2023 (d/m): 23/4 ; 7/5 ; 21/5
Booking Date
6 days / 5 nights
Days
Lourmarin, Luberon
Location

The Best of Provence Tour is designed to encapsulate all that is great about Provence in 6 days of unforgettable experiences. From historical monuments, to world class art galleries and from wine tasting to gourmet meals, the tour is a sensory and visual delight.
Expect days filled with sunshine, as you travel through iconic countryside filled with sweeping fields of lavender. Enjoy cities replete with beauty and historic buildings, bubbling fountains and cafe terraces overflowing with the joy of life in a part of the world the locals call “un coin de paradis” – a corner of paradise.

The Tour includes visits to: Aix en Provence, Arles, Luberon hill villages, and Cassis and Les Calanques, as well as numerous wine tastings. Click on the photos tab above to give yourself a real flavour of the places we visit.

At the end of every day we will return to the village of Lourmarin. Clients can relax by the pool of the hotel, or indulge in a spa treatment. For those still keen to explore the village has plentiful art galleries, shops, and cafes. It’s a delightful place to spend time. Every evening clients can choose a new restaurant or opt to return to a favourite from earlier in the week. Total flexibility is our aim.

Find out more about tour leader Jamie Ivey here and don’t forget to check out our testimonials and other Provence Small Group Tours.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Pick up from Marseille Airport or Aix en Provence TGV
DEPARTURE/RETURN TIME To be arranged with tour organiser.
INCLUDED
5 nights accommodation   5 Meals, with wine and soft drinks
All entrance fees Transportation and transfers
NOT INCLUDED
Drinks and snacks between meals
Flights

 

Additional information

Average age45+
Physicality6/10
1

Sunday - Arrival

Pick up by taxi or minibus (depending on numbers) at an agreed time from either Aix en Provence TGV or Marseille airport. You will be transferred to your accommodation in a 4 star hotel in the gorgeous Luberon village of Lourmarin. The journey is an easy hour’s drive through picturesque countryside.

Upon arrival a small hamper of luxurious Provencal goodies awaits in your bedroom. Any free time can be used to explore the village. On Sundays from Easter to the end of September there is usually an artisan market or brocante market.The group will gather for a drink’s reception around 6.30pm and a gourmet welcome dinner.

2

Monday: Arles

First up is picturesque Arles. The city boasts the best collection of Roman sights in Provence – a Roman Arena, a Roman Theatre, Roman baths, and even a Roman Graveyard. For those of a more artistic disposition Arles is also where Van Gogh completed many of his most famous paintings, as well as being the home to an exciting new modern art foundation – Luma Arles. And this being Provence, there are also plenty of cafes and squares where you can sit and watch the world go by.

After a brief orientation tour members of the group will be free to visit the sights that most interest them, before meeting up for lunch. Culture vultures can fill their afternoon with more visits: the Reattu museum offers among other attractions 57 Picasso sketches, and a poignant letter from Van Gogh to Gauguin. There also the Museum of Ancient Arles, which displays a wealth of Roman artefacts. Alternatively tour members can just relax, shop and enjoy the vibe of the city.

Returning to Lourmarin tour members can choose from any of numerous village restaurants in which to eat. Our touring ethos is that members should be free to spend as much or as little time together as they wish. Gregarious couples who enjoy company can choose to eat with the group. More private couples can take the opportunity for some time apart from the group.

3

Tuesday: Luberon Villages

The locals call the Luberon a corner of paradise. It’s not hard to understand why: – there are countless picturesque villages; numerous vineyards producing sumptuous wines; olive groves that stretch for miles; cherry orchards which produce snow storms of blossom in Spring and rolling mountains stretching away towards the Alps.

In Spring the Luberon is awash with color.  We will stop by fields of poppies, and orchards of blossoming cherry and almond trees.

Our village visits include: Roussillon, famed for its red soil. Local legend has it that a jilted lover threw herself from a cliff and her blood stained the soil for miles around; and Gordes, which for decades has been an ultra-chic retreat for wealthy Parisian families and French celebrities.

For lunch we will stop for at Domaine de La Citadelle outside Menerbes and enjoy a buffet lunch and wine tasting. The vineyard has a famous corkscrew museum which we will also visit.

In the evening for supper guests can choose from among the numerous village restaurants.

4

Wednesday: Aix en Provence

A highlight of the tour is our visit to Aix en Provence. Known as the Paris of the south, an enjoyable day can easily be spent people watching from the cafe terraces and indulging in a little retail therapy. Tour leader Jamie Ivey will share his love of the city  in a brief orientation tour. The group will lunch together in a typical Aix restaurant, loved by the locals, but off the beaten tourist track. Group members can then choose between the main sights including, the Hotel Caumont Art Center; Cezanne’s atelier and the viewpoint from which he painted Mont Sainte Victoire; and the Musee Granet, a world-class painting and sculpture museum.

In the evening for supper guests can choose from among the numerous village restaurants.

5

Thursday: Cassis

We will head for the glittering Mediterranean and the charming port of Cassis. On our way into the port we will stop for a wine tasting at Domaine Paternel to taste the region’s famed white.  Arriving harbour side we will explore the port and enjoy lunch together. Enthusiasts of seafood should not miss the opportunity to try Provence’s famed Bouillabaisse fish soup.  In the afternoon we will take a boat tour out into Les Calanques – renowned as almost the last untouched stretch of the French Mediterranean coast, these rocky coves are accessible only by boat or on foot. The Calanques are a world famous wildlife reserve and a national treasure.

In the evening for supper guests can choose from among the numerous village restaurants.

In the event of bad weather our trip to Cassis will be substituted by the following:

First stop is L’Isle sur La Sorgue, a gorgeous market town nicknamed the Venice of Provence thanks to the canal system on which it sits. Waterwheels and charming antique shops make for a memorable visit.

Next up is Avignon and one of the sights of Provence – the Palais des Papes. Built in under 40  years this gothic monolith inspires awe and reverence. Adding a touch of humour to the visit we advise our groups to read Alphonse Daudet’s short story –  The  Pope’s Donkey, before the visit. It gives a wonderful insight into the world of the Avignon Popes.

6

Friday: Lourmarin

On Friday our home village of Lourmarin hosts one of the largest and best Provencal markets. It’s the perfect opportunity to do something last minute shopping before heading home.

Our base the village of Lourmarin is nicknamed the “St Tropez of inland Provence”

All our groups are based in the village of Lourmarin at the 4-star Bastide du Lourmarin Hotel. The Hotel has a swimming pool and spa, and is conveniently located a 1 minute walk from the center of the village. In the event of shortage of rooms guests may be also be accommodated in the historic Moulin de Lourmarin hotel right in the heart of Lourmarin.

Lourmarin is classed as one of France’s most beautiful villages. It is filled with shops, cafes, restaurants and art galleries and is an enchanting place to spend time. The village has an extensive literary heritage claiming Albert Camus, Henri Bosco and Peter Mayle as past residents. It is located in the Luberon Regional Nature Park, in the heart of Provence, 30 minutes north of Aix en Provence. Little known outside France, Lourmarin is beloved by the famously hard to please Parisians. Mention the name of the village to a Parisian and watch a wide smile spread across their face as they confess: “J’adore Lourmarin”.

One of the reasons to choose our tour is that you will spend 5 nights in the village soaking up its unique atmosphere. Each night you will be able to choose a different restaurant to suit your mood. Tour members can dine together, or choose to spend some time apart. Please see the photo tab above for more images of Lourmarin.

Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours
Provence Small Group Tours

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