Provence is absolutely ideal for a road trip with a campervan. Along with all the comforts, you can enjoy the scent of endless lavender fields and the song of the cicadas, wherever you turn off the engine. Sounds tempting? Then you should know that Provence has much more to offer than its famous lavender fields.
Using public transportation to our roadsurfer station
Best route from Aix TGV: approx. 10 minutes by cab/Uber or 1 hour by bus (first take line 211 to “Pierre Plantée”, then take line 38 to “Boulevard de l’Europe” or walk for 20 minutes to the roadsurfer location).
Best route from Marseille Saint-Charles: approx. 20 minutes by cab/Uber or 45 minutes by public transport (first take Metro 2 to “Bougainville”, then take the bus line 36 to “Boulevard de l’Europe”)
Best route from Marseille Airport: approx. 5 Minutes by cab/Uber or 15 minutes by public transport (line 17 or 38 to “Boulevard de l’Europe”)
Parking in Aix-Marseille
There is a paid parking not far away (15 minutes walk):
One Park – Alyse Parc Auto Aéroport Marseille Provence
17 rue de Lisbonne, 13127 Vitrolles
Or a few free parking spots (15 minutes walk) :
Near “ECF Vitrolles” (not secured)
Rent a roadsurfer Campervan in Aix-Marseille now
Longing for an adventure with your loved ones or your beloved dog? Roadsurfer has many different camper models to suit you and your needs. Check out which models are waiting for you in Aix-Marseille:
Surfer Suite VW T6.1 California Ocean (Right-hand drive in UK)
Hire a camper in Marseille: The starting point for your road trip
After Paris, the port city of Marseille is France’s second largest city. Founded around 2,600 years ago by the Greeks, Marseille is France’s oldest city! With our camper rental in Aix-Marseille, you can make the perfect start to your exciting road trip across the region with a visit to this splendid port city. It is definitely worth leaving enough time to explore this former fishing village, which now awaits you as an exciting and diverse metropolis. Here are the tourist highlights of the city:
The old port in the centre of Marseille
La Canebière – the main street
Notre-Dame de la Garde pilgrimage church high above the city
Boulevard and Palais Longchamp
The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations MuCEM
The Le-Panier quarter
Hire a camper and discover Marseille with children
There is a great deal to see in Marseille – but for some little ones the climb up to Notre-Dame de la Garde is a bit of an ordeal. roadsurfer tip: So put a smile on their faces and sit back on the “Petit Train de Marseille”. This white and blue train departs from the old port and there are three tours to choose from, leading to the city’s main sights.
The port city also offers a great quality of life for families with children. It is just 30 minutes on foot to the Catalans beach from the old port. And if the mistral wind is too cold and strong, then head with the whole family to the Musée du Savon and make your own fragrant soap there (of course, this is where the famous Marseille soap comes from). If the children are a little older, the MuCEM is a great choice. The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations was founded to mark the appointment of Marseille as the European Capital of Culture. The interactive tablets with plenty of tasks to solve prove exciting particularly for younger visitors.
Marseille cuisine: Freshly caught
The old port of Marseille is not only known for its authentic ambience. You can follow in the footsteps of the playwright and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol. You can start off at the fish market, where according to Yvan Audouard’s work “Pastorale des Santons de Provence” you can find the freshest fish anywhere. The Marseille cuisine is naturally based primarily on fish and seafood, while the addition of olive oil and sun-ripened vegetables gives them a certain Provençal style. No to be missed: anchoïade (anchovy paste) in a baguette at noon on the beach, and a bouillabaisse in the evening. Vegetarians won’t feel left out either with the delicious green soupe au pistou! To round off the day, why not head to one of the bars in the old town and have a pastis while watching a football match? For the younger travellers, you could order a grenadine – the typical pomegranate syrup. During your road trip in the camper through the Aix-Marseille-Provence region, you’ll also have ample opportunity to sample all the other delicacies of the region.
Marseille: The gateway to the Mediterranean
You can get to the Calanques from Marseille in no time at all, which is ideal for a relaxing adventure with the camper. The steep coast with its rugged rocks, which suddenly crop up from the dazzling blue of the Mediterranean, will amaze you. The sparse vegetation between the pale limestone cliffs, which lie here along the beautiful hiking trails … The trip is even worth it with younger travellers as the trails offer routes for all abilities. Hiring a camper is the perfect logistical solution when it comes to exploring the Calanques from Marseille and enjoying a relaxing time in the great outdoors.
Discover the Calanques around Cassis!
