Istres by Ma cigale est fantastique
Shopping in the footsteps of bloggers
The "Porte d’Arles" gives us direct access to the historical centre, which is well worth a visit.
I suggest starting by the Tourist Office. This decidedly contemporary building reflects the spirit of the town at the crossroads of tradition and modernity.
We will do a little shopping and then take a cultural and gourmet break.
We will take a quiet stroll in the Etang de l’olivier gardens before going the other side to the Etang de Berre for a bite to eat.
La suite Office du tourisme
30 Allée Jean Jaurès 13800 Istres
The town’s Tourist Office provides tourist information, and much more besides.
"La Suite" is a souvenir shop, a space dedicated to traditional and local products. Here artisanal production is highlighted: you can buy genuine Marseille soap with complete confidence, canned sardines, Camargue salt, everything you need for a Provencal aperitif and lots of other items, such as accessories for the Feria festival.
Si je vous dis Rosalie
1 Place de la Porte d'Arles 13800 Istres
"Si je vous dis Rosalie" is an adorable boutique that we all love.
You cannot and must not miss this boutique situated just behind the Porte d’Arles and next to the Tourist Office. Sophie, who is little Rose’s mother (which is where the name Rosalie comes from), sells children’s gifts, from decoration and toys to games for developing early learning and the creativity of our little ones.
Art Zoo aux jardins de l'étang de l'Olivier
Jardins de l'Etang 13800 Istres
An artistic and brightly coloured catalogue of animals invades the lawn of the Etang de l'olivier gardens.
The town’s iconic park overlooks the étang de l'Olivier with its famous jet of water spurting 50 m into the air. It has been transformed into an "Art Zoo", and is populated by quirky, brightly coloured animals. This is the ideal place for a fun family walk. The town organises numerous events there too: creators’ market, street theatre, etc.
Les Frous Frous de Zoé
15 Boulevard Léon Jouhaux 13800 Istres
Here at Zoé’s shop you will find clothes, trinkets and other frivolities!
The boutique is tucked away in a street a short distance from the old town centre but is very well known, especially by the girls! It is a little like Ali Baba’s cave, overflowing with costume jewellery and accessories. The ready-to-wear section is mainly devoted to designer clothing. You must like bright colours and knick-knacks…otherwise you should keep walking!
17 Boulevard de la République 13800 Istres
As its name suggests this boutique is original. Small but full of charm, it offers an organised mish-mash of delightful gifts.
The boutique isn’t very big but is full of all kinds of objects, from home decoration, gift ideas, home textiles, cushions and even small pieces of distressed painted furniture. The Originale is an agent for the brand "Colline de Provence", which produces aromatic candles and bouquets that will remind you of Provence long after your holiday. A warm welcome is reserved for everyone visiting the shop.
Centre d'Art contemporain
2 Rue Alphonse Daudet 13800 Istres
The Art Centre is an excellent example of a successful marriage between history and modernity.
This is a magnificent mansion from the 13th century with beautiful large rooms set over several levels. It houses the Contemporary Art Centre that is voluntarily focused on young creators. Most of the exhibitions – 3 per year – focus on visual art, painting and drawing. Open to everyone, this cultural location offers guided visits, conferences and immersion programmes. Free entrance.
La Table de Sébastien
7 Avenue Hélène Boucher 13800 Istres
A short walk from the Fontaine moussue, we find a Provençale inspired gourmet restaurant.
With refined, Mediterranean cuisine for you to savour in the shade of the plane trees, everything here is home-made using local products. Sébastien Richard offers a delightful menu that includes the menu du marché, a surprise menu with meat or fish and vegetarian and vegan dishes. As cooking is also an art, the restaurant houses temporary art exhibitions.
192 Route du Loir 13250 Saint-Chamas
Marius Bernard is "a delightful smelling factory”! It’s easy to find, just follow your nose!
We will finish our journey at the Marius Bernard fine food shop.
This Provencal factory has been making good food for almost 60 years. We have all tried Marius’ delicious black tapenade and, without doubt, his famous ratatouille and fish soup. This is a working cannery that sells its products directly from the factory.
Place du Château 13140 Miramas-le-Vieux
After wandering around the étang de Berre, we will stop at the village of Miramas le Vieux.
To contemplate the uninterrupted view over the lake, we must first traverse the ruins of the ancient castle. In my opinion the best place to enjoy the view is from the terrace of the famous ice cream maker Le Quillé. They have been making delicious ice creams since 1982. It is difficult to choose from the 52 flavours, but I love the association of flavours in the lavender-honey-nougat and olive oil ice cream.
Ma Cigale est Fantastique
Ma Cigale est Fantastique" introduces you to the very best the South of France and Provence have to offer. "Ma Cigale" shares a hand-picked selection of cultural, touristic and gastronomic events and unveils a host of Made in Provence gems, tips and top addresses. A must!
Discover other itineraries
Pays salonais with the family from soap to zoo
Pays Salonais makes a great family day out with plenty of fun and original things to do. After a deliciously simple lunch prepared by the chef at the Table du Roy, follow the road to the ruins of a village destroyed by an earthquake at the turn of the 20th century. In the afternoon, why not head to the zoo? It's the biggest one in the region and runs a programme to protect endangered species. Then make you way to the Marius Fabre Museum to learn all about how genuine Marseille soap is made.
Savouring the pleasures of Sainte-Victoire Mountain
Just a stone's throw from Aix-en-Provence, discover Sainte-Victoire mountain and the surrounding area with this gourmet tour bursting with flavour, giving pride of place to local food and wines and topped with stunning mountain scenery and pine woods. Incidentally, six centuries ago, the Good King René – an emblematic figure in Provence's history – declared that he would "drink no other wine than the rosé of Puyloubier". Come along and taste our delicious wines for yourself with MyProvence!
Traditional La Montagnette
From Saint-Rémy circling back to Saint-Rémy, take a tour through some of Provence's most traditional villages. After lunch, it's on to the museum dedicated to the French poet Frédéric Mistral (Maillane). Next put your nose to the test at the museum of aromas and perfume (Gravescon) before admiring the candles produced at the Premonstratensians' factory and 'indiennes' (printed textile) at the Provençal fabric museum (Tarascon). Once you've had a look at Saint-Marcellin Chapel (Boulbon), head across to Barbentane and Cristine Darc's santons (figurines) before making your way to the Frigolet distillery. Enjoy the late afternoon sun over Château des Comtes de Provence in Reynard before returning to Saint-Rémy and visiting the Alpilles museum.