Aubagne is an easy-going market town surrounded by rugged hills and fields of rosemary and thyme. The town feels quintessentially French, with a beautiful hillside setting and a charming historic centre. Sip coffee in tree-lined squares, shop at the bustling market and hike in the Provencal countryside.
Things to do in Aubagne
The Aubagne Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets lined with brightly-painted townhouses. Many feature the colourful wooden shutters synonymous with Provence. Take your time wandering through the historic enclave and soaking in the charm.
Local artisans have been crafting pottery and porcelain in Aubagne for hundreds of years. The town is dotted with workshops where you can learn about the centuries-old tradition and purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs, including hand-painted “santon” figurines.
Beloved French novelist and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol was born in Aubagne and is a local hero. His childhood home has been repurposed as a museum filled with 19th-century décor, while you can also retrace his footsteps on Circuit Pagnol, a series of trails that meander through the hillsides. The windswept landscapes were made famous by many of Pagnol’s films, and the hike up 715-metre-tall Garlaban rewards you with spectacular views over Aubagne and Provence. Stock up on Marcel Pagnol novels at second-hand bookstores in the Old Town.
Market days transform Aubagne into a hive of activity. Stands are loaded with farm-fresh produce, including vine-ripened tomatoes, mesclun greens and Cavaillon melons. The market is also a great place to buy colourful santon figurines. Visit the local pastis distillery to learn more about how the famous French apéritif is made.
Getting around Aubagne
Aubagne is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, especially in the Old Town. The town is a 25-minute drive from Marseille and 15 minutes by express train. Marseille Provence Airport is a 40-minute drive away.