Provence Tour Details

June 29 - July 10, 2018
Registration Deadline March 10, 2018

  • $3,500*
    Per Person, Double Occupancy
  • 12 Days, 11 Nights
    *Roundtrip airfare is NOT included
  • Single Supplement US$850
    Triple savings US$100

 

What’s included*

  • All land transportation beginning at Marseille train station
  • 11 nights of accommodation: authenticity, comfort, hospitality
  • All breakfasts, 7 dinners and 4 lunches in select restaurants(usually in the evening)
  • All activities named in the itinerary (museums, kayak, boat ride, etc)
  • Tour leader with you all day, every day!


* For more information, see “What is included in price of the tour?” for more details.

Going to Provence was for us only a beautiful mirage, until last summer. We didn’t want to attempt the plans on our own, nor did we want to be part of a mega-tour. We struck gold with Lorey, enjoying the camaraderie of a small group, the pleasure of discovering treasures, both famous and hidden, all with the expert planning of someone who knows France inside and out! The intimacy of the tour meant we could be nimble in our travel and your exquisite choices meant we had time to savor, to linger, and to see. ~ Emilie and Herb

Provence Itinerary 2018

Friday, June 29  
The tour begins at the Marseille train station. Lorey will coordinate pick up times with your flight arrival. There will be time to refresh at our B&B before we set out for a late afternoon drive to spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Relax with a gourmet dinner in a landmark restaurant overlooking the sea.

Saturday, June 30
We will enjoy the colorful, multi-ethnic market in Marseille and then visit the old port whose history dates back to 600 BC. The “petit train” offers us a relaxing way to orient to the city and includes a stop at Notre Dame de la Garde, crowning jewel of the city. In the afternoon, our first driving tour through the lovely Luberon Valley to settle in to our next B&B, a very charming farmhouse with abundant gardens. Once refreshed, dinner is at a nearby wine estate, casual and family operated.

Sunday, July 1
It is market day in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, capital of flea markets, with its large water wheels on the river. We will peruse the treasures and have lunch in a small restaurant that prides itself on traditional Provencale cuisine. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon in Avignon, renowned for its artistic theater in the summer, streets animated by the performers. An audio tour of the Palace of popes recreates the period of the 13th century when the Popes resided here. Dinner will be a gastronomical adventure in Avignon.

Monday, July 2
The lavender will be in full bloom at this time and we will have a driving tour with many stops to experience the expansive fields. Our road trip begins along the dramatic gorges of the Nesque river where we will see several perched villages so typical of this province. On the return trip of the lavender tour, we’ll pause for dinner in one of these medieval villages in a restaurant acclaimed as excellent by the locals.

Tuesday, July 3
Yesterday we traveled east from our B&B; today we will go to the north, where the mountain views are breathtaking and the vineyards are famous. We will make several stops to explore the cobbled streets of picturesque villages, sometimes finding vestiges of the Romans who once dominated here and will pause for lunch in one of the mountain villages. There will be wine tasting in the vineyards around Gigondas, an area that boasts a red wine that is both full and smooth. We will gather supplies for a fine French picnic and relax with a quiet and convivial evening meal at the B&B.

Wednesday, July 4
We will stop by at Saint Remy in the morning to have a look at their weekly market and enjoy a traditional lunch of French cuisine. The afternoon drive will take us through a landscape of olives, almonds, and vineyards to explore the extensive castle remains of a fortified village, Les Baux, that was once a feudal strong hold of power and wealth. Our next stop will be at an unusual museum: an old limestone quarry where art works are brilliantly projected on the walls and set to music. This year, Picasso and the Spanish masters will be featured and it promises to be a moving program. After this full day of sightseeing, we will kick back for another great French picnic dinner at our B&B.

