Self-Drive in South of France -

Self-Drive in South of France

9 Days | Self-Drive Trips & Tours, Wine & Food

Experience the best of Southern France's delightful gastronomy and culture

Premium | From $4,299 pp

This nine day tour will take you through Provence and to the Riviera where you can enjoy fabulous experiences at your own pace. You'll enjoy a fabulous Provençal cooking class with lunch and taste olive oils at several local olive mills. Go horseback riding in the Camargue where famous white horses will take you on a ride off the beaten path, close to the Camargue bulls. In Grasse you'll participate in a private perfume making workshop as well as a panoramic e-bike tour. The cherry on top of this tour is a market visit and cooking class in Nice.

Day by Day


Day 1: Marseille - Saint Remy de Provence

Pick Up Rental Car

At your arrival, a rental car Hyundai Tucson electric (or similar) will be at your disposal for the length of your stay (9 days). Thus, you can move freely and comfortably. On the day of departure, you will drop off the vehicle.

Pick Up Rental Car

Private Guided Walking Tour of Saint Remy de Provence

Saint Rémy de Provence is the ultimate Provencal village. Nestled in the Alpilles mountains, away from the bustle of the coast, it retains all its authentic charm. Enjoy a walking tour of the city center with a licensed guide.

Your private guide will show you all the secrets of this lovely village!

Walking Tour of Aix-en-Provence

Restaurant Booking – La cuisine du Dimanche – Lunch or Dinner

Enjoy authentic Provencal cuisine featuring the best local products at the restaurant La cuisine du Dimanche in Avignon.

Terrine de Foie Gras, Filet de Sandre, Pigeon Roti, and Dome Chocolat are some of the exotic dishes exclusively offered by the restaurant. Red, white, and rose wines in different brands are also available.

Day 2: Saint Remy de Provence - Fontvieille - Les Baux de Provence

Provençal Cuisine Cooking Class with Lunch

You will first meet the chef at Le Mas des figues who will welcome you with coffee and take you for a guided tour of the garden of the Farmhouse.

During this cooking class, you will learn how to prepare local specialties. Think tapenade, basil pesto, arugula pesto, tomato pesto, anchoïade en bagna fredda (anchovy dip), cod aïoli, papeton d’aubergines (eggplant mousse), fried zucchini flowers, ratatouille, and chilled strawberry soup.

After that, you will enjoy the lunch to taste the meal prepared with local wine included.

Afternoon suggestion: Visit Les Baux-de-Provence

Clinging to an ancient limestone, Les Baux-de-Provence is a typical Provencal fortified hilltop village situated in the Regional Natural Park of the Alpilles. It was mainly built between the 15th-16th centuries and is listed among the “most beautiful villages of France.”

Nestled in the Alpilles mountains, it offers great views of the plains, the Mediterranean Sea and the stunning rocky landscape of the Alpilles. Narrow cobbled streets wind car-free past ancient houses, up to splendid castle ruins sitting on top of a rocky outcrop above the village. The small chapel was built in the 12th century.

The Carrières de Lumières are an ancient quarry now used for regular exhibitions with artworks projected against the quarry walls – a real spectacle of light and sound! The theme of the spectacle changes every year.

Day 3: Arles - Aix en Provence

Suggestion: discover the Camargue Natural Park

 The Camargue Natural Park area, which includes a large UNESCO designated biosphere reserve, can be visited at any time of the year. Visitors come to the area to admire its wildlife, and in particular the thousands of pink flamingos. These can be admired on many of the park’s shallow expanses of water, but most easily in the Camargue ornithological park, a bird park just north of Saintes Marie de la Mer. The center, with its kilometers of trails, is home to many varieties of waterfowl, including flamingos, white egrets and herons; it also has a bird hospital.

 While the flamingos are the Camargue’s most emblematic birds, the area is more historically famous for its white horses. The Camargue’s horses are a special breed, reputedly one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world, and they have lived in the very particular environment of the Camargues saline wetlands for thousands of years. While some live in semi-wild conditions, most are now used either by the Camargue’s traditional cowboys, for herding and rounding up the area’s distinctive black bulls, or else for pony trekking.

Private Horseback Riding in the Camargue

Accompanied by your guide, you will discover the 500 hectares estate, divided between rice paddies and pastures. The famous white horses take you on a ride off the beaten path, close to the Camargue bulls.

Your guide, a native of the region, will show you the hidden gems of the wild and secret Camargue.

Restaurant Booking L’Apostrophe – Lunch or dinner

Explore and enjoy homemade world cuisine at the restaurant L’Apostrophe in Arles. This diner serves a variety of seasonal dishes like Camargue Bull chop, Milanese cutlet, Iberian charcuterie board, and Octopus a la mode. Scrumptious desserts like El Tiramisu Classico, homemade mini tarte tatin, and mini crème brûlée are all available.

