Les Baux-de-Provence is among the 156 villages classified as "The Most Beautiful Villages in France". Located on a rocky plateau, it offers breathtaking panoramic views. But leave your car behind - this village can only be visited on foot! Painstakingly restored, it has cleverly hidden shops and restaurants around each bend. Winding your way to the top you can explore 22 architectural treasures classified as historic monuments. At the summit lies the Citadelle des Baux where you step back in time to discover a castle, church, chapel, and old war weapons. This village is truly unique and a "must-see", receiving over 1.5 million visitors a year.
EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE
Start in the village, (where there are only 22 inhabitants!) taking your time to stop and explore any shop or restaurant that captures your attention. (This may take some time!) Eventually you will make it to the Citadelle where you get a glimpse of days gone by. After marveling at how they got a catapult up on this cliff, take a moment to check out the panoramic views of olive groves and vineyards. On your way back down, be sure to stop and enjoy the views from one of the many restaurants. A stop at the Office de Tourisme at the entrance of the village is always a good idea for recommendations and help with travel plans.
Carrières de Lumières is an Art and Music Immersive Experience that simply can't be explained in words. You. Must. Go. An artists' works dance on the walls, floor and ceiling of this limestone quarry, choreographed to music. It is a magical experience, worth however long the wait. (You can get tickets online in advance). The featured artist changes a few times per year, so there is always something fresh and new. Walk around and try different vantage points, but watch your step!
This may be a small village, but there is so much to discover in the area! Moulin Castelas is at the base of the hill, and has been producing award-winning olive oils since they opened. Taste the different varieties, admire the olive groves and shop local products at their boutique. Maybe you will get a glimpse of the friendly owners Jean-Benoit and Catherine Hugues. Bring your favorite oils home, and when you run out, shop our online boutique to replenish (you will never go back to supermarket oils!).
Jacques Moniquet says he is not a jeweler, but rather an inventor of shapes. This amazing artisan has been creating exceptional bracelets, rings, and necklaces for more than 50 years. His pieces are one-of-a-kind and you have to try them on to appreciate their intricate design. Shopping is only one of the reasons to visit his workshop - the other is simply to talk with this incredible, talented artist who puts such passion into his craft. I always get compliments on the amazing pieces I bought here and I look forward to adding to my collection next time.
For a truly unique Provençal experience, join Elsa in her garden, or have her come to your hotel, and learn the tradition of weaving lavender.
"I will come with freshly cut lavender and colorful satin ribbons and my "savoir-faire"! At the end of the workshop you'll keep your creation, a souvenir of Provence which for many years will scent your home and revive your memories" - Elsa
If you can't make it to Provence between June and September, you can still order a handcrafted product in our online boutique, or find out more in our blog post
May we also suggest:
Hiking - there are countless amazing trails - inquire at the Office de Tourisme
Golf at Domaine de Manville
Goats - Natascha's goat farm
Stay and Savor
Oustau de Baumaniere
Les Baux-de-Provence may be small, there is an abundance of incredible restaurants, hotels, gites (rental properties) and other indulgences. It's best to plan several days in the area to fit them all in (or eat 6 meals a day!) Bon Courage!
Le Comptoir des Carrières is a concept store that mixes art, wine, and regional specialties. This café-bar is a place to enjoy the beverage of your choice while you eat and shop! Perfection!
Speaking of wine tasting, Sainte Berthe is just around the corner and definitely worth a tasting!
There are incredible Hotel/Restaurants in the area. Here are my top picks for location, comfort, pampering and amazing food:
Domaine de Manville - This resort is absolutely stunning and features an 18-hole golf course that is completely tucked away from the rest of the village. You feel as if in your own private world, with every luxury and comfort available. There are a few restaurant options here as well as a lovely bar. I am pretty sure I could live here!
Baumaniere ***** A prestigious manor hidden at the base of Carrières de Lumieres, this is a private oasis where every detail is carefully chosen. The 2-Michelin Starred Oustau de Baumaniere restaurant provides a memorial dining experience that surprises and delights. No spoilers here - you simply have to discover this yourself. And yes, it's worth the price!
Cabro d'Or *****- For another extraordinary dining experience, head to Cabro d'Or just down the road from Baumaniere, but part of the same complex. I will have to try this one on my next visit as I ran out of dinners!
Le Mas d'Aigret *** If you are craving ambiance and want a great location at a more budget-friendly price, look no further than le Mas d'Aigret. The views are amazing - even from the shower! The restaurant and some of the rooms are carved into the existing rock, providing a cozy atmosphere. You can take the trail and be in the village in just 10-15 minutes. (The fact that you don't have to find parking in this tourist village is a huge plus!) So cozy and charming - I will come back!
If a hotel is not your style, how about your own place among the olive trees? This was a dream-come-true get-away for me. A stone building tucked into the olive groves with a few of Les Baux off in the distance - perfection. You too can rent Le Mazet, from Jean-Benoit and Catherine Hugues, who also produce the award-winning olive oils at nearby Moulin Castelas. This home is so tastefully decorated I fear they will change careers!
Domaine de Manville