Days
7
Price from
€2,610EUR

Wine and dine your way through beautiful Provence, from Avignon to Marseille

Provence is famed for its abundant locally-grown produce, wonderful cheese, world-class wines and traditional artisanal recipes. This tour takes in the very best of the region. Visit the bustling markets of Avignon and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, dine in the ancestral home of a villager in Robion and sample goat's cheese from the thyme-laden hills of Le Rove. Visit the fishing village of Niolon and discover the melting pot of Marseille. Eat your way to the heart of Provence on this gourmet adventure.


Start
Avignon, France
Finish
Marseille, France
Country
France
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Gourmet
Code
PEFF
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
1 review
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Herbes de Provence, bouillabaisse, shiny purple eggplants, salty olive tapenade, golden olive oil, pastis over ice – these flavours are only the beginning

  • The Rhone region exports some fine wines, but there's nothing like a tipple on the hallowed ground where these very grapes were grown

  • In Robian, you'll sit down to a traditional table d’hôte feast in the gorgeous family home of a local

  • Eat your way through five continents on a food tour through the melting-pot port city of Marseille

  • Escape to the fishing village of Niolon, far from the well-beaten tourist path, as you savour the fruity saltiness of local Le Rove goat's cheese

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • The mode of transport on this trip is mostly train, as this is an efficient and relatively low-carbon way to travel. It's also one of the most relaxing and most scenic. Take the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the countryside.

  • Luggage will be transported from the station to the hotel by taxi, but there will be some walking involved (a maximum of 10 minutes from station to hotel).

Itinerary

Your trip begins in Avignon. This charming city is located on the left bank of the Rhone River in the south-east of France. You can make your way to the hotel anytime before your evening welcome meeting, which is usually at 5 pm (check the hotel reception or notice boards for more details). Afterwards, there's an evening walking tour that includes the 14th-century Papal Palace and the 12th century Pont d’Avignon bridge. Your guide will be able to recommend a local restaurant for those who wish to continue on to dinner.

Notes: We recommend arriving and departing by train where possible in Europe, as this method of transport is efficient and has minimal carbon emissions.
Accommodation
  • Avignon Grand Hotel, or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast you will take a tour around Les Halles, Avignon’s famed covered market, to discover the building blocks of Provencal cuisine. Savour locally produced olive oil, admire regionally grown vegetables and enjoy the aroma of fragrant herbes de Provence. As you wander the colourful market stalls, your guide will select seasonal ingredients to take to a nearby cafe. The chef will cook your selection for lunch. In the early afternoon, take a taxi to the village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (approximately 30 minutes). Located in the Rhone wine region in southeastern France, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is also a renowned French wine appellation d’origine controlee (AOC). Take a walk through the vineyards (approximately 1.5 hours), then enjoy a tasting at one of the centuries-old estates. Return to Avignon in time for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Avignon Grand Hotel, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Avignon – Les Halles market tour and lunch
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Wine tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, take a train (approximately 30 minutes) to the picturesque village of Isle sur la Sorgue. As its name suggests, the village is surrounded by the flowing waters of the Sorgue River. Arrive in time to explore the impressive Sunday market which has operated since the 16th century. Here is an entire village filled with fresh produce, spices, crafts, clothing and antiques. In the afternoon, after a walking tour of the village, enjoy a game of pétanque complete with a tasting of the local drink of choice: pastis. In the evening, join a hands-on cooking class where you will learn to prepare some classic regional Provencal dishes. This will be followed by dinner. The menu will be determined by what is in season.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Nevons, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isle sur la Sorgue - Hands-on Provencal cooking class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the late morning, take a taxi (approximately 20 minutes) to the village of Robion which is nestled against the abrupt slopes of the Luberon mountain. Here you will enjoy lunch at a traditional table d’hôte. In France, this term refers to a communal meal offered in a chambre d'hôte, prepared by the hosting family for their guests. Your hostess will be preparing your meal in her ancestral home which originally belonged to her grandmother. After lunch there will be some time to explore the town at your leisure. In the evening, return to Isle sur la Sorgue for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Les Nevons, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Robion - Lunch at a table d'hote
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, take a local train (approximately 1.5 hours) to the cosmopolitan port city of Marseille. Second only to Paris in size, Marseille is fast being recognised for its distinct culinary identity, which combines influences from around the Mediterranean and beyond. Discover the flavours of Marseille on a tasting tour of the city, sampling unexpected local specialities around the lively streets surrounding the old port (which had a complete makeover in 2013). In the afternoon, you have the choice of many optional activities, including a coastline hike, a boat excursion along the Calanques (limestone inlets) or a ferry ride to the Château d’If and Frioul islands.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Le Carré Vieux Port, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marseille - Tasting trail and city walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit an authentic fishing village along the Côte Bleu. Weather permitting, we will journey there on the scenic ferry boat. Otherwise we will catch the picturesque coastline train. Few tourists venture to this coastal “suburb” of Marseille, but the local Marseillais come here religiously on weekends to savour two local delicacies. Meet the maker and savour them for yourself.
For lunch continue to another village off the tourist-path, where a limestone inlet is the perfect invitation to an afternoon swim. Return to the centre of Marseille via the coastline train.  In the evening, perhaps choose to join your fellow travellers for a final meal of the local dish par excellence – bouillabaisse. This signature Marseillaise fish stew was originally eaten by fisherman who cooked it using bony fish they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets. Today it is considered a French classic, enhanced by the addition of locally grown Provencal herbs and spices.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Le Carré Vieux Port, or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marseille - Fishing Village Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast in Marseille. It's a convenient location to finish in, as it's connected by rail to many other destinations in France, including Aix-en-Provence (30 minutes), Nice (2 hours and 30 minutes) and Paris (3 hours via the high-speed TGV services which depart hourly). For those who wish to spend more time in Marseille, additional nights’ accommodation can be booked at the same time this trip is booked.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Train, taxi

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Avignon – Les Halles market tour and lunch
  • Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Wine tasting
  • Isle sur la Sorgue - Hands-on Provencal cooking class
  • Robion - Lunch at a table d'hote
  • Marseille - Tasting trail and city walk
  • Marseille - Fishing Village Food Tour

Reviews

Our Gourmet Explorer Provence trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 review in the last year.

Gourmet Explorer Provence, June 2016

Jocelyn McLeish

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Essential Trip Information

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