April Artist Tour 2022
“Emily worked with me to create a personalized one-week itinerary that went beyond our expectations. She handled all aspects of our trip with a professional , low-key manner. The hotels were outstanding and dining was authentic. The luxury vehicle was very comfortable to travel in as well. Knowing we were a group of artist, she allowed time to see artistic points of interest. We plan on returning and will work with Emily again.”
“Emily was an amazing guide and hostess. Her knowledge of the history and culture of the region was phenomenal! Our accommodations and food experiences were unrivaled. There is nothing I would have changed, we were able to tour and relax, not an easy achievement. This was a trip of a lifetime and she helped to make it the best it could be. I definitely would book another tour with her.”
“Starting with our first day with Emily, she was a godsend, don de Dieu! We were stranded at the train station in Carcassone, due to a train strike, and the overloaded trains. Emily found an amiable driver with a 9 passenger van, who took us to Nimes, where Emily met us. From then on, we knew we were in good hands.
Every detail of our trip was handled so beautifully, our accommodations, our dining, our tours of the ancient cities and villages. And our wonderful cooking class in Uzès. I cannot wait to return to beautiful Provence.”
Wine Tour, September 2021
“What a beautiful day with Emily and Your Private Provence wine tour. Having been to the region before, two friends and I were interested in a deeper dive into what made this region so well suited for wine. She really listened to our interests and designed a really fun, insightful and rich day. We honestly expected a driver to just drop us off at several wineries and got so much more. Loved the cultural and geological history, the insights of a local to life in Provence, and a diverse sampling of the region’s best varietals. As someone who creates custom travel workshops, I look forward to working with Emily again! She can customize a variety of tour experiences from one day to a full weeklong adventure. Highly recommend, can’t wait to go back!”
Kirah Van Sickle, Colorado
July Lavender Tour 2021
“A traveler is always faced with this secret dilemma…..once you have experienced the perfect tour, in the perfect place, arranged by the perfect host, do you tell the world or do you try and keep it a secret just a while longer?
Such is my dilemma having just returned from that ‘perfect’ week in Provence. I have decided to be magnanimous and share. After all, the world needs as much ‘perfect’ as it can find right now.
Emily’s Private Provence could just as easily be named Emily’s Perfect Provence. Delight in her itineraries, pour over the possibilities and once you commit to the trip know that you will not be disappointed. The food, the pace, the accommodations, the history, the little surprises, the attention to details, the sights and sounds and most enjoyably, the people of Provence, will all be there for you to enjoy. You will have not just visited a place for a week, you will have lived it and that is a next level experience. I’m confident, you will return home contemplating the same dilemma… ‘share or not to share’?”
Peggy Devoy, Illinois
“Emily, I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful tour last week. It was far and away above my expectations and I had no doubt it would be wonderful!
Every small special detail just added to the overall experience. Your fun personality as our tour guide, the amazing meals in such unique locations, the unbelievable beauty of Provence, and the superior lodging all added up to a trip of a lifetime. I will certainly treasure our time together.”
Joan Aaron, Illinois
“In 2019, my parents toured Provence with Emily and could not stop raving about the vacation. Before the tour was even over, my mom secured our spots for the next year. This is a true testament at just how memorable and magical a week with Emily in Provence is. While COVID delayed the trip and plans changed, I am so happy I was finally able to travel to Provence during lavender season!
Experiencing Provence with Emily is unlike anything else because of all her unique local touches and wealth of knowledge. Eating a gourmet meal in the most beautifully decorated house in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is just one example of an incredible experience that would not have been possible without Emily! Each meal was better than the last and the BnB was spectacular. I already can’t wait to return to that little slice of heaven but until then I will look through all of the amazing photos from our trip.”
Noelle Nazha, Texas
July Lavender & Photography Tour 2021
“I have recently returned from the Provence Lavender Photography Tour with Emily Durand of Your Private Provence and Raina Stinson of Raina Stinson Photography. I highly recommend this tour! Simply put, Emily and Raina guided our small group on a remarkable journey of discovery. We visited lavender fields, explored medieval villages, gazed at the moon and stars. We feasted on fresh produce and French bread from the village markets as well as gourmet fare at restaurants with breathtaking views.
We drank in the perfume of the lavender and the Spanish broom. We foraged for herbs and flowers on the steep hillsides of the stunning medieval village of Brantes to make a delectable lunch that we savored on a terrace built into the rocky slope overlooking spectacular Mont Ventoux. We reveled in the stimulating conversation spurred by the incredible kinship we developed with fellow travelers–new-found friends.
