France,  Travel

Aix-en-Provence: Southern France Charm

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.





Our favorite spot; this outdoor area at the Airbnb

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.

Our walk from the AirBnb to the city centre


One of many fountains we found around the city

Fountain Augustin

I can’t get over the blue shutters, it’s a common exterior design here!


I think this is by far my favorite photo I took of Aix-en-Provence, this photo says everything about this charming French city!


Fountaine de la Rotonde where the 3 figures on top represents justice, agriculture, and fine arts, this is also the start of the City Centre and where the Town Markets begin.



Well-known Pastry shop in Aix! Unfortunately, they were closed that day (Sunday).

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.

The city centre: Cours Mirabeau: “Champs-Elysees of Provence”
The start of where the Open Air Market begins



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:








I love the charming old look of the buildings around Aix!

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.

My oldest enjoying her gelato
Enjoying our smoothie, which is huge here on the menus as I have noticed.
Dinner at this Bistro
The menu specials
Steak Burger my youngest order, although she was expecting an actual burger
Salmon tartare
Ravioli, not what we expected
The busy bistro eating area

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.

I love checking out grocery stores everywhere we go
We were only able to self checkout; then again, this was at 1900 in the evening

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!

28.07.2019

4 Comments

  • Donna Garrison

    I am loving the architecture, fountains and cobbled streets in Aix-en-Provence. It is always interesting to see how dishes you order come out in different countries. All part of the adventure.

    • mo

      Thank you so much for reading my post! Aix-en-Provence truly is beautiful and I hope you get to visit one day! The dishes were very interesting! As much as we appreciated trying the local dishes, we were still craving some burgers after that meal lol, but it’s nice to be able to try them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *