Ten minutes drive from the centre of Aix and we are in the countryside. All around this town there are little villages where daily life seems a whole lot slower and simpler than its larger neighbour. The stunning ‘travel book’ villages are further away and if you need a slice of postcard Provence you need to travel 45 minutes towards the Luberon to the villages of Loumarin, Bonnieux and further afield to St Remy de Provence.
For a closer village fix head to Eguilles, Rognes or St Cannat or my absolute favourite, Puyricard. It’s home to the French artisan chocolate makers and factory, internationally known to gourmet chocolate lovers. A must to return to.
This dreamy place has the charm, the village square, the market with a great sprinkling of the perfect provencale lunch stops, the Salon de The being my favourite. Just outside the little village lies gentle countryside with splashes of sunflowers, olive and almond groves. The market comes marching into town on a Friday and transforms the peaceful square into a carnival-like atmosphere. It’s a celebration of Provencal culture and more about the social aspect than the commercial. All the producers of the area proudly show their wares: freshly pressed olive oil and apple juice and every type of seasonal fruit and vegetable you can imagine. Time to enjoy and savour this little market over a coffee at the tabac. Its a joy! There is such a pride in these village markets where locals grab their opportunity to show off their home.