Attractions Nearby Aix en Provence, Day Trips and Excursions
(Aix en Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France)
The city of Aix en Provence boasts an enviable location in the heart of the beautiful Provence region of France. As such, just a short drive takes visitors through stunning countryside, as well as some quaint villages and hamlets, which contain a number of interesting attractions worth finding.
Head south of Aix en Provence and towards the coast, and there are plenty of nearby seaside resorts, with enough golden beaches, upmarket shopping opportunities and tourist attractions to keep everyone entertained and more than happy.
Mountain of Sainte Victoire
Mont Sainte Victoire is a landmark throughout the Aix en Provence region and home to many enticing outdoor attractions. This rugged mountain range reaches a height of 1,012 metres / 3,320 feet, standing out amidst the surrounding gentle farmland and vineyards. The mountain is popularly captured in many of Cézanne's paintings. Cézanne is said to have been fascinated by the ever-changing light and shadow set against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. Admire Mont Sainte Victoire from afar or don hiking boots to climb one of the many paths which lead to the Croix de Provence at the top of the western peak.
Situated about 40 km / 25 miles north of Aix en Provence, the Luberon region is seen as quintessentially Provençal. From vineyards and orchards to tiny hillside villages, this region remains a popular tourist destination. One of its most beautiful villages is Gordes. Dominated by its church and castle, the village has a bustling market, a maze of narrow, winding alleyways to explore, and plenty of cafes and restaurants.
Calanques de Cassis
Just 45 km / 28 miles south of Aix en Provence are the many natural attractions of Les Calanque. These white limestone cliffs plunge dramatically into the Mediterranean and are a paradise for walkers or indeed anyone who wants to take a stroll and enjoy some fantastic scenery. Almost 20 km / 12 miles of marked trails run between Marseille and Cassis. Les Calanques can also be discovered by boat, with departures from both Cassis and Marseille.
The town of Vitrolles is 30 km / 19 miles from Aix en Provence. Enter the city by its modern commercial centre and you may wonder whether you've come to sightsee or to shop. Head into the old district of Vitrolles, however, and you will be pleasantly surprised by its winding, cobbled streets and ancient buildings, a huge rock dominating the town, as well as its authentic Provençal atmosphere. After sightseeing, take time out to visit the nearby Etang de Berre, Europe's largest saltwater lake, with its artificial beach.
The nearby cosmopolitan city of Marseille
is a world apart from Aix en Provence. This bustling city boasts many attractions, including a picturesque old port, colourful markets, museums and galleries, as well as a vibrant nightlife. Enjoy the magnificent panoramas of the coast and the city from Marseille's Roman-Byzantine basilica, and enjoy a boat trip out to the nearby Îles de Frioul.
Perhaps best known as the home of the artist, Vincent Van Gogh, nearby Arles has kept its historic winding streets and typical Provençal squares. Located about 60 km / 37 miles from Aix en Provence, Arles was once a major port and prosperous Roman city. Today, the Roman amphitheatre remains one of the town's main landmarks and leading attractions. Best explored on foot, there are plenty of museums, historic buildings and other Roman sites to visit.