The Bouches-du-Rhône department is a densely populated area, which is mainly caused my the number of large cities that are located here. The area is very popular among tourists, with the Route du Soleil ending in the city of Marseille and ofcourse the wonderful Mediterranean coast as its final destination. Bouches-du-Rhône is a very versatile holiday destination with its historic cities, super beautiful nature not to forget the refreshing sea.
Marseille is the second largest city in France. It is an ancient city which is visible when you walk through the city as well as in the many museums that are focused on showing it’s history. You may not have enough time to visit the city in only one day, as there is so much to see. Take for example the beautiful old buildings such as the Palais Longchamp and the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. Marseille is also the perfect destination for a shopping trip, and if you’re looking for a nice restaurant then definitely choose one in the old port of the city.
The city of Arles is known for its ancient Roman buildings and sights. You will find an old theater, arena, a basilica and a monastery. A walk through the historic city is easy because the various highlights are not far apart.
The city of Aix-en-Provence was founded by the Romans after they destroyed the Germanic village of Oppidum. The city is a lively city, partly due to the university that attracts lots of students. Every year more and more tourists are coming to Aix-en-Provence. The city holds many courtyards with fountains and narrow alleys as well as wide boulevards.
A very nice village to visit is Les-Baux-de-Provence. The village probably existed far before Christ because of its strategic location on top of a mountain of the Alpilles. Now the village is completely equipped for tourists that visit every year. In the cute picturesque streets you will find shops with local products. There is also a castle ruin with a beautiful panoramic view.
Calanques de Cassis
The Calanques National Park is one of the most impressive in France. High mountain ranges that run right along the coast give a beautiful view of the clear blue water. You can visit the calanques on foot, by boat or by car. The most famous is the Calanque of Sormiou, which is not far from Marseille.
The Camargue is a unique swampy landscape located in the delta of the Rhone. The area was created by the deposition of sludge from the river and the flooding of land because of the tides of the sea. As dikes have now been constructed, the sea no longer has as much influence as before. You will find many species of fish and birds in the area, including the beautiful pink flamingo.
The Alpilles, or ‘Low Alps’, is a limestone mountain range. Here you will also find the village of Les-Baux-de-Provence. The famous painter Vincent van Gogh has spent some time of his live in this area and created several beautiful pictures of the landscape.
Horseriding in the Camargue
when driving near the Camargue region you will see many signs with: “Promenades à cheval”. Riding through the Camargue seems a challenge but it really isn’t that difficult. The horses are calm and a guide will accompany you. You drive over salt plains, through the woods and along the beach. A very nice really explore the area!
You can find many nice and authentic markets in the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Take for example the cities Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Marseille and the cute villages Saint-Remy-de-Provence and Les-Baux-de-Provence. From flea markets to regional products and souvenirs, there’ll be markets organized every day. Don’t forget the real Savon de Marseille, a soap made from olive oil according to an old recipe. Watch out for fakes!
You can climb the mountain of Sainte-Victoire, but it is certainly not easy. It will take you around 6 hours to complete the trip, with sometimes steep mountains and valleys. But the view makes up for a lot. Do bring enough to eat and to drink!
Castle of Tarascon
The castle of Tarascon is a very impressive castle with high walls and towers. It really looks like a castle of how we know it best, including the access bridge. Words go around that say that this castle is one of the most beautiful in all of France! You can opt for a guided tour or take a visit on your own.
Carrières de lumières
The Carrières de lumières is a bauxite quarry with large projections of paintings from famous painters. After the first world war there was more demand for concrete and steel, so that the quarry was no longer needed. The quarry was later used as a film set. It is impressive to walk through the cave and view the projections.
Take a wine tour
In the area are many opportunities to see and learn about how wine is produced. All the ins and outs will be given about making wine through an organized excursion departing from Marseille and elsewhere.