St-Rémy-de-Provence - Daily Schedule
Meet in Avignon at 1pm and journey to your accommodation for the week at a Mas (farm house), on the outskirts of St-Remy-de-Provence, surrounded by lush orchards and market gardens. After settling in, explore the artists’ town of St-Remy, visit an olive oil mill, run by a family with oil in their veins and taste wines from a local cave (cellar). Tonight, take time to enjoy a typical Provençal meal in the park that is your backyard for the week, listen to the cicadas performing their melody of summer songs.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, then off to explore the neighbouring area known as the Gard. Hire a kayak and float (with a little bit of paddling), down the Gard river and under the immense 4th century aqueduct – Pont du Gard – stopping for a feast on the riverbank. Cycle back via typical small villages, perhaps taking the chance to sample some more Côtes du Rhône wines. Tonight’s dinner is at a local restaurant.
A big day out in the Alpilles. (Support vehicle ferrying available!) Experience the Cathédrale d’Images in a disused quarry. Wander the cobbled streets of Les Baux, and climb up to the ruined citadel, once the feudal home of the Grimaldi family where the expansive landscape will take your breath away! Continue on to Le Paradou, for lunch. See the magnificent lifelike village of Santons, then on to Le Destet. Don’t miss the chance to sample some excellent wines, many of them organic. This area is working towards becoming the first all biodynamic wine appellation in the world. Home via olive growing villages of Mouriès, once dotted with mills and eygelières, with its glorious St Sixte chapel. Enjoy a free night tonight either relaxing by the pool or sampling any one of many great local restaurants.
After home-baked croissants, cycle through a sea of vines, olive trees and orchards to neighbouring charming villages – Graveson and Maillane. Immerse yourself in the aromas of the perfume museum, paintings by fauvist artist Auguste-Chabaud or the homestead of Nobel Prize winner – and the man noted for reviving the Provençal language – Frédéric Mistral. Admire the Abbaye de St-Michel-de-Frigolet, hidden high in hills of La Montagnette, then travel by road or, for the more adventurous, wriggle along a meandering trail to Barbentane, for a typical Sunday lunch. Skirt around the base of La Montagnette, with hidden treasures, to the twin towns of Tarascon and Beaucaire. A chance to explore feudal castles and wander around 17th and 18th century houses, or visit Souleiado – a fascinating fabric museum that traces the history of traditional Provençal fabrics.
Stroll through the great Provençal market in St-Remy-de-Provence – plenty of tasty lunch treats to be found here. In the afternoon pedal to the ruins of ancient Glanum and the monastery that inspired Van Gogh to create some of his most notable works. Continue on to the plateau of La Caume admiring the sweeping views to the Luberon, Mont Ventoux & beyond.
Cycle to Fontvieille with a magnificent windmill that inspired Daudet’s letters – tired of city life, he dreamed of buying a mill.
Explore Avignon at your leisure. Visit the Palais des Papes and imagine the conversations of yesteryear. Use this great shopping opportunity to gather up some last mementos.
Refresh yourself with a swim. Tonight enjoy one of the active gourmet’s famed au revoir feasts.
A farewell breakfast, and filled with joie de vivre (and not a kilo heavier??) we go our separate ways, having savoured a wealth of new experiences, wonderful food, great wine and having made many new friends.
Tour Dates & Cost
NZ$2950 per person on a twin-share or double basis: a single supplement applies (if you prefer an individual room).
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