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Magic red and spring revival

May 12-21, 2024

9 nights / 10 days

Limited to 7 guests
4,600€ EUROS per person
No single room supplement
*Prices converted to USD three months prior to tour date

The red carpet of poppies is a sight not to miss. Little by little, poppies start popping up coloring the young vegetation in the vineyards and valleys. This Provence spring tour is designed to connect you to nature and the Provencal way of life. Throughout the week you will be immersed into the savoir-faire of local artisans, farm-to-table meals, and historical anecdotes. Four distinct areas in Provence are incorporated so you can explore the diversity in Provence and the different vibes in each place.

spring Poppies glow red in a flower field on tour of Provence

Tour Notes

The tour takes place during the season when poppies are in bloom. Poppies are not a harvested crop. They grow in fields that are not planted with a crop. Every year, the spectacular red carpet fields change locations. Join me on the hunt to find the best ones (Luberon area tends to be the best location for the poppies).


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

Day 1 (Sunday, May 12)
Avignon table setting in sunshine

Pick-up around 10:30 at the Avignon TGV train station (or at your Avignon hotel should you arrive the day before). We kick off the week of slow travel and inspiration with a garden tour at the Abbey Saint André across the Rhone River from Avignon. After our picnic lunch we make our way to the Ventoux region (near the legendary Mont Ventoux mountain) and settle into our charming countryside B&B. Dinner this evening at a favorite restaurant for its Provencal cuisine and ambience.

Picnic Lunch & Dinner included

Day 2 (Monday, May 13)
village of Brantes facing Mont Ventoux

A beautiful 1-hour drive will take us to Brantes, a small village nestled into the slopes facing the Mont Ventoux. Here, we’ll be guided on a foraging walk to gather our herbs and flowers for our farm-to-table lunch. Odile’s house will welcome us for the cooking adventure and sharing of food in a setting you’ll never forget. Later afternoon we climb to the top of Mont Ventoux (in the van!). En route we stop at the aroma plant distillery to see how the oils are extracted from the plants. A full day of adventure calls for a simple alfresco & local wine dinner at the B&B.

Cooking lesson lunch & Alfresco Dinner included

Day 3 (Tuesday, May 14)

It’s market day in Vaison-la-Romaine. This market has been rated in France as one of the most authentic markets. You have the morning to browse, shop, and explore the town at your leisure. We’ll meet back up for a bistro tapas lunch in town before going to Nyons. This afternoon we tour a artisan company making Provencal fibre mats with 19th & early 20th century equipment. Back to the B&B for some rest time before our dinner outing at one of Emily’s favorite restaurants in all of Provence.

Lunch & dinner included

Day 4 (Wednesday, May 15)
Sorgue River in France

We change regions today. Before arriving at our Luberon region B&B, we’ll make a stop in what is sometimes known as the Provencal Venice due to the water canals meandering their way through the town (Isle sur la Sorgue is also known for its antique shops). Emily will take you on a historical and gourmet tour of this charming town. Should the weather be pleasant, picnic lunch next to the Sorgue River. Time to settle into our B&B near Gordes before our stroll through the village. A special dinner catered to us at the B&B.

Lunch & Dinner included

Day 5 (Thursday, May 16)
Provence Gardens

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 up high overlooking the woods and lavender fields. You won’t see lavender in bloom but you will be marveling over the flowers and roses laying a colorful backdrop to the18th century doors and cobblestone lanes. The garden visit is on a site considered sacred since prehistoric times. Our guide will reveal its mysteries and the 500 varieties of roses. Lunch will be enjoyed on their terraced restaurant, but not before an acoustic surprise for you in the 17th abbey church. Last visit is at Provence’s ochre village, Roussillon… historically rich and a gem to photograph. Dinner at another one of Emily’s favorite restaurants.

Lunch & Dinner included

Day 6 (Friday, May 17)
Provence Spring Tour

This morning you have free time in the charming village Lourmarin to pick up those Provencal treasures you might not have found at Tuesday’s market. Emily will also guide you on a historical tour of the village. With the food we pick up at the market, we’ll make our way to a secret picnic spot next to a Romanesque chapel. This south side of the Luberon is also a place where poppy madness photography will take place. Relaxing time back at the B&B before going to a local chef’s house for dinner.

Lunch & Dinner included

Day 7 (Saturday, May 18)
Saint Paul Provence tour

After yesterday’s poppy madness inspiration, today we take our artistic eye to to paper with a painting workshop. We’ll tour the area near Saint Remy where Van Gogh stayed for one year and then be guided by a local artist to paint what we see (no painting experience necessary). Catered picnic nearby before going to Les Baux de Provence for a multi-media show known as Carrières de Lumière in a former rock quarry. Dinner at your leisure at one of the restaurants in Gordes.

Lunch included

Day 8 (Sunday, May 19)
vintage car near French village fountain

A little adventure today while continuing our poppy madness hunt. More Luberon hilltop villages but this time with a new sensation. Either by classic 2CV car ride or by electric bike (to be determined based on overall physical level of the group…accommodations can always be made to fit your style of touring). Time to soak up the dreamy atmosphere at our B&B before our sommelier comes to lead us in an olive oil workshop. Dinner to follow catered at the B&B.

Lunch & dinner included

Day 9 (Monday, May 20)
truffle tour

Last but not least…a special day in the Cotes-du-Rhone vineyards. Two private tastings in two very special venues. Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas & Vacqueyras will be revealing their aromas and the artisan wine makers behind these cru wines will share their expertise. We will have had a vineyard feast for lunch…and so for dinner…a casual alfresco dinner poolside at the B&B with leftover wines from the Cotes-du-Rhone day tour.

