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Provence Autumn Tour

Provence Autumn Tour

Contemplative Photography & Provencal Lifestyle Travel 

Fall Photography Tour

The autumn colors of Provence await you and your lens. 

Experience the true Provençal lifestyle while learning to expand your vision through contemplative slow-travel photography.  The magic of the season, when the vineyards shimmer with golden rays and ruby red leaves climb up the ancient stone walls, creates the perfect backdrop for the creative process.  

Provence will forever be captured not only in your heart but also in your artistic eye. From Medieval & Roman architecture, to croissants, café, and gourmet food experiences, to the colorful vineyards leading to secret chapels and authentic hilltop villages, you will engage in a sensory experience along each route. This is your opportunity to rediscover (discover) your creative talent in one of the most inspiring lands in the world. 

Discover the High Provence region combining Mediterranean flavors with a pre-alpine influence while the autumn colors shine vividly and mushrooms make their way to the markets.  This backcountry of Provence is a hidden gem offering spectacular views and authentic villages for a contemplative, slow-travel photography experience.

Sunday, October 17th - Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

6 nights / 7 days

Our luxury accommodations at La Verrière Estate

Imagine yourself at this beautiful estate basking in the sun enjoying a nice glass of Chêne Bleu rosé. We are pleased to share with you this special hidden away estate in Creste, France.

La Verrière is a medieval priory and family-run wine estate tucked away in a UNESCO-protected Nature Reserve in the heart of Provence, Southern France. The ancient priory has been meticulously restored to the highest standards of comfort and eco-luxury and is home to a working vineyard producing the multi-award-winning Chêne Bleu wines.

Click here to see the suites at La Verrière Estate 

Provence Autumn Tour

Provence Autumn Tour

Provence Autumn Tour Provence Autumn Tour
Provence Autumn Tour
Contact Emily today to reserve your spot.

Small group tour – 6 spots only

All-inclusive package price:

  • $4,950 USD per person based on single occupancy (private room)
  • $4,450 USD per person based on double occupancy (shared room)

Deposit to secure your spot on the tour:

  • $1000 USD (*non-refundable)
    • * We hope by mid-October COVID will be behind us and our dream tour will take place.  Should restrictions due to COVID in your home country or in France prohibit the tour from happening you will have the following options:
    • Your deposit will be applied to the 2022 tour.
    • Your deposit will be refunded. 

Old French country house

Tell your story through your photos and engage in contemplative photography as a means to connect to your environment. 

What is contemplative photography?

Contemplative photography is a method to increase your awareness and reveal the magic and beauty that is normally hidden from view.  It is about learning to slow down and open up to all of your senses. For the traveler, it is a wonderful way to see and experience each moment. It is not about focusing on the technical aspects of photography, but rather is about being present in each moment and creating images based on fresh perceptions. In this process, you will experience a deeper connection to your yourself and open to a deeper level of creativity.  A deep sense of peace and joy are the fruits of your work.

Read more about Contemplative Photography & Slow Travel here.

Who is this for?

Anyone who wants to slowdown and experience the real Provence with fresh eyes. This experience is for all levels of photography from beginner to professional.

What gear do I need?

All cameras are welcome from mobile phones, DSLR’s, and film cameras , and a photo processing program on your mobile phone or computer.  If you don’t have one it’s okay.  We will guide you with some simple processing applications.

What you will learn:

On this tour you will be using photography to capture magical moments, artistic flair, and the Provencal way of life.  Raina will lead mini-presentations to open your eye, enhance your skills, and offer you the chance to connect with beauty through the practice of contemplative photography.

•  Learn about the principles of contemplative photography.

•  Learn centering techniques to increase your awareness and center your mind, body, and soul.

• Engage in the practice of contemplative photography where the mind and eye connect to see beauty beyond the  ordinary.  A truly unique experience which clears the mind and refreshes the soul.

Learn to tell unique stories of your travels through your imagery.

• Enhance your photos using photo editing apps on your phone and or computer.

Meet your hosts…

All about Raina (the essential)

Provence Lavender Photography Tour

Raina is an American international award winning photographer and has been living in Provence for the past three years.  She worked as a registered nurse for 32 years, 15 of those years were as a psychiatric nurse.  In 2017 she decided to take an early retirement to follow her dreams of living in France and pursuing her photography career full-time.

Raina is a trained energy healer and spiritual counsellor.  She has taught meditation, guided imagery and self care for many years. She brings her mindfullness skills into her photography on a daily basis and enjoys teaching others this process.  Raina is a fun a social person and loves to meet new people from all over the world.  She feels quite lucky to be able to live in France.

Raina will be sharing her process of how to tell a unique and powerful story through slow travel contemplative photography.  She will teach you different ways of seeing and shaping light, composition, and how to connect to your environment  in a deeper way.  Her instruction will deepen your visual awareness while imparting skills that will make your photography more satisfying and fun.

