Tour description

We are thrilled to introduce this small group trip of a lifetime to the magical Provence region in France. This region of France is best known for its colorful and fragrant landscape, clear skies, and serene and peaceful culture. Artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, and Cezanne all found inspiration in the rolling hills, tiny villages, and dramatic coastlines in Provence. Culture runs deep in the cities and towns of Provence and can be found in their bustling local markets and beautiful little cafes. Many visitors flock to this region to be swept away by the vibrant purple of the lavender fields that radiate a light floral perfume. Different seasons also bring the yellow of sunflowers, greens in olive groves, and blue hues of the sea. Here in Provence, we’ll dive deep into the local products that help shape the culture of this diverse region, as well as its history and natural charm. You’re sure to be immersed in French culture while visiting Provence and seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone you will meet. Experience the Provence lifestyle with an 8-day small group tour and indulge all 5 of your senses. Provence is the ideal place to let your thoughts be swept away and your heart run wild. 

Read what our friends have to say about this fantastic tour over on Tripadvisor


HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Highlights 

  • Guided tour of Marseille’s historical treasures & popular markets
  • Guided tour of stunning Aix-en-Provence, including a visit to the Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur, the Granet Museum, and the Cezanne Studio
  • Tour of Château Neuf Du Pope
  • Marvel at the 2,000-year-old Pont Du Gard stretching across the Gardon River
  • Admire the Cote Azure’s gardens, ranging from rustic groves of ancient olive trees to manicured modern scenes
  • Experience a local wine and olive oil tasting, two products that make the region famous
  • Entry to popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Palais Des Papes, Roman Arles, and Pont Du Garde
  • Hands-on-cooking class in Aix-en-Provence
  • Visits to quintessential Provençal villages of Gordes, Roussillon, Les Beaux & Saint Remy

Included

  • Small group tour of 12-14 participants
  • Knowledgeable English-speaking tour director
  • Entrance fees for all sites
  • Tour transportation in a private air-conditioned motor coach
  • Local guides in the outlined cities and towns
  • Hotel city and service taxes at all accommodations and restaurants are included
  • Transfers to Turin Airport at scheduled times
  • Baggage transfers and porters are included
  • All breakfasts, five lunches, and three dinners are covered. Main meals include wine, mineral water, espresso, or tea
  • Activity level: Light/Moderate
  • Terms & Conditions/single supplement and FAQ

Not Included

  • Travel insurance and visa fees/Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance
  • Any charges for extras not listed in the itinerary
  • Room services, telephone charges, laundry fees
  • Gratuities for the tour director and local driver
  • Single room supplement
OUR ACCOMMODATIONS
DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Provence & The City of Popes

Welcome to Provence with its shimmering coast and colorful rolling hills. The south of France bordering the Mediterranean has a timeless allure that has drawn in many visitors from around the world. Traveling through its wild and diverse landscapes is a treat for all five senses. After arriving in Marseille, you’ll meet the group at 11:00 am outside the hotel La Residence Du Vieux Port to enjoy a panoramic city tour with your local tour guide, visiting the stunning Basilica Notre Dame De La Garde. After some time on your own for lunch, you’ll continue to the town of Avignon for the first three nights, staying at a central boutique hotel. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner together in an authentic Provencal restaurant. You’ll have a lovely two-night stay at Le Clos Saluces (or similar).

Meals: Breakfast and lunch on your own, dinner included

Accommodation: Overnight in Avignon

Day 2: Historical Avignon, UNESCO Pont Du Garde & Pristine Châteauneuf Du Pape Wine Region

Avignon is a historically rich city surrounded by fortified walls dating back to the medieval period, and the town was home to the pope for over 100 years in the 14th century. Our tour will start today with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Palas Des Papes, the largest Gothic palace in Europe and a truly monumental palace that dominates the Avignon skyline. Afterward, we’ll visit Pont Du Garde, one of Provence’s most attractive sites. You can marvel at this three-tiered arch bridge spanning the Gardon River, a wonder of 1st-century Roman architecture. Then, we’ll take a scenic drive to the wine country of Chateauneuf Du Pape for a visit to an authentic and popular regional Chateaux for a wine tasting and a light lunch. After sampling fine local French wine, we will head back to Avignon for an evening of exploring on your own. You might like to attend a regional play in the opera house or take an evening stroll through the city streets.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Avignon

Day 3: Ochre clay of Roussillon, The Medieval Village of Gordes & a Lavender Farm Visit

Today’s tour takes us through the mountainous land of the Luberon Region. This region of Provence features rural rolling green hills and golden villages scattered throughout its hidden valleys. We will pass through the quaint village of Roussillon, where the Romans used the ochre-tinted earth in the region to produce their pottery glazes. This makes the village famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ocher-colored quarries. We will continue to the 12th-century Cistercian Abbey De Senanque, surrounded by a tranquil sea of lavender fields. Here, we will visit the charming hill town of Gordes, perched on a rocky slope of the Vaucluse plateau. This town has been famous with artists since the academic Cubist painter Andre Lhote began visiting in 1938. The Gordes features a 16th-century chateau and medieval cobblestone lanes that wind through this spectacular village. We’ll end the day with a guided tour of the Lavender Museum in the nearby town of Coustellet to learn about lavender cultivation and the production of lavender oil from field to bottle. In the late afternoon, we’ll head to Saint Remy De Provence for a two-night stay at the beautiful Hotel Gounod (or similar). You’ll have the evening free for dinner and exploring the city!

