You don’t know where to go in Provence? Let’s take an excursion to the mountain range of les Alpilles. This is one of the most attractive areas of Provence. The hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence located on the south side of the mountain range is an extremely impressive and very unique site surrounded by strange rock formations to the West and olive tree orchards and vineyards to the East. What a contrast!
Strolling around the streets of this place will give you the opportunity to learn about the very complex history of Provence and to discover nice shops selling Provencal items, fabrics, soaps, etc. On the top of the village, where the remains of the medieval fortress can be found, the trebuchet and catapults will be fun for the youngest.
The famous attraction Carrières de Lumières takes place at the foot of the village in the most spectacular former stone quarry of the valley. This sound a light display, different every year, will provide you a very artistic and emotional experience.
The specialty of the valley is the production of olive oil. You will stop in one of the farms to taste the different blends and flavors. Another amazing experience! Olive oil is just like wine: depending on the making process and on the varieties the farmers use, the taste will be different.
All over, there are great wineries producing excellent red, white and rose wine, the famous – dry – Rose of Provence that makes our summers very special. Your personal guide will take you to one of the wineries.
For gourmets, the place is full of outstanding restaurants, Michelin starred restaurants like l’Oustau de Baumanière. A new born place in the valley is the restaurant of the Domaine de Manville. Besides the restaurant, there is a wonderful golf course, a 5 star Rural Palace as they call themselves. The view of the village of les Baux from the golf course is stunning.
Located on the north side of the mountain range, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is a very picturesque place. Van Gogh spent one year in the Asylum of Saint-Paul, after his stay in Arles, and completed many famous works like the Irises, one of the Starry nights and many views of the mountain range which was obviously an interesting subject for him. Touring this place, you will learn a lot about the famous Dutch painter who was fascinated by the bright light of Provence. On Wednesday morning, Saint-Remy has one of the loveliest outdoor markets of Provence. It is huge for such a small place and a great place to shop for sure.
On the east side of the mountain range Eygalières is much quieter than Saint-Remy and les Baux, less touristy too, but extremely beautiful and peaceful. It will be a very nice place to end the day. Here, you will really feel how locals live in a Provencal village.