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: $4,997 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Market in Aix-en-Provence  Market square in Old Town, Aix-en-Provence  The Roman amphitheater of Arles  Iris field near Aix-en-Provence  Provencal village of Roussillon, Luberon
  Pink-colored salt marshes, Aigues-Mortes, the Camargue  The Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct in Provence  Palais des Papes, Avignon  Typical scene in St. Paul de Vence  View of port from atop Castle Hill   Old port, Nice  Place Massena, Nice

Journey through Provence

12 days from $4,997 | 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

SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

Join us for a new, comprehensive journey through Provence, spotlighting the diverse landscapes, Roman monuments, medieval villages, and celebrated art of southern France, as well as its relaxed lifestyle and exquisite cuisine. 

Highlights

  • Aix-en-Provence: Discover this lovely university town during a walking tour of the delightful Old Town and tour of Paul Cézanne's studio. Later, enjoy a wine tasting and dinner at a nearby winery. Take a day excursion to the hilltop villages of the beloved Luberon region. Highlights include a tour of the Château de Lourmarin, an olive farm, and the ochre-colored town of Roussillon, favored by many artists. Stop in Arles, where van Gogh lived and painted for a time, and feel the essence of the city's Roman amphitheater. 
  • The Camargue: Spend two days exploring the landscapes of the Camargue, the southern region of Provence designated a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve for its vast plains and wetlands. From your seaside resort, travel to the Pont de Gau ornithological reserve, to see pink flamingos, herons, birds of prey, and migratory birds. And at a traditional ranch, learn about the region's unique breeds of white horses and bulls. You'll also spend time at Aigues-Mortes, a medieval walled town surrounded by unique pink-colored salt marshes. 
  • Avignon: Gaze upon the impressive Roman Pont du Gard before arrival in Avignon. Here visit the historic city center, a World Heritage site, with its cathedral, Saint-Bénézet Bridge, and the Palais des Papes, the seat of Western Christianity and home to six popes during the 14th century. Enjoy time at leisure in Avignon as well as a private cooking class. During a day excursion, visit the beautiful village of Les Baux, the ancient city of Saint Rémy, and the nearby monastery and asylum where Vincent van Gogh once lived and painted. Reside in a converted 17th-century convent while in Avignon. 
  • Côte D’Azur: Conclude your journey on the sunny Côte D’Azur by first exploring of the medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, home to artists such as Marc Chagall.  In Nice, enjoy a walking tour of the Old Town with its colorful pastel buildings and colorful flower market, tour the impressive Chagall Museum, and enjoy time to explore this cosmopolitan city at leisure. 

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-Maries-de-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. (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 Saint-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)