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Saint Remy De Provence

Day 4: The magic of Saint Remy de Provence

We start the day with a walking tour of colorful Saint Remy. We will wander along cobblestone streets, admiring the beauty of renaissance architecture and following the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh. Surrounded by lush green perfumed valleys, its ancient streets are lined with beautifully restored old houses, fountains, shady squares, picturesque restaurants and elegant boutiques. After a visit to the beautiful cloister and garden where the famous painter painted many of his finest works , the remaining of the day is on your own for further discovery. Tonight we’ll enjoy local French cuisine together in a local bistro. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Saint Remy De Provence

Day 5: Roman Arles, A Dynamic Light Show & Les Baux De Provence

Today, our tour will begin with a visit to the Roman town of Arles, founded by Julius Caesar over 2000 years ago. This town is full of unique and well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most prominent of which is the Arles Amphitheatre, the largest and most intact ancient monument in the town. Arles is the perfect place to see and feel the remarkable Roman influence in this Province. Afterward, we’ll take a scenic drive to the nearby fortress site of Les Baux De Provence, which is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here, we’ll end the day with the spectacular sound and visual imagery of the Carrieres De Lumieres. A transformed stone quarry is used as the backdrop for this magnificent show, which will surely delight and amaze. We’ll spend the last three nights of your Provence adventure at the stunning Renaissance-Aix-En-Provence Hotel (or similar).

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Aix-En-Provence

Day 6: Highlights of Aix-en-Provence & Hands-on Cooking Experience 

Today, your expert local guide will introduce you to the quaint Aix-en-Provence, one of the most beautiful cities in France. Your walk includes a visit to the magnificent Cathedral of Saint-Sauveur, which dates back farther than the city’s early history. The beauty of this church covers a variety of architectural styles spanning centuries. The city’s unique and romantic character comes alive as you walk through the streets, alive with the people and culture of Provence. Your walking tour will also cover a visit to the Atelier Cezanne, the studio where artist Paul Cézanne worked from 1902 to 1906. You’ll have time to meander through the colorful artist’s market nearby to see the skillful local artists and perhaps take the time to visit the Granet Museum, full of beautiful paintings by Cezanne. In the evening, we are invited to the house of a Chef for a hands-on cooking class, where we will learn how to cook Provencal dishes. Afterward, we will enjoy a light dinner together before settling in for the night.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Aix-En-Provence

Day 7: Cruise along the Calanques in Cassis

Amongst the bright colors, rolling hills, and quaint towns, Provence is also home to golden beaches and the fjord-like Calanques. Today, we’ll drive along some of the region’s prettiest roads to Cassis. From this lively little port town, we will embark on our journey exploring the Calanques by boat with a private tour. Admire the towering cliffs and coves as we head towards the famous Calanques of Cassis (weather permitting). This evening, we’ll enjoy a dinner together in a fine restaurant. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Aix-En-Provence

Day 8: Goodbye, Beautiful Provence

This morning, we will farewell Provence with transfers after breaking to the Marseille airport. If you would like to continue your European journey, we recommend trying our small group tours of Malta, Croatia, Greece, or Northern Italy

TOUR DATES & PRICING

2024 TOUR PRICE: € 4,000   SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 700     Currency Converter 

Price is per person based on double room occupancy for 8 days/7 nights

REVIEWS
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Incredible Provence

13/11/2022

Chris and I absolutely loved our visit to Provence. The itinerary offered a great blend of cultural, educational, and scenic opportunities to keep us constantly entertained and anticipating the next adventure. Our tour guide, Veronique, was wonderful. She provided us with all of the historical information along the way blended with her own personal insights as a native of the area.She was always attentive to our needs and eager to ensure that our experience was as fulfilling as possible.Our driver, Christoph, was also a great asset through his knowledge of the best areas to stop to get the optimal view of the sights and his current knowledge of local conditions (especially where the best fields for viewing the lavender and sun flowers were for the days we were there). The three hotels were excellent choices.Each had its own charm and the locations allowed easy access to the city center. We especially enjoyed the garden at Le Pigonnet. Such a beautiful spot to relax after a long day of seeing the sights and our dinners there were great. Chris appreciated the opportunity to use the pool at Le Vallon de Valrugues (she is an avid swimmer) and the breakfast buffet there was among the best we have ever had. All of our rooms were quiet and comfortable. As usual, all of the technical aspects of the Secret Italia tour worked like a Swiss watch. From our arrival at the Marseille airport, through checking in at the three hotels, and our eventual departure, everything went perfectly.Kudos to you and your staff for designing such a wonderful tour of Provence and kudos to Veronique and Christoph for treating us so well throughout the week.

Richard and Chris Thomas (USA)




PROVENCE

PROVENCEProvence evokes picture-postcard images of lavender fields,medieval hilltop villages,bustling markets and superb food and wine. Less expected is Provence’s incredible diversity. The Vaucluse and Luberon epitomize the Provencal cliche’.But near the mouth of the Rhone in the Camargue,craggy limestone yields to bleached salt marshes specked pink with flamingos,and the light,which so captivated Van Gogh and Read more