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2 Day Aix-en-Provence Self Guided Tour

Extension Tour: For those who want to spend more time in Provence!

This extension is for those who are coming on our South of France tours and would like to have a longer stay in France and see one of the most famous towns in Provence: Aix! This self-guided tour includes a door to door transfer from Montpellier at the end of your 9 day tour to a hotel in the heart of Aix-en-Provence where you will use our self guided tour program to discover the best that Aix has to offer!

 

To book this tour you must purchase one of our South of France tours and then select it from the list of add-ons when booking. You can also add it to your South of France tour after booking when you log in to your WeTravel account and manage your tour. The price is $200 per person.

 

Purchasing this tour gets you private transport from your hotel at the end of your South of France tour to your hotel in Aix and our self guided tour program. You will book your own hotel and decide how long you will stay in Aix. We recommend staying at the Aquabella hotel and spa which is next to the Thermes Sextius, a spa built on top of an Ancient Roman bath that uses the same natural source of water as the Romans. It is a great hotel in downtown Aix where you can relax after your group tour and see Aix, a wonderful city for walking with many things to discover, at your own pace with our travel guide. Another good option for a hotel is the Hotel Cezanne.

Pick up: Your South of France tour hotel 
Drop off: Your hotel in downtown Aix-en-Provence 
Maximum Participants: 14 people 
 Hotel: Aquabella Hotel

Regions: Aix-en-Provence
Duration: 2 days, 2 nights
Transportation: Private transport in vehicle
Driving: 2 hours

Things to see in Aix

Our self-guided tour program will help you discover all the best places in Aix!

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Aquabella Hotel and Spa

One of the Hotel options for the tour. A true haven of peace, this 4-star hotel in Aix-en-Provence is surrounded by a magnificent Mediterranean garden that invites tranquillity. It has been designed to create a soothing atmosphere that is a marvellous marriage between the tranquillity of Provence and the historic riches of the town of Aix.

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This charming hotel in Aix-en-Provence offers the perfect setting for discovering the heritage of the town of a thousand fountains, its market, its museums and its Provencal-style art of living. It also allows you to familiarize yourself with the world of the famous painter Paul Cézanne, who immortalized the colours of Aix-en-Provence and the nearby Sainte-Victoire mountain.  

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Boutique Hotel Cezanne

One of the Hotel options for the tour. It is an ideal starting point to discover Aix’s heritage on foot: the Mazarin district and its aristocratic architecture from fountains to town houses; the city’s main art centre, Hôtel de Caumont; and even the Grand Théâtre de Provence is nearby.

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The Boutique Hotel Cezanne has featured in the city's history for 100 years. Just a 5 minute walk from the prestiguous Cours Mirabeau, it is ideally located near the city's ancient walls on the site of one of the first Roman cities in the Mediterranean basin. > See here our July Special Lavender tour here.

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Cours Mirabeau

The Cours Mirabeau is one of the most popular and lively places in the town. It is lined with many cafés, one of the most famous being Les Deux Garçons and during its history frequented by famous French cultural figures such as Paul Cézanne, Émile Zola and Albert Camus.

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This large main street is double rowed of plane trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall, and divides the town into two sections. The new town extends to the south and west and the old town with its narrow irregular streets and its old mansions dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, lies to the north.

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The Old Town

The old town of Aix is a picturesque maze of charming streets lined with elegant 17-19th century mansions with sculptured doorways and balconies, punctuated with pleasant squares, bubbling fountains and colorful flower baskets.

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Known for its shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, pedestrian zone, places, fountains and mansion houses. You will find classsic French architecture and many museums.

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Quartier Mazarin

On the south of the Cours Mirabeau, this residential district was constructed in the last half of the 17th century. The famous Fountain of The Four Dolphins built in 1667. It features four dolphins supporting an obelisk, with a baroque motif hinting at the Italian design influence on Aix.

