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: $5,290 * 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  Shopping in the local 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 $5,290

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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Overview

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: Three-week-long stay in Aix-en-Provence. This immersion stay features accommodations in a centrally located apartment, within walking distance to shops, restaurants, and program activities. Program includes three full-day excursions outside the city as well as walking tours and museum tours in Aix. In addition, each Cultural Track (optional) involves different walking tours and activities in and beyond the city. Walking tours may entail uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); archaeological sites; and some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. This program is geared for the independent traveler who will enjoy pursuing their own interests, making meal plans independently (either solo or with other travelers) and finding their way to activities independently. (Your Smithsonian Journeys  Resident Director is always available to assist with plans.) 

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

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.

2022 Itinerary

Day 1 & Day 2 - Depart the U.S. and arrive in Marseille

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Marseille, France. Upon arrival at Marseille Provence International Airport, transfer to Aix-en-Provence and your centrally located apartment/hotel, the Adagio Aix Centre. Once at the hotel, each guest will receive a 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 introduction to Aix-en-Provence and the history and cultural heritage of Provence. Later, explore Aix on a walking tour to see the historical and cultural sites, shops, pharmacies and other points of interest. Join fellow travelers for lunch at a popular local restaurant. (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: See where the locals shop, visit the market and local stores, with tastings along the way. Learn about the local cuisine, and enjoy a picnic lunch. (B)

Day 5 – Les Luberon

All participants 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 where there’s free time for lunch at leisure before continuing to a winery for a tasting of the local wines. Visit the village of 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.

Gather this evening for dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 7 – Aix-en-Provence

Travelers, not joining an enrichment track may enjoy the day at leisure. Meet fellow travelers for lunch at a local bistro. Language lessons continue for those participating in the Track 1.2 Language Option. 

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

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence

Participants, not joining an enrichment track, will enjoy the day free of planned activities. Track 3.2 Art and Culture Option participants will visit remarkable castles and abbeys of Provence including Silvacane Abbey and Lourmarin Castle. Enjoy lunch at leisure in the village of Lourmarin.

Day 9 – Aix-en-Provence

French lessons continue for those in the Track 1.3 Language Option. Join fellow travelers in the early evening for a presentation by a local expert on The Art of Provence.

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

Day 10 – Aix-en-Provence

This morning, French lessons continue for those participating in the Track 1.4 Language Option. Track 2.2 Cooking Class will provide an understanding of the basics of French cuisine during an engaging lecture, cooking demonstration, and dinner prepared during your class. For all others, the day is free to explore on your own.

Day 11 – Aix-en-Provence

Follow your own path this morning 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. Travel is by local transport.

Everyone will get together this evening for dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 12 – Avignon / Pont du Gard

Today, all Smithsonian travelers will depart on an excursion 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 French instruction continues this morning. 

Track #2.3 Culinary Option participants will 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 free to follow your own path.

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.​ Lunch will be at leisure on your own. 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 of planned activities.

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 others, 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 travelers will depart on a full-day excursion to the 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 BasilicaTour the oldest quarter of Marseille known as Le Panier and spend time people-watching with an espresso or a glass of wine at one of the outdoor cafes. Gather for lunch at a harbor-side 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 and courtyards of private mansions and those on the Cours Mirabeau.

This evening, everyone will get together 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.

For those not taking part in an enrichment track; 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 Journeys Travelers to celebrate your time in Provence at a festive farewell reception and dinner at one of Aix’s popular restaurants. (R,D)

Day 23 – Depart for the U.S.

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

Note: Itinerary sequence and/or scheduled events may change due to operational considerations. All excursions involve an element of walking, standing and climbing steps. 

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