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The best of Provence A dream vacation in the South of France

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Provence is a place that smells like lavender and garrigue, with a famous wine and rosemary flavour. Its relics from a culturally and historically rich past are as many invitations to encounters and hiking – all of that drenched in sunlight and surrounded by the sound of cicadas as well as the exquisite scent of fig trees. You will be lazing in that region, whilst sharing wine tastings with the locals, visiting small villages and monuments with singing accents. We will also explore natural sites, protected areas and two natural reserves : the Alpilles and the Calanques .

Highlights:
- Discover the authentic spirit of Provence and its great gastronomy.
- A great variety of landscapes and towns : Saint Remy, Aix en Provence, Avignon , Marseille and the Calanques .
- The best hiking itineraries, from the national park of the Calanques, gem of the Mediterranean.

Itinerary
1 Avignonvillage EvaCalDay 1 - Arrival in Avignon, City of the Popes.
Our trip begins in Avignon. Meeting up with the guide at 4 pm at the central station in Avignon. It is easy to reach by TGV (fast train) from Paris (2h40) or Marseille (40 min.). Transfer to our charming hotel in the historic centre of Avignon, just 100m away from the Palais des Papes. Then at 6pm, presentation of the programme and different activities of the trip. Dinner at a restaurant in the old town and night at the hotel. Meals (-/-/D)


2 St Michel Frigolet Abbey ph Eva CaliDay 2 – Saint Michel de Frigolet (4 hours walk, +185 m, -185 m, 15 km)
In the morning, transfer by bus to the small town of Boulbon, famous for its castle and its mill (25 min). About 15 km away from Avignon, the “Saint Michel de Frigolet” Abbey has been home for 900 years to a community of monks who make, among other goods, delicious liqueurs. Perched on the Montagnette – a 6000 ha hill which smells like thyme and rosemary, the abbey overhangs a rich and diverse Mediterranean flora. The landscape offers rocky cliffs, gentle slopes covered with herbs of Provence, hidden valleys where grow olive, almond and apricot trees. Return to Avignon by bus, then a fun and original pedestrian discovery of Avignon and its omnipresent historical heritage. What we offer you is to truly investigate by going back to the time of the popes... discoveries, history and laughter guaranteed. Dinner is not included tonight. Night at the hotel in Avignon. Meals (B/L/-)


3 Les Baux de Provence ph Eva Calì
Day 3 – The region of the Alpilles and the Baux de Provence (5 hours walk, + 225mt -225 mt, 16 km)
In the morning transfer to St.Remy by public bus (50 min). We start our hike from the small town of St. Remy and we walk up to the hills of the “Alpilles”, a pleasant massif with its authentic Provençal atmosphere. A gently walk will take us to a “belvedere” from where we enjoy a wonderful view over “la Vallèe d’enfer” (the hell’s valley) and the rocky medieval village of Baux de Provence. We will continue our walk over the edge of Alpille massif, completing our loop returning back to St.Remy. Free time to relax and visit the refined town of St. Remy and to meet an olive grower and visit an olive press. Back to Avignon by bus, we get later on a train and head to Marseille, direct link between France and the Mediterranean. The city is the result of a subtle mix of oriental and Greek influences. Installation in your hotel and dinner at a restaurant. Meal (B/L/D)


4 Calanques de marseille ph cdtpaca
Day 4 – The five calanques of Marseille (4h30 walk, +520mt, -520mt)
Transfer by public bus from Marseille to the region of Calanque (about 30 min.). We start our walk on the “Calanques of Marseille”. This balcony path offers magnificent views across the Calanques and the islands of Riou and Frioul. We also discovered beach of Marseilleveyre where we will stop for a refreshing swim. Then we will continue our walk towards Marseille contemplating the contrast between the white limestone and the green pines, and breathing their exquisite scent. Dinner at a restaurant and night in Marseille. Meal (B, L, D)



5 vue marseille fort saint jean crtpaca
Day 5 – City trek in Marseille – (3 hours walk, +150 m, -150 m)
We spend the morning wandering and discovering Marseille, the old districts and the old port, as wells as small streets steeped in history. In the afternoon, we take the train to the city of Aix-en-Provence (30 min). Installation in our hotel in the historic centre. Then discovery of Aix and its historical and cultural heritage. At your pace, you will walk in the steps of Cézanne (the famous painter), visit his studio, his country house and places that inspired him... or laze as much as you want in the old town. This cultural day will end on a tasting of wines from Provence. Accommodation in the hotel.*** Tonight, dinner is not included, but Aix offers a large choice of restaurants. Meal (B/L/-).

Option: in the morning if the weather condition are fine, it will possible to join a boat tour to the beautiful island of Fioul, just outside Marseille and to enjoy a walk to discover the island or just relaxing for a swim (the cost of the boat return ticket it is about 11€ per person, and it is NOT included in the package). Then we will do the city trek of Marseille in the early afternoon before taking our train to Aix en Provence.

6 Montagne Ste Victoire Crédit R Cintas Flores 013
Day 6 - Trek in Sainte-Victoire: Vauvenargues (4 hours walk, +470 m , -470 m)A short transfer by bus (30 min) to Vauvenargues, on the north slopes of the Sainte Victoire mountain. Classified as a Great Site of France, Sainte Victoire accommodates outstanding Mediterranean fauna and flora, delightful vineyards as well as the souls of Dali, Zola et Cézanne. Then, picnic on the heights of the Sainte Victoire mountain providing an unforgettable 360° panoramic view surrounding us. Back to Aix, accommodation at the hotel.***. Dinner and night. Meal (B/L/D)

7 Centre ville Aix crédit Sophie SpiteriDay 7 - Depart
After breakfast, end of our services in Aix. A short ride on a taxi (not included in the package) will take you to Aix station (2h40 to Paris) or to Marseille station (30min), depending on the time of your flight or train. Meal (B/-/-)


Note: B (breakfast); L (lunch); D (dinner)

Grade: 3 to 6 hours walk every day, on a hilly to steep land. A previous hiking experience is recommended.

Accommodation:
2 nights in a un hotel *** in Avignon 
2 nights in a hotel *** in Aix en Provence
2 nights in a hotel *** in Marseille

Equipment : good quality trekking high boots, fleece jacket, mountain jacket, wool hat & gloves, flask 1 litre min., sunhat & sunglasses, sun cream, swimsuit, pocketknife, dump towels, cutlery & sealed plastic box for salads, tumbler, walking sticks advised.

Supplements Price per person
single bedroom 390 €

Included:
- All transfers by train, public bus or taxis.
- Accommodation for 6 nights in a hotel. ***. Breakfast included.
- 5 picnics
- All dinners except for the ones in Avignon (day 2) and Aix-en-Provence (day 5).
- English speaking guide during the entire trip.
- Wine tasting
- Tourist tax

Not included:
- all beverages
- optional visit to Cezanne workshop (6€) and its country house (6€) in Aix en Provence
- Meals on days 1 and 7 ; dinner on day 2 and day 5.
- Transfer to Avignon on day 1 and from Marseille to the airport/station on day 7.
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Map destination

Provence2

Trips Note

Destination: Provence
Travel style: guided walking holidays
Interest: History & Culture / Wine & gastronomy
Comfort: Charming
Grade: Medium
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights
Departure: J F M A M J J S A O N D 
Group Size: 4 to 15 people
Airport: Marseille
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