PACKAGES & GROUP TRIPS FOR 2021
With more trips coming soon...
Sometimes you want to go it alone...other times the fun and ease of group travel seems like a better choice. I'm often asked if I can recommend any group tours to Provence and it's a pleasure to mention the ones below for the year ahead. I've chosen these in particular because I know the tour operator, host or guides well...or I think the itinerary is superb...or my clients have taken the tour and raved about it! If you're interested in any of the following, get in touch so we can discuss. My email: WhatToDoinProvence@gmail.com. -- Julie
TRIPS IN 2021
A Taste of Provence
May 26-June 2, 2021
Hosted by a French-born, US-based tour operator with 25+ years experience escorting groups throughout Europe and Latin America, these 8 day/7night small-group trips (6 guests max) focus on the food, wine and culture of Provence. Cooking classes at the homes of local chefs, shopping at outdoor markets, gourmet walking tours, winery tours and exclusive visits to artisanal purveyors and producers are combined with visits to the charming hill towns of the Luberon and to historic sites in Avignon, Les Baux de Provence and more. Brush up and practice your French at the optional breakfast "table ronde" conversation sessions. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and the perfect balance between planned activities and leisure time. Stay at an elegant boutique hotel and dine from the menu with wine at authentic restaurants inaccessible to larger groups. Leisure time for shopping and experiencing the rhythm of Provençal life. Trips are perfect for friends, couples and singles...and fill up quickly. 2021 Dates: May 26-June 2. Price (includes everything except travel to the Avignon starting point): $5600 pp (no single supplement). Inquire about early booking discount.
Adventures in Provence
Scheduled Departure Dates from May thru October, 2021
This American-owned company, specializing in active tour travel exclusively in France, offers fully escorted six-day, five-night group tours in Provence hosted by the company owner (a tour operator, travel author and photographer who has lived in France for 26 years) and her team of charming local, English-speaking American and French guides. (They won the LUX 2019 Tourism Award for Boutique French Tour Operator of the Year.) Their Provence trip will be offered 20 times from May to October 2021, giving you great flexibility. The itinerary is designed to cater to both walkers and non-walkers alike by offering guided cultural excursions for guests not participating in the scheduled walks. You’ll discover villages and historical sites, walk Provence country trails to discover three distinct areas of the region, dine in a private Provence farmhouse, participate in a private chocolate making workshop and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine tasting excursion featuring a privately hosted lunch overlooking the Rhone River valley, visit artisan food producers and craftsmen, learn about Van Gogh’s presence in Provence, see gorgeous Cassis and the Calanques, and enjoy a mix of celebrity bistrot and Michelin-starred restaurants. You’ll experience four of the most-beautiful areas of Provence--the Alpilles, the Luberon, the Mediterranean Coast, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine country—and return each evening to your charming boutique hotel with pool in the heart of the village of St. Remy. For those who wish to arrive early or stay on, we’re happy to help you with planning. Max # of guests per trip is 16. Prices from US$3,298 based on early booking promotion prices. 2021 Dates: May 4-9, May 11-16, May 18-23, May 25-31, June 1-6, June 8-13, June 15-20, June 22-27, June 29-July 4, July 6-11, July 13-18, July 20-25, July 27-August 1, August 31 - September 5, September 7-12, September 14-19, September 21-26, September 28 - October 3, October 5-10, October 12-17.
Vacations for Artists and the People Who Love them
Multiple Dates in 2021
Organized by an award-winning California-based artist who has been offering premier painting tours in France for 10 years, these painting retreats and workshops include chateau lodging in gorgeous historic settings, meals and day trips for painters of all levels. Retreats are uninstructed; workshops have artist-instructors. Non-painting partners will find plenty to do and are welcome in all workshops and retreats. Day students and drop-ins are welcome, pending availability. Workshops and retreats scheduled for 2021 are as follows: Lavender Season Art Retreat, June 9 - 18, 2021. Watercolor Workshop with Joseph Zbukvic, September 2-11. Painting Provence with Marc Hanson and Dottie Leatherwood, September 14-23. Josh Clare Workshop at the Moulin, September 26-October 5. Glorious Provence Chateau Art Retreat, September 26-October 5, Rose Frantzen Masterclass in Provence, October 26 - November 4. There are also 7 workshops and retreats in Provence scheduled for 2022.