All about Emily (well almost)

Emily created Your Private Provence, speciality tours in the South of France, in 2013.  Her French love affair started in 1996 and since then she has always lived in Provence.

Over the years, she has become accustomed to life in France as a local.  Her expertise in knowing the region and all it offers is greatly appreciated among foreigners and the French. 

Serendipity brought her new friends who shared their expertise of capturing beauty through a lens.  She still remembers her first date with her Lumix.  Since then, there’s nothing she likes better than roaming the Provencal countryside and off-the-beaten-path villages capturing the uniqueness of Provence.  

Her tours are the perfect balance of seeing the well-known sites, discovering the hidden gems, engaging in the Provencal lifestyle and getting to know the people behind the scenes (the potter, the wine grower, the olive oil producer, the master chef…)

Beyond seeing magical Provence and hearing historical anecdotes, guests can embrace the real essence of travel: letting go of pressures and reconnecting with self.  Emily’s philosophy for every tour is creating an atmosphere of fun, leisure and inspiration.

Provence Autumn Tour – Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday, October 17th

  • Pick-up up at Avignon – TGV train station at 10:30 am (or at your Avignon hotel). 
  • 10:45 – 12:45 pm – guided historical walk in Avignon along with Raina guiding us in our photographic and artistic images of Medieval France.
  • 12:45 – 2 pm – Unique lunch experience at La Mirande – This hotel/restaurant tucked behind the majestic Popes Palace will transport you back in time through Medieval walls and 18th century Louis XV decor.
  • 3:30 – Arrival at La Verrière – time to settle into your rooms & tour the estate.
  • 4:30 – 5:30 – An evening light contemplative photography walk through the vineyards and nearby woods. 
  • 6 pm – 7:30 pm – Raina will lead us through our first photography workshop session and get your creative juices flowing for the days to come. 
  • 7:30 pm – Dinner at La Verrière

Provence countryside

Day 2 – Monday, October 18th

  • 10 am – 12 pm: No trip to France is completely fairytale unless you dream in a chateau.  Today you’ll take your artistic eye to the largest Renaissance castle in the south-east of France: Chateau de Grignan.  The village too will dazzle you (listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France). 
  • 12:30 – Lunch will be at traditional restaurant in the village. 
  • 3:30 pm return to La Verrière.
  • 4 to 5:30 pm – Enjoy free time or join Emily for a forest/vineyard walk near La Verrière. 
  • 5:30 – 7 pm: Workshop session with Raina to expand on the contemplative photography aspect and a look at your chateau and village shots.  Tips on how to improve your technical and artistic quality as well as editing tools. 
  • 7 pm – Dinner at La Verrière

Day 3 – Tuesday, October 19th

  • 10 am  – 12 pm: Market tour in Vaison-la-Romaine.  Autumn produce will be purchased by your guides for a still life photography session later in the afternoon using contemplative photography principles.
  • 12 pm – Bistro lunch in Vaison
  • Afternoon walking tour in Vaison with focus on the Roman ruins and Medieval architecture.  This will be both a historical tour and a contemplative photography experience.  Capture the past in your lens as you listen to the historical anecdotes from your guide. 
  • 4 pm arrival back at La Verrière – Enjoy a little free time before the contemplative still life photography session with our autumn produce and nature items gathered on or first evening walk. 
  • 7 pm – dinner at la Verrière

Provence Autumn Tour

Day 4 – Wednesday, October 20th

  • 9:30 – 10:30: Crestet is a very picturesque village just below La Verrière Estate.  We will be stopping here in the morning, as the sun shines on the cobblestone, village fountain, and ivy covered walls.  There’s a million pictures you could take in this tiny village. 
  • 11 am – 12 pm: Artisan factory tour of a very unique item made only in Provence:  La Scoutinerie.  Here you’ll hear the story of how these coconut fibre mats used to press olive oil became a decorative item for households (decorative mats) when the olive trees were killed by frost.  These mats continue to be made today and you’ll get to see artisan craft in action. 
  • 1 pm – A unique lunch experience, country picnic, near an old Provencal home attached to a 12th century abbey and located in one of most beautiful settings in Provence (Saint May, Abbaye de Bodin).
  • Near our picnic spot is a 30 minute hike to a plateau, famous for observing the European vultures (biggest bird in Europe) who fly around the cliffs catching the warm air currents.
  • 5 pm return to La Verrière. Free time until dinner at La Verrière or optional photo review with Raina.

