Provence Discovery Tour

Experience the glory of picturesque Provence during lavender season


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Activity types:

  • Central location
  • Hills & moorland
  • History
From £1,399.00 - 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Discover southeastern France, a beautiful and seductive region where picturesque views are in abundance. Provence can be compared to Italy's Tuscany, a delicate yet fascinating area of Europe. Please your senses on this discovery tour; visit diverse and alluring landscapes from the Southern Alps to the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera). 

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.

Price includes

  • Good quality en-suite accommodation in one of our European partner hotels
  • Half Board – continental breakfast and evening meal
  • 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


Villa Borghese - hotel

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. 



 Your room

Villa Borghese has 50 en-suite bedrooms 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 offer pleasant views from the bedrooms.

HF Holidays walking holidays france Greoux-les-Bains
 Standard bedroom


Villa Borghese - swimming pool 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.


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. Villa Borghese dining room

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.


During your Discovery Tour you'll have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places. The following is our provisional programme, and your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times, or other events. This holiday includes active sightseeing and you should expect to spend lots of time on your feet.

For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; Please allow up to €70 per person for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price). Please bring cash as card machines are not always available at all venues.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

Day 1: Arrival day

Day 2 : Moustiers Ste Marie

Famed for its tradition of ceramic art this village perched on the side of a magnificent cliff , Moustiers Ste Marie has been designated as one of the ‘prettiest villages in France’ since 1981. The church, the village walls, the fountains, the aqueduct – the balance between water and stone, and the pastel colours of the tiles all fit perfectly into the local landscape.

We’ll spend time here soaking up the atmosphere, and exploring the history of the ceramic workshops and the links with crusaders.

Day 3 : Folcalquier and the Lavender Route

Firstly we’ll visit the bustling market in the ancient town of Forcalquier – once an independent state. Th e market is renowned as an important gathering of local farmers, craftsmen and locals, a real atmosphere. You may want to get the best view of the surrounding countryside by walking up to the Citadel. We’ll move on to the remains of the Abbey of Salagon which has historical exhibitions and a selection of gardens with plants from around the world but also a typical provençal garden and an area where medical plants are grown. We then visit the village of Valensole, (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.

Day 4 : The Verdon Gorge

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 of the gorge 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. 

Day 5: Free day

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.

Day 6 : Aix en Provence

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

Day 7: Baux de Provence

Located on a rocky plateau in the heart of the Alpilles, the town of Les Baux de Provence appears in a stunning location as we arrive and then provides breathtaking views once we venture into the medieval streets. . It is home to no less than 22 listed buildings and the light on the rocky outcrop will simply take your breath away.   A short walk beyond the town itself we have the option to experience the light show which has recently been installed in an atmosphere disused quarry.


Day 8: Departure Day

In the Evenings

The friendly atmosphere of our Discovery Tour continues into the evening. We’ll enjoy a leisurely meal and then you may also like to listen to local musicians, relax with a book in a quiet lounge or enjoy a drink at the bar.

What to bring

  •  comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain

Local area

Immerse yourself in the landscape of Matisse, Cézanne and Van Gogh, in this quiet corner of Provence. Rolling fields, blue skies, gorgeous villages and excellent food and wine epitomise everyone’s image of Provence, and we hope that this holiday will deliver that, and a little bit more. As well as sitting in the Route de la Lavande, an area steeped in the culture of lavender production, Greoux-les-Bains straddles the exquisite Luberon region,  and also the mighty Verdon Gorge. The Grand Canyon of France with 800m sheer cliffs sums up this area’s unspoilt countryside. On Mondays the traditional Provençal market at the hill-top village of Forqualquier has run for centuries. Moustiere Ste Marie, deemed officially one of the prettiest villages in France, is a lovely place to drink a beer in one of the many pavement cafés.

Greoux-les-Bains, a former spa town, is off the main Provençal tourist track, and is a bustling town full of local commerce. It has an impressive hill-top castle, reached by walking up pretty pedestrianised roads, and a smattering of tourist shops in the old town. There are good cafés in the pleasant central plaza in the old town. The hotel is 15 minutes walk from the old town.

