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> The traveller’s guide

The Traveller's Guide to the Bouches-du-Rh么ne



The Five Sectors

Travel Themes

of the Bouches-du-Rhône Aix and Salon-de-Provence Sector

Culture and Heritage

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Aix-en-Provence The Countryside around Aix-en-Provence Salon-de-Provence The Countryside around Salon-de-Provence Discovery Circuits

Saint-Rémy and the Alpilles Sector

Saint-Rémy de Provence The Countryside around Saint-Rémy Discovery Circuits

Arles The Countryside around Arles Discovery Circuits

Martigues and the Côte Bleue Sector

Church Architecture

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Rural and Village Architecture

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Urban and Suburban Architecture

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Feast Days and Festivals

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Crafts and Popular Traditions

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Cultural Creativity

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P. 25 P. 26 P. 30 P. 32

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P. 8 P. 11 P. 12 P. 13 P. 14

P. 18 P. 20 P. 22

Arles, the Camargue and La Crau Sector

Prehistory and Antiquity

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Martigues The Countryside around Martigues Discovery Circuits

P. 36 P. 38 P. 40

Marseille and the Calanques Sector

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Marseille The Countryside around Marseille and Aubagne Discovery Circuits

P. 44 P. 49 P. 50

Outdoor Pursuits Water

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Protected Natural Sites

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Water-centred Activities

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Golf Courses and Driving Ranges

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Hiking, Horse Riding and Cycling

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Climbing and Caving

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Children Practical Information

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General Information

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The Five Sectors

of the Bouches-du-Rh么ne




and Salon-de-Provence



and the Alpilles


the Camargue and La Crau


and the C么te Bleue




and the Calanques


and Salon-de-Provence Overview This sector, along with the Alpilles, is one of the inland regions of Provence. To the north, the Durance River and the Luberon Natural Park form a natural border. This is an area of alternating hills and plains, favourable to agriculture and urban life. Two towns have developed here: Aix-en-Provence and Salon-de Provence. Emerging from the landscape to the west and seen from many miles around is the great sentinel of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain (1,011m) - known all over the world through the paintings of CĂŠzanne. The City of Aix-en-Provence, which lies at the foot of the mountain, was once the capital of Provence and attracts many visitors.

Climate The climate is rather variable according to the area. This region in fact has several microclimates. Overall, the summers are hot, the winters sunny and mid-seasons mild and ideal of travelling. Winters are colder away from the coast in the north of the dĂŠpartement.

Access All modes of transport: Marseille-Provence Airport, Marseille Sea Port, railway lines (TGV station close to Aix in 2001), and major routes to Italy, Spain and the north of France (A7, A8). The area of Aix is ideally located from the point of view of natural environment and communications network.


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Overview and Climate

Notable Heritage In the old medieval town visit the Saint Sauveur Cathedral and its neighbourhood, the area around the city hall. The 17th and 18th

century quarter is well worth a visit for the architecture in general: the Quartier Mazarin and the area around the bishop’s palace where the music festival is held, the Pavillon de Vendôme, Place d’Albertas, the private mansions, the Cours Mirabeau and the fountains. It is extremely pleasant to wander in any part of the old town. Sculpted doors and forged doorknockers - the skilled hands that fashioned these show that there is even an art to entering! In the Middle Ages, the town was fortified against all incursions. Today it is open to excursions.

Siege of the city of Aix by the Duke d’Epernon – 16th century – Musée Granet Collection – Ville d’Aix- plate B. Terlay



The muscular body of Atlas unveils the splendours of a golden age.

Gates of openwork bars, stone pillars, discreet entrances for distinguished residents.

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known since the first century BC. In the 15th century, the university was expanded and in the 17th and 18th centuries the town became a model of architecture (Mazarin Quarter).


History Originally founded on the slopes above the plain (Entremont Settlement), the present site of Aix bears a Roman name, Aquae Sextiae. The hot water springs have been

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The summers are hot, winters cool and sunny, mid-season is mild. The area has several microclimates, some windy some more sheltered, some more humid.

Aix-en-Provence has a population of 134,222 and is built on a plain at the foot of the Puyricard Plateau and the Sainte-Victoire Mountain.

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Beautiful mansions everywhere: tall windows, stucco ceilings and pier glass mirrors.

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On the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville the old clock idly counts away the hours.

In the quiet gardens of noble pavilions. Rich reminder of an era when luxury rubbed shoulders with sensual delight.

General At


The tow and aristo n is known for it s boast of a cratic charm. The distinguished in n town, visu easy way of life. habitants Fe chic visito al town, it draws st stival rs u fine 18th . 17th century cla dents and century b ssicism an uildings a prominen d t re a multitu in the old town, w very de of han h ic h co nceals dsome tow and wher e architectu one may wander n mansions, casually in ral enviro theatrical nment rem a decor. iniscent o n f

The town hall is also a stage on which the passer-by may become a player in a carefully chosen urban scene.

Famous Figures of the Past A town is as remarkable for its people as for its architecture. Mirabeau was one of the major players in the French Revolution. Paul Cézanne founded modern art analysing the light of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain. His friend

Emile Zola lived here before becoming a novelist and taking up the cause of Dreyfus and in the 20th century Darius Milhaud followed in the footsteps of the 17th century composer André Campra (see “Route Cézanne and Promenade Zola” tours). 9

Close to Aix-en-Provence

Aix Sector Museums The Musée du Vieil Aix, the Tapestry Museum relate some of the moments of the local past. The Granet Museum has been renovated and its collections extended. Now it is opening to the public again in majestic manner in order to honour of Cézanne. The Museum of Natural History tells of the dinosaur eggs found

outside Aix. The Pavillon de Vendôme tells us love stories of the 17th century. The Atelier Paul Cézanne is enjoyed by admirers of one of the most important painters in the history of art, with souvenirs of the artist in the Maison des Lauves where he finished his canvasses. Monumental works by the painter and graphic artist Vasarely are exhibited in the Fondation on the edge of the city. Paul Cézanne’s Studio: in the footsteps of the master of Aix whose nature it was to recreate.

Events The International Festival of Lyric Arts has brought notoriety to the town both within France and abroad. The operas of Mozart, baroque music and bel canto attract music lovers

Fitness Aix is a spa town with water cures available at the Sextius baths. The spa, in the old town centre, still offers thermal cures in the waters discovered by the Romans.

Local Products Calissons d’Aix, made from almond paste and crystallised fruits, have been the speciality of the town since the 17th century and should not be missed. Other pleasures of the palate include olive oil, hand-made chocolates from Puyricard (shop) (among which the fig and Provençal marc brandy flavoured “Clou

Lively markets offer all the flavours of a fertile and imaginative land.

de Cézanne”) and “pompes à l’huile” (type of brioche). The many lively and colourful markets present the products of the surrounding area.

Little calisson, how can one not succumb…?

Place de la Rotonde: a year-round Festival of water.

to the old archbishop’s palace during the month of July. Other major events include the “Danse à Aix” (Dance Festival), the Santon Fair, and numerous congresses.

The countryside of Aix-en-Provence is famous for its country houses and landscapes and is usually explored by car: The Celto-Ligurian

Tholonet or the Route Cézanne leads to the Sainte-Victoire Mountain through beautiful countryside. The 17th and 18th century houses scattered across the landscape truly represent the art of living: stone architecture, gardens and sculptures display great distinction and

settlement of Entremont, an archaeological site, is testimony to the history of the Salyens, its first inhabitants. The Route du

And Emile Zola? Who do Aix-en-Provence and Sainte-Victoire make you think of? Cézanne of course, who painted this mountain as if it were the only one in the world, but Emile Zola? A friend of Cézanne’s, he too came from Aix. His father constructed the dam not far from the famous Route Cézanne, which winds its way from Aix out to the Mountain. Emile Zola was firstly a novelist and his descriptions of the bourgeoisie of the time found fertile ground in the Aix region where he drew inspiration for his naturalist saga Les Rougon-Macquarts. Plassans is based on the town of Aix and one episode even takes place in Les Artauds, close to the château of Tholonet. Zola then left for Paris where he wrote his great novels: Germinal, La Bête Humaine, l’Assommoir, etc. Towards the end of his life, Emile Zola played a major role in defence of Dreyfus with his letter “J’Accuse” to the newspaper L’Aurore. Like Cézanne he was from Aix, like Cézanne he depicted his era, like Cézanne he took the high road…

The Sainte-Victoire Mountain: the most important monument of Aix en Provence - so present, yet seemingly so distant.

a taste for beauty. Visit La Mignarde, La Gaude and Lanfant on the Route des Pinchinats, then the Plateau de Puyricard. The sunny vineyards of Palette, which produce some fine AOC wines, are not far out of town. The Fondation Vasarely houses the painter’s monumental works in a contemporary building.

The Countryside around Aix From Aix, in every direction - the countryside and villages are waiting to be explored… To the East

The Sainte-Victoire tour (60kms) is an introduction to the Mountain: an arid area with opportunities for hiking, climbing, paragliding, kite flying, picnics, etc. Welcome and introduction to the site (children) at the Maison de SainteVictoire in SaintAntonin. Don’t miss the dinosaur site (see the Museum of Natural History, Aix) and traces of the painters Cézanne and Picasso (the Château de Vauvenargues was his last home). The woodlands, natural protected sites and open to hikers and children (closed

Château de Vauvenargues. Pablo Picasso, tu es venu finir ta vie créatrice au pied de SainteVictoire, comme Paul Cézanne !

during the summer). The summit of the Pic des Mouches is easily reached via the Col des Portes pass. One may also venture along the Wine route of the Vallée de l’Arc through Puyloubier, Rousset, Peynier and Palette.

Plaintain and permanent Provençal woodlands discovery centre for children), then cross the Trévaresse Range towards Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade (Château Lacoste wines). Continue on to the Romanesque Abbey of Silvacane and the village of La Roque d’Anthéron, which hosts an International Piano Festival in July and August. To the South and West

Take the hillside village route: Fuveau, Saint-Savournin and Mimet offer beautiful views of the Sainte-

Victoire Mountain. Gardanne is notable for its industrial activity (coal and aluminium) and its popular markets (nature workshops at the Fondation pour la Forêt, a woodland ecomuseum for children and adults). Further on, visit Bouc-Bel-Air and the 18th century Albertas gardens, Cabriès (Edgar Mélik museum in the château), Plan-de-Campagne for water sports and aquarium for children, the stone houses of Ventabren, the village of Eguilles, etc...

To the North

Via Vauvenargues, pass through the forests of Jouques, Meyrargues and Peyrolles (Lac de

The Albertas Gardens - water scenario against a backdrop of greenery.


The Countryside around


From the town

Overview and Climate Salon has a population of 37,129 and is located on the plain of La Crau. The summer heat here is

relieved by the mistral wind and the winters are sunny, sometimes windy.

Museums The military museum of the Château de l’Empéri and the Musée Grevin de Provence are of

History and notable heritage An impressive architectural group dominates the town: the Château de l’Empéri, begun in the 9th century but built mostly during 13th, 15th and 17th centuries, and the old fortified town. The citadel dominates the surrounding countryside with the pedestrianised old

town, the church of Saint-Michel and the clock tower at its feet and set a little apart, the lovely medieval church of SaintLaurent. The military area, located on the edge of town, centres on the air base and school (home of the French formation fliers).

interest to both adults and children. The Nostradamus Museum, in the house of the wise man himself, attracts lovers of esotericism and enigmatic prophecies. Catherine de Medici came here to consult him. The Musée de Salon et de la Crau records the world of traditions and the techniques of the old commercial and industrial town during the time of the soap makers. Don’t miss the exhibition of olive oil production. Yesterday a fortress, today an air base, this quiet little town attracts servicemen whose deeds are recorded in the books and arms of the museum.

Events At the Empéri Citadel: festival projectors replace the fire of warriors of times gone by.

Famous Figures of the Past Originally from Saint Rémy, Nostradamus made his home here. This astrologer, author of the 16th century “Centuries”, today still holds a fascination for many people. Was he a scientist, a poet or an

General At

impostor? Opinions differ. Adam de Craponne, who lived at the same period, was an ambitious engineer who designed the system of irrigation channels that rendered the area fertile.


Salon wa s The prese originally a little b n urban an ce of the air base b ourgeois town. d Ages and cosmopolitan asp rings a more ec th mark on e 19th century ha t. The Middle th ve along the is agreeable small left their Cours Gim to terrace of on and re wn. Wander fountain. one of the cafés clo lax on the se the mo ssy

The Salon Jazz Festival, held during the summer, takes place in the château courtyard.

A colourful reconstitution of local history includes the participation of the local inhabitants.

Many Excursions. Salon de Provence is located in the centre of the Bouches-duRhône. It is an ideal location from which to visit other areas: the Alpilles, Arles, the Côte Bleue and Aix-en-Provence. To the East

Take the road towards Aurons, Alleins and Vernègues: old village, Roman temple and wines at Château Bas. From Pélissanne, a village laid out in the shape of a helix, head for La Barben: feudal castle and a zoo for children. A little further away, visit Rognes for its

stone quarries, wine and truffle festivals, Lambesc for its church architecture and Saint Cannat and the automaton village for children. To the South

Head for Calissanne and La Fare (wine and olive oil), then visit the hillside village of CornillonConfoux.

To the North

Take the road to the Alpilles (see Alpilles Sector) and visit Lamanon: cave dwellings, “Grottes de Calès” and remarkable three hundredyear-old plane tree. To the West

The plain of La Crau is nearby (see Arles, the Camargue and La Crau Sector).

The plain of La Crau is nearby (see Arles, the Camargue and La Crau Sector).

Michel de Nostredame, alias Nostradamus What an astonishing man Michel de Nostredame was. Known as Nostradamus by the students at the faculty of medicine of Montpellier, he was not only an astrologer but firstly a scientist who studied at this prestigious university during the 16th century and frequented the great humanist François Rabelais, who was also a Hellenic scholar and a doctor. He made his name as a scientist through his methods of combating the plague and his treaty on the preservation of jams. Did he not decipher the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphics before Champollion? He was also a poet and astrologer. And it is in fact his work of prediction in verse, “Centuries”, for which he is remembered nowadays. Is predicting the future not the dream of every scientist today? Nostradamus would surely have enjoyed life today. He would have been interested in astronomy, meteorology, and perhaps even the preservation of jams… Maison de Nostradamus in Salon de Provence

The Terrible and Refreshing Mistral! “The Mistral drives us crazy!” With this sense of proportion that characterises the people of Provence, they love to complain about the excesses of the terrible north wind. Of course cold winds rarely have a good reputation anywhere, but this wind that is so dreaded that the farms are built with their backs to it, brings nothing but good. First of all, it guarantees good weather because when it gets up, the clouds are swept from the sky so that at the end of a day of Mistral the olive trees in the countryside and the church facades in the towns are resplendent - bathed in the clear light so loved by Van Gogh. The wind also chases away pollution, fumes, and disease. When it blows, there are no insects left on the plants and no mosquitoes on the beaches! Lastly, the mistral constitutes a game. Will it blow for 3, 6 or 9 days? The mistral is the soul of this country, but it is true that it drives us crazy!

Château de la Barben: in the heart of the garrigue, the art of topiary persuades roguish plants to see sense in formal gardens.


Aix and Salon-de-Provence Sector

Discovery Circuits

sible to go back to Aix through Beaurecueil and Le Tholonet, or return on the higher road through Saint-Savournin and Mimet: villages and lovely view. Return to Aix via Bouc-BelAir and the Albertas Gardens. 3 North Sainte-Victoire:

Mountain and Forest (day trip) Take the road to Vauvenargues via the Bimont dam, built by Emile Zola’s father. From Vauvenargues (village and Picasso’s château), climb to the Croix de Provence. At the village exit, take the road to Jouques: La Sinne natural site, excursion. Go through the Col du Sambuc pass and head towards Jouques: old village, Vignelaure wines and Pigoudet Château nearby. Next, take direction Peyrolles: Plantain Lake, Woodland Discovery Centre. Head for Meyrargues with its château-hotel and Roman aqueduct then just before you reach Aix, Les Pinchinats and its remarkable 17th century mansions. 1 The Sainte-Victoire Tour:

Complete tour - allow at least one day. Each ascent requires a half-day except the Pic des Mouches (2-3 hours return trip). The Sainte-Victoire tour can be done in either direction. It is usually started from the Route Cézanne which leads to Le Tholonet. This beautiful route goes from Aix to the mountain via Cézanne’s Château Noir. In Le Tholonet: château, beautiful Plane tree avenue, and Roman dam (excursion on foot). Now head for Saint-Antonin via Roques Hautes (nature reserve, arboretum). Departure point from Le Bouquet for the climb to the Croix de Provence via the red trail. In Saint-Antonin: panoramic view, Maison de Sainte Victoire, departure point for excursions. Now drive along the south face of the mountain towards Puyloubier. Excursions to the hermitage from Saint-Ser. From the village, head for Pourrières then take the road

to Rians through the oak-forest. Turn left to Vauvenargues before you reach Rians. On the way there: woodlands, natural site, ascent to the Pic des Mouches from the Col des Portes pass (2-3 hours return trip, panoramic view). In Vauvenargues visit the village, Picasso’s château, or climb to the Croix de Provence via the hiking trail. Return to Aix via the Bimont dam (follow the blue way-markers for a tour of the dams) and Bibemus (Cézanne’s cottage, panoramic views). 2 South Sainte-Victoire: hills and hillside villages

(day trip) Start the Sainte-Victoire tour and after Saint-Antonin turn right towards Rousset then head for Puyloubier and Trets through the hills of the Arc Valley. Next, take the road to Peynier and go to Fuveau via Les Michels: lovely views of the Sainte-Victoire. From here, it is pos-

and winery. Next visit La Barben on the way to Pélissanne. In La Barben, visit the medieval château and the zoo (picnic) then return to Salon. (For children). 6

Towards the Alpilles and La Crau:

(1/2 day trip) Following the signs to Eyguières, head for the Alpilles. The road crosses the Boisgelin and Craponne canals. Suggested visit en route: Lamanon for its cave dwellings (Calès) and remarkable three-hundred-year old plane tree. Eyguières: old village, museum and fountains. Now head for Mouriès via the hillside village of Aureille. In Mouriès: visit the village and sample the Valley of Les Baux olive oil. Then visit the steppe region of Saint Martin de Crau: ecomuseum in la Crau and Peau de Meau Nature Reserve. Return to Salon.

