Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Aix-en-Provence - Tour Begins - Bienvenue! Your tour begins in historic Aix-en-Provence. This evening, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a popular country restaurant.
Day #3 Aix-en-Provence - Avignon - Embark on a morning walking tour through “the footsteps of Cezanne” – featuring the markets and monuments of Aix-en-Provence’s old city. In the afternoon, embrace the local culture when you visit the famed vineyards of Provence, where you’ll be treated to a tour and tasting at a local winery. Then, journey to the “Papal City” of Avignon to a “Provençal Mas” – a cozy, restored farmhouse that is your home for the next three nights.
Day #4 Avignon - Discover the gems of Avignon, the city the Popes moved to in 1309. For 70 years, Avignon was the center of European religion and art. A walking tour through this walled city reveals its fascinating history and culture. Stroll the local markets of the city, stopping at a specialty cheese shop to sample some of their artisanal cheeses. Partake in a truly French tradition as you choose between hundreds of varieties of fine cheeses. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the quaint streets, cafés and specialty boutiques that comprise Avignon’s charm. This evening, meet the Chef at one of Avignon’s most popular restaurants for a cooking demonstration that teaches you about authentic Provençal cooking. Relax and enjoy the sumptuous dinner you have created, expertly paired with regional wines.
Day #5 Avignon - With a day at leisure, embark on your own explorations, soaking up the essence of Provence and admiring its beautiful backdrop and rich culture. Or, partake in an optional excursion to the nearby towns of Arles and the Camargue region – which includes lunch in a rustic farmhouse.
Day #6 Avignon - L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue - Gordes - St. Rémy-de-Provence - Start your day with a visit to a colorful open air market in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, filled with traditional crafts, hand-made ceramics, linens, and local foods like sausages, breads and a vibrant bounty of fresh grown produce. Then, visit the Lavender Museum and learn about this precious plant, its unique distillation process and its various uses throughout history. Make your way through the Lubéron National Park before arriving in the picturesque hilltop village of Gordes. Gaze upon the 16th century château and cobblestone streets that paint Gordes’ canvas. Finally, arrive in St. Rémy-de-Provence – the inspiringly beautiful town where Van Gogh painted “Starry Night.”
Day #7 St. Rémy-de-Provence - Les Baux-de-Provence - St. Rémy-de-Provence - Embark on an excursion this morning, traveling scenic country roads that take you to the hilltop town of Les-Baux-de-Provence. Its winding medieval streets reveal stunning views of the Alpilles mountain chain. Next, visit a local olive oil estate for a comprehensive explanation of the process of making olive oil, followed by a tasting. This eventful day concludes with a visit to the historic Roman monuments of St. Rémy-de-Provence. From the gates to the mausoleum, these monuments depict stories of Roman warriors, fallen heroes and legendary empires.
Day #8 St. Rémy-de-Provence - Train des Pignes - Nice - This morning, drive towards the Haute-Provence to the little town of Digne-les-Bains and climb aboard a panoramic train called the “Train des Pignes.” A picturesque journey past rushing rivers, plunging mountain valleys and charming Provençal towns brings you to Nice’s city center – the world-renowned French Riviera. Your evening is at leisure to enjoy a meal in one of the wonderful restaurants of this coastal city.
Day #9 Nice - The scent of fragrant flowers fills the air during a morning stroll through the local Flower Market. Admire the narrow streets and cheerful colors of Nice’s old town. Embark on a scenic boat ride that whisks you along the breathtaking coast; sail past the Promenade des Anglais, posh villas, lush gardens and rocky cliffs set against the azure waters of the famous Cote d’Azur. Visit the Marc Chagall Museum which houses religious lithographs and articles that depict family life in the 19th century. During a free afternoon, wander Nice’s bustling streets and sample outdoor cafés, boutiques and museums and soak in the atmosphere. This evening, join your fellow travelers at a local restaurant to bid farewell to Provence and the French Riviera.
Day #10 Nice - Tour Ends -