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  • Writer's pictureNate + Christa

Aix-en-Provence, the Heart of Provence

Updated: Apr 25

This city holds a special place in our hearts because it was our first month-long stay in France. While it was difficult to commit to an entire month stay, after careful consideration and research, I can say it was one of our best decisions. Here are a few reasons you should plan a trip to Aix!

  1. Rich cultural heritage: Aix-en-Provence is a city with a rich cultural history and is home to many beautiful landmarks, museums, and galleries. The city is famous for its stunning architecture, including the Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined boulevard that dates back to the 17th century.

  2. Beautiful natural surroundings: Aix-en-Provence is located in the heart of Provence, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes such as the Luberon Regional Nature Park and the Verdon Gorge. Visitors can explore these areas by hiking, cycling, or taking scenic drives through the countryside.

  3. Delicious cuisine: Aix-en-Provence is known for its delicious food and wine, with many restaurants and cafes serving local specialties such as bouillabaisse, ratatouille, and rosé wine. Visitors can also enjoy shopping for local products at the city's many markets.

  4. Art and culture: Aix-en-Provence has a thriving arts scene, with many museums and galleries showcasing works by local and international artists. The city is also famous for its music and theater festivals, including the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and the Festival International de Piano de La Roque d'Anthéron. (Beginning July 2023).

  5. Mediterranean climate: Aix-en-Provence enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. The city is bathed in sunshine for much of the year, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape colder climates.

While Aix is on the more expensive side for a major university city, it's by far one of the more upscale and well rounded cities in the South of France. Overall, Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful and culturally rich destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you're interested in history and culture, exploring the great outdoors, or simply enjoying delicious food and wine, Aix-en-Provence is a must-visit destination in France, you cannot beat the location and access to the best villages in the South of France!

Keep reading for a 3-day itinerary of Aix-en-Provence!

If you have three days to explore Aix-en-Provence, here is what we'd recommend that would allow you to see the city's highlights and even a fun day trip to the iconic Calanques:

Day 1:

Morning: Start your day by exploring the city's historic center, including the beautiful Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined boulevard that dates back to the 17th century. Explore the fresh, seasonal produce and local items at the Provencal Market. (Check the calendar here to see the schedule of the market you're looking for). Stop at Bechard along the way to enjoy their incredible pastries.

Afternoon: Visit the Granet Museum, which houses an impressive collection of European art, including works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Afterward, explore the beautiful gardens at the Jas de Bouffan, which inspired many of Cézanne's paintings.

Evening: Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in the city center. A few of our favorites are:

  • MITCH- contemporary French dishes in a rustic-chic space

  • L'Incontournable- Snag a spot around the beautiful fountain outside and enjoy the excellent French/Mediterranean cuisine

  • L'Opéra- Beautifully presented French dishes served by friendly and welcoming staff

Tip: Sign up for "The Fork" to make reservations and find dining discounts! You will find many restaurants across Europe on here. Earn 2000 Yums (points) for your first reservation on TheFork, and you’ll get a £50 discount on your next meal for signing up!

Day 2:

Morning/Afternoon: Take a day trip to the stunning Calanques, a series of rocky inlets and cliffs along the Mediterranean coast. Spend the day hiking or enjoy a boat tour around this beautiful natural wonder.

Evening: Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in the Mazarin district, a beautiful area of the city known for its elegant architecture

Day 3:

Morning: Take a trip to the nearby Luberon Regional Nature Park, where you can explore beautiful hilltop villages, such as Gordes and Roussillon. You can also hike or bike through the park's stunning landscapes.

Afternoon: Visit the Pavillon de Vendôme, a beautiful 17th-century mansion that houses a museum dedicated to the history of Aix-en-Provence. After, grab a baguette and bottle of rosé at a local boulangerie and picnic at Parc Jourdan (dog+kid friendly).

Evening: Enjoy a final dinner at one of the city's many restaurants, or head to a wine bar to sample some more of the region's delicious rosé wines.

This itinerary will allow you to see many of the highlights of Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding region, while also giving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and delicious food and wine. We'll dive into more of the nearby villages that are a must visit in there own right, make sure to check out our guides of the Luberon Villages!

What else would you add for a long weekend in Aix??

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