The area of Provence surrounding Mas La Monaque is richly endowed in beautiful villages such as Les Baux de Provence, Saint Remy de Provence, Maussane Les Alpilles (left), and historic regional towns such as Arles, Avignon, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence. There is also a wide variety of local attractions including several golf courses, and outdoor Provencal street markets world-renowned for their atmosphere, their colours, their food, and their bargains.
Local villages and towns in the region
LES BAUX DE PROVENCE
(5 minute drive from Mas La Monaque)
Les Baux de Provence is officially classified and labelled as "one of the most beautiful villages in France". Les Baux de Provence is situated in the heart of the Alpilles on a rocky plateau 245 metres high. The superb stone fortress is one of the "must sees" if you are visiting Provence and the medieval village has a wonderful selection of shops selling Provencal products as well as several restaurants with excellent reputations. The ancient Le Baux vineyards produce wine of an excellent quality and the "Cathedrale d'Images" visual show is an unforgettable experience. This region, along with the area immediately surrounding Mas La Monaque, is the largest olive producing region in France.
SAINT REMY DE PROVENCE
(10 minute drive from Mas La Monaque)
Birthplace of Nostradamus, St Remy is a charming village with beautifully restored old houses surrounded by lush countryside. The boulevards shaded by the plane trees that ring around the village host a number of excellent restaurants and cafes. The traditional Wednesday morning market in St Remy is renowned throughout Provence and there are plenty of boutique-style shops located in the narrow streets within the outer ring road. Vincent Van Gogh spent time in the local asylum at St Remy (inset) after he left Arles. The beauty of the countryside and quality of light inspired Van Gogh to produce more than 250 paintings around Arles and St Remy. The roman ruins of Glanum, which was founded in the 3rd century BC, is a short distance from St Remy on the road to Les Baux.
(15 minute drive from Mas La Monaque)
The old Roman town of Arles is a city of festivals, art, and culture and the home of a magnificently preserved Roman amphitheatre which was built in the 1st century. Today bullfights are held in this very same arena that was the scene of Roman games and gladiatorial battles in the 1st century. The amphitheatre, arena, Roman baths, and other Roman monuments are registered with UNESCO and are a must to visit. The international photography festival is held each year in the summer. The bullfights in Arles inspired the artist Picasso to complete over 50 works here and Van Gogh completed many of his famous paintings in the time that he lived in Arles. Arles is the Gateway to the natural beauty of the Camargue and holds folklore events, concerts, and the traditional Camargue bullfighting festivals.
(30 minute drive from Mas La Monaque)
The breathtaking fortified city of Avignon is a city of theatre, art, and culture stretching in all its beauty along the banks of the River Rhone. The Palace of the Popes built in the 14th century overlooks a lively square with many restaurants and activities and is a must to visit when in Provence. The ancient and elegant streets are home to a number of designer shops, art galleries, and specialist boutiques. There are a number of museums (Petit Palais, Musee Calvert, Musee Lapidaire, Collection Lambert, Musee Louis-Vouland) worth visiting and the Theatre Festival in July/August along with the street shows set up by amateur performers creates a unique atmosphere in this wonderful city.
(30 minute drive from Mas La Monaque)
The Camargue Nature Reserve is a 200,000 acre zone of lagoons, salt flats, and marshes where the only cowboys in Europe gallop across the flattest land in France. It is the home of the gypsies and is rich in birdlife and an abundance of wildlife such as racoons, otters, and beavers. You can see the Camargue white horses throughout your drive through the reserve as well as the famous Camargue fighting bulls which are raised for Corridas in Spain and southern France.
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
(within 1 hour drive of Mas la Monaque)
- Salon de Provence - 20 minutes
- Nimes - 35 minutes
- L'Isle sur la Sorgue - 40 minutes - great markets/antiques
- Aix en Provence - 40 minutes
- Marseille - 50 minutes - France's oldest city with its spectacular port and views from Notre Dame de la Garde
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