Explore More Autumn Tour
Explore More Autumn Tour
Experience autumn in Provence.
The Explore More Autumn Tour offers a pleasant balance of explorations and downtime, sampling the seasonal tastes and the contrasting land from mountain to sea with village and city in-between.
Small group tour designed by two local experts
September 10th – 17th, 2018
The Explore More Autumn Tour officially starts at the Avignon TGV station where we will pick-up the group and head out to explore the famous wine region brought to life by the Catholic Popes – Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
After some light touring and wine tasting it’s time to settle into our first Bed & Breakfast, just outside of Vaison-la-Romaine. This 12th-century priory, elegantly styled for comfort and charm, will be our home for 2 nights.
The evening will start with champagne and hors-d’oeuvres followed by a gourmet dinner outside by the fountain.
Today is your chance to discover one of the largest farmer’s markets in the Vaucluse. We will take advantage of freshly harvested produce, local award-winning cheeses and much more as the supplies for our informal picnic in a nearby vineyard.
After lunch, we will explore a tiny, perched village that is rated one of the most beautiful in France. Back at the B&B, relax by the pool or in the quietness of the orchards and vineyards before our dinner reservation at a local restaurant in a cozy Provencal house.
After a relaxed breakfast, we will leave this B&B and head towards the beautiful Luberon Valley, which is famous for views, perched villages, and dry-stone walls. Our driving route will include stops in tiny hilltop villages and a chance to see one of Provence’s natural canyons.
After lunch, we will head to the stunning town of Gordes and learn about its history during a guided tour. There is time for a coffee or a bit of shopping before we drive to a beautifully restored Bastide (manor house) near the town of Isle sur la Sorgue. This B&B is our home for the next three nights. Tonight, we have selected a restaurant that is a local’s favorite for dinner.
You need a camera and sunscreen. We will tour some of the Luberon villages in classic cars.
These restored Citroen 2CVs are the French equivalent of the VW Volkswagen only way more fun. There is plenty of time to relax this afternoon or a chance to sightsee in l’Isle sur la Sorgue a town that is famous for its 250+ antique shops.
Tonight, a local chef will prepare dinner for the group at the B&B.
These hills are dotted with vineyards, olive groves, Roman ruins and chic villages. We will work up an appetite and gain an appreciation for this naturally beautiful setting during a walk to a secluded viewpoint for a picnic lunch.
This afternoon is a chance to explore the village of Les Baux de Provence and the impressive remains of its castle perched on a rocky crest. We return to Isle sur la Sorgue for a pre-dinner stroll to a popular restaurant.
After some laughs and a light lunch, we head to the ancient Roman city of Aix-en-Provence. This bustling university town has long been a magnet for writers and artists, including Émile Zola and Paul Cézanne.
Our accommodation for the next two nights is a luxurious, grand hotel in the heart of Aix. We will take evening ramble through the ancient streets before you choose from any one of 400+ restaurants for dinner tonight. (Note: This is the only dinner on your own).
The Mediterranean coast awaits us 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 some of the tallest cliffs in the country.
After a bit of time in town, we will head out on a private boat excursion to discover the turquoise waters and giant limestone creeks. Should an Indian summer be with us, snorkeling around secluded beaches will surely be a sensational end to your Explore More Tour.
We return to Aix-en-Provence for our final dinner together. Just when you thought your gourmet experiences on this tour couldn’t get any better, you may just count this one as the best!
Explore More Autumn Tour Highlights
- Cultural and historical discoveries with inside knowledge from your two local guides
- A perfect flow and mix of guided experiences and free-time for you to explore or unwind
- 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 been in Provence for many years and discovered each others’ blogs on Provence a few years back. Since then, they have shared their joy for exploring the magic of Provence. From off-the-beaten-path discoveries to new spots for best cuisine and Provencal ambiance, they never lack a new adventure to try together.
A week-long journey encompassing Provencal lifestyle, flavor, ambiance, countryside, and city awaits you. Having two local guides and keeping the tour to 6 participants, ensures flexibility and ultimate immersion into the culture.
