Transfer to Aix, where you’re free to explore the former capital of Provence at your leisure. See for yourself how the city retains much of its 17th- and 18th-century charm, especially when strolling the Cours Mirabeau. Lined with fountains and cafes and crowned with a canopy of leafy trees, this picturesque boulevard dates back to the 1640s. Les Deux Garcons was a Cours Mirabeau café frequented by artist Paul Cezanne and writer Emile Zola, who both grew up Aix. Ambling the Quartier Mazarin, discover a grid of streets brimming with elegant mansions and splashing fountains. This exclusive area was developed in the 17th century for Aix’s nobility and affluent merchant class. The baroque Fountaine des Quatre-Dauphins (Fountain of the Four Dolphins) is particularly beautiful. Head north to Aix Cathedral, a stunning mixture of architectural styles from the 5th to the 17th centuries. Be sure to see the 15th-century Burning Bush Triptych, a trio of painted panels, inside. Then take time to hunt for treasures at the colorful markets and shops, or pause for a typical Provençal lunch. Sip pastis, an aniseed-flavored aperitif, followed by famous regional dishes including bouillabaisse, a delicious fish stew, or ratatouille, a rich vegetable dish.
• Cours Mirabeau: Stroll this elegant, picturesque boulevard lined with fountains and cafes and draped with a leafy canopy of trees.
• Quartier Mazarin: Explore where nobility and rich merchants once lived; see the graceful 17th-century Fountaine des Quatre-Dauphins.
• Shop and dine: Peruse the markets and shops for treasures; savor a typical Provençal lunch, such as bouillabaisse or ratatouille.
What to Bring:
• SeaPass card and photo identification
• Sun protection
• Cash/credit cards
What to Wear:
• Light clothing
• Hat and sunglasses
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Conservative attire (in cathedral)
• Consider physical fitness and medical history when selecting tour.
• Tour involves about 1.5 miles of walking on cobblestone streets with extended period of standing and 5 steps at the cathedral.
• Consider wearing conservative attire in cathedral (no tank tops or shorts).
• Shops may be closed on Sundays and national holidays.
• Guest must be of legal age to consume alcohol.