If you’re looking for a beautiful and charming destination in the south of France, you absolutely have to visit Saint Remy de Provence.
Explore the best things to do in this picturesque destination. From historical sites to stunning landscapes and delightful cuisine, Saint Rémy de Provence has something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s embark on a journey of discovery together!
About Saint Remy de Provence
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence holds a significant place in French history as one of the oldest towns in the country.
It was rebuilt in its current location after the Roman city of Glanum was destroyed. As you wander through its streets, you’ll witness a fascinating architectural heritage from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era.
One remarkable period in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence’s history is the Renaissance, which played a pivotal role in the town’s development and served as the birthplace of the famous Nostradamus.
During the late 19th Century, Saint Rémy became a magnet for artists, attracting painters, writers, and musicians. Among them were renowned figures like the composer Charles Gounod and the legendary artist Vincent van Gogh.
The latter spent a year at the St. Paul de Mausole hospital, where he created an astonishing 150 canvases, immortalizing the beauty and essence of the town through his masterful artworks.
Best Things to Do in Saint Rémy de Provence
This is one of the region’s most picturesque and historic towns, filled with fun and interesting things to do. From exploring ancient ruins to taking cooking classes to wander through lavender fields, you’ll never run out of things to see and do in Saint Remy de Provence.
Walking around Saint-Rémy’s Old Town
One of the main attractions of the old town is the Place Jean Jaurès, which is home to the tourist office and serves as a central gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
From there, you can explore the many other attractions of the old town, including the Saint-Paul Gate, the Renaissance House, and the Trinity Fountain.
Another must-see destination in the old town is the Hôtel Estrine, which houses a museum dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The museum, built in 1749, features a collection of Van Gogh’s original paintings and exhibits that explore his life and artistic legacy.
While you walk around St-Rémy with a guide, you can visit the Nostradamus Fontaine and its birthplace. The vestiges of the house where Michel de Nostradame, commonly known as Nostradamus, was born in 1503 and spent his early years, can still be seen today.
He later became a famous physician and astrologer whose prophecies have continued to captivate us throughout history.
My recommendation is to start visiting the old town, then start the Van Gogh Walking from the old town to the Maison de Santé and then continue to Les Antiques de Glanum.
Visiting Hotel and Estrine Museum in Saint Remy de Provence
The Hôtel Estrine is a beautiful 18th-century mansion in the heart of Saint Remy de Provence, France. The mansion has been lovingly restored and is now home to the Musée Estrine, a museum dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh and other artists associated with the region.
Visitors to the Hôtel Estrine can explore the many exhibits and displays that showcase the works of Van Gogh and other artists who lived and worked in the area.
The museum features a collection of original paintings, photographs, documents, and other artifacts that shed light on the region’s artistic legacy.
One of the museum’s highlights is the room where Van Gogh stayed during his time in Saint Remy de Provence. The room has been preserved as it was during Van Gogh’s time, with reproductions of his paintings on the walls.
In addition to the museum, the Hôtel Estrine is also a beautiful and historic destination in its own right. The mansion features stunning architecture and beautiful gardens, making it a popular destination for architecture and garden enthusiasts.
Collegiale y Paroisse de Saint Martin
The Saint Martin Paroisse is a beautiful church on the perimeter of the Old City of Saint Remy de Provence, France. The church is easily accessible from the heart of the old town and is a must-visit place in St-Remy.
The Church dates back to 1122 and underwent significant expansions and enhancements in 1331 when Pope Jean XXII of Avignon decided to transform the existing priory into a collegiate church.
The facade of this church looks like an ancient Roman temple with four long columns.
Replacing a previous church, a section of which collapsed during construction in 1818, the Saint Martin Collegiate Church was rebuilt in 1821 while preserving the 16th-century bell tower.
The church, designed in the Classical style, boasts a magnificent Great Organ, a true masterpiece. Renovated in 1983 by Pascal Quorin, the organ features 62 stops with 5,000 pipes, 3 keyboards, and pedals, along with a splendid polychrome chest.
