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Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Guide: 9 Best Things to do + One Day Itinerary

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Planning to visit Saint-Rémy? In this guide, we are sharing a complete itinerary, including the best things to do, places to eat, hotel recommendations, and a one-day itinerary.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence is one of the most charming towns in Southern France, with a history that dates back to the 7th century B.C. Originally settled by the Celts, it’s one of the oldest towns in the country.

Saint-Rémy is renowned not only as the birthplace of Nostradamus, the famous physician and astrologer, but also as the backdrop for many of Vincent Van Gogh’s most beloved paintings.

Today, tourists flock here, especially during the summer months, to visit the vibrant Wednesday morning market, which is filled with seasonal produce, artisinal goods, and local foods.

You only need half a day to see Saint-Remy, including the market. However, we recommend planning a full day visit to include the nearby village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and the light show called Carrières de Lumiéres.

9 Best Things to do in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Saint-Rémy Market

The market in Saint-Rémy is one of the finest and most popular outdoor markets in Provence. Every Wednesday, the streets of this quaint town are transformed into a haven of produce and artisanal goodies, with vendors coming from all over the region to showcase their Provencal goods.

Bring cash because you will want to shop. Here, you’ll find mountains of savory olives, scented soaps, woven basket bags, freshly picked seasonal produce, local cheeses, and more. It has everything.

We always make it a point to stock up on French soaps, which are a must-have souvenir. I personally love the woven Provencal basket bags – perfect for everyday grocery shopping.

For lunch, pick up everything you need to make a traditional French picnic – cheese, cured meats, fresh fruit, tomatoes, wine, and of course, a baguette.

To avoid parking hassles, it’s wise to arrive early in the morning. There is no dedicated parking lot for the market, so you’ll need to look for a spot in one of the smaller lots near the center or along the street.

The Saint-Rémy market typically runs from 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM every Wednesday morning. It is particularly busy during the summer season from June to early September, so we recommend arriving first thing in the morning during this time of year.

Musée Estrine

Located in a stunning 18th-century mansion, the Estrine Museum serves as both a modern and contemporary art museum and a Van Gogh Interpretation Center.

The museum features temporary and permanent exhibitions throughout the year. Notably, the permanent collection includes works by French cubist painter Albert Gleizes.

The Van Gogh Interpretation Center is a must-visit for fans of his art. It offers a detailed tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, providing insights into his life and art through interactive experiences, include a display of his letters.

Practical Info: Full price tickets cost €7 per person. The museum is open everyday except Mondays. Hours vary throughout the year; check the official website for opening times.

Wander Through the Streets

Take some time to explore the charming streets of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The town is small, so it doesn’t take much time to see it all.

Key sites include the Fountain of Nostradamus, located in the heart of Saint-Rémy. Additionally, don’t miss the Maison Natale de Nostradamus, the house where the renowned physician and astrologer was born in 1503. You can’t go inside of the house – you can just see a plaque on the outside of the building.

The Collégiale St Martin is worth a visit. This early 19th-century neo-classical church boast a stunning organ and an impressive dome.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Alpilles region, then you can visit the city’s ethnographic museum – the Musée des Alpilles. However, I recommend skipping this if you only have a day in Saint-Rémy.

Van Gogh Route

Starting from the center of town, make your way towards Av. Pasteur. Continue along this road for 1km until you reach the Saint-Paul de Mausole Monastery.

The walk to the monastery takes approximately 20 minutes. Along the route, you’ll encounter 19 panels with photos of several paintings that Van Gogh created during his time in Saint-Rémy.

If you prefer, you can also drive to the monastery. However, we loved learning more about Van Gogh along the route and highly recommend it!

Saint-Paul de Mausole

Saint-Paul de Mausole is a psychiatric hospital that was established in the early 1800s by Doctor Mercurin. The hospital is famously associated with Vincent Van Gogh, who spent a year here from May 1889 to May 1890.

During his stay, he created some of his most celebrated works, including The Starry Night, Almond Blossom, and Field with Poppies, among many others.

Set within a picturesque monastery that dates back to the year 1,000, explore the hospital grounds and interior. You can walk around the Romanesque cloister, see a reconstruction of Van Gogh’s room, wander through the monastery’s lavender field, and enjoy the serene olive groves on the property.

Around the monastery, you’ll find panels displaying replicas of Van Gogh’s paintings at the precise locations where he originally painted them. This is a wonderful way to see the landscapes through Van Gogh’s eyes and to bring the paintings to life.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Saint-Paul de Mausole and highly recommend spending at least an hour here, particularly if you admire Van Gogh’s artwork.

