We recently returned from France and wish to leave a few comments on our experience.
At the top of my bucket list is a visit to Provence France. My husband and I are not world travelers and were somewhat hesitant about this trip, we were anxious about almost everything, the language, the travel and the fact that we were in a foreign country. Despite all these concerns we bite the bullet and decided to go for it. We booked a package with My Private Provence.
Much to our surprise and delight, the experience could not have been better. We experienced Provence as if we were locals and had been living there all our lives. This experience will stay with us forever. Never have we been able to enjoy a vacation as we have on this visit.
We were very happy to see so much of Provence and sample the food and its people.
Our tour group was only made up of seven people. Such a small group allowed us to fit right in with our visits to the many villages. A small group is great, but none of this could have occurred without our tour guide, Emily.
Emily was born in the US and has been living in Provence for 22 years. She helped us with all aspects of our visit. She knows the places of interest and knows the best times to visit these places. She speaks French fluently, so we had no problem with communications.
I highly recommend using Your Private Provence if you are contemplating a visit to this area.
Thank you, Emily, we hope to see you again.
Thank you so much for a wonderful week. It was everything I had hoped for and more
Your Private Provence is our trip of a lifetime. Emily is truly the Queen of Provence, and she planned our lavender tour with 100% awesomeness, and 0% fluff. Sure, other guides can take you to the sites and drop vapid and empty descriptions of various sites and monuments, like reading off a script, but how many people can truly make the stories come alive because they literally live there. Do yourself a favor, perish all thoughts about going with another tour guide, Emily and Your Private Provence is the only way to go.
Elaine & Wei, New York
There are those who are capable of fulfilling dreams. You are one of them. Thank you.
Michael & Dolly, Michigan
in Provence, 2018
The experience went so smoothly in the amazing hands of Emily. She offered several options from vendors for the ceremony, restaurant choices, lodging, and tours throughout the Provence region. She thought of details for the wedding and the tours that would not have even crossed my mind! She was always in touch and responded promptly.
She took into consideration my family’s little quirks and nuances and was really able to develop a unique one of a kind experience for us. She is so sweet, knowledgeable about the area and its history, and really passionate about what she does. I would highly recommend her for touring and especially for helping you make your dream elopement or small destination wedding come true!
Chris & Toni – Florida
Thank you, Emily, for all your help in arranging my trip and transporting me before and after the tour. Also, the tour was so special. I enjoyed it all. You are a great guide to all the special things, places, foods, and experiences in this area of Provence.
Diane Logon, Florida
Our group consisted of six women and one very brave gentleman with of a wide range of ages, backgrounds, personalities, and abilities. We toured the historic Chateauneuf Du Pape. We visited a Winery, Alain Jaume & Fils, sampled several different wines to include one of the Chateauneuf Du Pape wines and had a full course meal (which was unexpected)… So much delicious food. Toured Le Chateau du Bois, Lavender oil is processed, where I bought a bottle of essential oil for the first time in my life. But the highlight of my trip, the chef! Giuseppina, a beautiful soul from the time we stepped into her home, welcoming and bright. Never did I expect such hospitality! And the food was AMAZING.
There are so many things I can say about this trip, the people, the history, and the food… it can go on forever! Emily is the ever patient tour guide, always offered us wine and food, the best friend you could take anywhere and never feel left out. I feel we will book again, next time I would bring my daughter along.
Sarah Murphy, Washington
June 2018 – 3-day tour
Before we arrived, she had designed a lovely tour of Provence villages just for us. Attentive to our interests and needs, she crafted an adventure that was a highlight of a trip to France and Italy.
In several days, she introduced us to the history of these hill towns, the beauty of the rural landscape, and the feel of markets, twisty streets, churches, and Van Gogh’s world. Though we saw a good deal, she also made time for little matters, too, browsing a field of poppies, sipping a cup of coffee during an unexpected downpour, and sitting on a wall to sketch and feel the spirit of a place.
