Les Baux’s windswept ruins, Château des Baux (www.chateau-baux-provence.com; tel. 04-90-54-55-56), cover an area of 7 hectares (17 acres), much larger than the petite hilltop village itself. Consider visiting them early in the morning before the sun gets too strong.
The medieval compound is accessed via the 15th-century Hôtel de la Tour du Brau. Beyond this building are replicas of wooden military equipment that would have been used in the 13th century. Built to scale—that is to say, enormous—are a battering ram and various catapults capable of firing huge boulders. From April to August, these are fired every day at 11am and 1:30pm, 3:30pm, and 5:30pm, with an extra show during July and August at 6:30pm. Medieval jousting demonstrations (noon, 2:30pm, and 4:30pm) are held in summer.
Other stopping points include the Chapel of St-Blaise (inside which a film of aerial views of Provence is shown), a windmill, the skeleton of a hospital built in the 16th century, and a cemetery. The Tour Sarrazin, so named because it was used to spot Saracen invaders coming from the south, yields a sweeping view. Alongside each of the major points of interest, illustrated panels show what the buildings would have originally looked like and explain how the site has evolved architecturally.
Admission to the Château (including audio guide) is 8€ adults, 6€ children 7 to 17 from September to March. The rest of the year, it costs 10€ adults, 8€ children 7 to 17 (daily April–June and Sept 9am–7:15pm; July–Aug 9am–8:15pm; March and Oct 9:30am–6:30pm; Nov–Feb 10am–5pm).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.