Bouches-du-Rhône is an inspiring area. Follow in the footsteps of Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, Marcel Pagnol in Aubagne, Vincent van Gogh in Arles and St-Rémy-de-Provence, and the Lumière brothers in La Ciotat. All around you is landscape that you will have seen many times both in paintings and on film: the white cliffs of the calanques plunging down into a turquoise sea, the beautifully preserved beaches of the Côte Bleue, the benevolent backdrop of the Alpilles and the Mont Sainte-Victoire, not to mention the enchanting landscape of the Camargue, enclosed within the Rhône River delta and inhabited by bulls, wild horses and pink flamingos. And if you're missing the hubbub of city life, head for Marseille's Old Port, support the local football team in the mythical Stade Vélodrome, or visit Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer during the Roma pilgrimage. It won't be short on atmosphere!
Built on the site of the ancient Greek Massalia, the Panier is a typically Mediterranean district with colour-washed facades. The historic refuge of seafarers and generations of immigrants, the Panier is a peaceful haven, still working-class.