905-264-0158

1-800-387-0711

image
Provence | Essential Provence Gourmet Tour

Provence | Essential Provence Gourmet Tour

Itinerary What's Included Pricing Hotels Map Request
5 days from

$2159

Located in Southern part of France, the Provence region is one of the most sought destinations by French and international travellers alike. The region is famous for its beautiful landscapes and scenery a highlight being when the Lavender fields are in bloom. So relax and take some time to discover this unique region on our slow travel France Provence package that includes easy paced sightseeing excursions out of Aix en Provence to carefully selected locations that make for a perfect introduction to the region in the company of no more than 8 travellers.

Day 1: Aix en Provence

Arriving at either Aix en Provence train station or Marseille Provence airport you will be met and provided with a private transfer to your hotel in Aix en Provence. Check in and enjoy some free time for personal discovery depending on the time of arrival. This evening is at leisure in Aix en Provence.

Day 2: Cassis Village, Calanques Boat Ride & Provence Wines

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll make your way to meet your guide in front of the Aix en Provence Tourism office.  The tourist office is located in the heart of the city, close to all the hotels located in the city centre, usually a maximum of 10 minutes walking distance. Upon arrival at the meeting point, you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide who will be waiting with a sign bearing the name of the tour. Also, all our guides have a nominative badge so that it will be easy for you to recognize them. There, your guide will go over the itinerary and program of the day. Board your premium, comfortable A/C vehicle and begin your tour from Aix en Provence towards the lovely seaside village of Cassis. Arrive in the fishing village of Cassis and discover this cute portside village as well as the calanques listed by Unesco as a world heritage national park. The land & sea area is known for its white cliffs and turquoise water. Follow your guide on a walking tour of the village so as to get your bearings. As you stroll through the narrow streets of Cassis, browse small shops and stores that sell local goods of Provence, far from the chain stores that you would find in larger cities. If you are in the village on a Wednesday or Friday morning, your guide will certainly take you to the local market where it is possible to taste local delicacies. This full day tour from Aix en Provence also includes a panoramic boat ride of the Calanques that are located near Cassis. From the small port, reach the Calanques National Park that stretches from Marseille to Cassis to admire some of the most beautiful coves parts of the steep rocky coast that developed in limestone due to erosion. The result is a breathtaking landscape that mixes turquoise waters with impressive limestone cliffs and inlets. The great thing about this tour is that the program has been designed to leave you enough time to thoroughly enjoy your time in Cassis. After your visit & 45-minute boat ride, you will have sufficient time to take in some of that "Provence atmosphere" and lose yourself in the small quiet backstreets compared to the bustling harbour. It will also be time for you to taste some of the local delicacies in one of the many restaurants or bistros of the village. Ask your guide for recommendations as there are a number of restaurants that serve fine meals. As you can imagine, fish & seafood are among the most popular dishes to be found in the village.  No tour to Cassis will be complete without a drive along the Route des Crêtes. As you leave Cassis, your drive will begin to head up towards the highest sea cliff in all of Europe. Of course, your driver/guide will stop in one of the many areas dedicated to taking in the views over the village and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. The views are stunning and make for a great opportunity for astounding photos. After the drive to Cap Canaille, it will be time for you to experience a wine tasting session in the Côtes de Provence - Sainte Victoire, an appellation that was created in 2005. The soil here is quite poor and is mainly formed of limestone and clay/sandstone. This 'terroir' is ideal for the production of elegant rosé wines and robust and generous red wines. For the Provence Sainte Victoire Rosé and red wines, the main grape varieties used are Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah. Occasionally, other varietals can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan or Mourvèdre. After a short drive, arrive at a carefully selected winery of the Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire wine producing area. Here, the view is stunning with the Montagne Sainte Victoire in the back and limestone plateaus that are often planted with Olive trees. Upon arrival, taste local Rosé wine and find out about the winery and the wine making process of this very popular wine. Depending on the winery visited, continue your tasting with reds and/or whites of the Appellation.  After your wine tasting session, it will be time to make our way back to Aix en Provence.

