Settle into vibrant and historic Aix-en-Provence and explore this charming city which boasts numerous art and cooking schools.

Starting at: $4,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Typical flower market in Aix-en-Provence. Credit: Sundrenched Gardens/Alamy  Fountain in central Aix-en-Provence  Traditional Provencal cheese market  Traditional condiments in Provence  Sunflowers, a common flower of southern France  Traditional French market  Palais des Papes, Avignon  Palais des Papes, Avignon  A town square in Arles  The portal of the Romanesque Church of St. Trophime, Arles  The Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct in Provence  The quintessential Provencal village of Roussillon  The hilltown of Gordes

Living in France

A Month in Aix-en-Provence

30 days from $4,990

Settle into vibrant and historic Aix-en-Provence and explore this charming city which boasts numerous art and cooking schools.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

If you want one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime take this trip. You will see things you could have never thought possible. It will change your life. It has mine.

- Lynn Marie L.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Live in vibrant, historic Aix-en-Provence, a charming small city that boasts a 600-year-old university and numerous art and cooking schools.

Highlights Include

  • Excursions, Day Trips, Presentations: Learn about the region’s history as you explore greater Provence during day trips to Avignon, Arles and Les Baux, Marseille, and the Luberon Valley. Plus, enjoy a wine tasting and attend sessions on history, art, and wine.
  • Apart/Hotel: Stay in a newly renovated apartment at the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre, located near the shops along Cours Mirabeau. Apartments offer satellite TV, Internet access, and a well-equipped kitchenette, plus a 24-hour reception desk and other services. 

If you want one of the greatest experiences of a lifetime take this trip. You will see things you could have never thought possible. It will change your life. It has mine.

- Lynn Marie L.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2016 Itinerary

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Embark on the adventure of living abroad as you spend three weeks in vibrant, historic Aix-en-Provence. You’ll fit right into this charming small city, which boasts a 600-year-old university and numerous art and cooking schools, as you attend lectures and excursions.

Highlights Include:

  • Presentations and Day Trips: Learn about the region’s history as you explore greater Provence during day trips to Avignon and the Pont du Gard, Marseille, and the Luberon Valley. Plus, enjoy a wine tasting at Val Joanis.
  • Enrichment Tracks: Language Lessons—Sign up for 12 three-hour French language classes, tailored to your skill level. Cuisine—Discover the flavors of Provence through cooking demonstrations and classes, shopping excursions, and a tasting. Art and Culture—Visit other museums with an expert. (Enrichment tracks at additional cost.)
  • Apart/Hotel and Meals: Stay in a newly renovated apartment at the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre, located near the shops along Cours Mirabeau. Apartments offer satellite TV, broadband Internet access, a well-equipped kitchenette, and a 24-hour reception desk and other services. Enjoy authentic regional specialties during 11 included meals (plus breakfast each morning), and venture out to try other restaurants with newfound friends or create your own meals in your kitchenette. 

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your overnight transatlantic flight to Marseille, France.

Day 2 – Aix-en-Provence

Upon arrival in Marseille, Smithsonian Journeys Travelers transfer to the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre. After taking time to relax and unpack, get together for a briefing to ensure you are fully informed about your program and all the latest happenings in Aix. Bienvenue! Gather at the charming and intimate Il Etait Une Fois for a welcome reception and dinner. (D)

Day 3 – Aix-en-Provence

An “enhanced continental breakfast” will be served each morning during your stay. During an engaging lecture on the history of Provence, trace its storied past through its conquest by the Romans and its role as inspiration for artists and writers from the world over. Explore Aix on a walking tour where in addition to the historical sites, you will also locate shops, pharmacies and other essential locations. Lunch will be served at a popular local restaurant. This afternoon let your interests be your guide and explore Aix-en-Provence on your own. Get together with new friends in the Smithsonian Traveler’s Corner for lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 4 – Aix-en-Provence

If you selected to enroll in the Track #1 Language Option you’ll begin today with a tour of the academy to meet the staff and begin your French lessons. If you selected to participate in the Track #2 Culinary Option you’ll meet in the afternoon for a lecture on Understanding French Cuisine, its history and influence on the food and wine of Provence. This evening join fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 – Aix-en-Provence

