Become immersed in the landscapes of Provence during leisurely walks that showcase the historic sites, culinary highlights, and vineyards of the Rhône River and Luberon Valley.

Starting at: $5,795 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Senanque Abbey and lavender fields  Palais des Papes, Avignon  Traditional Provencal cheese market  Summertime lavender fields, Provence  Typical Provencal street, Gigondas  Typical flower market in Provence. Credit: Sundrenched Gardens/Alamy  Cheese tasting in Provence. Credit: Atout France / Michel Angot  Preparing truffles. Credit: Atout France / Michel Angot  Provencal hill town of Gordes, Luberon Valley  Landscape of sunflowers in Provence  Avignon, France

Walks and Cuisine of Provence

9 days from $5,795

Become immersed in the landscapes of Provence during leisurely walks that showcase the historic sites, culinary highlights, and vineyards of the Rhône River and Luberon Valley.

or Call 833-254-6678

CONTACT OUR ACTIVE JOURNEYS SPECIALISTS

Call Our Active Journeys Specialists at 833-254-6678 (M-F 10 am - 8 pm ET) or Register Your Interest Online. For calls outside of the U.S., please call 510-852-8350.

Overview

Fields of brilliant spring poppies and summer lavender, stark mountain beauty, and an indescribable light that falls from soft blue skies have drawn artists and hikers to Provence for centuries. Join us to hike the iconic landscapes of this enchanting region and explore the culinary highlights of the Rhône River and Luberon Valley. (Daily hikes of 2 to 3 miles. See a more detailed Activity Level description on the Tour Details tab.) 

Program Highlights

  • Hiking and Culinary Highlights: During a walking tour of Avignon, climb up to the city’s gardens and explore the gourmand highlight of Market Les Halles. Continue to the region renowned as the unrivaled king of the Rhône Valley wines—Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, and Beaumes de Venise. Learn about the secrets of terroir, the untranslatable French word that has governed French wine-making for a century. And of course, visit some of the most celebrated estates and savor the tastings. Hike between villages and develop your palate as you learn about and sample superb red wines, explore local markets, and meet with a truffle expert. In the Luberon region, take a breathtaking trail from the monastery of Sénanque to the hilltown of Gordes and go off the beaten path to small villages, stopping to sample local olive oils and cheeses. 
  • Historic Sites: Tour the immense Palais des Papes in Avignon, one of the most important medieval sites in France, and the famed 12th-century abbey of Sénanque, and explore the lesser known town of Vaison la Romaine, with its complex history from Roman to present times.  
  • Small Group Feature: With a small group of no more than 16 people, you'll quickly develop a strong sense of camaraderie with your Adventure Guide and fellow active travelers—resulting in an interesting and enjoyable trip that is also more flexible! 
  • Accommodations: Another advantage of your small group is the opportunity to stay in boutique properties, including a former seminary, a family-run château, and a 17th-century farmhouse.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart for Avignon, France

Day 2 — Avignon, France

Upon arrival, this afternoon, transfer with your guide to your comfortable hotel conveniently located near the city center. Join your guide and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby this evening for introductions.

After a briefing and an apéritif, enjoy dinner in the heart of Avignon for your initial taste of French cuisine. (D)

Day 3 — Avignon

This morning take a historic tour of the city center with a local expert to unveil the secrets of its streets, including a climb up to the gardens with far-reaching views. The tour will lead you straight to Avignon’s coveted Market Les Halles: a bustling covered market with fragrant stalls and the region’s best local specialties. You’ll partake in a little-known market secret: the inconspicuous bistro set in the back of the market will cook up the fresh fish and steaks purchased at neighboring stalls – prepped and served right before your eyes. It’s possibly the best – and certainly the freshest – steak-frites in France.

This afternoon, visit the Palais des Papes. The “Popes’ Palace” is one of the most important medieval sites in Europe. It was the seat of Catholicism during the 14th century when Pope Clement V left Rome for Avignon. The immense palace still contains many important artworks and frescoes. Dinner is on your own tonight. Walking 3 miles, 2 hours. (B,L)

Day 4 —Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, and Beaumes de Venise

This morning, transfer to Chateauneuf du Pape, unrivaled king of the Rhône Valley wines. Spend time meandering through the parcels of Grenache and Syrah, learning all about the 850-year history of winemaking in the village. You’ll learn about secrets of terroir, the untranslatable French word that has governed French wine-making for a century. And of course, visit one of Chateauneuf du Pape’s most celebrated estates, including some tasting.

After a gourmet picnic lunch including some Provençal specialties, head to the village of Gigondas, perched high above the wines, also well-known for its powerfully spicy red wines. Beyond Gigondas reach the quiet village of Beaumes de Venise, where you’ll taste some of the village’s naturally sweet white wine made from Muscat grapes.

This evening, arrive in the village of Mazan to settle into your hotel, once owned by the Marquis de Sade, for the next three nights. Enjoy dinner together at the hotel. Hiking 2 miles, 2 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Vaison la Romaine

It’s market day in nearby Vaison la Romaine and the town streets are filled with colorful and fragrant market stalls selling fresh produce, cheese, meat, and regional products. You’ll have some free time in the morning to explore the market before embarking on a tour of the historic town. Learn about its complex history from Roman to present, and how the civilizations were built – quite literally – upon the foundations of each other.

After the tour, enjoy free time for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll take a gentle hike through the countryside and head to the tiny village of Le Crestet with great views of the towering Mont Ventoux, Provence’s highest mountain. Hiking 3 miles, 2 hours, approx. 600 feet elevation gain. (B,D)

Day 6 — Carpentras

Truffles are the coveted black diamond of Provence, and you'll spend the day learning the secrets behind finding these elusive jewels. Meet with an experienced truffle hunter and their dog that will join you for a walk through the truffle-oak plantations, showing you how to locate and identify these morsels. Along the way, learn the science behind the mysterious fungus and its storied history in Provence, culminating in an elaborate lunch featuring the very truffles found on the farm. When truffles are not in season, they are frozen to retain their unique, earthy flavor.

Later this afternoon return to the hotel where you will be treated to a special wine and cheese evening hosted by a local and celebrated cheese shop. Walking 1 hour. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Gordes

This morning, transfer to nearby Sénanque, the famed 12th-century abbey framed by majestic lavender fields during the summer months and into early autumn. Enjoy a private guided tour of the still-active monastery, jewel of Romanesque architecture after 850 years.

Afterward, head through the garrigue vegetation of aromatic herbs on a breathtaking trail that leads you to the town of Gordes. Enjoy lunch in Gordes and then have time to visit the village, considered one of the most beautiful in southern France.

This afternoon, head towards Lourmarin, nestled at the southern slope of the Luberon Mountain. Tonight, enjoy dinner together at the hotel. Hiking 2-3 miles, 2-3 hours, approx. 500 feet elevation gain. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Lourmarin

Transfer to the otherworldly Aiguebrun Gorge, literally at the end of the road, where the limestone walls soar high above the Luberon’s only river. Hike along centuries-old mule tracks with stunning views before reaching the tiny village of Sivergues, lost in time, with just a handful of homes hidden in the Luberon Mountains.

You will then follow the scenic river to reach a 17th-century goat farm to savor a lunch of regional specialties, way off the beaten track. Return to Lourmarin in the afternoon and enjoy a tour and tasting at a local olive mill, producing some of the region’s most coveted olive oils.

Enjoy a farewell dinner together at your hotel. Hiking 3 miles, 3 hours, approx. 600 feet elevation gain. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

After breakfast, begin your return trip home. (B)

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