Afternoon suggestion: Visit Arles

Arles is a city with an antique past that has been recognized by UNESCO for its Roman and Romanesque monuments, its pilgrimage routes (Santiago de Compostela, Rome and Jerusalem), and also for the world-renowned Camargue Regional Nature Park – a member of the World Biosphere Reserves network.

The city of Arles is closely connected to the Post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh whose stay in Arles was one of the most productive periods in his career, with over 300 paintings and drawings completed in 15 months.

a weekend getaway to the french riviera

Day 4: Aix en Provence

Brewery of Provence – A private guided visit and tasting session in an artisanal brewery

Explore, indulge and relish as you participate in an impeccable brewery session accompanied by brewery experts. Learn and discover the rare ingredients used to process the world’s best beer. The chilling and super tasty beers are processed and purified by traditional and essential methods.

For beer lovers, this is the perfect place to have a memorable time and chill out with your friends and family.

Brewery of Provence - A private guided visit and tasting session in an artisanal brewery

Suggestion: Explore Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence, the capital of Provence in the 15th century is surrounded by authentic Provencal houses, traditional French-style gardens, city squares bursting with flowers, ancient fountains, and shaded narrow streets.

The Cours Mirabeau is one of the most busiest and frequently visited places in the Provence region. Named after the Revolutionary hero the Comte de Mirabeau, this fountain-studded street is surrounded by Renaissance hotels, beautiful verdant trees, and elegant private mansions.

Stroll around the 17th and 18th-century houses, where there is plenty of authentic cafes, and labyrinthine boulevards. You can relax and smell the rich aroma of the coffee, listen to some upbeat techno music, while away your time in a comfortable ambiance, and relish some of the typical Provencal delicacies.

a weekend getaway to provence

Restaurant Booking – Restaurant Angelina – Lunch or Dinner

Indulge in a wonderful Mediterranean cuisine that serves Artichoke tartine, daube de joue de boeuf, pieds et paquets à la marseillaise (agneau) at the restaurant Angelina in Aix-en-Provence. The chef is especially known for serving the best delectable salads in Grecque and Italian styles.

Restaurant Booking - Restaurant Angelina - Lunch or Dinner

Day 5: Saint Raphael

Make your way to the French Riviera.

On the way, stop in a local vineyard for a visit and a picnic in the vineyard.

Shared Guided Wine Visit and Tasting at an Organic Vineyard, following by a picnic in the vineyard

Enjoy a wine tasting at an organic Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Protected Designation of Origin vineyard. The estate includes four distinct terroirs, with the grenache and syrah varieties representing approximately half of the production. The setting is spectacular at the foothills of the Sainte-Victoire Mountain.

Following the visit, grab you picnic basket and enjoy the view.

Suggestion: Explore Saint Raphael

Saint-Raphael is a seaside resort a few kilometers southeast of Frejus on the French Riviera. The town is one of the oldest resorts on the coast – there is evidence that wealthy Romans used to pass their summers here 2000 years ago!

Nowadays Saint-Raphael is one of the calmer resorts on the French Riviera, standing in the shadow of the rugged Massif de l’Esterel. It is a very clean, well-maintained resort with a small harbor, and beaches on either side of the harbor. It is one of our favorite resorts in this part of the Cote d’Azur. The Corniche d’Or is ideal for lovers of driving and magnificent landscapes. Stop to admire the panorama and its flamboyant colors!

Located in the heart of the harbor of Agay, the Port of Agay enjoys an exceptional setting. Its pointed quay, an ever-flowering garden and the red rocks that border the Rade, delight artists, summer visitors and toddlers alike.

Day 6: Cagnes sur Mer - Nice

Make your way to Nice

Suggestion for a stop on the way: Discover the beach of Cagnes-sur-Mer

Cagnes-sur-Mer offers everything you would expect from a holiday in the French Riviera: summer, sun, and a beautiful Provençal beach.

If you want to spend your holiday relaxing, Le Cros de Cagnes, a district right by the sea, offers everything you need for a great summer holiday: a beach, pretty beach bars, plenty of water sports, and a picturesque harbor with fishing boats swinging peacefully in the water.

The illuminated promenade invites you to take a stroll.

An Evening of Rosé tasting with Nice Street Food

The crisp rosés of southern France, in all shades of pink, have conquered even the most skeptical wine lovers. This tour will be conducted by sommelier and cookbook author Viktorija Todorovska to discover the rosés of Provence and the French Riviera and learn to identify your preferred style. She will introduce you to the art of tasting any wine and tell you the story of rosé and the region, illustrating her points by uncorking bottles from her favorite producers. You will also be provided with a list of rosés available outside France so that you can continue to build your knowledge at home.

Because rosé wine is an integral part of “la merenda,” Nice’s street food tradition, a selection will be served during this tasting. You will also learn how to pair rosé with foods from the Mediterranean and other parts of the world.

