Tourism in Pays d'Aix
Gardanne and its surroundings own a plenty of treasures. Located in the heart of Provence, the countrysideof Aix-en-Provence where belongs Gardanne occupies a large territory and owns lots of important sites. Regardless of which month, the territory offers unforgettable landscapes, impressive panoramas, cultural sites beloved by the whole world, typical street markets with typical fragrances from Provence, events and festivals: Provence at its best.
There is something to do for everyone: nature, culture, history and tastes, the choice is yours!
AIX EN PROVENCE:
As an art city and a water city, Aix-en-Provence knows how to mix eras and cultures. Cours Mirabeau is an unmissable site in Aix-en-Provence whether we come from Aix or not, everyone likes to spend time at this place, this is one of the most animated places of the city. Composed by the Saint-Sauveur cathedral and the county town, this is the most ancient part of the city. Around the downtown, you can find places like the Thermes Sextius, the Pavillon Vendôme, the Fondation Vasarely (Museum dedicated to the works of Victor Vasarely, French painter), “la Cité du Livre” or Cézanne’s studio. While visiting Aix-en-Provence, you will travel back in time in the heart of Quartier Mazarin. The city offers everything to have a nice time alone, in couple, with your family or friends, you will be seduced! www.aixenprovencetourism.com
Val de l'arc et Couronne Sud:
Bouc-Bel-Air is a village located between Marseille and Aix-en-Provence. You can admire the Gardens of Albertas where you can find a lot of pools, fountains and even a green cave. In the village, you will also see the church Saint-André built in the 11th century, the castle Castrum de Bucco which often welcomes exhibitions, or the chapel Notre-Dame-de-l’Espérance, located in the heart of the forest.
Cabriès is a village near Aix-en-Provence. There are lots of place to visit in the village, you will see the lavoirs* dated back to the 19th century, the ancient bread oven and Lou Barquieu which is a pond built in the 19th century by the Villeneuve family to supply the gardens of Cabriès with water. You should also visit the Museum Edgar Mélik which groups all his collection of 86 paintings on canvas, wood, stone, cardboards and drawings on paper.
*A lavoir is a public place in France set aside for the washing of clothes. They are commonly sited on a spring or beside or set over a river. Many lavoirs are provided with roofs for shelter.
Châteauneuf-le-Rouge is a town located near Aix-en-Provence. You will discover the castle which is nowadays the town hall, the Virgin Sculpture and the war memorial. You can spend your time with walks around Châteauneuf-le-Rouge.
This village allows to admire the architecture of Provence with stone-built houses, ancient bastides* built in the 13th century and an ancient sheep fold. You could admire beautiful landscapes from the Sainte-Baume to Mont Ventoux and from Sainte-Victoire to the Crau.
*A bastide is a sort of typical Provence farm.
This village located in the heart of Pays d’Aix is an important site if you want to discover the region. You will discover the impressive castle, the garden of Eguilles classified as “jardin remarquable”*, the lavoirs, the small alleys and the colourful street market.
*The label “Jardin remarquable” is attributed by the French Ministry of Culture. This labels aims to recognize and valorize open gardens to the public.
Fuveau is a village located at the foothills of the Sainte-Victoire. This is a typical village of Provence is a charming perched village with steep alleys, a neo-gothic church and the avenue Victor Leydet in the heart of the village shaded by plane trees. You also can hike in the hills or enjoy mountain biking. The village proposes you to discover the world of butterflies with the museum. Finally, you can visit the Transports Museum of Provence.
Gréasque is an ancient mining village located between Marseille, Aubagne and Aix-en-provence. The forests of the communal domain around the village allow pleasant walks, you can enjoy mountain biking or horse riding. A fitness track had been realized to go through the forest and join Fuveau. In Greasque you will also find the “Mining museum”, you will discover a territory history, men and their craft.
Les-Pennes-Mirabeau is a town located near Marseille. Les-Pennes-Mirabeau is a town where take place a lot of festivals like the medieval feast in May or at the beginning of June, Prog’Sud which is a music festival which regroups several regional or international bands, or the Loco Festival with local groups.
