Cultural Tours: France – Provence
Cultural Tours: France – Provence
Discover the World Heritage Roman Pont du Gard, experience an unique safari in Camargue, view the untouched countryside, stroll through beautiful medieval villages, visit vibrant markets and taste delicious Chateauneuf du Pape wines.
You will understand why Provence has been an inspiration for generations of artists.
We will pick you up at the Avignon train station. Upon your arrival at our guesthouse, take time to settle in, relax by the pool, explore the private park around the hotel. In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a gourmet dinner.
Morning: From Olive Tree to Oil
A local producer of olive oil will take us on a walk through his olive fields and share with us his knowledge and passion for olive oil making.
He will show us the olive mill and we’ll get a chance to taste his olive oil and tapenade. The history and the production of olives will have no more secret for you. You will have the opportunity to buy many olive products like tapenade, oil, olives but also bowls and items made out of olive wood.
Afternoon: The Ochre Village of Roussillon and the Hilltop Town of Gordes
In the afternoon, we will visit two villages listed as the “most beautiful in France”: the reddish village of Roussillon that sits on top of the world’s biggest vein of ochre, and Gordes, sitting on a rock with an incredible view of vineyards and hills.
Stroll the cobblestone streets or the reddish trails through the ochre formations, shop in cute small stores or have a drink watching people go by.
Morning: Wine Tasting and Discovery of the Village of Chateauneuf du Pape
The Chateauneuf du Pape village is dedicated to its world famous wine Côtes du Rhône wine,”Châteauneuf-du-Pape”.
We will have a guided visit in a well-known winery, to learn everything about this famous wine, including how to taste wine. The visit will end with the tasting of three exquisite Chateauneuf du Pape wines.
Afternoon: Visit to a Local Farm and Cooking Session
Located near Mont Ventoux, the Pedagogic Farm will open its doors to us so that we can discover their biologic agriculture world: grapes, olives, lavender, cherries, herbs, forgotten vegetables and, of course, their animals. You will have a chance to pet and feed them.
The visit will end around the farmer’s table where you will prepare and savor a dish with the fresh products found on the farm.
Morning: Safari in Camargue
Camargue, a mythical land, is the house of wild black bulls, white horses and rice fields.
A local farmer will take us on a trailer pulled by his tractor into the very heart of his ranch where we will discover rice fields, white horses and wild black bulls raised for the “race Camarguaise” in arenas. His “cow-boys” will do a demonstration of herding bulls with their horses. You will find yourself in the middle of the herd. Very impressive!
Afternoon: The Charming Village of Les Baux de Provence
Discover this amazing medieval village dominating the valley and its Château, listed one of the most beautiful villages in France. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the site provides a unique view over the vineyards and olive fields of Provence towards the sea.
We will explore the Pont du Gard, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, built 2000 years ago by over 1000 people who worked for 5 years. This is a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece.
We will spend some time in the interactive museum not only dedicated to the building of the bridge but also to the Roman civilization: full scale replicas, maps, multi-screen images, video and sound archives.
You can also walk the beautiful trail surrounding the bridge.
Morning: Provencal Outdoor Market
Stroll and shop the incredible and colorful market. It is an accessible and rewarding way to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the area.
Fresh food and its artful display speaks for itself. But there is much more than food: colorful arrays of Provencal fabric, tablecloths, pottery, silk scarves, natural soaps with dozens of scents and of course lavender products.
Afternoon: Van Gogh in St Remy de Provence
We will visit the beautiful old monastery of St Paul Mausole in St Remy de Provence. This is where Van Gogh spent the last year of his life and painted 150 of his famous paintings. This is now a nursing home that has a permanent exhibition of paintings by the patients.
It is very emotional and fascinating to stroll through the bedroom where Van Gogh stayed during his very troubled time in 1889-90.
Morning: Our Gem Among the Villages of Provence
You will be enchanted by this medieval village not listed in travel books. This “kept-authentic” little hill-top village is built on a rocky outcrop surrounded by lush vegetation.
It will be a pleasure to stroll the little streets and discover the 12th century church, the ruins of a castle and historical houses from the 15th and 16th century. You too will fall in love with this place, just like I did when I first discovered it.
One cannot really separate Provence from images of purple lavender fields, the heady lavender scent in the air and the distinctive taste of lavender infused dishes.
Discover the whole history of lavender, its distillation, and use in medicinal therapy and cooking at the lavender museum. This will be the perfect time to shop for products made out of lavender.
After our last breakfast together, we’ll drive you to the Avignon train station (at 10am).
We have chosen an elegantly restored villa-hotel dating from the XVIIIth century located in the heart of Provence (25 minutes of Avignon).
The luxury hotel offers 16 bedrooms with private full bathrooms all with high comfort, tranquility and relaxation, with its swimming pool set in over beautiful grounds.
The refined cuisine of the Chef, based on fresh seasonal local products, is an innovative blend of Provencal and contemporary gastronomy.
Each bedroom has: a flat screen TV set, telephone, heating and AC, a minibar, a safe, ADSL and WiFi and a big full bathroom.
Oct 2-9, 2017-Women-only tour
US $3,490 + US $550 for single room
To Make Your Reservation for a French Escapade Tour please follow the steps below and review our Cancellation Policy:
Send us an e-mail to check availability. Include the dates you are interested in and the number of people you will be reserving a spot for.
After receiving confirmation of availability, complete and submit the Reservation Form and send your $600 deposit check to:
2389 Blackpool Place
San Leandro, CA 94577
If you live in the US:
We will send you a written confirmation of your reservation along with an information package for your trip (info about pick up and drop off, recommended insurance, name of a travel agent, what to bring, etc…).
Your remaining balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
|Days Prior to Tour Start||Cancellation Fee per Person|
|More than 90 Days||$600
(deposit forfeited, but transferable to another trip with a $50 admin fee)
|61-90 Days||50% of total cost|
|31-60 Days||75% of total cost|
|0-30 Days||100% of total cost|