Wine is a casual affair in the south of France, and this tasting will also provide an opportunity to meet fellow travelers and enjoy an apéritif in Les Petits Farcis’ beautiful studio in the heart of Nice’s Old Town before you head to dinner.


Day 7: Nice

Panoramic E-bike private Guided Tour

This tour will bring you to Nice’s most beautiful and often unreachable but absolutely magnificent panorama spots. You will easily get there thanks to your powerful, modern and high-quality electric bikes.

Starting from the Port of Nice, you will ride uphill on the “Castle Hill” from where you can admire the beautiful panoramic views of the City and the Italian Alps. Next, you will pass on the Massena Place, the most beautiful place of the city, located just at the gates of the old town, then off to the Garibaldi place and its Italian general statue. You will then go back to the Port of Nice.

Street view in Nice, France

Suggestion: Visit Villefranche-sur-Mer

Villefranche-sur-Mer is a small town; the picturesque harbor and setting make it a highlight when you are exploring this part of the riviera. The town is built on terraces up a steep hill that overlooks Cap Ferrat and the azure blue sea of the Mediterranean below. The village is small enough that exploring is easy and all principal attractions can easily be reached from the center.

The port is predominantly now a pleasure port but a small fishing fleet also operates from here. The harbor is a popular and bustling part of the town with many bars and restaurants along the waterfront and in the small square. Just behind the harbor, you can explore the attractive old town with beautiful ancient houses lining the steep cobbled streets that climb the hill through the town. This part of the town is pedestrianized and many of the houses in Villefranche-sur-Mer are painted in bright orange and red pastel colors creating a very picturesque ensemble.

The main beach is to the east of the town center below the train station. There are several weekly markets in Villefranche-sur-Mer, with the traditional Provencal market each Saturday morning on Promenade de l’Octroi being the most popular with visitors. The best view across Villefranche-sur-Mer and the harbor are from the corniche road above the far end of the beach, ideally seen in the morning when the sun is on the front of the buildings.

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Restaurant Booking – Cave du Cours – Dinner

The Cave du Cours is a wine cellar in Old Nice, tucked into an obscure side open street, which transforms into a packed wine bar. You can enjoy a coup de rouge at the little wine bar or sit at one of the wine cask tables, where you can also taste quality products in an atmosphere of oenological discoveries and great conviviality. Once sitted, the waiter will serve you some tapas and local food to pair with your wine.

Restaurant Booking - Cave du Cours - Dinner

Day 8: Nice

Morning Liberation Market Tour and Cooking Class with Lunch in Nice

In this tour, you explore the upcoming Libération area and shop alongside the locals and get a hands-on introduction to Nice’s cuisine and culture.

The tour will begin at 9 am in front of the Gare du Sud, a former train station that now houses a modern food hall. Just north of the main Nice train station, the city’s biggest food market takes place six days a week. Known affectionately to locals as “la Libé”, this up-and-coming part of Nice is reminiscent of Paris with its 19th-century style buildings and broad boulevards that offer a view of the mountains beyond the city. From there, you will visit the farmers’ stalls to find the freshest local produce and select meat or fish for the cooking class.

Around 10.30 am, you will take the tram to the cooking studio, where you will play a role in preparing the lunch. No need to worry if you are a beginning cook, the atmosphere is relaxed!

A couple of hours later, you will get to sit down to an authentic meal and toast your efforts with a glass of rosé (or, if you prefer, an intriguing local red or white wine). By 3 pm, you will be free to explore Nice’s Old Town or perhaps head to the beach!

Suggestion: Visit Nice – The Pearl of the French Riviera

The elegant city of Nice is set against an impressive backdrop of soaring hills and the famous blue waters of the French Riviera. The “Place Rossetti” is at the city’s heart, surrounded by brightly colored buildings, the cathedral, and a large fountain lending the square a unique flavor. Nice is a city for all seasons.

Spend some time by the beautiful harbor, where the sun shines from the west in the evening. It’s a popular restaurant area if you’re looking for a special dinner by the water.

From the harbor, you can climb to the Colline du Château for great views of the city. Despite the name, there is no longer a castle on the hill, as it was destroyed in 1706. Now there is a beautiful park with views of the beach stretching along the Baie des Anges (“Angel Bay”).

The beach might be Nice’s most famous attraction. The famous “Promenade des Anglais” boardwalk follows the Mediterranean seafront for 3 miles (5 kilometers). It was built in the early 19th century when the English upper class began coming to the French Riviera to spend their winters in a mild climate. This gave the boardwalk its name, which translates to the “Walkway of the English.”

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Day 9: Nice

Drop off Your Car Before Heading Home

Drive to Nice Airport and return your rental vehicle prior to boarding your onward flight.

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

Place Massena in Nice, France


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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