Pays salonais and its chateaux, heritage and wine

Off the beaten tracks - Wine and gastronomy

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.

Salon: lunch fit for a king by chef Mathias Peres

35 Rue Moulin d'isnard 13300 Salon-de-Provence

For lunch today, sit yourself comfortably at La Table du Roy, a fine dining restaurant set in a bourgeois property. Local producers are lauded here and even named on the menu. Chef Mathias Peres serves a remarkably fresh and tasty cuisine at a very reasonable cost. The outside terrace is made for summer days.

Salon: Château de l’Empéri, the oldest in Provence

Montée Du Puech 13300 Salon-de-Provence

Lunch done, start your afternoon with a visit to Château de l’Empéri. A fortified castle built in the 9th century, today it houses an army museum featuring one of the richest collections of military objects, promising a fascinating journey through French history, from King Louis XIV to the First World War. This beautiful property also stages lots of festivals in summer, from jazz to theatre and opera.

Can't-miss experiences

  • Taking home a bottle of Provençal wine for friends
  • Sleeping in the sumptuous décor of Château de La Barben

We love

  • Admiring views of the Alpilles and La Crau plain
  • Touring some of Provence's finest châteaux

The best time to visit

  • In spring when the plants bloom in the Parc des Alpilles
  • Late November when the Christmas market takes over Château du Petit Sonnailler
  • Early December to take part in the 'Gourmet Day' at Château Bas
  • Theme

    Off the beaten tracks, Wine and gastronomy

  • Duration

    Half-day

  • Transport means

    Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

  • Ideal for

    Spring, Summer

Discover other itineraries

Essential Aubagne – a city built from clay

Aubagne is your destination for this tour. During the course of the day, you'll get to meet the crafts men and women who transform the local clay into iconic objects. Indeed, Aubagne is renowned for its santons (figurines) and pottery. After a lunch at Le 3 Farfalle, take a tour of the potters and 'santonniers', makers of the region's famous figurines. Aubagne's charming old town is awash with heritage (the clock tower) and Art Deco features. If you're in the museum mood, you have a couple to choose from: Cité de l’Art Santonnier dedicated to figurines and the Foreign Legion Museum. Just 30 minutes from the cruise terminal.

Culture in the heart of Aix-en-Provence

Your day of Aixois culture kicks off with a flourish at Cézanne's studio before you head off to see some of Aix's most iconic sites such as the Pavillon Vendôme and the tapestry museum. When you need a breather, enjoy a stroll around Place d'Albertas and its fountain and the area around Aix Cathedral. When you're feeling hungry, we have an excellent and inexpensive recommendation for you.

Arles and Van Gogh

This tour is centred around the ancient city of Arles, founded 2,500 years ago. A busy day ahead awaits during which you'll get to visit seven landmarks where Van Gogh came to find inspiration, including the Langlois Bridge and the Alyscamps. At the Espace Van Gogh, soak up the special atmosphere of the Hôtel-Dieu, a former hospital. The Fondation Van Gogh, meanwhile, will show you the influence the Dutch painter has had on contemporary artists. For lunch look no further than the highly rated A Côté Le Bistro before visiting Montmajour Abbey.

Inspirations

Candied Fruit

Candied Fruit

A gourmet treat…

Provence has been famed for its candied fruit from time immemorial. In the early 16th century, the region was fairly impoverished. Fruit grew here in abundance, but much of it was lost every year.

The Calanques

The Calanques

Art de Vivre

The 'Calanques' – Genuine little corners of paradise!

The Marseille Thriller Novel

The Marseille Thriller Novel

It was born in the mid-Nineties but originates from the city's infamous reputation since the early 20th century.

The "Navette"

The "Navette"

Terroir

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