wrote about his undying love for Laura de Knoves.
Famous for its white horses and bulls, Camargue is a natural region rich in wetlands in the south of Arles in France. It is a nature reserve that is also known for its rice and salts. One of the must-visits here is its beautiful coastal capital, Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, where you can have a walking tour while basking in the sun. And if you want to see some pretty pink flamingos, you must visit Pont de Gau Ornithological Park. Other attractions worthy of your time here include Parc Naturel Regional de Camargue and Église des Saintes Maries.
Aix-en-Provence to Camargue Region Half-Day Guided Tour
Duration: 6 hours
The rural capital of ancient Rome, Arles boasts a rich history and an abundance of art, which you can see in its many attractions, like Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. It is a non-profit foundation that aims to preserve the artworks and legacy of Vincent Van Gogh. Another not-to-be-missed attraction here is Arles Amphitheatre, which is proof of how grand ancient Rome was. Now, the amphitheater serves as a venue for concerts and plays, as well as bullfights. Other points of interest include Place de la République, where you’ll find the fourth-century Arles Obelisk, and Hotel Dieu, where Van Gogh lived whenever he was in the area.
Arles 2-Hour Private Walking Tour
Duration: 2 hour
A charming town on Sorgue River, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is famous for its weekend markets and antique shops. Apart from the retail therapy that you can experience here, the place is also full of interesting museums and beautiful architecture, like Musée du Jouet et de la Poupée Ancienne, where you’ll see well-preserved toys and dolls. Another gem here is Campredon Art Center that is in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and features contemporary artworks. Additionally, you’ll find Collégiale Notre Dame des Anges in the area, which is a stunning Baroque church that has ornate frescoes.
A lovely medieval village, located on the side of a hill, overlooking fields of lavender and a small river valley, Valensole is a must-visit whenever you’re in Provence. Its historic center features vibrant-colored old houses, charming chapels, beautiful fountains, and remarkable gardens like Clos de Villeneuve and Château du Grand Jardin. On top of all these attractions, the village is most famous for its lavender. It boasts many lavender fields and even has a festival in honor of it. You can also visit a distillery and learn the process of making lavender essential oil.
From Aix en Provence: Small-Group Valensole Lavender Tour
Duration: 4 hour
Martigues is a picturesque coastal town in Florence, which is a favorite hangout place of many artists during the 19th century, primarily because of its good lighting and postcard-perfect canals. Thus, it is dubbed as the Venice of the region. Also, it is home to quite a few attractions, including Parc de Figuerolles, where the family can enjoy outdoor activities like jogging, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more. Further, you’ll find here Église Sainte-Madeleine-de-l’Île, a remarkable church that has an Italian Baroque style and is considered a historical monument. Other attractions you should visit include Côte Bleue, Le Quartier de l’Île, and Miroir aux Oiseaux.
Have an amazing time wandering from Aix-en-Provence
After enjoying the picture-perfect town of Aix-en-Provence, you’ll surely want to explore everything the region has to offer. So if you think you’d like to see more medieval cities, charming coastal towns, and lavender fields, then all you have to do is check out our list of the best day trips from Aix-en-Provence, France. Make sure to take lots of amazing photos to share when you go back home.
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