Famous French painter Paul Cézanne was born and raised in Aix en Provence. He lived there all his life, and many of his works are of the city’s beautiful landscape, including the famous Mountain Saint Victoire. The Terrain des Peintres is a public park that has been dedicated to him, as he often frequented the gardens for their exceptional views of Aix. Walk along the path in the park, following the same footsteps taken by the famous painter. Following along the trails, you’ll reach an elevation of about 100 feet, giving you panoramic views of the city. If you feel so inclined, bring your own notebook or canvas and take a stab at capturing the beauty of Mt. St. Victoire.
Built as a love nest for a 17th-century French duke, the Pavillon de Vendome is a quaint estate surrounded by a formal French garden. While the Pavillon itself has a small entrance fee, the romantic garden is free to enter. Explore the beauty of the rose garden, trees, fountains, and more. This may not be a park for activities, but if you’re looking to add a little bit of beauty to your day, this is definitely the place to visit. It is quiet, well kept, and expertly designed. A brief stroll along the paths or a quiet chat near the fountain provides just the right touch to a serene afternoon. If your interest is piqued, you can pop into the Pavillion to see some beautiful furniture, art, tapestries, and more.
People Enjoying Jourdan Park | ©Connie Ma/Flickr
While many places throughout the city provide incredible views of Aix’s icon Mount Saint Victoire, the mountain itself is easily accessible and worth exploring. The height of the mountain itself makes for a great vantage point to overlook the city. Hikers take a walk along the rocky paths, while more adventurous athletes can mountain bike, rock climb, or go paragliding. You may even spot a few horseback riders or children on donkey rides. Set up a fun family picnic in the shade, or set up your camera to take beautiful pictures that capture all that you see. The mountain may not be a typical park, but it is a unique outdoor site perfect for just about every activity.
Promenade de la Torse | ©marlenedd/Flickr
Pleasant park path
If you visit Promenade de la Torse you will most likely see fish, ducklings, swans, and other pond animals. These are a great source of excitement for children, as is the small park playground. Promenade de la Torse is rich with vegetation with numerous trees and shady nooks, however, there is a fair amount of wide-open space as well. This is a popular park for picnics, in addition to runners and dog walkers. Don’t be surprised if you see the occasional acrobat at Promenade de la Torse; the many trees make for the perfect place to balance a rope for tightrope walking.
By: Shyla Watson