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Provence & the French Riviera: Back Roads Experience

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,529

From sophisticated Mediterranean resorts to attractive and charming small inland towns, you will be captivated by the beauty of this region. Add to this, history and pageantry dating back to Roman times, you will find a wealth of enjoyment to savour here.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

Start your tour of this very interesting and attractive region of France in Nice. Immediately head to the unique Principality of Monaco with its glittering harbour and world renowned casino.

Afterwards, visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the former illustrious home of the Rothschild family. Return later to Nice for overnight.

Travel along the Riviera to Antibes with its narrow streets and impressive harbour followed by a visit to the beautiful town of St.-Paul-de-Vence and then to Vence known as the “City of Art” set in the hills of Provence where you will stay for 2 nights.

From Vence, head to Cannes, the sophisticated resort famous for its film festival. Later return to Vence with time to explore this medieval walled city with a history dating back to the 12th Century.

The next day, depart from Vence and travel to Aix-en-Provence with its narrow charming streets, old mansions and interesting architecture. Visit the studio of the impressionist painter, Paul Cezanne. Stay in Aix-en-Provence for 2 nights.

The next day is free to explore and enjoy the town.

The next stop is at historic Avignon on the River Rhone for 2 nights. This city with its famous damaged bridge is the former home to Catholic popes in the 14th Century. While here, visit the Palais des Papes.

The following morning brings a visit to St. Remy de Provence with its beautiful squares and fountains. Afterwards, take in the vineyards of the Cote du Rhone and enjoy samples from this important wine producing region. Also visit Orange with its well preserved Roman Theatre.

En route to your next stop, experience the amazing Roman aqueduct at Pont du Gard built in the 1st Century. Next is a journey through the Camargue, an area of wetlands and where the Camargue wild horses freely roam. Also visit the fortified village of Aigues Mortes. Arrive eventually in Arles, your home for the next 3 nights.

Arles is a very attractive well preserved medieval walled town with interesting narrow streets where both Picasso and Van Gogh spent time living and painting.

The following day is totally free to enjoy Arles.

Next day, head to the “Little Alps” region and the stronghold of Les-Baux-de-Provence with its ruined castle where you will enjoy remarkable views of the area. Also visit Carrieres de Lumieres where images and works of art are projected on to the walls of a quarry. ‚Ä®Finally travel to Marseilles where your tour comes to an end.

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Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,529

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Nice to Antibes to Vence

The French Riviera has it all, and on this tour we'll soak up its history, glamour and natural beauty. Our first stop: Antibes to view the old port. Then, we swap Antibes for Vence, with its colourful canvas of medieval streets and market stalls.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Cantemerle Hotel

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    Cantemerle Hotel



    Holidaymakers looking for a break from the bustle of city living in France, find an ideal retreat in the inviting spaces of Hotel and Spa Le Cantemerle Vence set within three acres of private grounds. Visitors at this Vence property can check out the exhibits ...

    Holidaymakers looking for a break from the bustle of city living in France, find an ideal retreat in the inviting spaces of Hotel and Spa Le Cantemerle Vence set within three acres of private grounds. Visitors at this Vence property can check out the exhibits at Fondation Maeght and Musee des Arts Asiatiques. Guests can also explore parks and natural attractions like Canyon Forest a few kilometres from the hotel.

    Facilities

    • Fitness Centre
    • Parking
    • Swimming Pool
    • Swimming Pool - Outdoor

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Day 2

Vence to Cannes to Grasse to Vence

This morning we make our way to the sublime village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Then it's time to channel your inner film star as we arrive in Cannes - famous for its glamorous festival, glitzy hotels and utterly chic boutiques. Wooing us away from the shoreline is Grasse, a hillside town north of Cannes that's famous for creating world-class perfumes. Here, we'll make a stop at the Fragonard Museum to treat our senses to some beautiful perfumes, before rounding off the day in Vence with a guided tour of the light-filled The Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Vence to Aix-en-Provence

Dotted with gravity-defying mountain villages and reach-for-your-camera scenery, we travel to Aix-en-Provence. When we reach the town of Aix, we dive into a network of narrow streets lined with spectacular architecture and centuries-old monuments. We even get time to pay a visit to Hotel de Caumont, an elegant chateau filled with history and beauty.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Cezanne

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    Hotel Cezanne



    Hotel Cezanne is the first Boutique Hotel in Aix en Provence. It is located in the city centre and proudly displays his chic and trendy side. There is a terrace equipped with a bar outside. A fitness room and a massage room welcome athletes and ...

