Explore More Autumn Tour
Provence Autumn Tour
Discover Provence in Style.
This Autumn Tour in Provence offers you a pleasant balance of exploring off-the-beaten-path, wandering in the most beautiful villages of Provence, indulging in the local cuisine and taking time to soak it all in.
Discover the bespoke VIP small group tour (6 max)
September 10th – 17th, 2018: 7 nights / 8 days
Your tour starts at the Avignon TGV station where you will be picked up in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan at 2 pm. What’s a better start to a perfect tour in Provence than time to taste wine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape? This renowned wine region will be your first tasting experience on the tour, accompanied with historical anecdotes of how the Popes in the 14th century developed the winemaking tradition and recognition.
After your free time to explore the charming village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape at your leisure, you will be transferred to your elegant B&B in the countryside of High Provence – a region around the base of the Mont Ventoux known for its wine, fruit trees, truffles, authentic villages, and cycling.
You may want to enjoy a peaceful early evening walk among the vines and apricot trees before the champagne cocktail followed by a gourmet dinner outside by the fountain.
Today is your chance to discover and explore one of the best markets in Provence in Vaison-la-Romaine. Choose to roam on your own or follow your guides who will be picking up the best picnic products for your vineyard picnic.
Once the picnic basket is full and you have had time to do your market shopping, we will drive a short distance to a vineyard with a view of the valley below. This family-run vineyard in the AOC Séguret (after the name of the village nearby) will greet you with a tasting of their white, rosé and red wines followed by a comfortable place for your oh so Provencal picnic.
After basking in paradise, you will discover the first village on the tour rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France – Seguret. Between the historical anecdotes of this village being a safe place during troubled times and the amazing picture postcard shots you can get with your camera, you will feel utterly enchanted.
You’ll have time at the B&B in the early evening to relax by the pool or in the quietness of the vineyards before our dinner outing at a local restaurant with fine cuisine and Provencal antique décor.
En route you will see one of Provence’s Renaissance castles in Le Barroux, and another village classed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, Venasque. It’s never good to move too fast in these charming villages so lunch next to a mascaron fountain will be our resting spot.
You will have free time after your guided tour to boutique shop and maybe indulge in ice-cream cone or a glass of rosé.
The beauty of the day doesn’t stop with Gordes. Arrival at your 4-star hotel in the center of the little Venise of Provence -L’Isle sur la Sorgue known for its canal-lined streets and antique villages. The charm of the hotel and town will have you oohing and aahing and you have it all at your fingertips to explore as you want during your leisure time.
This evening you will enjoy a gastro bistro dinner in the hear of the town.
Imagine driving through Provencal villages and vineyard-lined country roads in a restored Citroen 2CV! Along the way, you’ll have many opportunities to take pictures of the breathtaking scenery and also tour the villages by foot.
Roussillon, Joucas, Goult, Bonnieux and Lacoste all have their unique charm and they are just waiting for you to arrive in your 2CV – your guides will do the driving 🙂
Back in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, you will have free time to explore the antique shops and sip rosé next to the beautiful Sorgue river. Dinner will be on your own this evening. You may want to have Provencal Tapas at the local wine bar or try another one of the town’s famed restaurants – the choice is yours (dinner not included in tour package price)
Today you’ll need light hiking shoes or good trainers for an alpine walk in the Alpilles. This mountain range, with a name meaning “the small Alps”, runs 30 km in length and has been a protected regional park for the last decade.
These hills are dotted with vineyards, olive groves, Roman ruins and chic villages. After discovering the village Saint Remy, the Roman ruins and Van Gogh’s Asylum (where he was treated after living in Arles), you will follow one of your guides on a moderate hike through the Mediterranean pines and herbs of Provence.
Your Provencal picnic will be waiting for you on the other side in a secluded spot with a view. Should you not want to hike, you can opt to arrive at the picnic spot in the van.
In the afternoon, the Medival village of Les Baux de Provence will be brought to life as your guide explains the turbulent history that has marked the village on the rocky crest.
Back at the B&B, you’ll have some downtime to freshen up before dinner in L’Isle sur la Sorgue.
It’s time for you to experience the lively urban setting in Provence. However, just before this change of atmosphere, a skill-testing surprise awaits you in the beautiful village of Lourmarin. Below the castle, you will be met by a local Provencal Pétanque player who will serve us drinks, lunch and teach us the legendary game of Pétanque.
Time to leave your new Provencal pastime for your transfer to your luxurious 5-star accommodations in the elegant and lively city of Aix-en-Provence.
Your Provencal city experience will begin with a guided tour revealing the historical, cultural and artistic events over the different time eras. The Romans, the counts, the kings, the artists, and the saints have all contributed to the astounding and fascinating history of Aix.
The evening is yours to spend as you want. It might be some boutique shopping, a massage at the hotel, or a romantic dinner for two at one of Aix’s gastronomic restaurants. (Note: This is the only dinner on your own in the itinerary).
The blue Mediterranean awaits you for a day at the seaside in Cassis. This town is just a few minutes away from the second largest city in France (Marseille), but it is a world apart. There is an adorable port, tempting boutiques and the tallest sea cliffs in France.
