Renting a holiday villa in Provence or near the Cote d’Azur? If so, then it’s the perfect opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful villages in the Alpilles. From the Antiques in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to the citadel in Les Baux de Provence, there is a wealth of local heritage to be discovered.
Les Baux de Provence
The citadel in Les Baux de Provence is perched on a rocky overhang. If you only see one thing during your stay in Provence, this has to be it. It also has stunning views over the Alpilles hills. Featuring no less than 22 listed monuments, nobody is immune to the beauty of Les Baux de Provence. Take in a play that recounts the history of the village, or taste the local fare at friendly restaurants with excellent food. And it is a pleasure to try the local produce, from organic wines to olive oil. With everything it has to offer, it’s no surprise that Les Baux de Provence is one of the most popular villages in the Alpilles.
How could anybody resist this Alpilles village? You’ll be instantly awed by the picturesque nature of it. Stroll through then hilly streets and admire the architecture of the houses which bears witness to the village’s dramatic and eventful past. Climb up to the top of the village to admire the statue of the Virgin Mary and the clock tower, and enjoy the amazing view of the Alpilles. More treasures from Eygalières’ history come in the form of religious monuments such as the Penitents’ chapel, Sainte Sixte chapel and St Laurent’s church.
Take a detour through Tarascon, a town with a population of 14,000 set on the banks of the Rhone. Tarascon is a beautiful village, with its mediaeval streets and listed buildings including the castle built by King René and the town hall, or the Sainte-Marthe Royal Collegiate. The Souleiado museum exhibits an extensive collection of printing plates which pay tribute to the Provencal art de vivre and to textiles, which used to be a thriving industry in the region. Further afield from Tarascon, you will discover lush natural scenery which is an attraction in its own right.
It is impossible to talk about the best villages in the Alpilles without mentioning one of the most well-known, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. It lies between Arles and Avignon and is a wonderful illustration of Renaissance and 18th century architecture. And you can’t get to this typically Provencal town without visiting the Antiques on the way, namely the Triumphal Arch of Glanum and the Mausoleum of the Julii which epitomize the ancient history of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Yet the village isn’t purely about architecture and the past. It is a vibrant and welcoming place that hosts lively events such as the Transhumance festival and the Route des Artistes.
Before leaving your luxury villa in Provence, you could round off your stay with a trip to Le Paradou. Here is proof that the appeal of a town does not depend on its size. There are few more than 1,850 inhabitants over 16 km², yet tourists flock to visit the local heritage. It is a mediaeval village, and visitors immediately delight in the stone houses and craft shops. Archaeological digs have been held in Le Paradou, and the finds are on display at the Arles Antique museum. In the meantime, meander along the streets and try out one of the restaurants which are popular among celebrities. A stay in the Alpilles would not be complete without visiting this beautiful village.