Visit Bouches-du-Rhone, France
From bustling Marseille to quiet hill villages, and with the dramatic coastal scenery of the calanques and several fascintaing towns such as Arles and Aix-en-Provence, the Bouches-du-Rhone offers a fascinating and varied region to the Provencal visitor
Selected places to visit in Bouches-du-Rhone
Highlights in the Bouches-du-Rhone, Provence
The Bouches-du-Rhone department of France is to the west of the Provence-Cote d'Azur region. It is a diverse region of historical towns and cities, fine landscapes and impresive coastline with much for the visitor to discover.
To the south-west lies the flat, marshland area and nature reserve of the Camargue, best known for its wildlife and Camargue horses, and commonly explored from the coastal town of Saintes Maries de la Mer. On the coast east of the Camargue is the harbour town of Martigues.
North of the coastal Camargue region is the vibrant city of Arles, a town with a definite 'Provencal' feel and best known for its associations with Van Gogh, and the impressive Roman monuments at Arles
East of here you should visit Les Baux-de-Provence, the most western of the perched villages of Provence, to see this landscape at its finest. See also the village of Saint Remy-de-Provence and the nearby archaeological site at Glanum, and perhaps continue north to the bouches-du-Rhone 'frontier' to visit the villages at Barbentane or Boulbon.
Passing through Salon-de-Provence towards the east of the Bouches-du-Rhone (perhaps with a detour to the villages at Mallemort and Eygalieres, or to admire the lovely setting for Aureille) the character changes again, becoming more like the landscape you associate with 'picture book Provence', landscape which continues to the lively Aix-en-Provence, a typical sunny Provence town.
The scenery includes much of dramatic impact, with an increasing number of hills, rocky valleys and limestone cliffs. visit the cluster of villages including Vauvenarques, Meyrargues and Jougues, among others, to the east of Aix-en-Provence, or the perched village at ventabren to the west)
Heading south to the coast we reach Marseille, among the most important of French cities. The resort of Carry-le-Rouet is one of the closest to Marseille itself, while the Chateau d'If is the fort immortalised by Alexander Dumas that stands in Marseille harbour.
East of Marseille is Marcel Pagnol's birthplace town at Aubagne, then the scenic drama continues in the far south-east of the Bouches-du-Rhone department with the villages of Cabries and Mimet, and the impressive coast around the port town of Cassis, which includes both the stunning Calanques of Marseille and the coast road to the west, called the Route des Cretes, which offers very attractive views along the rocky coastline, eventually reaching the town of La Ciotat just a few kilometres further, in the south-eastern corner of Bouches-du-Rhone.
Due to its diversity, the towns and roman monuments, the impressive scenic highlights, and its very 'Provencal' character a visit to the Bouches-du-Rhone department should feature high in any French holiday planning and has something of interest for both the 'first time' visitor to France and the returning visitor.
See a list of all Bouches du Rhone communes
Map of Bouches-du-Rhone
French version: Bouches-du-Rhone (Francais)