Join us for our newest travel opportunity to Provence—our new Classic Land Journey—where you’ll explore the region’s natural beauty, artistic heritage, and fascinating Roman and medieval history. Highlights include the coastal Camargue, hilltop villages in the Luberon, and the charming cities of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, with a final stay in Nice on the Côte d’Azur.

Starting at: $4,595 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Market square in Old Town, Aix-en-Provence  Provencal landscape  The Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct in Provence  The Roman amphitheater of Arles  Palais des Papes, Avignon  The quintessential Provencal village of Roussillon  Typical scene in St. Paul de Vence  Place Massena, Nice

Journey through Provence

12 days from $4,595 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Join us for our newest travel opportunity to Provence—our new Classic Land Journey—where you’ll explore the region’s natural beauty, artistic heritage, and fascinating Roman and medieval history. Highlights include the coastal Camargue, hilltop villages in the Luberon, and the charming cities of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, with a final stay in Nice on the Côte d’Azur.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Long touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators, climbing aboard trains with high steps); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Possible exposure to higher altitudes. River cruises may of

fer a choice of excursions with varying activity expectations.  (Typical travel opportunities: Most Cultural Stays, River Cruises, some Land Journeys, U.S. Train Tours)  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).
 

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Marseille, France

Day 2 — Arrive Marseille / Aix-en-Provence

Arrive in Marseille and transfer to the Provençal town of Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”).

Tonight, meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)

Day 3 — Aix-en-Provence / Lourmarin / Rousillon

Today’s excursion to the beloved Luberon region of charming hilltop villages overlooking vineyards and orchards reveals Provence in all its storied beauty.

First visit Lourmarin, with its narrow winding streets lined with restored Mediterranean houses and boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. Tour the landmark Renaissance castle then enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant.

This afternoon continues on to equally alluring Roussillon, perched atop a striking ochre ridge. (B,L)

Day 4 – Aix-en-Provence

Discover this lovely university town today, known for the beautiful Cours Mirabeau, the plane-tree lined main boulevard bordered by stately homes and the many elegant Roman fountains decorating city squares.

On your walking tour, admire Aix’s rich architectural heritage and the “Vielle Ville” or Old Town. After a guided visit to the Atelier Cézanne, the studio where artist Paul Cézanne worked from 1902 to 1906, enjoy free time to explore as you wish.

Late afternoon leave for a wine tasting and dinner at a nearby winery. (B,D)

Day 5 – Aix-en-Provence / Arles / Saintes-Mariesde-la-Mer

This morning, call on Arles, once part of Roman Gaul then a clarion of Christianity, and, more recently, where Van Gogh painted. See much of that history on your tour here, which includes a visit to the Roman Amphitheater, a World Heritage site dating to A.D. 90 and preserved virtually intact.

Continue on to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, capital of the Camargue region of vast plains, wetlands, lakes, and lagoons. A World Heritage Biosphere Reserve at 360 square miles, the Camargue is known for unique breeds of white horses and bulls, its pink flamingos, and as a staging point for thousands of migratory birds.

Mid-afternoon, reach Saintes Maries, a seaside resort in the heart of the Camargue. (B,D)

Day 6 — Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Your exploration of the Camargue begins with a visit to a manade, a traditional ranch where gardians (cowboys) raise bulls both for meat and to perform in local arenas. Learn about the traditional way of life as you tour the manade, watch the gardians manage their herds while on horseback, and enjoy a lunch of local specialties.

Then head to the Pont de Gau ornithological reserve in the heart of the Camargue Regional Natural Park. You’re likely to see the pink flamingos for which the park is known, as well as species of heron, birds of prey, and seasonal migratory birds. (B,L)

Day 7 – Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer / Aigues-Mortes / Pont du Gard / Avignon

As you approach Aigues-Mortes this morning, see the rose-hued salins (salt marshes) that produce the famed Camarguais salt. Take a walking tour featuring the weekly Sunday market and entrance to the medieval city walls and ramparts.

After time for lunch on your own, continue on to Avignon, stopping at Pont du Gard, the 1st-century Roman aqueduct whose three tiers of arches span the Gardon River. Reach your historic hotel, a converted 17th-century convent, late afternoon and dine there tonight. (B,D)

Day 8 – Avignon

This morning, encounter the ancient Roman city that was the capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages. Visit Avignon’s historic city center, a World Heritage site, with its cathedral, half-finished Saint-Bénézet Bridge, and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), one of the world’s largest and most important Gothic structures. Tour the palace, where seven successive popes lived during the 14th century.

Then, enjoy free time to explore on your own before tonight’s small group highlight as you join a local chef for a Provençal cooking class followed by dinner. (B,D)

Day 9 – Avignon / Les-Baux-de-Provence / Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Set out this morning for Les Baux, a gem of a medieval village perched atop a rock spur. Your first stop: the Carrieres de Lumiere multimedia/art exhibition set in a former stone quarry. Then explore Les Baux itself, considered one of the country’s most beautiful villages, with its restored ancient houses, Renaissance-era façades, historic monuments, and stone citadel.

After lunch together, visit the Gallo-Romanesque jewel of St-Paul de Mausole, where Van Gogh was confined after severing his ear. Continue to the picturesque village of Saint Rémy, where Van Gogh once painted. Take a walking tour of the ancient Gallo-Roman city center with its maze of winding streets and fountain-filled squares. (B,L)

Day 10 – Avignon / Saint-Paul-de-Vence / Nice

You’re bound today for the Cote d’Azur, the fabled French Riviera. Mid-day reach Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the beautiful medieval hilltop village once home to many prominent artists, including Marc Chagall. After a walking tour together, you’re free to explore as you wish.

Then continue on to Nice, capital of the French Riviera, arriving late this afternoon. (B)

Day 11 – Nice

This morning’s sightseeing begins with spectacular views of Nice and its prized setting along the Baie des Anges from atop Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill), once a citadel and now a park. Stroll along the iconic seaside boulevard, Promenade des Anglais; explore “Vieux Nice” (Old Nice), with its colorful pastel buildings; and visit the historic Marché aux Fleurs (flower market).

Tonight, celebrate your adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 12 – Depart for the U.S.

Today depart for the Nice airport and your return flights to the U.S. (B)

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