“Some spots are the cradle of genius. Provence is one.” Lawrence Durrell
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
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
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.
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!
Luxury Provence Tour, Day 5: Aix-en-Provence
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.