St-Rémy de Provence, France

Sun-bleached shop

My husband and I took a short 13 km drive from Avignon to St-Rémy de Provence, a medieval town with twisting narrow streets surrounded by (you guessed it) gates and ramparts. A wide tree-lined boulevard encircles the outer perimeter.

One of many twisting streets

Shopkeeper preparing for the day

St-Rémy reminded me of an older, weathered, less-wealthy Carmel. Endless charming blocks are filled with boutiques and cafés with nary a chain store in sight.

Market bags galore

One of the many eye-catching houses

St-Rémy reportedly gets 300 days of sun annually, which makes it an artist magnet. Unfortunately, our visit was on one of the 65 cloudy days, which muted the lovely pastel buildings.

It’s always lavender season somewhere in Provence

St-Rémy is considered the heart of Les Alpilles, a small mountainous area between the Rhône and Durance rivers. The limestone hills are picturesque in every direction, filled with vineyards, fruit orchards and olive groves.

Sadly, this was a typical sight

I’m not sure if St-Remy was readying itself for the summer crush, but every other building and much infrastructure was being renovated.

Typical street

St-Rémy’s most celebrated resident is Nostradamus, or Michael de Nostredame. We tried walking past his birthplace, but were deterred by closed roads.

The shuttered museum had a nice colorful door

In town, there are few sights, especially since the main art museum is closed for renovation. The primary activity is wandering the streets and sitting at a café, which takes an hour or so. Archeological site Glanum is about a five minute drive away.

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