Experience the best of Provence's magical art and culture
Premium | From $6,299 pp
Day by Day
Day 1: Avignon
Private Transfer: Avignon TGV Train Station to Avignon
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between the Avignon TGV train station and Avignon.
Suggestion: Explore Avignon, “La Cite des Papes”
Stroll the boutique-lined streets and vibrant squares, dine in some excellent restaurants and see the impressive medieval wall that encircles the old city.
The main attraction in Avignon is another of Provence’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Palais des Papes. It’s one of the largest medieval Gothic buildings in Europe, former home to nine successive popes during the 14th century.
It took less than 20 years to build this immense religious structure with imposing walls and four impressive towers. Tours take visitors through 25 rooms. Must-see rooms include the Consistoire (Audience Room), the Grande Chapelle (Great Chapel), the Grand Tinel (Banquet Hall), and the private papal appartments. The views from the towers are the most sublime place to take in the city, the Rhône River and the famous Pont d’Avignon (Pont Saint-Bénézet).
The Pont d’Avignon is a testament to the exciting history of the capital of Vaucluse. Built between 1177 and 1185, the Saint-Bénezet Bridge, known as the “Pont d’Avignon,” which once connected Avignon with Villeneuve-les-Avignon. After extensive repeated damage from war and flooding, only four of the original 22 arches remain today. When it was built it was the only link over the Rhone River between Lyon and the Mediterranean Sea.
Sample the Papalines d’Avignon, chocolate specialties made with aromatic oregano liqueur from Mont Ventoux. They are delicious and only sold by shops affiliated with the Vaucluse master confectioners. Five tons are sold each year! The asparagus is worth trying too, especially during the spring season. It’s widely celebrated in Avignon – nearly every menu in town has fresh asparagus soup, roasted green asparagus, or the white variety lightly sautéed and served with sauce.
Day 2: Nîmes
Full-Day Tour of Roman Provence
History-aficionados will love this tour. Provence was the first region beyond the Alps to be assimilated into the Roman empire. The Romans certainly left their mark on this corner of France from the language, to the roads, to the wine, and beyond. Even the name of the region comes from the Latin Provincia Romana.
The ruins they left are immensely impressive. While visiting Orange, you can visit Orange’s Antique Theatre, one of the best preserved in the world (entrance not included).
Your day continues toward the Pont du Gard aqueduct. It was the highest aqueduct in the Roman world reaching a soaring 160-feet high (48m). It once brought spring water to the city of Nîmes winding over 30 miles (50 kilometers) through the mountains between Uzès and Nîmes. It is the name of the section that spans the Gardon river. Built around 50 AD, the aqueduct is a testament to Roman engineering. This spectacular section is a technical and artistic masterpiece.
Next step, according to your wishes and desire, you can head to Nimes or Vaison la Romaine.
Nîmes’ arena is a highlight. It’s a smaller, but better-preserved Colosseum that’s still used for concerts today. The extensive Puymin ruins in modern-day Vaison-la-Romaine gives you an opportunity to wander through ancient streets and the foundations of vast Roman villas.
Did we mention that this drive takes you through the lovely Provençal countryside?
Day 3: Arles - Saint Remy de Provence
Full-Day Private Tour of Van Gogh’s Arles and the Alpilles
This tour takes you through the hills that inspired Vincent Van Gogh. It’s a magnificent corner of Provence.
Follow in the celebrated artist’s footsteps from medieval Les Baux-de-Provence, recognized as one of France’s most beautiful villages in France, past olive groves and through the hills to Saint-Remy-de-Provence and it’s Saint-Paul-de-Mausole Monastery where he lived for a year.
Continue towards quaint Eygalières and its charming landscapes. History and art lovers will love Arles with its Roman and medieval ruins. You will certainly recognize a few of the buildings and streets that have been immortalized by Van Gogh.
You can stop, or just drive through the villages according to your wishes as well as the time you want to spend.
Day 4: Saintes Maries de la Mer - Arles
Full-Day Private Tour and Camargue Safari
The Camargue is western Europe’s largest river delta and a place of important biological and cultural diversity.
A visit here is vibrant and remarkedly different from neighboring regions. You’ll feel the strong Spanish and Roman influence on the music, cuisine, and culture. Cattle-raising, bullfights, and horseback riding are extremely common.
