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Les Baux de Provence

Château des Baux

Grand Rue
Les Baux de Provence
France 13520
Tel: 33 4 90 54 55 56's insider take:

Driving up to Les Baux is an exercise in pure Mediterranean escapism: Switchback roads lead past endless olive groves, plane trees, and vineyards, giving regular jaw-dropping views over the rolling countryside. At the summit is a ruined mountaintop town, complete with castle, both of which appear to be a few thousand years old. The view from the top, which you'll unfortunately share with several busloads of tourists, is one of the best in all of Europe. Trees growing at odd angles dot the rocky outcroppings of the Alpilles mountains all around, and the plateau below is an Impressionist's dream of lavender fields and those ubiquitous olive groves and vineyards. On clear days, you can sometimes see all the way to the Mediterranean from the 1,000-feet-up vantage point. Château des Baux, historically a strategically important fortress that now belongs to the Grimaldi dynasty of Monaco (think Princess Rainier), offers a few winding, crowded streets inside the town walls. An added attraction for medievalists and kids is the display of catapults, including the largest trebuchet in Europe.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.