Explore: Things to do in Aix en Provence

Set off on the flowery roads, in the direction of Aix en Provence. Between sun, culture and history, the city of a thousand fountains has so much to offer.
Explore: Things to do in Aix en Provence
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Located 30km north of the Mediterranean, the historic capital of the region, Aix en Provence, enjoys unparalleled sunshine all year round. The cradle of modernism, a place of history and a lively city, it has established itself as one of the most beautiful luxury holiday destinations where you can enjoy quality time in the sun.

Sitting on the Deux Garçons terrace in the heart of the Cours Mirabeau, you can enjoy the first rays of sunshine as the city slowly begins to stir. As the markets settle in, you look up to admire the unique architecture of the city of a thousand fountains. All around us, buildings in Baroque style combine with the honey colour of the local Bibémus stone.


We stroll through the narrow streets of the old town to admire its heritage: its historical monuments and numerous museums scattered throughout the city. Each building, each fountain, each square whispers to us a very particular story. Then we discover the region in a different way, by going for a walk in the surroundings of Aix before returning to the warmth of our luxury holiday villa.


Born and buried in the region, the one soberly called the father of modern art leaves his mark everywhere in the Provencal decor. Friend and admirer of Emile Zola, the painter had made Mount Sainte Victoire his emblem. Follow in the footsteps of this contemporary artist, in the heart of the city of Aix en Provence.

Bastide du Jas de Bouffan

Start your journey by visiting the Bastide du Jas de Bouffan and its park. Soak up the atmosphere of this manor house, home of the Cézanne family from 1859 to 1899 and the first place of inspiration for this renowned artist. For 40 years, he settled in the garden under the chestnut trees or in front of the statues and took advantage of the peace and quiet of this refuge to paint the masterpieces that are now scattered in the greatest museums all over the world.

things-to-do-in-aix-en-provence-cezanne                        Painting on canvas, the house of Jas de Bouffan, Paul Cézanne

Cézanne's workshop

Continue with a visit to his workshop a little further north of the town on the hills of Lauve. He took up residence in this workshop from 1902 until his death in 1906. Here, the painter will create his last works. Discover the objects of his everyday life, in his studio on the avenue which now bears his name. Before leaving, have a coffee and admire one of the temporary exhibitions of the place. Further on, take a stroll on the esplanade of the painters' grounds with a breathtaking view of the Montagne Sainte Victoire, where you can admire 9 reproductions of the artist that immortalise this panorama.

Granet Museum

Returning to your steps, in the Mazarin district, discover the Granet museum. This institution offers fabulous collections and exhibitions of painters from the 14th to the 20th century such as Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet or Renoir. If it is not only dedicated to Cézanne, the former palace of Malta offers a film on the life of the painter all year round and a space is dedicated to him.


The locals will tell you, Aix en Provence is a haven of peace, where life is good. The Romans had already made this city of light their capital. Over the years, it has developed strongly and is now known for its baroque style mansions, its beautiful squares and its fountains.

In Roman times

The history of Aix en Provence began with the Romans, 2,000 years ago, as a spa resort with hot and cold waters. Although today the vestiges of this past have almost disappeared from the narrow streets of the old town, you can still taste the Roman way of life by going to relax at the Sextius thermal baths in the town or in the Villa Eloudio for a privileged moment during your holiday in Provence. Spa, hammam and swimming pool, there is nothing better to recover from a long day wandering the streets of the city.

The Mazarin Quarter

From 1646, Cardinal Mazarin's brother transformed the city and gave it the Baroque style that is so well known today. Through the first main artery of the Mazarin district, the rue cardinale, one discovers sumptuous private mansions and the famous fountain with a circular basin of the four dolphins sculpted by Jean-Claude Rambot.


You will also discover the Mignet college where Paul Cézanne and Emile Zola met. On the way, a church of a very different style catches the eye. It is the church of Saint John of Malta which, surmounted by a spire, takes on an oriental air at sunset. Right next to it is the city's fine arts museum, the Granet Museum.

Not far away, in the main street of the 4th September, you can visit the Arbaud museum for its Provencal earthenware and the Hôtel de Caumont for its exhibitions and the beauty of its architecture, the work of Robert de Cotte, intendant and first architect of the King's Buildings.


The markets of Aix

Stroll through the stalls of the many markets that invade the squares of Aix en Provence. At the bend in the hubbub and smiles of passers-by and vendors, you will discover the local gastronomy which smells of the south and its warm and friendly spirit. From the fruit and vegetable market on the Place Richelme which borders the old grain market, to the old books or the flower market on the Place de l'hôtel de ville, it is a superb way to visit the city during your stay in Aix en Provence.


Tasting of Calissons

Discover the real culinary speciality of Aix en Provence. Calisson is a sweet dish, a flagship product of the city since the 15th century. A sweet mixture of almonds and candied melons with the scent of orange blossom, the calisson is offered during the holidays and can be enjoyed all year round. In September, one goes to the church of Saint John of Malta to attend the blessing of this sunny sweetness.

In the town centre of Aix en Provence, you can taste them in the shop of the Roy René and you can perfect this discovery by visiting the museum of the same name 10 minutes from the town centre to discover the secrets of calisson making.



Vasarely Foundation

In the 1970s, the contemporary Franco-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely built and gave his name to this optical art centre. The exterior façades and some walls within it house the painter's work. Inside this strange building with cubic black and white forms, contemporary art is discovered through temporary exhibitions and cultural events.


Mount Sainte Victoire

Dive into Marcel Pagnol's tales by taking the paths of an emblematic Provençal summit, Mount Sainte Victoire or Mont Venturi. On your way up the mountainside, the charming Provencal villages follow one another and offer unparalleled panoramas of the region, its fields and vineyards.

Out of all of the best things to do in Provence, whether hiking or on a mountain bike, continue your ascent and stop at the Priory of Sainte Victoire at an altitude of 900 metres.

For a final look at Cézanne's work, we venture into the old stone quarry of Bibémus. It is here, in this place where nature has regained its rights, on the glowing red stone, that cubism is said to have been born from the painter's hand.

In the heart of the region's vineyards

The region of the Pays d'Aix is rich in vineyards that stretch along the hills and hillsides. From the Luberon to the Alpilles, discover the most beautiful vineyards of the region.


With Le Collectionist, enter the grounds of Château La Coste to discover the pure wine-growing tradition in a contemporary setting. Discover the estate with our guide. Tastings and visits of the gardens and its works of art, it's a timeless experience to live in Aix en Provence.

Provence is a majestic region where the sun warms faces and hearts. With Le Collectionist, select the perfect villa for your luxury escapes to Aix en Provence.

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