Simply park your motorhome on one of the car parks at the bottom of the mountains and then continue on foot. Perhaps you’d prefer to stay a little further away from Marseille with your camper? Then drive to Cassis and discover the Calanques from there! Cassis is smaller and accordingly more idyllic than Marseille. Here is a great base to explore the Calanques, which extend from Cassis along 20 kilometres of coastline towards Marseille and about 4 kilometres inland. Nestled between the rugged cliffs, you’ll find pretty little bays with turquoise water, where you can cool off during your hike. But take care! The beaches of these bays are as rocky as the cliffs, so you should always have your shoes to hand when you come out of the water. Treat yourself to an ice cream back in Cassis at a beach café – and then continue your camper adventure. Next stop: Aix-en-Provence.
Hire a camper in Aix and get on the road
Aix-en-Provence was founded by the Romans in 122 B.C. with the original name of Aquae Sextiae. Today it is home to 143,000 inhabitants and is of course somewhat smaller than Marseille. The main difference between Aix-en-Provence and Marseille can be found in the old town: In Aix-en-Provence even the little ones will manage getting around all the sights on foot! Nowadays, the historic old town is an unbelievably attractive cultural tourist hotspot, meaning that there is always hustle and bustle along the picturesque streets. Is Aix-en-Provence one of the destinations you wish to head to on your road trip with the campervan? Then don’t miss any of the hidden treasures this delightful town has to offer! Hire a camper and set off on an adventure:
Historic old town
Rotonde and Cours Mirabeau
Fruit and vegetable market of Aix-en-Provence
The Allées Provençales
Place des Cardeurs
Atelier de Cézanne (Cézanne’s studio)
The Grand Théâtre de Provence
The Hotel Caumont
Pavillon de Vendôme
roadsurfer tip: Watch out for one-way streets in Aix-en-Provence! The city centre is pedestrianised and the streets around the centre are often one-way streets. It is best to park the camper in a multi-storey car park and explore the city on foot.
roadsurfer tip: Arc en Ciel campsite
Spend a night in Aix-en-Provence with your campervan at the Arc en Ciel campsite, which is a stone’s throw from the city. Parking in the centre of Aix-en-Provence tends not to be straightforward. With this in mind, leave the campervan at the campsite and take the bus into the city. The managerial staff at the campsite are really friendly and the site is greatly situated. The site itself is clean and pleasant, while the typical pine trees of the region provide plenty of shade. So taking time for a siesta in the hotter months is a real pleasure. The large swimming pool means you can also keep cool throughout the day.
The boutiques of Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is the perfect city to stroll around. Window shopping is an absolute must for young and old. The boutiques sell everything imaginable – from major brands to designer stores. The Allées Provençale are the perfect place to shop: The modern boulevard is brimming door to door with a wide variety of shops. There is always plenty of hustle and bustle on the streets around the centre. Indeed, between the narrow, tall houses with their numerous boutiques, you feel as if you’re strolling through a colourful market. Of course there is a real market too – in fact there’s several of them! The fruit and vegetable market, for example, can be found every day at Place Richelme. Here, you’ll be able to get your hands on all the ingredients for a delicious ratatouille, which you can then prepare in your camper later in the evening. Aix-en-Provence also has the Grand Marché Paysan or farmer’s market for textiles and handicrafts, the arts and crafts market D’Arts et Créations du Sud and the flower market.
The gastronomy of Aix-en-Provence: Calissons
You may already be familiar with these delicious, golden-brown, sweet nibbles made from candied melon and ground almonds glazed with orange icing sugar, which are known for their characteristic diamond or boat shape. Exactly: We mean Calissons! Some people love them, some hate them – but one thing is for sure: nobody leaves the Aix-en-Provence region without having tried them! These treats were created back in the 15th century in Aix-en-Provence. Since then they have become one of THE specialities of the city. Since 1995, the blessing of the Calissons is celebrated each year in the church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte d’Aix-en-Provence. Incidentally, they are always a nice souvenir to take home from your holiday.
From Aix-en-Provence the journey continues to Sainte Victoire
Aix-en-Provence is known as the home of Cézanne – don’t miss a visit to his studio. A visit to the city tracing the footsteps of Paul Cézanne is also recommended: You will find a relevant brochure in the Tourist Office, but of course you can also join a guided tour dedicated to the famous Impressionist painter of the city. Cézanne painted Sainte Victoire with a great deal of passion. Time and time again he used the mountain as his inspiration and captured its blue and ochre tones on canvas. Yet another reason to hire a camper in Aix-en-Provence.
How about a picnic in this stunning scenery?