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You will also find The 13th-century church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte that contains valuable pictures and a recently restored organ. Next to it, is the Musée Granet, devoted to European painting and sculpture.

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Place d’Albertas

The Place d’Albertas, in front of the National History Museum, built in 1745, is a rengency style ornamentation by reinterpreting Baroque features. Four mansions border the square with identical façades whose large windows are adorned with wrought-iron balconies. 

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Family of Alberta is one of the largest families in the city in the eighteenth. The place and all the surrounding houses have been constructed in 1745 by G. Vallon for Jean-Baptiste d'Albertas. The space was designed by the Parisian fashion of royal squares. The fountain at the center of the square was erected in 1912. The family belongs to the eighteenth century Albertas the circle of the great families of Aix.

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Cathedrale St Sauveur

Situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix, it contains a mixture of all styles from the 5th to the 17th century. The architecture includes Gothic and Neo-gothic influences, with Roman columns, so be sure to visit the cloister, the baptistery and the bell tower, or simply gaze at the carved doors. 

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The cathedral is located on the route of the Roman road, the Via Aurelia. A fragment of a Roman wall and the columns of the baptistery seem to be the origin of the legend that the church was built on top of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo. The historian Scholastique Pitton (1668) claimed that the temple had been dedicated to a sun god, basing his claim upon the discovery of the leg of a statue uncovered at the site.

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Birthplace of Paul Cezanne

Follow the Cours Mirabeau to find Rue de l'Opera which has a few grand townhouses dating back to the 17th and 18th century. Find the intersection of this street and rue Pavillon and you will see a plaque memorializing the place where Cezanne was born!

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Hotel de Caumont

Located near the Cours Mirabeau thoroughfare, the Hôtel de Caumont is one of the finest mansions in Aix-en-Provence. Extending from the Cour d’Honneur to the gardens and the historic rooms, the itinerary recreates the refined atmosphere of the eighteenth century.

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It holds major temporary exhibitions devoted to major artists in the history of art (including a permanent Cezanne exhibition), from the fourteenth century to the present day. Admire the vintage French decoration throughout, the beautiful garden, and enjoy the wonderful cafe for lunch or a drink!

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Fontaine de La Rotonde

Fontaine de La Rotonde is the most spectacular fountain in the city of 1,000 fountains. It is located at one end of Cours Mirabeau and is in the middle of a traffic roundabout. It was built in the mid-19th century. At the top are some lovely sculptures of three female figures symbolising

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Justice, Agriculture and the Fine Arts. The fountain also has quite a few other bronze sculptures of various animals, including dolphins, swans, lions and others.

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Place des Prêcheurs

The Place des Prêcheurs was created in the 15th-century and served as the center of social life in Aix-en-Provence prior to the completion of the Cours Mirabeau in 1651. The Église de la Madeleine looms large over the place, having been a fixture here for more than three hundred years. .

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It was long considered the most beautiful church in the Bouches du Rhône, and is where the famous artist Paul Cézanne was baptized

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Musée Granet

Musée Granet sits the priceless Planque collection which includes almost 300 paintings, drawings and sculptures from the impressionists and post-impressionists (Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas) to major 20th-century artists such as Bonnard, Picasso, Braque, Léger, de Staël and Dubuffet.

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The museum has expanded into the White Penitents Chapel, a jewel of 17th century Aix architecture, to present the bulk of this fabulous collection. The full collection of the museum explores artistic design from Antiquity, 16th-19th century French (Le Nain brothers, Ingres, Granet), Flemish (Rembrandt, Rubens) and Italian painting (the Flémalle master) to masterpieces from modern and contemporary art. The museum presents the wonderful Philippe Meyer donation, "from Cézanne to Giacometti". The room devoted to Cézanne features ten masterpieces including the latest acquisition, the Portrait of Emile Zola.

