Les-Baux-de-Provence is another picturesque medieval village in Provence set right up on the mountain built into the rocks.
To approach the village, you have to climb a very steep set of steps, which can be hard going on a hot day. I struggled as there seemed so many steep steps, but it was so worth making an effort as the village is definitely worth seeing.
Once at the top a narrow-cobbled path leads you uphill through the beautiful town to the historic Chateau des Baux-de-Provence. On the way, we browsed the lovely little shops although most of these are aimed at tourists.
The views of the surrounding countryside from the terraces of the restaurants were spectacular as are the views from the top of the Chateau de Baux-de-Provence. The panorama of the Alpilles and the Baux valley are a sight to be seen. You can see endless vineyards and fields of olive trees. It’s an excellent area for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.
There are a handful of monuments and churches.
We were really pleased we managed to see it as it is a special place to experience.
Chateau des Baux de Provence
The Chateau sits perched high above the surrounding Alpilles, and the ancient ruins are the towns main attraction. The size of the site is deceiving as it is just as large as the town itself. Audio-guided tours are well worth the investment and the history of the Chateau is explained in multiple languages. Among the well-preserved chapel are five full-size replica siege engines, used for military purposes of an era long passed. If you visit the Carrières de Lumières which is further down the hill, then you can purchase a combined ticket costing another 2 euros each to visit the Chateau.
Carrieres de Lumieres which is a former limestone quarry that is now an immersive multimedia art exhibition space featuring projections of famous artworks. We were there to see this year’s Van Gough and Japanese art exhibition.
Château des Baux de Provence
13 520 Les Baux-de-Provence
Tél. : + 33 4 90 49 20 02
Open every day throughout the year.
January, February, November, December: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
March, October: 9.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.
April, May, June, September: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
July and August: 9 a.m.-8 p.m
Last admission with audio guide: 1 hour before the Château closes.
How to get there
Drive from Saint-Remy-de-Provence in 18 minutes.
Drive from Avignon in 40 minutes – 19.8 miles
Take a direct bus from Avignon journey time around an hour on bus line 57
(This bus route only runs from early May to late September).
Gare Routiere PEM to Les Baux – Line 057 Cost: £2-£4
There are so many amazing places to visit which sometimes we can’t get to with our motorhome, so we often hire a car for a few days to explore more.
We take out an annual car hire excess insurance with insure4carhire.
RentalCars.com is the company we use if hiring from a campsite but if we are flying into an airport we use Zest Car Hire which usually has the best deals but can only be picked up from an airport or hotel.
Avignon and Marseille
Time 28 minutes
Avignon Centre to Tarascon sur Rhone 12 minutes by train hourly. Cost £8 – £13
Tarascon sur Rhone to Les Baux-de-Provence by taxi. 16 minutes (10.9 miles) £35-£45
When to visit
The village is extremely popular with tourists and apparently, is the most visited village in France receiving more than a million visitors a year. The actual village population is only 20 people.
We visited in May, and it was busy but not as bad as the summer months when it is insanely busy. April, May, June, September and October I would say are the best months to visit to avoid the crowds and heat.
The hilltop village is pedestrian-only streets, so cars are parked down below. There are a couple of car parks charging a small fee, and you can park on the road leading up to and leaving the village. If you are visiting Carrières de Lumières, try and park in the car park outside as it is free and only a short walk to the village. This does get full pretty quickly, though.
We did see a few motorhomes and campers parked up but space is tight, and it does get busy. We were glad we left ours on the campsite.