Best of all, she was congenial, thoughtful, open, and just good to be with, adding such a human touch to our little stay in Provence. We loved it! (There was NO way we could have rented a car, navigated our way around – especially with parking – found a hotel and restaurants, and enjoyed ourselves as much without her.) We missed her company when we got on a train in Avignon to continue our journey.
Mary and David Hummon
June 2018 – 3-day tour
As a return visitor, I reached out to Emily to see some of the hidden treasures I was on unable to see during my first visit. She asked me what I enjoyed, what I wanted to see most, and how I’d like to spend my time. From there, she tailored an itinerary specific to me.
She was able to encompass all I requested and made excellent suggestions! I had an incredible time exploring Aix, Marseille, Luberon and the Camargue region. I learned fun facts about the region, tasted native delicacies and when I made a special, yet at times unique request, Emily obliged. She’s flexible and easy to be around. Incredibly accommodating and well versed in the culture of the villages that make up the region. Months later, I remain well pleased. Thanks, Emily!!
Myra Jackson, Illinois
June 2018 – 3-day tour
We had a wonderful time exploring Provence with Emily as our guide! With her intimate knowledge of the region, Emily was able to weave into the itinerary places of interest for which we had made special requests, and was able to suggest good alternatives when necessary.
Emily’s deep knowledge of Provence came through best as she led us through several little villages — the little nuggets of information she shared along the way certainly helped us appreciate much better the history of the places we visited. Friendly, open, and very helpful, Emily makes an excellent private tour guide.
Lacretia & Melissa, Singapore
May 2018 – 7-day tour
What wonderful memories were made with four high school friends in Provence, thanks to our guide extraordinaire, Emily!
Fran, Pat, Linda & Georgia – USA
May 2018 – 4-day tour
After an amazing experience as a solo traveler on Your Private Provence’s Group Lavender Tour, ten months later I booked a private tour for my husband and me to see the poppies. Emily is warm, knowledgeable and flexible. We always felt safe and comfortable. Her recommendations for accommodations and restaurants were perfect. The itinerary on this second trip was completely different than the first trip…markets, hikes, wineries, picnics in fields of wildflowers, everything we asked for and more.
Leslie & Joe, Maryland
May 2018 – 3-day tour
The moment you returned my inquiry, your response was swift, professional and warm, a cut above and refreshingly reliable!
You provided us with a jeweled itinerary, nuggets of different rich landscapes, the unknown history which made the “ to do” landmarks interesting and fun. The hiking to discover the history, the flora, was an absolute highlight, cycling along the canal, your organizing of epicurean dinners. Not to mention the accommodation you recommended, an insight into Provence villages and lifestyle. You accomplished this quietly and attended to our needs even before we knew what we needed.
You will most certainly hear from us again…. of course, all the laughs and fun still keep us going.
You gave us a gift to treasure!
Bev & Nat – Sydney & London
Quality plus! – Emily is very comfortable to be with, is very knowledgeable and is totally accommodating.
– Her a Mercedes is very comfortable and adds to the pleasure.
– Provence is special and we can’t imagine anyone doing a better job of presenting it.
Ken & Sue Poorman
Portland, Oregon USA
As we contemplated our first visit to Provence to identify a village that we might return to for an extended stay, we wanted to slow travel through several small villages with nearby vineyards.
Prior to our trip, Emily created a customized itinerary to best meet our interests and needs. To start our week together, Emily met us at the train station and then proceeded to comfortably drive us through the 2-lane backroads of Provence helping us to discover the magical villages of Provence, the crafts, and the wonderful food and wine. Emily also made delightful and comfortable housing arrangements in a small inn over a renown restaurant and in a chateau.
Through her US network of friends, Emily provided us with a glimpse into the expatriate lifestyle in Provence and helped us think through the optimal expatriate experience. The ease of having your very own guide, driver, concierge, historian, interpreter, photographer, and medical emergency handler was invaluable. And, by the time we left Provence, we felt as though Emily was a member of our family!