Practical information: Tickets cost €8 per person. Open April – September from 9:30 am – 7:00pm. October from 10:15 am – 5:15 pm. November 1 – December 22 from 10:15 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00pm – 5:015 pm. Closed between December 23 – February 4.

Les Antiques

A short walk from the monastery, just across the road, you’ll find Les Antiques. This archaeological site features remarkable Roman monuments that once marked the entrance to the ancient city of Glanum.

The first monument you will encounter is the impressive Arch of Triumph, constructed in 20 AD. This grand arch was designed to make a lasting impression on visitors entering the city, symbolizing power and victory.

Just beyond the arch stands the Mausoleum of the Julii, dating back to 30 BC. This monument was erected by a prosperous family from Glanum.

Both of these monuments are free to visit.

Glanum

Just across the street from Les Antiques, you’ll find the entrance to Glanum. Strategically located at the base of the Alpilles mountains along a popular trade route, this ancient city was founded by a Gallic Celtic tribe in the 7th century B.C.

Over the centuries, Glanum experienced a cultural transformation, first being Hellenized and later becoming a Roman city around 27 BC. The once-prosperous city met its demise in 270 AD and was lost until its rediscovery in 1921.

Start your visit at the on-site museum for an overview of Glanum’s history. Pick up an English guide from the museum and use it to help guide you through the remarkable ruins.

As you wander through the site, you’ll see an array of ancient structures, including the forum, temples, Roman baths, houses, and a basilica.

Keep in mind, Provence can become quite hot during the summer months. If you plan to visit during mid-day, be sure to dress appropriately, as there isn’t much shade around the ruins.

Practical Information: Tickets cost €9 per person. Open April 1 – September 30 from 9:30am – 6:00pm. October 1 – March 31 from 10:00am – 5:00pm (closed Mondays during this time period). Parking is available for €4.

Les Baux-de-Provence

Perched atop Les Alpilles mountains, Les Baux-de-Provence is recognized as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France.” This ancient village dates back over 8,000 years to around 6,000 B.C.

Start your visit at the Chateau des Baux, a fortress located at the top of the village with beautiful views overlooking the valley below. On a clear day, you can see Aix-en-Provence, Arles, and Mont Saint-Victoire in the distance.

The castle, dating back to the 10th century, served as the residence of the influential Les Baux family during the Middle Ages. Purchase a ticket to explore the majestic ruins and enjoy a comprehensive audioguide available in English.

After your visit to the castle, meander down the hill, stopping to visit some of the village’s main attractions, including St. Vincent Church, the Chapel of Penitents, and the Yves Brayer Museum.

Getting to Les Baux de Provence

From Saint-Rémy, it’s only a 15-minute drive to Les Baux. Parking is available along the main road, but spots are limited and the area can get quite busy, especially in the mid-afternoon.

If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest renting an e-bike from Saint-Rémy for the afternoon from Sun-E-Bike. We opted for a self-guided half-day tour by e-bike to Les Baux and around the region. We absolutely loved it!

The ride to Les Baux takes about 30 minutes by e-bike, and in total, the half-day tour took us about 3-4 hours.

Practical Information: €8 for full price tickets. Opening hours; November – February: 10am-5pm; March, October: 9.30am-6.30pm; April, May, June, September: 9am-7pm; July and August: 9am-7.30pm

Carrières de Lumiéres

Just a short 15-minute walk from Les Baux, you’ll find the Carrières de Lumières. Hosted inside an old stone quarry, this spectacular light show is a must-see.

Enjoy a 40-minute sensory journey inside of these expansive quarry “caves” where artwork and images are projected onto the vast walls. Different light show exhibitions are held throughout the year, featuring themes ranging from famous Impressionist artists to ancient Egypt.

Make sure to look ahead of time on the official website to check the times of each specific show.

Practical Information: Full price tickets cost €15.50. You can purchased a combined ticket with the Chateau des Baux for €19, which is definitely worth it if you visit both!

The Carrières de Lumières is open every day throughout the year. Opening hours are: November – January from 10:00 AM -5:00 PM; March and October from 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM; April, May, June, September from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM; July and August from 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence One Day Itinerary

Saint-Rémy can easily be visited in half a day if you only plan to visit the town, the market, St-Paul de Mausole, and Glanum. However, we highly recommend combining your trip to Saint-Rémy with a visit to Les Baux-de-Provence for a full-day experience.

Below, you’ll find a complete one-day itinerary:

Morning

  • Saint-Rémy Market
  • Wander the streets of Saint-Rémy
  • Walk to Saint-Paul de Mausole
  • Explore Glanum and Les Antiques

Early Afternoon

  • Visit Musée Estrine
  • Eat lunch in Saint-Rémy

Late Afternoon

  • Drive or bike to Les Baux-de-Provence
  • Explore Les Baux + Chateau des Baux
  • Visit the Carrières de Lumières

Is Saint-Rémy Worth Visiting?

