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Salon-de-provence

"A place where you can take your time;

A place where you can walk through time"

Fabienne Barrere-Ellul

Directrice de l'Office de Tourisme

Perfectly situated in the center of the Bouches-du-Rhone, Salon-de-Provence is the place to stay.  It is less touristy than other destinations, and you get the feel of living among the locals.  There is plenty to discover here, and it is an easy drive to Marseille, the Camargue, Avignon or Aix-en-Provence.  On y va?

S is for Soap - Thanks to the plentiful olive groves, Salon became the center of the soap-making industry at the end of the 19th century.  The stately manor homes of this era still remain, as well as 2 of the remaining soap manufacturers:  Rampal-Latour and Marius Fabre.  They are each worth a visit, as their styles are very different.  Besides, the fabulous fresh smell of soap lingers in each workshop!  Enjoy!

(You will want to fill your suitcase with soap - and when you need to restock, visit our online boutique! )

is for Avions  - Salon is hone to the Military Air Base and the Air School.  With the planes soaring above in formation on Tuesdays from 12-2pm, or plan a visit to the prestigious Patrouille de France.

Nostradamus Salon-de-Provence

L is for L'Emperi - This exceptional castle is one of the largest and oldest medieval fortresses of Provence.  A favorite residence of the Archbishops of Arles, the castle was built between the 12th and 16th centuries.  Perched on a rocky outcrop, it provides a stunning overview of the city.  Inside the castle there are 2 museums:  Le Musee de l'Emperi and Le Musee de Salon et de la Crau.  The Emperi Museum houses the most prestigious collection of military dress from the 1730s to WWI, including some of Napoleon's belongings.  The Museum of Salon et de la Crau displays the pastoral paintings of Theodore Jourdan.  

O is for Olives and Ovins - (Of course we know "Olives" but "Ovins" are a breed of sheep). Speaking of pastoral life, La Maison de la transhumance has developed the first School of Sheep Herders in France in a stately manor just outside of Salon.  Future shepherds of all ages and from all walks of life learn this ancestral tradition.  And they make great socks and clothing from the sheep's wool!  

Olive oil is an essential part of daily life here. Take an excursion to discover the extraordinary flavors of olive oil produced here, as well as its use in Marseille soaps.  

N is for Nostradamus - Born in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Nostradamus spent his last living years in Salon-de-Provence, from 1547-1566.  Astrologer, scholar and physician, his prophecies are world-renown and still applicable today.  Visit his home where he wrote his famous works, or have a guided visit of the city from Nostradamus himself!  

EXPLORE AND EXPERIENCE

Le Parfum Singulier - Unlike other perfume stores that carry the same familiar brands, owner Amur will walk you through unique, lovely collections as you search for the scent that represents you.  This is a shopping experience, where you can take your time as the fragrances mix with your chemistry.  Prepare to indulge the senses.

La Mairie is an elegant building known for its exceptional woodwork and portraits of famous inhabitants of Salon, among them Nostradamus, bien sur!   You can arrange a visit to see the rooms where weddings take place.  It is so popular there is a long waiting list for mariages!  

Stay and Savor - our Top 5

1

For five generations the Famille Sabatier has been baking exceptional breads and pastries at the Fournil du Progres.  Fill your basket with a bit of sweet and a bit of savory!  Find them at 160, rue A. Girard - and say "bonjour" from French Detours! 

2

I love places with charm and character and Restaurant and Tea House en Aparthe(s) fits the bill.  Owner Laurence has hand-selected every piece of decor that has a special meaning for her.  Cozy and comfortable, you will want to spend hours in her oasis.   The hardest part is deciding on upstairs, downstairs, or the courtyard!  The changing menu is filled with her own creations.  This is not a place to skip dessert!  Even if you are not a huge fan of tea, this is the place to give a new flavor a try -  sublime. Find this hideout at 13 Place Eugène Pelletan. 

3

There is always that time in the afternoon when you just need a bite of chocolate (or is that just me?). Head to the Chocolaterie Nostradamus at 22 Avenue du 22 Aout 1944 for a warm welcome by Hortonse and a taste of her artisanal chocolate creations.  You can smell the cacao simmering ... The top pick - her "Nostradamus" - white chocolate and orange peel.  

4

Garrigae Abbaye de Saint Croix **** This 12th century abbey in the heart of forty acres of Provencal gardens offers spectacular views of the Alpilles Valley and the countryside surrounding Salon-de-Provence.  The abbey has a charming, restful atmosphere and you feel traces of the monks that once lived here.  Try one of the restaurants featuring seasonal local ingredients.

5

Hotel Domaine de Roquerousse *** Just 2.5 miles from Salon, located on a 1000-acre estate is a stone hotel that you would never know is owned by Best Western!  A tranquil place to rest after touring all day, this is an affordable sanctuary close to all you want to see and do.