While many of you have either visited Aix before, or have it marked as a must-see destination during your next France vacation, some may be wondering “where is Aix-en-Provence”? Aix (pronounced “ex”) is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France about 30 kilometers, or 19 miles, northeast of Marseille. The Aéroport de Marseille Provence (Marseille-Provence Airport) is actually located in Marignane to the north of Marseille and it takes about 30-minutes to get from there to Aix by rental car, taxi or Uber. If you arrive by train, then it will take about 20-minutes from the Aix-en-Provence TGV railway station to the city center.
Where is Aix-en-Provence in relation to other southern France towns?
Aix-en-Provence is a fabulous place to both enjoy as a visitor and also to use as a home-base for taking day-trips to other popular nearby towns and villages. Want to dip your toes in the Mediterranean? Tiny Cassis is just a 45-minute drive away and offers a charming restaurant-lined boardwalk, quaint local shops, and a popular beach to lay your towel down, relax and soak it all in. Or maybe Saint-Tropez is more your style? Drive a couple of hours southeast and you‘ll be sipping rosé in the shadows of the large yachts lining the ancient marina (there are also great beaches near there too!). You can reach the southern Alps in about 2-hours and breath in the crisp mountain air, or go to Cannes, Nice and the high-roller tables of the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco in roughly the same amount of time. You can even drive across the Italian border for a delicious pasta lunch and be back in time for dinner in Aix (I know, I’ve done it!). That will take you more like 3-hours each way, but it’s a fun experience and you get to see some stunning scenery along the way.
When in Aix, do as the Aixoise
When you’re in Aix, you won’t really need transportation as it’s very walk-able. Most of the areas are zoned for pedestrians, including the picturesque Cours Mirabeau which divides the old town from the residential Mazarin Quarter highlighted by its 17th-century mansions. Aix-en-Provence is very international, so I encourage you to try out your French as much as possible, but if you get stuck (or don’t know any) most everyone in the hotels, restaurants and shops have a very good level of English so don’t fret. And if you are looking for places to stay while you’re here, I’ve put together some hotel recommendations to give you ideas. Aix is a vibrant place to be, and I hope you’ll consider taking a guided tour when you come. I would love to welcome you to this wonderful city in the heart of southern France.