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A bountiful paradise on the doorstep of Marseille

Already a brilliant travel destination, Marseille will ignite your desire to go a bit further and see what beauties Provence has to offer. The white cliffs overhanging the calanques; the scents of the scrubland; the sound of cicadas in the plane trees lining the boulevards – everything here will capture your imagination. 

Northward, the Côte Bleue has cooler water than Marseille, with its cliffs falling into the sea more quickly. Just watch out for sea urchins! The indulging calisson sweets that you’ll find on modest stalls in the city centre capture the charm of their hometown, Aix-en-Provence. In this spa town, a town of art and childhood home of author Émile Zola, admire the fountains of the Cours Mirabeau from the terrace of the iconic brasserie Les Deux Garçons. En route, you can admire the limestone plateau of the Sainte-Victoire mountain – its summit ,the Pic des Mouches, provides a majestic panorama. The surrounding vegetation today is a bit different from the vegetation Cézanne painted in his famous paintings. With vineyards at every corner, head to the Alpilles mountains, home to such villages as Les Baux and Saint-Rémy. There’s also the Camargue, beyond the Plaine de la Crau, with the town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. And don’t forget the Luberon with its hilltop villages, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, and the Plateau de Valensole and its lavender fields, reminiscent of the works of Jean Giono, author of The Man Who Planted Trees, who was born in nearby Manosque.

En route, you’ll feel the lure of the turquoise waters of the Verdon, flowing through its canyon for thousands of years to form its majestic gorges. Provence really is a bountiful paradise.


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