Aix-en-Provence, Brignoles & Draguignan

 

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This area of Provence is known for its impressive architecture and rich culture which - when coupled with stunning landscapes, delightful little villages, and the Mediterranean coast within easy driving distance - make the interior of Provence a delightful destination for a holiday.

One of this vast region's main cities is Aix-en-Provence. It is an extremely popular town to visit, rich in culture, architecture and history with guided tours throughout the year, even on Christmas Day! It is perfectly located with a view of the Mont St Victoire in the background, made famous by Cézanne in his many paintings of this mountain that rears up from its surrounding landscape.  

Brignoles is a very large market town, known for its peaches, honey, olives and olive oil. Its medieval town and main square lined with cobble-stoned streets, make it the fantastic destination that it is.

Draguignan resembles a medieval village, full of museums and beautiful churches. It makes a great place to step back in time and learn about the history of the area and admiring the many old buildings surrounding you.

 

Things to See & Do in Aix-en-Provence, Brignoles & Draguignan

Beaches

Although a few miles inland from the coast, there are still some great places to swim nearby. One of the best spots is at Lac de Carcès, which is a 20-minute drive from Brignoles.

Towns and Villages

In addition to the main towns of Aix-en-Provence, Brignoles & Draguignan, there are many smaller towns and villages well worth a visit. These include:

  • Aix-en-Provence. As well as being the home of the French artist Paul Cézanne it is known locally as "the town of 100 fountains". It was also a Roman town, and has a thermal spa that is open to the public. Well worth a visit. Aix is also well-worth a visit if you're looking for a varied range of restaurants (beyond the often predictable plat de jour often found in smaller towns and villages.)
  • Bagnols en Foret is an 11th Century hilltop village with a pretty square lined with restaurants and shops.
  • Bargemon is another pretty village with original 12th Century walls and many restaurants.
  • Barjols, known as the doorway to Haute Provence and the hilly country of the Var.
  • Callian is one of the oldest villages in the Var, full of charm and history.
  • Carcès has plenty of shops and a regular market that supplies fresh local produce.
  • Cavaillon is a small village famous for it's namesake, the Cavaillon melon, and has an annual melon festival!
  • Cotignac is another pretty village, with a pretty square and regular craft and produce markets, known for it's limestone caves that were once used as homes by the locals.
  • Eygalières is the birthplace of both Nostradamus and a village popular with Van Gogh. A quiet retreat with shaded squares lined with cafes and boutiques.
  • Fayence is a great location for a walk to explore the winding streets or vineyards that surround the village.
  • Gordes was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France and is known for it's far reaching views and beautiful surroundings.
  • Lorgues is a pretty village with a regular market and a wide selection of shops and is surrounded by vineyards.
  • Mallemort is worth a visit for the famous suspension bridge that spans the river Durance.
  • Mazan is a great location for outdoor enthusiasts, with mountain biking, horse riding, fishing and tennis on the doorstep, plus great restaurants to refuel after a busy day outdoors.
  • Rognes is another great location for anyone looking for outdoor sports and also for wine enthusiasts. There are regular tours of the village that are a great way to learn about the local history and culture.
  • Rousset lies at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victore, in the heart of the landscapes painted by Cézanne. Among garrigue-covered hills and the vineyards of Arc, this little corner of paradise has preserved the quality of life and charm of a typical Provencal village. Enjoy a gentle stroll through its quiet, paved streets lined with shops and craft workshops.
  • Ventabren has an interesting history and is also home to Aqueduct de Roquefavour, the largest aquaduct in the world.

 

Events and Festivals

As a busy tourist area there are arts, crafts, music and food festivals throughout the summer months. Here are few of our favourites.

  • Fete des Tripettes in Barjols is a picturesque and traditional festival that has been held in the village for over 650 years!
  • The unusual Fete du Melon is a celebration of, well, the famous local melon! and is usually held at the end of June.
  • For an open air theatre and cinema, visit Cotignac, where there is a busy programme of events throughout the summer season.
  • Wine and music lovers should check out Gordes, which holds festivals filled with both during high season.

 

Sights and Attractions

You're away from the coast so won't find any theme or waterparks around, but there is plenty for the outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Pont Royal is a golfing resort built around an ancient domaine, with top-class eateries and in an idyllic setting.

 

Find a Holiday Villa in Aix-en-Provence, Brignoles & Draguignan

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