Archive for the ‘Patrimoine’ Category

This is a special period for people in Provence.  The sun is still shining but the tourists have gone back home and the kids are back at school.  Time to quickly make the most of the countryside before the weather turns cold and winter sets in. We’re on borrowed time!

Kayaking is a deservedly popular local activity; it is a superb way to enjoy the beautiful rivers, peacefully drifting downstream through rocks and overhanging trees – well nearly always!  I can recommend three companies, all offering very different experiences and all open until or through October, though do please check before setting off.

sorgueThe river Sorgue which flows down from the Fontaine de Vaucluse is the most extraordinary shade of greenIt’s a truly memorable kayak journey down 8km to the Isle sur le Sorgue.  It takes about 2 hours.  You will get your feet wet as you have to alight twice to haul the kayak over a little rocky threshold in the river, so wear rubber shoes.  Details of Kayak Vert here: http://www.canoevaucluse.com/?lang=en

Up now to the Lac St Croix where you can hire canoes and kayaks through October.  The turquoise lake has sandy beaches and is a perfect place to spend an hour (14€ pp) paddling around.  The intrepid can set off up the Gorge de Verdon which is an impressive rocky canyon but here is a warning.  We stopped at the farthest point for a picnic, during which time a mighty wind had started up the gorge.  Paddling back to the lake was a complete nightmare.  I notice that this company’s website say that they don’t hire boats when it’s windy…….https://verdoncanoe.com/en/activity/location-canoe-kayak/gorges-du-verdon-plage-du-galetas/11-2-hours-the-unmissable-way-to-visit-the-gorges

Different again is the river Gardon.  Like the Sorgue, it’s a 2 hour, 8km, journey downstream, but the reward at the end of the journey is the truly astonishing Roman Pont du Gard.  It is so wonderful to paddle underneath it for a different perspective of this world-famous aqueduct.kayak

When we rounded the corner before the bridge, we were alone on the river which was very still.  So we saw a perfect mirror image.  Unforgettable.

Details here: https://www.kayakvert.com/conseils-pratiques-canoe-gardon.html

Although companies say that they are working until mid October, I suspect things are winding down and hiring will be weather-dependent.  Best follow the links and check availability.  Next opportunity will be in the spring!


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Here, in posters, are 4 suggestions for the coming weekend – 14-15th September:


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This Sunday in Le Tholonet

La Route Cézanne, the twisty country road that the painter used to take from Aix to paint the Sainte-Victoire, is the only road in France that is listed as a historical monument.  It used to be closed for two afternoons a year for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy – and it was great fun to cycle along without the fear of traffic — but that won’t happen any more.  Why? (more…)

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A cartoon-based gastro-guide in Aix

An olive-based trail in Marseille’s Panier


Graeco-Roman Banquets in Marseille’s Jardin des Vestiges



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No sign of Burger King, Librarie de Provence still empty, Bistrot Romain no more, and the venerable Les Deux Garcons for sale. It’s all change in the cours Mirabeau! (more…)

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This annual celebration of European heritage is always a high spot in the calendar in Aix with special events and ‘portes ouvertes’ across town. (more…)

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It’s incredible to think that Princess Grace would have been 90 years old this year.  To celebrate, the palace has put on an exhibition based around the brief meeting between Grace, then a well-known actress visiting Cannes, and Rainier, a prince in search of a bride.  At the same time, you get a tour of the palace.  The exhibition closes on October 15th, as does the palace as far as visits are concerned until next spring.

Monaco is a long drive from Aix, but do-able in a day, and a fascinating place to visit.  More on visiting the palace here:  https://www.palais.mc/en/visits-of-the-palace-online-booking-1-31.html

Afterwards, you can wander down to the Cathedral where the marriage took place, and where they are buried.

Lots to do in town of course: https://www.monte-carlo.mc/fr/visites/office-tourisme-monaco/



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