Do you wonder what inspired the great master painters? Do you admire the way that the light is immortalized in their masterpieces? Let us take you to Provence for a magical experience of art, beauty and wonder! This tour introduces you to the landscape and villages that inspired Van Gogh, Cézanne and many Impressionist painters.
Today you will visit the city of Arles and our focus is Vincent Van Gogh. Founded by Julius Caesar in the 6th century, Arles possesses a lovely combination of art and heritage. Marvel at the Roman monuments, including the breathtaking amphitheater. We will visit the city in the footsteps of Van Gogh. Arles is where Van Gogh painted his famous Sunflowers. See the sites painted by the artist that continue to delight those who visit this city on the Rhone River. We suggest a painting workshop, where you will be introduced to Van Gogh’s style of painting and where you will have the opportunity to try your own hand at painting. A tour of the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh with its contemporary art influenced by this great master is a must! (Overnight Arles)
The Camargue & Les Baux-de-Provence
What do we have in store for you today? You will continue in the steps of the Masters as you explore the countryside, where you visit a family farm that has been raising bulls (to be used for food and for bullfighting) for generations. You will be welcomed onto the farm to discover all of its wonders. Your host will reveal all of the secrets of the wild Camargue, which is where the farm is located. Next, you will enjoy a 3-course lunch at the restaurant at the farm. The chef serves fresh, generous local dishes using products from the farm and the region. Continue your day in the Alpilles Mountains, where you will visit the village of Les-Baux-de-Provence. It is perched dramatically on cliffs overlooking the valleys of olive groves and vineyards that you will recognize from Van Gogh’s landscapes. There are some isolated ruins here that sit atop a precariously craggy plateau and are a must see for anyone visiting Provence. Explore its pedestrian center and take in the charming 16th century houses, the Saint Vincent Church and the Romanesque architecture. Of course, a visit would not be complete without experiencing the Carrières de Lumières, an awe-inspiring light and art installation on the limestone rock featuring the art of Van Gogh. The walls of the galleries of the quarries on which the art is projected are art themselves. Finally, you will complete your day in beautiful Saint Rémy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh stayed for one year. (Overnight Saint-Rémy-de-Provence or Arles)
Van Gogh spent a year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence at the Saint Paul de Mausole Cloister. This was a psychiatric facility where he painted many of his most well-known works including his Self-Portrait and The Starry Night. Visit the peaceful gardens and walk along Van Gogh’s footsteps. See the 19 reproductions of his artwork as you approach the Estrine Museum Cloister. Here, you will visit a modern and contemporary art museum with a Van Gogh visitor Center. Your guide will be with your every step of the way to explain what you are seeing, Complete your day with a guided tour of the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence itself, its old town, winding lanes, charming squares and fountains. (Overnight Saint-Rémy-de- Provence)
This morning you will continue on to Aix-en-Provence. This is the countryside immortalized by Cézanne in his paintings. A stop at a local vineyard to meet the winemaker and taste some amazing rosé would be a perfect addition to your day! Today we visit the Lauves Studio, where you will gain insight into this talented artist. See Cézanne’s belongings. Many of his paintings were created in the studio, including one of his most famous paintings, The Bather. Perhaps you would like to visit the 18th century Hotel de Chaumont Art Enter, which focuses on fine arts with two major annual temporary exhibitions. The exhibitions are devoted to major art figures from past maters until the present day. Another suggestion is to explore the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau, Aix’s main street, with its shops and sidewalk cafes. Together with your guide, explore the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and bookstalls near the Hotel de Ville. Don’t forget to visit the famous Bechard bakery for pastries! (Overnight Aix-en-Provence)
**We suggest adding on a few extra days to explore the Luberon Villages and the Cotes de Provence, using Aix-en-Provence as your base.
**This is just one example of an art themed tour of Provence that we offer. We customize all experiences to suit the interests of our individual clients. If you have a particular artist that you would like us to build a tour around, please let us know.