The Track #1 Language Option program will continue this morning. Those on the Track #2 Option will attend a lecture on Understanding French Cuisine. If you subscribed to the Track #3 Art and Architecture Option there will be an escorted visit to the Granet Museum founded in 1828 and devoted to painting, sculpture and archaeology. (B)

Day 6 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #2 Culinary Option participants will attend a talk on the Fundamentals of French Cooking with demonstrations and tastings. An engaging late afternoon lecture is scheduled focusing on The Art of Provence. After the lecture Smithsonian Journeys Travelers will meet for dinner at a popular restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 – Aix-en-Provence

Language lessons continue for those participating in the Track #1 Language Option. This afternoon, gather with your fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for lunch at La Brocherie. (B,L)

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence

Participants in Track #1 Language Option will continue their French classes this morning. Participants in the Track #3 Art and Architecture Option will explore the history of the remarkable Fountains and Courtyards of Aix on an afternoon walking tour. For all others enjoy a day free of planned activities to explore on your own. Spend some time in the Smithsonian Traveler’s Corner to exchange ideas and experiences. (B)

Day 9 – Aix-en-Provence

For those on the Track #3 Culinary Option the flavors of Provence come alive with a local market experience to visit wine and cheese shops and prepare a “Picnic Provençal.” For others, the day is free so that you can follow your own path and explore on your own. (B)

Day 10 – Aix-en-Provence

The Luberon Valley is in a picturesque mountain region covered with forests and vineyards. Visit the renowned antique market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue before continuing to Roussillon, where the buildings are a harmonious mix of yellows, oranges, browns, pinks, and reds. The land under the village contains an ancient ochre deposit, which supplies the pigment for the paint and stain used on the houses. Stop at the hilltop village of Gordes and Val Joanis for a wine tasting and tour of the winery before returning home. (B)

Day 11 – Aix-en-Provence

Language lessons for Track #1 Language Option participants will continue this morning. All Smithsonian Journeys Travelers will meet for an al fresco luncheon at Le Jardin d’Amalula. Those participating in Track #3 Art and Architecture Option will travel by local bus to visit Cezanne’s Studio and Les Lauves where Cezanne admired the St. Victoire Mountain and painted the inspiring landscape. Smithsonian Travelers gather this evening for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues. For other travelers there’s a free day to explore on your own. Dinner this evening will be at Café Jeanne, a typical French bistro. (B,D)

Day 13 – Aix-en-Provence

Those participating in Track #3 Art and Architecture Option will travel to Arles a World Heritage Site and visit the Archaeology Museum. Continue to see the architecture of Old Arles including the ancient Amphitheater. All other Smithsonian Journeys Travelers are free to explore and discover on their own today. (B)

Day 14 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option French lessons continue this morning. Those participating in Track #2 Culinary Option will learn about cheese and paring them with French wines. (B)

Day 15 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues. Smithsonian Travelers gather in a friendly café for drinks, lively conversation and an exchange of ideas. (B)

Day 16 – Aix-en-Provence

The entire day is free of planned activities. Today provides a good opportunity to discover one of the small villages found in and around Provence. (B)

Day 17 – Aix-en-Provence

Marseille is one of the most important and historic ports on the Mediterranean. Drive to this vibrant French city and take in the panoramic views from Notre Dame de la Garde, the highest natural point of the city. Continue through the city center to the Old Port. There is some free time for independent exploration. Enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Aix. (B,L)

Day 18 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues this morning. The day is free of planned activities for all other Smithsonian Travelers. (B)

Day 19 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues this morning. The day is at leisure for independent discovery. In late afternoon Track #2 Culinary participants will learn how to create a traditional French menu. (B)

Day 20 – Aix-en-Provence

Journey to Avignon a World Heritage Site nestled on the banks of the Rhône River. Visit the impressive Palace of the Popes, made up of two distinct buildings: the austere Old Palace, built by the severe Pope Benedict XII, and the ornate New Palace, built by the lighthearted Pope Clement VI. Enjoy lunch then continue to see the famed Roman Aqueduct the Pont du Gard also a World Heritage Site. (B,L)

Day 21 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues this morning. The day is free to explore on your own. Those participating in Track #3 Arts and Architecture will depart on an excursion that focuses on the Castles and Abbeys of Provence. (B)

Day 22 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction concludes with the awarding of diplomas. After a free day, get together this evening to celebrate your adventure and all you have experienced and accomplished at a Smithsonian Journeys Farewell Reception and Dinner at Restaurant Le Patio known for its unique decor. (B,D)

Day 23 – Depart for the U.S.

