Immerse yourself in traditional Provençal life at Maussane-Les-Alpilles, a small village in the valley Les Baux, overlooked by the hilltop town of Les-Baux-de-Provence. With over 35,000 olive trees surrounding the town, Maussane is one of the best spots to buy Provençe’s famous olive oil.
The charm of Southern France is on full display with traditional markets, bustling squares, and breathtaking landscapes. From the best vineyards to must-try restaurants, here’s how to visit Maussane-les-Alpilles.
Discovering the Town
If you only have one day to take in the town, try to make it a Thursday. This is when local sellers set up stalls selling fresh produce and local goods under the shade of plane trees. (Make sure you have cash in your bag, as most stalls won’t take cards.) It’s concentrated in Henri Giraud Square, and if you can’t visit on market day, a trip to the Jean Martin boutique nearby is the next best thing. This is one of the best spots in Maussane to find the region’s famous olive oil.
From Place Henri Giraud, it’s just a short walk down the Avenue de la Vallée des Baux to the Place Joseph Laugier (consider popping into the Charles & Fils butcher’s shop along the way). You can often find artist’s stalls set up in the square, alongside outdoor seating for local eateries, gathered around a beautiful fountain.
Activities & Exploring The Area
Maussane itself may be small, but visitors will find endless things to experience and explore in the surrounding area.
- Wine Tours: In the neighboring city of Saint-Etienne, tour the Domain Trevallon vineyard, whose wines you may encounter at Maussane’s restaurants.
- Olive Grove Tours: Provençe is known for its olive oil production, and Maussane is no different. The olive oil from the Moulin Cornille co-operative is sold all over the world. Tour their mill and enjoy a tasting before purchasing some goods from the attached store.
- Hiking & Walking: The Maussane Tourism Office can provide maps and guides for several walks both through the town and into the surrounding countryside.
- Bull Fighting: Close to Aigues-Mortes and the Camargue region, Maussane also occasionally hosts traditional bull runs.
- Van Gogh Trail: In nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, walk the Van Gogh trail. Informational panels about the artist’s paintings from his time in Provence line the path, taking you from the town center to Van Gogh’s old room at the Saint Paul Asylum on the outskirts of town.
Cultural Excursions To Nearby Villages and Towns
Maussane-les-Alpilles is just south of popular Provençal towns like Les-Baux-de-Provence and Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Here, you can explore the Castle of Les Baux and take in sweeping views of the valley below.
Aix-en-Provence, the birthplace of Paul Cézanne, is just under an hour away and offers a big-city break from the region’s small towns. Visit local museums, hot springs, and enjoy the bustling market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
In the nearby Vaucluse department visit Vaison-La-Romaine’s historic sites and Gordes’ beautiful Abbey. Stick close to Maussane-les-Alpilles to spend a day exploring the 13th century Castillon Towers in Paradou and take in the view from up top.
If you’re thinking about where to go next, the pristine beaches in Cannes and the French Riviera are just a few hours away.
Where To Eat
Whether you want to try Ratatouille, Bouillabaisse, or Tapenade (an olive spread), these restaurants feature local ingredients from around Maussane-Les-Alpilles and Provençe.
- Le Goûthé De Maussane has luxury homestyle cuisine, serving hearty meals from 10 am each day.
- At Maison Drouot, chefs Claire and Julien put together a seasonal menu that changes daily. You’ll get five courses that use local ingredients paired with wine from local growers.
- Les Clos Saint Roch has shaded outdoor seating where you can enjoy an elegant meal and excellent service.
- The Hôtel du Côte des Olivades’ restaurant serves up delicious light meals masterminded by Chef Nancy Bourguignon.
Where To Stay
There are a few hotels in town, but many visitors rent a château in the surrounding countryside. There are a number of beautiful villas around Maussane where you can get picture-perfect views and a swimming pool straight out of a postcard.
Here are more of our favorite nearby hotels:
- The Hôtel Du Côtes des Olivades offers comfortable rooms amidst a 100-year-old olive grove.
- The five-star Hotel B Design is the perfect spot for a relaxing stay, with spa facilities over 250 square meters. It’s also within walking distance from Moulin Cornille.
- The Baumanière, Hôtel Restaurant 5 étoiles Relais & Chateaux sits just outside Les Baux, a five-minute drive from Maussane.
Check out the hotels in Saint-Remy or Les Baux to the north are also popular stays for a day trip to Maussane.
Know Before You Go: Planning Your Visit To Maussane-les Alpilles
When To Visit Maussane
Maussane-les Alpilles is gorgeous year-round. Spring brings the most pleasant weather, while summer is the lavender season (particularly at the end of June). Bear in mind that summer is also the hottest, busiest time of year. Autumn and winter see cooler weather, rain, with occasional snow.
Getting To Maussane-les-Alpilles
The A7 highway connects the Alpilles to many of France’s major cities. You can also take the train to Arles and then the 702 bus to Maussane-les-Alpilles. The trip from Avignon Central Station via Arles takes a little over an hour.
It’s a good idea to make restaurant reservations, particularly for dinner. Advanced booking is also usually required for tours.