Best Spots Around Aix-en-Provence?

Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:12 AM
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Best Spots Around Aix-en-Provence?


I am travelling through France for two weeks and was planning on 4 days on the Riviera, 4 days close to Avignon and 4 days in the Aix/ Grasse region. The first 8 days' destinations are familiar to me, but have no concept of Aix/Grasse...any tips on where to stay? In and around Aix or Grasse.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 09:53 AM
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Aix is only about an hour from Avignon so why not find a charming place like St. Remy and stay there the whole 8 days you have allotted to that area and take day trips in all directions. Aix is biggish city with nightmarish traffic.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 10:02 AM
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This may be interesting.

It is a hotel built in a 12th century convent. St Maximin is a typical Provence town with a market square with restaurants an easy walk from the convent.

It is tremendous value , and others I have suggested it to have spoken highly of it.

It is close to the motorway, about 25 miles from Aix. The Massif de la Ste Baume running south to the Med is beautiful.

Bon chance

Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 10:31 AM
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I believe Aix and Avignon are about the same size city (around 100K maybe?). I've driven between them and think it takes somewhat longer than an hour (I think it's about 50 miles), but I don't speed in unfamiliar areas off the main highways. I wouldn't want to do extensive day trips from St Remy to Aix or beyond because I wouldn't want to spend my time that way, but I know a lot of people apparently do; you certainly could if you like driving a lot every day. Grasse is near Nice and much farther away, so your itinerary is not clear to me, nor why you combine Aix with Grasse. Perhaps you are confusing the geography or something--Grasse is near Cannes and Antibes, not Aix. Having been to all these places, I would not want to stay in or near Grasse particularly. If your itinerary is consecutive, you are going from the Riviera to Avignon and then back to Grasse or Aix or what?

I liked staying at the inn Mas d'Entremont on the NW outskirts of Aix which is a very good location for touring and if you have a car, because it's right on the N7 highway and you avoid any Aix city traffic leaving for day trips (unless you want to go to perhaps Montagne Ste-Victoire to the east of Aix, which I did one day). Mas d'Entremont is a lovely place and very reasonable for the level (see That would be a good location for touring around Aix, down to Cassis, the Camargue, Montagne Ste Victoire, up to the Durance river (ie, Abbaye de Silvacane), and even then SE Luberon area and Manosque. I think there are some beautiful buildings in Aix and it is worth seeing.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 10:40 AM
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If you stay in Aix, also recommend that you take a trip up to Mt. St. Victoire (stop in the small town of Vauvenargues for lunch at Chez Ahmet - wonderful and reasonable cous cous with a great view.)Also, take a trip to Cassis and a boat trip to the Calanques. Great seafood restaurants on the harborside for lunch.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 12:58 PM
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Don't miss St. Paul de Vence. Eze is worth your time also. Found Cannes disappointing - just a big city.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:04 PM
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just a message for people dreaming of deserted fishing villages in Cote d'Azur. You are 50 years too late !

There are 5,000,000 residents between the Italian border and Toulon. There is a pollution problem. Mountain villages I visited in the 70's with wonderful sea views don't have sea views today.

There is a huge number of retired Parisians.

It is very busy in summer.

Best to visit Oct - Apr

Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 01:41 PM
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Aix has a population of 134,000 and Avignon has a population of 85,000. The Cours Mirabeau in Aix has been torn up for years and Avignon is a much more pleasant town to walk around in to see the sights.
Old Apr 23rd, 2002, 03:00 PM
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Gretchen is right. Stay in St.Remy.
You will be in a charming town and at the same time be on the autoroute in five minutes. You will be close to the many beautiful towns of the Luberon and within reasonable driving distance of Aix, Les Baux,Avignon,etc.
In my opinion, unless you are really fond of driving in small cities,lots of traffic and difficult parking, you will enjoy the small villages of Provence more than Aix and Avignon.
I am not suggesting that you miss these cities, but staying in them is not as pleasant as being in the countryside.If nothing else, at the end of a long day of sighseeing you don't have to put up with city traffic to get to your hotel. We have done it both ways.
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