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Lavender bloom in Provence

6 days / 5 nights – Aix-en-Provence • Avignon • Nice • Ile Sur Sorgue • Salagon

Scenic landscapes, azure seas, world-class modern art, wondrous food and incredible historical heritage – everything Provence) and the Côte d’Azur do, they excel at.

With their fields of lavender, olive groves, rolling hills, thick cork-oak and pine forests, vineyards, mountains and dazzling blue sea, Provence and the Côte d’Azur are an embarrassment of scenic riches. The region is blessed with almost year-round sunshine and a divine light, making travelling to Provence a delight whatever the season.

Aix-en-Provence • Avignon • Nice • Ile Sur Sorgue • Salagon

Aix-en-Provence – is situated in a plain overlooking the Arc, about a mile from the right bank of the river.

Avignon – Ringed by incredibly preserved 800-year-old stone ramparts, graceful Avignon’s turn as the seat of papal power bestowed the city with a treasury of magnificent art and architecture, none grander than the massive medieval fortress and papal palace, Palais des Papes.

Nice – With its unusual mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine and exceptional location, Nice’s appeal is universal.

Ile Sur Sorgue – L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a town and commune on the Sorgue river southeastern France. Politically, the commune is in the arrondissement of Avignon within the département of Vaucluse and the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Salagon –  is a heritage location of great wealth (a former Benedictine priory and a listed historical monument which is made up of a 12th century church, a 15th century prior’s lodgings and farm outbuildings dating back to 16th and 17th centuries).

Day 1: Nice or Marseilles, Aix en Provence
Arrival in Nice or Marseilles airport. Welcome by your guide and transfer to Aix en Provence with a small tour of the university town. Aix, capital of Provence, and since 1501 host of a Parliament founded by Louis XII, challenges Avignon as Arts and Cultural Center. Dinner and overnight in a hotel in the Provence.

Day 2: Sault, Roussillon, Apt
Day trip to the discovery of the lavender fields and visit in connection with lavender. Over a picturesque road, we reach Sault, the main center for lavender in the Vaucluse. Detailed visit of lavender fields and of a distillery with appropriate explanations. After the very special “Bleu Lavande” we continue to Roussillon with its red and pink ochre fields and have a unique stroll in the so called “Provencal Colorado”. Excursions ends with a visit of the lavender museum in Apt. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 3: Avignon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Orange
After breakfast the journey continues to Avignon. The city of the Popes is dominated by a 58 meters high limestone, the Rocher des Doms, on which the Pope’s Palace leans. Guided city tour and visit of the Pope’s Palace. Continue to Châteauneuf du Pape for a wine tasting. Afternoon visit of Orange and its roman theatre. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Ile sur Sorgue, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, Sénanque, Gordes
Departure to l’Isle sur Sorgue a large Provencal market and then to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, a small town at the foot of the plateau du Vaucluse, known because of its re-emerging source, one of the most popular natural sights of Provence. In the vicinity of Gordes you visit the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque, surrounded by lavender fields. We continue to Gordes with its castle and its nice restored old houses overlooking the valley. Stroll through the narrow streets of the village with its many craft shops. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Forcalquier, Salagon
Travel in the direction of Banon and Forcalquier to admire en route the beautiful lavender fields. We visit the monastery of Salagon: anyone interested in herbs, should visit the old monastery of Salagon. Here in the gardens one can learn about the history and application of different Provencal plants. Among others, there is a collection of herbs from the early folk medicine, a scent garden and a presentation of native cooking herbs. The former Benedictine monastery from the 12th Century became since the early eighties, a museum responsible for the ethnographic and botanical heritage of the region. Last night in eastern Provence.

Day 6: Departure
Transfer to Nice or Marseilles airport for departure.