4 La Trévaresse : Hills and Romanesque Abbey (day trip)

This excursion can be started from either Salon or Aix. From Aix, take the road to Rognes via the Puyricard Plateau. Alternative route via La Cride and Château la Coste. In Rognes: old village in local stone, churches (baroque reredos), wine and truffle fairs. From Rognes head for La Roque d’Anthéron and visit the beautiful Silvacane Abbey by the Durance River (Romanesque Cistercian). In La Roque d’Anthéron: International Piano Festival in the grounds of the Château de Florans, the village and museum. Next, take the steep winding road to Lambesc. Stop off on the way to visit the Romanesque Chapel of Saint Anne and the cave dwellings. In Lambesc visit the village and the church and return to Aix either through the vineyards of Rognes or via the little Route d’Eguilles. 5 From Temple to Zoo: (day trip)

From Salon, take the road towards Aurons and head for Vernègues: old village. Make for the ancient temple of Château Bas: temple


Saint-Rémy and the Alpilles Overview Along with the Aix and Salon area, this is the second inland region, located in the north-west of the Bouches-du-Rhône, to the south of Avignon and the Durance River and to the East of the Rhône. The countryside is made up of small mountains and valleys. The Alpilles mountain range crosses it from east to west. This is traditional hinterland, the home of regionalist writers Alphonse Daudet and Frédéric Mistral. The little town of Saint-Rémy welcomed the artist Vincent Van Gogh who realised his greatest paintings here (sunflowers and cypress trees). The villages thrive on agriculture.

Climate Hot in summer and sunny in winter. The north wind blows from time to time, cool in summer, cold in winter, mild in mid season (mistral).

Access Good access by road from the Rhône Valley, Italy or Spain. TGV station in Avignon, Nîmes-Arles-Camargue airport nearby.



Why are the olives split here?

Overview and climate Built on an irrigated plain at the foot of the Alpilles mountain range, Saint-Rémy has a population of 9,806. The summers are hot and the winters sunny. The irrigated cultivated land to the north

brings the shade and humidity the people of Provence love so much. The dry climate of the Mediterranean is typical almost throughout the Alpilles.

History and Notable Heritage The original site of the town was the Greco-Roman “Glanum”, of which there are some remarkable remains: triumphal arch, mausoleum, and excavations. The modern town is a group of stone houses built from the Middle Ages to the present day. The 16th and 17th century urban residential area is particularly interesting.

Outside the town, the monastery of SaintPaul de Mausole is worth a visit: it was in this Romanesque building, reshaped up until the 18th century, that the painter Van Gogh was incarcerated.

Two ladders are necessary to reach the highest branches of the olive trees…

Valley of Les Baux, valley of the olive, silently preparing its sunny oil.

Famous Figures of the Past Nostradamus was born in Saint-Rémy, where he lived until moving to Salon. Frédéric Mistral (see Maillane) frequented

the town. Van Gogh found all the inspiration for his creative genius in the force of the light here.

Museums At Saint-Paul de Mausole, the presence of Van Gogh with his quest and doubt can still be felt. The rural museum of the Mas de la Pyramide exhibits 3 centuries of country life and tools. The fragrances and perfumes of the Espace Muséographic and the Musée des Alpilles introduce the visitor to life in the hills (garrigue) and invite us to discover the

Mediterranean flora. The Renaissance Hôtel de Sade presents objects taken from the archaeological site at Glanum. Monumental works by the artist at the Fondation Prassinos.

Fêtes de la Transhumance: maintain the tradition so as not to lose one’s place.

Arches and columns: the Romans triumphed in “Antique” times at Glanum.

spherea rural o m t A l a r e Gen town in a populachic little

y is a attract Saint-Rém shops and houses appreciate inland o s h it w , sy pace. eople milieu at any ea ists and p tion of art here one takes life and its festivals n w Provence is close to Avigno and its ferias. This y Saint-Rém ge, as well as Arles n remains and a a and herit rkable for its Rom perfect symbol of a a m is re , re n tu w to ry architec discreet. 16th centu vence - proud and ro P d n inla

At the market: nature offers the best of its latest creations.

Local Products In an area rich in alluvial deposits and agricultural knowhow, fruits and vegetables are the basis of

the flavourful cuisine. Visit the market for fresh products and the fruit confectioneries in the town.

Events All year round, traditional feasts punctuate the life of the town: the Fête de la Transhumance gathers shepherds and

sheep, the Fête de la Charrette pays homage to the cart horse, and the Provençal Feria attracts lovers of bull-fighting ama-

teurs. All the feasts of Saint Rémy show off the gorgeous local traditional costumes. Finally Christmas, more a family occasion, unites the people around the 13 desserts. There are many lively feasts and festivals here including an organ festival in the summer.

Fitness At the gates to the town, the Alpilles offer all the space hikers and tourists could desire. It is very hot during the summer.

Of course, the Les Baux olive oil is renowned. Without entering the debate on the comparative merits of the oils of Mouriès, La Fare-les-Oliviers, Aix or Nyons in the Drôme, it is useful to confirm that the AOC first pressing virgin oil is worth its price. Less well known are the split olives (olives cassées) of the Valley of Les Baux, which are produced in the winter and destined for local consumption. But why are the olives split? Well, in mid-winter, when the right variety of olives are still green, these small bitter fruit are picked come rain or mistral. They are then split with tap of a mallet and left to soak in clean water, which is changed every day for 9 days to get rid of the bitterness. They are then soaked for another 9 days, depending on the recipe, in a tub of brine to begin the phase of impregnation. It is at this point that opinions differ. We prefer them flavoured with bay leaf and fennel and served with an aperitif. There is only one problem. Once you start eating them it’s difficult to stop.


The Countryside around Saint-Rémy A small sheltered mountain range above the plain, the Alpilles form a dry microcosm, a harbour for Mediterranean flora and fauna (birds of prey). There is a risk of fire so please be cautious. The summit is the Tour des Aupiès (493m).

château and oil mills. La Montagnette: on a little mountain stands the Saint-Michel de Frigolet Abbey, which Daudet made famous with his “Elixir du Révérend Père

To the North

Maillane: the home of Frédéric Mistral, Nobel prizewinner for literature, founder of the movement for the preservation of Provençal customs and language during the 19th century (le félibrige). Don’t miss the Museon Mistral in the writer’s house. In Graveson: Musée des Arômes et du Parfum (Museum of aromas and perfume) and museum of paintings by the Fauvist Auguste Chabaud. In Barbentane: 16th and 18th century

A glazed pot contains the secrets of savoir-faire within its rounded belly!

Gaucher” and the village of Boulbon (Romanesque chapels). In Châteaurenard, two tall towers remain of the medieval castle from which there is a mar-

vellous view of the Montagnette, the Alpilles and the Mont Ventoux. Tarascon: on the Roman road Domitia on the banks of the Rhône, across the river from Beaucaire (important market in medieval times). King René’s feudal castle is beautifully preserved. The pedestrianised old town centre makes agreeable walking (arcades, stone buildings, etc.). Famous Provençal fabric factory with museum (Souleiado). The Feast of the Tarasque at the end of June celebrates ancient legends. Boat trips on the Rhône. Between Tarascon and Saint-Etiennedu-Grès: magnificent Romanesque Church of Saint-Gabriel,

Les Baux: on this promontory in the skies, prince and architect gave birth to a masterpiece in stone through the grace of art.

and its architecture dating from the Middle Ages to the 16th century. The Cathedral of Images puts on son et lumière shows in the old stone quarries. The hotellery is renowned throughout the Alpilles (gourmet cuisine and luxury accommodation) as well as the Santon Museum and AOC wines. To the South of the Alpilles

The whole of the south face of the range is dotted with typically Provençal villages. In Fontvieille, Maussane and Mouriès, villages of the Valley of Les Baux, visit Alphonse Daudet’s Mill and the

The vivid colours of Provençal fabrics reflect the light and gayety of holidays.

Provençal fabric factory (Les Olivades), and fruit and vegetable market. The centre

From the heart of the Alpilles rises the Citadel of Les Baux, a fortified village remarkable for its site

In Praise of Idleness Of course, there is the rhythm of the seasons, needs and obligations, but don’t let us forget the exceptions! Take the almond tree for example. This tree, a symbol of Provence, only produces fruit every other year. Then there is the siesta, the afternoon snooze necessitated by the heat of the Mediterranean summer. Didn’t Ulysses take a nap after offering food to the gods and Athena when he had been thrown on an unknown beach by the fury of Aeolus? When all is said and done, when you count the bakers, night watchmen, children, idlers, convalescents, artists, top-level sportsmen and women, lovers, dogs, cats, swimmers, party-goers, land workers, tourists and Latin Americans, who doesn’t take an afternoon nap? So during the heat of July, when the heat wave grips the towns and the countryside, alternate, and let the cicada sing, it only has a few days to live!

Fontvieille stone, taste the olive oil from Mouriès (AOC), visit the Roman aqueduct and mill at Barbegal (see also the Musée de l’Arles antique), watch the bull running in the village bull ring, or enjoy a Provençal Christmas. By car, or bike for the fitter types, tour the Alpilles via Aureille, Eyguières (Château de Roquemartine, Castellas de la Reine Jeanne, Museum, Midnight Mass, and Aerodrome) and Le Destet: landscape of olive groves. Visit the Chapel of SaintSixte in the beautiful village of Eygalières and the medieval alchemist’s garden at the Mas de la Brune (high quality hotellery).

Fontvieille “In front of Maitre Honorat Grazini, notary with the residence of Pampérigouste To Alphonse Daudet Esquire, poet, domiciled in Paris, Gaspard Mitiflo Esquire sold a flour windmill, situated in the valley of the Rhône, in the heart of Provence. Notwithstanding such as it is and stands, states Daudet to find the aforementioned mill with suitability and being able to be used for the work of poetry” “Letters from my windmill”.

The procession of the Tarasque, dated 1788. Oil on parchment. Anonymous. Museon Arlaten Coll.


Saint-Rémy and the Alpilles

Discovery Circuits

the site of Notre-Dame-de-Beauregard from where there are lovely views. Head for Eygalières as in circuit 1 then return to SaintRémy. 3 Towards the Montagnette.

(Daudet’s imaginary character). The town of Beaucaire, on the other side of the river is worth a detour. Take a boat trip down the Rhône from Tarascon, effectuer une promenade fluviale sur le Rhône, just for the pleasure.

(1/2-day trip) Natural site of Inland Provence, the Montagnette lies to the northwest of the Alpilles, between the Rhône and the Durance. Leaving Saint-Rémy, take the road to Maillane to explore the village of Frédéric Mistral, poet, linguist and Nobel prizewinner (museum). Then go on to Graveson and visit the museum of aromas and perfume. Now head for Saint-Michel-de- Frigolet where Alphonse Daudet chose to situate his tale “l’Elixir du Révérend Père Gaucher”. The excursion continues towards Tarascon as described in circuit 4. From Tarascon, visit the village of Boulbon and its Romanesque chapels then return to Saint Rémy or visit the agricultural plain known as the Petit Crau via Barbentane and Châteaurenard. 4 Towards the Rhône. (day trip) 1

The heart of the Alpilles - from Les Baux to Eygalières. (day trip) From Saint Rémy, head to Les Baux-deProvence. The tour of the site requires at least half a day: Renaissance urban ensemble, château and citadel, museum, Cathedral of Images. On site: gourmet Provençal restaurants and wine. Bauxite, from which aluminium is made, was discovered in Les Baux in 1822. After this high altitude mineral tour purified by the mistral, go down to the Valley of Les Baux towards Maussane and either directly or via Mouriès, cross the Alpilles to Eygalières, a pretty village between the mountain and the plain. Just outside the village, visit the remarkable Chapel of Saint-Sixte and its cypress trees, and the alchemist’s garden at the Mas de la Brune (high standard hotellery). Return to Saint-Rémy.

2 Tour of the Alpilles. (day trip) From Saint-Rémy head west towards the village of Saint-Etienne-du-Grès. On the way, near Fontvieille, visit the very beautiful Romanesque church of Saint-Gabriel. Next take the road to the Valley of Les Baux. In Fontvieille: Provençal village, Alphonse Daudet’s windmill (Letters from my Windmill). Interesting short detour to the prehistoric and Roman sites of Barbegal. Continue towards Maussane and Mouriès (famous olive oil), then on to the hillside village of Aureille, then Eyguières, running along the southern face of the Alpilles. Visit the old village of Eyguières. Now head for Orgon and either go directly to Eygalières or on to Orgon via the foot of Castellas de Roquemartine, known as the Château de la Reine Jeanne. In Orgon, visit

From Saint Rémy, head towards Tarascon. The start of this circuit has a theme: Provençal fabrics: “Les Olivades” in Saint-Etienne-duGrès and“Souleiado” in Tarascon (factory and museum). In Tarascon, after a visit to the renowned “Souleiado”, visit the old town, King Rene’s castle,the Musée de Tartarin


Arles, the Camargue and La Crau Overview This is waterland - river, marshes and the sea. Located to the west of the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Arles sector lies just above the Rhône delta and the ancient alluvial plains on the edge of the Mediterranean. It is a wild land where the sea, river and lakes are intimately mingled and wild life is very present: birds, bulls, horses, sheeps, etc. The ancient town of Arles, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, is a bastion of Provençal and Camargue customs.

Climate It is warm and sunny all year round, with days of strong mistral. In the Camargue, the fauna is untamed mosquitoes are an integral part of the community and must not be underestimated (creams and repellents).

Access Easy access by motorway from the Rhône Valley, Spain and Italy, TGV station in Avignon, Nîmes-Arles-Camargue and Marseille-Provence Airports.



Was the Arlésienne Japanese?

Overview and Climate Arles has a population of 50,513 and is constructed on a plain close to the Rhône Delta.

Summers are hot, winters are sunny and cool. The mistral can blow at any time of the year.

History This grand ancient town was built on the intersection of the routes linking Rome, Spain, and northern Europe: Via Aurelia, Via Agrippa and Via Regordane. The city prospered until the 16th century when

activity slowed. In the 20th century it came alive again thanks to agriculture, tourism and culture. Dreaming statue – time stands still…

At Saint Trophime, Roman art believes in the virtues of hidden cloisters - Christian version of more Latin and more distant patios.

Notable Heritage The ancient and Roman town is on

the UNESCO World Heritage list for its outstanding interest: amphitheatre, classical theatre, underground galThe Roman amphitheatre we call “arena”, meaning sand and which is common to all Mediterranean shores

Portrait of a young Arlésienne – Alexandre Hesse (1806-1879) Museon Arlaten Coll.

Under the theatre of Ancient Rome appear the remains of gentle Greek civilisation.

lery (forum), SaintTrophime cloisters and doorway. There are Roman remains all over the town. Two outstanding examples of church architecture are the Christian necropolis, Les Alyscamps, painted by Gauguin, and the Romanesque

church and cloisters of Saint-Trophime. The town centre is rich in Renaissance civil architecture, examples of which are the many mansions.


sphere neral Atmo aissance, secret yet

en n ian and R distinctio wn, Christ Arles alternates to t en ci , Arles n n e, A iv ow st d fe p t ee t ye . D wild open, quie ers with simplicity shaped of ul to ld tf rubs shou archaic character h ig el d is an mnity. It cient possesses tique sole wn. This very an n a d n a to th e 6 th 1 nature d in n e a nywher eritage wander a ed by its Roman h pronounced taste a y rk a town, m , displays d festivals regularl n rchitecture century a stivity and feasts a fe life. for grand the social te a u ct n u p

The Arlésienne offers a highly sophisticated image of a tradition that is today a spectacle.

Famous Figures of the Past The regionalist writer Frédéric mistral left his mark here, as well as in SaintRémy and Maillane (see the Alpilles). The Museon Arlaten is his

ethnographic legacy, funded by the money from his Nobel Prize. Van Gogh and Gauguin both lived and worked in Arles.

Let us establish which Arlésienne we are talking about. Is it the heroine of Alphonse Daudet’s tale put to music by Bizet, who never arrives and from which we get the expression “l’Arlésienne” to refer to someone we are never able to meet? Is it Miss Arles, elected each year as a representative of the town at festivities? An inhabitant of the town referred to by poets? Or is it simply a woman who dresses in distinguished traditional costume. Whether she is Queen of a town or a neighbourhood, the Arlésienne has first and foremost a distinctly elegant bearing. Like the matador, she dresses slowly with the help of her family, slipping on skirts, carefully positioning ribbons, pins, crosses and the sophisticated head-dress to create an image and prolong a myth. There is some Japanese influence in this art of costume: coded refinement, classicism open to variation. If Van Gogh and Gauguin loved Japanese art, could it perhaps be because there are subtle affinities between Nippon and Provençal cultures? Arlésiennes by Léo Lelée


Close to Arles

Arles Museums For Rhoneside Antiquity, visit the Musée de l’Arles Antique, which possesses interesting sculptures and splendid stone sarcophaguses. For customs, the Museon Arlaten keeps alive the memory of both the true and mythical past. See also the Musée

Réattu and the town in general. Arles is a veritable open-air museum.

