SOUTH - ANCIENT TIMES - HIKING - SEA
- The town of Aix is a city the foundation of which dates back from Roman times (1st century BC); the city has kept traces of this period. It has a fascinating history as a Roman town, as the capital of Provence, and as a thermal city.
- There are numerous touristic places to see in Aix: Saint-Sauver cathedral, Gramet museum, the Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (literally, the “Four Dolphins Fountain”), and the famous Cours Mirabeau with its numerous shops.
- The town of Aix is renowned for its universities; the first one was founded in 1409. It’s also famous for its research centers and its important student population.
- The Festival International d’Art Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence (“Aix International Opera Festival”) takes place in July. There are opera and classical music concerts: here is a warning for music lovers!
- Other festivals also take place in Aix: Pâques Festival (“Easter Festival”), which occurs, as its name indicates during spring break, and the Festival de la Chanson Française du Pays d’Aix (“Pays d’Aix French Song Festival”) in October.
- The hills around are filled with pine woods, in a very Provence-like spirit. They are ideal for a stroll. The most adventurous can try and climb Saint-Victoire Mountain.
- The seafront is close at hand (around 30 minutes by car). The water of the Mediterranean Sea is quite hot and welcoming!
The climate is Mediterranean: summers are dry and hot, whereas winters are mild and sunny; it always feels good to live in Aix! The average temperature in January is around 6°C (as we said, it is mild), and it is as high as 23°C in July, a temperature you can easily stand, especially when you know there are 300 days of sun per year. But be careful, it can rise very high and become very hot, up to 30°C (and above) during summer. Summer is the season dedicated to festivals and tourism: this is the period where everything happens and you’ll have many opportunities and many activities to do. However, you will also have the flocks of tourists to avoid!
You’d rather choose spring or autumn so as to enjoy the weather without the touristic turmoil and the heatwaves.
Our best tips
- Follow in the steps of Cézanne, who was mostly inspired by Provence and Sainte-Victoire Mountain.
- Savour an ice cream on the Cours Mirabeau; it surely is very touristic, but what a pleasure!
- Do a tour of Marseille or a voyage on the sea (the seafront is only 30 minutes away from the town); you will have the opportunity to enjoy the sea without booking a hotel on the coast.
- You should avoid the summer season: the crowds of tourists are at their highest. It would spoil your holidays!
Average prices for hotels
- Low budget: 72€ per night in high season and 58€ in low season.
- Mid-range: 90€ per night during all seasons.
- Luxury: 310€ per night in high season and 200€ in low season.
Recommended areas for your hotel
- The Cours Mirabeau is gorgeous and close to the pedestrian town centre.
- The railway station area (“quartier de la gare”) is ideal if you want to stop off.
Need more information about this place?
We wrote un mini guide for our readers that we hope is coming as handy as possible (also available in PDF format to download, useful while traveling without an internet connexion) :
Aix-en-Provence : Handy Mini Travel Guide