The Hotel Caumont Centre d’Art is re-opening its lovely café on 10th June and will be – finally- launching its exhibition of the colourful works of Spanish impressionist Joaquin Sorolla on 10th July.

The new regime is as follows:

  • internet bookings only
  • masks to be worn
  • temperature check on entry
  • one-metre social distancing
  • no groups
  • no audio guides or coat/luggage storage.

This exhibition promises to be magnifica!


See Granet’s lovely view of Montagne Sainte-Victoire again!

Aix life is slowly getting back to normal.  The Musee Granet has reopened its doors and it’s free entry until June 30th.

Open Tues-Sunday, 10-18hrs.

With 21 Marseille beaches now open, what’s happening to the navettes maritimes which transport people from the Vieux Port to Les Goudes, Pointe Rouge, L’Estaque and Frioul?

They haven’t been servicing the first three ports during the lockdown, but reduced services did run across to Frioul, being an island with a community reliant on the link.

Frioul services have now resumed but at half-capacity due to every other seat being blocked.  So they need more boats, which means fewer for the other ports.  News is that from mid-June there will be a morning and an evening trip to Pointe Rouge and l’Estaque, with no ongoing boats to Les Goudes.

Meanwhile the Metropole transport department is looking to up the number of buses running along the coast to the beaches.

Well we’ve tied with Bordeaux which normally pips us on these types of survey.  Both towns get 7% from a survey of 1000 people asked where they would like to live. 

Six per cent favoured Biarritz and Vannes, but the interesting thing to note are Paris, Lyon and Marseille down at 3%, indicating what we’ve been hearing about people’s wish to leave conglomerations. 

Details below.

Aix-en-Provence, ville préférée des Français pour s’installer


If you feel like life hasn’t been surrealistic enough recently and are up for an immersive art show of Dali and Gaudi, then the happy news is that the Carrieres de Lumieres at Les Baux opens again tomorrow.  (The chateau which dominates the nearby village has already re-opened).

Visits to the Carrieres though are not as we knew them in the pre-Feb 2020 world:

  • Entry by internet booking only
  • Masks to be worn throughout the visit
  • Temperature check on entry
  • Hand-cleansing gel available
  • One-metre distancing to be maintained
  • No groups
  • No audio-guides available.


Feeling like some exercise?  Here’s news of a 10-day hiking trail with culture included!  Perfect for the post-lockdown list.

Works by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, known for creating outdoor installations from natural materials found nearby, form part of a new 150km “art” hiking route which stretches across the north of our region.  Named the Refuge d’Art, in the Unesco Geopark reserve in collaboration with the Gassendi Museum in Digne-les-Bains and the Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence, it is the largest public collection of his work.

Visitors to Chateau Lacoste near Aix will be familiar with Goldsworthy’s work. ‘Oak Room’ was installed in 2009 – it’s the one where steps lead down into a subterranean bird’s nest of wood. Continue Reading »

If lockdown / confinement has been tough for local businesses, so too are the adjustments required for working in this strange new world of social distancing.  Local teaching duo, Chantal and Fabienne, who specialised in teaching-while-touring-town, are back in business, but now using the safety of Skype.  Here are details:

Skype classes by Destination Francais: Dynamic and varied classes adapted to your level and needs

Free level test

Course-follow-ups by mail

Homework by email

Special  Covid 19 health newsletter

Monthly newsletter  of our cultural and touristic tips

Special registration offer:  1 free hour for 10 paid hours

Contact for more information


Email : destination.francais@ymail.com

 What’s app :   

Chantal : 06 86 36 76 99

Fabienne : 06 61 75 77 09