Sewing workshop Diorama from a painting by Antoine Raspal. Museon Arlaten

In the Musée de l’Arles Antique: amphorae destined to be used for preserving - of which the good state of preservation allows the preservation of the memory of amphorae!

The famous Langlois Bridge painted by Van Gogh.

Events A festive city, Arles knows a lot about presentation and welcome: the elec-

Costumes keep customs alive.

Van Gogh The Provençal Dutchman

tion of Miss Arles and the Costume Festival (fabrics, traditional costumes, haute couture, etc.). Bull festivals: (bull running, corridas, ferias,

Ranchers’ Festival or Mediterranean games in full coded force). Festival of Photography (National School), Dance Festival and International Santon Festival. The publishers Actes Sud and Harmonia Mundi daily inject life into the town.

On the sand of the arena, encounters of cultures from Spain and Camargue.

Vincent Van Gogh was a mystic. Having lived among the Dutch miners, he left for Paris before subsequently setting up home in Arles in Provence where his search for God and the ideal became confused with his artistic quest. His companion Gauguin, having painted Les Alyscamps,

Why not take a boat trip on the Rhône? The river flows through the town itself. Van Gogh’s bridge, on the road to Port Saint-Louis, is accessible by car. It is one of the painter’s most well known subjects. See also the Espace Van Gogh in Arles. A short distance away, the Abbey of

Montmajour rises above the marshland drained by the monks. The 11th century monastery is testimony to the monastic grandeur of the Middle Ages. Visit the hermitage, the cloisters and the chapel - bathe in the magic of the setting. Arles is the gate to the vast Camargue (see the Camargue).

Local Products Rice, bull meat, saucisson and salt are the products of this

wilderness of the Rhône Delta. Espace Van Gogh.

Miss Arles may be elected democratically each year, but the Rhône is a savage king with natural rights.

left for distant lands. The two artists were completely taken up with their lives and their art. Only Cézanne, native of the town, stayed in Aix. What remains of Van Gogh in Arles and Saint Rémy where he painted most of his masterpieces? His paintings, which are today worth astronomical sums, travel the world from one collector to another, now part of the heritage of mankind. Vincent Van Gogh was a link between Provence and the rest of the world.

The Abbey of Montmajour: order and rule allied to the golden section and the compass have raised these abbeys of great dimension - islands of stone and prayer towering above a scene from everyday life.


The Countryside around Arles The Camargue is a unique land, a wilderness where birds (Etang de Vaccarès), bulls and horses cohabit (feast days and riding, ranchers and ranches). Rice is also cultivated here (AOC). It is an important stop-off point in Europe for migrating birds (December wintering) and there are many parks and reserves. In this imposing space there are a host of museums and initiation centres to welcome

visitors, adults and children alike. Bull festivities punctuate the seasons. The Camargue National Reserve of the Etang de Vaccarès proposes exhibitions and discovery trails at la Capelière . The Camargue Natural Regional Park,as well as its mission to protect the environment, possesses an information and exhibition centre at Ginès. The Musée Camarguais can be

Camargue farmhouses, testimony to the wish of man to dwell in the heart of the wilderness.

The Camargue A land where the bull reigns supreme The men who raise them under the sun of the Camargue and the Crau revere Bulls

and the Camargue horses reared to drive the herds. Pure breed bulls are the reason for the abundance of white farms and ranches in the Rhône Delta. The bull meat has an AOC label. And the Corrida? It belongs to another ancient Mediterranean tradition. In the villages other bull games are popular: Camargue races, bull running or “cocarde” racing where the competitor, on foot, has to lift pom-poms and ribbons from the horns of the bulls, which are often to be seen leaping the barriers to chase after the brave, white-garbed competitor. There are also “abrivados”, when bulls are driven through the villages during the annual fetes by ranchers on horseback, and “ferrades” where young bulls are branded with a red iron. If there is an element of the Far West in all this, there is also antiquity: these games have been played since the pre-Christian Greek era. It is a fact that the Greeks of Phocea founded Marseille 2,600 years ago so were in the area several centuries before the Romans. The Camargue is a primitive and ancient land where the gods are closer to nature than to man.

visited at the Mas du Pont de Rousty: history and discovery trail on a traditional farm.

Flamingos: princely couple – not camera-shy - preparing for take-off.

See also the château d’Avignon (grand 19th century property of an enlightened bourgeois). The Domaine de la Palissade, the property of the coastal and lakeside conser-

vancy, puts on guided tours of the flora and fauna for groups or individuals. See also exhibitions on the natural environment. The Pont-de-Gau bird sanctuary is a health centre for birds: see also on-site exhibitions and wildlife trails. The Association la Sigoulette offers educational activities – discovery and understanding of the area. This ‘house of nature’ accommodates children, teenagers and adults full board.

To the east of the Rhône the Marais du Vigueirat, is placed under the watchful eye of the coastal and lakeside conservancy: observation of the environment (sansouire salt steppe) and theme circuits for children. The Saintes-Maries de la mer along with Salin de Giraud, lies at the gates to the Camargue. This is the Camargue of long beaches, boat trips or kayaking on the Petit Rhône and the canals. Don’t miss the 12th

The Camargue horse lives in the wild in the Rhône Delta. Its temperament and ability to adapt to the environment make it ideal for bull ranching.

century fortified church and the gypsy pilgrimage in May. There is access to the sea wall to the east of Salin de Giraud, Visit the salt marshes and dunes at the salt works. Not far from there,

Port-St-Louis-duRhône has a fortified tower and long deserted sandy beaches. Boat trips out to sea.

is supplied to stud farms all over France. Irrigation: the canal system designed by Adam de Craponne during the 16th century is a network of

waterways which has allowed the development of local agriculture (canal de Craponne, canal de Boisgelin) and a whole network between Salon and Arles ; see also the museum of Salon and of la Crau.

La Crau A second remarkable feature of the Arles sector is la Crau , arid steppe land rich in fauna and flora (sandgrouse). In this dry area unique in France, prairie land has been created by a system of irrigation canals. Discover the steppe as an ecosystem: see also the Musée de Salon and of la Crau, and the ecomuseum at Saint-Martin de Crau ; Sheep farming: The Merle sheep

farming training centre, which promotes the Arles Merino breed ; hay cultivation: the Crau hay won the first AOC for a forage plant and

The Merino sheep is at home in the arid Crau steppe and takes its summer holidays in the Alps.

The wild heart of Camargue


Arles, the Camargue and the Crau 3 Discreet Camargue.

Discovery Circuits

(day trip) Take the road to Port Saint-Louis, stopping off on the way to visit Van Gogh’s bridge - le Pont de Langlois... Following the path of the Roman canal from Arles to Fos-sur-Mer, turn left at Mas Thibert towards the Vigueirat marshes. Here you can see sansouires, areas colonised by vegetation adapted to salt water. Bird watching plus waterways. Visit the tower of Port-St-Louis-du-Rhône, then cross over to Salins de Giraud on the Barcarin ferry and explore the salt marshes and beaches. From the Domaine de la Palissade, guided tours of the countryside and view over the salt works. Return to Arles through the rice fields on the D36 (Rice museum). 4 La Crau via the Alpilles.

1 The Camargue around Les SaintesMaries-de-la-Mer. (day trip)

2 Parks and Ranches of the Camargue. (1/2- to 1-day trip)

From Arles, head for Les Saintes-Maries via the Château d’Avignon, an extraordinarily beautiful residence built by a grand bourgeois at the end of the 19th century. Next stop, explore the bird sanctuary at Pont-de-Gau: introduction trails. Lastly, visit the gypsy pilgrimage site of Les Saintes-Maries: romanesque fortified church, windsurfing base and beaches, boat trips out to sea and along the Rhône.For an indepth study of the environment, take the sea wall out to the lighthouses on foot or by bicycle for a better understanding of the delta’s complex network of waterways. (Allow a whole day for this 20km hike/ride.)

From Arles, take the road towards Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer to the Mas du Pont de Rousty where you can visit the Musée Camarguais. Exhibitions are completed by a discovery trail. Next take the road to Domaine de Méjanes to explore the world of ranches, bulls and horses: little train, horse riding, etc. Now border the Vaccarès Lake until you reach the Réserve Naturelle de la Capelière: introduction to the environment trails and bird watching. At the end of the circuit return to Arles via the rice fields.

(1/2- to 1-day trip) From Arles, take the road towards Les Bauxde-Provence to the Montmajour Abbey and absorb its medieval past: cloisters, chapel, hermitage, etc., then drive along the south face of the Alpilles in the Valley of Les Baux (see Tour of the Alpilles) to Mouriès. From here, enter the landscape of La Crau, both dry and humid, and head for Saint-Martin de Crau : visit the village and above all the Crau Ecomuseum and the Peau de Meau Reserve. The visit can be extended to include Salonde-Provence. Return to Arles.



and the C么te Bleue Overview There are two sides to the character of the Martigues Sector - lakeside and seaside: the Etang de Berre occupies a large part of the region, the coast is an assortment of creeks, ports and beaches. To this physical aspect one must add the contrast between the industrial shore and the tourist shore where economic activity rubs shoulders with leisure. Lying between the two of them, Martigues assembles its whole heritage.

Climate Hot and sunny all year round with a good airing from the mistral at certain times of the year!

Access Good access by road from all directions, Marseille-Provence Airport on the edge of the lake, railway stations in Martigues, Miramas, Arles and Marseille, sea port in neighbouring Marseille.


Martigues Overview and Climate Known as the Venise provençale because it is built on the water’s edge between the sea and the lake, Martigues has a

population of 43,493. Summers are hot and it is sunny all year round. The mistral can blow in any season.

The lakeside city of Martigues, at the confluence of sea and lake.

History The occupation of one of the islands was recorded as far back as the 5th century. This lakeside community saw the fishing industry develop between the Middle Ages and the 18th century but the plague of 1720 brought considerable decline. Nowadays, the local economy

General At

has been revitalised with the installation of the chemical industry on the edge of the lake and the seashore and through the opening of a port and steel works complex in Fos-sur-Mer. Tourism and culture play their role in this boost for the town and surrounding countryside.


Town of C la nal Prove ssical architecture n many face çal fishing port, M and traditioa What with ts. Enjoy a stroll a rtigues has lo very prese the lake and the se ng the canals. n its beginn t indeed. A lakesid a, water is in tury class g, Martigues’ past e town from ic Popular cu al and its present is 17th cenis in lture, feast days and dustrial. festivals.

Notable Heritage The old town centre (Provençal Baroque). on the water’s edge Bustling, picturesque is worth a detour: fishermen’s quarter, walk along the canals suspension bridge, to observe the 17th Martigues is century stone-built essentially a port. houses and appreciate the colourful Everyday Speech Mediterranean There are as many ways of facades. For speaking in the Bouches du examples of Rhône as there are areas! 17th century The language here lends itself church archito variation and local accents tecture see the are not easily confused. Thus, chapel of Notre-Dame de an inhabitant of the inland la Miséricorde Alpilles has little in common and the Church with a coastal inhabitant and of Saintethe Marseille accent is quite Madeleine different from the one in Aix,

Quiet time. A rare pleasure in a fishing port sheltered from the wind.

although there is only 30kms between the two cities! Apart from these nuances, the Provençal people use the language dramatically, irregularly, colourfully and are prone to exaggeration. Some local expressions include: “he tires me” for referring to someone annoying, “she killed me” (she bored me), a good kilo (they don’t do things by halves), “a good 15 minutes” for half an hour, “it’s death” for it’s difficult, “a monstrous mess” for a traffic jam, “diluvian rain” for heavy rain, “billions” for millions, “hard labour” for work, “it’s freezing” when it’s cold, and “it rains all the time” rather than occasionally. In any case, restrain yourself or you may be taken for a Parisian or a northerner, which roughly incorporates the rest of Europe and even further afield…

Museums Musée Ziem – archaeology and ethnology: 19th

and 20th century Provençal paintings.

Events Festive and Popular town: world culture festival in summer, Provençal jousting on the canals, many

water-centred festivals (sardine cookouts, Venetian festival).

Local Products Delicious fish and shellfish dishes: “Poutargue: a local caviar made from mullet eggs,

Coteaux d’Aix wines and“brousse du Rove” a soft white cheese.

Fitness Boat trips out to sea, sailing club, swimming etc...,

all water sports can be practised from the town centre. Cesar pontem fecit. Flavien too built a bridge, in Saint Chamas, to remind us of the architectural genius of the colonisers of Provence – La Provincia Romania.

Seaside heritage, a fish dish offers an image of diversity – to be preserved.


The Countryside around Martigues Around the Etang de Berre

A vast salt water lake connected to the sea, the Etang de Berre is surrounded by beautiful countryside (towards Istres and Saint-Chamas), archaeological remains (the Pont Flavien in Saint Chamas) and typical villages (Saint-Mitreles-Remparts, SaintChamas, Miramasle-vieux), but also industrial landscapes (petrochemicals in Berre, and la Mède). In Saint-Blaise visit the archaeological site and settlement from the Neolithic period to the 16th century. Cave dwellings in Saint-Chamas, rail-

beaches of Carry-leRouet, Sausset-les-Pins, and La Couronne. All types of water sports are practised: scuba diving in Niolon, Regional Maritime Park in Carry-le-Rouet, boat trips, fun board in Carro. Local Products fished from the Mediterranean garnishes the dinner tables: fish, shell fish, sea urchins and violets (sea squirts). Eldorado city amusement park for children between

way museum and miniature boats for children in Miramas. In Istres, there is the ancient town centre to visit, the Romanesque church, a particularly interesting museum of archaeology (amphorae) and Centre of Contemporary Art. Military Air Base since 1917. The Côte Bleue

The Côte Bleue is devoted to tourism with beaches, creeks and little ports. The most popular areas are Carro and its fun-board centre, the creeks of Ensuès la Redonne, where Blaise Cendrars wrote L’homme foudroyé, Méjean and the

Beaches and ports of the Côte Bleue: unaffected Mediterranean. Waiting for the miraculous draught of fishes! In the creeks at the end of the Marseille-Martigues line. Diving in the underwater plant community. A visit to the underwater world brings all the sensuality of a third dimension.

Ensuès-la-Redonne and Châteauneuf-lesMartigues. An amusing way to reach the Côte Bleue is to take the local coastal train from Martigues or Marseille (works of art, tunnels). Fos-su-Mer is a large industrial port on the coast (MarseilleFos, largest port in France), with guided tours of the industrial sites (steelworks of Sollac-Fos : guided tours for children). Don’t miss l’Hauture du vieux Fos ram-

parts, history, Roman port and medieval château. Between Fos and Martigues, in Portde-Bouc, the Musée Moralès houses some astonishing steel sculptures.

The Unseen Cicada According to the people here, the cicada is Provençal, and according to Jean de la Fontaine, it sings all summer long - Wrong! This astonishing creature was well known both in ancient China and among the Indians of North America. What is more, the cicada does not sing but produces the noise as a mating call by abdominal contractions. To finish, its life above ground lasts no more than two weeks after an underground life of several years! In fact, this enchanting insect which accompanies us on summer afternoons symbolises the country itself: both noisy and mysterious. Like buried truffles and underwater violets, the cicada is invisible to those who don’t know it. Just like Provence, it invites us to search...


Martigues and the Côte Bleue Sector

Discovery Circuits

site of Saint-Blaise, which was occupied from the Neolithic era.. 3 The Lakes of La Crau.

(1/2-day trip) This excursion is an alternative to the previous one, combined with circuit 4 of the Arles sector. Take the road to Fos-sur-mer and visit the old village (l’Hauture). It is also possible to visit the Sollac steelworks, leader in its field. Next visit Saint-Martin-de-Crau: tour of the Étang des Aulnes, natural site protected by the département, then Saint-Martin and the Ecomuseum of the Crau, and the Peau de Meau Nature Reserve. Return via Salon, or directly through Miramas, Miramas-le-Vieux, Istres and Saint-Mitre-les-Remparts, as in circuit 2, ending with the historical and archaeological sites.

1 The Creeks and Beaches of the Côte Bleue.

between Châteauneuf-les-Martigues and Ensuès-la Redonne.

(day trip) The Côte Bleue is the jewel of the Martigues region. Day trips are usually made by road but it is also possible to take the local Marseille-Martigues train. Head for La Couronne and visit the port of Carro where the fishing industry still thrives (tuna fishing). Then visit Sausset-les-Pins and Carry-leRouet. In these seaside villages: sea-fishing trips, swimming, scuba diving, sea urchins, etc... Visit the underwater world of the maritime park equipped with a snorkel. Head for Ensuès-la-Redonne a little port and string of creeks and Méjean, far from the beaches. Make a detour to Niolon and its port for scuba diving. For children, stop off on the way back at Eldorado City Amusement Park

(1/2-day trip) This outing starts with a visit devoted to the petrochemical industry. Either follow the coast road or take the motorway towards Marseille, then Lyon and go directly to La Fare-les-Oliviers (olive oil) and Calissanne (wine). Now take the road along the north shore of the Etang de Berre – the route offers pretty views over the large salt water lake - towards Saint-Chamas : Roman bridge (pont Flavien), village, cave dwellings. Head for the village of Miramas-le-vieux and follow the lakeside road to Istres where you can visit the Museum of underwater archaeology. Return to Martigues via Saint-Mitre-lesRemparts : tour of the archaeological

2 Tour of the Etang de Berre.


Marseille Overview The Marseille sector lies between sea and mountains to the south east of the Bouches-du-Rh么ne. This is a land of contrasts. Towns have developed between the Etoile and the Sainte Baume Mountains to the north and east and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The wide bay opens out from the jagged coastline and accounts for the maritime calling of the city and its people since the beginning. Marseille is the oldest city and the largest port in France. The coastal landscape is characterised by sheltered creeks and islands.

