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5 days in Marseille....

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ottawa
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5 days in Marseille....

I have 5.5 days in the Marseille area and plan on visiting Aix, Cassis and the Calanques, and perhaps Arles and or Avignon. We will have a rental car for 3 or 4 days. What we would also really like to do is explore the French countryside and some of it's quaint villages but not sure where to go........

Can anyone please suggest some of the most beautiful country villages that can be reached from Marseille on a day trip?

Thanks in advance for your help and time :)

Philadelphia, PA
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for Cassis, Marseille, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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1. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

There is Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, gorgeous village, site, renowned earthenware.

A less obvious choice, and depending when you are there a less crowded one as well, I can suggest a day in les Alpes de Haute Provence:

- Le Chateau de Sauvan in Mane. This bastide has a very rich history as the countess was Marie-Antoinette's closest friend, to the point that a plot was schemed for her to replace the queen in prison... it was foiled as we all know. Unfortunately for the castle, the royal couple never visited as planned, so it is not considered a prime historical site. However, after spending many years in dissaray, it was painstakingly restored to the most minute detail by the current owners: they scraped the wall paper down to the first layer and had identical wall paper hand painted... they had the silk fabrics rewoven to the original pattern and color to the tune of several thousands of euro per square meter,... and so much more. The castle has treasures that even Versailles does not own, they have original "boutis Provencal", the quilted traditional covers, almost 100% confiscated by Napoleon's army to keep the horses warm during the Russian campaign. The son was a general of Napoleon's army, so figured he could bend the rule for his parents, rule punishable by death for all others... I have said enough, a pure gem, all restored from the personal funds of the owners by love of the building. A gem.

- Prieure de Salangon, also in Mane

- Dauphin, the cutest medieval village, very well preserved and restored

- Chapelle Sainte Agathe, and the ruins of the castle of the Comte de Provence in Saint Maime, four daughters which all became queens, one queen of France.

- Forcalquier, where the catherdral of the Comte is (and who abuses the name of the city of the 4 queens, but ...)

- "Le relais des Quatre Reines":a small restaurant on the road very near Dauphin which serves the most authentic Provencal cuisine you will find: the owner is from the village and these are all family recipes... (when she was a teenager, my grandfather often drove her and the other teens from the village to neighboring village balls in the first and only car in the Basses Alpes (former name of Alpes de Haute Provence).

- You can also choose to stay the night a the Minimes Convent turned in a spa by l'Occitane (founded and headquartered in Manosque)

This is truly the "road less traveled"....

Philadelphia, PA
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for Cassis, Marseille, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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2. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

Here are some links:

couventdesminimes-hotelspa.com/uk/index.php

www.chateaudesauvan.com/

www.beyond.fr/sites/salagon.html

www.frenchgardening.com/visitez.html…

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forcalquier

ottawa
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3. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

Wonderful information, Thank you so much!

As we already have our accomodation booked in Marseille for the five nights are all of these places that you listed within a return day trip to and from Marseille?

Philadelphia, PA
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for Cassis, Marseille, Manosque, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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4. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

Yes, all can be done in one day. And just get a treatment at the spa to finish the day...in beauty!

ottawa
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5. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

Fantastic, you read our minds. We will do just that. Thankyou again for your help!

6. Re: 5 days in Marseille....

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