Chateauneuf-du-Pape…Côtes du Rhone…Côteaux d’Aix

9 days / 8 nights Tour

Tour Highlights: Combine guided and self-driven tours of three of Provence’s most scenic and famous wine regions...visit the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, an astounding display of medieval architecture and history…sample the delicious red wines for which the Côte du Rhône is so famous…explore the majestic, rugged beauty of the pristine Luberon…learn regional history and techniques of winemaking on guided tours with scheduled tastings...admire the incredible array of architectural delights from majestic Roman ruins to quaint hilltop villages...overwhelm your senses with a trip to one of the region’s many open-air markets…marvel at the breathtaking beauty that is Provence…take a serendipitous turn down an unknown country road and discover some of the hidden delights which are embroidered into the fabric of France’s wine countryside


Day 1 - Arrival
Begin your trip in Avignon. This medieval walled city will make an excellent start . Enjoy its myriad of shops, cafes, and restaurants, all within walking distance of your hotel and all on pedestrian-friendly streets.

Day 2 - Avignon - Palais des Papes - Chateauneuf du Pape
In the morning, depart the hotel with your private, English-speaking tour guide. The guide will walk you through the history of Avignon, incuding the fascinating period during which the Papacy was housed here. The Palais des Papes, or Pope’s Palace, is the centerpiece of Avignon and a living monument to this unique time. Continue on to visit the wine region of Chateauneuf du Pape and enjoy a tasting at a few of its famous vineyards. Overnight in Avignon.

Day 3 - Nimes - Pont du Gard - Tavel
This morning after breakfast, pick up your rental car and wend your way westward to the Pont du Gard, a feat of Roman engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue on to Nimes and its famous Roman Amphitheater, which still hosts live concerts. You’ll end up near Tavel, a traditional French vintner village. Use the evening to relax, enjoy dinner, and wander Tavel’s picturesque streets. Overnight in Tavel or Saban.

Day 4 - Wineries of Tavel
Today is the perfect day to take a leisurely drive along the wine routes and visit some of the many vineyards near Tavel. If you like, stop for lunch in the quaint village of Uzes, and you may also wish to see St. Quentin, known worldwide for its pottery. Overnight in Tavel or Saban.

Day 5 - Arles
Start your day with a scenic drive along a lovely section of the Rhone River. On your way, stop in Tarascon to see its impressive chateau and to visit the Souleiado factory where beautiful Provencal fabrics are made and sold. Continue on to Arles. The name Arles is generally synonymous with Vincent Van Gogh. In this city, you will find the places where Van Gogh set up his easel marked by panels representing his works. In addition to artistic significance, Arles also boasts a stunning display of Roman and medieval architecture. Overnight in Arles.

Day 6 - Vineyards of the Les Baux Region
This morning, depart from Arles towards St. Remy, following one of the region’s most beautiful wine routes (a private guide is included on the 4-star package). Why not spend this day driving the plane tree-lined route and tasting some of the best reds and rosés in France? Stop for lunch at the halfway point, Les Baux-de-Provence. Les Baux is one of the prettiest villages in France. It is set atop, and built into, a rocky outcrop which is crowned by the ruins of a castle overlooking the plains to the south. After lunch, wander the streets of the typically Provençal village of St. Remy and on the way back to Arles be sure to plan a stop at the beautiful Chateau de Mausanne for an olive-oil tasting. Overnight in Arles.

Day 7 - Aix-en-Provence
Depart Arles for the stunning city of Aix-en-Provence. This upbeat university town has much to see and do, but will never leave you feeling overwhelmed. Its tree-lined avenues and small, winding sidestreets have a colorful surprise around every bend. Sample some of the finest Provencal cuisine at one of the many tiny restaurants tucked away in these alleys. Aix’s main avenue, Cours Mirabeau, is lined with fountains of all designs, many of which contain thermal waters from underground hot springs. If you like, visit Cezanne’s studio, on the outskirts of town. Overnight in Aix.

Day 8 - The Luberon
Aix is in the heart of the rugged, pristine Luberon region. It is the perfect city from which to explore this area. Today you will embark on a full-day guided tour (a private guide is included on the 4-star package) which will take you through the region’s highlights. You will view Mont Sainte Victoire, the famous peak which is depicted in numerous paintings and photographs. You will also stop at a regional winery to tase some of the Luberon’s finest wines. Overnight in Aix.

Day 9- Return Journey
This morning after breakfast at your hotel, drive your car to the Aix-en-Provence rail station or Marseille airport to continue on to your next adventurous destination!

4-star package price from $3799* includes:
  • 2 nights accommodation at La Mirande in Avignon
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Chateau de Montcaud near Tavel
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Jules Cesar in Arles
  • 2 nights accommodation at Le Pigonnet in Aix-en-Provence
  • Daily breakfast
  • 6-day compact car rental, manual, A/C, insurance
  • Full day private tour of Avignon and the wineries of Chateauneuf du Pape
  • Full day private tour of Les Alpilles: les Baux, Mausanne, St. Rémy, Fontveille
  • Full day private tour of the Luberon region & Côteaux d’Aix
  • Hotel service charges & VAT


3-star package price from $1579* includes:
  • 8 nights accommodation at 3-star boutique properties
  • Daily breakfast
  • 6-day compact car rental, manual, A/C, insurance
  • Private walking tour of Avignon
  • Half-day semi-private tour of Chateauneuf du Pape
  • Full day semi-private tour of the Luberon region & Sainte Victoire, including 1 wine tasting (Sundays only)
  • Hotel service charges & VAT
*Price is per person, double occupancy. Rates subject to availability and change due to trade shows, weekend or holiday periods, and currency exchange rate. Other hotels may be substituted at different rates.
Wine-tasting fees not included.
©2008 Art du Voyage