With the picturesque old market town of St. Rémy at its heart and the pine-covered slopes and limestone peaks of the Alpilles mountain range humming with the sound of cicadas during the height of summer, plus its wealth of historical sites and artistic associations, this area for many epitomises Provence.
The area offers some of the best of Provencal life - beautiful villages of honey-coloured stone, lively and colourful markets, great restaurants and café bars. Superbly preserved Roman sites and delightful medieval towns, museums and art galleries. The gourmet delights range from the Appellation d'Origine Controllé olive oil to the many good wines produced by a wide choice of domaines and this rich agricultural area produces the tastiest of fruit and vegetables. Many artists have studios here inspired by the landscape and light which attracted Van Gogh to spend his time here in St. Rémy and Arles.
It is a great too for walking and cycling and relaxing with a picnic under the heavenly scent of the pine trees and wild herbs of the countryside.
The stunning medieval fortified village if Les Baux sits on a limestone peak south of St. Rémy. Steeped in history the Citadel at the height of the village affords distant views of the Camargue and the Mediterranean. The nearby village of Maussane has everything for your everyday needs with it small supermarket and boulangeries as well as restaurants and an excellent pottery shop.
The lively cafés in the delightful old town of St. Rémy invite you to linger all day soaking up the atmosphere on the boulevard. Explore also the pretty squares of the old centre with its many restaurants and charming shops.
Follow the footsteps of Van Gogh through and around St. Rémy interspersed with images of the pictures he painted. Visit also the peaceful St. Paul Mausoleum where the artist spent his illness. The Jardin de L'Alchimiste, a pretty themed garden in the countryside near Eygalières.
Olive oil tasting at the many producers including the Mouriès co-operative The brooding Abbaye de Montmajour which dominates the countryside near Arles. Wednesday morning market in St. Rémy when the town comes alive with the scents and colours of Provence. Linens, vegetables, gourmet foods and pottery are just some of the attractions.
Avignon with its glorious medieval architecture and sumptuous Papal Palace and famous annual festival in July. The celebrated vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape. Arles with its superb Roman remains and pretty medieval streets is just 30 minutes drive away.
The famous Roman theatre at Orange and the world famous viaduct of the Pont du Gard. The fascinating old town of Nimes. Spend a day exploring the Camargue where you could include the Parc Ornithologic for those famous pink flamingos. For a day by the seaside, St. Maries de la Mer is around 1 hour's drive.