Day 3: Villages of Southern Luberon

This morning, we will come to pick you up in front of the Aix en Provence Tourism office. The Luberon is without a doubt one of the most exquisite destinations in Provence. A small mountain range of the pre-alps, the area was declared a Regional Natural Park in 1977. What makes the Luberon region so attractive is the landscape with its rocky canyons, ridgelines, hilltop villages and towns surrounded by Olive trees, lavender fields and vineyards. Your half day tour today will take you to some of the best rated Luberon Villages that are classified as some of the most beautiful villages in France.  After your departure from Aix en Provence and a short drive, arrive in the village of Lourmarin. Unlike the more crowded hilltop villages of the Luberon, Lourmarin is set in plain and is easily accessible to all visitors. Upon arrival, follow your guide through the narrow streets of the village for a short walking tour. Highlights of the tour include the 17th-century Private Mansion of Philippe de Girad, the numerous fountains that are scattered across the village, the 17th-century belfry or the Protestant Temple that is the largest in the Vaucluse area. After the visit of Lourmarin and a scenic drive, reach a local Olive Oil mill. Here, your guide will explain all there is to know about how local Olive Oil is produced from harvest to press using the cold extraction procedure. Once the process of Olive Oil making has been explained, it will be time for you to taste a minimum of 5 different Olive Oils. Here, it is all about colour, texture,  aromas and flavours. This commented tasting will enable you to make the difference between Olive Oils obtained from Green fruity olives, ripe fruits or matured ones.  Once the Olive Oil tasting is over, we will take you to the authentic village of Ansouis. Far from the crowds that flock in the other touristy villages of Gordes or Bonnieux, Ansouis has remained authentic and was justly proclaimed as one of the most beautiful villages of France in 1999. The village is typical of the area with its stone houses and narrow streets. For a stunning view over the valley, your guide will lead you to the top of the village where the Castle of Ansouis still stands. Along the way, you will discover the 13th-century church of Saint-Martin, medieval houses, ornate fountains and intricate doorways. For those of you that would rather relax to soak up on the Provence atmosphere, why not take some time at the local pastry shop known for its homemade Sainte-Delphine or Mont-Ventoux pastries. After the visit to the village, we will make our way back to Aix en Provence.

Day 4: Les Baux de Provence, Carrières de Lumières & Provence Wines

Breakfast will be at your hotel and then you'll make your way to the Aix en Provence Tourism office to meet your guide and set off for a wonderful day. After a short drive from Aix en Provence, reach the Carrières de Lumières located at the base of the village of Les Baux de Provence in the Alpilles area. The site, known since the Romans, is an ancient quarry from where the local limestone was extracted throughout the centuries to build towns and villages such as Glanum, Les Baux de Provence and its castle. Closed in 1935 the site quickly became the perfect setting for several artistic happenings such as the filming of Orpheus by Jean Cocteau. In 2012, Culturespaces obtained the management of the site and created an Art & Music Immersive Experience. In March of the same year, the Carrières des Lumières opened with an exhibition called "Gauguin, Van Gogh: painters of Colour".Every year since the opening, the Carrières des Lumières operates a unique sound and light show that is devoted to a major artist. In 2021, the light show features the famous painter Cézanne as well as a shorter screening of major works by Kandinsky. In 2022, the Carrières des Lumières will feature an immersive experience dedicated to the town of Venice. The program will include a stroll along the Grand Canal, the discovery of the mosaic of Saint-Marc basilica and paintings by Canaletto, Le Tintoret or Bellini. The short movie will be dedicated to Yves Klein and infinite Blue. Classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, Les Baux de Provence will be a highlight of your day. After your Light & Sound experience in Les Carrières de Lumières, reach the village of Les Baux de Provence. Perched on top of a natural plateau, the site has been continuously inhabited since prehistoric times. The first fortified town dates back to the 10th century while the castle, that dominates the village, was built in the 13th century. The Renaissance period left its print on Les Baux de Provence with the building of beautiful private mansions that can still be seen today. After a time of prosperity linked with the quarrying of the local limestone, the village slowly fell asleep when the demand for stone decreased. After the 2nd WW, Les Baux de Provence became an artistic and touristic destination that attracted famous artists such as Louis Jou, Pablo Casals or Yves Brayer. In 1998, Les Baux de Provence was listed as one of the 'Most Beautiful Villages of France'. As you reach the village, follow your guide for a walking tour. Pass through Eyguieres gate which was the only entrance to the village until 1866 and strolls through the narrow streets of the village. Admire the Hotel de Porcelet, a 16th-century Private Mansion that now houses the Yves Brayer museum. Other attractions in the village include the White Pennant's Chapel, the 12th century Saint Vincent Church with its stained-glass windows by Max Ingrand and of course the Château des Baux which is one of the most stunning of the region and that offers a breathtaking panorama. After your walking tour, enjoy some free time for personal discovery and lunch (at your own expense). After your time in Les Baux de Provence, it will be time to begin to make our way back to Aix en Provence. On your way, we will stop in a local Provence Winery so that you may taste some of the local wines that are produced in the region. The Côtes de Provence wine region spans over 20 000 hectares (roughly 50 000 acres) and has been recognized as an AOC since 1977. Rosé wines are mainly produced here and represent about 90% of the total amount of wines, 5% are reds and 5% whites. Main grape varieties for the rosés and red wines include cinsault, grenache, mourvèdre and syrah. For the white wines, Clairette, sémillon, ugni blanc and Rolle (Vermentino) are the most commonly used grape varieties. The highlight of your tasting will be Côtes de Provence rosé wine that is known for its aromas of fresh flowers, yellow fruits and red fruits. You will also have the pleasure to taste reds & whites so as to cover the whole range of Provence wines. After your wine tasting, it will be time to head back to Aix en Provence.

Day 5: Aix en Provence

After breakfast at your hotel, there will be a private transfer to take you to Aix en Provence to TGV train station or Marseille airport to begin your onward journey. 

Guaranteed departures:

This tour departs every Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday from April 1 to October 31, 2022