A fresh summer in Provence

Mis à jour le 7 May 2018

Who would dare say that, in Provence, you cannot avoid the summer heat? Although we love our sun, our transparent waters, our walks in the forest areas, our coves, our terraces and our cicadas, it could be nice, from time to time, to escape from them and to enjoy a bit of freshness. Between visits of castles and churches, some nice friendly moments in waterparks, gourmet moments in the best glaciers of Provence, walks in the shade in parks and gardens, discovery of air-conditioned puzzle games, nightly events in the fresh air and cultural escapes, It is quite possible to vary pleasures and temperatures. Here is a selection of good plans and ideas for a fresh summer in Provence!

Fresh visits of Churches, chapels and castle

You will refresh your spirit, enjoy the fresh air of churches, chapels, abbeys and castles…

We organize the visit of the Sanctuary of Notre Dame de la Mer in Saintes Maries to the Veille Charite, the Major or Abbey of Saint Victor in Marseille. But also through the Cloister of Saint Trophime, the Abbey of Montmajour or the Cryptoportiques in Arles, the Ermitage of Saint Jean du Puy in Trets, the Castle of l’Empéri in Salon-de-Provence, not to mention the Abbey of Silvacane in La Roque d’Anthéron.

Some places offer, too, some free guided tours such as the Church of Notre Dame de Nazareth, on Tuesdays, Thurdays and Fridays and the visit of the Castle of the medieval city, on Tuesdays, Thurdays and Fridays in Trets. Also, the tourist office of Marignane organizes guided tours of the Chapel Notre-Dame-de-Pitié, on August 16th and the Castle of Barben offers some night tours by candlelight on Thursdays from 14th July to 25th August.

Find all the sites and monuments to escape from the heat.

Cathedral Saint Sauveur

Cathedral Saint Sauveur in Aix-en-Provence

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Pools and waterparks

We can dive, swim, laugh and enjoy some good moments with children in waterparks…

The open-air and heated cross community pool in Trets, the waterparks of Gardanne or of Venelles will be perfect for young and old alike with their big and small pools, their playgrounds, picnic areas and solariums. To please the child, you can disguise as Indians and go to OK Corral in Cuges les Pins or to the Speedwater Park of Pennes-Mirabeau.


You cannot avoid the freshness break in summer: the ice cream! Between classical flavors, strawberry or chocolate, and original ones, you will have to rush to the glaciers of Provence to please your taste buds. Such as… the "Glacier du Roi” and the “Maison de la glace” in Marseille, the ices of Edouard and Maëlle, Philippe Faur and “Péché Glacé” in Aix-en-Provence, the Glacier of Saintes-Maries and the glacerie BG in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Gourmand’Ice in La Barben, Le Quillé in Miramas, the Glacier Piacerino in Trets, the** Glacier Lu** in Istres, Soleileïs in Arles or… the liquor ice of the Frigolet’s Distillery and Hawecker in Châteaurenard.

Find all the best glaciers of Bouches-du-Rhônes!

Swimming Pool

Pools with friends, family or alone

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Ice cream in Provence

Ice break with the glaciers of Provence

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Freshness with family in l’Estaque

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Freshness in gardens and parks

We picnic or nap there under the trees, we walk in the shade and go on the "Parisian" way in the pretty gardens and parks of Provence.

In the quiet city-center of Aix-en-Provence, you can visit the garden of the Pavillon Vendôme. A little bit more eccentric, the Castle La Coste opens its doors for you to discover the vineyards of Aix and the works of international artists on the rhythm of a walk through the fields and the woods. You can also escape to the Garden of Eguilles, between vegetal word and human sculptures, to the Gardens of Albertas or to the spectacular Quarries of Bibémus. Above, you will appreciate the sweetness and the fragrance of the Garden of Alcinoos in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the magical garden of the Garden of the Alchemist in Eygalières and travel in the heart of the Bamboo Forest of Sulauze near Istres. Seaward side, we dodge the crowds in the Gardens of Hope of La Ciotat.

Find all the parks & gardens of Bouches-du-Rhône.

Games in the freshness

There is no age to have fun! Nothing like a good friendly, mysterious and funny moment in an air conditioned place to cool off and have a good time with friends!

Try the experience of puzzle games in the Mystery Escape or in the Narvik Escape Game in Aix-en-Provence. Go out a trap in Exit Game, taste your 5 senses at Sensas in Marseille and play detectives at Escape Hunt in Pennes-Mirabeau. Finally, for the great pleasure of children, go to Montopoto, the French largest indoor playground (and air-conditioned for the pleasure of… parents!) in Saint-Cannat.

Castle of Avignon

Castle of Avignon in Saintes Maries de la Mer

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Garden and parks

Casual party with family in garden and parks

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Closter Saint Paul de Mausole

Closter Saint Paul de Mausole at Saint-Rémy de Provence

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Nigh events in the freshness

Even if the heat tends to stun you during the day, you have no risk of missing energy in the evening! Indeed, the Bouches-du-Rhône offers a large variety of appetizers, parties, rooftops, night markets and outdoor screenings… for endless summer evenings!

You will enjoy outdoor film sessions as in the Friche of the Belle de Mai in Marseille, in Castle Gassier at Puyloubier or in the Feudal Castle of Counts of Provence at Châteaurenard… You will enjoy participate too in many aperitifs and evening festivities in the place, see a show in the freshness of the night or walk around in the night market of Salon de Provence. And, above all, do not forget the free concerts of the Route de la Durance who will take place in severals cities of Bouches-du-Rhône, as part of the 36th Piano Festival of the Roque d’Anthéron.

Cultural venues in the freshness

There’s nothing like an exhibition, a museum,a cave or careers to have a rest and refresh yourself.

In the ”Carrières de Lumières” of Baux de Provence, you will be advised to take something hot on your shoulders. Remain in the spirit of Nature and go with your family to the Ecomuseum of the Mediterranean Forest in Gardanne or in the Natural History Museum of Marseille. Travel the stars in the Astronomical Observatory, or, meet artists and visit the Cezanne’s Workshop or the Art Center of Caumont (and enjoy drinking iced tea in the lovely tea room of the museum) in Aix-en-Provence, or we redraw the history of the actor Raimu to Marignane.

Friche of La Belle de Mai

Evening on roof of La Friche of La Belle de Mai

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Carrières de Lumière Baux de Provence

Quarries of Lights in Baux de Provence

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