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.
- 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
- 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
Culture, Not to be missed
By public transport, Personal vehicle
Marseille, Aix en Provence, Arles
All year round
Discover other itineraries
In the Alpilles, Les Baux, Saint-Rémy and more
A day suffices to see the main sites in the Alpilles. Don't miss the ancient town of Glanum with its Roman ruins and Saint-Sixte Chapel. The Carrières de Lumières is worth a visit for its original and captivating audiovisual displays. Then step foot in the legendary Château des Baux and find a table at La Reine Jeanne to enjoy refined dishes made with fresh, local produce. Your tour ends at the oil mills, vital links in the production chain for AOP Baux-de-Provence olive oil.
From Camargue to Saintes Maries de la Mer – nature, terroir and tradition
Promising an unforgettable day out, head off to explore Camargue, in particular the towns of Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The region is famed for its unspoilt countryside that is sure to stimulate all your senses. Anyone with a penchant for fine wine will enjoy the organic varieties produced at Mas de la Valériole while foodies can try the famed Camargue rice. And nature lovers can watch white horses, black bulls and pink flamingos that have put this magnificent region on the map in their natural habitat by visiting Manade Mailhan and the ornithological park or by taking a walk along the sea wall.
Aix's museums and art centres
No cultural tour of Aix-en-Provence would be complete without a visit to the Granet Museum in the Mazarin district. A little further along, step through the doors of the Hôtel de Gallifet to spot fresh talents on the contemporary art scene. In between art museums, enjoy a feast for the eyes and the palate at Mickaël Féval, a real treat for the senses! Your lunch break over, mix the old and the new by visiting the Caumont Arts Centre followed by the Fondation Vasarely.
When we talk about the South of France, what's the first thing we think of? The MEDITERRANEAN SEA! (and the sun of course – it's all part of the package).
Traditions, lifestyle, mediterranean cuisine
Whether it's served hot with a salad, used to crown a cheese platter, or savoured fresh with honey or olive oil, goat's cheese is an absolute culinary must. Provence's dry, sunny climate is perfect for goat breeding -and that's lucky for us!