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Provence & The French Riviera
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At a glance
Provence & The French Riviera | 2017 | 10 Days: Take the back roads from the elegant resort of Cannes to quaint towns such as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence Have a Provençal lunch and accompanying wines in a private vineyard Relish Arles with a day to yourself
What's included
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Private transfers to and from the airport
  • 9 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels
  • Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 x evening meals (D)
  • One lunch with wine tasting (L)
  • Included Entrances: Rosaire Chapel, Hôtel de Caumont, Roman Theatre of Orange, Palais des Papes, Pont Saint-Bénezet, Pont du Gard and Carrieres de Lumières.
What's not included
  • Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,&rsquo items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.
Day 1

Arrive into Nice and enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Day 2
Nice – Antibes – Vence

Antibes may be an old port with boatloads of historical charm, but the luxury yachts make this very much a 21st century playground. We get a sense of both its heritage and jet-set style as we wander the narrow streets and impressive harbour. Then we swap Antibes for Vence, with its colourful canvas of medieval streets and market stalls. It’s no surprise swathes of artists have been captivated by this city. We linger here overnight to find out more, beginning our stay with a welcome dinner together. (D)

Overnight: Hotel Cantemerle (or similar)

Day 3
Vence – Cannes – Grasse – 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. There’s much to see here, so we go our separate ways to allow plenty of time on Promenade de la Croisette. Wooing us away from the shoreline is Grasse, a hillside town north of Cannes that’s famous for creating world-class perfumes. The end of the day brings us back to Vence and the light-filled Chapelle du Rosaire – a masterpiece of contemporary design conceived by Henri Matisse. Look for the vivid and abstract stained glass windows, and the stark black-lined depictions of the Madonna and Child on the walls. (B)

Overnight: Hotel Cantemerle (or similar)

Day 4
Vence - Aix-en-Provence

Dotted with gravity-defying mountain villages and reach for-your-camera scenery, The Var is ideal driving country. We travel through it on our way to Aix-en-Provence, stopping at a handful of characterful villages as we go. When we reach the Old 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 Hôtel de Caumont, an elegant 18th century château on an urban scale, which houses an art centre. (B)

Overnight: Hotel Cezanne (or similar)

Day 5
Aix-en-Provence - Saint-Remy-de-Provence

This morning is yours, and youcould use it discover and revisitthe sights of Aix-en-Provence.When we come back together,we head off to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, pausing in some ofthe pretty villages scatteredthroughout the Luberon. (B, D)

Overnight: Hotel Sous Les Figuiers (or similar)

Day 6
Saint-Rémy-Deprovence – Orange – Sainte-Cécile-Les-Vignes – Saint-Rémy-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-Cécile-les-Vignes where a private vineyard, delicious wines and a Provençal lunch await. Back in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, we have an evening to ourselves. (B, L)

Overnight: Hotel Sous Les Figuiers (or similar)

Day 7
Saint-Rémy-Deprovence – Pont Du Gard – Avignon – Arles

Roman engineering. Catholicarchitecture. It must mean we’reen route to Avignon. We paya visit to the iconic Pont duGard, an impressive two-tierRoman aqueduct that carriesus on a journey back in time.Onwards to Avignon, we crosssublime landscapes before weenter this 14th century city tosee its sights. At the top of ourlist are the Palace of the Popes,which towers over the historiccentre, and the legendary Saint-Bénezet Bridge. By the time wereach Arles, in the heart of theCamargue region, we’ll be readyfor a delicious dinner at a localrestaurant. (B, D)

Overnight: Hotel Le Calendal (or similar)

Day 8

Museum and gallery hop by morning. Spend the afternoon tracing the brushstrokes of Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. And in between, pull up a chair in a cosy bistro or shady square to watch the world go by. Whatever you feel like doing in Arles, the whole day is at your disposal.  We can point you towards the Roman amphitheatre, baths and monastery. Or you could discover the city’s bullfighting heritage and artistic side all by yourself. There are thousands of years of history and culture to uncover here. (B)

Overnight: Hotel Le Calendal (or similar)

Day 9
Arles – Les Baux-Deprovence – Gorges Du Verdon

We make for the mountainstoday and venture into the ‘LittleAlps’. First up is the Huguenotstronghold of Les Baux-de-Provence. Here we marvel atthe extraordinary Carrières deLumières, where works of artare projected on to the walls ofthis former quarry. Finally, wearrive at the sensational Gorgesdu Verdon – for many, the jewelin this region’s crown. Thiscenturies-old canyon, circledby quaint villages, captivatesfrom the moment you see it.It’s so spectacular that we stayin the area overnight to trulyappreciate it, and settle down toa final dinner together. (B, D)

Overnight: Hotel & Spa Gorges du Verdon (or similar)

Day 10
Gorges Du Verdon – Castellane – Nice

It’s time to say goodbye today, but not before one last trip. Our tour’s last stop sees us in the cobbles of Castellane. Look out for the dazzlingly high Chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc and groups of locals venturing off, oars in hand, on rafting and kayaking expeditions along the nearby rivers. After that, we return to Nice where we bid one another “au revoir”. (B)

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