Provence Discovery Tour

Les Baux-de-Provence village, Provence, France
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Discovery Tours

With its rolling landscapes, pretty hilltop towns and fields of lavender and sunflowers, Provence has long provided inspiration to many artists including Van Gogh, Matisse and Cezanne. This discovery tour gets to the heart of this beguiling region with guided visits to some of the area’s most attractive towns and villages plus its most dominant natural feature – the plunging Verdon Gorge. In the spring the almond trees blossom, creating a wonderful scent in the air while in the summer months, many of the fields turn purple as the lavender blooms. Whatever the time of year, Provence delights with its historic, picturesque buildings and appealing landscapes.

Holiday Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the landscape of Matisse, Cezanne and Van Gough
  • Explore the traditional hilltop towns of Forcalquier
  • Enjoy the Lavender Route and the Verdon Gorge
  • Visit the elevated town of Les Baux de Provence for sweeping views across the landscape

What’s included

  • Half Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays leader
  • Full day excursions with all essential transport in resort
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

Welcome to Hotel Villa Borghese. Unpack and settle in.

Famed for its tradition of ceramic art, the cliffside village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has been designated as one of the ‘prettiest villages in France’ since 1981. The balance between water and stone is evident here in the church, village walls, fountains and aqueduct, all perfectly complemented by the pastel tones of the tilework. We’ll spend time here soaking up the atmosphere and exploring the history of the ceramic workshops as well as the local links to the Crusades.

Today we’ll visit the bustling market in the ancient town of Forcalquier – once an independent state. The market here is known as the biggest in the region and is an important gathering of farmers, craftsmen and locals alike. The Citadel is the best place for 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside – see if you can spot the Alps! Later we’ll move on to the remains of the Abbey of Salagon which houses historical exhibitions and a selection of gardens with plants from around the world, a typical provençal garden and an area where medicinal plants are grown. We then visit the village of Valensole (or ‘sunny valley’) located on a magnificent plateau famous for its lavender and almond production. With more than 300 days of sun per year, this village is a delight to wander through. In the spring the plateau is filled with almond blossom.

Also known as the Grand Canyon of Verdon, the Verdon Gorge is a spectacular canyon that forms the border between the departments of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var. Although smaller than Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the Verdon Gorge is deep, compact, beautiful and wild. We’ll take a short walk along the rim of the gorge and learn about the first canoe descent here in 1905 by a group led by Edouard Martel.  His memory lives as we will see hikers undertaking the six-hour gorge-walk that bears his name.

On our 7-night holidays, there is a free day when no excursions are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, go for a walk or visit local places of interest. Options include:

Gréoux-les-Bains: Explore the town of Gréouxles-Bains and learn about the therapeutic qualities of its natural spring - discovered by the Romans. Walk up to the Castle of the Templars before stopping for lunch at one of the town’s many restaurants.

Hotel facilities: Enjoy the facilities of the Hotel Villa Borghese; swim in its heated pool, enjoy a relaxing lunch on the terrace or play a game of table tennis or boules.

Manosque and Aix-en-Provence: There are bus connections to Manosque and Aix en Provence. Your leaders will be able to direct you to the timetable and the right bus stop.

The city of Paul Cézanne; built around water and art with a wealth of fascinating buildings and museums to explore. Street names here appear in the traditional Provençal language as well as French and the city has a sense of grandeur which is only enhanced by the large number of fountains. Throughout the day, we’ll have time to explore the old town, the Villeneuve, Cours Mirabeau, and the Mazarin Quarter.

Set on a rocky plateau in the heart of the Alpilles, the town of Les Baux-de-Provence provides breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. We shall wander through the Medieval streets of Les Baux, perhaps passing one or two of their 22 listed buildings en route. There will also be the option to experience a light show in the Carrières de Lumières – Quarries of Light – which are currently presenting an incredible and immersive show using Van Gogh paintings.

We hope to see you again soon.

Provence Itinerary Map

Villa Borghese - Provence

The 4-star Villa Borghese has a fine tradition of service and is a member of the prestigios Châteaux Demeures de Tradition and the Relais du Silence groups. The owners of Villa Borghese will be very happy to welcome you to their hotel which is in a lovely, quiet and comfortable setting surrounded by gardens and woodland. Gréoux-les-Bains is close to the Verdon Gorges, the Luberon and the lavender fields in Provence. The hotel has an outdoor pool, tennis courts, fitness centre and spa. 


Villa Borghese has 54 en-suite bedrooms, most of which have a balcony or terrace.

Facilities in the bedrooms include:

  • Telephone
  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Air conditioning
  • Shaving point
  • Mini-bar (extra charge)

The hotel is surrounded by a small wood and offers pleasant views from the bedrooms.


There is a small outdoor heated swimming pool next to the sun terrace.

Villa Borghese has a tennis court, table tennis, and a spa offering a range of treatments (extra charge). 

Relax at the cosy bar with an open fireplace.

The hotel offers its guests free Wi-Fi.

Food & Drink

Holidays at Gréoux-les-Bains are Half Board with a 3-course served dinner.

The hotel prides itself on serving locally sourced produce from within 20km of the town.

Your Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our holidays continues into the evening.

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's activities. Your evening meal is the main focus of the evening. After dinner relax on the terrace or in the bar, with a drink and chat with your fellow guests or try your hand in a friendly game of boules.

France - Villa Borghese - RIMG0352 Greoux hotel.jpg

Getting to Villa Borghese - Provence

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.

All of our Discovery Tours involve active sightseeing and you should therefore be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing.
You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, camera, sun protection, drinks (at least 2 litres) etc during the day. A money belt is always a good idea.

You’ll also need to bring your:

  • Booking confirmation
  • Travel insurance cover note and contact details
  • European Health Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Completed guest registration form
  • Photocopy of photo page of passport
  • Sunhat, sun cream and sunglasses
  • Medication: If you require any medication, please take adequate supplies for the duration of your holiday. It’s advisable to carry your medication in your hand luggage instead of packing it in your suitcase

Alban O’Brien

Alban has spent a lifetime sharing his enthusiasm for literature with people of all ages: pupils in secondary schools, trainee teachers in a Faculty of Education and since 2012, a great many HF guests as well. He describes the three pillars of his life as his family, his football team and Shakespeare.

He also has a passion for travel and history, for mountains and moorland, for lakes and lochs, for landscapes and seascapes – as well as for HF leadership in Britain and Europe. After many years holidaying with HF as a walking guest, he is keen to ensure that those who travel with him enjoy their time together, explore new and interesting places and discover the fascinating stories always to be found there.

“Excellent. An impressive range of knowledge and a real love of the area and its history.”


Nick Barker

I have led HF holidays for several years in the UK and Europe. I’ve always been interested in travel and during a break in my career I completed a degree in Tourism Management. I really enjoy helping guests to have a great experience and I’m very much looking forward to meeting you and leading your group. Here’s to a wonderful holiday.

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Discovery Tours

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020 3974 8865

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