DAY 1ARRIVAL IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE
ARRIVAL IN AIX-EN-PROVENCE
Fly to Nice, Marseille or Montpellier, or you can travel by Eurostar and TGV to Aix-en-Provence. You have a choice of hotels where we stay for seven nights including bed and breakfast, two dinners in your chosen hotel and two dinners in excellent quality restaurants giving you a real taste of the local cuisine, and an authentic insight into French life.
DAY 2TOUR OF AIX-EN-PROVENCE
TOUR OF AIX-EN-PROVENCE
Aix en Provence is a stunningly beautiful place, originally a spa town founded by the Romans. It is a labyrinth of tiny alleyways and squares and is known as the acity of a thousand fountainsa. This is provincial France at its best. Paul CA(C)zanne was the cityas favourite son and he painted 300 paintings here and in the surrounding area, with his workshop preserved exactly how it was when he died in 1906. This morning, you have tour of the city after which you may explore as you wish.
DAY 3THE CAMARGUE
After breakfast you leave Aix and head for the nearby coast and the delta of the great River RhA?ne a the Camargue a now designated a National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty famed for its iconic black bulls, white horses and pink flamingos. Next you arrive in Arles, the aPearl of Provencea.
Its preservation has been remarkable and on a fascinating walking tour you will see the forum, theatre and incredible amphitheatre plus much more of this superb city. After some free time, you are then free to return to your hotel.
DAY 4LUBERON MOUNTAINS
This morning you head inland to the stunning scenery of the Luberon mountains. It was here that Peter Mayle found inspiration for his book, A Year in Provence. First of all, you cross the fertile plains adorned with olive and peach groves which change to rich vineyards on the lower slopes. Then as you climb, there is row upon row of fragrant lavender, together with the mimosa and pine trees, that give the unmistakable aroma which is one of Provenceas hallmarks, it is now a much prized nature reserve.
Today you visit nearby Avignon, one of Europeas most historic cities. Its destiny changed early in the 14th century with the exile of the Popeas court from Rome. Vast wealth poured in to build churches, convents and elegant townhouses, but most of all the incredible Papal Palace. You have time to visit this imposing building which from the outside resembles a citadel rising from living rock flanked by turrets more than 150 feet high.
Alternatively, there is the Petit Palais museum which houses an excellent collection of more than 1,000 paintings. You also visit the Pont du Gard, an amazing Roman aqueduct, wider than the Thames in London and one of the wonders of the ancient world. You then return to your hotel in Aix.
DAY 6FREE DAY
Today you have a free day to spend as you wish. Probably best though is just to wander through Aixas maze of ancient streets lined by its 17th and 18th century mansions and admire the graceful charm of its fountains, the choice is yours!
Today we head just south to the rugged Mediterranean Coast to visit, probably Provenceas most alluring port, Cassis. An utterly charming little spot with its myriad of fishing boats riding at anchor, overlooked by a mighty medieval fortress. Explore the sights or taste some delicious local seafood before, for the finest possible vistas, we explore by boat the stunning Massif des Calanquesas dazzling white cliffs and pinnacles erupting from the sea.
DAY 8RETURN FLIGHT OR EUROSTAR
RETURN FLIGHT OR EUROSTAR
Today you return to the airport or railway station at the appropriate time to return home.