Explore Provence & The Riviera
8 Days / 7 Nights From Marseille to Marseille
Provence, French Riviera/Cote d”Azur, Monte Carlo, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, Grasse, Les Baux de Provence, Nimes, St. Remey de Provence, Antibes, Cannes, Cap-Ferrat, Juan-les-Pins, Marseille, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Toulon, Monte Carlo, Grand Canyon du Verdon, Mt. Ventoux, Pont Du Gard, Riviera Beaches, Saint Benezet Bridge, Valley of Castellane
Upto 5 Pax: Citroen C4 or Similar
6-7 Pax: Renault Espace or similar
8-9 Pax: Renault Traffic or similar
Welcome to Marseille. Pick up your rental car. Although Marseille’s history dates back to ancient Greece, because of its geographical proximity to North Africa and France’s colonial history there, which ended only in the 1960s, Marseille may be more deeply linked to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria than any non-African city. Some 120,000 to 150,000 people from those three countries – known collectively as the Maghreb – live in Marseille, a bustling and slightly raffish port city that offers fabulous restaurants and a variety of nightclubs and theaters. The city’s main thoroughfare, the wide boulevard Canabiere, stretches eastward from the Old Port. Try the local fish soup, Bouillabaisse, and drink the local alcoholic aniseed beverage, Pastis, found on every Marseilles table.
Tourist Class Hotel Carre Vieux Port or similar
Leave Marseille and drive through the Provencal countryside to the city of Arles, proud of its traditions and famed for both its Roman and its early medieval heritage. On to Nimes whose elegant and bustling boulevards are shaded by lotus trees. Your drive now takes you passed one of France’s greatest and best-preserved pieces of Roman architecture, the superb aqueduct of Pont du Gard. One of the wonders of antiquity, it was built in late 1st century BC to channel water from a spring some 50 km from Nimes. Continue to Avignon where your two-night stay has been arranged.
Tourist Class Du Lavarin or similar (2 nights)
Protected by its ramparts, the historic core of Avignon is a lively center of art and culture. As one of Europe’s most important gothic ensembles it has a quaint medieval feel. During the 14th century Avignon was the capital of the Christian world and was the temporary home of the Popes. The grand Palais des Papes is an impressive site to visit. See the bridge Saint Benezet from the popular song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” and enjoy the many parks and gardens. See the beauty and variety of the landscapes of Provence, the wild mountainous countryside and gentle valleys dotted with fruit orchards, wooded hills of pine and oak, and ancient villages of honey-colored stone. See Mt. Ventoux and on to its summit
Another day to enjoy Provence. From Avignon drive to the pretty village of St. Remy de Provence, encircled by a 14th century wall which is still in use today. St. Remy is a busy, active village where you can purchase regional pottery including some influenced by Van Gogh who lived here. It was in this village that Nostradamus was born. Leave St. Remy for the picturesque village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and admire the surrounding countryside. Just inside the entrance to the village are narrow cobblestone streets, terrace cafés, and souvenir shops. On to Aix-en-Provence, a town of water and a town of art, for your overnight stay. End your day with wonderful food and fine wines at one of the city’s many restaurants.
Tourist Class Aquabella Hotel or similar
Built and developed around its dual identity of a town of water and of art, Aix-en-Provence is all color and sensation with the golden stone of its facades and thetransparent green of the fountains. Founded in 123 BC by the Roman consulSextius Calvinus, a tour of thiswondrous town is a chance to travel in time, withits architectural and cultural heritage accessible to everyone; treasures that you will discover simply by walking around the town. Leave Aix-en-Provence and
drive through the natural beauty of the magnificent Grand Canyon du Verdon.These gigantic rock cliffs are the result of the erosion of the Verdon river. Deep, compact, wild and beautiful, rich in flora and fauna, the scenery here is astonishing. The villages have maintained their old-fashioned Provencal appeal, and you will be warmly welcomed. Drive through the valley of Castellane and on to the town of Grass, the perfume capital of the world, with lots of outlets to buy its perfumes. It is a short drive from Grass to the Riviera and the glamour of Nice where your two-night stay has been arranged.
Tourist Class Hotel Vendome or similar (2 nights)
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With its beautiful beaches, lovely seaside promenade, diverse shopping,
splendid dining and lovely art-deco facades Nice is the playground of the rich and
famous. Take a walking tour of the city’s Cours Saleya (Flower Market), with its
abundance of ripe produce, sidewalk cafes, souvenir shops and of course flowers
simply bursting with colors. Today discover the Cote d’Azur – The Blue Coast –
as you follow the Mediterranean coastline and visit the glamorous resorts of Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, and Cap-Ferrat. Visit the fascinating principality of Monaco. In the 13th century the House of Grimaldi, descended from a Genoese nobleman, took power in Monaco, Antibes and Nice and built castles at Grimaud, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Antibes. The present Prince Albert II of Monaco (son of the late beloved Grace Kelly) is a descendant of the Grimaldis. The world’s smallest French speaking country, it takes less than one hour to walk the width of Monaco. Enjoy its exceptional location between mountain and sea, and its beautiful gardens.
If you have the time, book an extra day so that you can enjoy a visit to the Italian Riviera which extends from the border of the French Riviera.
St. Tropez was once a small fishing village, and when discovered by the painter Paul Signac attracted other painters, writers and bohemians. Luxury yachts are now moored at its harbor, teeming with life as it has become the fashionable resort frequented by artists and celebrities of the entertainment world. Continue to Toulon. Backed by high hills whose summits are crowned by forts, it is France’s second most important naval base. There are numerous shops, restaurants and cafes, and visitors who are interested in naval history will find the Naval Museum and the Museum of Old Toulon worthwhile visits. Your day ends as you return to Marseilles for your overnight stay.
Tourist Class Carre Vieux Port or similar
Depart to the airport for your return flight home and Drop-off Rental Car