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Aix-en-provence in May

JeannieL

10+ Posts
We are doing a river cruise from Paris to Arles in late April. We are staying in Menerbes for 2 weeks following the cruise. Our return flight is from Marseille. Is it worthwhile to spend a few days in Aix-en-Provence prior to our flight? It is a morning flight, thinking it will be easier if we were near the airport. Maybe another location near by to visit a few days? Thoughts appreciated.
 

Christian

10+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
If it's just for a few days, I would stay in Marseille, where there is more to do (take a boat tour to see the fantastiques "Calenques", nearby). You still should consider a day trip to Aix-en-Provence and if you do, make sure you don't miss the amazing public market on the Cours Mirabeau (on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Marseille is greatl; the area called "le Panier" is really beautiful and colorful. Have dinner there. The old port is a lot of fun for an evening walk or a late night Pastis!
 

JeannieL

10+ Posts
If it's just for a few days, I would stay in Marseille, where there is more to do (take a boat tour to see the fantastiques "Calenques", nearby). You still should consider a day trip to Aix-en-Provence and if you do, make sure you don't miss the amazing public market on the Cours Mirabeau (on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Marseille is greatl; the area called "le Panier" is really beautiful and colorful. Have dinner there. The old port is a lot of fun for an evening walk or a late night Pastis!
Thank you! Appreciate the feedback :D!
 

poppy_bee

New Member
Hi JeannieL,

If you are staying for two weeks in Menerbes and have a car you can easily make a trip to Aix for the day during this time. It's a pretty but touristy town and quite a bit bigger than Menerbes and the other lovely towns you will be near (Lourmarin etc.) so it's nice for a "day in the city". The markets are indeed great, as is the experience of sitting on the Cours Mirabeau and watching the world go by. There are also good Museums in Aix. And if you like art or architecture you can visit Cezannes studio (by car) which is great - tiny but insightful and so perfectly tweaked to suit what he needed as an artist.

Marseille is a totally different thing - last time I was there was some 9 years ago (before it was the city of culture in 2013) and I think it has changed /developed a bit since then, but it is a very big, quite grubby place, so prepare yourself for that! It's wonderful too - but does take a bit of getting used to in my experience. There are lots of good North African influences such as amazing pastries (Baklava etc) and Notre Dame de la Garde is very unique. The Calanques are amazing as Christian Said, and the Panier is a lovely pretty spot. The port is also great for people watching. You can take a bus from the centre of town (perhaps around the port) and head toward Point Rouge which will take you along a beautiful coastal road to the sleepy little point at the very edge of Marseille and right near the Calanques.

If you're driving in Marseille, fait attention! It's a bit crazy :)

My favourite thing about Provence however is wandering through little towns like Menerbes and doing day trips to other little places nearby. There are lots of good "chateaux" (not like those in the Loire, but Provencal versions) in the area and some are furnished which makes for a great visit.

Enjoy.
 

DHC

10+ Posts
Aix is worth a visit of many days, but with all you have going on, a day trip from Menerbes would give you a taste of it. If you go on a market day, and even if you don't, park someplace outside Aix that has frequent bus service into town. Visit the market in the morning, lunch on the Cours Mirabeau, and loll away a chunk of the afternoon there. If you have more cultural determination, you can taxi/Uber to Cezanne's studio or walk to the Musée Granet; both are small, choice, and wonderful. However, people watching on the Cours is a peak experience in itself.
 

JeannieL

10+ Posts
Hi JeannieL,

If you are staying for two weeks in Menerbes and have a car you can easily make a trip to Aix for the day during this time. It's a pretty but touristy town and quite a bit bigger than Menerbes and the other lovely towns you will be near (Lourmarin etc.) so it's nice for a "day in the city". The markets are indeed great, as is the experience of sitting on the Cours Mirabeau and watching the world go by. There are also good Museums in Aix. And if you like art or architecture you can visit Cezannes studio (by car) which is great - tiny but insightful and so perfectly tweaked to suit what he needed as an artist.

Marseille is a totally different thing - last time I was there was some 9 years ago (before it was the city of culture in 2013) and I think it has changed /developed a bit since then, but it is a very big, quite grubby place, so prepare yourself for that! It's wonderful too - but does take a bit of getting used to in my experience. There are lots of good North African influences such as amazing pastries (Baklava etc) and Notre Dame de la Garde is very unique. The Calanques are amazing as Christian Said, and the Panier is a lovely pretty spot. The port is also great for people watching. You can take a bus from the centre of town (perhaps around the port) and head toward Point Rouge which will take you along a beautiful coastal road to the sleepy little point at the very edge of Marseille and right near the Calanques.

If you're driving in Marseille, fait attention! It's a bit crazy :)

My favourite thing about Provence however is wandering through little towns like Menerbes and doing day trips to other little places nearby. There are lots of good "chateaux" (not like those in the Loire, but Provencal versions) in the area and some are furnished which makes for a great visit.

Enjoy.
Thanks for the info :D!
 

JeannieL

10+ Posts
Aix is worth a visit of many days, but with all you have going on, a day trip from Menerbes would give you a taste of it. If you go on a market day, and even if you don't, park someplace outside Aix that has frequent bus service into town. Visit the market in the morning, lunch on the Cours Mirabeau, and loll away a chunk of the afternoon there. If you have more cultural determination, you can taxi/Uber to Cezanne's studio or walk to the Musée Granet; both are small, choice, and wonderful. However, people watching on the Cours is a peak experience in itself.
Thank you :D
 

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