    Hotel Cezanne is the first Boutique Hotel in Aix en Provence. It is located in the city centre and proudly displays his chic and trendy side. There is a terrace equipped with a bar outside. A fitness room and a massage room welcome athletes and sports enthusiasts. Zidan, a Syrian artist established in the famous Berlin-Mitte, has decorated the lounges with his works.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Bar/Lounge
    • Cafe
    • Complimentary WI-FI
    • Computer Station
    • Concierge
    • Express Check In/Out
    • Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lift/elevator
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Newspaper in Lobby
    • Non-Smoking Property
    • Terrace

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Day 4

Aix-en-Provence to The Lubernon to Saint-Remy-de-Provence

After a delicious breakfast, we head off to Saint-Remy-de Provence with a small detour via the Gordes, pausing in picturesque villages throughout the day.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Sous les Figuiers

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    Hotel Sous les Figuiers



    You are a few steps from the historic centre of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, in the calm sanctuary of a peaceful neighbourhood where the hotel Sous les Figuiers has found its roots. A small, entirely renovated 'hotel de charme, Sous les Figuiers offers 14 comfortable ground-floor rooms, eleven ...

    You are a few steps from the historic centre of Saint-Remy-de-Provence, in the calm sanctuary of a peaceful neighbourhood where the hotel Sous les Figuiers has found its roots. A small, entirely renovated 'hotel de charme, Sous les Figuiers offers 14 comfortable ground-floor rooms, eleven of which have private terraces opening onto a garden shaded by magnificent centenarian fig trees. Each one is rendered unique by its different patinas, original artworks and its individual furniture sourced both locally and around the world.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking
    • Pets Accepted
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Swimming Pool

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Day 5

Saint-Remy-de-Provence to Orange to Sainte-Cecile-Les-Vignes to Saint-Remy-de-Provence

Our first stop today is the magnificent Roman Theatre in Orange. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is extraordinarily well preserved, especially its striking arch. By this point, we'll be ready for a flavour of this area's culinary heritage too. So we make our way to Sainte-Cecile-les-Vignes where a private vineyard, delicious wines and a Provencal lunch await.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 6

Saint-Remy-de-Provence to Avignon to Pont Du Gard to Arles

Roman engineering. Catholic architecture. It must mean we're en route to Avignon. We pay a visit to the iconic Pont du Gard, an impressive two-tiered Roman aqueduct that carries us on a journey back in time. Onwards to Avignon to visit the Palace of the Popes, which towers over the historic centre. By the time we reach Arles, in the heart of the Camargue region, we'll be ready for a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Le Calendal

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    Hotel Le Calendal



    A three star hotel spa, ideally located in the heart of the historic centre of Arles, between the Roman theatre and amphitheatre. An antique-inspired spa, opposite the amphitheatre of Arles, to relax and take care of yourself.

    A three star hotel spa, ideally located in the heart of the historic centre of Arles, between the Roman theatre and amphitheatre.

    An antique-inspired spa, opposite the amphitheatre of Arles, to relax and take care of yourself.

    Facilities

    • Reception
    • Restaurant
    • Seminar Room

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Day 7

Arles

Whatever you feel like doing in Arles, the whole day is at your disposal. There are thousands of years of history and culture to uncover here.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Arles to Les-Baux-de-Provence to Gorges du Verdon

We make for the mountains today and venture into the 'Little Alps'. First up, is the Huguenot stronghold of Les Baux-de Provence where we marvel at the extraordinary Carrieres de Lumieres and continue to Valensole for an aromatic lavender experience. Finally, we arrive at the sensational Gorges du Verdon - for many, the jewel in this region's crown. It's so spectacular that we stay in the area overnight to truly appreciate it, and settle down to a final dinner together.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Chateau de Taulane

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    Chateau de Taulane



    Luxury and chic and cozy ambiance prevail in the 46 rooms and suites of the Chateau de Taulane, within the Chateau or the Manor. The rooms and suites of the Chateau reveal a classic decoration, inspired by Provencal style: red floor tiles on the floor, ...

    Luxury and chic and cozy ambiance prevail in the 46 rooms and suites of the Chateau de Taulane, within the Chateau or the Manor.

    The rooms and suites of the Chateau reveal a classic decoration, inspired by Provencal style: red floor tiles on the floor, painted furniture and cotton fabrics of Souleiado. The charm and the authenticity invite to the disorientation, in this dwelling of the eighteenth century, charged with history.

    The Manoir, a few meters from the reception, unfolds its unique character to accommodate 17 rooms, in a contemporary and modern decor, recently renovated. They offer a view of the majestic paved courtyard of the Castle.

    Facilities

    • Golf Course
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

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Day 9

Gorges du Verdon to Castellane to Nice

Our tour's last stop sees us in the cobbles of Castellane. Look out for the dazzlingly high Chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc. After that, we return to Nice where we bid one another "au revoir".

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Oct 6
2018: May 11, 25; Jun 8, 15; Jul 12; Aug 17; Sep 7, 14, 21; Oct 12

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 8 nights' accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 3 evening meals
  • 1 lunch
  • Wine tasting
  • Entrance fees to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Paul Cezanne's studio, Palais de Papes and St. Benezet Bridge, Roman Theatre in Orange and Carrieres de Lumieres

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Entrance fees not listed in the inclusions
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB BACKROANIC0118SG: PFR
12 Oct 2018
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