From the Calanques National Park to the Camargue plains, you can escape into natural landscapes bathed in sunshine. However, it won't take long before you’re searching for relief in the shade, either under arbors or inside galleries or museums. Between Marseille and Montpellier, art is expressed with refinement and passion, with a focus on new architectures, contemporary art, photography and theater. Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, and Arles are magnificent cities that have managed to combine the art of living with culture.
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Restaurant and hotel on the seafront. To love Marseille means to love the Mediterranean, inseparable from the city, just like Gérald Passedat’s three-star cuisine. First come sea anemones, bonito, sea urchins, crabs and shellfish. Then fish occupies the heart of his cuisine. More than 65 varieties are fished locally over the year, such as tub gurnard, rascasse, red porgy, comber fish, common dentex, in compliance with the guidelines for the protection of maritime resources. The cult dish is “Bouille Abaisse”, light, iodized and zephyr-like, and also the famous Lucie Passedat sea bass. Sea views are everywhere… from the terrace, from the restaurant and from your spacious bedroom, overlooking the distant horizon. ... Learn moreless
Inaugurated in 2013 on the occasion of the "Marseille, European Capital of Culture" event, the MUCEM is the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations. The building, with its latticework shell of fiber-reinforced concrete, is as much worth a visit for its view and its outdoor walkways as for...Read More less
Notre-Dame de la Garde symbolises Marseille. It is a domed basilica crowned by a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, perched at 160 m on its own hill, from which it dominates the entire city. It is a place of religious fervour and its walls are covered with legions of commemorative plaques. It also provides...Read More less
On the way to the village of Goudes, on a former industrial site marking the entrance to the Calanques National Park, the Friche de l'Escalette is (somewhat) secretly home to two structures designed by the famous architect Jean Prouvé. Made of sheet metal, wood and steel, these two completely demountable...Read More less
The Vieux-Port is the heart of Marseille, and has huge numbers of cafés, restaurants and terraces right next to moored boats. It stretches as far as the Palais du Pharo and Fort Saint-Jean to the west, and in the east to the famous boulevard of La Canebière. Every morning it throbs to the rhythm of the...Read More less
This remarkable little cove in Marseille epitomises the harbour area in Marseilles. It is a minuscule port, with small craft bobbing about or moored on the banks across from tiny fisherman’s shacks which have been converted into houses. The atmosphere is lively and good natured, and you are, at one and...Read More less
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Hotel and restaurant in town. Paul Cézanne missed Aix terribly whenever he left, and never ceased to be inspired by its beauty. Many after him succumbed to the charm of this town and the ambience of this Florentine residence. The rooms are sumptuously decorated, and open onto a private garden filled with the fragrance of lavender. The cuisine pays tribute to Provence with dishes like sautéed loin of lamb and aubergine caviar with olives, black garlic sauce and fried basil. Try the famous local speciality of Calisson, sweets flavoured with melon and orange. Villa Gallici offers a special “Cézanne package”, which includes a visit to the painter’s studio. ... Learn moreless
Master of kinetic art, Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) built his Foundation on the hills north of Aix-en-Provence in 1976. With this avant-garde institution, the Franco-Hungarian artist wished to create an interaction between the general public and contemporary art. The building’s architectonic design is...Read More less
Aix-en-Provence, with its 17th and 18th century town houses, its maze of busy streets, its tiny squares with their fountains and the café terraces of its famous Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence is a perfect example of Provençal art de vivre. I am sure you will enjoy, as I do, the market on Place Richelme,...Read More less
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Hotel and restaurant in the country. In the heart of the Luberon Regional Nature Park, stop and enjoy a break at Domaine de Fontenille. Worthy of a novel by Giono or Pagnol, this mansion wrapped in cedars and century-old olive trees is a celebration of the charm and magnetism of the Provençal countryside, the perfect setting to experience French art de vivre. Elegantly combining period details and craftsmanship, the property’s decor draws inspiration as much from family homes full of keepsakes as from the contemporary art centre in its former cellar — original works adorn the nineteen rooms and suites overlooking the park, which include an old wash house converted into a romantic little den. Le Champ des Lunes, the Michelin-starred restaurant of chef Michel Marini, adds to the magic of this place, as do the spa and the centuries-old vineyard and kitchen garden that are open to the public. ... Learn moreless
This small town of 5,000 inhabitants has been hosting one of the most important piano festivals on the continent every year since 1981. For 4 weeks in the middle of summer, crowds flock to the park of the Château de Florans and its surrounding area. Hundreds of performers and dozens of the world's most...Read More less
La Louve was classified as a Remarkable Garden of France by the French Culture Ministry in 2007, and is one of the finest contemporary gardens in Provence ... and even in the whole of France. Created in the 1990s by the famous designer Nicole de Vésian, the garden passes from mineral to plant elements...Read More less
