Enjoy the wonderfully relaxed and graceful lifestyle of Provence during this three-week immersion program in Aix-en-Provence. Live like a local as you learn about France’s culture, history, cuisine, and language.

Starting at: $4,790 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Iconic lavender fields of Provence  Typical flower market in 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  Provencal village of Roussillon, the Luberon

Living in France

A Three-Week Stay in Aix-en-Provence

23 days from $4,790

Enjoy the wonderfully relaxed and graceful lifestyle of Provence during this three-week immersion program in Aix-en-Provence. Live like a local as you learn about France’s culture, history, cuisine, and language.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Smithsonian Journeys offered a once-in-a- lifetime experience with their Living in France program. The hotel/apartment was perfect for a long stay, the tour director was exceptional, provided meals were very good and excursions were hosted by knowledgeable local experts. Although I traveled with a friend this time, this kind of tour makes single travelers very welcome. I will be going on another Smithsonian tour! 

- Deborah W.

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.

The Living in France tour gave us the opportunity to get to know a very beautiful and fascinating region. The length of the stay meant that we could set our own pace and have many wonderful experiences without feeling rushed.

- Lawrence R.

Aix-en-Provence captured my heart with its beauty, historical charm, walkability, and friendly people. The Smithsonian Journeys Program is so well organized and well managed that the traveler can relax, absorb and enjoy the culture and language. The hotel is well located within walking distance of everything, with nice accommodations and very friendly staff. 

- Janice S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person on 2020 departures when you book by October 25, 2019!

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. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Provence. The very name evokes images of idyllic days of dazzling light illuminating the countryside’s lush olive groves and sloping vineyards. It was the same colorful scenery and light that drew artists such as Cézanne, Chagall, and van Gogh to this region. On this special immersive cultural stay in Aix-en-Provence, let this charming small city, which boasts a 600-year old university and numerous art and cooking schools, become your home for three weeks. You’ll stroll elegant cobblestone streets on your way to class or to a bustling outdoor market. Explore medieval hilltop villages, Roman ruins, and the lovely countryside. Plus, linger over a glass of wine at a neighborhood café and dine in restaurants that few tourists could hope to find. Stay in an apartment at the Adagio Aix-en-Provence Centre, located on a peaceful street near the shops along Cours Mirabeau.

Highlights Include

  • Excursions, Day Trips, Presentations: Take an in-depth walking tour of Aix-en-Provence led by an expert guide. 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 and attend sessions on history and art by a local expert during your stay.

Smithsonian Journeys offered a once-in-a- lifetime experience with their Living in France program. The hotel/apartment was perfect for a long stay, the tour director was exceptional, provided meals were very good and excursions were hosted by knowledgeable local experts. Although I traveled with a friend this time, this kind of tour makes single travelers very welcome. I will be going on another Smithsonian tour! 

- Deborah W.

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.

The Living in France tour gave us the opportunity to get to know a very beautiful and fascinating region. The length of the stay meant that we could set our own pace and have many wonderful experiences without feeling rushed.

- Lawrence R.

Aix-en-Provence captured my heart with its beauty, historical charm, walkability, and friendly people. The Smithsonian Journeys Program is so well organized and well managed that the traveler can relax, absorb and enjoy the culture and language. The hotel is well located within walking distance of everything, with nice accommodations and very friendly staff. 

- Janice S.

2020 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

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

Day 2 – Aix-en-Provence

Upon arrival in Marseille, transfer to the centrally located Adagio Aix Center. Upon arrival at the hotel, each guest will receive customized Welcome Package containing general information about Aix-en-Provence, as well as a map of the city.

Your Smithsonian Journeys Resident Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding touring, restaurants and independent activities. This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 – Aix-en-Provence

A continental breakfast will be served this morning at the hotel. Later, a local expert will give an engaging talk on the history and cultural heritage of Provence. Explore Aix on a walking tour to see the Fontaine de la Rotonde, and the Fontaine des Quatres Dauphins. Walk through the Old Town where you’ll see the Town Hall and the Cathedral St. Saveur.

