Patrick Urvoy Photography
The majestic, century-old plane trees lining the road into Saint-Rémy-de-Provence are your first indication that this town is going to be special. Saint-Rémy does not disappoint! Rich in art and history, it also has chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants on each windy street. This is one of my favorite towns, and I know you will love it too!
EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE
We begin with the classics, starting in the ancient village of Glanum, dating from 7 BC. At the entrance to this ancient, wealthy city are two large monuments called "Les Antiques". You will park your car on this side, and, after photos, head over to see this magnificent fragment of Ancient Greece in Provence.
Continuing closer to town, you will find the Route Van Gogh, and the hospital of Saint-Paul de Mausole where Van Gogh was treated from May 1889 to May 1890. He painted almost 150 works during his year here, including many of his most famous masterpieces such as Starry Night, Les Iris, and his series of Olive Trees.
You are almost to town! But one more stop at the Office de Tourisme can ensure that you don't miss anything you really want to see! Saint-Remy-de-Provence is easily discovered on foot. There is a large parking lot (paying, of course!) but once settled in, you are ready to enjoy a full day of indulgences! If you still want a bit more history, check out the birthplace of Nostradamus at 6 rue Hoche, and the Collégiale Saint-Martin Catholic Church on boulevard Marceau. There are beautiful squares hidden throughout the town, a lot of stunning architecture, as well as The Musee des Alpilles and L'Hotel Estrine housing a museum of modern art.
Now can we shop?
Market Day is Wednesday, from 9 am to 1 pm. at Place de La Republique, and I highly recommend it! The atmosphere is friendly and fun, and you are sure to walk away with some treasures. Afterward, hit these local hotspots:
La Caravane des Créateurs is a conglomeration of 17 designers. Talk with the artists and find a one-of-a-kind treasure at 4, rue Carnot. We especially love the jewelry of Creations d'Olivia and the papier mache lamps of Pascale Saint-Sorny.
N.M Deco, located at 9, rue Hoche is simply elegant. I always find something I have to have here.
When you need a bag to put your new purchases in, head to Lulu en Provence at Place Moatti for a chic and clever Cabas or Pochette.
Juliette Legendre's feather creations will tickle your fancy at Maison Plume, at 14, rue Lucien Estrine.
When you are ready to find some gourmet snacks for your room or to bring home, head to Maison Bremond 1830 located at 27 boulevard Victor Hugo.
Parfumerie Galimard has fragrances, cosmetics, soaps and home scents, but what is really unique is its Bar a Parfum where you can create your OWN perfume! Bring some friends and set up your own workshop, where you will each produce your own unique scent. And don't worry about running out - your formula will be saved so you can reorder when you run out! 39, rue Carnot (Advanced reservations for workshops required)
This is far from an exhaustive list, but you may be completely exhausted after a peek in each boutique!
Stay and Savor
There is no shortage of fabulous restaurants in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, but here are some favorites:
For a truly unique experience, head to Maison Mistral - Bistrot Les pieds dans l'eau for an incredible ambiance and plates all meant to share. (22 boulevard Victor Hugo)
Just as you exit town, there is a former mill that has been transformed into a charming restaurant where the finest fresh local ingredients are made into gourmet meals. I was introduced to Le Moulin de Sophie by local residents - and we all know that locals know where to eat. (150 Route de Maillane)
Château des Alpilles ***** is a hideaway fit for a king! Old-world charm at its finest. Hidden in the countryside, yet close to all you want to see and do, this is perfection. Enjoy a gourmet meal at The Manor restaurant, or more casual, summer fare By the Pool.
Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa ***** They had me at "spa". Pampering, luxury - its perfection.
Château de Roussan **** is another charming option - why wouldn't you stay in a castle in Provence?
Hotel de L'Image **** One final favorite, but again there are many beautiful choices !