Salon de Provence is known worldwide for its Patrouille de France (the famous aerobatic demonstration team of the French Air Force) and also as the town that was host to the seer, Nostradamus. There is a museum dedicated to him which tells his life story with his enigmatic prophecies, which appeared...Read More less
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Hotel and restaurant in a village. Le Prieuré in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, tucked away in the mediaeval village, with its cottage garden and its trailing wisteria, emanates a rare charm. Jean-André and Geneviève Charial, who also own two properties in Les Baux-de-Provence, say that this former convent epitomises silence and relaxation. In the different rooms and suites contemporary style meets ancient tradition. The menu also pays tribute to the region, with dishes such as duck foie gras with Gariguette strawberries from Nîmes and pot-roasted Costières wood pigeon with fresh sage. Le Prieuré’s mouth-watering cuisine is served in surroundings which bring all the senses to life. ... Learn moreless
Self-proclaimed as "the biggest theater in the world", the Festival Off d'Avignon, held every July, is the alternative to, or the complement of (depending on one’s point of view), the Festival d'Avignon. Each year, the Off features around 1,500 shows in all the venues and back corners of the city. It's...Read More less
Founded in the XIV century, since 1991 the splendid Chartreuse du Val de la Bénédiction (Carthusian monastery) has housed the National Playwriting Centre. During the Nuits de la Chartreuse, authors and artists in residence present their ongoing projects. With its readings, premières, theatrical talks...Read More less
With exceptional cuisine and an inviting and sophisticated interior crafted by the artisans of the Gard region, the Restaurant Alexandre is a unique place. Two-star Chef Michel Kayser has perfected the art of pleasing the palate. The seasonal products with their special aromas are skilfully prepared...Read More less
Whether you are a fan of bullfighting or not, The Feria de Nîmes is above all a popular event which brings the town’s inhabitants together around its arena. In answer to the carnivalesque Pégoulade procession comes the abrivado, the parade of the bulls through the streets, and the slow meander of the...Read More less
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Hotel and restaurant in town. It is in Montpellier, in the highly coveted Occitanie region of Languedoc, where Hôtel Richer de Belleval reveals its splendour. Meticulously renovated by the finest specialists in historical restoration, this former 17th-century mansion has been transformed into a true family home, and now includes a gourmet restaurant and contemporary art foundation. Carrying on the rich romanticism of the Age of Enlightenment, this exceptional hotel reveals the charm of its ornamental and architectural prowess with the same spirit of heritage and artistic harmony. Past and present intertwine in this unique place, as evidenced by the 20 luxurious rooms tinged with classicism and spiced up with whimsical and bohemian touches. A stay at this peaceful haven near the Mediterranean Sea is one of infinite sweetness and reward. As you enjoy the views of the famous Place de la Canourgue, a taste of the Southern-infused contemporary cuisine of the Jardin des Sens is not to be missed. This restaurant is helmed by twin chefs Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, who have found in Hôtel Richer de Belleval a setting worthy of their culinary expression. ... Learn moreless
Founded in 1970 by Arles photographer Lucien Clergue, writer Michel Tournier, and historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette, the Rencontres d'Arles has become an unmissable event over the years for professionals and photo enthusiasts. Each edition features around forty exhibitions by young talents or star photographers...Read More less
Within the Hôtel Richer, contemporary art has found a home in a private mansion. The GGL Helenis Foundation invited artists to design and install contemporary works. Among these, you can find the creations of the Flemish visual artist Jan Fabre, or Jim Dine, one of the last representatives of the Pop...Read More less
**Offer cannot be combined, valid for an itinerary in at least 2 different Relais & Châteaux establishments before December 31, 2022, reserved with Relais & Châteaux concierges, discount applicable on certain rates and certain establishments. List available from our concierges.
Total price communicated as an indication, based on a stay of the number of nights recommended on this webpage, taking place in the next 3 months, and based on double occupancy (excluding recommended activities, excluding properties not bookable online).
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: Suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
"Why did the greatest artists come to Provence? For the light, of course! So it gives me the greatest pleasure to invite you to come with me on a route of ‘major sites’, where, under clear and crystalline skies that are the envy of the world, we shall visit the most symbolic towns and landscapes of Provence. Avignon, the Alpilles, Salon de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, you must admit that there are worse journeys you could make! When I think of this route, simple words and images comes to mind. Avignon and its immense, inescapable and indeed improbable Palais des Papes. Les Alpilles, a small mountain range with discreet little villages built into the folds in the limestone. Salon de Provence and the immense Nostradamus… Aix-en-Provence, that magnificent ‘chocolate box’, the ‘ideal’ city for art, education and countryside! Last of all, ‘egocentric’ Marseille, with its 2,600 years of History, a huge vibrant city and the cradle of Provence. I am sure that you, like me, for I never tire of it, will discover many wonderful things on this route through the ‘major sites’."