After lunch, a guided walk will introduce you to the neighborhood supermarket and other nearby shops where you can learn to buy groceries and other necessities for your apartment. (B,L)

Day 4 – Aix-en-Provence

A continental breakfast will be served at the hotel. Spend the day independently to explore Aix-en-Provence. Track #2.1 Culinary Option participants will explore on an escorted walking tour that features visits to the best food specialty shops in the local market. Learn about and sample provençal food specialties like sausage, olives, various cheeses, bread and pastries accompanied by a glass of local wine. (B)

Day 5 – Les Luberon

All travelers will depart on 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 to view the hilltop village of Gordes and the surrounding valleys before returning to Aix-en-Provence.

Day 6 – Aix-en-Provence

If you selected Track 1.1, the Language Option you’ll begin the day with a tour of your language school to meet the staff and begin French lessons.

All participants will gather this evening for dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 7 – Aix-en-Provence

Participants not joining an enrichment track may enjoy the day at leisure. Language lessons continue for those participating in the Track 1.2 Language Option. Gather for lunch at a local restaurant. Get together with fellow travelers for lunch.

Track 3.1 Art and Culture Option participants, there will be an escorted visit to the Granet Museum that showcases European painting, sculpture, and archaeology. (L)

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence

Smithsonian Travelers not joining an enrichment track may enjoy the day at leisure. Track 3.2 Art and Culture Option participants will visit remarkable castles and abbeys of Provence including  Silvacane Abbey and Lourmarin Castle.

Track #2.2 Culinary Option you’ll get an understanding of the basics of French cuisine during an engaging lecture, cooking demonstration and tasting.

Day 9 – Aix-en-Provence

French lessons continue for those in the Track 1.3 Language Option. All participants will gather in the early evening for a presentation by a local expert on The Art of Provence.

After the presentation enjoys dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 10 – Aix-en-Provence

French lessons continue for those participating in the Track 1.4 Language Option. For all others, the day is free to explore on your own.

Day 11 – Aix-en-Provence

It’s Market Day in Aix, so follow your own path and explore the market on your own. Track 3.3 Art and Culture Option participants visit the Cezanne Studio and home at Lauves. See Saint Victoire Mountain, a favorite subject of Cezanne.

All participants will gather this evening for dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 12 – Avignon / Pont du Gard

Today the full group will travel 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 Pope 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 13 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.5 Language Option French lessons continue this morning.

Everyone is invited to meet for lunch at a local restaurant. In the late afternoon, spend some time in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to exchange experiences. (L)

Day 14 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.6 Language Option instruction continues. Track #2.3 Culinary Option learn to create a traditional three-course menu featuring popular French and Provençal specialties. Afterward, sit down to enjoy the meal you’ve created. Travelers not taking part in one of the enrichment tracks will have the day at leisure.

Day 15 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 3.4 Art and Culture Option participants will travel to Arles to explore the historic and cultural landmarks including the Roman Amphitheater, the Musée d’Arles and the Romanesque Cathedral of Ste. Trôphime.​ All other travelers will have the day at leisure to explore on their own.

Day 16 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.7 Language Option instruction continues. The balance of the day is free to follow your own path.

All participants will gather for dinner at a popular local restaurant. (D)

Day 17 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.8 Language Option language instruction continues this morning. For all other participants, the day is at leisure to explore on your own.

Day 18 – Aix-en-Provence

The entire day is free of planned activities. Let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Resident Director will be able to assist with advice on independent activities planning.

Day 19 – Marseille

All participants will depart on a full-day excursion to the fascinating Mediterranean coastal port city of Marseille. See the city’s attractions and marvel at the panoramic views from the hilltop Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica.

Tour the Old Port area and spend time relaxing with an espresso or a  glass of wine at one of the outdoor cafes. Gather for lunch at a local restaurant. (L)

Day 20 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.9 Language Option instruction continues this morning. Track 3.5 Art and Culture Option participants will explore the many fountains and private courtyards of Aix-en-Provence. These fountains have a story to tell and grace the squares, courtyards of private mansions and the Cours Mirabeau.

This evening, all participants will gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. 

Day 21 – Aix-en-Provence

Track 1.10 Language Option continues this morning. Track #2.4 Culinary Option participants will learn how to pair a variety of French cheese and wine. Travelers not taking part in an enrichment track may enjoy the day independently.

Day 22 – Aix-en-Provence

Your final morning and afternoon in Aix-en-Provence are free of planned activities so you can explore on your own.

Tonight, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journey Travelers to celebrate you’re your time in Provence at a festive farewell reception and dinner. (R,D)

Day 23 – Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast, depart the hotel and transfer to Marseille Airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

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