The Alpilles are a chain of limestone hills extending from the Luberon Mountains in Provence, France. The Alpilles manage to perfectly embody the peace, harmony and beauty of Provence, making them an almost essential place to visit from a holiday rental anywhere in Provence.
The Alpilles are a fantastic destination for walkers. The Alpilles are awash with almond, apricot and olive groves, whose blossom simply adds to the already stunning scenery. The views from the top of the Alpilles are stunning, and the regions ancient agricultural heritage can be explored through the ruins of the windmills, some of which still line the top of the ridge. The Scots Pine and oak woodlands that cover much of the lower slopes make walking and mountain biking in the summer months a delight, shaded from the heat of the summer sun. There are numerous shaded paths to tread, whether on foot, on horseback or on a mountain bike.
The long history in the Alpilles has left numerous historical attractions of note. The Tarascon Fortress is among the most impressive sites, but with the amazing medieval heritage of Baux-de-Provence, the beautiful Romanesque churches of St Gabriel (to choose just one) and the abbeys, aqueducts and agricultural buildings that adorn the countryside, it is hard to single out any individual monument.
The Alpilles is an amazingly traditional region. Nowhere clings to traditional lifestyles so naturally and fully than they do in the Alpilles, which makes it a magnificent destination, which is always a joy to visit. There are a great range of events, festivals and celebrations occurring throughout the villages of the Alpilles and throughout the year, from the Festival of Transhumance (moving of cattle) to the Feast Days of St Eloi, vast Christmas events (including feasts and markets) to bullfighting.
The village of St-Remy-de-Provence is a beautifully grandiose village of Roman origin, whose centre is fantastically elegant and surrounded by remnants of 14th century defensive walls. You can spend many days exploring the numerous attractions in St-Remy-de-Provence, pausing for refreshments in the many great restaurants and cafes within the town. However, it is Wednesdays that really draw crowds to St-Remy-de-Provence as the large weekly market descends on the town.
The ancient village of Orgon stands on the banks of the River Durance, at the bottom of the Alpilles. Known for its Neolithic, roman and medieval monuments, Orgon is filled with important historic sites, but also offers a perfect base from which to explore the whole of the Alpilles region. Orgon is an excellent walking, climbing and horse riding centre, with a packed calendar of events during the summer, especially in the large outdoor amphitheatre.
Les-Baux-de-Provence is a truly astonishing village, which cannot fail to inspire anyone who has the pleasure to visit. High in the Alpilles, the ruins of castles, palaces and royal vestiges are nothing short of incredible, clinging to the cliffs almost miraculously. Although the tourist crowds can become quite large during the summer months, it should certainly not put you off visiting this remarkable village.
There are a great number of airports receiving direct flights from the UK in the Alpilles area. Marseille (MRS) and Avignon-Caumont (AVN) are both within 45 minutes of any of the holiday rental properties in the Alpilles. Taking a hire car is strongly recommended on any Alpilles holiday due to the rural nature of the region.