Mark your calendars for the Organa Festival every Saturday from 5.30 p.m. from July 1st to September 30th.
Musee d’Alpilles in Saint Remy de Provence
Alpilles Museum is packed with interesting exhibits and displays that will give you a glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
The museum is located in the Mistral de Mondragon mansion, a former Renaissance private mansion classified as a historical monument since 1862. The building is built around an incredible interior courtyard that is definitely worth checking out.
Inside the museum, you’ll find various exhibits covering everything from archeology and natural sciences to graphic arts and photography.
One of the coolest things about the museum is that it offers a unique perspective on the region’s history, with exhibits that showcase everything from ancient Roman artifacts to contemporary art.
If you’re a fan of Vincent Van Gogh, you’ll definitely want to check out the museum’s collection of works by the famous artist. The museum also offers guided tours and other events, so be sure to check out their schedule to see what’s going on during your visit.
Another lovely experience is hopping on a safari at the nearby Alpilles Regional Park and passing by towns and ruins.
Take a Van Gogh Walk in Saint Remy de Provence
One of the best things to do in Saint-Rémy is the Van Gogh Walking. This walk is a super cool way to see the places that inspired some of Van Gogh’s most famous works.
The walk is only about a kilometer long, so it’s an easy stroll that won’t take up too much of your day. Along the way, you’ll see panels depicting some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, a cool way to connect with the art and learn more about the region that inspired it.
Seeing the things and places that inspired such a great artist is pretty cool. After 100 years, some places are no longer there, but others, yes, though the trees are bigger now.
One of the walk’s highlights is the Saint Paul de Mausole Monastery, where Van Gogh spent a year as a patient. The monastery is now a museum that showcases some of Van Gogh’s original works and exhibits that explore his life and artistic legacy.
Another cool thing about the Van Gogh Walk is that it takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of Saint Remy de Provence. You’ll see beautiful gardens, quaint little streets, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Explore the Wednesday Market
If you’re in Saint Remy de Provence on a Wednesday from 9 am to 1 pm, check out the Wednesday Market! This place is seriously amazing – it’s like a feast for the senses.
The market is held every Wednesday morning, and it’s a great place to stock up on fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and other delicious treats. You’ll find everything from juicy peaches and plump tomatoes to fragrant lavender and savory olives.
But the Wednesday Market isn’t just about food – there are also plenty of other cool things to check out. You’ll find vendors selling handmade crafts, beautiful textiles, and unique souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else.
One of the coolest things about the Wednesday Market is that it’s a great place to experience the local culture. You’ll see locals doing their weekly shopping and get a sense of life in this beautiful part of France.
Visit Maison de Sante Saint-Paul-de-Mausole
Saint-Paul-de-Mausole is a historic monastery located in Saint Remy de Provence, France. The monastery is famous for its association with Vincent Van Gogh, who was a patient there from 1889 to 1890.
During his stay, Van Gogh painted some of his most famous works, including The Starry Night and Irises.
Today, visitors to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole can explore the monastery and see the room where Van Gogh lived during his stay.
The room has been preserved as it was during Van Gogh’s time, with reproductions of his paintings on the walls. Visitors can also see a collection of Van Gogh’s original works at the monastery’s museum.
In addition to its association with Van Gogh, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole is also a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. The monastery features a lovely garden with a fountain and benches where visitors can relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
There is also a chapel on the grounds that is open to visitors.
La Maison de Sante Sant Paul is close to Les Antiques de Glanum. If you are traveling by car or camper van is better to park here (Maison de Sante) because the parking is free and the places are bigger for a campervan or a small motorhome.
Then you can go walking to Les Antiques de Glanum.
See Ancient Ruins in Les Antiques de Glanum
Les Antiques de Glanum is a must-see attraction in Saint Remy de Provence. This ancient site features two well-preserved Roman structures, the Mausoleum of the Julii and the Arc de Triomphe.
