Our Southern France adventure continued to our final destination, Aix-en-Provence (pronounced like the letter X). On our way home from our 7-day Western Mediterranean Cruise, we opted to drive a good 3.5hours from Genoa, Italy to the Southeastern coastal region of France in Cassis (pronounced Kah-see) and make our way up to Aix-en-Provence to stay for a few days.
Aix-en-Provence, located in Southern France, is a city full French charm, is quaint in its own way. I think it was sort of a whim for me to pick this location to check out. Taking High School French class, I’d hear about all these cute French, Provincial towns to visit, one being Aix. The main reason for this visit was to also visit the local lavender fields in the region, not far from Aix; more on that on another post.
A small history of Aix-en-Provence, it was founded by the Romans in 123B.C., and called Aquae Sextiae (The Waters of Sextius), due to the discovery of the natural thermal water, which in turn, lead to Roman spas around the town. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city became known as the City of a Thousand Fountains. Today, you’re not able to drink out of them, but can find locals and tourists cooling off around them. I’ve included some photos of the fountains we found below.
Our home away from home was this amazing Airbnb. I picked this place simply because not only were the reviews great, but parking was free (we drove our car and parking is a must when booking for an Airbnb in Europe), and the city center itself was only a 5min. walk from the place. Added bonus, there was a grocery store nearby walking distant as well.
When we arrived, we checked into our Airbnb and then walked to the City Center to explore and find dinner. As we found the City Center, already the place was bustling with people, and this was Sunday late afternoon, although most of the shops were already closed, the restaurants were open.
I wasn’t sure if any of the stores had been open for the day on Sunday as we arrived late in the afternoon, but the restaurants were definitely busy. Outdoor open markets were also lined up along the main street filled with vendors selling their local goods.
I kept eyeing this one vendor with all of his woven Basket weaved bags. My goal for this trip was to buy one of these woven bags I’ve been oogling over on Instagram French pages I follow. I ended up buying one in the end; it only costs me 15Euro. In addition, I also bought this Turkish blanket/towel that was 20Euro. My other goal was to visit the Tuesday morning Open Air French Provincial Markets; that will be on another post.
We took that afternoon just walking along the city and exploring on our own. We didn’t really have an itinerary, we just wanted to explore. Here are some photos:
We stopped for some gelato (an obligatory thing to do at every place we visit for the girls). For dinner, I wanted authentic French for dinner, so we ate at a local Bistro. I had the Plat de Jour of pasta, my husband had a salmon tartare, while my youngest had the steak burger, and oldest daughter had the broccoli ravioli. My oldest was not impressed with her ravioli, my youngest loved her steak burger, my husband liked his salmon tartare and I thought the pasta was decent.
On our way back to our AirBnb, we stopped at the local French supermarket by our Airbnb, it reminded me of a bigger 7/11 convenience store minus the gas, but it was a full on grocery store. I had fun looking around the store and buying some essentials we needed.
That concluded our first night in Aix. I’ll followup with another post of our other Aix adventures. So far our trip has been great! I am loving Southern France with all of it’s southern charm. Au Revoir, Au bien tout! Till next time!