Everyday Extraordinary in Provence
May and September 2021
Live the French way…everyday! If you're a decor aficionado, fabr-i-holic, creative traveler or devotee of French style, this tour is for you—a week of design discovery, treasure-hunting, traditional Provençal crafts, history, and of course, exceptional food & wine! Immerse yourself in exclusive excursions--private workshops from sketching to dyeing, curated personal tours and market visits--and then return to a fabulous mas near St. Remy at the end of day. Think drinks & nibbles under the plane trees, followed by leisurely dinners catered by a local chef, with conversation as inviting and inspiring as the food. Your hosts are American design experts/tour guides with 10+ years of experience leading design-focused tours in Provence. Tours are kept deliberately small; capping at 8 people. Feed your wanderlust! Price: $5200 USD single occupancy (airfare not included.) 2021 Dates: May and September 2021.
France for Foodies
September 11 - 18, 2021
Join an American teaching chef, food blogger and TV personality who brings her love of food and France to life each year by creating and hosting meticulously planned foodie adventures for groups of 7 travelers max. Don’t delay, these trips sell out early! Guests on her 2021 trip to Provence will cook alongside and learn from renowned French chefs in a cooking class and wine tasting in legendary Chateauneuf-du-Pape...and in a French Market cooking class with plenty of wine, bien sur! This culinary excursion is packed full of tasting experiences including an olive oil mill and a goat cheese farm. Along the way, you'll meet Provencal food artisans oozing with passion for their products. You'll explore hilltop villages, the city of Avignon and lovely, seaside Cassis. Plus have time to shop some of the best markets in the world. This 7-day, 7-night tour is based in a luxurious private villa appointed with French antiques and linens in wonderful St. Remy. 2021 Dates: Sept 11-18. Price: $4375 (double occupancy); single upgrade is $850. This company also offers Paris (April 12-18, 2021) and a Wine Lovers Trip to Burgundy and Champagne (April 22-30). Details and pricing for those upon request.
Don't see what you like? We're adding more trips as we get the details so please check back. Or, let us plan the perfect trip package for you!
Left and right photos courtesy of France off the Beaten Path Tours
Provence in the Footsteps of Van Gogh
April 20-26, 2021
For seven idyllic days and six nights this April, experience a Provencal dream on this women-only luxury tour organized and led by a top Parisian blogger, author and tour director. “We run women-only tours,” she tells me, “because the connection and sisterhood that gets created from women coming together from all over the world is simply magical.” Enjoy antiquing, truffle-hunting, wine tasting, a cooking class, market tours and picnics, while exploring some of the most beautiful yet less touristic villages in Provence. Gourmet meals and wines are chosen based on demanding foodie tastes and include high-quality local ingredients. All but one meal is included and all meals include wine and/or bubbly! Lodging this year is in St. Remy, where the group will take over a small, very-beautiful boutique hotel. 2021 Dates: April 20-26. Price: $4495 pp for a single room (savings are available if you prefer to share a double.) Note: Just a few spaces are left.
C’est la Vie! Summer Tour
August 11-21, 2021
Slip into your espadrilles and experience one of the most magical places in France with local food, wine and newfound friendships. The C'est la Vie Tour is designed to have the feel of a group of friends exploring Provençe together...probably because it started as a group of friends enjoying Provençe together! Then others asked to join...and the Vermont-based trip leader decided to make it annual getaway, open to any like-minded travelers. Six guests and two guides guarantees an intimate experience. You'll arrive in Marseille and head to L’isle sur la Sorgue where you’ll hit the ground running by exploring their stream side Antiques, Art & You Fair. You’ll spend the night at your hotel just steps away. Next you’ll head to Uzès by way of Châteauneuf du Pape, tasting wine and nibbling chocolate. Uzès, a lively medieval town, is your home for the next few nights. You’ll be just around the corner from the best patisserie in town and the café-lined, tree-lit Place aux Herbes. You'll kayak under the Pont du Gard learn a couple kitchen tricks from a famous chef during your Provençal style cooking class. Then you’re off to St. Rémy, where you'll experience the incredible meld of music and art at the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux, followed with a quick dip in the pool before dinner. The next day's main event is the big weekly market, just steps from your hotel. Then there's a day of exploring followed by a memorable Provençal meal. For the last leg of the tour you'll head to the picturesque port of Cassis on the Mediterranean for two nights. You’ll be hitting both the local artists market and the weekly port-side market, as well as an excursion wine tasting at a vineyard that's walking distance to the port. As the pièce de résistance you’ll squeeze in an adventure exploring the Calanques ("French Fiords") by electric boat. You’ll head home with amazing treasures and lots of happy memories! 2021 Dates: August 11 to 21. Prices: $4150 pp, double occupancy, meals included.
