Flavours of Provence

Not to be missed - Wine and gastronomy

Gourmets and foodies from all over flock to Provence which has assembled all the ingredients for an exciting culinary journey. In this part of the world, the vineyards along the Cassis wine route graze the Mediterranean Sea. In Aix-en-Provence, the almond scent of calisson sweets mingles with the orange blossom of Navettes de Marseille biscuits. Rouille brings colour to bowls of bouillabaisse while olive oil made in the Alpilles is a staple on every table! Not to forget rice and meat from Camargue. A gourmet tour of Provence promises an epicurean feast.

Day 1 – The Cassis wine route

Your gastronomic journey starts with a tour of the Ferme Blanche and Paternel estates. These are two excellent wineries where you can try some of the region's most famous AOC and AOP wines, in moderation of course! The experience continues with lunch in Cassis. At the foot of Cap Canaille, the Bagnol estate is a chance to sample another exceptional nectar. Wrap up the day with a visit to one of the most unusual sites along the Cassis wine route: the coastal vineyard of Clos Sainte Magdeleine.

Day 2 – Fish and other delights in Marseille

Marseille is your gourmet destination for day 2. Sip your morning coffee accompanied by an orange blossom-scented 'navette' biscuit from the Four des Navettes bakery in the St Victor district. Your next stop is the city's famous fish market where all your senses will be awakened. Since you're at the Old Port, this is the perfect opportunity to savour an authentic bowl of bouillabaisse at one of the restaurants which have signed up to the 'Quality Charter'. Lastly, fill your boots with Provençal specialities from the local patisseries and delis.

Day 3 – A gastronomic tour of Berre lagoon

Day 3 is another flavour-packed day, this time spent around Berre lagoon. The first thing for you to do is meet local producers at Marché de La Fare. Make sure you get to taste poutargue (cured cod roe) from Martigues. Next learn everything there is to know about producing olive oil at Château Calissanne in Lançon-de-Provence. Then it's on to Saint-Chamas where you'll stop for lunch. Last port of call is Istres to taste a local craft beer at the Sulauze brewery.

Day 4 – Flavours of Camargue

It's off to Camargue the next day which is all about new foodies discoveries. After picking out a few bottles at the Mas de Valériol wine cellars, make your way to Arles for lunch. Try local specialities like tellina or bull meat. Not to forget Camargue rice which has its own museum in Arles. In the afternoon, explore Saintes-Maries and the bird park at Pont du Gau by foot. Watching the sun set from the sea wall before dining and spending the night at the Mas de Colverts is a soothing way to end day 4.

Day 5 – On the wine route in the Alpilles

Day 5 begins in the foothills of the Alpilles, a region known for its particularly fruity wines. First stop Mouriès and a tour of the Mas de Gourgonnier where they produce organic AOP Les Baux-de-Provence wines. Then follow the Route de Saint-Rémy for a fascinating visit to the Vallongue estate. Eygalières is an ideal spot to break for lunch. Pleasantly full, head to Orgon to pick up a few foodie souvenirs at the delicatessen at the Valdition winery. Finish your wine trek in Eyguières at the Vallon des Glauges estate.

Day 6 – The Alpilles, wine & olive oil in the Baux valley

For this sixth day, follow the Via Domitia to Saint-Etienne-du-Grès. There you can stretch your legs around the landscaped grounds at the Dalmeran estate before heading to the Mas de Sainte-Berthe for a tasting of Vallée des Baux de Provence wines. Olive oil is just as flowing in the Alpilles. After lunch, continue your gastronomic tour at the oil producing estates: at Moulin Castelas first, for its deliciously fruity AOP oil, then the Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille co-op.

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence, wine & gastronomy – exploring the Durance

Stay in Aix-en-Provence for final day of your foodie tour, this time exploring the area around the Durance River. Start in the north of town tasting the sweet treats produced at the Chocolaterie Puyricard. Then head to the Puy-Sainte-Réparade vineyards and the cellars at the well-respected Château Paradis. Next hit the road for a fancy lunch in Venelles. Spend the afternoon in Jouques, specifically at the Château Revelette, Chapelle Saint-Bacchi and Domaine Villemus wineries where their experts await.

Can't-miss experiences

  • Taking a tour of Provence's markets: Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Aubagne…
  • Treating yourself to a Provençal cooking class with a top chef

We love

  • Meeting passionate producers
  • Exploring three regions taking in land and sea

The best time to visit

  • In autumn for the olive harvest.
  • In summer to sip chilled rosé (in moderation) and participate in the Sardinades festival.
  • In November to buy the 13 Provençal Christmas desserts at the Provence Prestige fair in Arles or the 13 Desserts market in Aix-en-Provence.
  • In winter for the Oursinades, a festival devoted to urchins.
  • Theme

    Not to be missed, Wine and gastronomy

  • Duration

    Stay

  • Transport means

    Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Cassis, Marseille, Arles, Saintes Maries de la Mer, La Fare les Oliviers, Lançon Provence, Saint Chamas, Miramas, Istres, Port de Bouc, Maussane les Alpilles, Mouriès, Eygalières, Eyguières, Orgon, Saint Etienne du Grès, Les Baux de Provence, Aix en Provence, Puyloubier, Rousset, Trets, Le Puy Sainte Réparade, Jouques

  • Ideal for

    All year round

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Essential La Ciotat – the cradle of cinema

For your one-day tour of La Ciotat, you can relax on the Grande Plage or the beach at Figuerolles, a popular spot for locals that you can't leave without seeing. Cinema lovers should head to the Eden Théâtre, famous for screening one of the first films produced by the Lumière brothers. The birth of film is also honoured at the Musée Ciotaden, a museum that retraces the town's history and the traditions of Provence. After an excellent lunch at Le Vin 7, potter around the shops at the Old Port. Later, make your way to the Ile Verte and Parc du Mugel for stunning views. Just don't forget your camera!

FESTIVAL D'AIX ITINERARY

The Aix-en-Provence Festival is one of the cultural highlights of summer in Provence. The festivities kick off with AIX EN JUIN – the prelude to the Festival d'Aix– and continue until July 22nd. If you want to enjoy the festival to the full, the PASS offers access to all of the AIX EN JUIN public events, together with reduced rates during the Festival itself. Headlining a packed programme of exciting concerts and master classes, this is a wonderful way to get a whole new angle on Aix-en-Provence...

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.

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The herbs de Provence

The herbs de Provence

'Herbes de Provence', the perfume of our sun-baked hills...

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.

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The Calanques

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The accent

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The accent: our identity