Aix-en-Provence is a chic and cosmopolitan town which somehow manages to feel bigger than it really is. All the French love Aix and there is every reason that you will, too. Take the Tourist Tram from opposite the Tourist Office. This is an excellent way to get your bearings and decide where you would like to explore afterwards in more depth.
The main thoroughfare is the Cours Mirabeau, which is lined with bars and cafés, the most famous being ‘Les Deux Garcons’ and which has attracted the beau monde for over fifty years. Churchill, Sartre, Picasso and Piaf are just a few of the famous folk who have sat here. So take a seat, order a drink or a lunch and watch the world go by.
Aix is also known as the ‘Town of 100 Fountains’, and once you are there you will see why. In the summer heat, the gentle plash of water hitting marble is as welcoming as it is soothing. And if your feet are beginning to feel a tad weary from all the sightseeing, then a quick dabble in the fountains is just the thing to set you up for another round of touring.
Paul Cézanne the artist was born, lived and died here. Today, the town venerates its most famous son’s memory and you cannot miss his presence. The Lycée Mignet is where he and his best friend, Emile Zola, attended and is right in the centre of town. It is still a Lycée and if you take the Tourist Tram, you will drive right past it.
Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful town bursting with places to see and things to do. A settlement even before the Romans developed the springs and waters of the area, to make 'Aquae Sextiae' an important staging post post between Spain and Italy; here the weary traveler could bathe in the refreshing springs and recover his or her strength for the ongoing journey. Nowadays, it is one of the most important tourist venues in southern France.
Aix is central to the Provencal wine industry so why not take an afternoon visiting some of the beautiful old Domaines in the area to taste the local wines?
You could try a relaxing thermal bath, just like the Romans did two millennia previously. This makes for a very original experience.
And for the evening, you have a lot of choice! There are so many restaurants offering different types of cuisine; there is Provencal - naturally! -, South American, English, Caribbean, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Moroccan, Mexican...…the choice is huge! And if you’re looking to prolong your night even further, there is a choice of casinos, nightclubs and pubs, all just waiting to be explored.