Join the Provence excursion tomorrow and discover the wonderful village of Les Baux de Provence and the city of Arles!
During this excursion you will visit a “mas” (typical farmhouse in the South of France), its olive groves. You will also discover the manufacturing process of olive oil.
You will then go to Les Baux de Provence, one of the hilltop Alpilles villages that makes the charm of this beautiful region. in the afternoon, you will go in ARLES, one of the most beautiful cities of Provence, whose architectural wealth is to be registered him on the list of “Legacy Land World “by UNESCO. It has always attracted famous artists such as Picasso or Van Gogh as its heritage is fascinating to discover.
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Les Baux-de-Provence “one of the most beautiful villages of France”
Baux de Provence is a village 20 km south of Avignon in Provence and said to be the most visited village in France (apparently 2 million visitors a year crowd on to the streets of Baux each year).
The village has a long and colourful history, dating back some 8000 years. It was the scene of many troubles during the Middle Ages, resulting at one stage with Cardinal Richelieu ordering that the castle be demolished as a punishment for harbouring protestant insurgents.
As well as the village itself a major highlight of Baux-de-Provence is its great location – nestling in the Alpilles mountains it has great views across the plains that stretch to the south, and on to the Mediterranean beyond, as well as the attractive rocky landscape of the alpilles themselves. It is a typical Provence perched village and the drive up to the village is also very scenic.
Exploring Les Baux-de-Provence
The village that we now see largely dates from the 15th-16th centuries. As you explore the steep cobbled streets lead you through the village passed medieval stone houses, many with ancient staircases or interesting architectural features, onwards and upwards until you reach the entrance to the castle.
There is plenty to see in the village itself including the parts of the ramparts that are still in place, with the Porte d’Eyguieres being one of the original entrances into the town. Other interesting monuments include the 12th century Church of Saint-Vincent, the Hotel de Porcelet on Place Francois de Herain and the Hotel de Manville (now the mairie at the southern end of the Grand Rue) – these two ‘Hotels’ are both impressive 16th century townhouses.
En route through the pedestrianised village you also pass a couple of atractive viewpoints – the best is perhaps the one from the Place Saint-Vincent next to the Penitents Chapel.
You also pass a great deal of cafes and gift shops.
The ruined castle – the Chateau of Baux-de-Provence – sits on top of a rocky outcrop above the village, and is now heavily promoted as one of the great monuments of Provence. You can tour the ruins of the castle, then relax and enjoy the views that stretch as far as the Mediterranean. There is also a series of recreations of medieval weapons and siege machines that is popular with children.