Absolutely, Saint-Rémy is one of our favorite small towns in the Provence region. It epitomizes Provencal charm with its idyllic setting at the foot of the Alpilles mountains and wonderful outdoor market.

Its proximity to Avignon and the Mediterranean Sea makes Saint-Rémy an easy day trip location or base if you’re looking to explore the western side of Provence.

We highly recommend planning your visit for a Wednesday morning to coincide with the market day. This is when the town truly comes alive, and again, it’s one of the best markets in southern France!

Getting around Saint-Rémy

Saint-Rémy is small and compact, making it easy to explore on foot. You can easily walk through its charming, winding streets in an hour or less. On busy market days, it’s best to park your car and leave it for the day to avoid the hassle of having to find parking again.

How to get to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

The best way to get to Saint-Rémy is by car. There are several parking lots available outside of the center, and you can also park along the streets, unless there is a sign saying otherwise.

You can also take the bus from Avignon and Arles. It takes about 1 hour each way.

From Avignon:

  • Bus: From Avignon’s Gare Routière (bus station), located near the central train station, take bus 707 directly to Saint-Rémy. The bus departs every 30 minutes and the journey takes around 1 hour each way. Check Google Maps for updated times.
  • Car: The drive from Avignon to Saint-Rémy takes about 30 minutes each way.

From Arles:

  • Bus: From the center of Arles, take bus 704 directly to Saint-Rémy. The journey takes 1 hour each way, depending on traffic. Double check the local schedule for updated times.
  • Car: The drive from Arles to Saint-Rémy takes 35 minutes each way.

From Marseille:

  • Car: Follow along the A7 to get to Saint-Rémy from Marseille. The drive takes between 1-1.5 hours each way.

Where to Stay in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence?

Luxury Hotels:

  • Hotel Château Des Alpilles | The most elegant 5-star hotel in Saint-Rewmy is located just a 5-minute drive from the town center. Enjoy this incredible property with its iconic driveway lined with gorgeous trees, fantastic restaurant, and classic interiors.
  • Hôtel de Tourrel | Located in the heart of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, this unique property transformed a beautiful 17th-century mansion into a modern hotel. The hotel features a Michelin star restaurant, a rooftop pool, and simplistic design.

Bed & Breakfast:

  • La Maison de Line | This lovely hotels offers a tranquil escape in the center of town. Featuring an outdoor pool, lush garden, and country-style rooms, you’re sure to have an enjoyable and peaceful stay.

Boutique Hotels:

  • Hôtel Gounod | Located in a beautiful 18th-century stone building, this hotel offers a charming stay in the heart of Saint Rémy. It includes a swimming pool, garden, and spa.
  • La Maison du Village | A lovely hotel with comfortable rooms and a beautiful garden.

Where to Eat in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence?

  • Restaurant de Tourrel | This 1-star Michelin restaurant is located inside of the Hotel de Tourrel. With only 16 guests per service, this restaurant offers an intimate dining experience and seasonal menu.
  • L’Auberge de Saint-Rémy | A gourmet Michelin star restaurant with fresh and seasonal farm-to-table dishes.
  • Chapeau de Paille | A lovely French bistro serving typical Provencal cuisine at an affordable price point.
  • Bar-Tabac des Alpilles | Come here for the classics.
  • Le Bistrot de Saint Rémy | Fresh, regional dishes in an inviting environment.
  • La Rose des Sables If you’re looking for something a little different, this Mediterranean option is a great choice.

More Information for your Trip to Provence

FRANCE TRAVEL PLANNING GUIDE

France Travel Insurance – Should you get travel insurance for France? YES! We always purchase travel insurance before all of our trips just in case anything happens. Check out Safety Wing to find the best plan for you.

France Rental Cars – Is it safe to rent a car in France? Yes! We’ve rented a car in France too many times to count, and it’s definitely the most convenient way to get around the countryside. We rented our car through Discover Cars (our go-to rental agency), which helps you find the best rates no matter where you are traveling.

France Phone Plans – If your phone plan does not offer free coverage in France, then we suggest getting an eSIM. We used Airalo during our trip to France, and we had fantastic coverage the entire time. It’s easy to download and you can even top up via the app if needed.

France Hotels – Wondering where to book your accommodations for France? We’ve been reserving all of our hotels through Booking for years. Their messaging tool makes it easy to communicate with the hotels, and there are endless options to choose from

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