The Alpilles region in Provence is a blend of beautiful landscapes, untamed nature, and well-preserved traditions. The region is steeped in history and culture, capturing the essence of authentic Provence. Saint Rémy de Provence and Les Baux de Provence is the land that inspired renowned French authors Alphonse Daudet and Frédéric Mistral, and the iconic artist Vincent van Gogh.

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Saint Rémy de Provence

Situated in the heart of the Alpilles, Saint Rémy is a must-see in Provence. Surrounded by lush, fragrant valleys, its ancient streets are lined with beautifully restored old houses that exude charm and elegance. As you stroll through the narrow, winding streets, you will discover old fountains, shady squares, picturesque restaurants, and elegant boutiques.

Highlights of Saint Rémy de Provence

Our top pick - market day

Held every Wednesday, the market in Saint Rémy offers an exciting mix of local produce, crafts, and goods. The market is a hive of activity, filled with cheerful faces and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can immerse themselves in the authentic Provençal experience, sampling fresh cheeses, cured meats, and artisanal bread. This market is also an excellent place to find unique souvenirs, from handmade soaps to colourful ceramics, making it a perfect destination for both locals and tourists seeking to take a piece of Provence home with them.

Archaeological site of Glanum

Located just outside Saint Rémy, this site offers a glimpse into the ancient Greek and Roman city, with notable features like the Roman Mausoleum and Triumphal Arch. Glanum provides a fascinating look into the region's history, showcasing well-preserved ruins and artefacts. The site's dramatic setting, surrounded by the Alpilles mountains, adds an extra layer of allure for history enthusiasts.

Musée Estrine – Présence Van Gogh

This museum includes the Centre of Interpretation of Van Gogh, where visitors can explore the artist's contributions to modern and contemporary art. It houses a remarkable collection of works and detailed exhibits on Van Gogh's time in Provence. The museum also offers educational programmes and workshops, making it perfect for families. 

Château Romanin

Experience one of France's finest architectural wineries, built into the rock by architect Serge Hennemann in 1992. Wine tastings here are essential for any visitor, offering a chance to savour some of the region's best wines. The château's unique design, with its blend of modern and traditional elements, and its biodynamic vineyard practices, make it a standout destination for wine aficionados in the Alpilles. 

Moulin du Calanquet

Open year-round, this beautiful olive oil mill is a must-visit. The mill offers tastings, allowing you to savour the rich, deep flavours of the region's olive oil. Visitors can tour the mill to learn about both traditional and modern methods of olive oil production. At the shop at Moulin du Calanquet, you can purchase a variety of high-quality olive oils and other local delicacies, perfect for bringing a taste of Provence home.

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Les Baux de Provence

The hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence offers stunning views over the valley and it is home to a perched castle that is a testament to the region's medieval history. The village itself is a maze of cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and historical sites. There is an undeniable charm to visiting here, where the town's walls seem to come alive with history and character.

Our top pick: Carrières de Lumières

Close to Les Baux de Provence is the Carrières de Lumières, a former stone quarry now home to an immersive light show. This experience can only be described as otherworldly. Walking into the cool air of the former quarry, you are instantly greeted with immersive music and a spectacular visual display. It can be a bit disconcerting at first when the lights go out and you are left to explore the caves, but the darkness is brief. The lights return, and guests spend an hour in awe of the captivating show. The 2024 programme features two shows focusing on Orientalist painters (Ingres, Delacroix, Gérôme) and Egyptian Pharaohs (from Cheops to Ramses II). It is advisable to book tickets in advance online to avoid long queues.

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Villages in the Alpilles

Maussane

Known for its picturesque setting and local olive oil production, a top activity here is visiting the Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille. This cooperative mill has been producing high-quality olive oil for over a century and offers tours and tastings. Visitors can learn about the traditional methods of olive oil production and see the mill's historic equipment in action. The on-site shop provides an opportunity to purchase their exquisite olive oils and other regional products, making it a perfect stop for those looking to bring home a taste of Provence.

Eygalières

Eygalières is a Provençal village with beautiful stone houses and a calm, relaxing atmosphere. A must-do activity here is exploring the Saint-Sixte Chapel, a historic 12th-century chapel that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The chapel, perched on a hill, provides a serene spot for reflection and photography. After visiting the chapel, take a leisurely walk through the village to enjoy its charming streets and local cafes. 

Our top pick: Learn the art of Provençal cuisine with a hands-on cooking class in Eygalières. This experience, available on Fridays, begins with a market tour in Eygalières village with a chef, followed by a return to Saint Rémy for the cooking class. You can expect to prepare traditional dishes under the guidance of a local chef, and then of course, finishing the experience with enjoying your homecooked meal. 

Fontvieille

Famous for its association with Alphonse Daudet, who wrote about the region in his "Lettres de mon moulin." A key attraction is visiting Daudet’s Windmill, where you can delve into the literary history and enjoy panoramic views of the Alpilles. The windmill has been preserved as a tribute to Daudet's work, and the surrounding area includes walking trails that explore the landscapes that inspired his writing. Fontvieille hosts a number of annual festivals and events that celebrate Provençal culture, offering visitors a vibrant taste of local traditions and community spirit.

Our top pick: There are plenty of exciting tours available to book in Fontvieille. You can choose between exploring the Historical Center of Fontvieille, where you will be charmed by ancient treasures and can visit the Castle of Montauban museum; the Windmill Trail, which offers a glimpse into the milling heritage of the region with its four notable windmills; or the Aqueducts of Barbegal, a Roman complex with visible aqueduct arches and a historic flour mill. Dive into the world of Alphonse Daudet with a guided literary tour of Fontvieille, visiting places that inspired his famous works, and a reading session where excerpts from "Lettres de mon moulin" are brought to life. This tour offers a unique opportunity to connect with the literary history of the region in an engaging and immersive way. These tours provide rich insights into the village’s historical and cultural significance.

Need help booking?

If you need help booking any of these experiences as part of your stay, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team of local experts is here to assist you in making your holiday in Provence unforgettable. From arranging tours and tastings to securing spots in popular activities, we are here to ensure your trip is seamless and enjoyable.

 Whether you are wandering through the charming streets of Saint Rémy, exploring the ancient ruins of Glanum, enjoying a light show at Carrières de Lumières, or hiking through the picturesque landscapes, The Alpilles offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

A bientôt,

The Provence Holidays Team