Join us for a delightful week exploring the gastronomic delights and hidden beauty of Provence, from the sweeping vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape to the magnificent lavender fields of Vaucluse, as well as the rich history, natural bounty and grandeur of the Luberon and Bouche du Rhone. Fine food and wine are a feature of this tour and you will enjoy a truly wonderful array of gastronomic experiences in some of Provence’s most highly regarded and unique restaurants. You will savour a tantalizing contrast of flavours and aromatic delights from finest gourmet cuisine to delicious traditional fare in gorgeous settings and at a delightful leisurely pace. Experience enchanting villages, medieval towns, lush vineyards, delicious wine tastings, colourful Provencale markets, chateaux visits, antique shops, journey in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso, explore beautiful countryside and gardens and be enthralled by magnificent architecture. During our time in Provence we stay in the delightful market village of St Remy de Provence and in the beautiful valley of Les Baux. Our first hotel, which includes original farm buildings, is family-owned, beautifully decorated in Provencale whites and beiges, ivy clad and sun-drenched with an inviting swimming pool and just a short stroll to the village centre, where narrow cobbled lanes, enticing shops, wonderful aromas and cafes beckon. We then stay at a gracious small luxury hotel set on 5 acres of tranquil gardens with an elegant terrace, large swimming pool and luxury spa. You will be accompanied by our professional guides. They are the perfect hosts and will share their passion for Provence, fine food and wines and all things aromatic with you, taking great pride and care to ensure that you will have a memorable time
April to October
On request for groups and
Minimum 8 pax
What to expect
DAY 1 MONDAY Rendezvous at the Marseille airport. Scenic drive to the village of Gordes and the beautiful Cistercian Abbey of Senanque. Visit to a fascinating lavender museum to experience all aspects of lavender oil production from field to bottle. The museum boutique has very fine lavender oil and beautiful lavender products for sale. After settling in at our delightful Provencale hotel in St Remy, we enjoy our first dinner together in a delightful gastronomic restaurant renowned for its character and delicious authentic Provencale cuisine.
DAY 2 TUESDAY Orientation and short historical walking tour of our picturesque market town. Journey to the Haute Provence for a wonderful day amongst the fields of vibrant lavender, clary sage and other aromatic plants. Lovely villages to explore, full of character and charm, nestled in the beautiful Provencale countryside. Delicious leisurely lunch under the shade of platane trees in a gorgeous medieval village. Visit to an organic herb farm to enjoy fields of aromatic plants and to experience essential oils being distilled. Visit to a picturesque hilltop village full of colour and character sitting high above the lavender plateau, with its many delightful lavender boutiques, unique antique store specializing in vintage perfume bottle labels and a world famous nougat manufacturer. Early evening return to our hotel. Evening at leisure
DAY 3 WEDNESDAY Experience the many delights of one of Provence’s most vibrant and colourful markets, renowned for its crafts, Provencale specialties, fresh produce as well as many wonderful boutiques to explore. Lunch at leisure. Journey in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh with a guided visit to the beautiful cloister and garden where he painted many of his finest works, followed by a visit to the magnificent perched fortress site of Les Baux with time to experience the spectacular sound and visual imagery of Carrieres de Lumieres. Return to our hotel with time to relax then stroll to dinner at a delightful Provencale brasserie.
DAY 4 THURSDAY Journey to the fascinating medieval walled city of Avignon with its famous Bridge of St Benezet and magnificent gothic Palace of the Popes. Time to enjoy the ambience of this illustrious French city of art and culture with great shopping, museum visits and photo opportunities; the Avignon Arts Festival will be in full swing with live theatre and music to enchant us during our visit. We will then enjoy a superb gourmet lunch at a beautiful jewel of a restaurant set amongst sweeping vineyards, owned by one of Provence’s finest chef’s. Scenic drive through the vines to the world famous Chateauneuf du Pape wine region with its spectacular views of the Rhone valley for a delicious wine tasting and private guided visit to the cellars at one of the most prestigious estates in the region. Return to our hotel. Evening at leisure.
DAY 5 FRIDAY Visit to an exquisitely decorated provender store for a tasting of locally produced award-winning olive oils and flavoured vinegars with truffle products, glorious jams and glace fruits as well as other lovely gourmet products for sale. Scenic drive along beautiful tree lined roads and the majestic Alpilles de Provence to our beautiful two Michelin starred restaurant for a leisurely gourmet luncheon in an exquisite garden setting. Late afternoon and evening at leisure in St Remy for shopping, strolling and wonderful photographic opportunities.
DAY 6 SATURDAY Today we change hotels. Visit to the celebrated riverside town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue famous for its antique dealers, art galleries and gorgeous home ware boutiques. Time to fossick through the abundant array of antique and brocante stores. Delightful alfresco lunch under shady trees at one of our favourite gastronomic restaurants. Visit to the beautiful artist’s village of Roussillon famous for magnificent red cliffs, ocre coloured walls, narrow medieval streets, fabulous shopping and spectacular views of the Luberon. Early evening arrival at our gorgeous five star hotel with the evening at leisure to relax, enjoy the beautiful gardens and pool, or perhaps indulge in the wonderful spa facilities.
DAY 7 SUNDAY Visit to the classic Provençal town of Arles that everyone has dreamed of, including Van Gogh. It is teeming with Roman ruins and other architectural riches. Our first stop with our knowledgeable guide will be the Arenes, one of the most well preserved Roman amphitheaters in existence. Our guided walking tour of old Arles will also include the Roman Theatre, Eglise St Trophime, the gardens of Hotel Dieu painted by Van Gogh and we’ll also drop by the café that was his favourite hangout and the setting for his famous painting Café Terrace at Night. Lunch at Leisure in Arles. Scenic drive through picturesque countryside to visit Daudet’s Mill made famous in Provencale literature, followed by a personalized visit to a magnificent wine estate, featuring a beautiful bastide set in its own sculpture park for a leisurely tasting of their delicious wines. Return to our hotel. Elegant farewell dinner on the lovely garden terrace of our hotel’s gourmet restaurant.
DAY 8 MONDAY 10 am departure for Marseille airport where our tour ends. Perhaps take the train to Paris or continue to explore this most exquisite of regions.