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Place Richelme

Place Richelme has two distinct personalities, by day and by night. Its daily morning food market is one of the key attractions of the old part of Aix, and yet it is not overrun with tourists. This is where the locals shop as they have done for centuries, from the elderly down to students pulling together a picnic lunch to munch on a sunny step.

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It is this demographic smorgasbord that makes Place Richelme so great for people-watching, and the best place to do that is at one of the cafe tables on the square, where the colours and sounds of the market and its visitors make a compelling spectacle.

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Les Deux Garcons

The oldest and most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it was frequented by the likes of Paul Cézanne, Émile Zola and Ernest Hemingway. A nice place to sit and enjoy a French coffee while people watching on the Cours Mirabeau.

 

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Thermes Sextius

If you want to relax and recharge, you'll definitely want to pay a visit to the Thermes Sextius. This luxurious spa is built on top of the thermal baths of Aquae Sextiae, which were discovered by the Romans in the 18th century. Visitors can view the excavated remains beneath the lobby's glass floor.

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These natural spring waters have long been an Aix staple — famous figures Pablo Picasso and Winston Churchill have even experienced these soothing waters.

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Atelier Cezanne

The studio where Cézanne worked till the end of his life, the Atelier des Lauves is steeped in the artist's personality. It displays his painting materials and personal belongings as if he still lived there. It is very busy and reservations are strongly recommended.

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If you feel like getting some extra exercise, you can visit the Terrain des Peintres. This is where Cézanne would go in the afternoons to paint "on location". It's 0.8 km / half a mile up the hill from the studio: you could walk it in 20 minutes, or the bus no.5 will take you there.

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Place de l’Hôtel de Ville

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville is one of Provence’s most famous city squares with a wide variety of architectural styles. Some famous monuments bordering the square are the Corn Exchange, the Town Hall, the fountain, and the Clock Tower. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays a flower market can be found at the square.

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It's a fun place to just sit at a cafe and watch the locals buy their goods in the morning. In the afternoon and evenings it's a great place to people watch. In the summer if you are lucky you can catch a local band playing.

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Place de l’archevéché

The former "Archbishop's Square" today is a historic and important part of Aix culture. Here the Archbishop's palace is now a museum and the Theatre of the Archbishop is one of the most beloved sites in Aix for music and entertainment.

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With high quality baroque style, fountains, and plane trees planted in the 19th century, the square is a great place to stop by in Aix.

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Rated 5/5 Tours By Our Previous Travelers

Many people have already participated in our tours. Read what they thought about them.

Tim S. September 2016

"We have traveled extensively throughout Europe and France, but had never been to Montpelier and its environs. TripUsaFrance has put together a wonderful tour of medieval cities, castles, cathedrals, and countrysides. Having a beautiful seaside town and a brand new hotel as our base was icing on the cake. The sights and activities were awesome. Of particular note were the sound and light show of Chagall paintings and the cooking school. And hosts Julia and Stephane couldn't have been nicer. They went out of their way to make sure everyone in our group (ages 35 to 92) had a great time."

Debra T.  June 2017

"This was the first time my husband and I had travelled to France. We could not have been in better hands. We felt like we were treated as family friends, with accommodations fit for royalty. We saw so many wonderful places [...] We also saw local citizens of Palavas jousting from hand-rowed boats in the canal - amazing! Add in the chance to meet wonderful people at a picnic on the beach and at a cooking lesson (paella-yum!) in a private home - what more could we ask for?"

Anita S.  September 2018

"This tour was better than I could even imagine. [...] We loved staying in one hotel for the entire week (and it was a wonderful and clean hotel with kind and helpful hosts on the beach!). We loved every place we visited, from ruins to villages to picturesque towns and countryside. And the choice of restaurants was delicious! The other guests were wonderful also. Julia was fun and entertaining and easily answered our many questions as well as teaching us so much about the area. Her dad was kind and helpful and her husband and mom made us all feel like one big happy family! I will forever treasure our memories from this best vacation ever!"

Groups of 14 people maximum, make sure to reserve your spot today!

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