To Provence With Love
May 31-June 8, Sept 13-21, Oct 11-19, Nov 1-9
Welcome back to our beloved Provence! Guided by a Connecticut-based trip leader with years of experience hosting groups in France, these tours will whisk you away down the back roads to some of the most spectacular cities (Aix) and small villages (Eze) on the French Riviera and in inland Provence. For 9 days and 8 nights, immerse yourself in French culture and beauty. Each day brims with something new and exciting: French cooking classes with English speaking chefs, excursions to morning markets, a Sunday trip to the famous village of L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue where we’ll find one-of-a-kind French antiques and street foods, a boat cruise from Cassis to explore the Calanques, wine tasting in Bandol, and weather permitting, a visit to a goat farm to sample wonderful chevre. Lodging is in 3- and 4-star boutique/spa hotels. The cost ($4,180 pp double, $4,840 single) includes airport or train station pick up (but not drop off), all ground transport, lodging and breakfast, two lunches, two cookery classes, Riviera cruise, wine tasting, weather permitting farm tour and welcome kit. 2021 Dates: May 31-June 8, Sept 13-21, Oct 11-19 and Nov 1-9. Additional tour dates may be arranged for private groups.
TRIPS IN 2022
The Magic of Uzès and the Roman Rhône
June 5 to 13, 2022.
For 8 days and 7 nights, this women-only, small group tour (6 guests max!) will be based in the charming town of Uzès, given you time to slow down, explore and truly savor this beautiful part of France. Charming Uzès, originally a Roman fortified town dating to the 2nd century BCE, is today a designated city of art and history. With its beautiful architecture and lively food scene, it's the perfect place to immerse yourself in the magic of Southern France. We'll discover the history of Uzès itself and the Valle de l’Eure, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site the Pont du Gard, and have a private chef-guided tour of a weekly food market, creating a lunch together from our visit. We'll have exclusive private tours and tastings at wineries in Lirac and Châteauneuf du Pape, as well as a private walking tour in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Avignon. Our second cooking class will help us understand and appreciate the traditional French Sunday lunch. There will be free time to rest, read, get a massage, window shop or just hang out and people watch in a café. The goal is to leave you relaxed, refreshed and inspired! This American tour company was founded by a WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Level 3 certified wine professional, a WSET Diploma candidate who has spent 8 years working in the wine business. She's traveled extensively in wine regions in Europe, exploring vineyards, meeting vignerons, tasting wine, and taking cooking classes everywhere she can! She loves to combine her passion for food, wine and travel to create unique tours for women from around the globe. June 5 to 13, 2022. Price: $5200.
The Best of Provence
June 29 to July 7, 2021
The Best of Provence begins in one of the oldest and most picturesque villages in Provence: lovely St. Rémy. We'll pick you up at the Marseille airport and take you directly to our one-of-a-kind hotel, built around a courtyard of fig trees! From this base, we'll explore the richness of Provence's village markets, its famous wines and fine cuisine, its medieval cities and ancient sites. With the assistance of local guides, we'll visit the historic towns of Arles and Aix-en-Provence, the evocative ruins of Glanum and Les Baux and the amazing Roman aqueduct, Le Pont du Gard. We'll also enjoy a shopping expedition to the famous Les Halles market followed by a hands-on cooking class in Avignon with a master chef! For the second portion of our tour, we'll transfer to an elegant 18th-century chateau in the heart of wine country. We'll have a private introduction to the wines of the Côtes du Rhône region with a distinguished sommelier as we bask in the beauty of endless vineyards. We'll also spend time exploring the Luberon region, one of Provence's most rustic and picturesque areas. At this time of year, the lavender fields will be in full bloom, and the landscapes are truly spectacular! This trip is offered by an American travel company celebrating 23 years of immersion journeys in Italy and France. It's always lead by two tour hosts and a number of local expert guides. Our typical clients include families with adult children, couples and single travelers...of all ages. Group size is 16 max. June 29 to July 7, 2021. Price: $4,950 pp, double occupancy. Single supplement: $825.
Private Provence: A House & Garden Tour
Late Spring, 2022
For everyone who sees a gorgeous garden gate and simply must know what's behind it, this tour is for you. This exclusive small group tour (8 travelers max) is a one-of-kind opportunity to visit some of the most enchanting private homes and gardens in Provence, where you'll be hosted by the homeowners, architects and gardeners themselves. We'll also visit a professional flower farm, boutiques selling beautiful things for your own home and garden (such as traditional Provencal pottery), a Provencal fabric workshop and one of our favorite antique markets. When we're not poking in and out of these exquisite places, you'll be offered a flower arranging class, a cooking class, a pastry class, a painting or sketch workshop and more. And of course we'll enjoy superlative Provencal meals made from the freshest local ingredients, paired perfectly with our favorite wines. Every step of the way you'll meet enchanting locals (French and expat) who are excited to host you and share their unique stories and experiences. Welcome to Provence and please, come in! Dates: Late Spring, 2021. For pricing and more details: WhatToDoinProvence@gmail.com.