Villages Around AixTrets : this old medieval town is between Mount Sainte-Victoire and the Aurélien Hills. It has retained several reminders of its past : a 12th century house, parts of the town walls and a 15th century Romanesque church. A little further on, in the Régagnas range, there is a fine panorama of the region from Saint-Jean-de-Puy's hermitage (5th century).
Peynier : Stretching between Mount Sainte-Victoire and the Régagnas range, this old village built around a Romanesque church has retained some 16th century dwellings. The castle built below the town, is a massive mid-17th century building flanked by two round towers and crowned by a tile frieze.
Meyreuil : The very pretty little bridge (Pont des Trois Sautet) was built in 1655. It was painted by Cézanne and by Churchill.
Fuveau : a typical Provençal village.
Gardanne : mining town.
Museum "Gardanne autrefois" (local history museum). 21, rue Courbet . 13 120. Tel : (+33) 126.96.36.199.Visits on 1st Saturday of every month (aftrenoon) and on Wednesday morning (11-12 am) with tour of the old town an slide show.
Albertas Park :Following the slope of the ground, Albertas Park lies below the hill-top village of Bouc-Bel-Air. This 18th century park has pleasant walks. The garden, decorated with ponds and statues, has virtually kept its initial layout.
Tel : (+33) 188.8.131.52
Cabriès : Cabriès castle. Place de l'Eglise.13480. Tel : (+33) 184.108.40.206. Open every day except Sunday morning and tuesday. (10-12 am/2-6 pm). 9th century castle. Collections of paintings by Edgar Mélik. Local archaeology.
Ventabren : a pretty hill-top village with picturesque narrow streets overlooked by the ruins of the Queen Jeanne's Castle. Sights include the lovely fountains, a wash-house and a 17th century church. From the foot of the ruins, ther is a splendid view of the Etoile and Vitrolles range of mountains and of l'Etang de Berre.
Ventabren Museum : Mairie. Grand Rue. 13122. Tel : (+33) 220.127.116.11. Open at weekends only, or on weekdays by appointment -2-7 pm). Free admission.
Aqueduc de Roquefavour : 80m high (twice as high as the Pont du Gard), this impressive stucture rises above the verdant valley of the River Arc. Built in the mid-19th century bi Montricher it carries the Durance's waters to Marseille.
Jouques : Built against a cliff face, the village was one of the places of residence of the Archbishops of Aix under the Old Régime. Of their palace, there remains a series of classical entrance gates. The town hall is a former mansion. The church, Notre-Dame-de-la-Roque, has preserved fine gilded altar-pieces.
Musées de Jouques 74 rue Grande. 13490. Tel : (+33) 18.104.22.168. Open every day except Tuesday and Sunday (2-6 pm). Free admission. Guided tours. In the 17th century former chapel of the Pénitents Blancs (White Penitents) : a museum of rural exhibits and local history.
Peyrolles : This small industrial town lying belong the imposing mass of its castle, started in the late 17th century and extended in the 18th century. The fine chapel of Saint Sépulchre stands on a rock platform.
Meyrargues : This little town is huddled at the foot of an imposing castle with a monumental flight of steps and an open terraced courtyard. Built in medieval times, it was altered in the 17th century. Three arches of a Roman aqueduct still stand in a hollow behind the castle.
Rognes : A pretty village of Roman origine, Rognes is built on northern slopes of the Trévaresse range of mountains. It is well-known for its wine, its truffles and especially for its stone, which is widely used in Provence for building an decoration. Its 17th century church is a veritable museum of religious art and including a spectacular collection of gilded wood altar-pieces.