If you haven't seen the BBC Walk on the Wild side series you can watch part it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAcSDYKPkZc) or you can drive 2 hours north of Aix en Provence into the Parc National des Ecrins and watch these incredibly playful marmottes interact.
The wildflowers are in fool bloom and with so much rain this spring the rivers and streams are overflowing. The Alpes de Haute Provence also offers local culinary specialities. Try the tourtons which are small squares of fine pastry, filled with a potato, cheese and onion purée.
For a quiet day out drive from Aix to Gap and up into Orcières. Follow signs for the miniscule village of Prapic where various footpaths will take you into the heart of the nature reserve. Either pack a picnic or you have lunch at the Auberge Prapicoise. Be sure to reserve by calling Tel : 04 92 55 70 89