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!

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.

Le N°7

7 Avenue Hélène Boucher 13800 Istres

n the heart of Istres, a pleasant terrace under the plane trees! The chef concocts a traveling cuisine where the spices speak of distant tastes ... and where the pretty products come from the new halls nearby. Contemporary decor.

Marius Bernard

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.

Le Quillé

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!

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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.

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Inspirations

Figs

Figs

Francis lived happily close beside his tree...

Picked ripe from the tree, figs are simply to die for. They can also be scattered on trays and left to dry in the sun for 3 days: "That's the best way to keep your figs all winter – we serve figs at Christmas as one of Provence's famous 13 Desserts," smiles Jacqueline Honoré.

The Thirteen Desserts

The Thirteen Desserts

Celebrating Christmas in Provence with the Thirteen Desserts...

The "Navette"

The "Navette"

Terroir

Celebrated at Candlemas, this traditional Provencal biscuit is also a popular sweet treat all year round

La Provence

La Provence

Provence is more than a simple destination, it's a whole way of life!