Climate The mild coastal climate must be distinguished from the colder inland one. Generally speaking, it can be hot and sunny at any time of the year. The mistral regularly blows here, conducive to nautical activities.

Access Easy access to the city via road, rail, sea and air. The third largest city in France, Marseille is constantly updating its infrastructures to adapt to needs encountered in large cities: TGV station in 2001, extension to the airport, improvements to the ferry service to Corsica.



What is a bette?

Overview and climate The city itself has a population of 798,430 - over a million when one includes the suburbs. Located on a plain at the mouth of the

river and surrounded by hills, the great city of Marseille looks out across the sea: fabulous year-round views over the bay and its islands. Mediterranean climate, hot and sunny most of the year but remaining moderate due to maritime influence.

The Vieux Port - its forest of masts fluttering in the wind that calls from out at sea.

History Marseille is the oldest city in France, founded by the Phoceans 600 years BC (then known as

Savon de Marseille – we like it as it comes, rich and raw, straight out of the box.

General At

Phocée) then developed by the Romans (Massilia) as a trading post. The city developed between the 15th and 19th centuries around the commercial port and industry (soap). Marseille is incontestably the great port of the Mediterranean, the gateway to Africa and the East. Its development was


A great M ed to a const iterranean port st ay ant stirrin g of the p s alive due The city is op fo migratory unded on continu ulation. ing exchange , charm an d identity which gives it its . But it is Provença also a ver l ci y Vieux Port ty where the sale of fish on , games o th f boules a represent nd caban e th ons The oldes e traditional way t city in F of life. rance, Ma all mariti rsei m islands an e, wide open to the lle is above d the sea bay, the it heritage. Take a trip self, its most impo rtant de la Corn along the ic P Port to th he, the coast road romenade e Creeks. from the Old

Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde watches over the fishermen. More important still, it signals the city from far off.

At Malmousque, if football is our religion, Zidane is its enlightened prophet.

Fresh fish tops the menus of the coast.

linked to colonisation. Today, there are plans to inject new energy into the city with the Euro-Mediterranean Project.

Comex’s underwater research and activity confirm the maritime calling of the city. The port is also a departure point for cruises.

Notable history The city has a rich past as a port testimony to every period of history

from antiquity to the present day: the ancient port, the old Port, the Military

La Joliette: from here one can leave for anywhere in the Mediterranean.

port, (fortifications at the Saint-Jean and Saint-Nicolas forts), the commercial port at La Joliette.

Fabulous views from the 19th century Palais du Pharo. The Panier Neighbourhood: On this hill in the

city centre are the remains of the ancient town (see the Musée des Docks Romains), some beautiful classical buildings (Vieille Charité and Hôtel Dieu) and popular Mediterranean habitat, an ensemble of high contrast.

One often uses the word pointu (pointed) to describe the Marseille fishing boat. In fact the initiated prefer to use the word barquette for the larger boats and bette for the smaller true fishing boat rigged with square sails, whose lateen yards make one think of some winged animal or a lobster. It is true that the 18th century boats were also known as cows or bulls at a time when machines had not yet replaced work animals. From the 12th century right up until the mid 20th, the fishermen from the Estaque or the Vallon des Auffes worked from these boats, prepared to row back when the wind dropped - which often happens here. The bay became thus the scene of coastal fishing where small fry, scorpion fish, bass, and angler fish - the vital ingredients for the famous Bouillabaisse fish soup were caught. Times were hard but good for the fishermen in the time of lateen sails, or so tell the barquettes and pointus moored on the quaysides of the ports from Les Saintes Maries to Cassis and La Ciotat.

From the Palais du Pharo: the heart of a port beats fastest at its entrance.


Marseille Important church architecture includes the Saint-Victor Basilica (Early Christian to the Middle Ages, crypts), the churches of Major (Romanesque and Byzantine) and Notre Dame de la Garde, an important pilgrimage site (commemorative plaques) and a breathtaking view over the city and the bay. The civil architecture is above all marked by 19th

century Haussman style: Saint Charles station and the Palais Longchamp. For contemporary architecture: Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse on the Boulevard Michelet expresses the ideas of the great midtwentieth century functionalist architect, the Vieux Port ensemble built by Fernand Pouillon and at St Just, the Hôtel du Département designed by William Alshop. See also the villas, follies and houses scattered along the coast: Villa Valmer, Villa Magalone on the Boulevard Michelet. Towards Malmousque: the bay has many islands and the city is proud of its spectacular Corniche promenade.

Museums La Vieille Charité is a remarkable museum complex of particular architectural interest. Collections

include: archaeology, African Australian and Amerindian arts, exhibitions and relaxation area. The Musée des Docks Romains and nearby, the History Museum at the Centre Bourse, tell the tale of the city’s ancient past (Jardin des Vestiges at the Centre Bourse). The Musée Cantini and the Musée d’Art Contemporain are devoted to presentday art. The Musée Pastré, in a natural coastal setting, houses a

beautiful collection of earthenware. Don’t miss the Musée de Beaux-Arts at the Palais Longchamp and the Château Borély, above all for their beautiful gardens, as well as the house of a collector, the Musée Grobet-Labadié.

An Archaeological Dump In the 18th century, the Marseille City Council introduced a rigorous system of quarantine for boats and crews suspected of carrying contagious diseases. Up to 500 ships a year were confined to the Islands of Frioul, where sailors suffering from fevers were treated at the Caroline hospital. The layers of refuse up to two metres thick accumulated over three centuries under the boats anchored in the port of Pomègues could be compared to a magnificent dump, each layer telling a story of life and death, on land and at sea. Crockery, cutlery, jam pots, glassware, even the famous Dutch pipes from Gouda dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Were these clay pipes so fragile as to be found by the hundred or were the pipes belonging to dying sailors broken before being thrown into the sea, giving us the expression casser sa pipe (break one’s pipe) meaning to die? Archaeologists continue the quest. At the Musée de la Vieille Charité, masterly and refined classicism in the quiet of the Ancient Greek quarter.

Famous Figures of the Past Marcel Pagnol popularised 20th century Marseille through his souvenirs of Provençal childhood and his trilogy of plays Le Verbe et La Verve locale that reveals the doublesided nature of Provençal identity – secretive and expansive. The genius of Pierre Puget is present in

the architecture of the Vieille Charité. His sculptures can be seen in the Louvre in Paris. At the end of the 19th century, Paul Cézanne and Braque were regular visitors to the fishermen’s quarter known as l’Estaque.

Supreme cuisine – all tiny fruits and vegetables.

Events Theme festivals for passionate spectators. Boat show and regattas for the many sailing buffs, the Fiesta des Suds for lovers of Latin

music, football, many theatres, the Santon Fair at Christmas, Voice and Dance Festivals in the summer…

Sport and Fitness

Sea, sail and sun - surfing the waves in the city centre.

Local products Seafood is of course very present in Mediterranean cuisine: Bouillabaisse, fish soup, grilled

All water sports can be practised from the town centre: sailing, windsurfing, speedboat racing, scuba diving, swimming, river and sea kayaking, beaches - Marseille offers a complete range of sports (children’s games and initiation).

sardines, shellfish, sea urchins, violets. Pastis, the city’s very own apéritif, is known the world over. The famous soap ‘le savon de Marseille’, contains natural and medicinal virtues. Other specialities are the navette, a biscuit flavoured with orange flower water, pied paquets, made from tripe and sheep trotters, and “Panier” chocolate bars.

Pastis: commonly known as “le jaune” - “yellow” If the Provençal coast dwellers invented Pastis rather than the wine it was surely because the apéritif is a rite here, with many followers the apéritif is considered quite sacred. There are many varieties of Pastis, so many in fact that consumers order their preferred drink by the make: a “Casa” for a Casanis, a “51” for a Ricard. Served with water according to taste, Pastis is drunk from small glasses. For a short strong drink, ask for a momie. If you are more interested in the flavour than the alcohol content and prefer a mixture – also very popular with the locals, try a “perroquet”, Pastis mixed with mint syrup, a “tomate” mixed with grenadine, or a “Mauresque” the great classic mixed with almond syrup. But be careful, if you accept a Pastis from one of the café regulars, you will be expected to buy the next round!

Panoramic view of the Port and the City of Marseille (19th century). Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry Coll.


The Countryside around Marseille

Around Marseille Outside the city itself, the bay and the creeks provide infinite space for relaxation, sport and adventure for all tastes and ages. The sea and the islands offer cruises and excursions: the Islands of Frioul, the Château d’If made famous by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo, boat trips to the Creeks of Cassis, scuba diving under the wrecks. For hikers: trails and ascent to the summit of Marseilleveyre (outstanding view) and climbing in the limestone creeks. To the west, within the confines of the commercial port, the Estaque offers a gourmet stop-off with chichis-fregis (Marseille donuts).

Château d’If and its tales: Edmond Dantès, alias the Count of Monte Cristo, lived here in the dungeon.

The “violet” Sea potatoes

En-Vau calanque: relaxation rubs shoulders with adventure.

The town centre Calanques of Morgiou and Sormiou take on a distant air in the mornings and evenings.

If you don’t already know the violet, imagine a brown potato growing 15 metres beneath the sea! This maritime potato is in fact an animal, the sea squirt, which clings to the rock and communicates with the water via a sensitive tube. If you touch it, it retracts and disguises itself as part of the rock. And there are still more surprises in store: this rock turns out to be edible for those who enjoy unusual flavours. The orange and red flesh lying inside on a bed of mother-of-pearl has a strong iodine flavour that defies description: a wild taste for lovers of the extreme! Along with the spiky sea urchin and the strangely bananashaped holothurian which cover the sea bed and are eaten by the Chinese, the violet is one of a family of underwater curiosities.

All the towns and ports around Marseille are easily accessible by car. The coast :

The fishing port of Cassis offers beaches, cafés, “Calanques”, boat trips, AOC wine, and a Museum of Art and Popular Tradition

island for children), the Regional Marine Park, sandy beaches (for children) and local fishing museum. Crest road between Cassis and la Ciotat (D141, spectacular view). The game of pétanque was invented in this Provençal port immortalised by the Lumière brothers in the earliest days of cinema. Along with Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat are the departure points for access to the Calanques via the coast. Inland :

“He who has seen Paris but not Cassis has seen nothing”

Aubagne, town of the writer Marcel Pagnol (museum and trails), is par excellence the town of clay since Roman times: pottery and santons manufactured here (crafts-persons and workshops) (see the Route de la Terre). Venue for congresses

Pic de Bertagne: the Sainte-Baume Mountain, its wind-beaten crests and magical forest.

and fairs, the town has rich local markets to entice visitors. Tour in the footsteps of Marcel Pagnol to the summit of the Garlaban Mountain (730m) and to Allauch. Gémenos, at the gates to the Sainte-Baume Mountain. SaintPons Romanesque Cistercian Abbey and woodland park (children), the Espigoulier Pass, the Pic de Bertagne (observation point). Remarkable ancient forest (children)

Pétanque from La Ciotat

From crest to crest, from Cassis to La Ciotat via the cliff-tops.

La Ciotat: fishing port, Calanques (Figuerolles and Mugel), l’Ile Verte (excursions to the Sugiton is like a maritime garden for the University of Luminy: a study centre for lovers of swimming and climbing.

Before pétanque there was the game of longue. This energetic game of boules consisted of running 3 steps before releasing the boule. Legend has it that a certain Monsieur Lenoir from La Ciotat, who suffered from rheumatism, had the idea of inventing a different game where one could remain standing on the spot, a game of dexterity played with the feet planted firmly on the ground: Pétanque was born. The game is a pretext for a chat and discussion even if it is only about measuring the space between the boule and the jack, known here as the cochonnet. However, some players take the game more seriously and then the stakes take on a dramatic dimension approaching tragedy… just before apéritif time.

Saint Pons at Gémenos: clear spring water and Cistercian Abbey in the forest park.

towards Mary Magdalene’ cave. Cuges-les-Pins and the OK Corral amusement park for children. Provençal Christmas and living crib in the hillside village of Allauch. In Château-Gombert: museum of art and popular tradition, world dance festival.


Marseille and the Calanques 3 The creeks from Cassis to La Ciotat.

Discovery Circuits

(day trip) By car, take the coastal road to Cassis (superb views). Visit the village of Cassis: port, museum, beaches, creeks and excellent wine. Then take the spectacular crest road to La Ciotat. In la Ciotat, visit the town, the port, the museum, and the creeks of Figuerolles and Mugel. Sea trip to the Ile Verte – beautiful beaches. Return via the same road or take the motorway. 4 Towards Sainte-Baume.

1 Sea Outings.

From the Vieux Port in the centre of Marseille beckon the bay and the Calanques. Allow at least half a day for each trip. The islands of Frioul face the city. Select an outing with a stop-off at the château d’If, built in the 16th century under François I: tour of the fort and evocation of the story of the Count of Monte Cristo as told by Alexandre Dumas. Now head for Frioul, a group of two islands - Pomègues and Ratonneau: on land, visit the Caroline Quarantine Hospital built long ago to treat sailors suffering from contagious diseases. Swimming and scuba diving. Set off for a trip to the Calanques from Marseille, Cassis or La Ciotat. Fabulous views of the cliffs. Combine your excursion with diving or hiking or even hiking and sunbathing on the little beaches of the creeks.

2 The Calanques on foot, from Marseille to Cassis.

The sheltered Calanques area is ideal for all types of hiking. Some of the most interesting walks include: a climb to Marseille veyre (lovely views), crossing the Calanques from Cassis to Marseille (long hike), excursions to the Grande Candelle from Luminy, ascent of mont Puget, exploring the creeks of Sormiou, Morgiou, Sugiton, and the belvedere En-Vau. Closer to Cassis, the creeks of Port-Pin and Port-Miou... Allow a whole day for hiking, swimming or climbing in each creek. (Ask for information about closure of the range during the summer).

(day trip) Take the road to Gémenos. From here, head for the parc de Saint-Pons: beautiful protected woodland, spring and Romanesque Cistercian abbey. Now take the road towards the col de l’Espigoulier from where there are gorgeous views. Go to Plan d’Aups and the Sainte-Baume forest: from the hostellerie, visit the cave of Mary Magdalene, the crest (panoramic view) and the forest (tree oils, trails, etc). Finally, come back down towards Nans les Pin and return to Marseille via Saint-Zacharie, Auriol and the motorway. 5 In the footsteps of Marcel Pagnol.

(day trip) This trip combines literature and sightseeing. First head for Aubagne to visit the old town: santon-makers, pottery, fairs and markets, organised Marcel Pagnol tours. Next make the ascent of the Garlaban Garlaban for literary souvenirs and view. Return to Marseille via the motorway or the back roads, for example via the Musée des Arts et traditions Populaires in Château-Gombert.



Themes 55

Culture and Heritage Prehistory and Antiquity Architecture Feast Days and Festivals Crafts and Popular Traditions Cultural Creativity Gastronomy


Outdoor Pursuits Water Natural Sites Water Sports

Golf Courses and Driving Ranges Hiking, Horse Riding and Cycling Climbing and Caving



Culture and Heritage Here in Provence all is culture and all is heritage: from the truffle to the 17th century retable, the fishermen’s feast to the music festival, the olive to the ancient temple. Testimony to the past and contemporary creation are today combined to present a wealth of diversity. These are the palettes and colours available to the artist-traveller! Choose your personal itinerary of places and pleasures! Prehistory and Antiquity Architecture Feast Days and Festivals Crafts and Popular Traditions Cultural Creativity Gastronomy


Prehistory and Antiquity Noves

The presence of

Caius Sextius Calvinus and the Roman legions put a brutal end to this civilisation in the 1st century BC.

St Gabriel (Ernaginum)

ARLES (Arelate) World Heritage










Prehistoric site Aqueduct


Les Baux

Grotte des fées

Lamanon Mouriès




St Estève Janson Vernègues

Le Puy Ste Réparade

Pélissanne VI


Cornillon Confoux

Entremont A







The Salyens

AIX EN PROVENCE (Aquae Sextiae) St Antonin Le Tholonet Roman dam Roquepertuse





Ancient Saltworks

St Chamas Pont Flavien Velaux

St Mitre les Remparts St Blaise Fos sur Mer (Ugium) (Fossae Marianae)

The Roman temple of Château Bas on the hillside of Vernègues. The sculpted stone vines that once capped these pillars have now been replaced by living ones that produce fine wines.


Triumphal Arch Settlement

Le Carrelet Salt Fish (ancient factory)

phal arch, a mausoleum and important remains of a GrecoRoman town. In Marseille, see the “Jardin des Vestiges” and the ancient port and in Meyrargues, the aqueduct. In Barbegal near Fontvieille, after visiting the aqueduct, see the interesting remains of an industrial mill of which a model is on display in the “Musée de l’Arles Antique”.



St REMY (Glanum)

Fontvieille Le Paradou Hypogeums

From the 6th

century BC, the Phoceans brought Greek civilisation to the site of Marseille (Massalia) - the oldest city in France. They also colonised Arles and Saint-Blaise. During the 1st century BC, Rome took control, founding Aix (Aquae Sextiae) then penetrating further into the Bouchesdu-Rhône to Arles (Arelate) and Saint-Rémy (Glanum) building great the roads Via Aurelia and Via Domitia as they went. There are still many remains from this era to be seen here: Arles is a particularly well-preserved Roman town (see Arles sector) on the UNESCO World Heritage list (amphitheatre, Roman theatre, baths, underground gallery). Glanum possesses a trium-



man in the Bouchesdu-Rhône in prehistoric times is attested in the caves such as the Grotte Cosquer which was recently discovered by a scuba diver near Marseille (beautiful cave paintings dating back to 20 to 30,000 years BC), or the Grotte de l’Escale at Saint Estève Janson where there are traces of domestic fire. From the Neolithic period, (about 7,000 years BC), the habitat

was transformed and there is still evidence of many hillside settlements: SaintBlaise in Saint-Mitreles-Remparts, SaintAntonin settlement near Aix-en-Provence, the Istres settlement and the Laure camp in Rove. In Fontvieille there are the remains of early burial grounds: hypogeums and a dolmen. The Entremont settlement in Aix-enProvence tells the story of the Salyens, a Celto-Ligurian people who were fine sculptors (very fine stone heads at the “Musée Granet”).

