Castle and Village in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Les Baux-de-Provence
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Kent Wang

Les Baux-de-Provence, nestled within the Regional Natural Park of the Alpilles and located 20 kilometers south of Avignon, is reputedly France’s most visited village, attracting approximately two million visitors each year. Celebrated as one of the ‘most beautiful villages of France,’ its charm is undeniable, especially if you’ve had the chance to stroll through its streets.

The village is perched picturesquely with a rich history that dates back about 8,000 years, although details of its prehistoric inhabitants remain sparse. In the Middle Ages, Les Baux was a site of frequent conflict, leading to Cardinal Richelieu ordering the demolition of its castle as retribution for harboring Protestant insurgents. Today, visitors can explore the impressive remains of that castle and the Carrières de Lumières, an art and music installation set in an old quarry.

The journey to Les Baux-de-Provence is as scenic as the destination itself, with the approach to the village offering breathtaking views. Upon arrival, visitors can park just outside the northern end and enter through the 19th-century Porte Mage gate. The village itself is pedestrianized, preserving its medieval character.

At the entrance, you’ll find the tourist office housed in a building from 1499, once the center for legal affairs and known as the King’s House. Here, visitors can pick up a map and begin exploring the village, which mainly dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Highlights include remnants of the ramparts, small chapels, and the original town entrance, Porte d’Eyguieres.

Musée des Santons

The Musée des Santons, right after entering the village, displays a fascinating collection of 17th and 18th-century Neapolitan figurines depicting traditional Provençal costumes and scenes.

Churchs in Baux-de-Provence

The village’s rich history is evident as you walk past historic sites like the Church of Saint-Vincent, which mixes Roman and Renaissance styles, and the Chapel of the Penitents Blancs, known for its 17th-century frescoes.

Château des Baux-de-Provence

A walk through the village also leads past several attractive viewpoints and the route to the castle above, where the Chateau of Baux-de-Provence offers expansive views over the region from its commanding position atop a rocky outcrop. The castle, occupying about seven hectares, includes not only extensive ruins but also recreations of medieval siege machinery that are particularly popular among younger visitors.

Les Baux-de-Provence is not only a step back into medieval times but also a hub for cultural and artistic experiences, making it a must-visit for anyone traveling through Provence.

The Baux-de-Provence appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Saint-Rémy-de-Provence!

This website uses affiliate links which may earn a commission at no additional cost to you!

Visiting Baux-de-Provence

Duration: 20 minutes

Nearby Attractions