Historical sites, famous towns and villages, wine tours and truffle, olive and herb producers and of course the Van Gogh experience.
Join us on an exclusive series of day and half day tours that provide an extensive view of all that has made Provence so famous. From the grandeur of the Theatre Antique to the simple beauty of hilltop villages we interweave a kaleidoscope of images and experiences. We provide an English speaking guide/driver with 25 years experience of the region. In addition local experts provide their own unique knowledge of specific topics whether it is the history of this unique Provencal region or wine, truffle, olive and fruit farming.
All this based in our 17C large village house situated in the heart of Vinsobres . All rooms are centrally heated with superb views down over the village to the distant Mt Ventoux. There are extensive art facilities, large heated indoor/outdoor pool, terraces and a large garden terrace where you will join the hosts for breakfasts and 3 evening meals.
The tours can be taken on a daily basis or as part of a 7 day holiday based either in our gite accommodation in Vinsobres or in hotels of all standards in Vaison la Romaine.
7 to 14 April. 12 to 19 May. 30 june to 7 July. 15 to 22 Sept.
Saturday pm to Saturday am. 7 nights accommodation and 6 days of activities planned to ensure that we do not fill every moment of the day !
Other dates available for groups of 4 or more, please contact us. Please note that we are happy to accommodate couples and or groups from 4 to 8. Your holiday is GUARANTEED so no worries about cancellations.
Price… Based in our large village home here in Vinsobres for 7 nights on a bed and breakfast basis with 3 dinners with wine included. Also all guiding, visit fees, transport and transfers from Orange included.
750€ based on 2 sharing twin or double rooms. Single supplement details on the accommodation page.
Saturday. ..We arrange transfers to Vinsobres via Orange Rail Station as there is a direct rail link from Marseille Airport. The journey takes about 40 minutes. We also arrange transfers from Avignon TGV Station or the Airport for an extra fee of E40 per head return. On arrival at our large house in the village, after settling in we meet for an aperitif on the terrace and discuss the week ahead. Time for a rest and or swim before driving the short distance to a local restaurant for supper.
Sunday. The famous wine village of Gigondas.
Today we walk from the top of the Gigondas village to the Dentelles de Montmirail hills. The 2hr walk requires adequate walking shoes as it is a little rough underfoot. The track circles the pinnacles of the Dentelles to a magnificent viewpoint looking down over the hills and valleys to Mt Ventoux, the ‘Giant of Provence” at 1900m.
We return the same way to Gigondas for some wine tasting and a light lunch in the bistro.
After lunch we drive the short distance to the beautiful village of Seguret, famous among artists for its virtually untouched ‘main street’ dating from the 14th Century. Clients are free to roam through the village at their leisure. Return to Vinsobres by about 4.30pm for a relaxing swim/siesta and cold drinks. A cold drinks cabinet is freely available with an ‘honesty’ book for clients to sign for their purchases..all at cost price I hasten to add! This evening we suggest that clients walk down to the bistro in the village for supper, not provided in the price.
Monday. The Luberon and the famous villages of Gordes, Roussillon and Oppede le Vieux.
Walking shoes at the ready we depart at 9am for the 1hr 20 drive south to the Luberon. The villages are so different which just adds to their attractiveness. Gordes is sombre, built of stone on rock and the buildings tumble down the hillside in a jumble of styles. Roussillon is soft, ochre coloured, compact and very photogenic with the variety of ochre colouring on the houses. Oppede is an old ruin in a stupendous situation with a tragic history. It has great atmosphere. It’s a long day but well worth it, so when we return to Vinsobres there is plenty of time to relax before we offer a supper in-house with lots of local specialities plus wine of course !
Tuesday - Market day in Vaison la Romaine.
Vaison has an enormous and colourful market on Tuesday morning and this is a great opportunity to taste the fruit, olives, cheeses, wine and much more. We suggest that you have lunch in the town and then bring home the fruits of your shopping to eat in the evening at the house and we will provide a few extras to supplement your offerings !
