Aix en Provence is a city in Provence in the South of France most well known as a university town and as the birthplace of renowned painter Paul Cézanne. It was the first port of call on our 11-night Carnival Vista Mediterranean Cruise.
Located just a half hour from the port of Marseilles, Aix en Provence is starkly different from Marseilles. While Marseilles is known as one of the poorest cities in France, Aix en Provence may be one of the richest.
The city is best explored by foot due to its small size, allowing you to stroll through the quaint streets taking in all of the city’s fountains, beautiful little stalls filled with home made goods and plethora of art museums.
There were a variety of excursions to choose from in the port of Marseilles. This one was simply titled “Aix en Provence” ($65.99 adult | $45.99 child).
In the Mazarin Quarter, designed by Archbishop Michel Mazarin, we visited the “Place des Quatre Dauphins” (Four Dolphins Square). Built in 1646, the square’s namesake is the fountain adorned with four sculptures of dolphins.
Our walking tour continued down a tree-lined boulevard in the heart of the city at Cours Mirabeau.
Cours Mirabeau is full of cozy outdoor cafes and many of the beautiful fountains that Aix en Provence is known for. The Cours Mirabeau, a moss covered fountain, actually draws its water from a naturally fed hot spring.
The town was completely charming and the weather was perfection. We had caught the last few days of Spring on this first day of our cruise vacation. It would warm up the further we got along.
I could do an entire blog post on the door porn in the Med. So much character!
The other highlight of the tour was the “Saint Sauveur Cathedral”. The architecture of this cathedral offers the incredibly unique experience of witnessing styles from the 5th and 7th centuries side by side.
After a visit to the church we wandered the quaint little shops and sampled French pastries as we strolled the massive farmers market nearby.
Croissants in France…you have not lived until you’ve had one!
The tour lasted around 4.5 hours and included a lot of the history, architecture and gorgeous fountains that the city is most known for.
Wondering what else there is to do on a Mediterranean Cruise? Check out this post: 11 Day Carnival Vista Mediterranean Cruise Highlights
Special thanks goes out to Carnival for hosting me and my daughter on this cruise. I was not compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.