Lavender & Heritage Sites Tour
UNESCO World Heritage Sites & Lavender
June 16 – 23, 2024
7 nights / 8 days
Limited to 7 guests
4,300€ EUROS per person based on double occupancy
900€ EUROS supplement for single occupancy
*Prices converted to USD two months prior to tour date
This tour is designed to immerse you into the historical past of Provence, taking you to the most captivating sites for both their cultural heritage and stunning architecture. Along the routes, you’ll plunge into the beauty of 3 different regions, marvel at the blooming lavender, stroll the markets abundant with local produce and artisan craftsmanship, and taste the exquisite flavors of Provençal cuisine and wine.
Tour before the summer crowds arrive – this tour is the perfect timing to get in your lavender viewing (and cultural sites) before the official French school holidays start.
Lavender blooms from mid-June to mid-July. Depending on the spring (warmer or colder) there can be a slight variation to the blooming season. This tour takes place at the start of the blooming. Some of the high Provence lavender fields could be a little « timid » in showing their hues. The lower elevation fields around our Luberon B&B will be fuller with color.
NOTE: This is a working itinerary; the final itinerary will be posted and provided to guests closer to the tour date.
Today is arrival day…pick-up at the Avignon TGV around 10:30 am (or at your Avignon hotel should you arrive the day before). We’ll embark on a journey to the 14th century to get the full story of why the Popes made the biggest Gothic palace in Europe here in Avignon. After our historical tour & bistro lunch, we make our way to our B&B in Saint Remy. You have time to relax in your private courtyard or at the pool. The center of Saint Remy is just a short walk should you feel like boutique browsing. Dinner this evening together in the center.
Lunch in Avignon & Dinner in Saint Remy included
We drive south to the Camargue region (classified as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO) to connect with nature and wildlife. The fresh water from the Rhone and the saline waters from the Mediterranean Sea create a mosaic of ecosystems unique to the area. Flamingoes, herons, white Camargue horses & bulls along our off-the-beaten-path routes. We discover all this on a private manade (ranch) tour. An unforgettable lunch awaits us at a tiny restaurant in the middle of the Camargue. Then on to Arles for a 2-hour walking tour to explore both the Roman era and trace the footsteps of Van Gogh. Dinner together in Saint Remy.
Camargue lunch & dinner included
We start the day at the unbelievable construction of the Roman aqueduct known as the Pont du Gard. Then on to the legendary wine appellation, Chateauneuf-du-Pape. At the top of the hill, where the Pope’s castle ruins still stand, we can admire the views of the Rhône Valley before making our way to our lunch venue with a view. Next is a special tasting of the wines representing the different Chateauneuf-du-Pape styles. Back at the B&B, you have time to relax before our dinner outing.
Lunch & dinner included
Today is market day in Saint Remy. You have the morning to roam the market and the boutiques at your leisure. We meet up for sharing a picnic lunch with your market goodies in the countryside Van Gogh painted. Then we’ll tour the asylum (Saint Paul de Mausole) where Van Gogh stayed for a year after his time in Arles. Relaxing time back at the B&B (or choose to boutique shop in the center of St Remy). Later afternoon we’ll take off for our evening events. First the multi-media show at a former rock quarry near Les Baux de Provence, then a stop at the village for a stroll…with fewer tourists in the evening. Dinner outing near the village Les Baux.
Picnic lunch (sharing our market food) & dinner included
We’ll be changing regions and lodging today (bags packed). Our first stop will be in Isle sur la Sorgue known for its canal-lined streets and antique shops. There’s a farmer’s market today that will add some color to our day. We’ll have lunch at a casual bistro next the the Sorgue River. On to the charming village Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and then the stunning hilltop village Gordes before making our way to our B&B right next to Gordes. Relaxing time until our dinner outing at one of Emily’s favorite countryside restaurants.
Bistro lunch & dinner included
Gourmet day! Today we get up close to the land of Provence by tasting and cooking what grows around us. The day will start with a tour at the Abbaye de Senanque – a 12th century active monastery. This peaceful place opens up our senses for the aromas and flavors to come. Next activity, led by a professional sommelier, is an olive oil workshop followed by a Provencal « country » lunch all dressed in olive oil! Midday back at the B&B to relax by the pool. At 3 pm we will be putting on our aprons with a professional chef (notable restaurant) and working with local products (fruits & vegetables) to make gourmet appetizers. We’ll enjoy our creations with a glass of rosé in a beautiful setting after the class. Pizza & rosé back at the B&B with a sunset to remember.
Olive oil workshop lunch & cooking lesson appetizers & pizza dinner included
Last but not least – lavender bliss! We embark on a mountain drive to the high lavender region near the village Sault. After a couple of stops for pictures we visit a small lavender farm to learn about the cultivation, harvesting and different lavender products sold around the world. Caterd picnic lunch at the lavender farm. Next door is the local distillery where we’ll have a guided tour to see how the oils are extracted from the plants. On our way back to the B&B we’ll stop to explore Roussillon, the ochre village. Dinner with a magical view in the village Gordes.
Catered picnic lunch & catered dinner at the B&B
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to the Avignon TGV train station.
Activities & Sites Included
- Country walks, sometimes a little off-the-beaten-path to get up close to the fauna and flora
- Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine tasting
- Olive oil workshop
- Culinary workshop
- Provencal markets (Saint-Remy, farmer’s market in Isle sur la Sorgue)
- Guided tours – learn the historical & cultural anecdotes that shaped the sites, towns, villages, and region as a whole
- Camargue region
- Saint Remy
- Les Baux de Provence
- Isle sur la Sorgue
- Abbaye de Senanque
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
- All transportation in Emily’s comfortable Mercedes van
- Pick-up either at Avignon TGV train station or Avignon hotel
- 4 nights lodging at charming B&B in Saint Remy (cottage style rooms) & 3 nights lodging at Luberon countryside B&B.
- All breakfasts
- All lunches
- 1 lunch is a sharing of our market food
- All dinners (a variety from fine dining, local cuisine, private chefs, and unique atmospheres)
Does Not Include
- Transportation to/from Avignon TGV (or hotel)
- Before and/or after dinner drinks (wine is included during the meals)