Salon-de-Provence, located in the picturesque region of Provence in southern France, offers a rich historical and cultural experience for visitors. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Salon-de-Provence:
1. Château de l’Empéri
Start your exploration by visiting the impressive Château de l’Empéri, a medieval fortress that overlooks the city. Explore its well-preserved ramparts, towers, and museums, which showcase the region’s military history and offer breathtaking views of Salon-de-Provence.
2. Nostradamus Museum
Discover the life and works of the famous 16th-century astrologer and physician, Michel de Nostradamus, at the Nostradamus Museum. This museum provides insights into his prophecies and his connection to Salon-de-Provence, where he spent a significant part of his life.
3. Savonnerie Rampal Latour
Immerse yourself in the world of traditional soap-making at Savonnerie Rampal Latour. This family-owned soap factory has been producing artisanal soaps since 1828. Take a guided tour to learn about the soap-making process and browse their exquisite collection of natural soaps and skincare products.
4. Fontaine Moussue
Located in the heart of Salon-de-Provence, Fontaine Moussue is a charming fountain adorned with moss and surrounded by colorful flowers. It serves as a meeting point for locals and is a great spot to relax and soak in the Provençal atmosphere.
5. Musée de l’Empéri
Explore the Musée de l’Empéri, housed within the Château de l’Empéri. This museum showcases an extensive collection of military artifacts, weapons, and armor. It also features exhibits on local history, including archaeological finds from the region.
6. Centre de Santons
Delve into the world of traditional Provençal nativity scenes at the Centre de Santons. Admire the intricate craftsmanship of these small clay figurines, known as “santons,” and learn about their cultural significance in Provençal Christmas traditions.
7. Jardin de la République
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Enjoy a peaceful moment in the Jardin de la République, a beautifully landscaped park in the heart of the city. Adorned with fountains, statues, and lush greenery, it provides a serene escape from the bustling streets.
8. Visit a Provençal Market
Experience the vibrant local culture by visiting one of Salon-de-Provence’s lively markets. The weekly Saturday market is particularly popular, offering a wide array of fresh produce, regional specialties, crafts, and more.
9. Moulin Cornille
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Located just outside Salon-de-Provence, Moulin Cornille is a traditional olive oil mill that has been operating since 1812. Take a guided tour to learn about the olive oil production process and taste their exquisite oils, which are renowned for their quality and flavor.
10. Collégiale Saint-Laurent
Visit the Collégiale Saint-Laurent, a beautiful Romanesque-style church in the heart of Salon-de-Provence. Admire its intricate architectural details, stunning stained glass windows, and peaceful atmosphere. The church also hosts occasional classical music concerts, adding to its cultural appeal.
11. Parc de la Crémade
Escape the city and enjoy nature at Parc de la Crémade, a tranquil park located on the outskirts of Salon-de-Provence. This green oasis offers walking trails, picnic areas, and a serene lake where you can relax and soak up the peaceful surroundings.
Engage in a quintessentially Provençal activity by playing a game of pétanque. This traditional French sport, similar to bocce, is popular in Salon-de-Provence. Join the locals in one of the many public squares or parks to try your hand at this leisurely yet competitive game.
13. Wine Tating
Indulge in the flavors of the region by embarking on a wine tasting journey. Salon-de-Provence is surrounded by vineyards producing excellent wines, particularly from the Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation. Visit local wineries to savor the renowned rosés, reds, and whites of Provence.
14. Les Baux-de-Provence
Take a short drive from Salon-de-Provence to the nearby village of Les Baux-de-Provence. Nestled in the Alpilles mountains, this medieval village offers breathtaking views, narrow cobblestone streets, and historic sites like the Château des Baux. Explore the village’s art galleries, shops, and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere.
15. Roman Ruins
Explore the ancient Roman ruins near Salon-de-Provence. The archaeological site of Glanum, located in the nearby town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, showcases well-preserved Roman buildings, including a triumphal arch and mausoleum. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the region’s Roman past.
16. Provençal Cuisine
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Sample the delicious Provençal cuisine that celebrates the region’s fresh produce and Mediterranean flavors. Visit local restaurants and try traditional dishes such as bouillabaisse (fish stew), ratatouille (vegetable medley), and socca (chickpea pancake). Pair your meal with a glass of local wine for a truly memorable culinary experience.
17. Festivals and Events
Check the local calendar for festivals and events happening in Salon-de-Provence during your visit. The city hosts various cultural and traditional events throughout the year, including music festivals, art exhibitions, and the famous Salon-de-Provence Air Show, which showcases aerial acrobatics and aircraft displays.
18. Outdoor Activities
Embrace the natural beauty of the region by engaging in outdoor activities. Explore the surrounding countryside on hiking or cycling trails, go horseback riding through the scenic landscapes, or even try your hand at rock climbing in the Alpilles mountains.
19. Musée de la Crau
Located in the heart of Salon-de-Provence, the Musée de la Crau is dedicated to the natural and cultural heritage of the Crau region. Discover the unique ecosystem of the Crau, characterized by its steppe-like landscapes, and learn about the traditional activities and customs of the area.
Places and Things To Do