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Walking around Aix-en-Provence and Mount Saint-Victoire,
the Provence immortalized by Paul Cézanne

 

In the footsteps of Cézanne 

Landmark of the countryside around Aix en Provence, Montagne Sainte Victoire has not ceased to inspire painters, before and after Cézanne, the one who has probably the most intensely immortalized the rocky mount. Trying to capture the ever changing contours, he painted more than 80 pictures of the mountain. On this trail, you too will have the opportunity to admire the different views of Montagne Sainte Victoire, like the famous painter used to. 

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)
Price (per person) : €50 (4 people) / €60 (3 people) / 
€85 (2 people) / €160 (1 person)

Walking from one lake to the other 

Located halfway between the city of Aix-en-Provence and Mount Sainte Victoire, this 3 hour walk allows you to enjoy beautiful views of the lakes Zola and Bimont. From the last one, the hiking route follows the bottom of the beautiful gorges downstream through a mixed vegetation of pinegrove and “garrigue”, this low scrubland so characteristic of Provence. On your way back, you will be walking, facing the imposing mountain, about 2 miles east. The lack of shade along the trails makes the hike a perfect one on cool, sunny days of spring, autumn and even winter.

Walking time : 3 hours
Rating : moderate (stony ground / steep slopes)
Price (per person) : €50 (4 people) /
€60 (3 people) / €85 (2 people) /
€160 (1 person)

At the foot of Mount Sainte-Victoire

Starting from the surroundings of Le Tholonet, a village about 3 miles east of Aix-en-Provence, this beautiful walk gets you first to the Roche Percée. This large rock with a big hole in it, is part of a splendid red clay outcrop. Then, the trail gradually leads you through olive groves and pines to the foot of Mount Sainte-Victoire, the one painted so many times by Paul Cézanne. From the small mountain refuge, whose name was given after the painter’s one, you will then be walking down with breathtaking views to the south.

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : leisurely (stony ground)
Price (per person) : €75 (4 people) /
€90 (3 people) / €125 (2 people) /
€240 (1 person)

 

Walking up the Croix de Provence

Symbolic peak of Mount Sainte-Victoire, even if not the highest point, the Croix de Provence, a giant metal and stone cross, dominates Aix-en-Provence and its outskirts, at an altitude of 946 meters. Though it is not long, this hike is a challenging one because of the elevation gain and some rocky and steep sections on the way. But it is pure delight especially when you take time, a Provence walking dream. And, in early spring or in automn, as you reach the crest around sunrise, the emotion is at its peak, and the breakfast snacks you eat up there will surely remain engraved in your memory for a long time.

Walking time : 4 hours
Rating : challenging
Price (per person) : €75 (4 people) /
€90 (3 people) / €125 (2 people) /
€240 (1 person)

 

 

Walking up
the Montagne de Régagnas

On this scenic trail you will be climbing a hill called Régagnas that offers a great panorama over an underlating area, about 15 miles southeast of Aix-en-Provence : all around, incised valleys covered with vineyards and fruit orchards are enclosed by steep rocky hills, that are themselves dominated by the two major ridges of the area : Mount Sainte Victoire and the Sainte Baume Massif. The Ermitage de Saint-Jean du Puy will be one of the spots of the day : occupied by monks between the 5th and 15th centuries, this hermitage overlooks the Arc valley.

Walking time : 5 hours
Rating : challenging (stony ground)
Price (per person) : €75 (4 people) /
€90 (3 people) / €125 (2 people) /
€240 (1 person)

Walking atop the ridge of
Mount Sainte Victoire

This legendary hike takes you from the bottom of the northern slopes of Mount Sainte Victoire up to the ridge. As you get to it, you find the Priory, built in the 17th c., before reaching the most famous peak of the mountain, the Croix de Provence. As its name tells us, it is topped by a monumental cross made of metal and stone, which is visible 10 miles around. While following the east ridge for 2 hours, you enjoy a fabulous 360 panorama. You then walk down to the village of Vauvenargues.

Walking time : 6.5 hours
Rating : difficult (stony ground / steep slopes)
Price (per person) : €75 (4 people) /
€90 (3 people) / €125 (2 people) /
€240 (1 person)