Picture a gorgeous sunny day in the countryside of Provence. You’ve spent the afternoon admiring some beautifully preserved local architecture and then you sit back, lift your glass and sip on a perfectly-chilled rose wine. That’s why millions of holidaymakers head to Provence every year and why Aix en Provence is one of the most popular destinations on the French Riviera. Aix en Provence is a charming, vibrant, luxurious city, just 30 miles or so inland from Marseille. It’s a culturally rich destination, with ornate fountains, impressive 17th-century landmarks and plenty of art on display. Famous French painter Paul Cezanne is one of Aix en Provence’s most famous sons, and there’s even a self-guided walk to follow in his footsteps.
Heading into the stunning French countryside is a must on your holiday to Aix en Provence. You’ll find a lush green forest, tranquil lakes and wild mountains. It’s a great spot for a hike. There are hundreds of vineyards in the area too and it would be rude not to stop off and sample a few of the local tipples. If you’re in search of a beach to boost that tan, then the coastline of the French Riviera is only a short hop away.
There’s plenty of greenery in Aix en Provence itself too, with several large city parks. They’re a great place to lay a blanket and open a bottle of wine with a picnic. If you’re looking to save your energy levels for the evening, then there are lots of pubs, bars and clubs to enjoy the lively nightlife scene.
The Old Town
Aix en Provence is one of the prettiest cities in France and the old town district is postcard cute. There are shady town squares dating back to the 18th century, elegant houses, impressive fountains and lively open-air markets. The markets are dotted around the Old Town and are great for bagging that bargain. You can buy anything from salted cod to an antique book.
To the north of Aix en Provence lies a fertile area for winegrowing. Guided tours can take you through the wine-making process from vines to the bottle. If you’re only interested in slurping wine, rather than knowing what’s behind it, then you’re in luck too. There are lots of tasting rooms available. Rich reds, light roses and delicate whites can all be sampled.
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a fashionable Frenchman? Then head to Aix-en-Provence’s Mazarin quarter. It’s the chicest part of town. This has been where the rich and powerful of Aix en Provence have lived for centuries. There are some supremely elegant houses and grand churches.
Exploring Aix en Provence...
If you’re inspired by the Provence countryside on your trip to Aix en Provence, then you won’t be alone. Artists have been coming here for generations. Aix en Provence’s Granet Museum is one of the finest galleries in France. There’s works from masters including Rembrandt, Renoir and Van Gogh. There’s also plenty on display from Aix en Provence’s favourite local lad Paul Cezanne. If you’re interested in finding out more about Cezanne, there’s even a self-guided walk around his favourite haunts in the city.
There’s plenty of opportunities to blow the budget and splash out at the fashionable designer shops of Aix en Provence. But the most colourful and vibrant shopping experiences are in the city’s markets. Held in many town squares, they’re a great chance to chat, eat and browse. Fresh produce, antique books, flowers and French bric-a-brac are all at your fingertips.
Up for a late one on the tiles in Aix en Provence? Not a problem. Fancy an evening of culture? That’s fine too. Aix en Provence has a nightlife scene that caters for all tastes. There are plenty of lively bars and nightclubs for party animals. But there are also quiet wine bars, casinos, concert halls and theatres.
Beaches in Aix en Provence
There are lots of beaches within a short hop of Aix en Provence. The popular coastal town of Cassis is one of the most convenient spots for a day trip if you’re keen to avoid the crowds in Marseille. The main beach of Cassis is next to the harbour and ideal for families.
French Riviera cuisine
If you’re always keen to try the local grub on holiday, then Aix en Provence won’t disappoint. Far from it. The food and wine along the French Riviera are some of the best in France, and one of the main reasons why so many holidaymakers head there. Creamy cheeses, cured meats, hearty stews and fresh seafood can all be found on the menu. Unlike other areas of France, there’s a definite Mediterranean aspect to the cooking here. Think ripe tomatoes, succulent aubergines and handfuls of herbs. Delicious.
Aix en Provence restaurants
Top notch dining can be found in Aix en Provence, whatever your budget. You can push the boat out at gourmet bistros, or enjoy equally tasty tucker in small local cafes. There are also plenty of international options here. If you want to try something from a faraway land or have something from home, then you won’t be short on options.
Aix en Provence is one of the most charming cities to visit in France. Lip-smacking food and wine, beautiful countryside and charming old buildings. What’s not to like? You won’t be the first (or last) holidaymaker to fall in love with the place. To book your holiday to Aix en Provence, it couldn’t be any easier when you pick easyJet holidays. Save money on your trip by booking a flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays too. If you’re still considering other French Riviera resorts, then take a look at our other destination guides.