The town itself is of great interest and, after lunch, we do recommend visiting the medieval part of the town via the Roman bridge. Also of interest is the Cathedral. Under the town lies a large Roman settlement which has been partially excavated and there are two sites close to the Tourist Office..well worth a visit as well. Transport is available at about 4pm for the drive home. For those who would like some more exercise we do have bikes available.
Wednesday - Orange and Pont du Gard.
A visit to Orange, which is again coloured by its Roman history. The magnificent Arc de Triomphe is a prime example of Roman dominance here with descriptions of wars and defeat of foes clearly visible on the frescoes. From there an audio visit to the Theatre Antique is arranged. This building is so impressive and leaves a permanent impression of the power and building skills of our Romans.
Time to explore the town and have lunch before continuing to Pont du Gard, another truly amazing example of Roman engineering skills. This aqueduct was constructed to bring water to Nimes and it is fun to read some of the very old graffiti on the walls ! On the other side is a fascinating museum set in an interesting visitor centre and well worth a visit. The drive back home takes about 1hr 30. This evening we drive to Nyons where there are numerous restaurants to choose from. Later on the minibus returns to collect clients after their meal..RV at the Tourist Office.
THURSDAY..Its the Truffle farm and Lavender day..
Grignan and our Truffle farmer. The farm is a beautiful provencal building surrounded by the famous truffle oaks. After a briefing explaining all about truffles the dogs arrive on scene complete with leather truffle-collecting bags in their mouths, both are Labradors by the way. Then its off to the forests nearby with the dogs, in order to find these black diamonds…usually successfully! Afterwards back at the farm different truffles, truffle oil and wine are on offer. You can also buy truffle items, some of which can be safely exported.
After this a short drive leads to Grignan with its impressive chateau and cluster of medieval streets around it. We return to Vinsobres for a late picnic lunch and rest before driving to Nyons for a guided tour of the Lavander Distillery where not only lavander but other herbs are distilled. The shop has it all including lavander flavoured icecream! Supper this evening will be a BBQ on the garden terrace and , hopefully, with help from handy clients.
FRIDAY. Van Gogh in St Remy and the Cathedral des Images at Les Baux.
An earlier start day, as it’s a 1hr30 drive south to St Remy. From the autoroute the drive is along a superb 5 km avenue of plane trees which leads us to St Remy.
Our first visit is to the Mausolee, the hospital where Van Gogh spent an anguished year..and completed 100 painting, including some of his most famous ones. It is rarely crowded so the atmosphere is very special; with copies of his works lining the tree and flower-shaded drive to the Church and the main building. Inside, the cloisters with a flower -filled centre lead to the shop and also access to his reconstructed bedroom and treatment room. Lots of information everywhere, see through the windows what he saw when painting. Outside, the gardens are beautifully maintained with poppies, lavender and sunflowers, depending on the season. Lining the walls are more Van Gogh reproductions..this is truly a wondrous spot and just sitting there Van Gogh is so real to all. Time now to spend a little time outside stopping at signs showing what Van Gogh painted from this spot.
Now its time for lunch so clients are invited to buy their own picnic and we then drive to Les Baux stopping enroute. We provide wine, cutlery etc.
The next stop is at the famous Cathedral des Images. Inside, vast caverns created by the extraction of limestone blocks are the scene of a magnificent sound and light show depicting the work of a selected artist. Images appear and disappear creating an other-world experience…has to be seen to really understand what this feature has to offer.
Suitably impressed, dazed and enthused we then drive through the valley of the devils to a viewpoint looking over to Les Baux itself. From there a shorter drive home leaves time to rest before we depart for our final meal together in another local restaurant.
SATURDAY.. Transport is available from 9am to return clients to Orange or, at extra cost, to Avignon. If you do wish to stay on for a few days, do ask and we will see if we have accommodation available.
We do hope that you have enjoyed your week here with us in Provence and if so a comment on Facebook etc is much appreciated.
If there is anything else we can do to help you with the success of your holiday please do contact us here.