You can stroll the port, the narrow streets, and even the beach. Then, sit down for your fresh seafood lunch served with local AOC Cassis white wine.
Then, just as you thought your tour was coming to an end, embark on your private boat to discover the turquoise waters and giant limestone creeks known as Les Calanques. Should an Indian summer be present, put on the snorkeling gear for one more experience you’ll never forget.
Your tour ends in the morning which means this evening is the farewell dinner served at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant. Enjoy a relaxing evening at your luxury hotel for those last treasured memories of letting time stand still for while.
Explore More Autumn Tour Highlights
- Cultural and historical discoveries with inside knowledge from your two local guides
- Two guides making logistics and adaptability easier for the group.
- A perfect flow and mix of guided experiences and free-time for you to explore or unwind
- An itinerary that ensures maximum time exploring with minimal time in the van driving (no backtracking).
- The optimal season for exploring with both autumn and summer in the air
- Exploring one of Provence’s best markets – Vaison-la-Romaine
- It’s wine harvest time and you will surely see the vineyards filled with action (our apologies in advance if we get in a tractor traffic jam)
- Play the Provencal game of Petanque at the foot of the Lourmarin castle – with the real Provencal experts! You may win the prize for best player…
- A private boat rented just for you taking you to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean (snorkeling gear is provided should you decide to explore underwater)
- A picnic in a vineyard, wine tasting, and an ancient cellar tour – your horizons around the world of fine wine will make your « wine friends » back home a little envious
- Be transported back in time when the classic 2CV old-fashioned car picks you up at your B&B and tours you through the hilltop villages of the Luberon
Carolyne and Emily have both adopted Provence as a second home and spend their time researching the best spots and letting others know about them.
One of the luxuries on this tour is having two local guides to ensure the flow of the itinerary, the logistics, and complete flexibility. You will have more of the feeling of being on a private tour than on a group tour.
Read more about Carolyne on her blog: Perfectly Provence
Read more about Emily here
Your Provence Tour price includes some of Provence’s best accommodations, gourmet meals, and unique experiences.
- Accommodation for 7 nights – locations chosen for their charm and amenities (2 nights near Vaison-la-Romaine, 3 nights in Isle sur la Sorgue, and 2 nights in Aix-en-Provence)
- Transfer pick-up: Avignon TGV train station 2 pm on Monday the 10th (Pick-up at Marseille airport can be arranged at a supplemental fee)
- Transfer drop-off: Aix-en-Provence TGV train station or Marseille airport (Avignon TGV train drop-off can be arranged in the afternoon on last day of tour at no extra cost)
- All breakfast and all lunches included in tour package price
- 5 dinners (2 dinners are not included – your free time in Aix and L’Isle sur la Sorgue to explore a restaurant of your choice)
- Champagne cocktail upon arrival at first B&B
- Complimentary glass of regional wine at each meal
- Cost for all activities listed on itinerary
- Train Tickets
- Additional beverages
- Personal shopping
Book Your Tour
September 10th – 17th, 2018: 7 nights / 8 days
From only $3,750 per person based on double occupancy
($650 single room supplement)
$300 deposit to secure your place on the tour
Step 1: To register, email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability and ask any questions you may have. A Skype/FaceTime chat can also be set up.
Step 2: Your $300 deposit reserves your spot on the tour. (non-refundable, but transferable to another tour within a 1-year timeframe) You may pay using PayPal (secure online method and no need for PayPal account) or send a check (US accounts).
Address for making payments by US bank check:
Your Private Provence, LLC
2450 Taylor Road
Central Point, Oregon 97502
Step 3: Make final payment 30 days before day 1 of the tour.
Just 3 steps to join this bespoke tour through the best of Provence.
Travel & General Information
Group pick-up will be at the Avignon TGV train station at 2 pm. This meeting point makes it easy for people traveling down from Paris on the TGV (fast train from Paris to Avignon is 2 hours and 40 minutes).
Possibility for pick-up at Marseille airport is also available (not included in tour price).
It’s recommended to arrive in France the day before the tour starts to allow time for any jet lag and perhaps any bags that didn’t come in on your flight.
Airline tickets are not included. You may either fly into Paris (CDG) to take the TGV down to Avignon or you may fly into Marseille (MRS) and taxi to Avignon (1hr drive). If you have further questions on logistics please don’t hesitate to ask Emily.
Group transportation will be in an 8-passenger van. It is necessary to pack lightly (one medium-sized suitcase and one carry-on per person).
Group drop-off will be at the Aix-en-Provence TGV train station and/or Marseille airport after breakfast on the last day of the tour (if you need to be dropped off at Avignon TGV, this can be arranged in the afternoon at no extra cost).
Travel insurance is recommended to cover any unforeseen circumstances that cause you to cancel (illness, injury, death, etc.) Remember that travel insurance must be purchased immediately after purchasing your airline tickets or making your deposit for the retreat (whichever you do first).
Travel insurance companies you may want to check out:
AAA travel insurance