Aix-en-Provence: walk in the capital of Provence!
An enjoyable walk in Aix-en-Provence
Bathed in the lights of its special climate, Aix-en-Provence is a city of refined elegance on show in its constantly bustling streets and squares.
Aix-en-Provence is a vibrant town, buzzing with university students who fill the local cafés and restaurants. The city is adorned with majestic fountains, streets lined with plane trees.
It is a canvas of colourful festivals, festivities and traditions, Provencal markets, delicious sun-filled delicacies, walks & cycling rides in the countryside of "Sainte Victoire" mountain and the Luberon.
Things to do in Aix-en-Provence
Take a stroll beneath the gigantic pane trees of Cours Mirabeau, stopping along the way at one of the many cafés, all lodging in 17th to 18th century mansions. The most famous café is "Les 2 garçons”, with a reputation of serving intellectuals and artists (like Cezanne!)
The old Aix wanders north from Cours Mirabeau, where there are fountained squares and a continuous architectural backdrop of treats from the 16th and 17th centuries. Not to be missed : the Madeleine church with the interior decorated with paintings by Rubens, the town hall and its clock tower alongside, and finally the Saint Sauveur Cathedral full of medieval art
Located south of Cours Mirabeau, the “Quartier Mazarin” was built in the 17th century. It hosts the beautiful “Place des Quatre dauphins” square, the famous Granet museum among beautiful private mansion houses.
The Calisson : Aix en Provence specialty
This marzipan-like confectionery made from sweet almonds and preserved fruits is a great & famous gourmet speciality of Aix en Provence. The most famous producer is Pastries Béchard on the Cours Mirabeau.
Hovering majestically over the town of Aix-en-Provence, the Sainte-Victoire mountain bares its razor-sharp cliffs that plunge dramatically to the south, while its slopes descend gradually to the north. The road from Aix-en-Provence to the foot of the Mountain at Le Tholonet village is worth it.
Many paths lead to the summit, from where the view is spectacular. The impressionist artist Paul Cezanne, a native of Aix-en-Provence, was so obsessed by the Sainte-Victoire that he painted and repainted it hundreds of times over, trying to understand its every shade and contour.
Sainte-Victoire mountain, perfect for a hike close to Aix
AIX EN PROVENCE: on Cezanne's footsteps
Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence. He was raised there, studied there, lived there (and other places), and eventually died there. He was one of the many famous clients of the Deux Garcons café on the Cour Mirabeau. One of his favourite subjects was Mont Sainte Victoire, to the east of Aix. The Office de Tourisme has a multi-lingual guide, Dans les Pas de Cézanne, with a walking itinerary through town to see some of the places he frequented.
You can also visit Paul Cezanne’s studio. He created his shelter there, a place of work and contemplation, from where on sunny days, he painted in "le motif". On rainy days or really cold days, Cezanne stayed in the middle of these familiar objects which became the models of his still life paintings: some pottery, bottles, vases, paper flowers or fabrics, fruits - mainly apples - as well as some skulls and the little plaster cupid. Lots of works, kept in renowned museums, such as "Grandes Baigneuses", were painted in this studio of light and silence.
"La Rotonde", the famous fountain of Aix-en-Provence
our walking and cycling tours in Aix en provence: