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Take the Eurostar to Provence
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Take the Eurostar to Provence
This summer, let the train take the strain of getting to Aix-en-Provence.
This summer, travelling to Provence will be easier than ever before. From May 4th Eurostar will leave London St Pancras every Saturday morning, skimming through the French countryside and whisking passengers in comfort and ease to the heart of Provence. Leaving London just after 7am, the train will glide to a gentle halt in Aix at around 2.30pm, in perfect time for a long, lazy lunch to enjoy the celebrated local cuisine.
This year Provence has more to offer than ever before. The edgy, arty city of Marseille is 2013 European Capital of Culture, hosting a sparkling line-up of events throughout the year. A stunning programme headlines with ‘Painters and the Mediterranean’, a major exhibition showcasing artists such as Van Gogh, Bonnard, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso and De Stael. The exhibition runs simultaneously in Aix en Provence (‘From Cezanne to Matisse’) and Marseille (‘From Van Gogh to Bonnard’) from 13th June – an unmissable highlight in the global cultural calendar.
Amongst legion of other initiatives around the city, the Vieux Port and seafront have been galvanised, with buzzing bars, rave-reviewed restaurants and a superb new museum of European and Mediterranean civilisation. During the summer, open air events top the agenda, including concerts under the stars, firework displays, street entertainment, travelling cinema, circuses, nature trails and a spectacular representation of ‘transhumance’, a voyage of people and animals from around the Med into Marseille and Aubagne.
Marseille may be the hub of activity, but the whole region is the focus of facelift and transformation. There are new cultural institutions, design projects and events throughout; more than 60 new concert spaces, exhibitions, museums and artists’ workshops. Aix en Provence is home to the newly renovated Conservatoire de Musique, France’s oldest academy of dance and music; in La Ciotat, the world’s oldest existing cinema and the birthplace of film is being reinvented.
And what better way to explore and absorb the myriad joys of Provence this summer than in the coolest of classic cars? Rent a beautifully restored Citroen 2CV, a dreamy Porsche 911, a memory-laden VW Beetle or even an iconic VW camper van for fun, freedom and a rejuvenating blast from the past. www.vintageroadtrips.com
This year Provence is pulsing with energy. It’s where it’s all happening. So take the easy route to the heart of the action, travel by Eurostar and arrive relaxed, refreshed and ready to go (in the vintage car of your choice, of course).
Where to stay...
Les Lilas Blancs is new to the market this year and is already proving to be one of Abercrombie & Kent’s most popular villas. Select weeks are still available at this seven bedroom Provençale Mas so those looking for a summer escape will need to be quick.
An old favourite is Le Mas des Roses. This stunning 17th century 'Maison de Maître' continues to delight guests year after year. The property accommodates up to 14 guests and is still available for weeks in July and September.
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