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Home » Destinations » Europe » France » Riviera Travel Timeless Provence
Provence, a land of unparalleled natural beauty immortalized by the likes of Van Gogh and Cezanne, is a realm where history, culture, and nature converge. This is the heart of provincial France at its absolute best.
Situated between the Rhône River to the west, the Mediterranean to the south, the Alps to the east, and where the olive groves cease to the north, Provence is a region that boasts incredible diversity. Sun-drenched plains adorned with lavender fields, vineyards, and olive orchards stretch as far as the eye can see, framed by the distant Luberon hills and a cerulean sky. Deep valleys are cloaked in vast oak and pine forests, filling the air with the unmistakable scent of the Mediterranean.
Venture into the captivating wilderness of the Camargue, where white horses gallop across flat wetlands, herds of black bulls graze, and flocks of pink flamingos gracefully take to the sky in perfect formation.
The towns of Provence are equally enchanting, each with its own unique charm. Aix-en-Provence, famous for its old quarter, boasts streets lined with vibrant shops, secluded squares with ancient fountains, and bustling café terraces shaded by countless plane trees. The majestic Mont St. Victoire, made iconic by Cézanne, looms over it all—a Parisian presence in stature but a village in gentility, pace, and atmosphere.
For those seeking a harmonious blend of historical landmarks, exquisite cuisine, and unparalleled natural beauty, this French tour offers the perfect escape.
7-Night Stay in Exceptional 4-Star Accommodation
Your journey through Provence ensures a comfortable and luxurious stay in handpicked four to four-star superior accommodations. These carefully selected lodgings offer a blend of modern comforts and authentic charm, enhancing your overall experience.
Return Flights & Transfers
Your travel is made seamless with included return flights to and from your Provence adventure. Additionally, all necessary transfers are provided, ensuring your smooth journey to and from the airport or station.
Programme of Daily Tours & Visits
Immerse yourself in the rich culture, history, and natural beauty of Provence with a thoughtfully curated program of daily tours and visits. Explore charming villages, historic cities, and breathtaking landscapes under the guidance of expert tour managers.
Daily Breakfast & 4 Dinners
Start your days with a delightful breakfast to energize your adventures. During your stay, savour four carefully selected dinners that provide a taste of the region’s culinary delights. These dining experiences are a delightful addition to your journey.
Expert Tour Manager
Benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned tour manager who will enhance your experience, share insights, and ensure your journey through Provence is both informative and enjoyable.
Travel with peace of mind as checked luggage is included, providing convenience and making your journey more comfortable.
Day 1 – Arrival in Aix-en-Provence
As you arrive at the airport for your flight to France or at the station for your scenic train journey aboard the Eurostar and high-speed TGV, anticipation for your Provencal adventure builds. Our journey commences with a comfortable coach transfer to the hotel, our splendid home for the next seven nights.
Tonight, we gather for a special included welcome dinner, a delightful opportunity to forge connections with our fellow travellers, setting the stage for the enriching experiences that lie ahead. It’s the perfect start to a remarkable journey through Provence.
Day 2 – Tour of Aix-en-Provence
This morning, we embark on a captivating, guided walking tour through the streets of Aix-en-Provence, where the essence of the city has inspired countless artists, including its favourite son, Paul Cézanne. The beauty of Aix-en-Provence seamlessly melds Parisian-style chic with the quaint charm of a village. Originally founded by the Romans as a spa town, it rose to prominence as the capital of Provence during the Middle Ages, evolving into a thriving centre of education and the arts.
Aix-en-Provence, often referred to as the ‘City of a Thousand Fountains,’ serenades us with the soothing sounds of flowing water as we meander along vibrant boulevards, through picturesque squares, and along winding alleyways. In the afternoon, you have the freedom to shape your experience in this enchanting Provençal city. Consider a visit to Cézanne’s meticulously preserved workshop, where you can delve into the world of this iconic artist.
Day 3 – The Camargue
After indulging in a delicious breakfast, our journey leads us to the Camargue, a captivating delta nestled at the mouth of the majestic Rhône River. This extraordinary landscape unfolds as a mesmerizing flat expanse of saltwater marshland, where nature thrives in its purest form, boasting an astonishing diversity of approximately 400 bird species. Among them, the striking pink flamingos take centre stage in this beguiling habitat. As a designated national park, the Camargue also serves as the cherished sanctuary of the region’s emblematic black bulls and a rare, ancient breed of white horses, often gallantly ridden by the Camargue’s famed ‘cowboys.’
Our destination is the quaint port town of Saintes Maries de la Mer, where we embark on a guided boat excursion to immerse ourselves in the natural splendour of this unique wetland environment. Be sure to have your binoculars ready, as this adventure promises incredible opportunities for birdwatching and a chance to witness the Camargue’s awe-inspiring wildlife in their pristine habitat. It’s a moment to connect with the untamed beauty of nature and to create lasting memories of this remarkable region.
Day 4 – The Luberon Mountains
Our morning adventure leads us northward, where we find ourselves amid the breathtaking Luberon Mountains, a place that served as the wellspring of inspiration for Peter Mayle’s renowned work, “A Year in Provence.”
Here, the region’s pure, natural light has always beckoned to artists, casting a magical glow upon the landscape. The hilltops of the Luberon are adorned with enchanting villages that, when viewed from a distance, appear suspended in medieval time, yet are brimming with life. Here, you’ll discover vibrant bistros, rustic eateries, and markets teeming with exquisite local produce.
