The young couple for whom we planned and organised this holiday had just a week in which to see some of the highlights of Provence. This whistle stop tour of some of the highlights of southern Provence started with an arrival in Avignon by TGV from Paris, then from their base in St. Remy our couple made a visit to Arles and the Pont du Gard. The trip included a hot air balloon ride over the Luberon valley en route to Aix en
Provence from where the couple took a day excursion to Fréjus before travelling on to Nice via the delightful Train des Pignes through the foot hills of the southern Alps from Digne les Bains. Their 2-night stay in Nice included a trip to Monaco by train - and all within 7 days!
The itinerary was planned as a first night of Wednesday and a last day of Tuesday.
Arrive Avignon TGV early afternoon with time to explore Avignon including visit to Palais des Papes and the famous Pont St. Benezet before driving on to the charming town of St. Rémy for 3 nights stay.
In the morning explore the old town joining the Tourist Office guided tour visiting the places and subjects painted by Van Gogh. Lunch St. Rémy before driving onto the Pont du Gard or picnic at the Pont du Gard on arrival. Plenty of time to visit this superb World Heritage Site before returning to St. Rémy for a relaxing dinner at one of the many restaurants in the old town centre.
An all day visit to nearby medieval and Roman Arles with visits including Théatre Romain, Cryptoporticus, Alyscamps, Cloitre St. Trophime, Musée d'Arles Antiques - a superb museum with fabulous mosaics. Return to St. Rémy late afternoon leaving time to visit the medieval fortress village of Les Baux en route.
Early in the morning a spectacular hot air balloon flight over the Luberon valley followed by a champagne breakfast. Late morning drive on to Aix en Provence visiting en route the perched village of Bonnieux, typical of the Luberon area and then drive through the Luberon mountains for an early lunch at the delightful village of Lourmarin. This afternoon continue on to Aix visiting en route the Oppidum d'Entremont north of the city. Overnight in Aix for two nights.
Time in the morning to explore Aix old town maybe including a visit to Cézanne's atelier, still full of the painter's presence. Then this afternoon drive to Fréjus to explore for the afternoon returning in time for an aperitif at one of the famous cafés on the Cour Mirabeau and dinner in one of the lively brasseries.
Depart Aix and travel by train to Digne les Bains to connect with Train des Pignes for Nice. This delightful small train takes through the spectacular mountain scenery of the Southern Alps with a stop en route to explore one of the mountain villages and arrive in Nice in the evening. Overnight Nice for the next two nights.
This morning explore Nice old town then in the afternoon a short train ride to Monaco to visit this fascinating principality.