Les Baux de Provence
Driving in from the south side we pass over the plains filled with olive groves and vineyards, making a mental note to stop off at a winery on the way back -which we did! The limestone rock has been eroded into unusual shapes and gouged out caves. The road also dramatically cuts through the limestone as it winds up to the base of ‘one of the most beautiful villages of France’ – Les Baux de Provence.
It’s very crowded and we sigh at the lack of parking closer to the entrance of the village but luckily we have a big bottle of water to keep us going. We pay the 5€ parking and begin the slow saunter up the hill as some adventurous cyclists puff past us.
The cobbled streets are lined with higgledy-piggledy medieval buildings housing tasteful souvenir shops, cafés and restaurants. We pop into an interactive art gallery then queue up for our tickets to visit the castle as the children sample some ‘yummy’ pistachio ice-cream.
Tip: It’s much cheaper to buy your tickets together. Château + Carrières de Lumières + Museum =19€. Available at the ticket office at the entrance of the Château.
We take the headphones that guide us round the castle grounds, fortress walls and keep and the children play at battle fields and pose in front of wooden catapults.
The view from up there is spectacular! Spread out in front of us are vistas from Aix-en-Provence to Marseille and Arles to the Camargue.
We are getting peckish and above all thirsty so we head back down the quaint little lane to find a mini restaurant with a view. The kids order a Nutella crepe and I opt for a bacon, cheese and cream crepe. Oh and a half litre of chilled rosé!
A four minute’ drive away (however, there can be traffic jams!) is the dazzling Carrières des Lumières where the quarry walls reflect famous pieces of art. The exhibition changes each year, and each year it’s well-worth a visit!
Les Baux de Provence Checklist:
-Visit the village + castle
– The Kids Paper Chase is an entertaining way to discover historical details and legends of the village
-Visit the vineyards and above all go wine tasting
–Carrières des Lumières – quarry walls reflect famous pieces of art
–Hike or cycle the Val d’Enfer and witness troglodyte buildings
-Go bird watching and hiking in the Alpilles
-Follow Boucabelle and her goats through the hills
-Go star gazing at Les Astronomes Amateurs de Delta
Provence offers some stunning properties to rent. Beautifully restored farmhouses with heated pools, wine domains for large groups or weddings and villas for families.
Our collection of beautiful villas for rent around Les Baux will inspire you .