Aix En Provence, Hiking, Picnic In Sainte Victoire Mountain And Marseille
Truly this is the best of Provence!
Your introduction to your driver/guide will already demonstrate the warmth and friendliness of the South of France. This cool combination of experiences is meant to allow you to see the famous village of Aix (pronounced EX), stretch your legs on an easy hike in the national park, enjoy a French-style picnic and then see Marseille before returning to your ship.
Aix de Provence is just a short ride from Marseille's pier and when you get there, you are entering a village chosen by many artists, Cezanne in particular, who loved the city and loved to paint here. You will be able to explore the Cathedral, the squares and the open-air provencal markets where you can taste specialties of the area as well as smell some of the beautiful soaps and fragrances produced here. The market experience is particularly fun as you are tasting to select your lunch items, which will be your picnic later in the day. You can imagine a French bagette, some local cheeses, maybe a great sausage, and a lovely bottle of wine, perhaps from the village of Cassis.
Your driver/guide will bring you from Aix into the countryside to the regional park of Sainte-Victorie's Mountain, truly a symbol of Provence. Sainte-Victoire Mountain has been recognized as a Grand Site de France since 2004 and is a French jewel of natural heritage which must be preserved. It was a favorite of Cezanne and appeared in many paintings. Your 30-minute 'hike' in this perfect area for walking will be along its paths peppered with dry stone walls. It is here that you can relax for a picnic with your family in the shade of the pine trees and surrounded by the song of the cicadas.
Your excursion will continue to Marseille, a city that has undergone a radical change and was named the Cultural Center of Europe in 2013. Marseille is a colorful seaport and yet has cutting edge architecture. You will visit the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica for a 360 degree panoramic view of the city and the port. Also see the Mucem, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations as well as Fort Saint John and its surrounding area.
A little freedom can be enjoyed if there is time so you can discover a little shopping in Les Voutes de la Major and the port area as well, based on your interests.
- Food, beverages, gratuities are not included.
- Entrances are not included.
- Dress for cobblestone streets as well as a short hiking on a dirt path.
- Each van holds a maximum of 8 passengers.
- During the summer months, the park is sometimes closed due to the risk of fire. As conditions can change, it is difficult to advise in advance. If the park is closed, we will make alternative suggestions for the day.
Days offered: 7 days a week