Have you ever visited a place and thought to yourself : “I wish I could just drop everything and move here!”? Only after a few minutes of strolling through the stony village of Les-Baux-de-Provence in Southern France, I imagined myself quitting my studies to move here and become an artisan lavender soap maker. This village was really that charming! It turns out, I’m also not the only one who thinks so; Les-Baux-de-Provence is on the list of France’s Most beautiful Villages. If you’ve been dreaming about escaping to the French countryside, sit back, relax, and let me tell you all about visiting Les Baux-de-Provence.
This unmissable village is located in the Alpilles, a region of small mountains to the South of Avignon and to the East of Nîmes. Although the word “baux” looks and sounds like “beaux,” the French word for beautiful, it actually refers to the geography of the region! This word is thought to come form the Occitan word “bauç,” meaning rocky spur.
The town is also know for its Medieval history; the village was fortified in the 10th century and a castle was built in the 13th century. If you visit the castle , you’ll get an audioguide to listen to as you explore. As you walk around, you’ll discover catapults, towers, hideouts, and more.
Planning Your Trip
- Since Les Baux is a small village, you need to take a car. In July and August you can take the regional Zou! bus line 57 from Avignon which only runs in the summer.
- You only need half a day to visit the site so consider planning an additional activity for the day like olive oil tasting, seeing the lavender fields in the Summer, or visiting the Pont du Gard.
- Tickets to visit the fort and castle are 8€ without activities and 10€ with them for an adult. Reduced prices are available for seniors, kids, and students.
Exploring the Castle Ruins
Roaming around Medieval ruins is one of the coolest things I’ve done in Europe. As an American, growing up I didn’t have ancient sites like this to explore. So now whenever I visit a fortress or castle, I feel like I’m a character in a fantasy story! The ruins of Les-Baux-de-Provence were some of the most beautiful and interesting I’ve visited while living in France.
Part of the reason I loved walking around there so much was because of the marvelous views. Looking to the South you can see the Baux Valley below. I spent several minutes just admiring the rows and rows of vineyards and olive groves which appear green even in winter. If you look really far you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the Camargue through the mist.
Thank you so much for coming along on this virtual journey of visiting Les Baux-de-Provence with me!
À la prochaine,
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