Introduction to Aix-en-Provence Tour

Get acquainted with Aix-en-Provence with the help of a local expert
From US$469 privately
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Aix Cathedral
  • Cours Mirabeau
Photos & Highlights
  • Explores the history of Aix-en-Provence
  • Led by an art historian, architect, or historian
Tour Description
As the earliest Roman city in France, Aix-en-Provence's history is simultaneously lengthy and fascinating. Nicknamed the ville d’eau, ville d’art (city of water, city of art), and the City of a Thousand Fountains, Aix was first valued for its water springs and idyllic natural surroundings. As the city grew in strategic importance as the capital of Provence, later rising to become a significant judicial and educational center, it began to attract attention for its Roman history, artistic connections, and thermal springs. In this three 3-hour Aix-en-Provence tour, guided by an experienced historian, we will provide a generous overview of the city's entire history, from ancient to modern.

Interested in a different region of France? Check out our tours offered in Lyon or Normandy.
  • Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur
  • Place D'albertas
  • Cour Mirabeau
  • Fontaine de la Rotonde
  • 3 hours with a Ph.D. or MA-level guide 
You will begin your walk at the highest point of what was the old Roman town. As you traverse the city, you’ll encounter many historic fountains which span several historical periods. Nearby, you’ll also be able to spot some sections of the old Roman wall and discuss its function and importance to Aix.

After learning about the city’s Roman foundations, you’ll venture into the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur, which still contains elements from the original 6th-century Roman structure —including an original baptistery. This will allow us to discuss Medieval Aix. The influx of different religious orders and the establishment of monasteries and convents transformed the city, giving it strong religious overtones in addition to its classical history.

Continuing our visit, you will check out City Hall in the heart of the old town. Afterward, you’ll move on to Place d'albertas, a charming square conceived in the Parisian style of private mansions, to discuss how this style became a growing trend as the wealthy bourgeoisie made Aix their home.

You’ll gradually descend to the Cour Mirabeau, the frontier between the old town and the new, modern city, where you will admire the most recognizable site in the city, the Fontaine de la Rotonde. You will discuss 19th-century Aix, which evolved into a sleepy town disconnected from Paris by rail while neighboring Marseille entered a period of major expansion. Despite missing this initial boom, Aix has seen considerable growth over the past 65 years thanks to a thriving art scene and a marked increase in tourism connected to a desire to experience life in the South of France and explore the city's connection to Paul Cézanne.

Comparing and contrasting the historic old city and modern Aix, you will begin to see a comprehensive picture of the city's origins and current influences. By the end of this promenade, participants will have acquired an overall understanding of Aix’s many evolutions and its importance in relation to Provençal culture.
Where do we meet?
Generally speaking, the walk begins near the Cathédral Saint-Sauveur. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map.

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your guide will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.

Do you have any other suggestions for tours in Provence?
Yes! For a change in pace, try our Cézanne's Aix-en-Provence Tour, which provides an in-depth look at the famous artist and his relationship with the region.

Is this tour walking-intensive and/or wheelchair accessible?
We do cover extensive territory on this tour. While many sidewalks in Aix are now wheelchair-accessible, there are still many cobblestoned streets. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding accessibility.

Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family-friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible guide.
Where You'll Start
22 Reviews (4.85)

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Pamela was incredible! We loved the tour so much. She pointed out many things we would have missed, providing historical context and great conversation. It was a joy to experience Aix with someone who loves the city so much!
Very informative and flexible in adapting to our groups needs.
Everything was perfect . Laura is an exceptional and knowledgeable guide able to give us great information on a variety of topics and effortlessly able to pivot to address our individual interests . What a marvelous personality . She is obviously a great scholar but makes history come alive with fun facts and the secrets of Aix. I rank her as one of my top Context guides from many years of context travel in multiple European countries and New York as well. Veronica 28 April2023