Depart the hotel for the drive to the Marseille Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2017 Itinerary

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Embark on the adventure of living abroad as you spend three weeks in vibrant, historic Aix-en-Provence. You’ll fit right into this charming small city, which boasts a 600-year-old university and numerous art and cooking schools, as you attend lectures and excursions.

Highlights Include:

  • Excursions, Day Trips, Presentations: Learn about the region’s history as you explore greater Provence during day trips to Avignon, Arles and Les Baux, Marseille, and the Luberon Valley. Plus, enjoy a wine tasting at Châteauneuf-du-Pape and attend sessions on history, art, and wine.
  • Apart/Hotel: Stay in a newly renovated apartment at the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre, located near the shops along Cours Mirabeau. Apartments offer satellite TV, broadband Internet access, and a well-equipped kitchenette, plus a 24-hour reception desk and other services. 

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Marseille, France.

Day 2 – Aix-en-Provence

Upon arrival in Marseille, travelers transfer to their hotel. After taking time to relax and unpack, attend a welcome briefing to ensure you are fully informed about your program and all the latest happenings in Aix. Afterward there will be an orientation walk of Aix-en-Provence. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant or bistro. (D)

Day 3 – Aix-en-Provence

Breakfast will be served each morning at the hotel. During an engaging talk on the history of Provence, explore the past, through its conquest by the Romans and how the region inspired artists and writers from all over the world. Explore Aix on a walking tour to see the Fontaine de la Rotonde, and the Fontaine des Quatres Dauphins. Walk through the Old Town, and see the Town Hall and the Cathedral St. Saveur. After lunch at La Bastide du Cours, let your interests be your guide and explore Aix-en-Provence on your own. (B,L)

Day 4 – Aix-en-Provence

Enjoy breakfast this morning at the hotel. Track #1 Language Option will begin today with a tour of the school to meet the staff and begin your French lessons. This evening, join fellow travelers for a Provençal dinner at Petit Bout. (B,D)

Day 5 – Aix-en-Provence

The Track #1 Language Option will continue this morning. For Track #3 Art and Architecture Option participants, there will be an escorted visit to the Granet Museum founded in 1828 and focusing on European painting and sculpture. This evening, half the group will learn about the wines of Provence at a fascinating presentation and tasting at a local wine shop.

Day 6 – Aix-en-Provence

The morning is at leisure. Gather with fellow travelers for lunch at La Bastide du Cours. An engaging late afternoon talk and tasting has been arranged for the second half of the group at a local wine shop featuring the wines of Provence. (L)

Day 7 – Aix-en-Provence

Language lessons continue for those participating in the Track #1 Language Option. For all others, the day is free to explore on your own.

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence

Language lessons continue for those in the Track #1 Language Option. Enjoy a day free of planned activities to explore on your own. In late afternoon, spend some time in the Smithsonian traveler’s corner to exchange ideas and enjoy an aperitif.

Day 9 – Aix-en-Provence

Follow your own path and explore on your own today. Try a bike ride into the countryside, rent a car and travel a bit further afield or visit Paul Cézanne’s beautifully preserved home and studio just a short distance from Aix. Track #2 Culinary Option participants explore the flavors of Provence and enjoy an interactive market experience visiting wine and cheese shops and learn to prepare a picnic.

Day 10 – Aix-en-Provence and the Villages of Les Luberon

Enjoy an excursion to the Luberon Valley, a picturesque mountain region blanketed with forests and vineyards. Visit the antique market at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue then continue to Roussillon, where the buildings are a colorful array of yellows, oranges, browns, and reds. The land that lies beneath the village holds an ancient ochre deposit that provides pigment for the paint used on the houses. Stop for a visit and wine tasting at the beautiful hilltop village of Gordes before returning to Aix-en-Provence.

