Secret Provence - Discover Les Alpilles

Originally posted on & updated on 2nd February, 2024

Those in the know have already discovered Les Alpilles, the sleepy side of Provence, where the hustle and bustle of the Cote d’Azur could be a million miles away. The South of France’s sun-soaked coastline is in fact within easy reach should it be needed but charm and beauty are in abundance in this scenic hill region and, once here, visitors rarely want to stray too far.

Les Alpilles, Countryside with Personality

Les Alpilles lie just south of Avignon and adjacent to the Luberon’s Golden Triangle of pretty villages which include Gordes, Goult, Oppede and Roussillon. The limestone hills are home to olive and almond groves and the striking Parc Naturel Régional des Alpilles.  

Don’t be fooled by the apparent tranquillity of this part of France though. There is a hard-working agricultural heart to Les Alpilles and a majestic population of bird and wildlife that includes Bonelli’s eagle, the lesser kestrel, the Egyptian vulture and the Eurasian eagle-owl.

With around 300 days of sunshine a year and the benefit of having those higher altitudes to escape to on really hot days, Les Alpilles is a year-round destination. If you love hiking, horse-riding, cycling or climbing there are ample trails and paths to explore.

A Painter & Artist’s Landscape

Vincent van Gogh painted the fields and lanes of Les Alpilles in many, many works during his stay in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.  He was inspired by the unique quality of light here and the sweeping panoramas. He completed some of his most famous work during his time at St Remy, including The Starry Night, a swirling night view across the town’s rooftops.  Les Alpilles has inspired many other artists over the years including Auguste Chabaud and Antoine Serra.

A Secret Hideaway for Celebrities

When the glitz and glamour of the Riviera all becomes too much, A-listers have been known to escape to Les Alpilles for a more relaxed and grounded French experience. Famous faces you may spot include Princess Caroline of Monaco, Johnny Depp and John Malkovich.

The Typical Mas de Provence

If you are searching for your own Mas style farmhouse or traditional Provencal stone property, Les Alpilles is a good place to start. The Mas is found in many rural parts of France but is typical of the Provence region. These traditional regional homes were built using local materials such as stone and wood and in Les Alpilles the Mas tend to be constructed of limestone. As well as farmhouses and properties with land,  we offer a good selection of properties; character homes, stone Mas, village houses and luxury homes with pools.

Town and Village Life

Some of the most spectacular towns and villages in Provence can be found here in Les Alpilles. Experience the distinctive Provencal way of life in Saint Remy de Provence where leafy boulevards are lined with elegant plane trees and cafés and restaurants spill out onto well-kept pavements and squares.

St Remy’s Instagram friendly cobbled streets and pastel-coloured buildings are gentle on the eye but this is a vibrant community where the weekly market stalls are laden with locally produced fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread and olive oil.

Eygalières is another very beautiful hilltop town with authentic stone houses lining winding streets and its own lively weekly market.  Les Baux-de-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône is equally noteworthy and enjoys an elevated position on a rocky outcrop. It has been named one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Getting to the Alpilles

There is a sense of calm escapism in Les Alpilles yet one of its attractions is its accessibility. Marseille airport is just an hour away and the TGV station in Avignon means Paris is two hours and 40 minutes away by train. Are you looking in a specific area or village in this sought after area? Get in touch with details about your search and your wishlist.

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