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
8-Day September Group Tour, 2019
“We thoroughly loved your tour! Every day was packed with fun things to see and do and we were also given free time to explore on our own or just relax a little. You did a fantastic job of driving us everywhere, especially through tiny villages and narrow streets. Some of the highlights for us were getting to meet locales, a wonderful boat tour in Cassis, wonderful restaurants, and unique hotels. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Choose Emily as your guide and you won’t be sorry!”
Jim & Nancy, Florida
“From the moment we exchanged greetings we were inspired by your warmth and welcome to France. You allowed us to connect to Southern France thru your resources of friends and long standing business relationships which added greatly to the value of our trip.
But the value did not stop there…. During travel periods you took time to explain thoroughly our next location and adventure. Your knowledge of the countryside, historical sites….and yes, the ‘People’ enhanced each of the areas and villages visited.
We found that with each night’s accommodation we looked forward to the next… Somehow you managed to have selected the most wonderful rooms at the most ‘quaint’ spots. From B&B’s to hotel’s the ambience always peaked our adventure.
Food…meals….NO those aren’t the right words! Time shared around tables were dining experiences! We didn’t eat…we enjoyed and savored both food and conversation under your care. We were greeted and entertained my culinary experiences of the food and flavors of the region…figs, lamb, foie gras, melons, charcuterie, cheeses, and olives…each time the care and tentative attention shared by our hosts was indescribable.
The variety of experiences and opportunities with personal touch each time would not have existed without your thoughtful consideration and planning…from our wine tastings in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Clos-de-Caveau, a day of traveling the countryside in 2CVs (not to forget your Mercedes Van), games of pétanque, and boating the Mediterranean in Cassis…will leave us always want more.
Having traveled abroad many times in the past…this time we left regretfully.”
Candy & Craig, Michigan
2019 Lavender Tour
“If you want the best tour of Provence, choose Emily as your guide. My husband and I enjoyed this years Lavender and Cultural Tour so much that the day before it ended I signed up to bring my 2 daughters next year! As a local Emily knows the history of the towns we visited as well as the best places to explore, eat and shop. She has a nice group of friends – chef Giuseppina cooked a delicious lunch and Raina took beautiful photos of my husband and I in the lavender fields. There were so many highlights – the food, the scenery and the company. We enjoyed our group of 8 so much- a lot of laughing and storytelling.
My husband and I are seasoned travelers so maybe hard to impress but we give Emily every star possible in a rating. Life is short, go to Provence with Emily as your guide.”
Naim & Ellie Nazha, New Jersey
“I had a wonderful time with Emily on my recent trip to Provence. Emily’s planning made the trip so much more enjoyable as there was the right amount of personal time and group travel time. The hotel picked by Emily was also very pretty, convenient, and comfortable.
I was able to go to places and sample eateries that I definitely would not be able to experience if I were going to Provence on my own!”
Vivian Mak, Hong Kong
2019 Lavender Tour
“2019 Lavender Tour This tour exceeded all of my expectations! The small group size made it easy for us to get to know each other and each day was such a treat! Emily shared not only her love and knowledge of her adopted country but afforded us a glimpse into life in Provence. She introduced us to local chefs, farmers, and artisans and each was colorful and engaging and passionate about their chosen profession and excited to share with us. We visited beautiful villages and ate marvelous local foods and laughed…and laughed…and laughed! And then there was the lavender! I can’t think of a better week and I hope that one day I am able to join Emily on another tour.”
Sue Willis, South Carolina
“My first group tour experience could not have been better. Emily was easily likable, the tour was well-organized, informative and well-balanced. The B&B was a highlight as were the dinner locale choices. Emily was also very flexible and accommodated my preferences and needs, giving me the option to participate or take time for myself. I also enjoyed meeting the various people we met along the way. I would absolutely opt to sign up for another tour within YPP.”
Alexa Morales, New Orleans, LA
“I recently visited Provence on a Lavender Tour with Your Private Provence. Emily Durand, the owner of the company, was the tour guide and driver for the small group of seven women. She was absolutely a perfect guide! I have traveled extensively and have had many tour guides over the years, so I can say confidently that Emily is exceptional. Her years living in Provence provide the expertise she needed to introduce us to this enchanting area, and her years growing up as a young woman in Oregon helped us understand the subtleties of French life. She bridges the two cultures with ease. Emily really went out of her way to customize the tour for us. During our tour when she discovered that I was a potter, she arranged for us to visit a female potter’s studio near the B & B. Emily is professional in her job and yet her easy, relaxed manner helped us all feel welcome and comfortable. Her Lavender Tour was the most perfectly designed tour that I have ever experienced. She put much thought into everything, not just the lavender viewing, but the meals and the daily excursions as well. Every day was different and interesting. The charming B & B she chose was perfect also. This was truly the perfect lavender tour with the perfect private guide. Traveling doesn’t get any better than this!!!”
Rose Schutte, Michigan
“I want to thank you for such a wonderful lavender tour. The entire experience was everything that I’d hoped it would be and more. The itinerary was such a good cross-section of Provence. I enjoyed the picnics, especially those in the garden near Simiane and at the lavender growers. You were an excellent guide – knowledgable, flexible, personable, and very organized. The thought and effort you put into the tour was evident, and appreciated! The B&B was fabulous – a real gem.”
Katheryn Russi, Michigan
2-Day Tour June, 2019
“Nick and I had a wonderful two days touring Provence with Emily! She is just EXCEPTIONAL!!! Such a darling personality, a definite understanding of the history and culture of this region and such a nice way about her—she seems more a friend than a tour guide! We plan to stay in touch with Emily because we liked her so much! Emily asked us about our preferences and interests so she could design an itinerary which was customized just for us. We spent the day together touring different villages, had delicious lunches, were given expert historical or cultural backgrounds, and were also taken to shops specializing in treasures to bring home (depending on our interests and desires).
Emily transferred us from our hotel and back in a luxury Mercedes van and was an excellent driver/navigator. Everything was completely organized and the tour was on a relaxed but specific time schedule. Emily is the PERFECT tour guide, and we would definitely use her again and recommend her to friends!”
Nick & Lugene Vincent, Texas