Montagne Sainte Victoire
Montagne Sainte Victoire
4.5
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM
About
This majestic mountain was the subject of several Paul Cézanne paintings.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,125 reviews
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25
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AdvisorKing
Vancouver, B.C.170 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
We climbed to the Cross of Provence on August 22.

The trails are very well marked, and it is impossible to miss the trail going up. We did, however, get slightly lost on the way down.

There are a couple routes up and signs that give you a sense of how long the trip will take. We thought these signs were overstating how long the hike would take, but ultimately found they were very close to our actual hiking time. I say "hike", but at times it was almost more of a "climb" than a "hike".

The views along the way and from the top were excellent, It was a very hot day and we probably should have taken more than the 350-700ml of water that we each had.

On the way down, we managed to miss the turnoff to our parking lot. On the way up, it is obvious where you are headed. We didn’t really pay attention on the way from the parking lot to the base of the climb to what it would look like going in the other direction. And it was a very hot day so on the way back, we found ourselves on the wrong path and had to work our way back with phones and GPS. Ultimately we were almost 6 hours from car to car.
Written September 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

knives25
Macungie, PA43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Couples
What follows are accurate (as of June 2, 2014) directions to the trail head to the monastery and cross, from center city Aix-en-Provence. Note: several people have listed directions here that are not completely correct and no one at the tourism center can tell you accurately either; benefit from my detective work and mistakes.

Start at main bus station at center of town. This is one block south of the Tourist Office on Av. des Belges. At the tourist office you may get a great map of of the trails called, "Grand Site Sainte-Victoire" and get a bus schedule for bus 140. Just don't get directions from them; some know and some get it wrong and you don't want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Bus 140 leaves from gate 3 every quarter hour starting at 0815 until 1515, then roughly every half-hour until 1915, Monday thru Saturday. (Note: I believe Sunday schedule is every 2 hours starting at 0815, but please confirm.) Fare is one euro, and yes you need exact change. The bus will be going to Vauvenargues. You want the eighth stop, J2/Barrage de Bimont. Tell the driver, because while that is what stop is called on the schedule, that is not the name listed on the actual stop. Also note when you are returning, the return stop to Aix is 200 meters down the road on the left and called J4/Barrage de Bimont.

Once you are off the bus, you are at a fork and the bus will continue down the left fork on Road 10. You will take the uphill smaller paved road on your right, with the sign pointing to Barrage de Bimont. (Note all distances that follow were measured by Garmin 110 Forerunner and are accurate to 0.02 mile-sorry metric people.) You will walk uphill toward the dam and immediately notice blue markers on the utility poles on your left, blue marks are your friend now if you want to get back for tea time. Up hill and slightly down hill and at 0.80 miles you come to the dam, walk through the front of the parking lot to the breast of the dam and across it. At the exact end of the dam, on your left and at 1.00 miles on my Garmin, is a blue arrow on a rock, pointing you left down the trail.

You can take it from here. All the blue marks have been freshly painted, and even drunk college kids can find their way to the top, a statement borne out by fact during our trip. It is 2.90 miles to the cross at the top and usually the same back. It took my wife and I 1 hour 30 minutes up and 1 hour 15 minutes back, but we run 40+ miles a week; plan on 2+ up and 2- down.

Running shoes are OK, and may get you home quicker (see below). Hiking boots and poles would be great, but not necessary. There is nothing here, bring everything you need, like 1.5 liters of water a person. You will get in trouble without it. I would rate this a medium hard hike. I only needed to use all fours once on the way to top and I believe the elevation change is only 1500 feet in 3 miles. For an active person, this is an absolute must do and well rewarded by the scenery.

If the 7.8 mile hike from bus stop to the cross and back is not enough and you missed the hourly bus ride back to town by 10 minutes, we can highly recommend the run back into town. It is pleasantly downhill for four of the six miles and you will be in center Aix well before the return bus.

As I said this is accurate as of June 2, 2014.
Written June 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TreadlightlyChester
Chester1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This is a stunning mountain which was so beloved of Cezanne for its changing perspectives. The south side is dry, white and dramatic while the north is more wooded. It is indeed true, and something that was so fascinating to Cezanne, that its profile differs from every angle. From the centre of Aix it is often totally invisible and then suddenly instantly present.

But the most important thing for green travellers to know is that a minibus called La Victorine travels regularly from outside L'Office de Tourisme, Place de la Rotonde, to both sides of the mountain. The cost is a staggering 1.10 euros (stet) single and, if you take the southern route to Puyloubier, will convey you 18 kilometers through lovely scenery. It is worth finding a good map of all the walking routes and get off at an approprriate stop but; if you simply want to go the whole way, you will find a pretty village with petanque and vineyards with wine from the pipe available to buy, sometimes. A word of caution. The two cafes are often closed, especially in winter, so take your own provisions just in case.You will also need to take water. There is a restaurant but it is not always open,

The northern route to Vauvenargues, where Picasso spent his last years, is equally attractive and cheap.

I hope you will avoid car hire for these two day trips and use the fantastic public transport.
Written April 3, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C R
Washington DC, DC159 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Friends
Everyone recommends climbing, as do I, but there is very little information on how to do it. Here is what I recommend:

1. Take the 110 bus from Aix-en-Provence. You buy the ticket on the bus (2euros round trip). You can get on either at the bus station (platform 21 which is actually out of the bus station, past platform 20, the second street to the left and you will see it) or at Rotonde Victor Hugo stop ( which is by the main fountain to the left of the apple store when you are looking at the store). Bus schedule available at bus station or tourist office.
2. Get off at Le Bouquet stop. You have to pay attention as the bus does not stop unless someone asks. There is a sign at each stop and this one is after the Marine stop.
3. When you get off there will be a parking lot across the street. Walk to the left, the direction that you just came on the bus, for 5-10 minutes until the next parking lot called Anchois.
4. Here you will find a map board and the trail head. You will follow the red lines marking the trail up the mountain until you hit the blue trail, then follow the blue lines. Occasionally there are signs with words and follow the route towards Prieres. The markings sometimes have what looks like the point of an arrow, indicating a turn, you do not go way the point of the arrow points on their side, but where the top line points to. It will make sense when you see them.

