JOIN A SMALL GROUP
Maximim 8 participants
In three days with your guide, visit and taste the highlights of beautiful Provence.
2016 per person price
* Price based on double room occupancy - please contact us for details on single room supplements
- You are joining a small group for this tour; contact us for private tour rates if you prefer
Upon your arrival in Avignon, settle in to your room in the heart of the historic city. Depending on your arrival time, you can wander the cobblestoned streets and squares, relax on the shaded terrace of a café, or visit one of the many art galleries and museums. Dinner tonight is included at one of our favourite restaurants.
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel after breakfast. Today is a full day, exploring 4 of the most renowned villages of the Cotes de Rhone wine region. Of the five "crus" of the southern Cotes de Rhone, you'll visit three of them - Gigondas, Vaqueyras, and of course the wonderful Chateauneuf-du-Pape (the "missing" two are the primarily rosé producing towns of Lirac and Tavel, further to the west),
This is a region where the vines lie baking in the hot Provence sun - the heat being additionally reflected off of large flat stones which soak up the heat in the day to continue heating the fruit even into the night. Most southern Cotes de Rhones are blends, with the main grape being Grenache, well-suited to the climate. Your guide will tour you through the villages, explaining the winemaking and history of the region, and of course, you also have visits and tastings for some practical application of what you have learned.
Lunch will be a delicious regional meal in a small restaurant in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. After lunch, you then visit the ancient town of Beaumes de Venise, to taste its succulent sweet wine, the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. We return you to your hotel in Avignon at the end of the afternoon.
Today's touring is a half day tour, either all morning (8 am to 1:30 pm in time for a late lunch in Avignon) or all afternoon, (from 2pm until 7:30 pm), depending on the date you book. This allows you time to explore the historic centre of Avignon, and visit the Pope's Palace as well.
We head first towards the pretty Alpilles mountain range, just south of Avignon, and stop to tour around the Medieval village of Les Baux de Provence. Perched on a rock 245 m high, you'll enjoy the twisting streets, beautiful medieval and renaissance buildings, and the panoramic view from the ruined castle.
From there, a winding drive past bauxite mines and through olive groves brings us down to the "antiques" of St Remy de Provence - a Roman triumphal arch and mausoleum in the centre of countryside often painted by Vincent van Gogh. He was incarcerated in the hospital here for a year, at which time he painted an astounding 150 paintings!
Then you leave the Alpilles behind and head to the Luberon hills, and the typical provencal villages that inspired Peter Mayle in his book, a Year in Provence. You'll be sure to visit Gordes, perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the valley. After your explorations there, return to your hotel in Avignon.
Today, like yesterday, is another half day, either in the morning or the afternoon. You'll have time to finish your explorations in Avignon, or perhaps just relax in one of the many cafés, or get a little souvenir shopping done.
Today's touring concentrates on the rich Roman history of the region. You'll start with a visit of the incredible Pont du Gard; this aqueduct-bridge, designed to carry water across the small Gardon River, was a small piece of an almost 50 km long aqueduct built 2000 years ago to carry water into the powerful Roman city of Nimes. The incredibly well-preserved arches are breathtaking, and the site was added to UNESCOs World Heritage listing in 1985.
You'll also visit Uzes - with its picturesque Place aux Herbes (the central market square), its restored Renaissance facades, and perhaps a climb up the steps to enjoy the view from the impressive Ducal Palace. And to complete your siteseeing, we'll take you to Nimes itself, where as well as the visit of the famous Roman arena, you'll have some time to visit the lively Provencal streets and shops before we return you to Avignon to your hotel.
Your Provence Guided Tour has come to an end; after a final breakfast at your hotel, connections are easy from Avignon for your further travels