Ken & Mary Beth Chalk, Texas
Thank you so much for all you did to make our trip to Provence EXTRA special! Rosamond, the Babbs, the Murfees, and the Youngs all had a grand time and loved our whirlwind tour of the Provence area. It was a special treat to have a guide who knew the area so well, as well as someone we could understand! We felt like we were with an old friend!
The gang – Arkansas and Dallas area
Two Day – September Tour 2017
Thank you so much, Emily, for two wonderful days exploring the Luberon region and Cassis. You were a wealth of information, and we learned so much from you. Our picnic outside of Gordes was delightful! We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect guide. We highly recommend you to anyone seeking an authentic cultural experience when in Provence.
Jayne & Steve Pettler Prince George,Virginia
From the moment we met, Emily made us feel at home in Provence! Her careful selection of wine tastings and restaurants were exactly what we were looking for. Thank you, Emily, for making our 10-year anniversary trip exactly what we wanted it to be.
Michael & Lauren, San Diego, CA
Janine Martin, Australia
Group Lavender Tour, July 2017
Thank you for everything, it was an amazing week. The B&B was perfect as well as the whole itinerary. It will definitely be among my most favorite trips of all time.
Emily is a kind spirit with a gift for bringing people into an authentic Provencal experience. Her planning, organization, and itinerary were perfect and she was flexible when we needed some personal time to wind down or even take a nap and recharge. Her attention to detail is impeccable and her desire to bring joy to others is a beautiful quality. This tour exceeded all expectations; from delicious meals to the magical lavender. This trip should be on everyone’s life list!
Michelle Ottey, Pennsylvania
Thanks very much for a very enjoyable and memorable tour of Provence. You did a great job showing us around, teaching us about the local culture and history and, of course, lavender. Continued success with your business.
Giselle Bowie, California
Family Reunion Lavender Tour, June 2017
I spent time on Google and found Emily’s Lavender Tours. Not wanting to drive this time around, Emily seemed to be the perfect solution. I wanted to spend some time in Sault, the lavender capital of Provence, as well as showing my family all Provence has to offer since most had never been there: Roman ruins, beautiful hill towns and incredible scenery, markets and lovely villages, castles and flowing rivers. Once our dates worked out with Emily and she got to know my preferences, we spent lots of email time working out an itinerary to make the best plan for the day without spending too much time in the car. Emily’s suggestions for places to visit were perfect and all her lunch and dinner suggestions were right on. I highly recommend Emily for your Provencal travels!
Harriet Ripinsky, Mount Pleasant, SC
Dear Emily, Our amazing tour with you will be remembered fondly for years to come. Your enthusiasm for the countryside where you live was pure joy. The beauty we saw in Provence was almost indescribable. Provence is rich in color, fragrance, mystery, and steeped in history. The delectable food & wine of the region were simply extraordinary. Cheers to the folks who are fortunate enough to spend time with you!
Emily was a great guide and I highly recommend her services for your next trip to Provence! She met our group at the train station with a vehicle large enough to comfortably accommodate all six of us and our bags. Then our four-day adventure began with Emily at the wheel (navigating extremely well through even the smallest of hilltop towns). She easily commented on each of the beautiful towns we drove through and answered all our questions in fun and interesting ways. She’s such a sweetheart and we all had a great time with her!
Sirena Rubinoff, Jerusalem, Israel
Our extended family gathered in Provence during the lavender blooming season to enjoy the beauty of the local towns and countryside, as well as to say good bye to our sister, cousin, and friend, Linda Ripinsky.
Emily was extremely knowledgeable about the area and was very helpful and accommodating to the needs of our diverse group. Her Dining recommendations were superb!!
We all enjoyed our stay, thanks so much to her planning and care.
Dr. Sue Rubinoff, Hohokus, New Jersey
Emily led me on a week long tour of the Luberon, her home, in Provence. Based upon my interests and ideas and her local knowledge, Emily created the itinerary for our week. Each day was crafted as a logical driving loop to explore a portion of this magical place. Emily’s expertise allowed me to experience what I was seeing as a “temporary local”. I would never have gained such an in-depth understanding as a tourist on my own. And I would never have seen as much each day if not for her expert driving!
