We went by coach to the Montagne Sainte Victoire and found the drive there most enjoyable. As we approached the mountain I was surprised how big it is. The limestone rock was glistening in the sunshine. It is an amazing sight. I already knew that the artist Paul Cezanne was born in nearby Aix en Provence and that he painted pictures of this mountain and the surrounding area on numerous occasions.The great mountain has lovely trees on the lower levels and if time permits it is possible to walk most of the way up but I would imagine it would be impossible for the normal walker to scale the upper part.On the lower side of the mountain there is an exhibition building with various exhibits and a film show of the mountain and the area. Also a few stuffed animals, wolf, wild boar, gemzen and some birds.I was expecting there to be a big section about Paul Cezanne and pictures and cards to purchase of his works but I failed to find any reference to Cezanne. A great opportunity lost by the people of Aix.As we drove away along the road Cezanne regularly used the terrain was most interesting. There were massive red sandstone type ravines running down the lower reaches of the mountain. Well worth a visit.
We hiked around Le Tholenet for a morning and found the trails very well marked and easy to navigate. The colors of the mountain created variations throughout the day and you can see why the region is the backdrop of many artist. The area has many areas accessible to the public and France has preserved much of the area to protect its beauty and the publics access. Great region to explore
The park is beautiful and the trails are very well marked. The view from the top is worth the sweat! There are a lot of smooth, slippery rocks and loose stones so be watchful when walking.
We were staying with family in Aix and spent a few hours here at this park enjoying the serene landscape with a delicious picnic lunch.
Mont Victoire is only a short drive outside Aix and it has a close association with the renowned artist, Paul Cezanne. Cezanne had a cottage or hut at the foot of the mountain and painted many scenes around it. It is also a very attractive walk -- contrasts of mountainscape and woodland, with trails through it. Well worth a visit. You can take walks of varying duration, easy to find walks of between 1 and 3 hours.
This is ranked #1 of 39 Attractions in Aix-en-Provence - but it's not in Aix-en-Provence!!! By car it is 21km from/outside Aix, I know as we drove to see it last Sunday! I would say that it is #1 of 1 Attractions in 13126 Vauvenargues
I trekked up the south face of the mountain which was apparently more difficult. It's a great hike and a good workout. The only really difficult part was the rocky faces that for me, required me to use my hands and legs to pull myself along and stay balanced. I went to the Park's office and the guide let me take a picture of the map instead of paying the 5 Euros. He instructed me to go to park at Plan d'en Chois and then start there. When you start the trail, make sure you follow the red dash markings that mark the trail. I didn't and followed the wide path that was probably for the park rangers trucks and took the longer route through the beginning. After Refuge Cezanne, I was back on the main trail. I took the easier way towards Escalette and then left up towards the Croix de Sainte Victoire. You'll pass a church on the way up (and a surprisingly clean bathroom) and then arrive at the cross. Gorgeous views of Provence as well as a nuclear power plant!
It is well worth driving through heaven scented fields of lavender to experience the view. I was staying in Aix but it is near to a number of towns in the area.
The imposing sight of Sainte Victoire is quite breathtaking,which ever angle you view it from, It can be walked from various places depending on how much time you have and your walking abilities,One of the best views is from the magnificent dam called Barage de Bimont, which in itself is worth visiting, just off the D10 road to Vauvenargues.There are guided walking tours organised through tourist information in Aix en provence or you can choose a place to start and do it yourself by following the colour coded markers.The main starting places are Le Tholonet, Vauvenargues or Barage de bimont.Its quite a hike so take water with you and maybe packed lunch.and camera of course.
We went to Bimont de batiment and walked across the dam and down to the lake. Wonderful scenery and great walking