Lunch & dinner included

Day 10 (Tuesday, May 21)
  • Depart from B&B around 10 am for Avignon train departures
    • Other drop-off points can be arranged

Activities & Sites Included

  • Abbey Saint André – tour of abbey and garden 
  • Factory visit (last « Scourtinerie » factory in France) making mats from coconut fibers (before used to press olive oil) 
  • Painting workshop 
  • 2CV ride or electric bike ride in the Luberon (optioned confirmed later) 
  • Foraging around a mountain village followed by cooking class 
  • Aroma plant distillery 
  • Valsaintes Garden tour (with « acoustic » surprise in chapel) followed by lunch on the site 
  • Provencal market in Lourmarin & Vaison-la-Romaine 
  • Van Gogh asylum in Saint Remy 
  • Cotes-du-Rhone wine tasting experiences

Places Visited

  • Avignon (from across the river at the abbey) 
  • Vaison-la-Romaine 
  • Le Mont Ventoux 
  • Nyons 
  • Sault 
  • Brantes 
  • Simiane-la-Rotonde 
  • Gordes 
  • Isle sur la Sorgue 
  • Lourmarin 
  • Bonnieux 
  • Luberon hilltop villages (Roussillon, Lacoste, Oppede-le-Vieux) 
  • Les Baux de Provence 
  • Saint Remy

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

Vincent Van Gogh

(Photo: Spring poppies in Provence by Emily Durand)


  • All transportation in Emily’s comfortable Mercedes van – pick-up & drop-off at Avignon TGV train station 
  • 3 nights lodging at charming countryside B&B near the Mont Ventoux and 6 nights at luxury B&B near Gordes. 
  • All breakfasts 
  • All lunches 
  • 7 dinners (a variety from fine dining, local cuisine, private chefs, and unique atmospheres)
    • 1 dinner not included

Does Not Include

  • Transportation to/from Avignon 
  • 1 dinner in the village Gordes 
  • Before and/or after dinner drinks (wine is included during the meals)
five star review
  • June 2018 3-day custom tour

    ""We had a great trip with Emily and highly recommend her. Before we arrived, she had designed a lovely tour of Provence villages just for us. Attentive to our interests and needs, she crafted an adventure that was a highlight of a trip to France and Italy.In several days, she introduced us to the history of these hill towns, the beauty of the rural landscape, and the feel of markets, twisty streets, churches, and Van Gogh’s world. Though we saw a good deal, she also made time for little m..."
  • May private tour 2016

    ""When I look back I do not necessarily think of the specific towns we visited as much as the special experiences and moments we had during truffle hunting, making chocolates, taking pictures in the middle of that beautiful flower field, and our hikes, walks and conversations. Thank you for arranging all this for us because they are certainly the experiences that made our trip so special.Most importantly, what I cherish is that you never made us feel like we are with a private tour guide. ..."
  • Wine Tour, September 2021

    ""What a beautiful day with Emily and Your Private Provence wine tour. Having been to the region before, two friends and I were interested in a deeper dive into what made this region so well suited for wine. She really listened to our interests and designed a really fun, insightful and rich day. We honestly expected a driver to just drop us off at several wineries and got so much more. Loved the cultural and geological history, the insights of a local to life in Provence, and a diverse samplin..."
  • May 2018 4-day private tour

    ""After an amazing experience as a solo traveler on Your Private Provence’s Group Lavender Tour, ten months later I booked a private tour for my husband and me to see the poppies.  Emily is warm, knowledgeable and flexible.  We always felt safe and comfortable.  Her recommendations for accommodations and restaurants were perfect.  The itinerary on this second trip was completely different than the first trip…markets, hikes, wineries, picnics in fields of wildflowers, everything we asked for an..."
  • High Provence Lavender Tour – July 2022

    ""Finally third time was a charm! I found Emily while looking for trips to Provence to see the beautiful fields of lavender. I sent my deposit for 2020 and Covid happened so transferred it to 2021 and things were still crazy but finally 2022. There were 5 of us in our group, my daughter decided to join me and then my grand daughter joined in, and finally the lovely Carroll’s Jill and Greg. We had so much fun, so much wine and so many laughs. We showed the French how to party before midnight th..."
  • April 2019 3-Day Custom Tour

    ""I’m so thrilled that I found Emily as she added so much value to our 8 night trip to Provence. We hired Emily to assist with our transfers and added touring to our transfer days… Brilliant Plan! In the end we hired Emily for 3 of our 8 days.She is extremely honest, reliable and her prices are very fair. She accepts credit cards and does everything possible to ensure your comfort. Emily picked us up at Marseille Airport and transferred us to our AirBNB in St. Remy. She organized a unique ..."
  • 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 i..."
  • March 2015, Energize Provence Retreat

    ""What an amazing trip! I booked a space on a small group tour with Emily and Your Private Provence at the last minute and wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime.Emily created an outstanding itinerary, with just the right combination of interesting activities balanced with time for relaxation. The accommodations were quite unique and very comfortable. Your Private Provence allowed me to experience the region in a way I would never have been able to arrange o..."
  • 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 villag..."
  • Group Lavender Tour, July 2017

    "Thank you for everything, it was an amazing week.  The B&B was perfect as well as the whole itinerary.  It will definitely be among my most favorite trips of all time.Leslie GrizzardEmily is a kind spirit with a gift for bringing people into an authentic Provencal experience. Her planning, organization, and itinerary were perfect and she was flexible when we needed some personal time to wind down or even take a nap and recharge. Her attention to detail is impeccable and her de..."