Beaucaire TARASCON (Ugernum) (Tarusco)

Les Pennes Mirabeau Châteauneuf les Martigues

MARTIGUES (Maritima)

Camp de Laure Le Rove

Carry le Rouet (Incarus)

MARSEILLE (Massalia) Cassis (Carsicis) Grotte Cosquer

The Salyens The Celts known as Gauls When the Romans invaded Provence, an industrious and courageous people already dwelt here. The geographer Strabon and Julius Cesar called them the Gauls, rather as we called the Inuit people Eskimos. In fact, Europe was at the time a Celtic culture, from Ireland to Turkey. In Provence lived the Salyens, a Celto-Ligurian people who were highly civilised, as we know from their fine jewellery and advanced farming implements. These people, who lived in the Entremont settlement above Aix-en-Provence were wiped out or taken as slaves by the legions of Caius Sextius Calvinus 122 years BC. Their striking faces immortalised in the stone sculptures at the Musée Granet remind us that the inhabitants of this place were neither Gauls nor pagans, but Celts.

La Ciotat (Citharista)

The Salyens, Celto-Ligurians: sculpted stone heads at the Musée Granet in Aix



Church Architecture

Barbentane Château des Puget-Barbentane



With the end of

ing those of the beautiful chapel of Saint-Etienne du Grès, the Cistercian Abbeys of Silvacane and Saint Pons, the church and cloisters of Saint-Trophîme in Arles, on the route of Saint James of Compostella and the fortified church of Les Saintes-Mariesde-la-Mer. Provençal Romanesque style became soberly integrated into the environment. The Classical and Baroque eras saw the art of building tend towards description and decoration. The sculpted retables

the Roman Empire in the 5th century, the early Christians started building as a way of proclaiming their faith: Gauguin painted The Alyscamps necropolis in Arles. All over the area, ancient crypts remain the foundations of churches, such as in Saint-Victor in Marseille or the Saint-Sauveur Baptistery in Aix-en-Provence. The Middle Ages saw St-Michel de Frigolet Noves cloisters and Boulbon Graveson Romanesque Eyragues St Andiol TARASCON arches Mollégès St REMY flourish, St Etienne du Grès St Paul de Mausole St Gabriel includEygalières Les Baux

Towards Saint-Gilles


Fontvieille Maussane Montmajour

Mallemort Ste Anne



Stes MARIES de la Mer


view over the bay and the town. In the countryside, on back roads and hillsides, chapels and oratories abound, particularly in the Alpilles area, such as the perfectly proportioned Chapel of SaintSixte in Eygalières, its cypresses standing proud beneath the sun. There are wrought iron campaniles everywhere to be seen…protecting the bells from the wind rather than the rain.

St Paul lez Durance


St Michel St Laurent

Ste Anne


Towards Le Thoronet Trets



St Sulpice

SALON l’Empéri

Peyrolles St Sépulcre Rognes Le Puy Ste Réparade

La Fare les Oliviers




St Chamas

Castellas de Roquemartine

Aureille Eyguières




Les Alyscamps St Trophime

Tour Cardinale Château de Roussan

Les Baux


St Sixte

Orgon St REMY

Château du roi René

Towards Sénanque

St Vincent



of the church in Rognes conserve rich traces of a more affected expression of faith. See also the churches of Martigues and many others in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Finally, in the 19th century, the cathedrals of Marseille aimed at gigantic proportions of somewhat exotic influence such as the Byzantine style Cathédrale de la Major or even Notre-Dame de la Garde, ideally located as a pilgrimage site (see the sailors’ commemoration plaques). From here, there is a striking

St-Jean du Puy

La Barben

Meyrargues Puyricard

Towards Aigues-Mortes Château d’Avignon




Stes MARIES de la Mer


Fos sur Mer Port de Bouc

Port St Louis

Fort St Jean

MARSEILLE Château d’If Castles and dungeons

From the Middle

Ages, the people of Provence fortified their habitat as a defence against assault: the hillside villages were thus protected from invasion, incursion and robbery. Architecture emphasised a protective element. Castles and keeps protected nobles: the Château du Roy René in Tarascon,





the Château de La Barben, and the Chatêau de l’Empéri in Salon are fine examples. Churches were also fortified: in Les Saintes-Mariesde-la Mer, Saint Andiol, Saint Victor in Marseille and the Montmajour Abbey. This typically medieval approach found an urban dimension in the shape of citadels where castle and

Fort St Nicolas St Victor

village are combined such as at Les Bauxde-Provence. From high in this eyrie, social life could be contained within the walls of the citadel at the first sign of trouble. In the 17th century, war and developing technol-

ogy changed common practice and specialised forts supplanted castles. Vauban constructed these military bases all over France. The Saint Jean and Saint Nicolas forts and the Château d’If in the bay watch over the port of Marseille.


The Major Vieille Charité


Ste Madeleine

St Pons



AUBAGNE 1st christians Roman Chapel/oratory Baroque/Classical 19th cent. buildings Fortified church

St Victor N D de la Garde


Cuges les Pins The mistral blows so hard in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer that the church had to be fortified to help it resist…


Urban and Suburban Architecture

Rural and Village Architecture

Land has been cul-

tivated in Provence since the early days. Renowned savoir faire in agriculture and breeding is preciously maintained: for breeding, see the sheep of La Crau and the bulls and horses of the Camargue, for agriculture, taste the little fruits and vegetables (melons), olive oil, and the wines of the five AOC zones. This rural civilisation can be observed in the architecture - adapted to the climate, the land and society. The villages, often built on hillsides, demonstrate the wish of the population to

live in communities. The Roman roof tiles were inherited from the old colonisers. Around the churches in the village centres, the squares and fountains serve as much as meeting places as passages: here one might play a game of boules, drink a Pastis on the café terrace, chat or listen to conversation. In the countryside around the villages, farmhouse architecture perpetuates the tradition of the Roman style villa: farmhouses of the Alpilles and La Crau, Camargue farmhouses with thatched roofs and white walls. The dovecotes, sometimes set a little apart from the houses, add a touch of nobility, while

The major towns

“Here is better than there”. Made of bricks and wood, Marseille cabanons are modest: the luxury of the natural seaside setting makes up for lack of comfort.

still further away, for example in the vineyards of Aix, the cabanon is used as a weekend cottage. The Marseille cabanons, in the surrounding countryside, are modest and ideal for short breaks. In the Calanques of Sormiou and Morgiou the cabanon is considered a luxury, in spite of the fact that it has no modern comforts.

of the Bouches-duRhône offer great architectural diversity. As well as their Roman past (see prehistory and antiquity map) and medieval foundation, they present a complete range of the most important architectural styles. To the west, the 16th century is well represented in Arles, Tarascon, Saint-Rémy, Les Baux and Salon: sumptuous stone houses, mullioned windows.

In the Rhône delta, everything is on the move: the river, the sea, the canals, the salt, the wind and the birds. Only man is invited by nature to rest for a little while in the thatched farmhouses of Camargue.

In Marseille: Vieux Port and Canebière. Comings and goings around the port – urban movement, human migration…

To the east, along with Martigues, Aix-en-Provence offers one of the most perfect faces of 17th century classical architecture with gorgeous town houses, the Pavillon de Vendome and

The Quartier Mazarin: a housing estate!

In Aix, on the Place d’Albertas. Liquid instruments, the fountains improvise melodies under the water’s fluid fingers.

above all the beautiful Quartier Mazarin. The surrounding countryside is scattered with fine homes, in Les Pinchinats and Le Tholonet. In Marseille, by contrast, as well as the houses and follies along the coast, the city offers fine 19th century civil and church architecture, built when the commercial port was at the height of activity. Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse adds a contemporary touch to the composite tableau of a great Mediterranean city along with the very beautiful 17th century classical Vieille Charité, the Hausmann boulevards and an exuberant local habitat.

As surprising as it may seem, the elegant Mazarin neighbourhood of Aixen-Provence, perfect example of classical architecture, was built as a housing estate! In 1646, a plot of land to the south of the town walls was divided into lots on which to construct new houses. It was certainly not intended as low-cost housing since the zone was destined for wealthy town dwellers wishing to show off their wealth and affirm their taste. So the neighbourhood was embellished with beautiful town houses from the Place des Quatre Dauphins from where the view of the Church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte and the Musée Granet is close to perfection. The space expresses the spirit of Aix: solemn but not weighty, refined without ostentation, and is just a few steps from the Cours Mirabeau and the medieval town centre. This harmony leads us to consider the need in architecture to reconcile order with disorder, rules with initiative, careful classicism with exuberant Baroque. Here is a lesson that the post war functional architects have yet to learn. Maybe that is why the people of Marseille have nicknamed Le Corbusier’s Cité Radieuse “la maison du fada” (the crackpot’s house).

The Docks of Marseille, constructed at the height of commercial activity, testimony to the splendours of a 26-century maritime calling.


Feast Days and Festivals sheep, such as the Transhumance festival in Saint-Rémy. Christmas celebrations are a family occasion and are raditional centred on midProvençal feast days night mass and the are very lively affairs Christmas Crib. in the Bouches du The shepherd Rhône, glorifying brings his herd moments of traditionof sheep into the al life. Fishermen’s church for the pasfeast days in trage ceremony to the sound of the choir singing carols in Provençal. Modern versions of traditional feast days, these The raseteur and the bull in a “course à la festivals light cocarde”: play is sometimes up the evenings in Provence all sumMartigues and on the mer long. Côte Bleue, when sea The International urchins are devoured Festival of Lyric Arts by the thousand; of Aix-en-Provence ranchers’ festivals in attracts opera lovers. the Camargue Arles The great masters gather in the grounds of the château of La Roque d’Anthéron for the International On the shores of the Mediterranean, black and Piano Festival. white icons are borne at the head of a Also: Jazz procession of the faithful. festival in Salon, organ festiand the Alpilles to vals in Saint-Rémy celebrate the bull and Roquevaire, the (branding, abrivados, Festival of Marseille, bull running and ferias) and cultural festivals in the Alpilles to celebrate the olive, horse drawn carts or

A few dates for your diary Festivals Music • Southern Fiesta (Fiesta des Suds), in October in Marseille


Celebrating the human body on the festival boards.

the World Culture Festivals of Château-Gombert and Martigues, the Dance Festival in Aix and the Photography and Southern Music festivals in Arles. Provence and the Bouches du Rhône is a truly land of festivities during the summer season. Celebrations continue throughout the

year: Cinema festivals in Gardanne, Aubagne, Aix and La Ciotat; music in the St Victor Abbey in Marseille and “Aix en Musique”. In Marseille every autumn the Docks neighbourhood comes alive to the rhythm of music from all over the planet with “la Fiesta des Suds”.

Provençal Christmas Is Christmas a Provençal event? Christ was certainly born on the edge of the Mediterranean and nowhere else is the occasion surrounded by so much ritual: the Christmas crib and its santons, the 13 desserts, Christmastide evenings represented in the Museon Arlaten, Nativity plays in Provençal. Midnight mass is not the least of these celebrations. Towards midnight, after a light meal, one makes one’s way to the church to await the shepherds, reputed to be deep thinkers. There then proceeds the pastrage ceremony in which a procession of bleating Merino sheep (with a strong odour of billy-goat) enter the church with the shepherd bearing the latest born lamb under his cape. Sometimes a cortege of Marseille fishermen and fishmongers joins the procession, with torches, fifes and tambourines. This primitive and charming performance, a live representation of the Nativity, is taken very seriously. Afterwards, when the Christmas bells have rung and everybody has happily and loudly sung the Minuit Chrétien, everyone goes home to begin the rather more pagan banquet. In the kitchens, traditional local family cuisine once again takes pride of place.

• Piano Nights (Nuits Pianistiques) in the Aixen-Provence area during the autumn • Music Festival (Festival de Musique de SaintVictor) in Marseille in autumn • Music in the Street (Musique dans la Rue) in Aix-en-Provence in June • Five Continents Jazz Festival (Festival de Jazz des Cinq Continents) in Marseille in July • Organ Festival (Organa) in Saint-Rémy-deProvence from July to September • International piano festival (Festival International de Piano) in La Roque d’Anthéron in July and August • Music festival (Les Suds) in Arles in July • International Music Festival (Musique à l’Empéri) in Salon-deProvence in August • International festival of song (Festival International d’Art Lyrique) in Aix-enProvence in July

Summer Floats Festival.

• International Organ Festival (Festival International d’Orgue) in Roquevaire in SeptemberOctober

Dance • Festival of Gestual Arts (Festival des Arts du Geste), les Elancées in Istres and on the Blue Coast in January and February • Dance festival (Festival Danse) in Aix-en-Provence in July-August

Miscellaneous • Music and dance festival (Festival Musique et Danse) in Les Baux-deProvence in July • Le Festival de Marseille in July • International Folk Festival (Festival International de Folklore) in Château-Gombert, Marseille in July • World dance, music and song festival (Festival Danse, Musique et Voix du Monde) in Martigues in July

Comic strips, Cinema, Photo • Comic strip festival (Les Rencontres du 9ème Art) in Aix-en-Provence in March-April • Film festival (Festival du

Film) in Aubagne in April

Marseille in February

• Documentary Film Festival (Festival du Film Documentaire, FID) in Marseille in July

• Romany pilgrimage (Pèlerinage des gitans) in Les Saintes-Maries-de-laMer in May

• International photography exhibitions (Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie) in Arles in July

• Transhumance Festival (Fête de la Transhumance) in Saint-Rémy-deProvence in June

• 1st French-speaking film festival (Festival du 1er film francophone), organized by the “Berceau du Cinema” association in La Ciotat in June • Autumn Film Festival (Festival Cinématographique d’Automne) in Gardanne in October-November • International Shorts Festival (Festival Tous Courts) in Aix-en-Provence in December

Traditional and religious celebrations • Provençal Christmas (Noël provençal) with the Shepherds coming down from the mountains in Les Baux-de-Provence and Allauch • The Shepherds’ Festival (Fête des Bergers) in Istres in December • Pancake Tuesday Festival (Fête de la Chandeleur) in

Southern Rhythms.


• Tarascon Monster Festival (Fête de la Tarasque) in Tarascon in June • Madonna of the Basket Festival (Fête de la Vierge du Panier) in Marseille in August • St. Ely Festivals (Fêtes de la Saint-Eloi), carreto ramado (literally “cart decorated with foliage”) in the Alpilles and Montagnette areas from June to August

Bullfighting and festivals (ferias) • Easter Festival in Arles, • Horse Festival in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in July • Bullfighting without the killing of the bull (courses camarguaises) May to August • Saint-Rémy Festival in August • Rice Festival in Arles in September

All the events, from day to day, on 63

Crafts and Popular Traditions Châteaurenard

The Bouches-du-

Rhône is particularly well known internationally for its fabrics. Issue of a long tradition, Provençal designs and colours today inspire the haute couture of Christian Lacroix. The workshops of Souleiado in Tarascon and Les Olivades in Saint Etienne-duGrès are constantly renewing centuriesold knowledge. The Museon Arlaten in Arles, the Souleiado Museum in Tarascon and the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions in Château-Gombert give a good overview of Provençal and Arlésienne costume of the last centuries. Santons are also renowned. Many museums have exhibitions of some of the old Christmas crib figurines, in Marseille, Arles, le Paradou, Maussane and Les Baux. The workshops of the many santon makers

Little clay santon will be rendered beautiful in the hands of the santonnier.

in Aubagne, Marseille and Aix make an interesting diversion as do the Santon fairs at Christmas time. Santons can be purchased either painted, unpainted, or clothed. Clay is also used in earthenware and other pottery (Aubagne). The soaps of Marseille and Salon brought wealth to the Bouches-duRhône during the 19th century thanks


to their still present natural goodness.


TARASCON Souleiado


Pots Earthenware Stone

Soap Santonnier

Fabrics Museum Shipbuilding

Les Olivades

St Etienne du Grès Mas-Blanc les Alpilles Les Baux Fontvieille La Roque d'Anthéron Stone of Les Baux Le Paradou Maussane Stone of Rognes SALON ARLES Museon Arlaten Rognes


Vernègues Eguilles Leather / Camargue saddlery




Stes MARIES de la Mer

Fos sur Mer Port de Bouc MARTIGUES

The Boutis is Back! Provence as we all know, is a land, or rather a port of fabrics. It is thanks to maritime fabric trading that the manufacture of fabrics and clothes is today one of the high points of the local economy: fabric printing in Tarascon at Souleiado or original ready-to-wear designs in Marseille. Jeans were from Genoa just as denim was from Nîmes. Printed calicos and cottons are the pride of a region where one rarely encounters a spinning wheel or threads! The boutis, in particular the Marseille boutis, belongs to another branch of local expertise. A combination of embroidery and stuffing requiring a special needlework technique, it is the preserve of haute couture or museums. White was considered a supreme luxury, as it cannot withstand errors of fabrication. There are some beautiful examples in the Museon Arlaten in Arles. Requiring immense patience and thus very costly, this craft has found a new lease of life and the old technique is once again being taught in the Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Château Gombert.



Mimet l’Estaque

Allauch Plan de Cuques



Craft fairs and a selection of the craftsmen who best represent traditional expertise e.g. potters, santon makers, wrought iron makers on


MARSEILLE Soap of Marseille



Lace-backed Arlésiennes in a display of togetherness.

Reinventing arts and crafts over and over again.