Day 5 – Thursday, October 21st

  • 10 am – 2 pm: Our day will begin in a stunning mountain village, Brantes, where we will meet Brigitte & Odile who will guide us on a foraging walk and cooking lesson.  The whole setting is one photographic moment after another.  From the quaint village house where we will make lunch, to the table setting, not to mention all the food prepared with herbs and local produce. 
  • From the village Brantes, we’ll wind our way to a neighboring village that is classed as one of France’s most beautiful villages.  Montbrun-les-Bains is set on a cliff and gifted with multiple water sources. Medieval streets, fountains, and castle ruins inspire the artist eye to tell the stories from the past. 
  • Before leaving this remote part of Provence, we will make a bakery stop in a village called Savoillan, to admire the wood oven and surely treat ourselves with a baked goodie.   
  • Return to La Verrière around 5:30 pm for free time before we gather and reflect on the day’s images.
  • 7 pm – dinner at La Verrière

Slow Travel

Day 6 – Friday, October 22nd

  • 9:30 – 10:30: Workshop session with Raina.
  • 10:30 to 11:30 –  Chêne Bleu winery tour to get a better appreciation for the work behind the excellent wine you’ve been drinking all week. 
  • Afternoon outing: The « laced » mountains (Les Dentelles de Montmirail) are not far from La Verrière and deserve our attention for some extra special vineyard shots with these limestone cliffs in the background.  We will take a few trails here and there to get the best angles and explore the hidden countryside chapels.  Bistro lunch en route. 
  • Return to La Verrière around 5:30 pm – free time
  • Farewell dinner outing – we leave for a restaurant near Crestet (La Fleure Bleue)

Day 6 – Saturday, October 23rd

  • The tour has nearly reached its end but not before one last Provencal experience:  The weekly flea market in Villeneuve-les-Avignons will charm you with ancient French treasures telling story after story. 
  • Drop-off at Avignon TGV train station at 1 pm.

More details about our Provence Autumn Tour

Provence Autumn Tour

Meals Included:

  • All breakfasts (6)
  • All lunches (6)
  • All dinners (6)
  • * Wine is included at meals.

Not included:

  • Transportation to/from Provence, Avignon
  • * Further drinks at meals after your complimentary wine are not included and at your charge directly with the restaurant/B&B.

Activities included:

  • Photography workshop sessions with Raina through the week
  • Foraging & Cooking lesson in Brantes
  • Chateau de Grignan tour
  • Chêne Bleu winery tour and tasting
  • Factory tour of La Scoutinerie in Nyons
  • Provencal markets (Vaison-la-Romain, Villeneuve-les-Avignons)
  • Guided tours – learn the historical anecdotes that marked the villages and towns.

Villages visited:

  • Avignon
  • Villeneuve-les-Avignons
  • Vaison-La-Romaine
  • Crestet
  • Brantes
  • Montbrun-les-Bains
  • Nyons
  • Saint-May
  • Grignan

Provence Autumn Tour

Tour remarks:

  • This tour is a wonderful opportunity to see the more rugged and authentic part of Provence (authentic meaning less touristy but with all the elements that make up a Provencal village – remains of remparts, chateaux, medieval influences, fountains, cobblestone, and of course all the Provencal colors splashed on doors and shutters)
  • Rugged terrain means winding roads.  Should you have a tendency to get motion sickness, you should think about a treatment to help.
  • The tour has been designed to give a little rest time at La Verrière most days to make the most of dreamy atmosphere and keep the contemplative, slow-travel approach. 
  • ARRIVAL:
    • Arriving in Provence the day before the tour starts is highly recommended.  It would be possible to take a 7 am train from Paris and arrive in Avignon for pick-up at 10:30.  However, to make your first day more enjoyable, you may consider arriving the day before.
    • Other pick-up locations can be arranged.  Some of you may want to arrive by plane at the Marseille airport.  Transportation to Avignon to join the tour can be arranged the day before the tour starts ( price supplement).
  • DEPARTURE:
    • Drop-off is at the Avignon TGV at 1 pm.  You can find a train in the afternoon to take you up to Paris or even a train to take you to Nice should you want to visit the French Riviera.  You may also want to spend more time in Provence.  Arrangements can be made to take you to your next accommodation in the area (possible price supplement depending on distance). 
Contact Emily today to reserve your spot.
Terms and Conditions –

Provence Autumn Contemplative Photography & Lifestyle Tour:

October 17 – 23, 2021

6 nights/7 days

  • $4,950 USD per person based on single occupancy (private room)
  • $4,450 USD per person based on double occupancy (shared room)
  • Deposit: $1000 USD to secure your spot (non-refundable)
  • Balance due by September 1st, 2021. 
  • No refund of paid balance after September 1st. 
    • COVID restrictions are the only exception (please see below for more information)

RATES

Price does not include airfare.  Credits are not given for services not used nor are uncompleted portions of the itinerary cause for refund.

ITINERARY

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.

PAYMENT

Full payment is due by September 1st, 2021.  Your final payment invoice will be sent to you the beginning of August.

CANCELLATION POLICY

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.

CANCELLATION FEES

  • If you should cancel, your $1000 deposit is not refundable
    • ! Refundable should COVID restrictions prohibit entry into France
  • No refund of balance paid after September 1st, 2021.
    • ! Refundable should COVID restrictions prohibit travel in October. 

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.

Slow Travel

All photos are taken by Raina – Raina Stinson Photography       

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