We will be staying in Aix for two weeks in April and will have a car to explore the region. Does anyone have ideas for local one day experiences that are more local and not run of the mill tours. We will be doing a one day cooking class and meal at a local farm and are interested in other more intimate adventures. Any ideas appreciated.
I spent a couple of nights in Hyeres last summer so I could go out to the Isle de Porquerolles. The island is fine but not fabulous (I'm not a beach person); I enjoyed Hyeres more. It has quite a pretty historic area and isn't overrun with tourists. It's probably at least a 1-1/2 hour drive from Aix, however. And it's not as "different" an experience as you may be seeking. Should you want to visit Porquerolles and do some walking/hiking, wear appropriate footwear or stick to the smoother bike trails. There's a lot of uneven footing on some of the other paths.
Another possibility would be the Gorge du Verdon. I was sorry to miss it, but in May it was not possible by public transportation in a reasonable timeframe. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, which I think is known for its pottery as well as its location in a scenic area, would be a bit over 1-1/2 hours from Aix.
From a prior post by acraven, I learned about Camp des Milles, a WW II internment camp near Aix. I haven't been there myself, but it certainly looks worth visiting: http://www.campdesmilles.org/home2.html
HAROLD: Thanks very much for the link to the internment camp near Aix. I've visited a lot of WW2 sites, including the American graveyard near the Mediterranean landing beaches, but never heard of this site. It's now on my list.
Southam, I think it's relatively new. Almost all the posted information has been translated into English. One thing that's useful to know is that the lower level of the building is quite chilly even on a hot summer day. Take some sort of wrap.