Provence & the French Riviera 2015

Day 1 Nice – Monaco – Nice

Our first day is dedicated to Monaco, the playground of the rich and famous, known for its dazzling harbour and lively entertainment. Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, sit in a street cafe or wander around Port Hercule. Later today visit Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where we discover its many themed rooms and beautiful gardens, before returning to Nice.
 
Overnight: Hotel Villa Rivoli (or similar)

Day 2 Nice – Cap d’Antibes – Vence

Our first visit today is to Cap d’Antibes, a small peninsula located on the Cote d’Azur. We discover the charming old port of Antibes and wander its narrow streets and impressive harbour. We also see the small marinas spread across the peninsula, before we make our way to the beautiful village of St-Paul-de-Vence followed by the neighbouring town of Vence, known as the ‘City of Art’. Tonight we enjoy our first dinner together. (B, D)

 

Overnight: Hotel Cantemerle (or similar)


Day 3 Vence – Cannes – Vence

In Cannes, the Jewel of the Riviera and world-famous for its film festival, glitzy hotels and shopping, we have time to explore the famous ‘Croisette’ and the Rue d’Antibes. This afternoon is free for you to explore the small streets and squares of Vence, which date from the 12th century, before an evening at leisure. (B)

 

Overnight: tba (or similar)


Day 4 Vence – Aix-en-Provence

From Vence we drive through charming Provencal villages to Aix-en-Provence. The old town of Aix has an amazing network of narrow streets and is famous for its superb architecture and magnificent monuments. Aix was also once the home of Paul Cezanne, and we have a chance to visit its studio where dozens of works by the great painter were conceived. Admire the Mont Sainte-Victoire from a vantage point above town, before we enjoy dinner together tonight. (B, D)

 

Overnight: Hotel des Augustins (or similar)

 


Day 5 Aix-en-Provence

Enjoy a walking tour of Aix-en Provence which allows us to follow in the footsteps of Cezanne, passing the hot thermal springs, the Pavillon de Vendome and the Musee des Tapisseries. You will also have a chance to visit his studio where dozens of works by the great painter were conceived. This afternoon relax and enjoy the town at your own pace. (B)

 

Overnight: Hotel des Augustins (or similar)


Day 6 Aix-en-Provence – Avignon – Saint-Remy-de-Provence

Traverse spectacular landscapes as we make our way to Avignon, a 14th century city once home to Catholic popes. The imposing Palais des Papes dominates the old historic centre and the St Benezet Bridge is a must-see. We enjoy dinner together in Saint-Remy-de-Provence tonight. (B, D)

 

Overnight: Hotel sous les Figuiers (or similar)


Day 7 Saint-Remy-de-Provence

We wander through the vineyards of the Cotes du Rhone, one of the most famous wine producing regions in France. Our first stop is the magnificent Roman Theatre at Orange. This UNESCO World Heritage site is extraordinarily well-preserved and its Roman arch is particularly beautiful. We then make our way to a very special private vineyard, where we sit on the terrace and enjoy a tasty Provencal lunch, complemented beautifully by local wines. (B, L)

 

Overnight: Hotel sous les Figuiers (or similar)


Day 8 Saint-Remy-de-Provence – Aigues-Mortes – Arles

Today begins with another stunning classical icon – the mighty Pont du Gard Aqueduct. Built by the Romans in the 1st century, it is one of the region's most famous landmarks. We then head to the Camargue area and stop in the fortified village of Aigues-Mortes, famous for its striking, walled medieval town. In Arles, where the town's narrow winding streets inspired paintings and drawings by both Van Gogh and Picasso, we have over 2000 years of history to discover. (B, D)

 

Overnight: Hotel d’Arlatan (or similar)


Day 9 Arles

This morning we enjoy the local sights and see scenes painted by Van Gogh including the famous 'Starlit Cafe'. The afternoon is yours to spend as you wish. (B)

 

Overnight: Hotel d’Arlatan (or similar)


Day 10 Arles – the ‘Little Alps’ – Arles

Heading into the 'Little Alps', we explore the Huguenot stronghold of Les Baux-de-Provence. The town rewards us with remarkable views and has been painstakingly restored, boasting over 22 historical listed buildings. Before returning to Arles, we make a final stop at the Carrieres de Lumieres, where images and works of art are projected on to the walls of a former quarry. Tonight we enjoy our last dinner together. (B, D)

 

Overnight: Hotel d’Arlatan (or similar)


Day 11 Arles – Marseille

After breakfast we transfer to Marseille where our tour comes to an end. (B)
 
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from Hotel Villa Rivoli, 10 Rue de Rivoli, 06000, Nice, France at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
 
Drop-off 12:00pm at The Old Port, 13002, Marseille, France. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only – traffic can be unpredictable!
 
Notes
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary. 
 
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.



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