Read more about Carolyne on her blog: Perfectly Provence
Read more about Emily here
Your Explore More Autumn 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 Vaison-la-Romaine, 3 nights near Isle sur la Sorgue, and 2 nights in Aix-en-Provence)
- Transfers pick-up: Avignon TGV train station 2 pm on Monday the 10th (Pick-up at Marseille airport can be arranged at a supplemental fee)
- Transfers 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
- 6 dinners (1 dinner is not included – your free time in Aix 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
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: Send your deposit (you will receive an invoice for sending your deposit). A $300 deposit (non-refundable, but transferable) reserves your spot on the tour. You may pay using PayPal (secure online method and no need for PayPal account) or send a check (US accounts). If you desire to have trip insurance, this is the time to inquire.
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.
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
Terms & Conditions
Explore More Autumn Tour Package Price:
September 10th – 17th, 2018: 7 nights / 8 days
$3,750 per person based on double occupancy
$650 single room supplement
$300 deposit to secure spot (non-refundable but transferrable to another YPP tour within a 1-year timeframe)
Price does not include airfare. Credits are not given for services not used nor are uncompleted portions of the itinerary cause for refund.
Your final itinerary will be sent to you before your departure. Changes may occur to provide you with the best possible tour. Uncompleted portions of the itinerary are not cause for refund.
Full payment is due 30 days before day one of retreat. Your final payment invoice will be sent to you 30 days before due date.
Please note that there will be no refunds or discounts for arriving late, leaving early, flight cancellations, travel delays or illness. If you cancel your participation in a tour for any reason, the cancellation policy below will apply, with no exceptions. YPP wishes to compensate people for unforeseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc), but costs already incur when reserving hotels and third parties. To protect yourself further, YPP strongly encourages you to purchase travel insurance.
- If you should cancel, your $300 deposit is not refundable – it can be rolled over to another tour within a 1-year timeframe
- 61+ days – refund of tour price minus the deposit
- 30-60 days – 50% of the remaining tour price
- 0-29 days – no refund
Your Private Provence must receive written notice of said cancellation via mail or email (with confirmation of receipt by YPP (Your Private Provence). Cancellation date is the date such notice is received in writing by YPP.
CANCELLATION BY YOUR PRIVATE PROVENCE
Your Private Provence reserves the right to cancel the tour. In this unlikely event, the entire amount you have paid for the applicable tour will be refunded to you.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY
Your Private Provence accepts no responsibility for your own personal safety or that of your belongings, nor can be held responsible or liable for any injury, loss, damage or delay arising out of or in connection with any act, omission, neglect, accident, error or default. YPP cannot be held responsible for costs or other liabilities associated with any act of terrorism, war, accident, weather or any act of god. By engaging YPP, the client accepts these terms and the noted terms of the program cancellation penalties. It is highly recommended that all participants investigate and purchase travel insurance.
Trip cancellation insurance is necessary to provide refunds should you cancel for reasons such as illness. Additional insurance for baggage, health/accident is also strongly recommended. Get your coverage immediately after making your deposit or buying your air tickets (whichever you do first).
Guest accommodations during a Tour are double, twin or single occupancy, and will include private, fully equipped, en-suite bathrooms. Hotels and villas are selected for their charm, history, and location relative to daily tour activities. In France, a twin room to be shared by two persons is comprised of two single (twin) size beds plus a fully equipped, private, en-suite bathroom. A double room is comprised of either 1 queen or 1 king size bed, plus a fully equipped private, en-suite bathroom. Beds in France are smaller than traditional North American beds. French hotel beds do not include mattress toppers nor are the mattresses memory form.
Guest certifies that he/she does not have any physical condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/her or other travelers. Travelers should be in good physical condition, and be prepared to walk on cobblestone streets, uneven terrain and climb a certain number of steps.
Guest understands that traveling with Your Private Provence may involve risks (and rewards) above and beyond those encountered on a more conventional day tour and that he or she is undertaking a physical tour with inherent dangers.
Guest accepts these risks and obligations and assumes the risks of travel.
Guest releases Your Private Provence from any liabilities connected to these risks to the maximum extent permitted by law.
STATEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES
You acknowledge that Your Private Provence contracts with local companies and individuals to assist in the running of its tours. To the best of Your Private Provence’s knowledge, these third parties are qualified to perform the duties they are contracted to perform. Your Private Provence will not be held liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur due to the behavior of these third parties.
Your Private Provence will not accept responsibility or liability for any traveler who contravenes any law or regulation.