Luberon and Cote d'Azur

Luberon & Cote d'Azur Self Drive Tour

Like many North American visitors to Provence, the Canadian couple for whom we prepared this holiday firstly planned to spend some time in Paris. They then took the excellent and frequent TGV train service from Paris to Avignon to spend a few few days exploring the delights of inland Provence before driving on to the Cote d'Azur for the final days of their two week holiday.

We planned an itinerary from the time of their arrival in Avignon. This included a 3 night/4 day stay to the Parc Naturel du Luberon in the beautiful perched

village of Gordes with excursions each day, then a days drive on to the Cote d'Azur with a choice of routes - either via the stunning Gorges de Verdon or the coastal route including St. Tropez. And finally we booked their 5 nights hotel accommodation in Nice with suggested visits for their time on the Mediterranean coast. The couple then took a flight from Nice to Paris for their return home to Canada. A great way to see some of the best that the south of France can offer combined with the beauties of the capital city.

A real holiday to remember including so many beautiful parts of Provence
Iles sur la Sorgues
Gorges du Verdun
Day By Day Itinerary

The itinerary was planned as a first night of Wednesday and a last day of Tuesday.

Day 1

Depart Paris by TGV to Avignon arriving late morning. Pick up your rental car and drive the short distance into the city. Explore this beautiful medieval town including the renowned Papal Palace before departing for the Luberon valley where you will spend the first three nights of your holiday in the village of Gordes. Arrive here in time to explore this spectacular village perché one of the 'plus beaux villages de France' with its beautiful views right across the Luberon valley.

Day 2

Explore some of the pretty perched villages for which this area is famous - Lacoste, the village of the Marquis de Sade, Menerbes and Roussillon with its famous red ochre cliffs, Maybe end your day with a lovely stroll along the vineyard trail from the village of Oppède le Vieux.

Day 3

Drive the short distance to the riverside town of Isle sur la Sorgue for the Sunday morning antiques market and provencal market. The riverside quays are an enchanting display of interesting artefacts and objets d'art. Lunch in one of the many cafes or brasseries by the river. This afternoon a complete contrast with a visit to the Abbaye de Senanque in its peaceful valley setting near Gordes.

Day 4

Depart Gordes this morning and drive to Nice and the Cote d'Azur for the remaining 5 nights of your visit to Provence. Two options for your route, which you can decide on the day depending on weather and your preference for the length of drive to Nice.

Day 5

A choice of driving routes for your transfer to Nice today.

Either, drive the length of the Luberon valley, via the Plateau de Valensole lavender area and the stunning Gorges de Verdon before joining the autoroute to Nice at Draguignan.

Or, drive via the autoroute then via the village of Grimaud and round the bay to St. Tropez before continuing on the coastal route to Frejus and then continue on to Nice.

Day 6

Start your exploration of Nice with a hop on hop off bus tour which takes you right around the town with interesting views of the belle epoque buildings and of course the beautiful Baie des Anges. Stroll the Promenade des Anglais and wander the old town. Or perhaps visit one of the excellent museums and art galleries.

Day 7

An excursion to Monaco - a short train ride along the coast to this fascinating principality famous for the Casinos, Grand Prix and the Grimaldi Palace set on The Rock high above the bay. Between Monaco town and Monte Carlo is La Condamine, a shopping and commercial centre surrounding the luxury yachts in the harbour.

Day 8

Visit nearby Antibes and Biot. The Picasso Museum in Antibes is situated in the old Grimaldi chateau and features not only a superb Picasso collection but also other important 20th century artists and a permanent collection of sculptures on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. Biot between Antibes and Nice is a picturesque hill village renowned for its pretty glassware. There are several glass works where you can watch the glass blowing process and of course shops to buy the finished product.

Depart your hotel next day after breakfast and return to Paris

Page updated: 03-Dec-2018