Art, Culture and History trip to Provence

10 Days | History & Culture

Experience the best of Provence's magical art and culture

Premium | From $6,599 pp

Discover the best of Provence's art, culture, and history on this 10-day tour. Learn about how the Romans left their mark on this corner of France from the language, to the roads, to the wine, and beyond. Follow in Van Gogh's footsteps with a private tour that includes Arles and the Alpilles. Experience the strong Spanish and Roman influences in music, cuisine, and culture in the Camaruge through a full day tour and safari. You'll also take in the Calanques National Park’s spectacular limestone cliffs along the coastline between Marseille and Cassis. Cruise past 12 picture-perfect coves, through azure waters, and by soaring peaks. This trip ends in the picturesque perched village of Gordes.

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.

Your driver will meet you in front of the “L’Occitane” shop, located inside the station, at the north gate

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 fewer 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 apartments. 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”, once connected Avignon with Villeneuve-les-Avignon. After extensive repeated damage from war and flooding, only 4 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 handmade and only sold by shops affiliated with the Vaucluse master confectioners. Five tons are sold each year! The asparagus is worth trying too. It’s widely celebrated in Avignon; and, nearly every menu in town has fresh asparagus soup, roasted green asparagus, or the white variety lightly sautéed and served with sauce.

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Charming 4-star Hotel in Central Avignon

avignon city in France

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. You’ll see Orange’s Antique Theatre, one of the best-preserved in the world, and the towering Pont du Gard aqueduct. Nîmes’s arena is a highlight. It’s a smaller, but better-preserved Colosseum. It’s still used for concerts today! The extensive Puymin ruins, in modern-day Vaison-la-Romaine, give you an opportunity to wander through ancient streets and the foundations of vast Roman villas.

Did we mention that this drive takes you through lovely Provençal countryside?

Overnight Stay with Breakfast in a Charming 4-star Hotel in Central Avignon

Day 3: Arles - Saint Remy de Provence

A full-day private tour Van Gogh’s Arles and the Alpilles

This tour takes you through the hills that so 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 spent a year.

Continue towards quaint Eygalières and its charming landscapes. History and art lovers will love Arles with its Roman and medieval ruins. They certainly recognize a few of the buildings and streets immortalized by Van Gogh.

Duration: 8 Hours from Avignon/Aix or 9 Hours from Marseille

Pickup in Avignon, drop off in Arles

Night and breakfast in a superior double room in a chic 4-stars hotel in central Arles


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 markedly different from neighboring regions. You’ll feel the strong Spanish and Roma influences in the music, the cuisine, and the culture. Cattle-raising, bullfights, and horseback riding are common.

The biodiversity and landscapes are a change too! Enjoy 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.

Bull meat is on the menu for lunch, a local speciality.

Highlights include the Camargue wildlife reserve, the Vaccarès lagoon, the fortified medieval town of Aigues-Mortes, and La Carbonnnière, a defense tower that protected the settlement.

Night and breakfast in a superior double room in a chic 4-stars hotel in central Arles

Day 5: Arles - Marseille

Private transfer Arles to the Marseille

A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between Arles and Marseille

Guided private tour to the MUCEM Museum (civilizations of Mediterraneen Europe) – 2H

A government project supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations is the first major national museum devoted to Mediterranean civilizations for the 21st century. Discover it with your private guide for a better understanding of the exhibitions, but also of this unique place.

Duration: 2h

Overnight stay and breakfast, in an exquisite 4-star Hotel in Marseille.

marseille city in France

Day 6: Marseille

Enjoy a custom-built private full-day tour with an English-speaking driver guide with a departure from Marseille.

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.

Duration: 3 ¼ hours

Afternoon guided visit to La cité Radieuse and architectural keypoints of Marseille

After years of study and reflection on collective housing, the project of the Unité d’Habitation de Marseille in 1952, finally gives the architect Le Corbusier the opportunity to experiment and test his ideas in one of the emblematic works of 20th-century architecture. It is a real concept, playing with lights, perspectives, colors… Much more than an apartment complex, it is a full-fledged architectural work, creative and avant-garde.

Your visit will then lead you to the Palais Longchamp and the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica offering you a 360° view over the oldest city of France

Overnight stay and breakfast, in an exquisite 4-star hotel in Marseille.


Day 7: Aix-en-Provence - Gordes

Full-day tour custom tour with a driver-guide private transfer from Marseille to Gordes with a private driver.

You will stop in Aix en Provence for a guided walking tour.

Aix-en-Provence Private Walking Tour

Aix-en-Provence was once the capital of Provence. Wealthy merchants and local dignitaries helped turn this city into the charming beauty that it is today complete with 17th and 18th centuries architecture, gorgeous mansions, city squares bursting with flowers, and fountains. Walking through Aix is like visiting a great museum. There’s a masterpiece at every turn.

Overnight stay and breakfast in a standard double room of a 4 – stars hotel in Gordes.

market in Provence, France

Day 8: Gordes

Full-day private tour of Isle sur la Sorgue, Fontaine de Vaucluse and Chateau de la Barben with tour assistant driver

Your private driver will pick you from your accommodation for a tour along the Sorgue river where you will follow the water wheels route

Your guide will narrate the importance of the river Sorgue to the many localities it goes through. In the Middle Ages, the Sorgue was diverted to form several canals. One of them, the Canal de Vaucluse, runs today along the Rue des Teinturiers before joining the Rhône river by Avignon’s walled city. The initial purpose was for drainage, but when textile makers set up shop in Avignon, they soon realized the benefits of ready water supply and made a beeline for this area. Indeed, the Rue des Teinturiers translates roughly as “Dyers’ Street”.

Next, you will discover the Isle Sur la Sorgue, a charming island city filled with antique shops and art galleries.

You will also visit the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse which is a picturesque, hidden gem, surrounded by 230-meter high cliffs and caves. It is home to one of the largest natural springs in the world. Its success and popularity are largely due to the mysterious spring and its emerald green water– peaceful and tranquil in summer and winter and spectacular in spring and autumn.

After the tour, you will be dropped back at the hotel.

Overnight stay and breakfast in a standard double room of a 4 – stars hotel in Gordes.

Luberon Gordes town in Southern France

Day 9: Pont d'Arc - Gordes

Full-day Ardèche Canyon & Chauvet Cave tour

Ardèche’s dramatic landscapes hide one of humanity’s oldest masterpieces. The Chauvet or Pont d’Arc cave contains 30,000-year-old cave paintings of now-extinct animals. As you examine the handprints on the falls you can’t help but think about who we are and where we come from. It’s a humbling experience.

This site was rediscovered in 1994 but quickly closed to the public. A facsimile, the largest cave replica ever built, was opened in 2015 allowing visitors to explore this profoundly moving site.

The drive takes you by the spectacular Gorges de l’Ardèche, an unspoiled, deep canyon carved by L’Ardèche river.

Overnight stay and breakfast in a standard double room of a 4 – stars hotel in Gordes.

Day 10: End of our service

Your journey with us has come to an end. We hope to see you soon!


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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