The essentials, 3 flagship cities

Culture - Not to be missed

Welcome to the three major cities of Provence: Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Arles. Vibrant and cosmopolitan, Marseille is a modern metropolis and a cultural melting pot. Less than 30 km away, Aix-en-Provence displays the typical décor of the region, a mix of Baroque architecture, art de vivre and terroir. Your tour ends in Camargue and Arles, home to a rich anthology of ancient and Roman monuments, classed as world heritage sites. Follow the guide!

Day 1 – Marseille, city break by the sea

Start your day making your way up to Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde – brave it on foot or take the little street train. After a tour of the basilica, stroll about the old Panier quarter and visit the Vieille Charité cultural centre. You'll probably be in need of some nourishment by now, so head to the Old Port for lunch. Your batteries recharged, head to city's museum of civilisations, the MuCEM. A relaxing cruise on turquoise waters exploring cliffs and calanques (creeks) is the perfect way to wrap up a busy first day.

Day 2 – A stroll around Aix-en-Provence

Day 2 kicks off with an early start at the bustling market on Place Richelme in Aix-en-Provence. Continue your stroll around the old centre, taking in the sumptuous mansions in the Mazarin district. Rest your weary limbs at one of the cafés along the Cours Mirabeau or in one of the city's Tables 13 restaurants. Your next port of call is the Granet Museum where you can explore Provence's art and history at your leisure. Finish your escapade in Aix with a walk on Sainte-Victoire, the mountain that so inspired Cézanne.

Day 3 – Arles, history in the open air

For day 3, head to Arles and its ancient ruins. Your itinerary begins at the Arles Amphitheatre, the city's most popular and iconic attraction. Your journey through history continues at the Roman Theatre and Church of St. Trophime, inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. After a delicious lunch at one of the city's restaurants, it's over to the Arles Antique archaeological museum. Take a break from culture with a shopping trip in the city centre before ending the day with a visit to Montmajour Abbey.

Can't-miss experiences

  • Take the Ferry Boat to cross from the old port to Marseille
  • While away some time on a terrace along the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence
  • Browse the Saturday morning market on Boulevard des Lices in Arles

We love

  • Visiting three complementary cities for a packed weekend of new discoveries!
  • The essential sites
  • Exploring the new seafront in Marseille

The best time to visit

  • In autumn to attend the Fiesta des Suds music festival in Marseille
  • In summer when you can see works by the greatest photographers at the Rencontres d'Arles expo or attends concerts and operas during the Festival d'Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence
  • Theme

    Culture, Not to be missed

  • Duration

    Weekend

  • Transport means

    By public transport, Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Marseille, Aix en Provence, Arles

  • Ideal for

    All year round

Discover other itineraries

L'Appel du Large, 8 exhibitions on maritime travel

Marseille le Panier by Les Marseillaises

It may be the oldest district in Marseille but le Panier has lost none of its charm. In fact, the area has seen a remarkable rebound since the arrival of the MuCEM and the renovation of la Joliette, without mentioning the historical monuments alongside the artists’ workshops hidden in the narrow streets.

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...

Inspirations

The soap

The soap

Tradition

'Savon de Marseille', how to tell the real from the fake

La Poutargue

La Poutargue

'Boutargue', an amber-coloured jewel fished on the shores of Martigues...

La pétanque

La pétanque

This sport (yes, Pétanque is a sport, but we'll talk about that later) is an intrinsic part of life in Marseille and has been from generation to generation!

Every quarter has its own boules court and/or boules association, including, of course, a watering hole...

Garlic

Garlic

It all starts with a crushed clove...

Provencal cuisine simply wouldn't exist without garlic