Cultural Creativity Frédéric Mistral founded “Le Félibrige” with Joseph Roumanille, in order to promote Provençal language and culture. In Fontvieille, Alphonse Daudet wrote his “Letters from my Windmill”, including “Mr Seguin’s Goat”, in which he brought back the style of the tales of inland Provence. In Marseille and Aubagne, Marcel Pagnol staged the Verve Locale in his trilogy for theatre.

P rovence is a land

of sunshine and welcome. Many artists have found inspiration for their works in the light here, notably between 1850 and 1950. Among the Provençal masters emerge two great figures in art: in Arles, Van Gogh introduced the beauty of the Bouches-du-Rhône to the rest of the world and Cézanne founded modern art in Aix, Gardanne and l’Estaque.

Frédéric Mistral, a nonchalant pose on Place du Forum in Arles.

The regionalist writers illustrated the secretive nature of the people of Provence. It was near Arles that St Michel de Frigolet Maillane Chabaud

Emile Zola, friend of Paul Cézanne and native of Aix, set his “Rougon-Macquart” tale in the area: he became famous thanks to his naturalist novels and his appeal for Dreyfus (J’accuse). And last but not least the prophecies of Nostradamus have intrigued readers since the 16th century. Among the composers who have set Provence to music are: Bizet (Alphonse Daudet’s Arlésienne and Gounod (Frédéric Mistral’s Mireille).

Mistral J. Roumanille

Graveson St REMY

Van Gogh Prassinos M. Mauron

Fontvieille A. Daudet

ARLES Van Gogh Gauguin Actes Sud Harmonia Mundi National School of Photography



Mistral J. d’Arbaud P.J. Toulet Bizet Gounod

Zola Mirabeau

Milhaud Campra Cézanne Vasarély

Edisud Preljocaj Company




Picasso Mélik

Stes MARIES de la Mer



Port de Bouc Ziem MARTIGUES

Gipsy music

Ensuès la Redonne Cendrars


Fernandel Music




Sculpture Cinema Photography Publishing

energise literary and musical publishing. In Aix and Marseille, the Preljocaj Company and the School of Dance participate Near life experience of Preljocaj: from the depths of the body rose a decisive desire to be free.

actively in the production of live performances. Marseille is a bubbling cultural melting pot with

an active theatre life, thriller writers, music groups ‘IAM’ and ‘Massilia Sound System’, cineasts and painters.

Paul Cézanne’s Studio, Aix-en-Provence.

Sainte-Victoire - the Blue Mountain



Contemporary Creativity is generated in the towns of the Bouches-duRhône. In Arles, Actes Sud and Harmonia Mundi

Puget - Monticelli Ecole provençale - César Dumas Izzo Carrese



Cézanne - Braque - Derain- Dufy Guédigian


Laffite Dimanche National School of Dance Opéra National Ballet of Marseille IAM Massilia Sound System



The Lumière brothers

Sainte-Victoire or La SainteVictoire? The debate remains open. Whatever the case, it is this mountain that Paul Cézanne immortalised in his paintings. Why does it draw so many painters and writers? First of all there is the light. Discouraging for the amateur photographer, it seems this place possesses a special magic perceptible only to the naked eye and which refuses to come out on film! Sainte-Victoire is apparently of white limestone but in fact it can change colour frequently during the day. On summer evenings when the cuckoo sings it is so blue that in Saint Antonin one of the trails is called the path of mauve shadows. At this time of day “La Sainte” reveals its hidden dimensions to the tardy passer-by.

International Photography meetings. Throughout the town, inspiration demonstrates passion.


Arts centres, artists’ studios, museums and cultural venues on


Gastronomy St Michel de Frigolet Elixir

The cuisine of the

small specialised areas, Côtes de Provence at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire, Coteaux d’Aix and the wines of Les Baux-de-Provence.





Crystallised fruits Chocolates

Olive oil

Cheese Cherry market

OC ro v e nc e A Fontvieille B a u x d e P s Olive oil Fruits L e Maussane Split olives

ARLES Rice AOC Bull AOC Saucisson Olive oil

Olive oil AOC Split olives AOC

St Martin de Crau La


Cra u


Aureille SALON


Lambesc e



Olive oil


Sea urchins

Pieds et paquets or Pieds Paquets?

Auriol Allauch Roquevaire

Brousse du Rove

MARTIGUES Sausset les Pins Carro Carry le Rouet Tuna/Fish


Calissons Pompe à l’huile e AOC Palett Côtes de Pr ovence AO C


Salins de Giraud

Olive oil


Berre Velaux

Mêlets Poutargue (hard roe)


Truffles Cheese Christmas liqueur wine

Olive oil

Stes MARIES de la Mer Tellines (shellfish)

Local produce

Puy Ste Réparade


a Grans u x d ’A Olive oil i Cornillon x A O C La Fare les Oliviers


Are the pieds et paquets known in Marseille as pieds paquets native of this city? Who knows? It is true that “certain northerners” (within the Bouches-du-Rhône of course) have quite rightly pointed out that there is nothing very Mediterranean about the recipe and that lamb is more a speciality of the Alps. They claim the dish must come from Sisteron where the cooking of pieds et paquets is a fine art. Whatever the case may be, indigenous or immigrant, this delicious dish was certainly adopted by the people of Marseille in the 19th century. As the name indicates, pieds et paquets are composed of two main ingredients: lambs’ trotters and stuffed lambs’ tripe parcels. Allow 1 hour for preparation and at least 6 for slow cooking. They are succulent and natural. Add a local truffle for a completely different experience!chose !


La Roque d'Anthéron


Little local vegetables for delicate gourmet cuisine looking for great lovers of taste.

Valley of Les Baux, split olives and virgin olive oil which is pressed all over the département and is one of the ingredients in the savon de Marseille, and the poutargue (hard roe) of Martigues, the caviar of Provençal. Restaurants often feature traditional local cuisine. The wines of the Bouches-du-Rhône are as varied as the département itself. From East to West, there are 5 AOC (quality label) zones: Cassis and Palette,

Noves Graveson

Bouches-du-Rhône is above all Provençal, fruit of the earth, sunshine and water. For gourmets, it starts on the Local Products markets held in every town and village of the area. When it is time to come to table sample our tapenade (olive paste) or anchoïade, then a “soupe au pistou” (basil) or the delicious “aïoli” (garlic mayonnaise). At Christmas time the meal ends with the 13 desserts, gibassiers, fougasses

or pompes à l’huile (olive oil brioches). Specialities abound. What to choose? In Marseille, try the Bouillabaisse - fit for a king - or pieds et paquets, the extraordinary violets or simply grilled sardines? In Aix, taste the “calissons” (honey and melon marzipan) and the Puyricard chocolates. In Rognes the truffle reigns supreme, in Saint-Rémy, crystallised fruits. Sea urchins in Carry le Rouet, bull meat and rice in Arles and in Les Saintes Mariesde-la-Mer, delicious tellines (shellfish) gathered on the edge of the beach. In the

Melons Fruit and vegetables Olive oil


L’Estaque Chichis Panisses

Olive oil Capers


MARSEILLE Bouillabaisse - Pieds et Paquets - Garlic Fish- Pastis - Violets - Navettes



s AOC Cassi

Olive oil

La Ciotat

Olive oil

Sumptuous bouillabaisse, essence of the Mediterranean, issue of the diversity of the underwater world.

Pressed olives, the fruit of ancient trees, render in oil a thousand times what they demand in hardship.


Gourmet food fairs and a selection of local producers who promote the excellence and true taste of olive oil, wine, Calisson almond confectionery etc.


Outdoor Pursuits From the sea to the mountains, the hillsides and canals, this land continues to astonish. Do you enjoy relaxing at the water’s edge or do you prefer sailing, hiking or more energetic sports? All points are cardinal on the compass card: the west flat and the east mountainous, the fertile north maritime south. We’ll leave the choice up to you. Water Natural sites Water sports Golf courses and Driving Ranges Hiking, horse riding and Cycling Climbing and Caving



r ve e R i Rh






Les Baux

Th e

the Baux


V alley Ca nal



St-Christopher reservoir





Langlade Canal

MARG CA U Vacc ar

ès L a k e

l na









Water from the Verdon River



rc R




Roquefavour Aqueduct

Bimont Dam Zola Dam


The Arc River

Berre Lake

The Réaltor reservoir Ma




Etang des Aulnes

oF st

de G


le Ar

Sa l in


Plantain Ca

m ro a le C



Vallon Dol


Please note: the lakes are not always accessible to swimmers because they are drinking water reservoirs. In the towns and villages, fountains were used to supply the inhabitants and cattle with water. Aix-en-Provence has preserved many examples. A spa town since its foundation by the Romans, the urban water system can be observed in every neighbourhood: Place d’Albertas, Place des Quatre Dauphins, Cours Mirabeau.


Th eT oul F ED



Stes MARIES de la Mer



channels, notably in the La Crau plain but also in the Camargue. Between the Etang de Berre and the sea, the Rove tunnel allowed the passage of barges between Marseille and the Etang de Berre until 1963. Thanks to this system of irrigation the département became a rich agricultural land. Emile Zola’s father constructed the dam which bears his name above the Roman dam in Tholonet and Franz Mayor de Montricher brought fresh water via the Roquefavour aqueduct close to Ventabren right to the Palais Longchamp in Marseille, built by H. Espérandieu, the architect of NotreDame-de-la-Garde.

T e

The song of cool natural spring water in the town fountains.


Cadarache Dam

Mallemort Dam


According to legend, Mary Magdalene went into retreat here after landing in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Since that time there has been an annual gypsy pilgrimage in Les Saintes-Maries, and thousands of Christians tread the path to the cave of Sainte Baume every year. But believers are not the only visitors to this place, where one also frequently encounters hikers. The forest shelters some remarkable trees: tall beeches from the original forest, ancient mysterious yew trees and huge holly trees. There are many delightful trails such as the sentier merveilleux, abrupt passages such as the pas de la cabre or the cliff path equipped with cables and chains to the balcon Marcel Estruch. Close to the sea, pick wild strawberries and lime-blossom or take a trip to Paradis, a grassland close to the crest, or even climb up to the glaciers where ice was made and preserved for the inhabitants of Marseille from as early as the 17th century! These astonishing constructions are embedded deep in the ground. In winter, freezing water was poured into the pools before being transported to the city by cart where it was used in great quantities in medicine and preserving.



al s Can Alpille

r e a t R h ô ne

La Sainte-Baume, Miraculous Forest

T he


Th e G

area, fresh water is a precious commodity. To compensate for the dryness of the area, the Romans dug canals and built aqueducts to supply the towns with water: aqueducts of Barbegal in Fontvielle, Meyrargues, Le Tholonet near


m all R h ô n Th e S

In the Mediterranean

Aix-en-Provence. Their successors, no less ingenious, wanted to cultivate the fertile land bordering the Durance River. In the 16th century, Adam de Craponne, and more recently the Canal de Provence and Marseille water companies irrigated the entire country with canals and streams (roubines) creating thus an efficient network of



r a ne an S ea

e Th


veaune River



The Rhône in Arles.

At the Etang des Aulnes, on summer evenings, one can distinctly hear distant music which seems to well up from a forgotten city at the bottom of the lake.


Protected Natural Sites M







r e R ive Rh




On the Côte Bleue, the Domaines du Conservatoire du Littoral permit hiking along the coast. The fauna in the marine parks of Carry and La Ciotat is protected. The natural sites of the département are perfect for family outings or cycling. Trails have way-markers.

Mugel at La Ciotat. Away from the long beaches, cool water creeks are reached via “the trail of the initiated”.

Birds of prey Flowers

Les Baux

Stes MARIES de la Mer


The Magic Herbs of Provence Their names are thyme, rosemary, savoury, sage and oregano. Fennel and basil may be added. From the beginning, homo-provençalis understood that herbs are part of an ecosystem where the flora and fauna live in close relationship to man, and in their wisdom, they used them as seasoning and remedies.While the modern pharmacist travelled to distant lands in search of new medicines, the herbs gathered by our grandmothers reached the cooking pot along with olive oil and wine and joined hare, thrush, mutton and snails nourished in the garrigue on the “pile de Cassis”*. That is the secret of the healthy Mediterranean cuisine. It remains close to nature’s own alchemy. Moreover, during the plague of the 18th century, doctors protected themselves from the disease by wearing masks filled with aromatic herbs! How many times have we avoided an accident by grabbing at their solid roots when missing a step on the cliff paths of this country? The Herbs of Provence save our lives every day, if only in preserving us from the banality of international cuisine. And they smell so good...



St Martin de Crau LA Salt steppe CRA U



ON Puy Ste Réparade


La Manueye


LA TREVARESS E Velaux Val de Vigne AIX EN PROVENCE Birds Le Petit Arbois


Ornithological Conseil Général park Property


Lambesc Rognes

Etang de Berre

Le Taulisson Forests Boars des Lambruisse Pic Mouches 1011m La Sinne

E IR TO C Maison de Ste Victoire STE VI St Antonin Dinosaurs Roques Hautes

Port de Bouc

La Capelière La Palissade


La Roque d'Anthéron

Coussoul Sandgrouses - Falcons Mérino sheep Donkeys

Natural Reserve Château d’Avignon Regional Natural Park Etang des Aulnes Domaines du Conservatoire du Littoral /Lakes

Underwater nature reserve park

e l Régional d u LU B


Domaine de la Brune Musée Camarguais



Bauxite Stone


Birds - Flamingos Bulls- Horses



GARDANNE Le Castillon







St Savournin


access is possible via the sea (shuttle service) to minimise the risk of fire.


Aupiès 493m

Me Nearly as numerous as the stones on the trail, the sheep of the Crau populate the arid steppe.





of the Bouches-duRhône are placed under the protection of a number of public institutions but their safeguard is also entrusted to the people. Please take care not to start fires or leave litter. The Camargue is of great ecological interest with the National Reserve, the coastal and lakeside conservancies, the Regional Natural Park and the Departmental Reserve among others. The entire ecosystem is protected, particularly the bird life. It is nonetheless a fairly wild area and often requires the assistance of a guide. In the Alpilles, a vast and sparsely populated area, it is possible to walk freely in the Mediterranean scrubland on condition that the birds of prey are respected and fire risk is avoided. Access to La Crau is more often than not via the intermediary of the Saint Martin Ecomuseum


Th e

The natural sites

(protected birds). In the SaintVictoire hiking is authorised almost everywhere. The site is currently in the process of classification by UNESCO In the Calanques, from Marseille to La Ciotat, there is free access except during the summer when

In the Camargue: webbed feet for deep sea diving, the rare Cormorant takes a breather on the shore before setting off to fish.

La Nègre G A R L A B A



Forests Beech

A UHolly ME

Carry le Rouet Iles du Frioul MARSEILLE AUBAGNE Pic de Bertagne Gémenos


It would not be an

exaggeration to describe the Bouches-du-Rhône as a rich mosaic of different milieus, each hiding natural treasures. The Camargue Delta ecosystem includes vegetation adapted to salt water - sansouire - and a population of wild bulls and horses. Stop-off point for migrating birds, it welcomes the flamboyant pink flamingo. La Crau is an arid steppe land, Le Coussoul, where different species of

r a ne an S ea

ND de la Garde

Marine park

Mont Puget Domaine de Morgiou

bird cohabit. It is the only place where the sandgrouse is found as well as certain farm animals such as the Merino sheep of Arles. The Alpilles is an area of scrubland, dry, sparsely populated, inhabited by birds of prey such as the Bonnelli Eagle. The Mediterranean flora develops under extreme conditions At 1000m altitude, the Sainte-Victoire Mountain is bordered to the north by a large forest populat-


La Barasse St Pons Fontblanche


Flowers Groupers Cap Canaille Ile Verte Coral

ed with wild boar. To the south, the deposit of dinosaur eggs is reputed. In the dry Calanques of Marseille, real fjords fall just at the right moment into the Mediterranean Sea where grouper and red coral can be found. In every corner of the département, children and adults alike can obtain information on the environment.

From the north of the Bouches-duRhône it is possible to reach the Luberon Natural Park in the Vaucluse, a nature reserve. To the west, the ancient forest of Sainte-Baume in the Var possesses the last beech trees in Provence. Giant holly trees are also found here.

* Pile de Cassis:sculpted and polished local stone sink. 75

Water Sports and Activities

of life and health, laps, flows and roars here in all its forms. Along the coast, the beaches mark out the littoral: vast beaches of sand in the Camargue, easily accessible sandy beaches at La Ciotat, sandy beaches and creeks on the Côte Bleue, beaches of sand, pebbles or stones in the Calanques for lovers of tranquillity in plastic shoes… One can also bathe in the towns of Marseille and Martigues or in the lake at Peyrolles. (Don’t forget

Submarine sports





Boat trips




e R i





Les Saintes-Mariesde-la-Mer, and there are fitness centres and cures in the spa towns of Camoinles-Bains and Aix-enProvence.


Niolon and Marseille. River and sea boat trips are very popular with all age groups: cruises on the Rhône, tours of the Calanques and the islands of Marseille, Cassis and La Ciotat. Seawater therapy is available on the coast in Marseille or

Th e

Water, the source

sun creams and refreshments). The ports are mostly collected in the coves and bays between the Rhône and the Calanques, where all water-centred activities are practised: sailing, fishing, speedboat racing. Scuba diving is par-

La Roque d'Anthéron



River boat trips

Peyrolles Plantain Lake


The Pyramide


River/Sea boat trips

Fos sur Mer

Stes MARIES de la Mer

MARTIGUES Port St Louis du Rhône Sea b oat t rips

ticularly developed in the waters beneath the cliffs, the marine parks or around the wrecks in the bay of Marseille, notably at

Let’s go down to the sand and pebble beaches to sacrifice ourselves to the gods of the sun and the sea.

