Provence-Cote d’Azur is the picturesque southeast region of France. It encompasses the inland towns and cities such as Nice, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Chateauneuf du Pape, Isle sur la Sorgue, Les Baux, Fontvieille, as well as the bustling port city of Marseille.
Join Travac Tours as we explore many of the charming villages and towns that have made Provence a mecca for tourists from around the world.
This easy paced tour will start in Nice giving you a chance to soak in the azure complexion of the French Riviera. You will then travel to the fabled city of Avignon, your home for the next 6 nights. It is from Avignon that you will explore the small towns and villages that are the fabric of Provence. Each town will offer a different experience. You will travel into the heart of Provence and savour its natural beauty and captivating 2000 year old history. Your holiday ends in the sea port of Marseille.
Attractively priced, Travac’s Cote D’Azur and Provence program will sell out quickly. Similar programs often cost as much as $1000 more. Early booking is your best guarantee of space on this vacation. Last season’s tour was one of our most popular ever in Europe!
Today you will depart on an overnight flight to Nice through Montreal. Dinner and a light breakfast onboard.
Upon your arrival in Nice you will be transferred to your hotel. Since check in time is later in the afternoon you will have ample time to orientate yourself to the ambiance of this delightful town.
This morning you will embark on a tour of Nice which is located on the French Riviera in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Blessed by a sunny, temperate climate Nice attracts visitors from around the world. Among its many attractions are its beautiful beaches, its lovely seaside promenade and its many museums. Your tour will also take you to Monte Carlo, famous for its Casino. Monte Carlo located in the principality of Monaco offers a stunning view of the Cote D’Azur.(B, D)
Your day will be at your leisure. This delightful town offers an array of opportunities for a relaxing day on the French Riviera. (B)
This morning you will travel from Nice to Avignon which is situated in the heart of Provence. Avignon was for a time, the capital of Christendom during the middle ages. Today the city retains a strong link with its past. The Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), the Saint-Benezet bridge, called the “pont d’Avignon” as well as the ramparts that surround the old town are just a few of the monuments listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. Avignon will be your home for the next six nights and will act as a base for exploring Provence.(B)
Your tour today will take you into the Les Baux region of Provence. Set in the heart of the Alpilles regional country park, Les Baux-de-Provence is a listed heritage site that has won titles such as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Your tour of this serine area will also include a visit to an olive farm as well as a visit to St Remy de Provence and the St. Paul Asylum. It was at the St. Paul Asylum that Vincent Van Gogh spent a great deal of time. Expect to arrive back in Avignon in the late afternoon. (B, L)
After breakfast we will make our way to Aix en Provence. The town itself dates back to early Roman times and certainly there is still some evidence of their occupation in the region. However it is art that has made Aix so popular. Aix was home to Cezanne. His paintings populate many of the finest galleries in the world. It is these images that have drawn artists from around the world to this quaint town. You will be returning to Avignon in the early afternoon.(B)
Our journey today will take us to Pont du Gard. The Pont du Gard is a bridge, part of the aqueduct of Nîmes, which was built by the Roman Empire between AD 40 and 60 to transport fresh water across the Gardon River. The Pont du Gard is 900 feet long, 160 feet high, with a maximum span of about 8.5 feet; it was actively used as a source of fresh water by the citizens of Nîmes between the first and sixth centuries AD. We will also visit Uzes as a lunch stop (included). This small town in Provence was also a Roman stronghold. It is known today for its fine market. Your afternoon will include a visit to Chateauneuf du Pape for a wine tasting.(B, L)
No visit to Provence is complete without a visit to Arles. This enchanting town is dotted with Roman ruins and is one of the most popular destinations in Provence. After your city tour, you will have plenty of time to enjoy this charming town before returning to Avignon in mid afternoon. (B)
Our journey today will take us to Isle sur la Sorgue. L’Isle sur la Sorgue is one of those places in Provence that one has to see. The river Sorgue surrounds the city as if to hug it. This ancient town is also filled with canals that can be crossed by small bridges that lead into court yards and small avenues filled with shops and cafes. On our return to Avignon, we will pass through the village of Menerbes where we can enjoy its magnificent views. We will also make a short stop in Oppede-le-Vieux. This small village is another of the timeless towns perched in the hills that dot the dramatic landscapes of the Luberon region of Provence. Our last stop will be in Bonnieux. Built on a plateau above the valley, Bonnieux is a frequent stage on the famous Tour de France cycle race and a majestic example of the medieval era. (B)
This morning we will bid farewell to Avignon and make our way to Marseille. Marseille is the second largest city in France by population, its biggest Mediterranean port and the economic center of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Founded by the Phocaeans in 600 BC Marseille is one of the oldest cities in all of Europe. With over a million inhabitants it offers a different flavour from the small villages of Provence. Our tour of Marseille will include a visit to the Old Port. (B,D)
Today you will be returning to Ottawa, bidding farewell to this charming area of France.
Please note that a visit to Provence entails a fair amount of walking to fully enjoy your holiday experience. You should feel comfortable being able to walk for extended periods of time. Many of the avenues and walk ways are made of cobblestone. Comfortable walking shoes are essential.