The biodiversity and landscapes are a change too, perfect for enjoying a safari. Hundreds of species of birds pass through here or call the area home, including the greater flamingo. Beautiful white Camarguais horses are left to roam free.
Highlights include the entrance to the Camargue wildlife reserve, scenic secret roads; the Vaccarès lagoon; the fortified medieval town of Aigues-Mortes, and La Carbonnnière, a defense tower that protected the settlement; Sainte Marie de la Mer, the village dear to the heart of the travellers communities.
Day 5: Arles - Marseille
Transfer from Arles to Marseille
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between Arles and Marseille.
Private licensed guide at your disposal for a half day tour
Enjoy the services of an experienced local guide for a customized tour.
Day 6: Marseille
Shared Boat Tour of the Calanques National Park
Departing from Marseille’s vibrant Vieux Port, you’ll get up close to the Calanques National Park’s spectacular limestone cliffs. The boat tour takes you along the coastline between Marseille and Cassis past 12 picture-perfect coves, through azure waters, and by soaring peaks.
Day 7: Marseille - Lourmarin - Gordes
Marseille Private Walking Tour
Go on a walking tour of France’s oldest city. The geography is breathtaking, as it nestled between the turquoise Mediterranean Sea, rocky inlets, and rising hills. The Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Basilica overlooks the city from a prominent hill. It’s affectionately known to the Marseillaises as the “Bonne Mère” (the Good Mother). It was originally settled by Phoencian traders 26 centuries ago. Today it’s a dynamic place that has long attracted people from the Mediterranean and beyond. Today it’s outgrown its once-troubled reputation to becoming a beautiful, sprawling, and intensely interesting destination.
Transfer from Marseille to Luberon
A private driver will pick you up from Marseille and drive you safely to your hotel in the Luberon region (Lourmarin, Gordes).
Suggestion: Visit Gordes
Gordes is listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France). This lovely little hilltop village looks like the scene of a postcard or painting. In fact, artists Victor Vasarély and Marc Chagall found inspiration for their paintings here. An ancient “village perché” (perched village), Gordes has a dramatic setting. The village stands on a steep slope descending from the Plateau de Vaucluse to the Coulon Valley. The perched location provided protection from invasions during the Middle Ages.
Dominating Gordes is the 16th-century Château de Gordes, a fortified castle with medieval corner towers and a grand doorway. The château’s Great Hall boasts a monumental Renaissance fireplace, one of the finest in France. The château houses, the Pol Mara Museum, dedicated to the Flemish painter’s masterpieces. To reach the museum, visitors must climb the château’s impressive spiraling Renaissance staircase up to the exhibition rooms on the top floor.
Day 8: Gordes
Half-day custom private tour
Enjoy a custom-built private tour from the Luberon region with an English-speaking driver-guide.
Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Luberon
Ride above the colorful Luberon region in a hot air balloon at sunrise.
Day 9: Sault - Banon - Simiane la Rotonde - Gordes
Full-Day Tour of the Provence’s Lavender Fields
Visit the high plateau to experience one of Provence’s emblematic sites: the blooming, fragrant lavender fields.
From mid-June to August, the high plateau blooms in breathtaking purple. Enjoy scenic routes away from the crowds. Get ready to take beautiful photos!
The tour includes the Albion plateau, and the villages of Sault and Banon. The wild nature is the setting for Sault, perched on a rocky promontory. It dominates a plain dedicated to agriculture where lavender predominates offering in summer a unique palette of colors.
Leaning against the Albion plateau, between the mountains of Lure and Ventoux, Banon has kept its authentic and natural character. Surrounded by fields of lavender, plains of cereals and hills delicately perfumed by aromatic plants, a checkerboard of striking colors is drawn around the village.
Day 10: Avignon
Private transfer: Luberon region to the Avignon TGV train station
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer from the Luberon region to the Avignon TGV train station.
About This Trip:
- Enjoy 24/7 English-spoken telephone assistance while traveling
- This itinerary includes transport, activities, guides, accommodations with breakfasts, and other listed services
- Price is in USD per person, assuming double occupancy. Note that prices and availability are subject to change.
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