Live the famously relaxed and graceful lifestyle of southern France from your apartment in Aix-en-Provence on our extended stay program. Make new friends during planned activities and excursions that focus on the culture, history, and cuisine of Provence—a trip to Avignon, wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a home-cooked meal with a Provençal family, and much more. Small-group language lessons (four sessions per week) will give you the confidence to shop at the local market and enjoy personal explorations. Expand your circle of friends through lunches with local university students, and set up weekend plans for Friday-night outings at a local café with group members. You’ll also enjoy independent time, with support from our resident director, who will help you tailor your time with optional activities such as hiking, small cooking classes, and other excursions.Days 1-2 - U.S. to Aix-en-Provence, France
Depart the U.S. on your overnight flight. Upon arrival in Marseille, transfer to the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre. Settle into your apartment and meet your Travel Director, who will be in residence for the month to handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions, and any other assistance you may require. Gather for a briefing to ensure you are fully informed about the program and all the latest news in Aix. You will be given a French cell phone* to use throughout your stay. Enjoy an orientation tour of Aix, to locate the Aix-en-Provence International Language Institute, school, shops, pharmacies, and other essential locations, followed by a welcome reception and dinner.Day 3 - Aix-en-Provence and Orientation
Enjoy a full day of orientation to Aix-en-Provence
. Stroll along the Cours Mirabeau, which Peter Mayle declared “the most handsome street in France” in his best-selling book A Year in Provence
. See the Fontaine de la Rotonde, which dominates the western entrance to the avenue, and the Fontaine des Quatres Dauphins, the first fountain in Aix to be placed in the middle of a street rather than against a wall. Pass through the Old Town, admire the wrought-iron work above the entrance to the Town Hall, and the mix of architectural styles that create the elaborate Cathédrale St. Saveur. Sample some of the local cuisine during lunch at a restaurant in Aix. During today’s lecture, trace the region’s storied history, from its habitation by the Ligurians, Celts, and Greeks, through its conquest by the Romans and its role as inspiration for artists and writers from all over the world. Sample French cuisine during dinner at a local restaurant.Days 4-7 - Aix-en-Provence, Language Lessons and Market Visit
Meet your Lifestyle Guide and have your first language lesson at the International Language Institute (IS). This afternoon, visit local markets with your Lifestyle Guide and hone your skills in buying groceries and other supplies. Each Tuesday through Friday, experience Aix through your language lessons and excursions with your Lifestyle Guide
, and on your own. In addition, every Thursday, have lunch with local university students who will provide a great opportunity to practice your French skills and learn more about Provence. Those who opted to participate in cooking or art classes will begin their lessons this week.* Kick off each three-day weekend with a Friday night mixer at a local café, where you can engage in lively conversation with your fellow travelers. The first drink is on us!Day 8 - Aix-en-Provence
Enjoy free time to explore Aix and its surroundings.
Those who opted to participate in hiking or art classes will have their first lesson today.*Day 9 - Luberon Valley ExcursionThe Luberon Valley
is in a picturesque mountain region with forests and vineyards. Visit the renowned antique market in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue before continuing to Roussillon, where the buildings are a harmonious mélange of yellows, oranges, browns, siennas, umbers, pinks, and reds. The ground underneath the village contains an ochre deposit, which supplies the pigments for the paints and stains used on the houses. Stop at the hilltop village of Gordes before returning to Aix.Day 10 - Aix-en-Provence and Art Lecture
Enjoy a lecture on “The Art of Provence.”
Learn how Van Gogh was drawn to scenes in St. Rémy and Arles, while Cézanne preferred to portray his native Aix-en-Provence and surrounding landscapes. From past masterpieces to contemporary works, discover the region’s strong artistic tradition.
Those who opted to participate in hiking or art classes will have their second lesson today.*Days 11-14 - Aix-en-Provence, Language Lessons and Wine Tasting
Through your lessons, continue your immersion into the language and culture of Provence. On Tuesday evening, learn about the region’s history of wine making
, and then enjoy a tasting of wines from Provence. Those who opted to participate in the cooking classes will continue their lessons throughout the week.Days 15-16 - Aix-en-Provence
The weekend is free to explore Aix. There are many interesting and charming villages in Provence that you may decide to visit during your free time.
Those who opted to participate in cooking or art classes will have their final lesson today.*Day 17 - Avignon Excursion and Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Journey to Avignon
, 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 at a local restaurant, and then continue to Châteauneuf-du-Pape
, whose wine-growing tradition dates from the 14th century, when the popes of Avignon planted the first vineyards. Visit Domaines de Mousset, where you indulge in a tasting of the local wines followed by a county buffet dinner.Days 18-21 - Aix-en-Provence, Language Lessons and Lectures
Through your lectures, classes, and daily life in Aix, continue to broaden your awareness of Provençal culture. Reward yourself with another fun Friday night get-together with your fellow participants!Day 22 - Aix-en-Provence and Farewell Celebration
Celebrate your French adventure, and your experiences and accomplishments with a graduation ceremony, farewell reception, and farewell dinner.Day 23 - Aix-en-Provence and the U.S.
Depart Aix-en-Provence for the U.S.
* Art, hiking, and cooking classes are available at an additional cost. Each cell phone will have a 10 EUR credit that can be used for local or international calls. You may purchase additional time as needed. See Special Information for details.