Provence is a land of fresh, delectable produce, inviting locals, and a relaxing lifestyle. All of these will be yours to enjoy during your stay in a private villa in the charming town of Maussane-les-Alpilles. From Maussane the rest of Provence is yours to explore: the famed market of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the historical cities of Avignon and Cassis, the charming villages of St. Remy-de-Provence, Gordes, and Bonnieux. You will taste the delectable wines of Provence and enjoy its amazing, fresh cuisine during hands-on cooking lessons and dinners prepared by your own private chef, as well as out at local restaurants.
Bonjour Provence Itinerary
Order of activities subject to change depending on season and specific dates booked.
- Arrival at Avignon TGV station or Marseille airport and transfer to your accommodations. Time to settle in and rest.
- This evening, enjoy a welcome aperitif and your first Provencal dinner, prepared by your private chef at the villa. (Or, for groups of 2-3, dinner out at a local restaurant.)
- After breakfast, head to the town of Isle sur la Sorgue, which is famous for its Sunday antiques market. The town is known as the “Venice of Provence” because of its many canals, as it is built on five branches of the Sorgues River. You will have time to explore this charming town.
- Lunch on your own in Isle sur la Sorgue (your driver can make suggestions).
- Transfer back to your accommodations, with time for a rest or a swim (in season).
- This afternoon, enjoy a cooking class with Chef Cadiou, a celebrity cook, in which you will prepare a wonderful French meal.
- Dinner to follow based on your efforts.
- Breakfast, then depart for an excursion to the hilltop villages of Gordes and Bonnieux and the famed ochre “Red Canyon” of Roussillon. This is the land of Peter Mayle’s famed Year in Provence!
- Enjoy an outdoor picnic, perhaps in a lavender field (in season). Or, in case of bad weather, lunch in a local restaurant.
- Return to Maussane and dinner tonight at the villa (groups of 4 or more), or at one of the town’s many wonderful restaurants (groups of 2-3).
- Breakfast and depart for Avignon. You will tour the indoor market with chef John, who will explain the local specialties to you before taking you back for a hands-on cooking class.
- Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
- Free time to explore Avignon on your own, perhaps with a trip to the famed “Pont d’Avignon,” or the “Palais des Papes.”
- Stop on your way back to the villa for a wine tasting of Provencal wines.
- Dinner tonight on your own.
- Breakfast and depart for St. Remy de Provence, a delightful village that hosts a lively open-air market every Wednesday. St. Remy has inspired writers, musicians, and painters for centures. Enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of the market, and then time to explore the market and shop for everything from food products to linens, handicrafts, clothing, etc. Enjoy lunch on your own, perhaps a picnic based on the items you purchase at the market!
- In the afternoon, stop at a local olive oil mill for a tasting of this Provencal staple.
- On your return to Maussane, stop at an old quarry that has been transformed into a a magnificent gallery in which master works of art are projected onto the giant limestone walls surrounding you.
- Transfer back to your villa for your evening cooking class featuring foie gras and truffles, led by private chefs Anne and Veronique. Dinner to follow.
- After breakfast, depart for the village of Cassis on the French Riviera. The ancient fishing village is also a well-known vacation spot. Have a sea food lunch at the old port before embarking on a boat to explore the breathtaking white “Calanques,” the French Mediterranean’s version of fjords.
- Enjoy free time to explore on your own.
- Transfer to Maussane for a farewell dinner at the villa (groups of 4 or more), or at a local restaurant (groups of 2-3).
- Breakfast and group transfer to the Avignon TGV station.