Come to discover the quietness of this village located at the north-east of Sainte-Victoire. You can take a walk there and also discover the beautiful landscapes of Provence.
This village in the heart of the Etoile Chain, next to Aix-en-Provence, offers nice walks in the forest and archaeological sites constituting its heritage.
Peynier is a forest village located at 40 km from Marseille and 20 km from Aix-en-Provence. This village still keeps nowadays its appearance of medieval fortress when we take a walk at night under the lantern lights.
At the foothills of Sainte-Victoire, Rousset is located in the heart of the landscapes painted by Paul Cézanne. The quiet paved streets in the downtown, typical of Provence, will enable you to walk peacefully near the trades and local craftsmen.
This village had been built in a hollow of a valley between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille. The beautiful forest which covers the two thirds of the town offers lots of paths where walkers can refesh themselves at the Venel source. You can also discover the prehistoric museum of Simiane.
Surrounded by Saint-Zacharie, Rousset and Peynier, Trets is located between Sainte-Victoire and the Aurélien mounts in the heart of Provence at 25 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, 35 minutes from Aubagne and 40 minutes from Marseille. Ramparts surround the heart of the town and lots of vestiges of the past are to be visited: the seigniorial castle, the church Notre-Dame de Nazareth and the chapel Saint-Jean du Puy, isolated on a peak at 658 meters.
Ventabren is a village of Provence located near the Aqueduct of Roquefavour. You could visit lots of sites as the Reine Jeanne castle, the Ventabren Mill or the Hermitage Saint-Honorat. You could enjoy a walk around this village.
Vitrolles is an old town built in the 5th century against a rock. The thirty-meter high rock is considered in Vitrolles as an historic monument, as well as Notre-Dame-de-Vie which is chapel which is attributed miraculous healings and belongs to legends of Vitrolles. The chapel overhangs the rock and the town. You could take a walk in the Arbois heights where you could discover the typical stone of Vitrolles copper-coloured as you can find in the Colorado mountains.
LA SAINTE VICTOIRE:
The Sainte-Victoire mountain is a heaven for walkers, climbers and other sports. This mountain is located at less than 30 kilometers from Gardanne. Sainte-Victoire is known throughout the world thanks to Paul Cézanne’s paintings, it is an abundant environmnent in flora and fauna, therefore the site is protected. It owns a lot of reasons to attract the tourists thanks to the villages located close to the mountain.
At the foothills of Sainte-Victoire:
This small village located at the foothills of Sainte-Victoire is a quiet village where you can walk in a typical decor of Provence. You will also find the castle and its tower built in the 15th century, Roques Hautes park and the farm near the castle.
This village had been painted a lot of times by the painter Paul Cézanne who reminded in Le Tholonet the beautiful landscapes of his childhood. You could also visit the stele dedicated to Cézanne in front of the mill. You can find in the village exhibitions of paintings and sculpture.
Puyloubier is located at an altitude of 350 meters at the foothills of the Sainte-Victoire mountain. This protected site is a true place for rest and relaxation. The old village has kept its personality with its paved streets and its shaded places with fountains. Puyloubier is also an area of hiking, climbing and paragliding. You could also visit the Institution of the French Foreign Legion with a rich domain, a bookbinding workshop, a shop and a museum dedicated to uniforms.
Located at a few kilometres from Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Antonin is a village dominated by the mountain Sainte-Victoire and crossed by a small river called the Bayon. You could see there the dolmen of Saint-Antonin or walk in the heights of Sainte-Victoire.
At the foothills of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, very important for the people of Provence, Saint-Marc-Jaumegarde extends on 2256 hectares, at the north-east of Aix-en-Provence, its big neighbour at which it offers the variety of its unique natural heritage. Since the very early times, Saint-Marc-Jaumegarde is a place where it seems nice to live there. Saint-Marc-Jaumegarde has preserved the quietness and the sweetness which makes of the village a beautiful site.
Vauvenargues is a charming village of Provence which shelters the impressive castle of Clapiers-Vauvenargues built in the 17th century. Property of the Picasso family, the painter is buried in the park.