The language was no problem as she is originally from the west coast of the USA. Emily delivers the full package: logical itinerary, scenic countryside, friendly interactions with local people, discovery around every corner, and fun! Bon Voyage!
Sheila Martinson, Washington – May 2017: Week-long Tour in Provence
Emily was our favorite guide during our 2 weeks in France. She was so personable, taking us to favorite places and making Provence come alive. We loved our vineyard picnic, our tour in Arles, wine tastings, lunch at La Madison de la Truffe, and visits to local villages and markets.
Wonderful memories for my daughter and I thanks to her special care!
Marcia & Terri Hannig, Colorado – May 2017: 3- Day Tour in Provence
Emily, thank you for giving us a wonderful day touring poppy fields. Over the years, I have admired paintings of fields of poppy flowers and you made my dream come true. It was a picture perfect day. Thank you for finding my fields of dreams!
Mary Adam, Michigan – May 2017 Day Tour in the Luberon
For my first time in Provence I decided to hire a guide. It’s not something I normally do but I didn’t want to be bothered with driving and trying to find my way on my own. I didn’t want to waste precious time because I had so little there.
We had several conversations via email in advance of my visit about what my interests are and what I wanted to get out of my time with her. Emily showed me some wonderful places for photos and a little off the beaten path Abbey that was a lovely way to end the day. That was after she wore my butt out hiking to the top of the hill in Lacoste where the ruins of the chateau of the Marquis du Sade watch over the village below.
Our day was partly planned and partly improvised which was perfect for me. I think next time I’d like to tag along on one of her lavender tours for a fun, fresh and energetic view of Provence. Emily was the perfect guide.
Penny Sadler, Texas – September 2016 Day Tour in the Luberon
Words cannot express our gratitude for everything that you did for us. Thank you so much for going above and beyond not just for our tour, but also our elopement! We’re touched and grateful for your attention to detail, flexibility and patience. The tour was hands down, one of the best experiences ever and we’re so thrilled we got do do it with you. Last but not least, thank you for being our officiant and “marrying” us. The entire trip is something we’ll cherish forever.
Love Liz & Marlon (Photography Tour plus Elopement, June 2016)
You are the sweetest and we enjoyed getting to know you. You are also a trooper – spending a week with a rowdy group like ours must not have been an easy task:). You did it, girl!
In addition to the email from Tatiana, I want to thank you for your kindness and sweetness and patience in making our honeymoon so very special. You are a sheer delight.
Tireless, warm, funny, delightful, lovely….I will run out of juice on my IPhone before I run out of adjectives to describe you. We really enjoyed your company and we thank you for all your efforts.
Ditto. I especially enjoyed our “girl” time when all the ladies rode with you
It was a pleasure to meet you too! We enjoyed hearing your wonderful stories about your family too! Maybe our paths will cross again.
September 2016 Rhone Wine Tour
Dear Emily What a wonderful trip, a tour of Provence , including markets, a picnic in a lavender field , a wonderful seafood restaurant in Cassis, and so much more. Emily is an efficient ,organized driver and guide and is fun to be with. She approached our tour with great enthusiasm and wonderful suggestions. Merci Beaucoup!
Chris & Linda – September 2016 Private Tour
When I look back I do not necessarily think of the specific towns we visited as much as the special experiences and moments we had during truffle hunting, making chocolates, taking pictures in the middle of that beautiful flower field, and our hikes, walks and conversations. Thank you for arranging all this for us because they are certainly the experiences that made our trip so special.
Most importantly, what I cherish is that you never made us feel like we are with a private tour guide. Your graceful friendly personality made us feel like we were with a friend – remember Wajd running to you in the morning when she sees you and asking all these questions about your children.
I am looking forward to our next trip.
Hanan & Wadj, May private tour 2016
Emily, thank you for being so accommodating with my challenging itinerary. Thank for being so knowledgeable and adding a layer of history and local insight that no guidebook could deliver. And finally, thank you for being so warm and engaging. It really felt like I was travelling with a dear friend. I could never have imagined it could be so good.
