This is Made in Marseille Provence travel guide, a guide made by Marseille people for everyone. Here you will find out about Provence best places and travel tips. This page takes you on a journey to the town of Gémenos, not far from la Sainte-Baume mountains range, loved for its many refreshing green spaces and fountains.
Located behind Aubagne, 20 Km from Marseille city’s centre, Gémenos is a very peaceful place. The parks and fountains give this atmosphere of calm and harmony. For those who like walking, la Sainte-Baume mountains range and the GR98 that leads to the Calanques are just nearby. Walk, relax and learn about Provence history in Gémenos.
If you come to Gémenos end of July, you will attend the traditional « fête Provençale de la Saint-Eloi » and its cavalcade. To know everything about this event, discover our photo report here.
If you come to the town during « la Toussaint », you must attend Ruralia ! It is one of the biggest livestock fair that also presents a reconstruction of the old transhumance and shows Provençal artisanat. Take a look at our pictures here.
Walk along the « route des fontaines »
The town of Gémenos grew thanks to water. Its fountains, witnesses of the past, form a true little tour in the town.
Start with la fontaine Versailles and la fontaine de la Soie, above the square Saitner. Then discover la fontaine de Pigne, la fontaine des Gémeaux, le bassin des Granges then le bassin du Marquis and le bassin des Quatre Canons that lead you to the end of the tour, on Cours Pasteur, where la fontaine de Flore and its cascade are fed by la source Saint Pons.
Enjoy the shade of the Parc de Saint-Pons
Located only 1 kilometre from Gémenos, le Parc de Saint-Pons with the variety of its flora is definitely to be seen. You will discover the typical vegetation of la garrigue, with pines, beech, hornbeam, giant lime, hollies, maple, oaks trees and yews. It is 800 hectares of green where you will also see a beautiful cascade (called the « cascade du vieux moulin » – the old mill cascade) and l’abbaye de Saint-Pons, whose construction works started in 1205 and were never finished. But finally the Conseil départemental renovated the building. Le Parc de Saint-Pons, a families favourite spot, is the ideal place to have a picnic during summer.
… And walk in le Fauge and Albertas parks
There are two other parks in Gémenos. The town proudly holds 2 flowers (“Villes et villages fleuris” French label), since 1998. This label attests the town’s efforts for the green space embellishment and development and environmental improvement. These two parks are ideal spots to relax and chill in nature.
Learn about Gémenos heritage
The first thing to visit in Gémenos is the « Mairie » (town hall). Indeed the town hall is located inside an old castle, called le château d’Albertas, from the name of the lords who gave the town its modern shape. Several times renovated, the edifice kept its original look.
Visit also the old wash place, « le lavoir », that is now an exhibition room and kept its water basin in its centre. Finally, don’t miss Saint-Martin church, from the name of Gémenos patron saint and admire its stained-glass windows that tell its life.
Walk in the Sainte-Baume mountain ranges
Walk in « la Sainte-Baume » to discover and admire the breathtaking panoramas. But first you will have to reach the town of Plan d’Aups, a few miles away. The road offers an extraordinary view of « la chaîne de l’Étoile, Marseille, Aubagne and la Sainte-Baume. The Calanques walking trail, the GR 98, crosses also Gémenos and allows you to reach Cassis.
Be careful, you will need all your strength! This trail takes about 7.30h! The beautiful panoramas will be your reward…
Discover « 1336 », a tea made in Gémenos !
The old factory Fralib (Unilever group) worked for about 20 years in Gémenos. The staff created an association to fight the industrial giant and finally won the battle after five years, keeping their positions. Then they created their own tea brands 1336 and Scop-TI, which are produced in Gémenos. Learn about this success story in our article.