Provence Spring Tour Gardens & Villages
Provence Spring Tour
Connecting you to nature and authentic Provencal villages
This Provence Spring Tour is designed to connect you to nature and the Provencal lifestyle. Throughout the week you will be immersed into the savoir-faire of local artisans, farm-to-table meals, and cultural and historical anecdotes connecting past Provence to what it is today.
What is unique about this tour?
Enjoy many best experiences on this tour. The Market in Lourmarin, tasting local specialties, winery visits, as well as time to relax are all a part of the journey. Beyond these activities, you will have a special focus on plant & garden life in Provence. The Mediterranean climate, limestone soils, alpine variations, and ochre deposits have all had an influence on what grows in Provence.
Discover firsthand Provencal landscapes by foraging in the garrigue (scrublands), visiting an aroma plant distillery, and touring remarkable gardens. We’ll take it one step further and engage in workshops for a truly unique opportunity to release the creative side in you. Imagine cooking with herbs from the garden, fabricating your own organic face cream and painting a simple flower composition with the help of a professional painter.
Join this Provence Spring Tour to explore nature – A week in Provence to connect you back to your senses.
2023 dates are full – inquire for spring 2024
Provence Spring Tour Itinerary
- 10:30 am — Pick-up at Avignon TGV or Avignon center hotel (you may wish to arrive in Avignon the day before or you can take an early train from Paris down to the Avignon TGV).
- Garden tour at Abbey Saint André followed by a picnic lunch. This garden is located opposite Avignon, across the Rhone River, where you have beautiful views of the Papal City, Avignon.
- One hour drive to our country B&B located near the legendary Mont Ventoux. Your home for the next three nights was once a 12th century priory and today a charming place for experiencing authentic Provencal living.
- After settling in, relaxing a bit by the pool or in the garden, we’ll venture out to one of my favorite hidden restaurants for dinner.
Three nights lodging at an elegant country B&B that was once a 12th century priory. Nestled between cherry trees and vineyards, where birds chirp in the morning and evening toasts in the gardens bring laughter and serenity...Le Prieuré La Madelène
Day 2 — Monday
- Our afternoon will be filled with a wine tasting lunch and then a unique opportunity to paint garden flowers. You may be like me and have little painting experience. No fears, this is not a prerequisite to enjoying the benefits of painting! Our art teacher will be their to guide us.
- Dinner together at nearby village.
Day 3 — Tuesday
- Our first village today is on the North side of the Mount Ventoux (Brantes). Here you will discover Alpine Provence, where cooler temperatures, steep slopes, and alpine trees change the Mediterranean atmosphere. The authentic charm in the village Brantes is nothing less than captivating. The best way to capture it is by foraging the surroundings for herbs and flowers that we’ll take back to our village house for a cooking lesson and lunch.
- In the afternoon we continue our exploration of aroma plants and visit a local distillery near the lavender capital of Provence, Sault. It’s not lavender season (come back in July) but it is likely that another plant or resinous wood will be filling the air with a scent.
- Our drive back to the B&B takes us to the top of the legendary Mont Ventoux (famous for cycling and often in the Tour de France route). Should the air quality be optimal, we’ll be able to see the Provencal Alpes.
- Dinner made for us at the B&B by our hosts.
Day 4 — Wednesday
- Sadly, we will be leaving La Madelene B&B and you’ll need to pack your bags. No need to be too sad…I can guarantee paradise number two is just a drive away. Before arriving at our Luberon region B&B, we’ll make a stop in the Provencal Venise (water canals meandering their way through the town). Follow your guide on a gourmet and antique walk…Isle sur la Sorgue is one of the biggest antique centers in France. Light lunch together in the town.
- A short drive from Isle sur la Sorgue will bring us to our B&B for some time to settle in and relax by the pool or in the garden.
- Later afternoon, we see the most spectacular Provencal village setting, Gordes. It sits on the hillside like it has been sculpted in a potter’s workshop, never ceasing to amaze the onlooker. Discover different facets of the village and its historical anecdotes with your guide. Just down the road is a cozy design house where we will be greeted by an exceptional artist and chef in her home for a 100% farm-to-table meal.
The next three nights will be at lovely B&B located in the valley of the Luberon, with the Medieval village Lacoste in the near distance, lit up at night as if to keep watch over us...Les Eydins
Day 5 — Thursday
- Before spending time in one of the world’s best rose gardens, we’ll explore one of the world’s best medieval villages. Simiane-la-Rotonde sits high overlooking the woods and lavender fields. Lavender won’t be in bloom but you will be marveling over the flowers and roses mixed in with old doors and cobblestone lanes.
