Dear old stones

Culture

Do you love old stone buildings and Provence? For this heritage tour, start your day at Marseille's Roman docks before heading to the modern and interactive Marseille history museum. Today's lunch recommendation is Une Table au Sud in the Old Port. It's very close to the city's archaeological museum, a fantastic way to get to grips with Marseille from today and back to the past. The following day, a morning at the Arles Antique museum will fly by until your lunch at Mas de la Fenière in the shade of mulberry trees. In Saint-Rémy, the ancient town of Glanum will bring your two-day tour to a wonderful conclusion.

Day 1 – Discover Marseille's Roman docks

Place Vivaux 13002 Marseille

Begin your tour of ancient Marseille by journeying back in time to the Roman Docks Museum on Place Vivaux. It shows ruins of a Roman warehouse, a rare find and testament to the city's vocation as a transit port in antiquity that was sustained for over 1,000 years. The fruits of the archaeological digs from the area include thirty earthenware jars from the time and other ancient relics.

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Day 1 – Marseille History Museum

Centre Bourse 2 rue Henri Barbusse 13001 Marseille

Kick off your morning with a chronological tour of the city at the cutting-edge Marseille History Museum. Not far from the Old Port, it occupies 15,500 square metres making it one of France's biggest history museums. Exhibits include maps of the city through the ages and moving around the objects presented in their context, from paintings to ships. The guided tour is recommended, especially to explore the Historic Way, the oldest road in France connecting the museum to Fort Saint-Jean, thanks to augmented reality technology.

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A real taste of Marseille at Une Table au Sud

2 quai Du Port 13002 Marseille

For lunch, put yourself in the safe hands of Michelin-starred chef Ludovic Turac and his wife Karine, a trained sommelier. Une Table au Sud (1 Michelin star and 'Tables 13' endorsed) serves refined Provençal and Marseillais dishes revisited with a modern touch. A fantastic view of the Old Port from the upstairs dining room.

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Day 1 – Explore the city's roots at the archaeology museum

Centre de la Vieille Charité 2 rue De la Charité 13002 Marseille

This tour of Marseille will immerse you in the city's history, starting with a visit to the archaeology museum to see where it all began. Set in the former Charité hospital for the poor, the museum features an excellent Egypt collection and exhibits on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern civilisations. There is plenty to keep pottery enthusiasts occupied too, including an exquisite Cretan oenoochoe (ancient wine jug) with Mediterranean decoration.

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Day 2 – Ancient Arles, Arles Antique departmental Museum

Presqu'Ile du Cirque Romain Avenue 13200 Arles

This second day takes you to the city of Arles and its departmental museum, Arles Antique, housed in a sleek, modern building designed by Henri Cirian. The museum is a must-see for anyone wanting to learn how the city has changed through the centuries, from antiquity (plenty of everyday objects on show) to the present day. In 2013 the museum added a marvellous 31-metre-long Roman barge, once used as a commercial vessel, to its collection. If you have time, try and fit in a stroll around the Hortus garden inspired by a Roman amphitheatre.

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Day 2 – Glanum in Saint-Rémy, an ancient town accessible to all

Avenue Vincent Van Gogh 13210 Saint Rémy de Provence

Why not spend the afternoon looking around Glanum? This ancient town built out of limestone was abandoned around 270 A.D. In the heart of the Alpilles mountains, this is a fascinating visit to a Gaulish city settled around a spring on an ancient Greek site. To see: mosaics, baths, a house with an atrium and stunning views over the surrounding countryside, simply magical!

Can't-miss experiences

  • Seeing an authentic Roman boat from ancient times in such excellent condition
  • Journeying back in time hundreds of centuries thanks to the powers of augmented reality

We love

  • Discovering exceptional archaeological collections
  • Resitting your history classes and liking it!

The best time to visit

  • In April for the bodega atmosphere of the Feria de Pâques or
  • Around 1 May to attend the votive celebrations during the Fête des Gardians in Arles
  • In October to experience the Fiesta des Suds, Marseille's world music festival
  • Theme

    Culture

  • Duration

    Weekend

  • Transport means

    By public transport, Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Marseille, Arles, Saint Rémy de Provence

  • Ideal for

    All year round

Discover other itineraries

Aix-en-Provence and its painters

Over two days, this tour will take you on a journey around Aix-en-Provence, a major source of inspiration for artists from Cézanne to Vasarely. By exploring the city that gave birth and to and spearheaded Cubism, you'll get to know the artists by visiting the places they lived in and cherished. Also discover up and coming new talent at Gallifet Art Center. Not forgetting a chance to learn all about architectonics at the Fondation Vasarely!

Tarascon Fontvieille, by Ma Cigale est fantastique

From Fontvieille to Tarascon, discover the Provencal countryside and traditions between Arles and the Alpilles National Park.We start this itinerary with the oil mill trail, searching for liquid gold: a pure PDO fruit juice from the marvellous Vallée des Baux. We will continue our trip with a taste of Provencal fabrics, tracing a route that is embellished with Provencal flavours and fragrances. To finish, we will attempt to force the fearsome Tarasque out of hiding.

Provence's artists, on the trail of painters and filmmakers

Provence is a place where art comes to life. Its landscapes and light inspired Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, Van Gogh in Arles and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the Lumière brothers in La Ciotat and Pagnol in Aubagne. From Cézanne's studio to the Bibemus Quarries that were so inspiring, visit sites on which the painters left an indelible impression. Van Gogh painted almost 300 works in 15 months, his most prolific period, in Arles! From museums to iconic landscapes, this 4-day tour promises a journey of Provence through film and the fine arts.

Inspirations

The MEDITERRANEAN SEA

The MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Lifestyle

When we talk about the South of France, what's the first thing we think of? The MEDITERRANEAN SEA! (and the sun of course – it's all part of the package).

The Cagole

The Cagole

Art de vivre

Translation our version of the Essex girl…

The Feria

The Feria

Tradition

The Feria, more than just a bull fiesta!

The Three Kings Cake

The Three Kings Cake

Tradition

Epiphany in Provence is like nowhere else!