Perhaps you’ve heard of “pinède”? This is the typical pine forest of Provence, the minimal vegetation of the cliffs with pine trees and shrubbery. Here you’ll experience nature in its untouched state, beautiful to admire, but not easy to get around. In this prickly maquis landscape, you can just pick one of the big rocks on which to enjoy a leisurely picnic. The slopes of the Sainte Victoire mountain, which face away from the city, are densely covered with the above-mentioned pinède. Despite the fact the mountain can be climbed relatively easily within a few hours even with the family, only a few choose to make this trip. On the way up, you’ll probably meet at most one or two other hikers. After this highly strenuous hike, there is nothing better than heading back to the camper to unwind.
Hire a camper and absorb the Provençale atmosphere
The Provence is a large region with plenty to discover. Especially if you are travelling in a camper. Hire a camper in Aix-Marseille and discover the Provence at your own pace! Dance on the Pont d’Avignon, visit the old town of Arles and the charming villages between the cliffs of Cornillon, relax at the seaside resort of Saintes Maries de la Mer, explore Camargue wildlife park with its wild horses and free-roaming pink flamingos. You can continue your road trip along the Côte d’Azur to Italy via St Tropez, Cannes or Nice. The Verdon Gorge is also worth taking a detour for on this trip in your camper. It’s certainly not easy to decide where your route will take you! So we’ve picked out three destinations for you on the other side of the Rhône estuary, which may be up your street due to their landscape and impressive natural setting. So: Hire a camper and discover this stunning area from Aix-Marseille!
Gigondas and wine from the Provence
For parents, a tour on the trail of the wine of Provence needs to be slotted into your itinerary. And such a route should be well planned, because the wines of the Côte de Provence and especially those of the Sainte Philomène winery need to be tasted locally between the vineyards in which they were produced. The Vaucluse department is home to a charming place with a winery of the same name: Gigondas. When paying a visit to this area, you can taste one of these sun-drenched wines of Provence. Indeed, Gigondas is the perfect starting point for expeditions to Dentelles de Montmirail, a mountain range with bizarre rock formations. In contrast to the Sainte Victoire, which can be climbed by families with children tired of the beach and the city, the Dentelles de Montmirail are a real dream for passionate climbers. The mountain range consists of a series of pointed peaks, which rise suddenly from the hilly landscape with their cultivation terraces, embodying their name “Dentelles”: Mountain peaks of white rock that protrude from hills with sparse pinède vegetation and stand proudly against the bright blue sky. Simply breathtaking!
The ochre quarries of Roussillon
Roussillon with its ochre walls is one of the most beautiful villages in France. The village is located in Roussillon, a cultural landscape that is considered the most important clay formation in the world and a UNESCO cultural heritage site. The ochre quarries of the Luberon massif are located in the regional conservation area of Luberon. The massif covers 25 kilometres from Goult to Gignac and can be found in the villages of Roussillon, Gargas, Villars and Rustrel. This cultural landscape was shaped by a whole century of industrial mining of the sought-after ochre rock. A landscape that is wonderful to look at with its vivid colours. See it for yourself on the hiking trail through the ochre quarries of the Luberon massif which starts in Roussillon: The colour spectrum of the rocks ranges from almost white to golden yellow, interspersed with blood-red and dark purple formations. Two hikes are available, lasting either around 30 or 60 minutes. Information boards provide further details on this sensational landscape. In the Cirque du Barriès at the Colorado Provençal you can see how ochre is rinsed and processed by hand, in the Geology Museum in Apt you can also find out more about the history of the region – with information on rock samples and the production of stoneware from the raw material of the region.
The Verdon Gorge
Just as beautiful as the Calanques – but greener: the Verdon Gorge is the perfect spot for bathing and all kinds of water sports. Particularly when travelling by motorhome, there perhaps isn’t a more stunning location to visit in France. A hired camper also gives you the greatest level of flexibility and you can enjoy all the logistics of a holiday home on the spot. There are various places for a camping stay to explore the gorge, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe and therefore has been a protected site since 1990. The gorge was formed in the rock by the River Verdon. Again and again, there are points in between the pine-clad slopes where you can take a dip in the river. Whether you prefer canoeing, rafting or cycling: there’s plenty of leisure facilities available on the Verdon and its banks. You can also climb along the rocks of the gorge; there is a whole range of hiking trails available and in between the rocks of the gorge you’ll find numerous pretty villages to amble through. The Verdon Gorge is one of those destinations that virtually has it all. And if you’re taking a road trip through Provence, you should most definitely stop here!
Book your 2023 campervan or motorhome rental and save €75 with the early booking discount! And as a Valentine’s treat, you will also receive free roadsurfer bedding (sheets, duvets, and pillows) for your road trip.
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