Aix en Provence is a town that will struggle to let go of; it is a student city which is known for its chilled out attitude and way of life. All you need to do is wander down the cobble-stoned roads for an hour, and your heart will be captured.
Mornings in Aix en Provence
After a good night’s sleep in your hotel or Provencal holiday home, your day in the South of France can’t commence without a croissant or pain au chocolat. Head into a local boulangerie to get your pick of freshly baked goods, or seek out the popular Mana Espresso where you will not only find the best coffee in town, but an array of delicious tartines, vegan cakes and English Muffins to die for.
What to do after breakfast?
This is the ideal time to get some discovering done before the sun is at its hottest.
- Wander around the town and get lost down the little side streets, discover the countless shops, bars, restaurants and little squares that all have something wonderful to offer.
Tip: If you’re not up for walking around, hop on the Mini Tram which will take you on a cultural tour of the town; the benefit of this is the multi-lingual headset that offers a commentary of your surroundings and their history.
- Head to the Cathedrale Saint Sauveur or the Cours Mirabeau for some culture, history and beauty all in one.
- Head to one of the fantastic markets at the Place des Precheurs and Place de la Madeleine
- If you’re up to it, hike up Montagne Sainte Victoire – the two hour hike is by no means easy, but is certainly rewarding.
Afternoons in Aix en Provence
There is a vast array of lunch spots in Aix en Provence, so many that you’ll feel utterly spoiled and not know where to go! The most exciting thing to do is to wander into the first restaurant that catches your eye and check out their menu; the food options in this city are fantastic, so it’s difficult to go wrong.
L’Incontournable is a fantastic restaurant if you’re looking for somewhere to relax with some delicious food. Located in a side street off of Cours Mirabeau, this restaurant offers a beautiful terrace surrounding a fountain and has great Mediterranean dishes that come highly recommended.
What to do after lunch?
After lunch, you’ll perhaps want to take it easy. The Atelier Cezanne is an ideal place to do so – Cezanne worked here from 1902 until his death in 1906 and his atelier has been left untouched. Located amongst beautiful olive trees, even people who aren’t interested in art will be touched by the beauty of the area.
As mid-afternoon looms, you may be starting to feel a little peckish – this is the ideal time to head into one of the local boulangeries for a fresh patisserie, or find a local ice cream parlor.
Tip: If you’re interested in doing something a little different, make your way to the Book In Bar which is an international café and bookstore – sit back and relax with your new book and delicious coffee.
Evenings in Aix en Provence
Dinner time in the South of France starts considerably later than in the UK, with most kitchens only opening from 7pm onwards. After a busy day of exploring, why not treat yourself? Le Saint Esteve is the ideal place for you, where you can enjoy a delicious Michelin meal overlooking the Montagne Saint Victoire. Book in advance in order to secure yourself a table on the terrace.
Tip: If you’re not looking to break the bank with your evening meal, head onto one of the main squares of the town where you’ll surely find the ideal place for your meal.
If you’re not yet ready to head to bed, make your way over to Le Vieux Tonneau for a drink amongst the locals. This fantastic bar is a popular one with people of all ages showing up for a lovely time. Most people use this bar as a starting point of their evening, but often don’t make it to their next destination. This bar will show you a good time and is the perfect end to a day in Aix en Provence!