Jane from Australia – May 2016 Private Garden Tour
Emily set-up an incredible getaway! We chose France for our honeymoon (I’ve been dreaming about Provence for years.) and my husband stumbled upon Emily’s website. Wow, we are so happy we found her. After a Skype chat, we knew we made the right decision in going with You Private Provence.
She was flexible, sweet, knowledgeable, and accommodating from the very start. In the beginning, we filled out a form so she could determine what kind of experience we were looking for: museum/history heavy, food/wine, complete relaxation, etc. We realized we wanted a bit of everything (relaxation, sight-seeing, hiking, biking) with a major focus on food and wine of the region. We were thrilled with the way she designed it. She truly personalized the trip to be what we needed and wanted. She seemed to instinctively know exactly what we wanted. There were no moments of anxiety or disappointment, only beautiful memories! Thank you, Emily! We are already planning on coming back!
Honeymoon in Provence Tour, April 2015, Josh and Shawna Penzell, Brooklyn, NY
Emily created an outstanding itinerary, with just the right combination of interesting activities balanced with time for relaxation. The accommodations were quite unique and very comfortable. Private Provence allowed me to experience the region in a way I would never have been able to arrange on my own. Because of her local connections, Emily was able to arrange intimate meals and outings with local residents that will remain some of my fondest memories. Emily is the consummate professional and is committed to providing a high quality experience to her clients. She is also a delightful person to spend time with while touring beautiful Provence.
March 2015, Energize Provence Retreat, Laurie Fried, San Fransisco
We spent a wonderful day with Emily as our guide touring the “Hill towns of the Luberon”. Our time with Emily was like spending a day with a family friend who gave us a personal tour of her adopted home. If you want an intimate and memorable time in Provence, we recommend Emily and Your Private Provence.
October 2014, Larry and Kathy Huhn, Oregon
Thank you for making our recent visit to Provence a delight. Your attentive and engaging personality made it so enjoyable, and you were incredibly gracious. The Melon and Truffle Experience day was a favorite; your culinary talents exceeded any expectation we had. Thank you for the special melon macarons, too. What a treat!
We were impressed with the history and anecdotes you shared with us at every place we visited; you made these places we’d only read about much more real, and alive. And thank you for insisting that I see Gordes … you were right, it is a “must see” of Provence.
Your punctuality and sense of humor only added to our appreciation of you. We all wish you the very best with Your Private Provence – I know that the service you provide visitors to Provence will make their trips just as memorable as it made ours.
June 2014, Davielle and Mark Huffman, California
Thank you Emily! I have to say this was one of the highlights of our stay in Provence. I will always remember that day and it was made possible because of your connections. Otherwise we would not have experienced that glorious day. It was such a “provencal” thing to do!!
June 2014, Doris and Vanessa Cotric, Montreal
Emily’s Private Provence will transport you to captivating villages filled with fascinating history and charm, to a culture that is rich with heritage, and to a land where you will feel warmth and beauty. Emily will ensure all your needs are met and her attention to detail will ensure you have a trip that will create memories to last a lifetime.
The customization of our trip was tailored to meet our specific areas of interest and the opportunities for exploring areas off the beaten path made everything even more memorable, not to mention the incredible cuisine and local wine tasting we never would have discovered if it hadn’t been for Emily’s Private Provence.
At the end we were wishing the week had just begun so we could start everything all over again! Emily’s Private Provence will not disappoint and she will work hard to ensure lasting memories are made.
April 2013, Craig & Stacy Maxwell, Medford, Oregon
This summer my wife and I had the pleasure of being introduced to Provence by Emily Durand. It was truly amazing. Emily’s attentiveness and insights to the history and culture made Provence our favorite portion of a four-week eight-country trip. We had the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation taking in the ruggedly beautiful terrain and sampling the best food I have ever had.
Thank you Emily we look forward to our next trip to Southern France with Your Private Provence.
June 2013, Peter & Amanda Voorhees, Mount Vernon, Washington