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Home > France > Itineraries > Provence Wine Itinerary

Provence Wine Itinerary

Departures

April 30 to October 21

Duration

10 Days

Locations

Crillon-le-Brave, Arles, Aix-en-Provence

Overview

From east to west, Provence is an idyllic part of France with so much to offer – from medieval villages to ancient Roman architecture to delectable food. This wonderful trip will introduce you to everything that makes the region so special. Your journey begins in Crillon-le-Brave, a charming hilltop village. From this home base, you will explore the surrounding countryside, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pont du Gard, part of a Roman aqueduct, and the beautiful town of Avignon with its iconic arched bridge. You will also get to visit the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, before admiring the view of the lavender fields from the village of Sault. Next, venture out into the Alpilles to wander the ancient streets of Saint Rémy. Travel through fields of olive trees and vineyards and find yourself at the stone fortress of Les Baux de Provence, which offers stunning views of Arles, with all its fascinating Roman monuments. Here, you will head out on foot to see some of the fascinating Roman monuments. This city has a link to Vincent Van Gogh –you’ll learn about the famous painter and some of the popular works he completed while living here. On your way to Aix-en-Provence, you will visit a local market in the charming village of Maubec, where you will select ingredients to use in an afternoon cooking class with chef Jean-Marc Villard. Once you’re settled in Aix-en-Provence, your private guide will take you on a tour of the town, following in the footsteps of the artist Paul Cézanne, taking in some of the oldest parts of the city along the way. As your adventure draws to a close, you will visit the seaside town of Cassis and the nearby cliffs and fjords, as well as Bandol, one of Provence’s internationally recognized wine regions.

Itinerary in Detail

    DAY 1 – Crillon-le-Brave

    Take a private transfer to your hotel in Crillon-le-Brave.

    Hotel: Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    DAY 2 – Crillon-le-Brave

    Rich and complex, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the best wine from the Provence region. Between Avignon and Orange, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard’s 3,200 hectares dominate the plain. The village streets clustered at the foot of the castle, a 14th-century Papal residence, are dotted with fountains. This is where the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) protected origin concept was born, propelled by Baron Leroy, the owner of Château Fortia in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

    Hotel: Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    Hôtel Crillon le Brave - Pool

    DAY 3 – Crillon-le-Brave

    Today, you will visit the village of Sault, a hilltop health resort situated on the border of a wooded plateau, blooming with lavender. All around the town lie immense blue fields alternating with fields of wheat for as far as you can see. While you are in Sault, take time to enjoy the local food specialties such as nougat and lavender honey, or sit on the terrace of a local café and blend in with the locals.

    Hotel: Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    DAY 4 – Crillon-le-Brave

    The Alpilles are an extension of the Luberon Mountains, their steep slopes terraced to enable the growing of almonds, apricots, olives and grains. Surrounded by lush, perfumed valleys, the ancient streets of Saint Rémy are lined with beautifully restored houses. While strolling through the winding laneways, you will discover old fountains, shaded squares, restaurants and elegant boutiques. This historic village is built on one of the oldest archaeological sites in Europe. You will be able to explore the remains of the Comptoir de Glanum, which was founded in the 2nd century BC. Two important monuments are visible next to the site: l’Arc de Triomphe and the Mausolée des Antiques. You will then drive through a sea of olive trees and acres of vineyards to the village of Les Baux-de-Provence. Perched on a rocky plateau with a brilliant view of Arles, this immense stone fortress is one of the must-sees in Provence. The village is easily one of the most beautiful in France. It can only be visited on foot and you will admire the ancient houses that have been carefully restored, beautiful Renaissance façades and magnificent "hôtels particuliers" which today serve as art galleries or museums. In the afternoon, you will make a stop in Saint-Paul de Mausole, an old monastery where Vincent van Gogh once sought psychiatric refuge. You will see the wheat field that the artist contemplated and painted during his time at the institute as well as a reproduction of the room where he was confined.

    Hotel: Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    Hôtel Crillon le Brave

    DAY 5 – Arles

    Today, you take a private transfer to your hotel in Arles.

    Hotel: L’Hôtel Particulier

    L’Hôtel Particulier

    DAY 6 – Arles

    If you love Roman monuments, this tour is for you. You will discover many historical buildings as you walk through the streets of Arles. The city was once a major Roman center, founded in 45 BC. Its famous amphitheater was converted into a fortress to resist invaders in the Middle Ages, and a village was once situated inside of it. You'll also learn more about Van Gogh on this tour. He spent a year and a half in Arles and completed many works under the bright light of Provence – including “Sunflowers” – fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. In Arles, Van Gogh rented the Yellow House to welcome his friend Paul Gauguin. It’s also here that he painted “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” after he had a violent fight with Gauguin. All over the town, you will see reproductions of his paintings in front of the real sites, such as “The Courtyard of the Hospital” or the yellow café of “Café Terrace at Night.” You will also visit the Romanesque Saint Trophime Church, with its remarkable 12th-century façade.

    Hotel: L’Hôtel Particulier

    L’Hôtel Particulier

    DAY 7 – Arles

    Today, you take a four-by-four to Camargue Autrement, a captivating island in the Rhone River delta, home to a wide variety of wondrous flora and fauna. On this safari, you will have the opportunity to see the endemic bulls and horses that roam the extensive marshlands here, explore the lagoons and marshes, and spot pink flamingoes and other wild birds.

    Hotel: L’Hôtel Particulier

    L’Hôtel Particulier

    DAY 8 – Arles

    On a visit to the charming village of Maubec, you will meet chef Jean-Marc Villard and his wife Alice. Together, you will head to the local Provençal market where the chef will help you select the perfect ingredients for your lunch. You then go back to his home to prepare and enjoy two amuse-bouches, a starter, main course and dessert.

    Hotel: L’Hôtel Particulier

    L’Hôtel Particulier

    DAY 9 – Aix-en-Provence

    Take a private transfer to your hotel in Aix-en-Provence.

    Hotel: La Villa Gallici

    La Villa Gallici

    DAY 10 – Aix-en-Provence

    Today, you visit the town of Aix-en-Provence and walk in the footsteps of the artist Paul Cézanne. Aix-en-Provence is a city of art, light and activity. At its center is the old town, ringed by a circle of boulevards and squares. It’s a small enough area to explore by foot, but there's so much to see you could spend days exploring. The medieval Aix was protected by a wall with 39 towers, but today only the 14th-century Tourreluquo tower remains. The Cours Mirabeau is a beautiful tree-lined avenue in the heart of the city filled with cafés terrace and bookshops. Other places to visit include the market, the Granet Museum and the atelier where Cézanne painted some of his most famous works.

    Hotel: La Villa Gallici

    La Villa Gallici

    DAY 11 – Aix-en-Provence

    Today, we say good-bye and take a private transfer to the Marseilles airport.

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