Taking a private walking tour with a licensed tour guide through one of the beautiful cities of Provence is a great experience! Indeed, you take the time to feel the atmosphere, take pictures, learn anecdotes and taste a delicious croissant or a calisson on the way!
The walking tour of Aix-en-Provence takes about 2 hours walking leisurely. It is the best way to discover this beautiful city which is one of the most attractive of Provence. An important part of the historical center is for pedestrians.
Welcome to the Baroque city, also called the city of water because of the baroque architecture all over the town and the fountains all over. Of course we will not forget this it is also the city of the painter Cezanne, the place where he was born, lived worked and died. This is also the place where he immortalized the Mount Sainte-Victoire, located a few kilometers east of Aix.
Aix was the first Roman city built in Gaul in 122 B.C, after the Romans came to the area to help the Greeks of Marseille who felt threatened by the indigenous.
Aix-en-Provence is as well a renowned college town where 40,000 students from all over the world come to study law, economics, art, humanities, political science, administration, etc.
During your walking tour, you stroll around the beautiful narrow streets of the city, discovering on your way many charming squares embellished by singing fountains and the extraordinary heritage with more than 140 private mansions from the 17th and 18th century: Aix-en-Provence is the second city of France regarding the number of historical monuments.
Your tour will start north of the city, visiting on your way
- The Saint Savior Cathedral famous for its 6th century baptistery and the triptych of the Burning Bush painted by Nicolas Froment for the King Rene
- Then we get to know Cezanne on the way, while talking about his life in the city and see the places where he used to live
- You can also taste specialties at the market (food market every day and big Provencal market with flowers, crafts and clothing on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) such as tapenade, olives or Calissons, the local candy made with almonds and candied fruits.
- The town hall, the Albertas square, the Cours Mirabeau… The “little Paris” of Provence deserves its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in France!
A walking tour of Avignon is the perfect way to enjoy and feel the medieval atmosphere! Follow your private tour guide through the cobblestone streets and press the on button of your camera…
Avignon, the city of the popes: if you are looking for a medieval town to visit, Avignon is the perfect place in Provence!
You will fill your camera and your brain with wonderful pictures like:
- The “Pont d’Avignon” bridge from the 12th century famous for the song that all the children learn in school
- The amazing view from the top of the rock “Rocher des Doms“
- The main square “clock square” and its elegant town hall and stage theatre
- The nice cobblestone shopping streets
- The very famous Popes’ Palace where the popes lived in the 14th century, turning this small and modest town into the prestigious center of the world at the time. We will visit the palace inside and discover the beautiful architecture of the largest gothic building in the world and learn about the everyday life of the nine popes who lived there in splendor and luxury.
- If time allows, the main avenue “Avenue de la République” and street Joseph Vernet are the places to go if you want some shopping time. A very interesting lavender shop where you can find the essential oil of fine lavender and many other products made from this exceptional flower of Provence is an interesting stop on the way if you like that fragrance and if you like medicinal plants.
Its location on the Rhône River, the most powerful river in France, made this city a place of choice for the popes in the past and today the river is still navigable, allowing river cruises to stop in Avignon, before continuing to Arles and Camargue or going north in the direction of Chalons. The Jewish heritage is also very important in and around Avignon, as the popes welcomed the Jews when they were banished from the French kingdom and Spain. It is possible to visit the synagogue in the former Jewish quarter if you are interested.
A walking tour of Marseilles is worthwhile, as it will give you a very different taste of the city than if you tour by car.
Marseilles, founded by the Greeks of Phocée in 600 B.C, is full of treasures.
Your tour will take you to the oldest section of the city, le Panier. Walking through narrow streets, you will reach the Vieille Charité, a gorgeous Baroque building designed by the local architect Pierre Puget, to lock up beggars in the 17th century. You will walk to the majestic Cathedral la Major, that dominates the port of La Joliette. Nearby, the recently built MUCEM Museum with its concrete laces is a doubtless new gem in Marseilles. From the top of the Saint John Fortress, you can admire the numerous sailboats nestled in the Old Port, “Vieux Port“, heart of the city. You will end strolling around the 17th city hall where many charming cafés and restaurants wait for you. Why not stop by one to have a Bouillabaisse and enjoy the view on the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica.
If you love Roman monuments, this tour is for you! You will be surprised to find so many historical buildings, just walking through the streets of Arles.
Arles was a major Roman center founded in 45 B.C. This is why important buildings like an Amphitheatre, and even a Circus, were built there.
The Amphitheatre is the 20th largest Roman amphitheatre in the world. It is worth a visit inside since it is very well preserved. Converted into a fortress to resist the invaders during the Middle Ages, soon a village was built inside until the authorities finally decided to destroy the houses and restore the building as it was during the Roman time. Instead of gladiator fights, we have now very popular bullfights and « courses camarguaises » (where they don’t kill the bull at the end). Up to 500,000 visitors come every year for the “Féria de Pâques” (Easter festival), a festival where watching a bullfight and enjoying the night is a must do.
Next to the amphitheatre, is the Roman theatre, not as well preserved since it was used as a stone quarry in the Middle Ages. In addition, you can see the remains of the Roman thermal baths and go to museum « Musée de l’Arles antique », where many treasures of that time period are on display.
Van Gogh is another reason to discover Arles. The painter spent a year and a half there and completed many works under the bright light of Provence fascinated by breathtaking sceneries. In Arles, he rented the « Yellow House » to welcome his friend Paul Gauguin, he painted the « Sunflowers », and it is also the place where he painted « Self-Portrait with Bandaged Hear » after he got in a violent fight with Gauguin. All over the town, you will see reproductions of his paintings in front of the real sites, such as « The Courtyard of the Hospital » or the yellow café of « Café Terrace at Night »…
The last but not least, the Romanesque Saint Trophime Church is a gem with a remarkable facade from the 12th century, which is like an open Bible with very lively and amazing scenes.
Of course, from Arles, you can extend the trip and visit interesting sites, such as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Les-Baux-de-Provence, Avignon, Camargue… Why not enjoying a comfortable drive with your driver-guide in an A/C minivan?