12 Days in The South of France ~ Provence

A holistic discovery

October 9-21, 2024
(Full)

Enchanting Provence

So much about Provence is alluring. It’s a stunning landscape of rolling vineyards, olive groves, lavender fields, picturesque villages dotting the countryside. Ancient Roman ruins, medieval villages, a papal past. Colorful, bountiful outdoor markets with fragrant produce and aromatic herbs. The light, colors, and landscapes of the region have inspired centuries of artwork and literature. A slower pace of life reigns here. Simple pleasures ~ leisurely meals al fresco, strolling through markets, playing a game of “boules”.

Wind down and allow the allure and tranquility of Provence to sink in. When we connect with place, ourselves, and with the local people, a rich exchange takes place.

With me as chauffeur and escort, we set out as a group of friends, exploring places evocative of the movies Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources. Our first-born child is named Manon, if that tells you anything about where our heart lies.

Curious about the holistic aspect? Read more here.

Reside in a beautiful, spacious Provençal villa (authentically designed yet with modern conveniences), two areas for outdoor dining (covered terrace and open-sky terrace), large heated swimming pool, traditional Provençal kitchen and large indoor dining room and salon.

Join us as we explore Provence with heart, mind, body, and spirit.

Remember to bring your swimsuit ; )

Provence tour highlights

reside 8 nights in a beautiful, spacious six-bedroom Provençal villa with heated swimming pool
 in a breathtaking historic town with fascinating Roman vestiges
and enchanting medieval hill town with its château in ruins

four mornings of gentle poolside yoga with Janet, our personal Smiling Heart Yoga instructor

privately guided walking tour ~ witness and understand the town’s riveting history and why everyone wanted to live here ~ Celts, Gauls, Greeks, Romans, Popes, medieval Counts, and visitors even today

tour + tasting at award-winning olive oil mill ~ wander the orchards and learn the process of extraction

striking perched medieval village Les Baux de Provence

footsteps of Van Gogh at St. Paul de Mausole, the mental hospital in St. Rémy de Provence where Van Gogh painted over 150 paintings in one year, including Starry Night, The Irises, and The Wheat Field

awe-inspiring immersive multimedia artistic production combining art, music, and light

vibrant + colorful Provençal outdoor market
hands-on cooking dinner party with chef Karen

villages + vineyards of the Côtes du Rhône, including Ségueret and Gigondas
privately guided tour + tasting at 3 different estates, discover organic, biodynamic wines 

postcard villages of the Vaucluse + Drôme in the shadow of Mont Ventoux
family-owned lavender + herb distillery, artisanal dessert tasting

exclusive Provençal dinner at the home of a local family

privately guided bespoke walking tour in Avignon and the Popes’ Palace

astonishing Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard

reside 4 nights in a beautiful, spacious six-bedroom Mediterranean villa perched above seaside village of Cassis

two mornings of gentle yoga on our sunny terrace with Daphné

half-day exploration in spicy Marseille
Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral + bird’s eye view of the bustling, vibrant city

1 ½ hour hike in the Parc National des Calanques with beach picnic in a secluded cove

private boat outing to discover the breathtaking creeks around seaside Cassis

 

Trip price + what it includes

The trip cost of $5,500 per person based on shared occupancy includes 12 nights lodging in high-quality, beautifully furnished, spacious 6 bedroom villa in each location (8 nights in first location, 4 nights in second location), pick-up from Avignon train station and return to Aix-en-Provence train station or pick-up and return from Marseille airport, 6 yoga classes, 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners, privately guided walks + tours, entrance fees to all sights listed in above highlights, my services as full-time trip escort, and assistance with travel planning. LAND ONLY package. Trip cost excludes international flights to/from the US or other city, transportation/taxi/uber other than specified above, tips for guides. Travel insurance is required. I recommend Travel Guard. I am happy to advise on the insurance.

Fitness Level

MODERATE to STRENUOUS – This tour involves a lot of walking, standing, climbing stairs, hills, and navigating uneven terrain, cobblestones, and gravel pathways. This tour is does not provide accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Practical Information

This tour is limited to 8 travelers; reservations honored on a first come, first served basis.

  • This is a LAND ONLY package beginning at Avignon TGV train station and ending at Aix-en-Provence train station; price does not include airfare, nor transportation to and from Paris or other French cities other than pick-up and return from/to cities mentioned herein.
  • Please plan to spend one night in Paris before and after the tour, allowing 16 days total travel time
  • Travelers must consult Karen before finalizing flight plans
  • Prior to booking your international flight, please consider the following:
    1/ Outbound flight: Due to overnight flight from the US, you will need to depart one day prior to desired arrival in France
    2/ Inbound flight:  Departs France and arrives USA same day
  • The group will take the train together from Paris to Avignon on the start date of the tour.  Returns to Paris will be via Aix-en-Provence TGV train station. It is perfectly fine to arrive from Avignon from a different city in France or Europe, but please be sure to coordinate your arrival time with that of the group.
  • Train tickets are not included in the trip price, but I will purchase the tickets on your behalf, in order to obtain the best price and ensure that all travelers are on the same train. Tickets must be purchased 3 months prior to travel date; detailed instructions regarding the train travel will be forthcoming as the trip gets closer.