An ideal itinerary to visit Provence in 6 days

An ideal route to visit Provence in 6 days

UPDATE DAY

Provence smells of sunshine. Between the Alps and the Mediterranean, this region in the south of France, one of the most beautiful in the country, seduces with its lavender fields, its history, its architecture and its gastronomy. Here is a six-day itinerary to discover Provence in all seasons. 

Day 1 – Marseille

Begin your journey in bustling Marseille, renowned for its excellent restaurants, beautiful Old Port and museums. From the airport, it will take you 30 minutes by car to reach the city center of Marseille. Put down your luggage and have a bite to eat at the Grandes Halles du Vieux-Port. This “food court” offers a wide range of options to satisfy all appetites. Then start a walk in the Cours Julien district, renowned for its urban art and lively nightlife. We go there for an aperitif via the Old Port and Noailles (an equally lively district).

Then take a bus to the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde basilica, which overlooks the city, to watch the sunset. Conclude the evening with a gourmet dinner at La Haberdashery.

Day 2 – Marseille

After breakfast, head for the fish market in the Old Port. Then, climb a few stairs towards the Panier district, the oldest in Marseille, where you will be tempted to stop in a café and taste the shuttles, these small biscuits flavored with orange blossom. South of the Old Port, Le Four des Navettes pastry shop is an institution. For dinner, you won't go wrong with a delicious pizza from Chez Étienne. In the afternoon, visit the superb Mucem (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations). End the day at the Miramar restaurant and try to finish a bouillabaisse, an emblematic fish dish in Marseille.

Day 3 – The Calanques

On the third day, leave the city center to visit the impressive creeks of Marseille. This succession of heavenly coves and creeks is a true marvel of nature. A good plan would be to take bus 21 from Place Castellane or from the Prado roundabout in Marseille. It is this bus that will allow you to access the Calanque de Sugiton. You have to go to the “Luminy” bus terminus. You should walk about an hour before reaching the lookout. The view is magnificent! 

Conclude the day in the fishing port of Vallon des Auffes. Several restaurants, including Chez Fonfon and Chez Jeannot, promise you an excellent meal.

Day 4 – Porquerolles

Leave Marseille in the morning, head for the island of Porquerolles by train. The journey will take approximately 1 hour 20 minutes. From the station, a bus will take you to the port. Once on the island, take the time to discover the magnificent village of Porquerolles, the natural landscapes, the forts, the beaches and discover the excellent restaurants. Give yourself the day to visit the places, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can also rent bicycles.

At the end of the day, leave the island and discover the town of Hyères, on the mainland. Stroll through the streets of the medieval town and stop at a restaurant to end the day in style.

Day 5 – Aix-en -Provence

In the morning, leave Marseille towards Aix-en-Provence, the city of a thousand fountains. From Marseille airport, allow 30 minutes by car to reach Aix. Drop off your luggage at the hotel and go for a walk in the historic heart of the city. It can be crossed on foot in half an hour from side to side. In the afternoon, board a taxi in the direction of Château Lacoste, this incredible 200-hectare estate where vineyards, restaurants, art and architecture come together. Allow three to four hours to explore the site and discover all the beauty of its landscapes. For dinner, treat yourself to an excellent Italian meal at Vanina.

Day 6- Aix-en-Provence

Stroll the Cours Mirabeau, this 440-meter long promenade surrounded by plane trees and mansions, and do some shopping. Stop at Maison Béchard or Roy René to take home some calissons, an Aix specialty. You will also be tempted to get lost in the nearby streets lined with charming shops. At the bend of an alley, pass by the Hôtel de Caumont, an art center and a real jewel of Aix-en-Provence. Time stands still in this prestigious private mansion. Stroll through the sumptuous gardens. You will fall in love!

For dinner, bet on a platter to share at the Petit Bistro on Place Richelme. Fill your cameras with beautiful shots of the fountains and colorful facades that make the city so charming. Do not forget to go through one of the many markets that animate the squares of the city. This is the ideal opportunity to discover Provençal products (lavender honey, olives and olive oils, Cavaillon melon, madeleines and more).

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Useful information

Getting there

Until January 8, 2023, Air Transat is extending its direct flights from Montreal to Marseille. You can therefore count on this Quebec airline to transport you to Provence. Info: www.airtransat.com

Getting around

No need for a car to discover Marseille and the surrounding area. Public transport is efficient and offers two metro lines (€1.50 for a single ticket), 80 bus lines (including 2 electric) and 3 tram lines. There is even a sea shuttle (€5 per trip) and the train which are available. When you arrive from the airport, take the shuttle that connects the airport to Saint-Charles station, located in the city center and connected to lines 1 and 2 of the metro.

Accommodation

In terms of accommodation in Marseille, a good plan would be to bet on a hotel around the Old Port in order to be close to everything (and especially the fish market in the middle of the Quai de la Fraternité). The Maisons du Monde hotel could be an interesting option. The address overlooks the Old Port and has 61 rooms all decorated with care. Breakfast is served daily and truly feels like home…only better. Info: marseille.maisonsdumondehotel.com

In Aix-en-Provence, put down your suitcases at the Renaissance Hotel. 10 minutes from the center, the hotel offers spacious rooms and a swimming pool to dream of. Info: www.marriott.com

This trip was made possible thanks to Air Transat, Choose Marseille, Aix-en-Provence Tourism, Hyères Tourism and Visit Var.