And in every part of our amazing adventure, under Raina’s expert tutelage, we experimented with different ways to document in photographs the story of our journey. On reflection, I am reminded of a quote from Marcel Proust: ‘The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.’
Merci beaucoup to Emily and Raina for giving me the opportunity to see with new eyes!”
Anne Newtown, Houston, Texas
“I just returned from a small-group tour organized and hosted by Emily Durand of Your Private Provence and Raina Stinson of Raina Stinson Photography.
I’ve traveled to France often and this is, by far, the best guided experience I have ever had there The focus of this tour was lavender in bloom and photography, but I’m very confident that touring with Emily in Provence would be EXCEPTIONAL no matter what the focus were. Here are some highlights of the experience:
- All logistics, accommodations and meals were handled by Emily, from arrival to departure. That’s a real treat! Nothing to worry about!
- Beautiful, charming b&b that felt very private, had perfect owner/hosts, lovely breakfasts and great views.
- FANTASTIC choices by Emily of restaurants (and a chef’s private home) for our lunches and dinners, exposing us to the cuisine of different villages in the area, some restaurants with breathtaking mountain landscape views from our table! Each meal was unique and highlighted local, in-season elements, and EVERY menu selection exceeded my expectations.
- Unique, local daily experiences, including a mountain-top astronomical Observatory trip, foraging in a quaint village for fresh herbs, veggies, fruits and flowers for a private, Chef-prepared lunch in the chef’s home, a private tour of a lavender farm and distillery, and much more!
- Extraordinary photo-taking venues on our schedule every day, with continuous hands-on guidance from Raina about looking for great shots, framing shots, setting our cameras and iphones (yes, iphones!) for the best shots and then using editing apps to maximize the impact of our photos. My confidence in my ability to take exceptional photos has grown exponentially!
Many thanks to Emily and Raina! I wouldn’t dream of returning to Provence without first connecting with them.”
Carol Abbott, Atlanta
10-Day Road Trip through all of Provence, 2021 – Hiking tour everyday!
“Our guided trip with Emily was different from the typical tour of Provence. We wanted the trip to mostly involve hiking, but still give us an opportunity to spend some time in small villages. Each day we hiked somewhere and in the evening we were on our own to explore the various towns we stayed in. Provence is a wonderful place to hike. In the north it looks similar to Colorado with exceptional scenery. Emily appeared to know every trail. We avoided the ‘tourist’ areas, usually hiking without seeing another hiker. For example, we did not visit Pont du Gard through the visitor center. We intersected the aqueduct some distance from the river, following the ruins through a tunnel, past the quarry where the rock was removed and then arrived at the river and spectacular view of Pont du Gard. Then we had a picnic lunch under an ancient olive tree.
We were delighted the wild flowers were still abundant in mid June. And we enjoyed the wonderful people we met wandering about towns in the evenings, including someone that rang the cathedral bells in a town where we stayed. Speaking of bells, we learned that a cathedral bell that had been cast the day before was to be taken from the mold and rung for the first time. As a demonstration of the flexibility of an Emily guided vacation, she took us to the event and it was grand.
Emily worked tirelessly to customize our time in Provence to suit our interests. All the stressful things we find about traveling she took care of. It was great. Emily is great. Take a trip with her. It will be a success if you tell her the kind of Provence experience you are looking for.”
Bill & Judy Tindall, Tennessee
4-Day Private Tour, May 2021
“Despite being a frequent traveler, I am not a usual writer of reviews. But this case, deserves one. My wife and myself just spent 5 days in French Provence. This trip was our first to this gorgeous part of France. We were suggested various tour operators. Finally chose the person I will describe for the speed and care she devoted during the pre-engagement phase, very different from the others.
If you are looking to visit the region and wanting a guide that really knows the place and its intense history, is flexible to suit your needs and wishes on the go (in my specific case that included drone flying), is punctual and manages timing without rushing, provides immediate answers during the planning phase and during the tour (early mornings, late evenings, 7 days a week), can drive with utmost care, does great photography to complement yours, and is ‘super sympa’, the person to provide all of the above is Emily Durand, an American expat that has been living in the region for more than 25 years.
Because Emily is all the above (and more), you will miss her when your Provence visit is over (and regret you did not stay more). A final clarification: While American citizens will feel they are taken care by an American member of their family, that is in no way reserved to guests who come from America. We are proud citizens of a European and a South American country, and Emily provided us with that family feeling.”
Cristian & Liliana, Argentine