Aix-en-Provence, or simply Aix, is a small elegant town 20 minutes from Marseille. Strolling through the Cours Mirabeau, you will see all the most important sights of the town.
Fountains, elegant houses, medieval monuments and bohemian brasseries: Aix-en-Provence has all that you need to relax and have fun. Starting your walk from the Cours Mirabeau, you can pass by the old town and its houses from the 16th and 17th centuries; you can see some brasseries where Cézanne and Hemingway used to go, as well as the impressive Cathedral.
The medieval part of the town offers an insight into Gothic architecture, whereas the Merovingian Baptistery and the archbishop cloister are built in the Renaissance and Romanesque styles. The Quartier Mazarin is without a doubt the most typical part of the city, with some “Hotel Pariculiers” (townhouses) that you cannot miss. Within the city, several musuems are worth the visit: first, the Museum of Natural History, where you can learn about Provençal and French past centuries; then, the Museum of Viel Aix, with several collections about the town.
Not far from the city, you can see – and, why not, reach – the impressive Montagne Saint-Victoire, one of Cézanne’s favourite landscapes and subjects: enjoy the view and feel like all the painters who lived here! Close to Aix and Marseille, you can also find the “calanques”, in Cassis, sheltered inlets and cliffs along the Mediterranean that you can “visit” by boat. From these calanques, you can also reach the small island where the Count of Monte Cristo was held!
Last but not least, in Aix-en-Provence you can join, in June and July, the important International Festival of Lyrical Art, with shows all around the city, housed by theatres, monuments and old buildings.