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Luxury Tours of Provence, France

“Some spots are the cradle of genius. Provence is one.” Lawrence Durrell

Click on map to enlarge

Click on map to enlarge

A sun-drenched land of purple lavender fields, truffles, bright yellow sunflowers, dry rosé wine and blue Mediterranean waters, Provence is a little piece of heaven! Marvel at the vistas and quaint villages that inspired great artists such as Cezanne and van Gogh as you settle into the sweet and leisurely lifestyle that is perfectly Provence!

Luxury Tour of Provence, Day 1: Avignon

Tours of Provence France

Bienvenue! Sitting on the Rhone River, the medieval city of Avignon is the perfect base for your stay in Provence. Marvel at this walled city’s 39 towers and 7 gates as you spend a relaxing afternoon and evening exploring the cafes and boutiques in Avignon.
Take time to sit and enjoy a meal near the beautiful main square, the 15th century place de l’Horloge. Restaurants abound- choose one with a view of the illuminated Palais des Papes tonight as you live the good life in Provence. Overnight in your luxury accommodations in Avignon.

Provence Tour, Day 2: Avignon

Lavender of Provence France Luxury Tours of France

After indulging in a delicious café crème at breakfast, set out on a day of history and adventure! We recommend a visit to the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), a vast fortified castle that was built between 1335 and 1364 and was home to a succession of nine popes. These popes fought for control of the Catholic church until Rome’s pope finally prevailed.

A tour of the palace takes you back to a time of intrigue. Climb the towers of the palace and admire the frescoes and tapestries inside. Not far from the palace is the Pont St. Benézet, which spans the Rhone River. Constructed by a local shepherd after a religious vision in the 12th century, the bridge boasts only 4 of its original 22 arches after falling into ruins.

Luxury Provence Tour, Day 3: Pont du Gard- Arles- Les Baux- St. Remy

Today is a day to explore more or Provence either on your own or with your private driver/guide! From the Pont du Gard to charming St. Remy, there is so much to explore!

Castle Baux Luxury Tours of France Provence

Your first stop is the Pont du Gard, an ancient bridge, which towers over the Gard River and is one of the best examples of a Roman aqueduct in the world. Dating from 19 B.C., this architectural marvel consists of three tiers of arches and rises over 160 feet high. Continue on to the city of Arles, where Dutch born Vincent van Gogh painted such famous masterpieces as “The Starry Night” and “Sunflowers”. Founded in the 6th century by Julius Caesar, Arles is the home of many historic Roman monuments, the most notable of which is the Roman Ampitheatre- it continues to be used for bullfights to this day!

Provence Tour, Day 4: Orange- Chateauneuf-du-Pape- Gordes

Saturday flower market at l'Hotel de Ville.

Saturday flower market at l’Hotel de Ville.

Approximately 45 minutes northeast of Arles is Les Baux, which is dramatically perched on cliffs overlooking valleys of olive groves and vineyards. The isolated ruins of this village sit atop a precariously craggy plateau and are a “must see” for anyone visiting Provence.The market town of St. Remy is a great place to stop for a dinner tonight. Famous for its Wednesday and Saturday markets, St. Remyis also a fantastic place to shop for antiques and fabrics. This is the town where van Gogh committed himself to an asylum after cutting off a piece of his left ear in 1889. Return to your luxury hotel in Avignon for the night.

After a restful night’s sleep, your journey takes you northeast for a day of history, fine wine and beauty. Your first stop is the town of Orange and its Théatre Antique D’Orange, a well-preserved Roman theatre that continues to be used today for concerts and other events. Visit the centuries old Arc de Triomphe, celebrating the victories of Julius Caesar.

Luxury tour of Provence France Gordes

Gordes

Orange is the center for the Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards as well as the producer of local honey, olives and truffles. Pick up some of these delicacies before departing for the yellow stone hillside village of Chateaueuf-du-Pape. Founded by the popes in the 14th century, Chateauneuf is an important destination for wine lovers, with several vintners offering grand cru tastings in their cellars. Indulge in a tasting or two before having a leisurely lunch, which will provide you with the energy to visit and explore the hilltop village of Gordes.

Spilling down in terraces from the awe-inspiring Chateau de Gordes and the Church of St. Firmin, this village is best explored on foot. Perhaps you will have dinner in Gordes or nearby Rousillon this evening before returning to Avignon for the evening.

Luxury Provence Tour, Day 5: Aix-en-Provence

Palais des Papes in Avignon.

Palais des Papes in Avignon.

It’s time to pack your bags and venture on to one of the most charming villages in all of Provence, Aix-en-Provence!

Your chauffeur/guide will introduce you to the daily open-air markets with their olives, lavender, local cheeses and produce. Wander the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau, Aix’s main street, with its shops and sidewalk cafés. Explore the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and the bookstalls near the Hotel de Ville. Don’t forget to visit the famous Bechard bakery for pastries. Perhaps you will visit Mt. Sainte-Victoire, which is just outside of Aix. This is the countryside immortalized by Cézanne in his paintings- bask in the beauty that is Aix! Overnight at luxury hotel in Aix-en-Provence.

Provence Tour, Day 6: Aix-en-Provence-Cassis-Calanques

Today you will marvel in wonder at the beautiful ancient fishing village of Cassis, located on the rocky Calanque coast of the Mediterranean sea. Your charming chauffeur/guide will take you to the port in Cassis, where you will admire the fishing boats and grand yachts. The port is lined with terrace cafés and restaurants, all perfect for a leisurely meal with a glass or two of the local nutty, golden Cassis wine. This is a popular area for cycling or rock climbing. Although the sandy beaches may beckon, we recommend taking a private boat on the azure water to explore the Calanques, the chalky white limestone cliffs located between Cassis and Marseille. These unique geological formations are breathtaking, with deep, narrow valleys, colossal fortresses and sharp peaks. Overnight in Aix-en-Provence.

Day 7: Depart Provence for Home

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Bid adieu to Provence this morning. Perhaps you will continue your vacation in Paris or even travel to Bordeaux for more luxury and adventure. Let your imagination be your guide and let SVP Tours help make it a reality. If you can dream it, we can make it happen!