Best of Aix en Provence & Marseille

8 hours | Marseille (Provence) | MRS-106
From
$ 149.95
Medical restriction (See special notes)
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Points of Interest

  • Aix-en-Provence
Shopping Opportunities, Includes meal, Moderate activity

Description

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

The famously picturesque region of southeastern France, inspired masterpieces by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Renoir, Matisse and Picasso. Discover its beauty on this full-day tour.

Your day begins with a motorcoach ride that whisks you from port to Aix-en-Provence, a university and spa town and 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. You'll take a guided walking tour through the city's romantic streets, lined with stately 17th- and 18th-century mansions. You'll begin in the heart of town, at Cours Mirabeau, an idyllic, tree-lined boulevard adorned with beautiful fountains and many outdoor cafés.

The former medieval capital of Provence, Aix is sometimes referred to as the "city of a thousand fountains," and you will visit one of the most notable, a fountain adorned with sculptures of four dolphins at the center of the 17th-century Place des Quatre-Dauphins (Four Dolphins Square). You will also visit The Mazarin Quarter, designed by the Archbishop Michel Mazarin, brother of the famous cardinal. Laid out in 1646, its rectangular design is characteristic of 17th-century town planning.

Your guide will show you around the Old Town, home to the 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. From here, you'll have lunch in a local restaurant and then you will have some free time to browse the nearby markets, art galleries, boutiques and antique shops. Try one of the region's sweet specialties, the calisson d'Aix – diamond-shaped candies made out of almonds, honey and preserved melon.

From Aix, you will reboard the motorcoach and head back towards Marseille, with some delightful stops along the way. You will drive 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.

You will pass the magnificent Cathédrale de la Major, an extravagant neo-Byzantine structure that dates to the 19th century, and pause for a photo stop at bustling Le Vieux Port (Old Port), where working fishermen mingle with the younger crowd frequenting the fashionable bars, restaurants and theaters that have revitalized this part of town.

Your final stop is at the Basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, a neo-Byzantine church built on the foundation of a military fort built by King François I, 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.
After you complete your visit to Notre Dame, relax on your return to the ship.

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. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.

Medical Restriction:

Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations.

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Drive to Aix en provence

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Guided walking tour in Aix

Transport type:
Walking
Time at site:
01:30
Inside visit:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Free time

Time at site:
01:00

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant

Time at site:
01:15
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes

Reboard your motorcoach for the drive to Marseille

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Photo stop to the Old Port

Time at site:
00:30
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

After photostop, continue the drive to the Basilica via corniche road Kennedy

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No

Visit Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde & Panorama

Time at site:
00:45
Inside visit:
Yes
Air conditioned:
No
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
Yes
Shopping available:
Yes
Photo/video restrictions:
Yes
Photo/video opportunity:
Yes

Drive back to the ship

Transport type:
Air Conditioned Motorcoach
Transport Capacity:
49
Travel time:
00:45
Air conditioned:
Yes
Wheelchair accessible:
No
Restroom available:
No
Shopping available:
No