Soak up the history of an ancient spa.
Built on hot springs around 16 miles (30km) north of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence is a chic and fascinating short break destination. It’s a city steeped in history, which you’ll immediately feel just walking around the charming streets. Aix-en-Provence has been called ‘the city of a thousand fountains’. And while you may not count quite that many, there are dozens of beautiful examples of all ages, sizes and designs scattered throughout the city.
Aix-en-Provence lies at the centre of a region dotted with picturesque villages and a landscape formed by the Sainte-Victoire Mountain, the Durance Valley, the mountain ranges of Touloubre, Côtes and Trévaresse, and the Upper Valley of the Arc. 355,000 people live here in this large region which covers 1,300 km2 and is also a major economic, cultural and university centre in France.
Le Cours Mirabeau:
A stroll along the city’s wide, tree-lined main avenue is an essential part of any trip. It’s bordered by stylish 17th-century houses and dotted with old fountains, while smart boutiques and inviting cafés tempt you to pause awhile.
Set in the old Priory of the Knights of Malta, the Granet Museum displays around 600 paintings, sculptures and archaeological pieces. One room is devoted to local boy Paul Cézanne, with nine of his oil paintings.
Atelier Cezanne (Cezanne Studio):
This museum, on the northern edge of Aix, preserves the studio of Paul Cézanne as it was when he died. It’s a large country studio where the artist worked every day during his last four years of life.
Musée du Vieil Aix:
In the setting of a beautiful 17th-century aristocratic home, the Museum of Old Aix brings to life the city’s history and traditions, with furniture, costumes, paintings, china and more.
Le Pavillon de Vendôme:
Surrounded by an attractive French-style garden, the Vendôme Pavilion is a perfectly preserved 18th-century Aix mansion that regularly features temporary exhibitions of modern works.