Things to do in Aix en Provence
Drink in a truly artistic vineyard
Some 15km (9.5 miles) outside of Aix en Provence is Chateau La Coste (tel: +33 4 4261 9290; www.chateau-la-coste.com), a working, biodynamic vineyard that doubles as an outdoor art installation. Artists were encouraged to treat the Chateau's grounds as their own, resulting in a fascinating two-hour art and architecture walk that's bookended by a taste of the Chateau's righteous vino.
Go for a drink in Cezanne’s local
Post-Impressionist Paul Cezanne helped change the artistic landscape towards the end of the 19th century, and much of his time away from the easel was spent in Les Deux Garcons (tel: +33 4 4226 0051; http://lesdeuxgarcons.fr) on the main drag in Aix. Whether you're after a cafe au lait, an absinthe or a plate of boeuf en daube, it's the city's prime people-watching gallery.
Hike up Sainte-Victoire Mountain
Set 16km (10 miles) outside of the city, Sainte-Victoire Mountain was made famous by local painter Cezanne, who could see it from his house and featured it in over 60 landscapes. It takes around two hours to reach the top, which is marked by the 19m-high (62ft) Cross of Provence. If you don't have your own wheels, bus L110 runs directly to the mountain.
Visit one of Aix en Provence’s many markets
Provence's markets are known across the world. There's a daily farmers' market at Place Richelieu and one at Place des Prêcheurs every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On the same days, a phantasmagoric flowers market blossoms on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville and an antiques market crops up at the Place Verdun. Don't miss the old books market on the first Sunday of each month at the place de l'Hotel de Ville either.
Visit the Fondation Vasarely
Consisting of 14 hexagons standing next to each other, each 14m wide (46ft), the Fondation Vasarely (tel: +33 4 4220 0109; www.fondationvasarely.fr/uk) is one of the most arresting pieces of modern architecture in the country. Originally conceived by artist Victor Vasarely as a polychromatic city of happiness, this wonderful art gallery now looks like a question from a maths A-level paper.
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