United as the fingers on a hand, five little sailors take the helm on the deep blue sea.

Scuba Diving at Les Impériaux The seabed of the bay of Marseille is not flat. For the scuba diver at any rate it is made up of cliffs, valleys and plains. At the western point of the Ile de Riou, often known as Rat Island to dissuade potential invaders, Les Impériaux is the site of reference for divers of every level. In this kingdom of the Mediterranean, Les Impériaux are the different levels, shallow, medium and deep as the depth increases. Here, the top resembles the bottom, the grouper is protected, and the live gorgonia and red coral with which the Romans made much sought after jewellery, slowly develops in the caves. Little by little we learn how to protect the flora and fauna, how to see and respect it…because we like to come back every week.


Etang de Berre


C O T E B L E UE Sausset Carry

Les Camoins Gémenos


Sea boat trips



AUBAGNE Iles du Frioul


Water sports on

r a ne an S ea

C A L A NQ U E S Cassis LA CIOTAT Archipel de Riou

Sea boat trips

Ile Verte

Flippers on! There’s treasure hidden beneath these waters.


Golf Courses and Driving Ranges

Practical Information Golf clubs

ful opportunity to taste truly gourmet Provençal fare. Located at the heart of Bouches-du-Rhône, with the golf courses in Miramas and the Salon flying school, Pont Royal boasts a particularly outstanding course designed by Severiano Ballesteros and located within a superb estate. Close to Aixen-Provence, there are three parkland golf courses – the Set Golf is a multisports complex, the AixMarseille course is adjacent to the town and the airport and

Set like green oases

are the city centre Salette and Borely courses, set amid a rustic environment that is particularly delightful in the summer months.

ve r e R i


Allauch • Golf d’Allauch (9 trous)

Domaine de Fontvieille Route des 4 saisons BP 33 13718 Allauch cedex Tel : 04 91 07 28 22 Fax : 04 91 05 09 69


Domaine du château de l’Arc Chemin du Maurel 13710 Fuveau Tel : 04 42 29 83 43 Fax : 04 42 64 11 60

Les Baux-de-Provence • Golf des Baux de Provence (9 trous)

Domaine de Manville 13520 Les Baux de Provence Tel : 04 90 54 40 20 Fax : 04 90 54 40 93

Mallemort • Golf de Pont Royal (18 trous) Golf Pass

Domaine et golf de Pont Royal

Marseille • Golf de Marseille La Salette

Fax : 04 90 58 01 16 www. golfclubmiramas.

Mouriès • Golf club de Servanes

(18 trous) Golf Pass

(18 trous) Golf Pass servanes

Impasse des Vaudrans La Valentine 13011 Marseille Tel : 04 91 27 12 16 Fax : 04 91 27 21 33

• Golf Club Marseille Borély (9 trous) Place Emile Cartailhac 13008 Marseille Tel : 04 91 14 01 14 Fax : 04 91 14 06 46

Miramas • Golf de Miramas (18 trous)

Mas de Combe 13140 Miramas Tel : 04 90 58 56 55

Domaine de Servanes Route de Servanes 13890 Mouriès Tel : 04 90 47 59 95 Fax : 04 90 47 52 58

Salon-de-Provence • Golf club de l’école de l’air (18 trous)

C/o base aérienne 701 13661 Salon de Provence cedex Tel : 04 90 17 61 63 Fax : 04 90 17 81 51 golfdelecoledelair/

The Pass is a booklet of 3 or 5 green fees available all year and sold at a flat-rate price. It gives access to 3 or 5 of the courses selected from among the golf clubs taking part in the scheme.

Golf de l’Ecole de l’Air (18)

Miramas Golf de Miramas (18)

Set Golf(18)


Les Milles Golf d’Aix les Milles(18)

Sainte-Victoire Golf club (18)


Stes MARIES de la Mer

(18 trous) Golf Pass

13370 Mallemort Tel : 04 90 57 40 79 Fax : 04 90 57 50 19

by buying a Golf Pass Provence, you have a choice of 15 courses in the Provence Alpes Côte d’azur region, four of them within Bouches du Rhône i.e. Servanes, Pont Royal, La Salette and the Sainte Victoire Golf Club.



Fuveau • Sainte-Victoire Golf Club

How to use your Golf Pass Provence:

Mallemort Golf de Pont Royal (18)

Golf de Servanes (18)

Domaine de Riquetti 13290 Aix-en-Provence Tel : 04 42 24 20 41 Fax : 04 42 39 97 48

In search of the perfect swing in a select environment.

Golf des Baux (9)

(18 trous)

• Set Golf (9 trous) 1335, chemin de Granet 13090 Aix-en-Provence Tel : 04 42 29 63 69 Fax : 04 42 64 11 60

ST REMY Les Baux

Aix-en-Provence • Golf club Aix-Marseille


Th e R hôn

in a Mediterranean landscape, the eleven golf courses in Bouches-du-Rhône have a whole range of environments and amenities. Located on the outskirts of towns in the west of the area or close to Aix-en-Provence or Marseille, all the courses are close to airports, railway stations or the motorway network. The courses in Servanes and Les Baux provide a glimpse of the Alpilles mountain range close to Les Baux-de-Provence and Saint-Rémy. As to the hotels, they provide a wonder-

the Sainte Victoire Golf Club provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Montagne Sainte Victoire. In Marseille, in addition to the Allauch course, there

The Golf Pass also offers a selection of 10 places to stay in Bouches du Rhône that are particularly suitable for golfers.

Happiness is green…

Brochure available free of charge from the Tourist Board (Comité Départemental du Tourisme) Tel: (+33) (0) 491 13 84 40.

MARTIGUES ALLAUCH Golf d’Allauch (9)

MARSEILLE Golf-club marseille-Borely (9)

Golf de la Salette (18)



Hiking, horse riding and cycling M










t u r e l Régiona l GR6



children is available throughout the area.




The Sport and Fitness family on the back-roads of Olympic form.














Jouques AT


SE Vauvenargues



horse-riding cycling mountain biking




Etang de Berre MON TAG N























Stes MARIES de la Mer



Caution! Access to the woodlands is regulated during the summer and in high winds due to fire risk. Always make sure access is permitted before organising an outing.



Les Baux ARLES



natural space here is conducive to hiking, horse riding and cycling, as described in the guides and specialised detailed maps. For hiking, day trips are often the most appropriate. Among the most remarkable sites are the SainteVictoire Mountain, the Calanques and the Sainte-Baume, but other hills and mountains offer beautiful, lesserknown walks. For road cycling, take the smaller roads in the north of the département, where there is less traffic. Avoid the Nationale (N) and Départementale (D) roads if possible. Please take note that mountain biking is not authorised everywhere. The north of the Sainte-Victoire and the south of the Sainte-Baume are often the best places, as hikers less often frequent them. There are many horse-riding centres



Th e

The vast area of

in the Bouches-duRhône. Riding usually takes place in the countryside, in particular in the Camargue where Camargue horses are the object of lively local traditions related to cattle breeding: dressage, riding, saddles, costumes and games. Pony riding for


Carry le Rouet Iles du Frioul MARSEILLE AUBAGNE

The Calanques or the scene of sports… Fjords in Scandinavia, calanches in Corsica, the Calanques reserve the most extraordinary sensations for the visitor. In Marseille and Cassis, they offer their white limestone indentations to those seeking strong sensations. There are few woodland areas here and few springs, but the Calanques meanwhile offer spectacular views, land and sea excursions, swimming and diving. It would seem that all leisure activities have a rendezvous in this theatre of sea and rock whose wings begin in the centre of Marseille. All over this rocky stage anchor chains unwind and climbing ropes are tossed for adventurous crossings with evocative names such as voie sans retour, voie Tabarly, grande croisière, tour de l’extrême bec de Sormiou... Sometimes climbers can be seen descending from the overhangs known as roofs, sometimes they pass inside the cliff walls through galleries called chimneys, sometimes they make their way along branches above the cliffs to the sound of the lapping of the waves. For hikers, the observation points of Devenson and En-Vau offer impressive views. For bathers, the beaches offer cool clear water such as the one at Sormiou near Cosquer’s cave where the walls are covered with paintings made The Calanques of over 20,000 years ago and were recently discicadas, sunshine and cool water. covered by a diver from Cassis.



r a ne an S ea






Return of the tribe to nomadic life.


Climbing and Caving Ramblers' guides (Topoguides)

available from the Tourist Board (CDT):

graphical guides to all the sites. The Calanques, from Marseille to Cassis, represent a paradise for climbers of every level, the huge range of possibilities is impressive: training routes, intermediate routes in the Calanques of En-Vau, modern standard high level routes in Sugiton, adventure routes over the water towards Castelvieil, long mountain-type routes at La Candelle. Sainte-Victoire offers more specific routes, the slabs are

In the rocks or

under them, climbing and caving complement each other and are practised most of the year round. The Bouches-duRhône and South East France in general attract climbers from all over Europe because it is one of the most thrilling sites and its climate is favourable for climbing 12 months of the year. That is why many top-level climbers choose to live here. There are topo-

more compact and outward-facing and deciphering passages is more specific on almost faultless limestone. In the Alpilles, Mouriès and Orgon there are many keen climbers. As for caving-lovers, they have access to 600 sites - caves or complex networks, mostly located between Marseille and the Sainte-Baume.

A collection of 13 short walks and longer hikes • Alpilles, Orgon: The gateway to Notre-Dame de Beauregard • Cap Canaille, Cassis: On the Soubeyran Plateau and down to La Ciotat • Chaîne des Côtes, la Roque d’anthéron: La Baume Valley – Castellas Valley and a walk around the village of Vernègues • Chaîne de Lançon, Cornillon-Confoux: A walk in the hills • Chaîne de la Fare, Eguilles: A walk in the hills • Concors, Vauvenargues: Boucle du Taulisson (Around le Taulisson) • Collines de Saint-Blaise: Saint-Mitre-les-Remparts, Balcon de Caderaou • Fontblanche, Ceyreste: A walk in the hills • Montagnette, Boulbon: Saint-Michel de Frigolet Abbey

Blonde apparition descending from on high…










v er Ri ne Rhô

Th e

• Régagnas, Trets: Saint-Jean-du-Puy, Mont Olympe, Rocher de Onze Heures


LES AL PILLES Fontvieille



Aureille Mouriès



Towards Buoux t u r e l Régiona l du Lu ber

• Sainte-Baume, Auriol: From Pont des Encanaux to Pic de Bertagne

Eyguières Meyrargues






Stes MARIES de la Mer

Published with the assistance of the local ramblers’ association (Comité Départemental de Randonnée Pédestre des Bouches-du-Rhône).






Caution! Access to the woodlands is regulated during the summer and in high winds due to fire risk. Always make sure access is permitted before organising an outing.

Châteauneuf les Martigues



r a ne an S ea

Pic de Bertagne


Cuges AUBAGNE Gémenos les Pins









Carry le Rouet



E L’





• Sainte-Victoire, Vauvenargues: Circuit of the citadel - Pic des Mouches

Towards The Verdon




Children What does a child need? Very little in fact: a beach, a boat trip, a nature reserve and an aquarium, a medieval ch芒teau and a couple of automatons, a little train and some horses, a Christmas crib and a zoo - a complete list of daily pleasures. It is simply a question of knowing who is going to lead the way in the Bouches-du-Rh么ne - parent or child?


Activities for Children and Eldorado City, or the automaton village in Saint Cannat, the Musée Grévin in Salon, the Cathedral of Images in Les Baux and the zoo in La Barben. Up to you!

Children love water. The Bouches-duRhône proposes a choice: boat trips on the Rhône or the sea, swimming and introduction to sailing in the ports and on the lake Peyrolles, water games at Aquacity in Plan de Campagne and the Pyramide in Istres, the Planète Aquarium in Plan de Campagne or specially adapted beaches. For sports, horse or pony riding, cycling or hiking, are all available here (see special guides from the Comité Départemental du Tourisme). For exploring nature there are protected areas reserved for young visitors and specially adapted circuits and stays, particularly in the Camargue. The Ecomuseum of Gardanne, the Maison de la Sainte-Victoire in Saint-Antonin allow budding ecologists to become knowing travellers. In this age of games there’s no time for boredom! Why not visit the amusement parks of OK Corral

TARASCON King René's Castle Musée Tartarin River boat trips


Cathedral of images Les Baux "Cheval taxi" Fontvieille Moulin Animated Santons La Roque d'Anthéron Maussane ARLES Paradou La petite Provence SALON Little train La Barben River boat trips

Plantain Lake

Peyrolles Automaton Village

Musée Grévin

St Cannat Méjanes - Little train Musée Camarguais Pont de Gau ornithological park Vigueirat Marshland


The liberating country air.

Children’s Christmas Crib Originating in Italy in the 13th century, invented by Saint Francis of Assisi, the Provençal version of the Christmas crib has existed since the 16th century and took on its contemporary shape in the 19th century in a regional context adapted to include local primitive traditions. Lagnel from Marseille designed the first clay santons in 1797. In the home the crib is essentially for children as is the Anglo Saxon Halloween or the Feast of Saint Nicholas in Germanic countries. First we choose the santons on the markets in Marseille or the clay centre of Aubagne, in Aix, Arles or elsewhere. One compares figures and prices, the three wise men, the donkey and the ox, the ravi with his arms raised, the sheep, the knife-grinder, the Angel Boufareu with his cheeks puffed out like Louis Armstrong - a whole miniature world representing the Provençal village of yesteryear. Next one goes out into the country to look for the moss which is used as grass. On the way, look for wild asparagus and butcher’s broom for decoration and don’t forget the straw for the baby Jesus.

The Pyramide Electric boats

La Capelière La Sigoulette La Palissade

Stes MARIES de la Mer River/Sea boat trips Little train

Salins de Giraud Little train


ISTRES Plan de Campagne


Sausset les Pins Carry le Rouet



r a ne an S ea

Château d’If Sea boat trips Little train

St Antonin


Ecomuseum Fuveau Musée des transports

Eldorado City

Beaches- Sea boat trips

Man and beast getting along fine.


Planète Aquarium Aquacity

Sea boat trips

Beaches- Sea boat trips

Maison de Ste Victoire

Etang de Berre

Fos sur Mer

PORT-St LOUIS du Rhône Beaches



Medieval casle - Zoo

Le petit monde de Marcel Pagnol

Beaches Little train

AUBAGNE Cuges les Pins


OK Corral

Cassis LA CIOTAT Sea boat trips Little train Beaches- Leisure park (horse-riding) Sea boat trips

First steps on the sporting stage of a life of adventure.

Picnic or the art of outdoor dining away from the hubbub of everyday life.


• Ass. Maisons d'Amis en France Fleurs de Soleil Domaine du Frère Les Milles - Aix en Provence Tél. : 04 42 24 24 62 Fax : 04 42 24 37 89

• Comité Régional de Tourisme Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Les Docks - 2, Place de la Joliette - 13002 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 56 47 00 Fax : 04 91 56 47 01

email :

• Hotel Guides Logis de France • Guide holiday rentals Clévacances • Hotel Guides, Camp site Guides ( • Gîtes de France and Bed and Breakfast Guide Available for a small fee from the Relais Départemental des Gîtes de France - Domaine du Vergon - BP 26 - 13370 Mallemort Tél. : 04 90 59 49 39

• Marine life-saving service Crossmed: 04 94 61 71 10 • Coast guard service: 04 91 14 15 16 

• From the north of France:

Motorways A6 and A7: Paris – Lyon – Marseille Train station

• From the west and south west: A 62 et A 61 : Bordeaux Toulouse - Narbonne. A9 : Spain - Montpellier.

• From the south east: A8 : Italy, Nice - Marseille.

• From the Alps: A51 : Gap - Sisteron - Aix.