Day 11 – Aix-en-Provence

Language lessons continue for those participating in the Track #1 Language Option. In early evening, a talk will focus on the art of Provence. This evening, join fellow travelers for dinner at the Restaurant La Mado. (D)

Day 12 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues. For other travelers, there’s a free day to explore on your own. The resident manager will be able to offer appealing sightseeing suggestions.

Day 13 – Aix-en-Provence

The day is free of planned activities. Track #2 Culinary Option participants will attend a morning French cooking demonstration that includes a tasting.

Day 14 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option French lessons continue this morning. Smithsonian Journeys travelers will get together for lunch at La Boucherie. (L)

Day 15 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues. This evening gather in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner for a drink at La Mado.

Day 16 – Aix-en-Provence

The day is free to follow your own path. There are many interesting and charming towns in Provence you might want to explore.

Day 17 – Aix-en-Provence

Enjoy a free day to explore and discover. Take the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh to visit the region of Provence where he lived and painted.

Day 18 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option language instruction continues this morning. This afternoon, join a group of local students for lunch at L’Alcove. (L)

Day 19 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues this morning. The day is at leisure for independent discovery. In late afternoon Track #2 Culinary Option participants will learn how to create a traditional French menu and meal.

Day 20 – Avignon and Pont du Gard

Travel today to Avignon, a World Heritage Site, located on the banks of the Rhône River. Tour the remarkable Palace of the Popes comprised of two very different style buildings. The austere Old Palace built by Pope Benedict XII; a dour man, and the New Palace built by Pope Clement VI, a jovial man and decorated in accordance with his personality. After lunch in Avignon, continue to see the Roman Aqueduct Pont du Gard, a World Heritage Site. (L)

Day 21 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option continues this morning. Track #3 Art and Architecture Option participants will visit Cézanne’s studio and Lauves where he went to view St. Victoire Mountain and paint.

Day 22 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option participants continue language instruction. After a free day, get together with fellow travelers for a drink in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner at Le Grillon Café.

Day 23 – Aix-en-Provence

The day is free planned activities. Explore on your own with visits to places like Grasse, the Camargue Delta, and towns along the French Riviera.

Day 24 – Marseille

Depart on a full-day excursion to the fascinating Mediterranean port city of Marseille. See the city’s highlights and enjoy the panoramic views from the hilltop Notre Dame de la Garde basilica. Tour the Old Port and spend time relaxing at one of the outdoor cafes.

Day 25 – Aix-en-Provence, Arles and Les Baux

Track #1 Language Option instruction continues this morning. Join Smithsonian Journeys friends for lunch at Le Jardin d’Amalula. (L)

Day 26 – Aix-en-Provence

Track #1 Language Option participants continue language instruction. For others, the day is free to explore on your own. This evening, dinner will be served at Café Jeanne. (D)

Day 27 – Arles and Les Baux

Arles, a World Heritage Site, is a timeless monument to the power and reach of ancient Rome. Visit the Roman amphitheater of Les Arenes, still in use today. Explore the remarkable Musee d’Arles that showcases exhibits and artifacts of early times in Provence. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Trophime. After lunch on your own, continue to Les Baux and step back in time to discover how life was lived in medieval times. See the chapels, churches, museums and the remains of a 13th-century citadel.

Day 28 – Aix-en-Provence

Today is the final French language lesson for those who selected the Track #1 Language Option. Celebrate your accomplishment during a graduation ceremony. Track #3 Art and Architecture Option participants will visit the Castles and Abbeys of Provence. The balance of the day will be at leisure for other travelers.

Day 29 – Aix-en-Provence

Your final day in Provence is free for independent activities. Spend the day relaxing or revisiting some of your favorite spots. Tonight, gather with fellow travelers and celebrate during your farewell reception and dinner. (D)

Day 30 – Depart for U.S. Gateway Cities

Depart the hotel and transfer to Marseille for your trans-Atlantic flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)