Thursday, July 5  
A Cistercian Abbey surrounded by lavender will be our first stop today. During the tour, will learn the details of the history and how the monks lived here. Near the Abbey we will visit the fascinating cluster of ancient stone dwellings and imagine what life was like here hundreds of years ago. The quintessential perched village of Gordes offers the perfect place to pause and get refreshment before we venture on to our next B&B near our final destination: Uzes. This was once a thriving town with nobility and the architecture bears testimony to the wealth that once abided here. Tonight’s dinner in Uzes will be in a Michelin starred restaurant, which is sure to provide an authentic experience of high French cuisine.

Friday, July 6 
Today, we will rent kayaks and venture down the Gard river to approach the renowned aqueduct, the astounding Pont Du Gard. It is the best remaining example of a Roman aqueduct from that time of history. The museum’s exhibits have numerous displays to explain the engineering and the construction of the aqueduct. We will take a relaxing pause in the late afternoon before dinner in a small village, an excellent family run restaurant.

Saturday, July 7  
It is market day in Uzes, the fullest and most abundant of all markets with produce, clothing, olives, cheeses, breads and pastries, lavender products, pottery, clothing, kitchen gadgets, wines, shoes, spices, sausages, linens, soaps, and more! We will enjoy purchasing the makings of an evening “pot luck” picnic. After lunch in Uzes, we will stroll through the lovely streets and squares of this beautiful town. There is a village known for its pottery next to Uzes and we will make a brief stop there on our way back to our picnic dinner.

Sunday, July 8  
We are heading east and south again today, and our drive will take us past numerous picturesque villages. We can stop at Oppede to stretch our legs with a walk up to the old castle ruins and visit Menerbes, that sets upon a ledge like a big old ark and has great views and small shops. Our last B&B in Aubagne is set in the country and is beautifully landscaped and tranquil. After time to refresh, we will have dinner nearby, a restaurant set in a country garden of an elegant inn.

Monday, July 9 
For our last day in Provence, we will return to the Mediterranean, this time to the charming port of Cassis, nestled between the fjord-like hills that surround the town. If you would like a close view of the secluded little beaches that lie between the cliffs, you may choose either a tourist boat or hike. They are not accessible by road! Our crowning dinner will have to be in a Michelin starred restaurant, overlooking where the cliffs meet the sea behind Cassis.

Tuesday, July 10
After breakfast, you will be driven to the Marseille airport for your return flight. Adieu!

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What IS included in the price of the tour?

    • All land transportation from Marseille airport.
    • 11 nights of accommodation: comfort, authenticity, hospitality.
    • All breakfasts, 7 dinners and 4 lunches.
    • All activities named in the itinerary (museums, boat ride, wine tasting, etc.)
    • Tour leader is with you, all day, every day.

 

What is NOT included in the cost of the tour?

    • Air travel to and from France is not included, but Lorey will assist you in making reservations for a flight and traveling together when possible. Travelers are able to use their frequent flyer programs by booking their own flights and Lorey will coordinate the flights so that you may travel with others in the group if you wish.
    • Only the insurance on car rentals is provided. You are responsible for your own insurance for health, air tickets, and personal items.
    • When dinner is not included, the lunch is the main meal of that day! This allows the group to select a restaurant or enjoy shopping in markets for a fabulous picnic on occasion.
    • All alcoholic beverages are at the traveler’s expense except those that are included wine tasting at the vineyards.

 

Register for your trip with France in Essence Travel

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We have taken 4 trips to France with Lorey because we LOVE her tours! We have gone to Brittany, Provence and the Basque country and they were all outstanding tours with lots of local flavor due to Lorey’s extensive research of the areas, local restaurants and B&B’s. It was a huge plus that Lorey speaks fluent French in places where the locals speak no English. We are excitedly looking forward to our next tour with Lorey during the summer of 2016.... a new custom tour of the WW2 sites. Lorey is an angel and her arrangements and planning are always superb. The tours have been so memorable and the thousands of photos are treasured reminders of our wonderful times. Bon Voyage! ~ Baer Collen & Suzanne Lussier