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Discover Provence Self Drive Tour
Discover Provence Self Drive Tour
 Day by Day Itinerary  

The itinerary has been planned as a first day of Tuesday and final night of Saturday in order to ensure you can visit the best of the markets and local events which are held on specific days of the week. We can arrange an alternative day of week to start your holiday but in this case the day by day itinerary may change slightly according to your choice of holiday dates.

This holiday can be taken at any time between the months of April to October although our advice would

be to plan a holiday for the spring, early summer or autumn when the weather is ideal for touring.

For details of your holiday accommodation click >>Accommodation

For more information about the visits and excursions planned in your holiday click >>Visits & Excursions

To book this holiday click >>How to Book.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
For the first four nights of your holiday you will be staying in the heart of the Alpilles area near St. Rémy. Arrive here in time to explore the delightful town of St. Rémy with its lively boulevards and friendly cafes.  Enjoy all the hustle and bustle of the market in St. Rémy this morning. The many temptations include olive oil, handmade chocolates and colourful provencal fabrics. Then in the afternoon visit the dramatic medieval fortress village of Les Baux perched high on the mountain edge. A visit to the Citadel is highly recommended.   A whole day in the medieval and roman town of Arles with its superbly preserved Roman arena. Your visit includes suggestions for visits to three of the most famous sites plus an afternoon exploring the old town with its many cafes and associations with Van Gogh.   An excursion following the 'Olive Route' of the Alpilles - an 'Apellation d'Origine Controlé' olive growing area. A picturesque drive through the Alpilles mountains including an exploration of the old village of Eygalières and a visit to an olive oil mill for an olive oil tasting. Complete the day with a visit to the 10th century Abbaye de Montmajour with its imposing ruins giving magnificent views across the whole plain of the Camargue.  
Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
Today we leave the Alpilles and drive to the papal city of Avignon. This historic city on the banks of the river Rhone just demands exploration. A tour of the sumptuous Papal Palace and the famous bridge are a must but don't miss also the colourful Place de L'Horloge, the old city walls and the hillside gardens of the Rocher des Doms with panoramic views of the surrounding area, the town and the river.   Leave Avignon and drive the short distance to the riverside town of Isle sur la Sorgue for the Sunday morning antiques market. The riverside quays are an enchanting display of interesting artifacts and objets d'art. This afternoon drive north towards the area of the Dentelles de Montmiral. En route to your hotel near Vaison la Romaine, explore the pretty village of Beaumes de Venise and enjoy a tasting of the famous sweet white wine at a local vineyard. Stay the next three nights near Vaison la Romaine.   Explore the medieval Haute Ville at Vaison this morning and then in the afternoon a suggested visit to the extensive Roman sites from which the town derives its name.   Start the day with a visit to the market in Vaison where stalls wind their way through the whole town laden with provencal produce, pottery and fabrics. Then a tour of the prettiest and most picturesque villages of the Dentelles including Séguret, a 'village classé' and Le Crestet with panoramic views across to the 'giant of Provence' Mont Ventoux. Visit the 12th century Chateau at Le Barroux and visit a vineyard for a tasting of the famous Cotes du Rhone red wines.  
Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12
Leave Vaison this morning and drive towards the Luberon valley via an ascent of spectacular Mont Ventoux. This white topped mountain imposes its authority on the landscape of southern Provence and has inspired poets, painters, photographers, climbers and cyclists. The views from the top are unsurpassed. Maybe take a picnic for lunch or stop in the ski village of Mont Serein. The descent of the mountain takes you into the lavender growing area around the town of Sault. From here continue your drive into the Luberon valley where you spend the next four nights. A day exploring some of the delightful perched villages for which the Luberon area is famous. Include Lacoste, the village of the Marquis de Sade, Menerbes and Oppède le Vieux.   The beautiful village of Gordes, one of the 'plus beaux villages de France' and we suggest a guided visit to the Abbaye de Senanque in its picturesque and peaceful valley setting nearby. Then onto the stunning village of Roussillon with its unique multi-coloured ochre cliffs. Visit the Conservatoire des Ochres for a fascinating introduction to the use of ochre as a decorative material.   All the colours and scents of Provence at the lively weekly market in the town of Apt - a wonderful colourful display of herbs, soaps, wines, honey, pottery, fruit and vegetables. Lunch today at the delightful Auberge de la Loube famous for its magnificent platter of provencal hors d'oevres and its pretty setting in the valley of Buoux. Enjoy a stroll in the peaceful valley this afternoon.  
Day 13      

Depart this morning after breakfast or if you are taking one our Extension Options – depart the Luberon and travel on to either Aix en Provence or the Cote d’Azur for the final days of your holiday.

     
Recommended visits and excursions are planned into your holiday to make sure that you make your most of the time in the area. Please note that whilst we do our best to ensure that pre-planned visits are possible on the specific days indicated, variations in opening times and guided visits can sometimes require a slight alteration to the day by day itinerary. Occasionally a guided visit may be conducted only in French but we try to ensure that an English explanation (usually in the form of a leaflet) is also available.
We have planned the itinerary with accommodation in the specific hotels described below. However the final choice of accommodation will be determined by availability according to your choice of holiday dates. If we cannot secure accommodation for you in our chosen hotels, we will let you know immediately and suggest an alternative, and advise you of any supplement which may apply.  There are many charming hotels in the area all of which we have visited personally and have selected for the comfort of their rooms, their friendly and welcoming ambience and of course for their excellent provencal food.  
3* Le Mas des Carassins, St Remy 3* Le Mas des Carassins, St Remy
In the countryside just on the outskirts of town, this charming old stone farmhouse has a delightful garden and swimming pool. Dinner is available on several evenings and the restaurants of St. Rémy are just a short stroll into town.
3* Hotel Bristol, Avignon Bristol Avignon
A comfortable 3* hotel right in the heart of Avignon, ideally placed to explore the city with all the major sights just a short walk away.
Hotel Hotel Floret
A comfortable hotel with excellent restaurant located in the Dentelles hills above the wine village of Gigondas. The hotel has a swimming pool and lovely outdoor dining terrace.
Ferme de la Huppe Ferme de la Huppe
A charming hotel in a renovated farmhouse located in the countryside near the stunning perched village of Gordes. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, pretty gardens, a swimming pool and lovely outdoor dining terrace where breakfast and light lunches are served.
  The best of French Food
Dinner on five evenings, and lunch in a countryside restaurant, are included in the price of your holiday. The hotels and restaurants we have chosen all offer the best of provencal food so you can be sure to enjoy a delicious dinner or lunch. Where lunch is taken at a restaurant or café of your choice, we have planned your itinerary with suggested lunchtime locations offering a choice of cafes and restaurants to ensure you can sample all the delights of the local cuisine. On some days you may choose to have a lunchtime picnic choosing from the superb range of produce in the local markets. The dinners and lunch included in the holiday price are detailed on the Itinerary.
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Updated: 29 November, 2016