Provence Discovery Tour
Discover south-eastern France, a beautiful and seductive region where picturesque views are abundant. Satisfy your senses on this Discovery Tour as we visit diverse and alluring landscapes from the Southern Alps to the Côte d'Azur.
- 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.
Guests should bring suitable, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain
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.
Each week there is a free day when no excursions are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest.
The city of Paul Cezanne; 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.
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 50 en-suite bedrooms, most of which have a balcony or terrace.
Facilities in the bedrooms include:
- 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 pleasant terrace.
Villa Borghese contains tennis courts, table tennis, and a spa offering treatments (extra charge).
Relax at the cosy bar with an open fireplace.
The hotel offers it guests free WiFi.
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.
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.
What to Bring
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
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.
All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-Member fee: £10 per person.
These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.
|Date (Start - End)||Version||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
|18 Apr - 25 Apr||2020 Itineary||£1,599||Available||Book Now|
|13 Jun - 20 Jun||2020 Itineary||£1,799||Available||Book Now|
|20 Jun - 27 Jun||2020 Itineary||£1,799||Available||Book Now|
- Double room for sole occupancy: £34 per night
- With flight holidays include flights from London Heathrow.
- UK connecting flights to meet our Heathrow British Airways flight available from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Glasgow or Edinburgh. £139
- Independent travellers can join our transfer from Marseille Airport: £21.50 single
- Our airport taxi service operates at this resort: £150 per single taxi journey
7 nights from £1,599pp with flights
...or call 020 3974 8865