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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 27 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Teetering atop the craggy Alpilles mountains, this once-impressive fortress was built in the 10th century to be the home of the Seigneurs de Baux (Lords of Baux), the meanest, toughest hombres in Provence during the Middle Ages.

For five hundred years it presided over ceaseless conflicts – but its court was just as famous for promoting courtly love and troubadours during that era. It was eventually ordered to be demolished by King Louis XIII, as part of his relentless campaign to suppress religious and feudal rebellion.

Today, the romantic ruins enjoy spectacular views over much of southern Provence. During the summer, staff recreate the feudal spirit by shooting catapults, trebuchets, crossbows and re-enacting knights’ duels. There’s also sword fighting in summer and the occasional life-size battering ram – great fun for adults and especially kids.

Logistics

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The chateau is located 15km north-east of Arles and 30km south of Avignon (they’re also the closest train stations). Transdev Sud buses make the trip to Les Baux from both Saint-Remy and Arles. Drivers can park along the access road for free or use the pay car park; no cars are allowed in the village itself. Numerous organised tours include stop at the chateau (see recommendations below).

If you’re going it alone, tickets can be bought in advance online or at the ticket office when you get there. Free self-guided audio guides are available at the entrance. You can also download it in an app to your mobile before you go. The chateau has also set up an educational scavenger hunt for kids ages 7-12, to spark interest in Les Baux’s history; ask for a copy at the ticket office.

When to do it

The castle is open all year round, seven days a week. Although at its most popular in summer, this is a fun time to watch the medieval weapons demonstrations – arrive at 9am to avoid the worst of the crowds and heat. Out of season, it’s quieter and very atmospheric.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Arles, Les Baux and Saint Remy de Provence from Marseille

Marseille

Arles, Les Baux and Saint Remy de Provence from Marseille
This tour from Marseille will take you through the Plain of the Crau, to the ancient city of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Les Baux de Provence and Saint-Rémy de Provence. Numbers are limited to a maximum of eight people on this small group tour, ensuring you'll receive personalized attention from your guide. On certain days, a drive through Aix en Provence may be included to pick up and drop off passengers.

Price: €145

Min age: 4

Rating 4.65 / 5 [26 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Avignon, St Rémy, Les Baux de Provence & Pont du Gard

Avignon

Avignon, St Rémy, Les Baux de Provence & Pont du Gard
Combine Roman and historical heritage on this full-day trip from Avignon! Explore the former city of the Pope : Avignon, with its Popes Palace. Enjoy a glass of wine of Côtes du Rhône after your walking tour. In the afternoon, you will be in the Alpilles area. First stop will be in Saint-Rémy de Provence for a little walk in the city center, then you will visit the pretty village of Les Baux de Provence. Before the return in Avignon, admire the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pont du Gard aqueduct.

Price: €139

Min age: 4

Rating 4.53 / 5 [13 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Arles

Provence, France

front view of facade at sunset

Fascinating Roman, and medieval monuments and memories of Van Gogh, plus a winsome shabby-chic charm.

Avignon

Provence, France

Exterior photo of the Palace of the Popes lit up at night

A lively medieval town bursting with art and creativity, and centrally located for sightseeing in Provence. Host of the superb Avignon Festival.

Provence

Provence, France

Field of bright purple lavender in front of an old church

Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.