Sightseeing in Les Baux-de-Provence is a bit like travelling back in time. Imagine yourself in the feudal era, when princes ruled the region once built in the heart of the Alpilles. Here, you will have the impression of diving right into the heart of Provence history.
Overlooking Arles and the Camargue, the region owes its charm to its picturesque streets and its exceptional setting, allowing a view from Sainte Victoire to the Cévennes!
The place is well named, yet « baux » sounds in French like « beauty », the meaning has nothing to do with the splendor of the place. In Provençal, « baux » comes for « cliffs », which is well chosen for this village perched on a rocky hill, at an altitude of more than 240 meters.
Of course, the village can only be visited on foot. It is not a long walk, but it’s rich in historical monuments and various exhibition sites… It would be a shame to leave too soon.
When you step inside Les Baux you are immediately seduced by its cobblestone streets, all renovated yet truly authentic. With Renaissance architectural elements, they lead to the Château des Baux-de-Provence, partly built and hewn in the rock. This fortress, symbol of Provencal resistance, bears witness to a good number of rebellions that left marks on its stone and its history. From the top of the ramparts, the sights over the village and the surrounding valleys are breathtaking. So are the views of the sun-drenched Alpilles mountain and on the olive groves too….
Back to the streets of the village, you will find on your way many regional craft shops. Provencal quilting, soaps, household linen, olive oil, confectionery and biscuits…
There is this famous gift shop with a colourful facade: A La Campanello. Since 1950, it is an indispensable stop to buy ceramic cicadas, lavender bags or Provençal fabrics to bring them back home. For those who want to rediscover all the classics of Provençal gastronomy, there is an old-fashioned decor gourmet boutique: Autrefois. Olives, calissons, canistrelli… What a delight! You will also find a wide range of homemade jams here.
After a day strolling through the lanes of Les Baux-de-Provence village, the Benvengudo hotel invites you to continu your Provençal experience. Let yourself go on the deckchairs by the pool, while sipping a cocktail with lavender notes. Your gustatory journey with by completed with the signature dish of the hotel’s restaurant: the rack of lamb from Provence.
You can now understand why this small town is one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Our little tip: visit Les Baux in September to avoid hordes of tourists. The temperature is perfect and the village is much quieter !