Colourful port of Marseilles – There is a public bus service which takes you to Marseilles. To get around the city and see the major sights use the Le Grand Tour open-topped, double decker bus which runs each day from 10am until 4pm and costs around €16 for the day. The bus travels between all the main sights and museums taking in Vieux Port, the Corniche and Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. You can hop on and off throughout the day and the tour includes a 5 language audio guide. The best place to pick up the tour bus is Vieux Port – buy tickets either on the bus or from the tourist office.  


Visit the bohemian, chic university town of Aix-en-Provence, home of Cezanne, visited by Van Gogh and the author Emile Zola. The town is packed with bars, cafés, and affordable restaurants. The city itself is rich in culture and has elegant plane tree-lined boulevards and chic boutiques. There is a public bus service but times vary throughout the year; the journey takes about an hour.

Villa Borghese

Spend the day around the hotel and take advantage of the heated pool and loungers provided by the hotel, or more adventurously book a session at the Hotel Spa!

The Verdon Gorge

in French: Gorges du Verdon or Grand Canyon du Verdon) – is a river canyon that is often considered to be one of Europe's most beautiful. It is about 25 kilometres long and up to 700 metres deep. It was formed by the Verdon River, which is named after its startling turquoise-green colour, one of the canyon's most distinguishing characteristics. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has cut a ravine up to 700 metres down through the limestone mass.


Explore the old centre of Greoux and walk up to the Chateau des Templiers, which sometimes has concerts and art exhibitions.


We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.


Travel by plane


‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option

Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Heathrow or Manchester (via Heathrow) flights to Marseille airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.

If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 1 hour 15 minutes to the Villa Borghese.






‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option

Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.

If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. We recommend independent travellers meet our HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Marseilles airport. This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flights* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £38.

Transfers must be pre-booked.  Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details

* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach



Alastair Clark

Alastair Clark lives in the Peak District and has been leading walking and cycling groups for HF since 2011. In this time he has led in UK, Austria, Italy and France where is HF Field Advisor for Provence.  He has led HF Worldwide holidays in Cape Verde and Cuba and has also worked in West Africa and Tunisia.  

He enjoys exploring Cuba, and with his wife he has ridden the famous (but unreliable!) Hershey Railway from Havana to Matanzas on the north coast (92kms with 46 stops!). His own passion for walking has also taken him to wild places in Morocco, Korea and Nova Scotia.

He enjoys world music, along with a bit of rock and roll, and his favourite picnic choice is sun-dried tomatoes and fresh goats' cheese. Alastair is leading our February 2019 holiday.


Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
18 Apr 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Greoux-les-Bains
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 18 Apr 2020, 1:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 18 Apr 2020, 4:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Marseille Provence International

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 25 Apr 2020, 4:55 p.m.
  • Arrive: 25 Apr 2020, 5:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Marseille Provence International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
7 £1,599.00 Book Now
18 Apr 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Provence - Without Flights 7 £1,399.00 Book Now
13 Jun 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Greoux-les-Bains
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 13 Jun 2020, 1:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 13 Jun 2020, 4:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Marseille Provence International

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 20 Jun 2020, 4:55 p.m.
  • Arrive: 20 Jun 2020, 5:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Marseille Provence International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
7 £1,799.00 Book Now
13 Jun 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Provence - Without Flights 7 £1,599.00 Book Now
20 Jun 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Greoux-les-Bains
(Travel included - Departs from: London Heathrow)

Flight - Outbound


  • Depart: 20 Jun 2020, 1:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 20 Jun 2020, 4:05 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Marseille Provence International

Flight - Return


  • Depart: 27 Jun 2020, 4:55 p.m.
  • Arrive: 27 Jun 2020, 5:50 p.m.
  • Depart from: Marseille Provence International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
7 £1,799.00 Book Now
20 Jun 2020 PVLEL - Discovery Tour Provence - Without Flights 7 £1,599.00 Book Now

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