It takes about 2 hours to reach the cross on the top and a little less to come down.

You can go to Maison de Saint Victoire ( the next stop in the bus) where there is an information desk and maps, but they will just send you back to where I said and it is like a 35min walk in the street, so better to go straight there. You do not need a map and their map is really not that helpful.

Apparently you can also go from the other side of the mountain as well, but the locals told us the south side is more beautiful.
Written December 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SHS_10
Jerusalem, Israel42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Couples
We've just returned from a trip in Provence, including several days in Aix En Provence and Sainte Victoire mountain. It was beautiful, but you should notice some things:
1- From June until 30 September, due to fire regulations, the routes are closed a lot. Each day, around 18.00 PM, you should contact the tourist information and ask if the area is "black" (no walking is possible AT ALL at the mountains), "red" (walking is possible between 06.00-11.00 AM) or "orange" (can walk all day long). They are really serious in this regard, and there are no signs in the parking or during the route, so you must check with the tourist information.
2- the tourist information sells maps for several routes in the mountain for 2 Euros. The shop, which sells them (inside the tourist) is open Monday-Saturday 10.00-18.00. It's only in French but shows the route. Not all the routes are marked very clearly.
3- I want to recommend the tourist information in Vauvenargues - it has information particullary for the mountain and was VERY helpful.
4- The views from the mountain is beautiful, and very recommended, we had a lovely trip near Lake Bimont (Barrage Bimont) and the the Croix of Provence (lovely viewpoint at the end of the trip).
Written September 3, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrnKristinsson
Asker, Norway3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
Sainte Victoire is worth every drop of sweat it takes to get to the top. I will get the best view of Provence possible.
It takes roughly 2 hours to get up to the monastery and another 15 minutes all the way to the cross.
If you stay in Aix, you can take bus L140. It takes extra 25 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the start of the hike.
Written April 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ramblegal
chicago, il100 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
As you drive out of Aix-en-Provence heading east on the D17, the mountain comes up out of nowhere. I wish we had left more time just to hike and wander around, but even a short hike was the perfect antidote to the parking and traffic nightmare around Aix. We drove along the south side, where there are good parking lots and not-so-helpful hiking maps. The trails are good, however, and we found Cezanne's refuge in spite of ourselves. Stopped in Puyloubier afterwards, from which you can apparently hike up to the 11th c. Ermitage St-Ser. We only had time for pizza though, at the Cafe Ste Victoire, which is right on the main street through town. If it is getting dark and you see a bar with a bunch of guys watching TV, that is it - walk through and up the stairs for some fantastic pizza.
Written September 30, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mattjod
Hamilton, Canada25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016
We did this hike in June 2016. If you don't drive, taking the bus is the best way to reach the mountain from Aix. We took line 140 bus to the J2/barrage de bimont stop (which you have to tell the bus driver upon getting on as the stops are not well-marked). Once off the bus, continue walking on the road to the right (bus will continue down the left). Keep walking 15-20 minutes until you get to the big dam. There is an information booth that is quite helpful before getting to the dam. Once across the dam, the blue trail starts immediately on the left. The trail is well marked and all you have to do is follow the blue trail markers all the way to the top/chapel/cross. There are other trails as well, but the blue one gets you to the top and is probably the most challenging. It took 2-3 hours to get up (with time for pictures and lunch) and about 1.5-2 down. Bring lots of water! Views were amazing and the trail was clean. Once back down, go back to main road where you got off the bus and the bus stop is j4/barrage de bismont across the street about 40 meters away.
Written July 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anriahorn
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Solo
I followed the instructions of a previous reviewer and took the bus (line140) to barrage de bismont. Take the right fork and keep walking until you reach a parking lot on your right and the dam on your left. Cross the dam wall and follow the blue markers. The trail is very well marked. It is beautiful from beginning to end and not that tough. I walked on my own and reached the top easily in 1h45. I couldn't find anywhere to fill my water bottles, not even at the church on the summit. Be warned. I descended via the red and white trail (GR9) that reached the road exactly where the same bus stops to take you to Aix-en-Provence. Highly recommended.
Written July 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard Parker
London, UK61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Friends
I will start by explaining how I got to the Mountain from Aix en Provence as that is what caused me the most difficulty.

I took the L140 bus from Gate 4 at the bus depot which is located about 5 minutes away from the Tourist Information Centre. I travelled on a Sunday and there was only 1 bus per hour so ensure you know the times before hand (a timetable is available at the tourist information center).

In order to find the bus depot start at the Fountaine de la Rotonde (the large beautiful fountain in the centre of town) and go down Av. des Belges until you reach a roundabout called Square Anouar El Sadate. If you have followed the route I have suggested the bus depot should be on your right hand side (there are currently construction works going on).

You should then wait at Gate 4 (it will actually appear as Quais 4).

Ensure you plan before hand on Sundays as some buses apparently do not run all day long and make sure you ask the driver how to return back to Aix (I had difficulty locating the return bus stop and a very kind family gave me a lift).

Now regarding the mountain itself: There are some spectacularly beautiful views to be had and for me it was the best part of my holiday. It takes about 3 hours to reach the top if you go at a casual pace and make sure you take water as there are not many places to buy drinks and snacks. There is also a pristine lake near the base. All in all it is an amazing way to spend the day.
Written February 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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