- The garden visit of the day is much more than just a garden. The site has been considered sacred since prehistoric times. Our guide will reveal its mysteries and the 500 varieties of roses, bulbs, hard perennials and annuals. Lunch will be enjoyed on site, but not before an acoustic surprise for you in the 17th abbey church.
- Provence’s ochre village, Roussillon is our last visit for the day. The earth here has been colored red, orange, and yellow due to the amount of iron oxide in the soil. Both historically rich and a gem to photograph, you’ll agree with all the lucky people who have been to Roussillon, that this spot is truly unique.
- Dinner together at a nearby village restaurant.
Day 6 — Friday
- Lunch will be small bistro style in a neighboring village followed by a garden visit at a winery (their garden has won an award for “Remarkable Garden’). And of course, a tasting of the Luberon wines from the winery is arranged for us.
- Enjoy some downtime at the B&B before our evening outing in Bonnieux. We have a private tour scheduled at Le Louve. This is a private garden and what I consider a “zen” garden. There is a deep serenity and calmness flowing from the garden to the Luberon Mountain Chain (see picture at top of page). The owner will tell us how this garden came to be, starting with Nicole de Vesian (notable fashion designer for Hermes) back in 1986. From the garden we’ll walk to our dinner reservations.
Our last two nights are located at a relaxing B&B next to Saint Remy. In just 5 minutes you can walk to the town center for some shopping and your evening on your own... La Maison de Line
Day 7 — Saturday
- We say goodbye this morning to our B&B hosts in the Luberon and change regions one last time. This region is filled with olive groves, vineyards and a long, jagged mountain chain known as Les Alpilles. First visit is at a special garden growing aroma and medicinal plants & herbs. Anne-Sophie, an expert in plants, will guide us through the gardens and in making a 100% natural face cream (that you can package up for the flight home). Picnic lunch on site after the workshop.
- In the afternoon you’ll have breathtaking vistas from on top of the Alpilles mountains and explore the Medieval village, Les Baux de Provence. Just before arriving at our B&B for the next two nights, we’ll engage in part I of the life of Van Gogh as we visit the asylum near Saint Remy from where he did some of his most famous paintings.
- Free evening – dinner on your own in Saint Remy de Provence (5 minute walk to the town center from the B&B)
Day 8 — Sunday
- Back in Saint Remy, you have free time this afternoon to rest or explore more of the town.
- Our dinner outing this evening will be at a country home with a lovely chef who will amaze you with her cooking and decorating talents…a private dinner just for us!
Day 9 — Monday
- Transfer to Avignon TGV after breakfast
There are so many treats on this journey for your inspiration…sweet memories that will stay forever in your heart!
Contact Emily today to reserve your spot on this Provence Spring Tour!
$4,150 per person – shared room
($800 single room supplement)
Small group tour – Just 7 spots available!
$500 deposit holds your spot - send Emily an email today and she'll give you all the details.
Provence Spring Tour Inclusion List:
- All transportation – pick-up & drop-off at Avignon TGV train station
- 8 nights lodging (3 nights La Madelene B&B and 3 nights at Les Eydins B&B, 2 nights at La Maison de Line)
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- All but 1 dinner (picnics, bistros, fine dining, private homes)
- One free evening in Saint Remy to have dinner as you wish
- Emily as your private chauffeur & guide for the full tour
- Transportation in comfortable Mercedes van
- Abbey Saint André – tour of abbey and garden followed by picnic
- Factory visit (last « Scourtinerie » factory in France) making mats from coconut fibers (before used to press olive oil)
- Garden painting workshop
- Foraging around a mountain village followed by cooking class
- Aroma distillery tour
- Gourmet tour in Isle sur la Sorgue
- Valsaintes Garden tour (with « acoustic » surprise in chapel) followed by lunch on the site
- Provencal market in Lourmarin
- AOP Luberon wine tasting and rose garden visit
- Private garden visit in Bonnieux – Le Louve
- Natural face cream workshop at aroma and medicinal plant garden.
- Van Gogh asylum in Saint Remy
- Guided city tour of Arles
- Avignon (seen from the gardens of Abbey St André)
- Le Mont Ventoux
- Isle sur la Sorgue
- Les Baux de Provence
- Saint Remy
Tags: authentic villages, garden tours, gourmet tours, local guide, luxury tours, small group tours, Van Gogh
I would so love to do this tour. Have to see how the next few months play out.
How many people are in your group?
Hello Claudette, I take a maximum of 7 participants on my tours. Small group – and transportation in my own 8-passenger Mercedes van. Best – Emily
Hello Joan, Thank you for your interest in my Spring Tour. I understand your need to take time to decide with all that is going on. Best – Emily