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Experience the Provençal Christmas cheer & cuisine

December 2 – 12, 2023 &
December 8 – 16, 2024
10 nights / 11 days

Limited to 7 guests
4,700€ EUROS per person based on double occupancy
725€ single room supplement
*Prices converted to USD two months prior to tour date

Join a Christmas in Provence tour to explore southern France during the festive time of Noël. There’s no better time to feel the spirit of community, experience the folklore traditions, and savor the flavors of local specialties. This tour combines Provençal & Santon markets, a mix of city, small town and village atmosphere, as well as many opportunities to actively engage in the art de vivre during the Christmas period. Enjoy group activities as well as time to explore (shop) at your leisure. This tour starts in Nice and ends in Avignon.

Provence village shop decorated for Christmas festivities on winter Provence tour

Tour Notes

This tour starts in Nice and ends in Avignon. It usually works out best to get your airfare for arrival at the Nice airport and departure at either Marseille airport or Paris airport (most take the train up to Paris after the tour). 

Dietary restrictions would make this tour less enjoyable as much of what makes Christmas in Provence unique is the specialty food at this time of year. 

Physical ability should allow you to walk at least 2 hours without difficulty (multiple tours that are two hours in length). We walk to all the evening restaurants as well.


NOTE: This is a working itinerary; the final itinerary will be posted and provided to guests closer to the tour date.

Day 1 (Saturday, December 2)
Joyeuses Fetes or Happy Holidays

Today is arrival day…Nice airport. Transfers from airport to Nice center hotel (multiple arrival times are possible). This evening we meet as a group to enjoy our first dinner together. With the long journey to France, we’ll make it an earlier dinner.

Dinner included

Day 2 (Sunday, December 3)
French shop Christmas display

Breakfast at your leisure (included in tour package) and then off we go to beautiful Saint Paul de Vence for a Sunday stroll and lunch. Upon arrival back in Nice, you have the option of visiting the Marc Chagall museum…or choose to roam around Nice at your leisure. Dinner reservations this evening as a group.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 3 (Monday, December 4)
wine tasting at Provencal winery tour

This morning we’ll be greeted by a Nice local with her food & wine tour company. She’ll be guiding us on a foodie and historical tour of the Old Nice. With our tummies now satisfied with Southern France delights, we make are way to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild to be entertained and amazed at such an endeavor that was undertaken. Time back at the B&B to freshen up before our special dinner outing (legendary Negresco hotel)…just a 10 minute walk from our hotel.

Breakfast, light lunch with foodie tour & dinner included

Day 4 (Tuesday, December 5)
fountain in Aix

We say goodbye to Nice and journey to Aix. It’s about a 2 hour drive and once we arrive we’ll drop off our luggage and then walk to an 18th century mansion for a tea time lunch. At 2 pm we’ll meet our Aix city guide who will reveal the secrets and hidden treasures of this enchanting city. Enjoy free time after the guided tour. Group dinner outing in the city center.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 5 (Wednesday, December 6)
sailboat in Marseille harbor

Today’s adventure takes us to Marseille for the older Santon fair. After marveling at these figurines and the detailed artisan work, we embark with Nicolas on a Tuk Tuk tour. This is a unique way to see Marseille and reach the limestone creeks and turquoise waters. Last year we had a picnic lunch along the way soaking up all the sunshine. Should the weather be bad we’ll substitute with the new Cosquer Museum (prehistoric cave discovery near Marseille). Departure from Marseille around 3pm for our drive to Gille’s house. Gille is a chef and he will be helping us put together some Provencal Christmas recipes.

Breakfast, lunch & cooking lesson dinner included

Day 6 (Thursday, December 7)
freshly dug truffles

It’s market day in Aix and you have free time to explore the Christmas market, textile market, flea market and flower market! Lunch is at your leisure. 1:30 we depart for our truffle hunt in the countryside of Aix. After a little work with the dogs, we treat our tastebuds to the amazing aromas of truffles savored in different ways…with all you want champagne to make it even more indulgent. Return to Aix and the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Breakfast, Gourmet Truffle tastings included

Day 7 (Friday, December 8)
Christmas decor on French building

Time to say goodbye to the city and see more of the countryside of Provence. Our next lodging (for the last 4 nights) is in the charming small town of Saint Remy de Provence. Before arriving at our boutique hotel, we stop at a traditional soap making factory to learn the history behind the Marseille Soap as well as the methods of making it the traditional way. You even get a chance to stamp your own soap to take home. Next we go to Arles for not only seeing a few Roman monuments but also to see an amazing Provencal creche. The details in this exhibition never cease to amaze the young and older. A little rest time at your boutique hotel in Saint Remy and then dinner together.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 8 (Saturday, December 9)
Christmas in Provencal village

Emily takes you to her hometown today to see a Christmas folklore tradition. The ladies and gentlemen will be in their best attire and the Provencal flute and drums will be playing their tunes. Dancing, flag throwing, a Christmas market and last year, even an accordion player and a soloist. On to Avignon to check out their Christmas market and also to enjoy a cozy tea time next to the fireplace at La Mirande. Back in Saint Remy for the evening celebration of lights (the mayor will offer you a glass of mulled wine!). Dinner together in Saint Remy.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 9 (Sunday, December 10)
Fountaine de Vaucluse in winter is a beautiful Provence tour destination

A Sunday countryside drive and village strolls in the Luberon Region. Gordes, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse are first up followed by a cozy lunch at a farm restaurant (the fireplace will be going). Roussillon will be our digestive village walk and then back to Saint Remy where you have the evening to enjoy at your leisure.

Breakfast & lunch included

Day 10 (Monday, December 11)

It’s our last day to enjoy the gifts of Provence. We’ll explore Van Gogh’s world near Saint Remy where he stayed for a year. Then we cross over the Alpilles Mountains to Les Baux de Provence. The popular multi-media show in the former rock quarry (Carrières de Lumières) is up next and then time in the village for a bite to eat. Last but not least on the Provencal Christmas tour is your chance to be Santon maker. We have a santon atelier to learn the art of making these little figurines that you have seen for the last 10 days.

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 11 (Tuesday, December 12)

Breakfast and then transfer to Avignon TGV for your next adventure.

Activities & Sites Included

  • Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild near Nice 
  • Guided historic and food tour in Nice 
  • Guided historic tour of Aix 
  • Cooking class in Aix 
  • Tuk Tuk tour in Marseille 
  • Truffle hunt 
  • Carrières de Lumières sound & light show 
  • Saint Paul de Mausole (Van Gogh Asylum) 
  • Olive oil and wine tasting 
  • Craft workshop (santons) 
  • Soap factory tour

Places Visited

  • Nice
  • Saint Paul de Vence
  • Aix
  • Marseille
  • Saint Remy
  • Arles
  • Cavaillon
  • Avignon
  • Gordes
  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
  • Roussillon
  • Les Baux

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

Vincent Van Gogh

(Photo: Fontaine de Vaucluse in winter by Emily Durand.)


  • All transportation – pick-up at Nice airport & drop-off at Avignon TGV train station 
  • 10 nights lodging (3 nights at Villa Victoria in Nice, 3 nights at Boutique Hotel Cezanne in Aix, and 4 nights at Le Petit Hotel in Saint Remy). All rooms are in superior category. 
  • All breakfasts 
  • 8 lunches and 8 dinners 
  • Emily as your private chauffeur & guide for the full tour 
  • Transportation in comfortable Mercedes van

Does Not Include

  • Meals mentioned in itinerary as not included (1 lunch & 2 dinners) 
  • Before and/or after dinner drinks (wine is included during the meals)
five star review
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