These monuments were originally part of the ancient city of Glanum and are believed to have been built in the 1st century BC.
You can go to Les Antiques and admire these structures’ impressive architecture and intricate carvings, which have stood the test of time.
The Mausoleum of the Julii is particularly notable for its ornate friezes depicting scenes from Greek mythology. The Arc de Triomphe, on the other hand, is a triumphal arch that was likely built to commemorate a Roman military victory.
In addition to the historical significance of Les Antiques, the site also offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the site and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere or simply sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Les Antiques de Glanum is close to the Maison de Sante Sant Paul, where Van Gogh was a patient in a mental hospital.
If you are traveling by car or camper van is better to park here (Maison de Sante) because the parking is free and the places are bigger for a campervan or a small motorhome.
Hop on a Tour to Cave Saint-Rémy
There are a few different caves to choose from, but they all offer a really unique and exciting experience.
One of the most popular caves in the area is the Grotte de Thouzon. This cave is located just outside of Saint Remy de Provence, and it’s known for its incredible rock formations and underground rivers.
You can take a guided tour of the cave, which will take you through some of the most stunning parts of the cave and give you a sense of its history and significance.
Another cool cave to check out is the Grotte de la Salamandre. This cave is located a bit further away from Saint Remy de Provence, but it’s definitely worth the trip.
The cave is known for its incredible stalactites, stalagmites, and underground lake. You can take a guided tour of the cave, which will take you through some of the most beautiful parts of the cave and give you a sense of its history and geology.
You’re in for a cool adventure, no matter which cave you visit. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket – it can get pretty chilly underground!
Go for a Country Walking at the Lavender Fields
If you’re in Saint Remy de Provence, you absolutely have to check out the lavender fields. They’re seriously some of the most beautiful and fragrant places around.
The lavender fields are located just outside of town, and they’re typically in bloom from late June to early August. During this time, the fields are bursting with vibrant purple flowers, and the air is filled with the sweet scent of lavender.
One of the best ways to experience the lavender fields is to ride a bike through the countryside. There are plenty of bike rental shops in Saint Remy de Provence, and they’ll be happy to set you up with a bike and a map of the best routes to take.
Riding a hot air balloon is another cool way to experience the lavender fields. This will give you a bird’s-eye view of the fields and the surrounding countryside, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
If you’re interested in learning more about lavender, check out one of the lavender farms in the area. These farms offer tours of their fields and distilleries, and you’ll get a chance to learn about the history and uses of lavender.
Extra: Take a Cooking Class in Saint Rémy de Provence
There are a few different cooking classes to choose from, but one of the most popular is La Cuisine Provençale.
This cooking school is located in the heart of Saint Remy de Provence, and it offers classes on everything from traditional French pastries to regional specialties like ratatouille and bouillabaisse.
The classes are taught by expert chefs who will guide you through the process of preparing a delicious meal from start to finish. You’ll learn all about the ingredients and techniques that make Provençal cuisine so special, and you’ll get plenty of hands-on experience in the kitchen.
One of the coolest things about taking a cooking class in Saint Remy de Provence is that you’ll get to enjoy the meal you prepare at the end of the class. You’ll sit down with your fellow students and enjoy a delicious feast you helped create.
If you’re interested in taking a cooking class, be sure to book in advance – these classes can fill up fast, especially during peak tourist season. And don’t worry if you’re not an expert cook – these classes are designed for all skill levels so that anyone can participate.
Day Trips from Saint Rémy de Provence
Hiking Trail around Lake and Peïrou Cave
The lake and grotte Peirou are located just outside of Saint Remy de Provence, surrounded by stunning natural scenery. The lake is a great place to swim, kayak, or just relax on the shore and soak up the sun.
And the Grotte Peirou is an incredible cave system filled with stunning rock formations and underground rivers.
One of the best ways to experience the lake and Grotte Peirou is to take a guided tour. Plenty of tour companies in Saint Remy de Provence offer tours of the area, and they’ll give you a chance to explore both the lake and the cave system.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, consider hiking to the lake and Grotte Peirou alone. The area has plenty of hiking trails, and they’ll take you through some of the most beautiful parts of the countryside.
