It was a trip with 3 people in the spring of 2019. It is worth to travel to Provence in spring, because in this time there are not so many tourists, but the weather is already good: the mornings are cool, but in the day it can be over 20°C. We traveled by train and we rented a car there. The accommodations were in Aix-en-Provence (2 nights) and in Castellan (1 night). This trip offers wide range of programs: from a big city and tiny villages to the wonderful nature.
29.03.2019 – Cassis and Les Calanques
The tour starts at Zurich Main Station and goes to Aix-en-Provence TGV-Station [you have to change the train in Geneva [CH]. Rent a car and go to Cassis, a small fishermen’s town by the sea. [Tip: eat some sea food.] Cassis is also the starting point to discover the Calanques Natinal Park. These are the Fjords of the Mediterranean sea [photo]. From Cassis you can reach easily three Calanques: Calanque de Port-Miou, Calanque de Port Pin and Calanque d’en Vau. [Tip: park with the car in Cassis somewhere on the Avenue des Calanques or direct by the Port-Miou. Take sport shoes or hiking shoes. The route is well developed, but walking on the cliffs is sometimes dangerous, because there are slippy.] In the evening drive to Aix-en-Provence and enjoy the fantastic gastronomy of the town.
30.03.2019 – Marseille
Drive to Marseilles in the morning. [Tip: Marseille is one of the largest cities in France, so the trafic can be difficult. It worth if you leave the car in the following place: Les Terrasses du Port Shopping Centre by the sea. Inside the city you can use public transportation or Uber.] There many contemporary builings along the new harbour of Marseille, but the most interesting is the Les Docks Village, which is a refurbishment of an old harbour storage building. The most important place for the tourists is the Vieux Port [old harbour]. Around the harbour there are housing estates by F. Pouillon [Estate Vieux Port, Estate La Tourette], the new Museum by the sea is designed by Rudy Ricotti [photo] and N. Foster designed the mirror-like roof with the steel columns. The Avenue Canebiére is famous from its urban planning. The Cours Julien is one of the nicest points of the city. You can take an Uber car and go to the Unité d’Habitation by Le Corbusier: thanks to the guided tour you can see an apartment with its original furnitures, the kindergarden, one of the Passarelles and the roof top terrace of this housing machine. [Tip: you can buy the tickets online 1-2 month before you go.] Say goodbye to Marseille from the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. Drive back to Aix.
31.03.2019 – Chateau La Coste and the Gorges du Verdon
In the morning take some breakfast from the market of Aix. Than drive to the North and visit the Chateau La Coste, where wine and art meet. On the territory of the chateau you can find buildings by Tadao Ando, Frank O. Gehry, Renzo Piano, Jean Nouvel and artefacts by Richard Serra and Louise Bourgeois. After this magnificent place you can drive further to France’s Grand Canyon: Gorges du Verdon. At the beginning of the Verdon Valley you can visit the small village Moustiers Sainte-Marie. After that take a break on the Pont de Galetas, from where you can see the La Croix Lake and the beginning of the canyon. Drive up on the curvy roads to the village Rougon and slowly with many stops you can reach Castellan [photo].
01.04.2019 – Gorges du Verdon
On the way back to Aix you can discover another part of the Mediterrenean Alps [photo] if you drive in the direction of Montfort. It takes 2-2.5 hours to reach Aix. There you have time for a lunch or a coffee and early of the afternoon train goes back to Geneva [CH] and Zurich.
And here is the map: