Discover Provence

Avignon is a city famous for its history, and not just because its often referred to as the “City of Popes.” After all, this city on the Rhone is one of the few places in France to preserve much of its historical center, ramparts around the city, picturesque bridges, and buildings such as the impressive Popes’ Palace. Whether exploring the ancient cobblestone streets on foot or by bus, Avignon’s charm and friendly atmosphere is everywhere, from beautiful private mansions hailing from the 18th and 19th centuries to its many parks and gardens.

Avignon, too, is the center of Provencal food. With the oldest covered market in the city, Les Halles, along with cooking classes, visitors can discover Provencal specialties and local products, such as honey, nougat, chocolates, olive oils AOC, Côte du Rhône wines, and so much more. With its central location, Avignon is the perfect place to discover the surrounding Provencal countryside, including the Luberon mountains with their breathtaking views, Roussillon’s unique ochre landscape, and small villages like Chateauneuf du Pape that you can explore on a Provence wine tour with wine tasting.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 4 stars
Claudia & Richard
Alabama
Trip taken June 2015
We would go again tomorrow if we had the time! While the classes did not offer a great deal of information regarding technique or innovative recipes, we loved the chefs and greatly enjoyed the time we spent with them. Each one was very personable and engaging, and we left feeling that we understood the passion each invested in the food they prepared. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] The description of the day long trip put the lunch break in the wrong place, resulting in our having to cancel a reservation at the last minute because we were not actually going to be in the town where we understood we were "on our own" for lunch. We might have preferred to visit one less place and have more time to explore the others. It would have also helped for the guides to have plats or maps to offer for each location as we arrived. We never found the view points for a couple of the stops, and it almost seemed as though the primary activity was shopping, not exploring the locale. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, very pleasant to work with. Response from The International Kitchen: Wonderful! We're glad to hear you had such a wonderful time in Provence! Regarding the itinerary, adjustments may need to be made as the trip progresses, depending on how long some of the excursions may take. We will pass on your feedback to the guides! Thank you again.

Trip Details

Your 4 hands-on cooking classes will take place in a variety of kitchens throughout central Avignon and the Provencal countryside so you’ll discover all the different facets of the local cuisine. Visit Les Halles, a traditional Provencal food market full of farm products including vegetables, fruit, cheeses, honey, wines, flowers, and poultry, and learn how to create traditional Provencal cuisine. In one cooking class, set up shop in a 19th-century kitchen and work around a huge wood-block table. The kitchen’s original stove is fired up with oak wood three hours before class even begins, and you’ll discover authentic traditions as you prepare menus that feature traditional Provencal and French recipes. In Avignon, you’ll also visit a charming restaurant and discover how to pair wines with your meals as you learn from the chef, who is passionate about using local flavors and infusing them with something exotic.


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Itinerary

Bedroom at hotel in Avignon

Day One

  • Private transfer from Avignon TGV station to your hotel.
  • Check-in to your 4-star hotel in central Avignon.
  • Dinner on your own and overnight.

Marekt in Provence


Day Two

  • Breakfast.
  • After visiting the market with a chef, begin your first cooking class in his professional kitchen. Lunch to follow, with three courses and drinks included, based on your efforts.
  • Afternoon on your own to visit Avignon at your own pace. You will be provided with tickets for Popes’ Palace, the biggest gothic palace in all of Europe; the Pont d’Avignon, famous for the French song ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’; and a Provence wine tasting in a wine shop.
  • Dinner on your own.

The Pont du Gard, France


Day Three

  • After breakfast, depart for a full-day tour with an English speaking driver/guide on a shared mini-bus (max 8 people). First stop will be the Luberon hill range and picturesque villages, such as Roussilon with its ochre cliffs, and Gordes, completely built with dry stones called ‘lauze’. (If you are lucky enough to be in Rousillon on Thursday or Gordes on Tuesday, you can also go to the local market.)
  • Next stop is Fontaine de Vaucluse, where you will see the cave from which emerges the River Sorgues.
  • Free time for lunch on your own in either Gordes or Fontaine de Vaucluse.
  • After lunch it is on to the Unesco-rated Pont du Gard, which is the best preserved part of a Roman aqueduct that sent the water from Nimes to Uzes during the Roman civilization. From there head to Les Baux de Provence, a medieval hilltop village in the heart of the Alpilles hill range.
  • On Sundays only, we may substitute a stop in L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a village famous for its antiques and weekly market.
  • Return to Avignon for dinner on your own. Overnight.

Vineyard in Provence


Day Four

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, take a half-day tour on a shared minibus with an English-speaking driver/guide to Orange and Chateauneuf du Pape (max 8 people). Stop first in Orange to see the amazing Roman monuments including the Triumphal Arch and Theater, one of the best preserved monuments from Roman times (entrance fee and audioguide included). Next, it is time for a Provence wine tour with wine tasting in a Chateauneuf du Pape winery.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the afternoon, take part in a cooking class in a charming Avignon restaurant. During the apéritif, you’ll also learn how to pair wines with your meal. Dinner to follow based on your efforts, drinks included.

Delicious dinner in France


Day Five

  • Breakfast.
  • In the morning, meet your driver and depart for a cooking class with a local chef in the Alpilles area.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon, head to Villeneuve les Avignon, where you will visit an olive mill and have a tasting.
  • Return to Avignon and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Olives in Provence


Day Six

  • Breakfast.
  • Enjoy the morning exploring Avignon on your own. (If you’d like us to arrange an additional cultural tour or Provence wine tour for you this morning, please let us know.)
  • Lunch on your own.
  • In the late afternoon, meet for your last cooking class is in a 5-star hotel in Avignon, followed by dinner with drinks included.
  • Walk back to your hotel after dinner for your final overnight in Avignon.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast.
  • Check-out of the hotel and return to the Avignon TGV train station.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

6 nights accommodations in 4* hotel in the center of Avignon

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 2 lunches, local wine included
  • 2 dinners, local wine included

Classes & Instructors

Your 4 hands-on cooking classes will take place in a variety of kitchens throughout central Avignon and the Provencal countryside so you’ll discover all the different facets of the local cuisine. Visit Les Halles, a traditional Provencal food market full of farm products including vegetables, fruit, cheeses, honey, wines, flowers, and poultry, and learn how to create traditional Provencal cuisine. In one cooking class, set up shop in a 19th-century kitchen and work around a huge wood-block table. The kitchen’s original stove is fired up with oak wood three hours before class even begins, and you’ll discover authentic traditions as you prepare menus that feature traditional Provencal and French recipes. In Avignon, you’ll also visit a charming restaurant and discover how to pair wines with your meals as you learn from the chef, who is passionate about using local flavors and infusing them with something exotic.

Excursions

  • Shared tour of the Luberon, including the Pont du Gard, and the Alpilles region
  • Half-day tour to the Chateauneuf du Pape region, including Provence wine tour with tasting, and a tour of Orange
  • Visit of olive mill in Villeneuve les Avignon

Transfer Details

  • Round-trip transfers to/from Avignon TGV train station. (Transfers to/from Marseille airport available for an additional price).

Miscellaneous

  • Tickets for the Popes’ Palace

Accommodation Information

Located in central Avignon, just steps from Popes’ Palace and numerous cafes and shops, is the Hotel de L’Horloge. Once a 19th-century house, this hotel now offers 66 modern, cozy rooms with individual a/c and heat, free Wi-Fi, mini-bar, safe, telephone, and satellite TV. (If unavailable a comparable property will be proposed.)

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

(excluding July and August)

6-night Program
US$3400 per person based on double occupancy
  • Subtract US$300 per person when booking 4 or more people

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

July and August pricing available on request.

Single occupancy pricing: please inquire.

Transfer also possible from Marseille airport: please inquire for cost.


Tour Dates

Available the following weeks for 1-8 people. Other start dates also possible. (Please inquire for July & August.)

2019
July & August: please inquire
September 1-7
September 8-14
September 15-21
September 22-28
September 29-October 5
October 6-12
October 13-19
October 20-26
October 27-November 2
November 3-9
November 10-16
November 17-23
November 24-30
December 1-7
December 8-14
December 15-21
December 22-28

2020
January 5-11
January 12-18
January 19-25
January 26-February 1
February 2-8
February 9-15
February 16-22
February 23-29
March 1-7
March 8-14
March 15-21
March 22-28
March 29-April 4
April 5-11
April 12-18
April 19-25
April 26-May 2
May 3-9
May 10-16
May 17-23
May 24-30
May 31-June 6
June 7-13
June 14-20
June 21-27
July & August: Please inquire
August 30-September 5
September 6-12
September 13-19
September 20-26
September 27-October 3
October 4-10
October 11-17
October 18-24
October 25-31
November 1-7
November 8-14
November 15-21
November 22-28
November 29-December 5
December 6-12
December 13-19
December 20-26

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 4 stars
Claudia & Richard
Alabama
Trip taken June 2015
We would go again tomorrow if we had the time! While the classes did not offer a great deal of information regarding technique or innovative recipes, we loved the chefs and greatly enjoyed the time we spent with them. Each one was very personable and engaging, and we left feeling that we understood the passion each invested in the food they prepared. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] The description of the day long trip put the lunch break in the wrong place, resulting in our having to cancel a reservation at the last minute because we were not actually going to be in the town where we understood we were "on our own" for lunch. We might have preferred to visit one less place and have more time to explore the others. It would have also helped for the guides to have plats or maps to offer for each location as we arrived. We never found the view points for a couple of the stops, and it almost seemed as though the primary activity was shopping, not exploring the locale. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Yes, very pleasant to work with. Response from The International Kitchen: Wonderful! We're glad to hear you had such a wonderful time in Provence! Regarding the itinerary, adjustments may need to be made as the trip progresses, depending on how long some of the excursions may take. We will pass on your feedback to the guides! Thank you again.
We gave this trip 4 stars
Melanie & Glenn
British Columbia
Trip taken October 2014
Our trip was action packed with local tours and cooking sessions: * Cooking in Carpentras - Excellent. Chef Gina is professional and her cooking location is warm and cozy. Best for smaller groups of 2-6. She is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share her experiences. I highly recommend her B&B and cooking classes. * Cooking at a hotel restaurant - Wonderful atmosphere. Professional. 5 stars like the hotel facilities and amenities. I highly recommend an experience at La Mirande. The teaching kitchen is beautifully equipped with state of the art equipment and tools. * Cooking with Jean-Marc Lamarre - JM has a wonderful character and he is well known around town and in the markets. He is very knowledgeable on local products. His teaching facility is part of his restaurant which is a commercial, working kitchen. This can be good and bad. I did not feel we learned to cook a dish from beginning to end. Plus we ended up learning to skin a rabbit which was a bit jarring and unexpected. What I appreciated out of this experience is how hectic and how everything has to be timed to get plates out to the paying guests in the restaurant. We had 2 cooking sessions with JM. For me, I would have preferred an extra session with the other two cooking instructors. * The tour operator - Excellent. Clean vans/cars. All guides spoke excellent English and many other languages. Guides were very informative on all visited places and were very helpful and organized if we had questions on the local areas. They were excellent keeping everyone on time. * Hotel de l'Horlage was great. Staff was helpful. Breakfast was well organized and food was fresh. Rooms were clean. Location was central to everything in Avignon. * Transfers - excellent and on time. * Because I spoke French, the tour and cooking providers were enthusiastic to speak with me in their native language. This I appreciate. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Package was helpful. Found not every tour provider wanted our daily vouchers. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Superb. Answered all my emails in a timely fashion. We had lovely time. It was a very busy 7 days for us. This was exactly what we were looking for
We gave this trip 5 stars
Dina & Michaela
New York
Trip taken August 2013
It was spectacular!!! We had a great time and loved Avignon. Provence reservations made everything run very smoothly and the classes with the chefs were better than I ever dreamed. I think this was a new program for you but I would highly recommend it to anyone. Hotel L'Horlage was perfectly located and everything was within walking distance. I hope I have the opportunity to do another program through The International Kitchen. I just loved not being in the same kitchen for the whole week. The kitchen at La Mirande was like stepping back 100 years in time and was the highlight of the trip.