Salon-de-Provence tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Salon-de-Provence in Bouches-du-Rhone

Visit Salon-de-Provence (Provence, France)

MAP & PLACES TO VISIT

The attractively named town of Salon-de-Provence is found in the centre of the Bouches-du-Rhone department of Provence, midway between Arles and Aix-en-Provence.

Whichever direction you approach from you will be struck by the olive plantations that cover the surrounding hills and have formed the basis of the towns renowned olive oil industry for the last 600 years. Note that an important earthquake hit the town in 1909 and damaged many buildings and monuments but these were largely repaired in the following decades.

Exploring Salon-de-Provence

Salon-de-Provence has an attractive historical centre, accessed by one of the original gateways through the walls that once defended the town - the towers of Bourg-Neuf and Galagaspe.

Courtyard at Chateau de l'Emperi in Salon-de-ProvenceThe clocktower gateway is interesting, built in the 17th century with a classical style design incorporating columns around the base, and topped by the clocktower itself and an intricate campanile. another classical style building is the Town Hall, with two statues standing above the entrance.

The main attraction in Salon-de-Provence is the Chateau de l'Emperi whose crenellated walls and tower stand poised above the surrounding streets at the top of a grand staircase. The castle dates its origins back to the 10th century (construction of the current castle was started in the 13th century) and was at one time the residence of the Arles archbishops.

The castle now contains a large military museum with numerous military related exhibits covering the period from the time of King Louis XIV to the First World War.

Another imposing monument is the Collegiale Saint-Laurent, built over the course of 14th - 15th centuries onwards and incorporating both roman and gothic style elements. It is in this church that the renowned astrologer Nostradamus is buried. The small Church of Saint-Michel in the old town below the castle walls dates from the 13th century (the clocktower was added in the 15th century) and is in the roman style.

There are many medieval buildings to admire in the streets around the centre, and in the pretty open squares. En-route around the town you will see the 'mossy fountain'  which looks more like a stunted tree or a giant green toadstool than a fountain (more correctly known as La Grande Fontaine) and several other small fountains.

Within the town you can also visit a small museum dedicated to Nostradamus, fortune teller extraordinaire, who lived (and died) in Salon-de-Provence in the 16th century (his tomb can be seen in the Collegiale Saint-Laurent).

Outside the historical centre there is also a region of Salon-de-Provence that developed during the 19th century, in particular the region around the Villa Armieux which is now the Palace of Justice in the town. Several grand balconied 19th century townhouses can be seen here such as the Hotel Roche and the Hotel Couderc.

Attractions close to Salon-de-Provence

The scenery of the Alpilles can be explored to the north-west of the town, with one of favourite provencal villages in the region at Baux-de-Provence. Likewise the many picturesque villages of the Luberon such as Menerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux are a little way to the north-east.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Bouches-du-Rhone guide and the Provence guide.

See also:

Map of Salon-de-Provence and places to visit

Visit near Salon-de-Provence with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Bouches-du-Rhone

Address: Salon-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence, 13300, France || GPS: latitude 43.6406, longitude 5.09722

Plan your visit to Salon-de-Provence, Provence

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Zoo de La Barben: zoo or wildlife park (9km)
  • Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (15km)
  • Gorges de Régalon: site of natural beauty (15km)
  • Istres: ville fleurie 4* (17km)
  • Jardin de l'Alchimiste: remarkable garden (18km)
  • Abbaye de Silvacane (La Roque-d'Antheron): religious monument (19km)
  • Jardin d'Eguilles: remarkable garden (22km)
  • Menerbes: most beautiful village (23km)
  • Alpilles: regional natural parc (25km)
  • Lourmarin: most beautiful village (25km)

The French version of this page is at Salon-de-Provence (Francais)