Aéro port

-Ma ries Tara scon




seil le tigu es Salo n



Local Distance Chart


Access and Transport

Major Roads Guides to Accommodation in the Bouches-du-Rhône are available from : Comité Départemental du Tourisme des Bouches-du-Rhône 13, rue Roux-de-Brignoles - 13006 Marseille - France Tél. : 04 91 13 84 40 - Fax : 04 91 33 01 82

• Burns centre: 04 91 38 39 33


• Anti poison centre: 04 91 75 25 25


Tél. : 04 42 16 11 61 Fax : 04 42 16 11 79

• Ambulance service: 15


Office de Tourisme d’Aix-en-Provence 2, place du Général de Gaulle BP 160 - 13605 Aix-en-Provence

• SOS Cardiology: 04 91 31 27 27

• Fire service: 18


Accomodation, hotels, self catering and camp sites

• SOS Veterinary surgeon: 04 91 63 09 00

La C

Information and booking

• SOS traveller: 04 91 62 12 80

• Police emergency: 17


• Fédération Nationale de l’Hôtellerie de Plein Air Camping Marina Plage RN 113 Le Pont de Parry 13127 Vitrolles Tél. : 04 42 89 31 46 Fax : 04 42 79 59 90

• Union Départementale des Offices de Tourisme et Syndicats d’Initiative Maison du Tourisme Rond-point de l'Hôtel de ville   13500 Martigues Tél. : 04 42 49 24 73 Fax : 04 42 80 10 97

• SOS doctor: 04 91 52 91 52

• C.R.I.R. Centre Régional d’information routière : 08 26 02 20 22


Camp Sites :

Service Loisirs-Accueil Bouches-du-Rhône Domaine du Vergon 13370 Mallemort Tél. : 04 90 59 49 36 Fax : 04 90 59 16 75


Bed and Breakfast and Self-Catering : • Relais Départemental des Gîtes de France Domaine du Vergon - BP 26 13370 Mallemort Tél accueil : 04 90 59 49 39 Fax : 04 90 59 16 75

Accomodations and packages

• Scuba diving emergencies Centre hyperbare: 04 91 74 49 96

• Consumer Complaints: 04 91 17 95 00

Avig n

• Clévacances Bouches du Rhône c/o Comité Départemental du Tourisme 13 13, Rue Roux de Brignoles 13006 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 13 84 13

Booking Center

• Shipping forecast: 32 01


• Association Départementale des Logis de France Domaine du Vergon - BP 26 13370 Mallemort Tél : 04 90 59 49 39 Fax : 04 90 59 16 75

• Coordination Départementale des Meublés de Tourisme Rond-Point de l’Hôtel de Ville Maison du Tourisme 13500 Martigues Tél. : 04 42 42 19 05 Fax : 04 42 42 31 11 

• Weather forecast: 08 92 68 02 13


Tél. : 04 91 54 79 00 Fax : 04 91 54 92 71

Holiday Rentals

• S.N.A.V. (Syndicat National de Agences de Voyages) c/o Thomas Cook Voyages 276, Avenue du Prado Tél. : 04 91 29 00 60 Fax : 04 91 22 25 54


Hotels • U.C.H.R. (Union des Cafetiers Hôteliers et Restaurateurs) des Bouches-du-Rhône 8, Rue Euthyménes 13001 Marseille

Useful Telephone Numbers



Tourist Organisations


Practical Information

76 36 81 48 51 57 30 45 35 71 111 91 30




36 139


81 34 114


48 121 12 126


91 29 68 81 117 156 137 53

La Ciotat

51 122 14 128 9

92 31 70 83 120 158 139 55


57 44 79 72 91 92


30 92 17 97 29 31 60


45 52 56 102 68 70 16 39


35 43 69 46 81 83 20 51 57


71 25 104 19 117 120 38 89 51 38


111 38 145 79 156 158 80 127 87 79 67


91 15 125 25 137 139 60 108 67 59 14 56


30 74 42 79 53 55 40 22 16 36 71 112 92

109 34 121 122 44 92 52 43 25 38 15 74 114 12 14 79 17 56 69 104 145 125 42 126 128 72 97 102 46 19 79 25 79

60 16 20 38 80 60 40 39 51 89 127 108 22 57 51 87 67 16 38 79 59 36 67 14 71 56 112 92


Practical Information Access and Transport Buses : •140 regular routes in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Bus services to all villages and towns. Routes and timetables on internet : Routes and timetables on internet :

Access and Transport • Miramas Bus Station Bureau Trigone-Espace Belley Rue Louis Pasquet Tél. : 04 90 50 17 70 • Vitrolles Bus Station Centre urbain Rond point de la pierre plantée Tél. : 04 42 89 85 85

Main Bus Stations

Car rental

• Aix-en-Provence Bus Station Avenue de l'Europe 13100 Aix-en-Provence Tél. : 08 91 02 40 25

Aix en Provence TGV Station

• Arles Bus Station Avenue Paulin Talabot 13200 Arles Tél. : 04 90 49 38 01 • Aubagne Bus Station Pôle d'echange et de transports Point Accueil square Marcel Soulat Tél. : 04 42 03 24 25

• Gardanne Bus Station Gare routière de Gardanne Esplanade Gare SNCF Tél. : 04 42 51 79 00 • Istres Bus Station Espace Pasteur Bd E. Guizonnier Tél. : 04 42 55 13 94 • La Ciotat Bus Station CIOTABUS Boulevard Anatole France Tél. : 04 42 08 90 90 • Aéroport Bus Station Marseille-Provence TRPA - BP 35 13727 Marignane Tél. : 04 42 14 31 27 • Marseille Bus Station 3, Place Victor Hugo 13003 Marseille Tél. : 08 91 02 40 25

• Ada Tél. : 04 42 22 23 24 • Avis SA Tél. : 04 42 69 34 80 • Budget Tél. : 04 42 69 28 90 • Europcar Tél. : 08 25 08 34 91 • Hertz Tél. : 04 42 69 31 10 • National Citer Tél. : 04 42 69 06 63 Marseille-Provence Airport • Ada Tél. : 04 42 14 30 44 Fax : 04 42 14 30 47

• Avis SA Tél. : 04 42 14 21 67 Fax : 04 42 10 44 80 Internet :

• Budget Tél. : 04 42 14 24 55 Fax : 04 42 14 21 50 • Europcar Marignane Tél. : 04 42 14 24 75 Fax : 04 42 14 25 90

Internet :

• Hertz Tél. : 04 42 14 32 70 Fax : 04 42 14 32 71 • National Citer Tél. : 04 42 14 24 90 Fax : 04 42 14 24 59

Marseille Gare SNCF St-Charles • ADL - Thrifty 8, Place des Marseillaises 13001 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 95 00 00 Fax : 04 91 95 00 01

• Avis Service Gare St-Charles 13001 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 64 71 00 Fax : 04 91 64 49 69

• Europcar Hôtel Ibis Saint-Charles Square Narvik Tél. : 08 25 82 56 80

• Hertz Square Narvik 13001 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 05 51 20

• National Citer Square Narvik Tél. : 04 91 05 90 86 Fax : 04 91 50 65 49

Direct links with the Marseille-Provence Airport • Links with Paris every 1/2 hour. Length of flight : 1h10 mins • Within France : Ajaccio, Bastia, Bordeaux, Brest, Calvi, Clermont-Ferrand, Figari, Lille, Lyon Metz, Nancy, Mulhouse, Nantes, Paris, Reims Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulouse. • Within Europe : Amsterdam, Bâle, Barcelone, Bruxelles, Cologne, Francfort, Genève, Lisbonne, Londres, Madrid, Malte, Milan, Münich, Prague, Rome, Glasgow, Dublin. • Overseas French counties : Saint-Denis de la Réunion. •D  irect flights to Africa and the Middle East

• Aéroport Marseille-Provence A Marignane (22 km de Marseille) Tél. : 04 42 14 14 14 Horaires sur minitel 36‑15 Envol

• Aéroport Nîmes-Arles-Camargue A Nîmes-Garons (28 km d’Arles) Tél. : 04 66 70 49 49 • Aéroport Avignon-Caumont Tél. : 04 90 84 17 23

Local links : Main stations in the Bouches-duRhône : • Marseille the line Saint-Charles-Briançon serves: Gardanne, Aix-en-Provence et Meyrargues. • The line Marseille SaintCharles - Miramas (via Rognac) serves: Vitrolles, Rognac, Berre, Saint-Chamas, Miramas. • The line Marseille Saint-Charles - Avignon - Lyon serves : Miramas, Arles, Tarascon

• Rent a Car 10, Place des Marseillaises Tél. : 04 91 50 12 00


Besançon - Bordeaux-Toulouse - Clermont-Ferrand-Nîmes - Paris-Lyon - Saint Gervais-Chambéry - Briançon - Grenoble par Valence ou Veynes - Nice - Quimper-Nantes-Bordeaux - Brest-Paris

Rail Routes Information or 36 15 SNCF or Mediterranean TGV Marseille : 3hrs from Paris. TGV stations in : Avignon, Aix-enProvence and Marseille.

• National links with Marseille: - Reims-Châlons sur Marne-Lyon - Metz-Nancy-Lyon - Strasbourg-Mulhouse-

• The line Marseille SaintCharles - Miramas (via Port-deBouc) serves: La Redonne-Ensuès, Carryle-Rouet, Sausset-les-Pins, Martigues, Port-de-Bouc, Fos S/Mer, Istres, Miramas.

Sea and river routes

Sea Port • Port Autonome de Marseille 23, Place Joliette 13002 Marseille Tél. : 04 91 39 40 00

Lignes régulières passagers avec la Corse, la Sardaigne, l’Algérie, le Maroc et la Tunisie. • Service navigation Rhône Saône 1, Quai de la Gare maritime Tél. : 04 90 96 00 85

River Port • Chemin des Ségonnaux  Zone portuaire  13200 Arles Tél. : 04 90 96 76 33 Fax : 04 90 93 88 00

• Halte fluviale Quai de Trinquetaille 13200 Arles Tél. : 04 90 49 36 63 • Halte fluviale Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville 13500 Martigues Tél. : 04 42 42 31 10

• The line Marseille SaintCharles - Toulon - Nice Vintimille serves: La Penne-sur-Huveaune, Aubagne, Cassis, La Ciotat. • The line Marseille SaintCharles - Miramas - Avignon (via Cavaillon) serves: Miramas, Salon, Lamanon, Sénas, Orgon. 91

Practical Information For more information on any site – Tourist Offices and Syndicats d’Initiative

For more information on any site – Tourist Offices and Syndicats d’Initiative

• Office de tourisme Aix en Provence 2, Place du Général de Gaulle BP 160 Tél. : 04 42 16 11 61

• Maison du Tourisme de Carry Bureau Municipal Espace Fernandel Avenue Aristide Briand Tél. : 04 42 13 20 36

• Bureau de tourisme Ensuès la Redonne Hôtel de Ville 15, Rue du Général Monsabert Tél. : 04 42 44 88 88

• Syndicat d'Initiative Gréasque Ancienne Gare Tél. : 04 42 69 72 16

• Maison du tourisme d'Allauch Mairie d'Allauch BP 27 Tél. : 04 91 10 49 20

• Office municipal du tourisme de Cassis Quai des Moulins Oustau Calendal Tél. : 08 92 25 98 92

• Office de tourisme Eyguières Place de l'ancien Hôtel de Ville Tél. : 04 90 59 82 44

• Office de tourisme Arles Accueil du Public Boulevard des Lices Tél. : 04 90 18 41 20

• Maison du Tourisme du pays d'Aubagne Avenue Antide Boyer Tél. : 04 42 03 49 98

• Office de tourisme de Barbentane Cours Jean Baptiste Rey Tél. : 04 90 90 85 86

• Office de tourisme Berre l'Etang Avenue Roger Salengro Tél. : 04 42 85 01 70

• Bureau de tourisme Cabriès-Calas Oustaù Per Touti - Trébillane Avenue René Cassin - Calas Tél. : 04 42 69 05 48

• Office de tourisme Carnoux en Provence Place de l'Hôtel de Ville BP 21 Tél. : 04 42 73 77 40

• Office Municipal du tourisme et de la Culture de Charleval 2, Place A. Leblanc Tél. : 04 42 28 45 30

• Office de tourisme de Châteauneuf la Mède 3, Rue Léon Blum Tél. : 04 42 76 89 37

• Office de tourisme Châteaurenard 11, Cours Carnot Tél. : 04 90 24 25 50

• Bureau de tourisme de Cornillon Confoux Place de l'Eglise Tél. : 04 90 50 43 17

• Office de tourisme Cuges les Pins 25, Route Nationale Tél. : 04 42 73 84 18

• Office de tourisme Eguilles Place Gabriel Payeur Tél. : 04 42 92 49 15

• Office de tourisme Fontvieille Place de la Mairie Rue M. Honorat Tél. : 04 90 54 67 49

• Bureau de Tourisme Fos sur Mer Hôtel de Ville Avenue René Cassain Tél. : 04 42 47 71 96

• Syndicat d'initiative de Fuveau Cours Victor Leydet Tél. : 04 42 50 49 77

• Office de tourisme Gardanne 31, Boulevard Carnot Tél. : 04 42 51 02 73

• Office de tourisme Gémenos Cours Pasteur Tél. : 04 42 32 18 44

• Bureau de tourisme Grans Boulevard Victor Jauffret Tél. : 04 90 55 88 92

• Office de tourisme de Graveson Hôtel de ville Cours National Tél. : 04 90 95 88 74

• Office de tourisme d'Istres 30, Allée Jean Jaurès Tél. : 04 42 55 51 15

• Office de tourisme de Jouques 33bis, Bd de la République Tél. : 04 42 63 75 04

• Syndicat d'initiative La Bouilladisse Hôtel de Ville Place de la Libération Tél. : 04 42 62 97 08

• Office de tourisme La Ciotat Boulevard Anatole France Tél. : 04 42 08 61 32

• Point d’information La Destrousse Hôtel de Ville Tél. : 04 42 18 49 30

• Office de tourisme La Roque d'Anthéron 3, Cours Foch Tél. : 04 42 50 70 74

• Bureau de tourisme Lamanon Le Cabaret Tél. : 04 90 59 54 62

• Bureau municipal du tourisme de Lambesc Mairie de Lambesc 6, Bd de la République - BP 61 Tél. : 04 42 17 00 62

• Office de tourisme Lançon en Provence Avenue Saint Cyr Tél. : 04 90 45 71 32

• Syndicat d'initiative le Puy Sainte Réparade Rue de l'Hôtel de Ville BP 19 Tél. : 04 42 50 06 97

• Office municipal de tourisme Les Baux de Provence Maison du Roy Rue Porte Mage Tél. : 04 90 54 34 39

• Syndicat d'initiative Les Pennes Mirabeau 35bis, Avenue Victor Hugo Tél. : 04 42 02 55 14

• Bureau de tourisme Maillane Avenue Lamartine Tél. : 04 32 61 93 86 • Office de tourisme de Mallemort 7, Avenue des Frères Roqueplan Tél. : 04 90 57 41 62

• Office de tourisme de Marignane 4, Boulevard Frédéric Mistral Tél. : 04 42 77 04 90

• Office de tourisme et des congrès de Marseille 4 La Canebière Tél. : 04 91 13 89 00

Rond-point de l'hôtel de ville Tél. : 04 42 42 31 10

• Office de tourisme de Maussane les Alpilles Place Laugier de Monblan Tél. : 04 90 54 52 04

• Office de tourisme du Massif des Costes Place Roux de Brignoles Tél. : 04 90 55 15 55

• Office de tourisme Miramas Avenue Falabrègues Tél. : 04 90 58 08 24

• Syndicat d'initiative Mouriès 2, Rue du Temple BP 37 Tél. : 04 90 47 56 58

• Bureau de tourisme Noves Place Jean Jaurès Tél. : 04 90 92 90 43

• Office de tourisme Orgon Place de la Mairie Tél. : 04 90 73 09 54

• Point Information Peynier 9, Cours Laurent Tél. : 04 42 53 16 40

• Bureau de tourisme Peyrolles Hôtel de Ville Tél. : 04 42 57 89 82

• Office de tourisme Martigues Maison du tourisme


Practical Information For more information on any site – Tourist Offices and Syndicats d’Initiative • Office de tourisme Port de Bouc Cours Landrivon Tél. : 04 42 06 27 28

• Office de tourisme de Port Saint Louis du Rhône Tour Saint Louis - Quai Bonnardel Tél. : 04 42 86 01 21

• Syndicat d'initiative Puyloubier Hôtel de ville - Square Casanova Tél. : 04 42 66 36 87

• Office de tourisme de Rognes 5, Cours Saint Etienne Tél. : 04 42 50 13 36

• Bureau municipal de tourisme Roquefort la Bédoule Hôtel de Ville Place de la Libération Tél. : 04 42 73 21 12

• Syndicat d'Initiative Roquevaire Quai du Souvenir Français - BP 23 Tél. : 04 42 04 01 99 • Bureau de tourisme de Saint Andiol Lot. Lou Mistrau Avenue Alphonse Daudet Tél. : 04 90 95 48 95

• Syndicat d'Inititative Saint Cannat Espace Suffren 3, Avenue Pasteur Tél. : 04 42 57 34 65

• Office de tourisme Saint Chamas Montée des Pénitents Tél. : 04 90 50 90 54

• Maison du tourisme Saint Martin de Crau Place Georges Brassens Tél. : 04 90 47 95 55

• Point d'information de Saint Mitre les Remparts Hôtel de ville 9, Avenue Charles de Gaulle Tél. : 04 42 49 18 93

• Office de tourisme Saint Rémy de Provence Place Jean Jaures Tél. : 04 90 92 05 22

• Office de tourisme Saintes Maries de la Mer 5, Av. Van Gogh - BP 73 Tél. : 04 90 97 82 55

• Office de tourisme Salon de Provence 56, Cours Gimon Tél. : 04 90 56 27 60

• Bureau de tourisme Sausset les Pins 16, Avenue du Port Tél. : 04 42 45 60 65

• Office de tourisme Sénas 28, Cours Jean Jaurès Tél. : 04 90 59 20 25

• Office de tourisme de Simiane Collongue Château des maronniers chemin des aires Tél. : 04 42 22 69 98

• Office de tourisme de Tarascon 59, Rue des Halles Tél. : 04 90 91 03 52

• Bureau municipal de tourisme Trets Château des Remparts Boulevard Etienne Boyer Tél. : 04 42 61 23 75

• Bureau municipal du tourisme de Ventabren 4, Boulevard de Provence Tél. : 04 42 28 76 47

• Office de tourisme Vitrolles Place de Provence Tél. : 04 42 77 90 27

In spite of the care taken in the preparation of this guide, some errors or omissions may have been overlooked. We ask you to excuse us and let us know. Nota Bene : The practical information and contacts in this document were supplied by local Tourist Offices and Syndicats d’Initiative. The editor cannot therefore take responsibility for any errors or omissions.

Graphic design, layout, illustrations and realisation ALYEN Design-editing: Patrick Vial Photographs:

F. Lebain G. Simon / J.C. Fauchon / N. Pasquel / J.P. Bonhommet D. Gorgeon / T. Kreiser / CRT PACA : E.Spiegelhalter / D. Basse /  M. Schulte Mairie d’Arles / Museon Arlaten / CCI Arles / Office de Tourisme - Ville d’Aix-en-Provence Musée Granet / SIM Aubagne : P. Massaïa / Université Image et son Office de Tourisme des Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer / CCIMP / J. Bouthillier F. Ferreira / M. Debatty / A. Ruoppolo / J.M. Legros / Calissons du Roy René / C. Sibran.

Printing: PUBLICEP 2006

Bouches-du-Rhone - brochure  

Brochure of the Bouches du Rhone in Southern France

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