No matter how you experience the lake and Grotte Peirou, you’re in for a cool adventure. Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water – it can get pretty hot out there!
Les Baux de Provence is a small village just a short drive from Saint Remy de Provence. It’s perched on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The village is filled with narrow streets and historic buildings, and it’s a great place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.
One of the coolest things about Les Baux de Provence is the Chateau des Baux. This medieval castle is perched on a rocky outcrop above the village, one of the region’s most impressive castles. You can take a guided tour of the castle, giving you a sense of its history and significance.
The views from the castle and surrounding are astonishing!
The castle is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm in winter and from 9 am to 7.30 pm in summer. Please, take a look at the open times before traveling.
Visit the Carrières de Lumières
If you’re in Saint Remy de Provence or Les Baux de Provence, you absolutely have to check out Les Carrières de Lumières. This is one of the most unique attractions in the area, and it’s seriously something you’ll never forget.
Les Carrières de Lumières is an old quarry that’s been turned into an art gallery. The walls of the quarry are covered in stunning projections of famous works of art, and the effect is truly breathtaking. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a dream world of color and light.
When we visited, the artist projected was Bosco, which was impressive. Every year the spectacle change; now, you can see Van Gogh’s works.
One of the coolest things about Les Carrières de Lumières is a new exhibit every year, each dedicated to a different artist. So even if you’ve been before, you’ll always have a new and exciting experience to look forward to.
The gallery is located just a short drive from Saint Remy de Provence, and it’s open every day from April to January. Plenty of tours are available, allowing you to learn more about the history and significance of the quarry and the art on display.
If you continue the route, you’ll arrive in Arles; I love this city. Read this complete post about the best things to do in Arles, and plan your trip.
Best Time To Visit Saint Rémy de Provence
Summer is hot; there’s no doubt about it. If you’re planning to visit during summer, the absolute best time to explore this lovely town is in the morning.
The early hours are magical, with a gentle breeze caressing your face as you stroll through the charming streets. But wait, here’s a little secret: from 12 pm to 6 pm, it’s scorching hot! Trust me, you’ll want to find some shade or head to a cozy café to cool down during those hours.
How to Get To Saint Rémy de Provence
Now, let’s talk about how to get there! You have a few options, but I highly recommend flying into Marseille Provence Airport (MRS). From there, it’s just a short drive (about 70 kilometers) to reach Saint Rémy. You can book tickets here!
And hey, why not rent a car? The drive itself is a beautiful journey through the Provencal countryside. The scents of lavender and olive trees will welcome you to the region!
How to Move Around Saint Rémy de Provence
Moving around Saint-Rémy is an absolute pleasure! The best way to explore the town is on foot. Seriously, the old town is so charming and small that walking is the perfect way to soak up all its beauty.
You’ll find hidden gems in every corner, and you won’t want to miss any of them. You want to wear the perfect shoes perfect for walking around this beautiful town.
But if you’re feeling adventurous and want to see more of the surrounding countryside, renting a bicycle is the way to go. Picture yourself pedaling through sunflower fields and vineyards – it’s like living in a dream!
Where to Stay in Saint Rémy de Provence
Let me share my personal favorite hotels in St. Remy de Provence! This charming town has something for every budget:
For a mid-range treat, you’ll adore the unique charm of Le Castelet des Alpilles, both perfectly located near the center.
Now, if you’re ready to splurge and pamper yourself, get ready to be wowed by the opulence of Hôtel Château des Alpilles.
These hotels in Saint Remy de Provence truly embody the essence of this beautiful region. Whichever one you choose, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time exploring the picturesque streets and indulging in the delights of Provencal life!
So, there you have it! My personal recommendations for the best time to visit, how to get there, and where to stay in Saint Rémy de Provence. I hope you fall in love with this enchanting town just as much as I did. Bon voyage!
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