Aerial view of Aix-en-Provence in Provence, France - Courtesy of Atout France


The birthplace of Paul Cézanne, Aix is a stroller’s paradise thanks to its ornate facades, carved stone fountains and lively cafés that are perfect for people-watching and leisurely coffee breaks under the plane trees. Art aficionados should not miss two very special museums: The Atelier Cézanne has preserved everything as the master artist left it; you can even see the familiar porcelain crockery found in his still-lifes. The Musée Granet, meanwhile, hosts top temporary exhibitions and has a permanent collection of works by mostly French painters, spanning the 16th-20th centuries. For a guided tour, contact the Indagare Bookings Team.

Aerial shot of Arles, Provence, France - Photo by Daniel Philippe


Once a destination associated with haystacks, sunflower fields and Vincent Van Gogh, it has become one of Provence’s most charming, exciting cities. During the ferias —a celebration of the seasonal bullfights that take place around Easter and in September—held in the spectacular Roman amphitheater, the entire city comes alive: giant pans of fresh paella, cooked outside in the streets, are served in makeshift cafés in the squares, and even the shops are transformed into bars after closing time. If you’re interested in bullfighting, be sure to have an aperitif in the retro hotel bar of Hotel Nord-Pinus, which is decorated with lots of memorabilia. There are also several museums not to be missed in Arles, including the Musée Réattu for works by Leger, Dufy and Gauguin; the Musée d’Arles et de la Provence Antique for regional history and folklore; and Museon for local fashion and rural objet. For a guided tour, contact the Indagare Bookings Team.

Bulls in farms of Arles and Camargue, Provence, France - Photo by Pascal Goboval

Arles and Camargue

Take a walking tour through Arles following the footsteps of Van Gogh, visiting the Roman Amphitheater and seeing sites painted by Gaugin and the St. Trophime Church. You can stop at a famous Provencal antiques dealer and have lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant before driving to the haunting landscapes of the Camargue and a nature preserve.

Enterior View-Atelier Cézanne , Provence, France

Atelier Cézanne

Paul Cézanne’s Lauves atelier is impeccably preserved and feels as though Cézanne might have just gone downstairs for stroll. There are all the familiar sights from his still-lifes: chairs, tables and palettes dabbed with vermillion, yellow ochre, emerald and ultramarine, plus a few overcoats hung on a peg. On the wooden shelf, you find an array of all the familiar porcelain crockery: everything from the ginger jar, blue carafe and the plaster cupid to the three skulls and Persian rug found in his still-lifes.

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Aerial View-Avignon ,Provence, France-Photo by Daniel Phillipe


This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its magnificent Gothic Palace of the Popes (you can visit more than two dozen of the rooms) and its gorgeous mansions. Contact the Indagare Bookings Team for a guided tour.

Aerial View-Cassis ,Provence, France-Photo by Michel Angot


Drive to Cassis, a lovely seaside town eighteen miles east of Marseille (and about a forty-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence). Having miraculously resisted the cutesy-cum-chic gentrification of Provençal villages, Cassis has remained a friendly, unspoiled spot with crystalline coves, pebble beaches and windswept umbrella pines. The miniature port, a curve of pink, yellow-ochre and eggshell-blue houses and wooden fishing boats once attracted the likes of artists Matisse, Dufy, Derain and Vlaminck, and later Winston Churchill, who began to paint in Cassis.

Start the visit by having a dip at the Plage du Bestouan, a pretty cove with a pebble beach, or hop aboard one of the glass-bottomed boats at the port for a tour. No snooty private beaches with lounge chairs here—just flat smooth rocks for sunbathing, and the deafening thrum of cicadas in the pines overhead. Don’t miss a stroll down to the port, where fishermen haul in their fresh catches of the day—spiny crabs, baby squid, clams, prawns and sea urchins, sold on the quay. If you’re in the mood for a longer walk, Cassis is a hiker’s paradise thanks to its dazzling white coastal limestone cliffs (locally known as les calanques). Grab a map that details trails at the Tourist Office on Quai des Moulins. Contact the Indagare Bookings Team for a guided tour.