As we venture through this designated Regional Nature Park, the landscape undergoes a mesmerizing transformation. Flat plains adorned with olive and peach groves give way to gently sloping vineyards, and further up, rows of lavender unfurl their vibrant hues. The air becomes fragrant with the intermingling scents of pine and wild herbs, enveloping you in the unmistakable aroma of rural Provence. It’s a journey through time and space, where history, nature, and culture harmonize in the most enchanting way, leaving an indelible mark on your heart.
Day 5 – Avignon
Today’s journey takes us to the nearby city of Avignon, a European treasure steeped in history. Avignon’s fate took a significant turn in the early 14th century when it became the temporary seat of the Pope’s court, exiled from Rome. This pivotal moment ushered in an era of great wealth, leading to the construction of magnificent churches, convents, and elegant townhouses. But the crowning jewel of Avignon’s transformation during this period is the awe-inspiring Papal Palace, an architectural marvel that stands as a testament to this flourishing epoch.
We set aside time to explore this imposing edifice, which, from the outside, presents itself as a citadel emerging from living rock, flanked by towering turrets that reach heights exceeding 150 feet. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Petit Palais Museum, which houses an exceptional collection of over 1,000 paintings, providing a window into the artistic legacy of the region.
Our journey continues to the Pont du Gard, a truly remarkable Roman aqueduct, its width surpassing that of the Thames in London. This ancient engineering marvel stands as one of the world’s wonders, a testament to the ingenuity of antiquity. After our exploration, we return to the comforts of your hotel in Aix, enriched by the historical and architectural wonders of the day.
Day 6 – Free day
Today, you have the luxury of a free day to craft your own experience in the charming city of Aix-en-Provence. The possibilities are as diverse as the city itself.
Take a leisurely stroll along the elegant Cours Mirabeau, Aix’s bustling main thoroughfare, where the charm of the city unfolds before you. Wander off into the labyrinthine lanes that lead to hidden squares and a multitude of picturesque fountains, each one telling a story of the city’s rich history.
For art enthusiasts, the Musée Granet awaits, housing a remarkable collection of works by celebrated artists such as Cézanne, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, and Monet. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the world of these artistic luminaries and witness their creative genius up close.
Alternatively, those with a penchant for natural history can explore the fascinating Museum of Natural History, where a collection of dinosaur eggs, unearthed on the slopes of nearby Mont Sainte-Victoire, takes you on a journey through time, connecting you with the prehistoric wonders of the region.
No matter how you choose to spend your day, Aix-en-Provence offers a wealth of experiences and discoveries, ensuring that your day is as enriching as it is enjoyable.
Day 7 – Cassis
Today, we embark on an invigorating journey to the captivating coast, where the rugged beauty of nature meets the charming fishing port of Cassis. This picturesque town beckons with its quaint painted cottages, a delightful little harbour, and a sandy beach, all set against the backdrop of a formidable medieval fortress. Nestled within a spectacular bay, Cassis has long been a magnet for famous visitors, among them Virginia Woolf and Sir Winston Churchill, who, in the 1920s, found inspiration and tranquillity here, even indulging in painting lessons.
As the sun graces the sky, you have the pleasure of selecting one of the many waterfront restaurants for a sumptuous lunch featuring freshly caught fish, a culinary delight that captures the essence of this coastal haven.
In the afternoon, embark on a captivating boat excursion to explore the Massif des Calanques, a breathtaking coastline characterized by dazzling white cliffs, imposing rock pinnacles, and the enchanting presence of rare seabirds. This journey by sea unveils the raw beauty and untamed nature of the Calanques, leaving you with memories of a day spent in harmony with the Mediterranean’s stunning coastal landscapes.
Day 8 – Return home
As our remarkable journey through Provence ends, it’s time to bid farewell to this enchanting region. We’ll arrange comfortable transfers to ensure your smooth journey to the airport for your departing flight or to the station for your train ride back home.
This Signature Tour includes everything from the Classic Tour as well as the following:
Plus, enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group of 25 or fewer guests.
For dates and prices, please enquire or call 0808 258 4751
This oasis features a private garden with an olive grove and a heated pool. The restaurant offers garden views and serves extensive breakfasts and dinners. The hotel includes indoor and outdoor bars and a spa. Rooms are comfortable with AC, satellite TV, minibar, and private facilities.
The four-star Aquabella Hotel and Spa is a beautifully converted 18th-century townhouse adjacent to the old town, with part of the medieval wall as its boundary.
Novotel Aix Beaumanoir
The Novotel Aix Beaumanoir, a purpose-built four-star property, offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV, a safe, and private facilities. The hotel, set in its own garden, features a welcoming bar and restaurant, an outdoor terrace, and a year-round swimming pool.
Grand Hotel Roi Rene Mgallery
The four-star superior Grand Hotel Roi René MGallery, among Aix’s finest, offers chic elegance, attentive service, and modern comfort. Situated steps from Cours Mirabeau, the hotel features airy rooms, full air conditioning, an inviting courtyard with a heated pool, and an intimate bar and restaurant, providing a stylish and relaxing atmosphere
UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter France however must have a valid passport.
*All times listed here are approximate and dependent on traffic
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