A land of contrasts and Roman heritage – join us as we uncover the history, passions, colours and flavours of the fascinating Provence region of France. Known for its diverse landscapes, from the Camargue plains to the deliciously fragrant lavender fields, Provence is as fine on the nose, as it is on the eyes. Discover the impressive Pont du Gard, the ancient seaside town of Saintes Maries de la Mer and walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh and discover the scenery from some of his famous paintings. Learn about the Lavender grown in the area of Luberon, at the Lavender Museum at Coustellet and discover the Roman delights, nestled into the commune of Orange. So why not fill your lungs with one of France’s most picturesque regions on this incredible holiday?
9 Day Itinerary
Local departure by coach then to Reims for an overnight stay.
Continue to the historic town of Avignon, where we arrive this evening for a six-night stay.Included meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Aix en Provence
We travel to the ‘City of Fountains’, Aix en Provence, where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along shady tree-lined Cours Mirabeau.
Here you can follow in the footsteps of the town’s favourite son, artist Paul Cézanne, and see the Brasserie Deux Garçons, where he was said to have been a regular visitor.
Some of Aix’s many fountains can be seen around Cours Mirabeau or the nearby Mazarin district, with its 17th century town houses.
Whilst in Aix, why not sample the local delicacy – almond paste sweets named ‘Calissons d’Aix? We return to Avignon for time at leisure this afternoon.Included meals : Breakfast
Pont du Gard and Nïmes
Today we visit the iconic Pont du Gard, a vast bridge and aqueduct built in Roman times to carry water to the city of Nïmes, and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Soak up the atmosphere of this ancient monument as you walk across the lower spans, or discover the local history and heritage by visiting the on-site museum.
We continue to Nïmes, a pretty town, known for its Roman monuments – in the town centre see the ‘Maison Carrée’ a restored temple, or the atmospheric Roman arena still used as an events venue.Included meals : Breakfast
Free Time or Gordes and Isle sur la Sorgue
Join us for an optional excursion into the Luberon, a region known for its hill-top villages, the beauty of its landscapes, and for its association with the author Peter Mayle, who lived here, and whose books painted an entertaining picture for many.
We call first at the Lavender Museum at Coustellet, to learn more about the lavender that is grown in this area of the Luberon.
We continue to Gordes, a village seeming to cling to the hillside, and with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside – explore the historic cobbled streets of one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages.
We continue to Isle sur la Sorgue, a small town situated on the River Sorgue, known for its abundance of antique shops, and for many ancient waterwheels – fifteen can still be seen, and some, although no longer working, are still turning.Included meals : Breakfast
Saintes Maries de la Mer and Arles
Today we explore the Camargue, a region known for its marshlands, flamingos, flora, fauna, wild white horses, and gypsy traditions.
We travel via the Camargue National Reserve to reach Saintes Maries de la Mer, an ancient seaside town which for hundreds of years, has been the place of festivals and local Camargue traditions.
We continue to Arles, a town best known for its architectural heritage and association with Vincent Van Gogh who lived and painted here in the 1880s.
Visitors to Arles can follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps and see some of the scenery from his famous paintings, such as the café in Place du Forum, he painted at night, or the Trinquetaille Bridge beside the River Rhône.Included meals : Breakfast
Free Time or Orange
Enjoy more flavours of Roman Provence on an optional excursion to Orange, home to the Triumphal Arch and the well-preserved Roman Theatre.
Absorb the atmosphere of the bustling, narrow streets, and admire the jaunty colours of the houses, or for a panoramic view of the town, St Eutrope hill, a former Roman look-out, is the perfect place.
Or, why not discover the Cathedral of Our Lady of Nazareth, a 13th century catholic church embellished in the 19th century with stained glass windows and frescoes.
On our return, we call at a wine co-operative, where you will be able to sample some of the region’s wines, and perhaps purchase your favourites to bring home.Included meals : Breakfast
We leave Avignon behind this morning as begin our journey northwards.
During the day we stop in the beautiful town of Vienne. Built around the Rhône river, you will have time at leisure to explore the narrow streets and discover the ancient monuments, many of which are still very well preserved today.
We continue to Reims for an overnight stay.Included meals : Breakfast