Lounge at Caumont Centre d’Art, Provence, France - Courtesy Sophie Lloyd

Caumont Centre d’Art

Set back in the Mazarine quarter, one block from the Cours Mirabeau, this new art museum is housed in a magnificently restored 18th-century hôtel particulier and garden. The institution features seasonal exhibits devoted to both ancient and modern art. Plans for the museum include two major annual shows, plus a year-round cultural program of lectures and films. After visiting the collection, visitors can linger for lunch, tea or cocktails at the garden terrace Café Caumont (33-04-42-20-70-01)

Drink at Café de l'Art Center, Provence, FranceCourtesy of Chateau Coste

Château La Coste

Set back on a narrow winding country road, north of Aix-en-Provence, the sprawling 200-hectare Château La Coste is a not-to-be missed attraction. Part art center, sculpture garden, winery and café, it has a wealth of architectural marvels standing side by side. Buildings were conceived by the brilliant minds of Jean Nouvel, Norman Forster, Renzo Piano, Frank Gehry and Richard Rogers. The sprawling estate, including a pine forest, is dotted with sculptures by an international group of top artists. The top-quality winery offers tastings, and at the Arts Center, designed by Tadeo Ando, visitors can gear up for their art trek with market-fresh homemade dishes. At the end of your day here, don't miss a wine-tasting and platter of charcuterie and local cheeses enjoyed in this exquisite setting.

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River View-Gorges Du Verdon , Provence, France

Gorges Du Verdon

This spectacular national park forms a border between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region and the Var. It’s also known as France’s Grand Canyon thanks to its spectacular rock formations, with verdant hillsides, deep ocher gorges and waterfalls. Activities here include everything from rafting to rock-climbing. There are several lakes with beaches and picnic areas; visitors can also rent kayaks and paddle boats and explore from the water (popular with kids are paddle boats that have a water slide going down the rear of the boat). La Bastide de Moustiers is practically located within the park. The Domaine de la Baume, Hotel des Deux Rocs and Terre Blanche are also nearby (45 minutes to 1h30 minutes drive).

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Food at La Mirande Cooking Classes , Provence, France

La Mirande Cooking Classes

In the cellar of this historic hotel in Avignon, there's a charming kitchen with hanging copper pots, a wood burning stove and large communal table. This is where the property hosts cooking and pastry classes with world-renowned chefs. From spring through fall, there are special cooking classes available for children as well.

Hill View - Les Baux de Provence , Provence, France - Courtesy Christoph Radtke

Les Baux de Provence

Visitors must climb for about 10-15 minutes up steep stairs from a parking lot off of the main road to reach this medieval hilltop town. Les Carrières de Lumières, a stunning sound and light show that takes place every day in the old village’s limestone quarries.


Located about 20-30 minutes outside of Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin is your quintessential pretty Provençal hillside town. Wander the winding cobblestone lanes stopping in small boutiques before picking one of the sidewalk cafés to enjoy a cappuccino or lunch.

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Exterior View-Musée d’Arles et de la Provence Antique , Provence, France

Musée d’Arles et de la Provence Antique

For a crash course in regional folklore and ancient history, see this museum in Arles. It's located in a snazzy modern building devoted to the city’s prehistory and artifacts from the region’s classical era.

Musée Granet

Another must-stop for lovers of fine art, this museum hosts top-notch seasonal exhibits. The museum’s permanent collection comprises works by mostly French painters, spanning the 16th-20th centuries, as well as different schools of Dutch, Flemish and Italian art. The Granet also displays eight paintings by Cézanne.

Painting at Musée Réattu ,  Provence, France

Musée Réattu

This museum in Arles features a small collection of works by Léger, Dufy and Gauguin, plus paintings and drawings donated by the Picasso family to the city.

Aerial View-Museon Arlaten ,  Provence, France

Museon Arlaten

This small museum in Arles displays fashion collections from Provence and rural objects. It's a good one to combine with the city's Musée Réattu and Musée d’Arles et de la Provence Antique. The museum is currently closed for renovations but expected to reopen in 2014.

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Shop the Markets

A great way to explore the smaller villages, all in driving distance to Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, is to go during market days, where vendors sell fresh produce as well as homemade regional specialties, like olive oil, honey, lavender products and wine. Here’s a list of favorites.

  • Monday: Goult
  • Tuesday: Gordes; Vaison-La-Romaine
  • Wednesday: Arles (including antiques); Cassis; St. Rémy-de-Provence; Vence
  • Thursday: Aubagne; Roussillon
  • Friday: Bonnieux; Carpentras; Lourmarin
  • Saturday: Aix-en-Provence, Apt, L’Isle sur la Sorgue (antiques)
  • Sunday: L’Isle sur la Sorgue (antiques)
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Enterior View-Thermes Sextius , Provence, France

Thermes Sextius

A Roman Thalasso spa, whose source springs from the valley surrounding Cézanne’s beloved mountain, Mont Sainte-Victoire.

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