Fall in Provence

plus Marseille

Tour Highlights

Renowned for a wonderful climate, charming towns and villages, world-renowned gastronomic traditions, unique landscapes and rich history, it is no wonder that Provence is one of France’s top destinations, especially during the Fall Harvest Season.    

Our home base (10 nights) will be Avignon, located in the heart of Provence. This beautiful city has magnificent 18th century architecture, shaded squares, narrow streets named after ancient trades (bonnetterie, teinturier, infirmière etc.), gardens along the Rhône River, weekly and daily food markets, boutiques and museums. The city is also a lively art and cultural center, and boasts a fine transport system with regular routes to surrounding towns.

We will stay at the 4-star Mercure Pont d’Avignon, located within the old city walls in a quiet area - an easy walk to restaurants, shopping streets and main attractions. Hotel facilities include a bar, lounge, garden and free WiFi. 

We conclude our tour with 2 nights in the multicultural city of Marseille with its rich maritime history, vibrant old port, quaint neighbourhoods, impressive esplanade and breathtaking views over the Mediterranean Sea.

Tour highlights:

  •  Visit to the Popes Palace and Pont d’Avignon.
  • Chef demonstration and tasting of local specialities.
  • Visit Arles and Camargue, and typical Manade lunch.
  • Provence Roman heritage - Maison Carrée, Nimes Amphitheater, Pont du Gard and Orange Theater.
  • Luberon villages, and a visit to the Lavender Museum.
  • Mont Ventoux, Vaison Provencal Market, wine tasting.
  • Truffle hunt including a savoury lunch.
  • Walking tour of Aix-en-Provence and village of Cassis.
  • 2-night stay in Marseille and tour of the highlights.

*** Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Marseille via Paris.
We arrive in Marseille and transfer to Avignon. The rest of the day is free until our Welcome Dinner.
Our walking tour shows us the main highlights of Avignon; the Pont d’Avignon, the lively Place de l’horloge and the pedestrian streets. We also visit the Palace of the Popes - an imposing Gothic structure where several popes lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. We conclude our tour at Les Halles – Avignon’s quaint food market, where a local chef will offer a cooking demonstration and tasting of Provencal specialties.
We begin with a visit of Arles, once Julius Caesar's capital of Gaul. Here we follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh to the sites immortalized in his many paintings. We will see the remarkable Roman and typical Provencal architecture. We then travel to Camargue – a national wildlife reserve of exceptional beauty. See the immense plain of marshes and lagoons - refuge to over 300 species of birds (including pink flamingos). We will enjoy a special lunch at a typical “Manade” specializing in the breeding of bulls, with “cowboys” working with the famous Camargue Horses. We end the day with a visit of Carmargue’s capital, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, a city of traditions superbly situated at the mouth of the Rhone River and Mediterranean Sea.
A free day to explore the town, its quaint streets, museums and vibrant markets.
This full-day excursion begins with a walking tour of Uzes - the premier duchy of France. This dazzlingly beautiful commune has shaded boulevards, medieval streets and handsome houses. Then we discover the Pont du Gard, built in the 1st century AD - a technical and artistic masterpiece. We finish the day in Nîmes, which boasts some of the world’s best preserved Roman monuments. We will visit the impressive amphitheater and Maison Carrée (square house) followed by some free time in the historic centre.
First we visit Vaison-La-Romaine, a small Provencal town nestled in a valley. Once a prosperous Roman city, it is known today for its fabulous Provencal market - the largest in Provence! Next is the summit of Mont Ventoux for a breathtaking view of the Toulourenc Valley. We finish this amazing day with a visit of a local winery, enjoying a stroll through the grounds and a taste of the wonderful wines produced in this region.
Scattered across the countryside are the wonderful villages of the Luberon - known as "the most beautiful villages of France". We see Rousillon with its ochre landscape, Senanque - a beautiful Abbey founded by the Cisterians in the 12th century that is still operating today, Bonnieux with its amazing view across the valley with its patchwork of orchards and vineyards, and Coustellet for a most interesting visit of the lavender museum.
We first visit Orange - the “Gateway to Southern France”. Founded in 30 BC, Orange remains marked by the dynastic seal of William III of Orange, who became King of England in 1689. We will see the famous Triumphal Arch and visit the Roman theatre. Then we proceed through the countryside to meet a warm-hearted family and discover the mysteries of one of the world’s most coveted culinary treasures - the truffle. These “Black Diamonds” are known for their subtle aroma and earthy flavour. A delicious lunch of finely prepared truffle dishes awaits following our “cavage” demonstration with the family dogs.
We travel to Aix en Provence (fondly known as “X”). This is one of France's most popular cities, with its majestic public squares, shaded avenues, graceful fountains and elegant Baroque style buildings built with the distinctive Provencal yellow stone. On our walking tour we see the Cours Mirabeau and the market where locals shop for fresh produce and flowers. We then proceed to visit Cassis - a former fishing village and today a resort town picturesquely located in a niche on the Mediterranean Sea at the foot of steep cliffs. We end up in Marseille for a 2-night stay by the quaint old port.
Highlights of our Marseille city tour include the Esplanade J4, Promenade Laffond, Notre Dame de la Garde and a walking tour through the ancient Le Panier neighbourhood. The afternoon is free to visit one of the famous museums or go shopping in the stylish boutiques of the Republic Quarter. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner.
Air France takes us home via Paris.

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