Points of Interest
- Marseille and Notre Dame de la Garde
Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.
What you will visit:
Pronounced just like the letter "X," this university and spa town is the cultural and political center of Provence. Aix has a Mediterranean climate and is positioned at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victoire, the imposing mountain that was a frequent subject in the paintings of Paul Cézanne. Aix is a charming place, with a lively student population and a vibrant, sophisticated cultural scene best explored on a walking tour that winds through the city's romantic streets, lined with stately 17th- and 18th-century mansions.
France's largest port, Marseille was founded in the 6th century B.C. by the Greeks. Set within a dramatic limestone hillside, romantic Marseille is the gateway to Provence but also a vibrant city to explore in its own right. Experience the beauty and culture of France's second largest city with the gorgeous coastal road known as the Corniche du Président John F Kennedy.
Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille
A neo-Byzantine church built on the foundation of a military fort built by King François I, it is strategically placed atop the highest point in the city. A square bell tower rises 130 feet over the entrance and supports a copper and gilded gold statue of the Virgin Mary that looks out over Marseille. Don't miss the colorful mosaics decorating the interior cupolas.
What you will see along the way:
From Aix, you'll drive back towards Marseille along the Corniche du President J.F. Kennedy, a scenic coastal road dedicated to the U.S. president, with stunning views of the coast's craggy cliffs and beaches.
Place des Quatre-Dauphins (Four Dolphins Square)
Aix is sometimes referred to as the "city of a thousand fountains." Here, you can photograph one of the most notable, a fountain adorned with sculptures of four dolphins.
Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d'Aix (Cathedral of the Holy Savior)
A stunning 12th-century national monument incorporating both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, the cathedral features more than 200 statues as well as other notable works of art.
The Old Port (Vieux-Port)
Overseen by two massive forts, Fort Saint-Nicolas and Fort Saint-Jean,
fishermen mingle with the younger crowd that frequents this revitalized part of town.
Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica
This neo-Byzantine church is built on the foundation of a military fort erected by King François I. A square bell tower rises 130 feet over the entrance and supports a copper and gilded gold statue of the Virgin Mary that looks out over Marseille.
Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Be sure to try one of the region's sweet specialties, the calisson d'Aix-diamond-shaped candies made out of almonds, honey and preserved melon.
Special Notes:Flash photography & video camera are not permitted in the Cathedral. Relevant amount of walking over even & cobblestone streets, many steps to negotiate in Notre Dame de la Garde; comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.