Have you ever arrived in a town and just felt instantly at home? The type of town that feels loved and lived in, the locals still take pride in it and daily life just bustles on regardless of the season. For me, that’s Aix-en-Provence.
This is a university town, so unlike other towns that may shut down in the off season, Aix’s heart doesn’t stop beating and makes a great stopover on the way to or from regional Provence at any time of year.
There’s really nothing you absolutely must see here, the beauty of Aix (pronounced ecks) is in the beautiful plane-tree-lined boulevard of Cours Mirabeau, the tangle of old pedestrian streets and squares that surround it, the countless fountains and the lively markets.
An enjoyable day in Aix might consist of strolling down the Cours Mirabeau, dropping by the famers markets, picking up some last minute souvenirs, seeing how many of the 1000 fountains you can find, taking in the vivid colours of the flower market, wandering through interesting little lanes, poking your nose into fascinating shops before finding a likely looking spot in a square to enjoy a bottle of local wine.
There’s no pressure here to run yourself ragged trying to tick all the tourist boxes, just relax, explore and learn the meaning of the French joie de vivre. So if you’re ever in Provence and needing to connect through Aix on the way to or from somewhere else, consider spending a night or two – have a little city-break in the middle of your travels!