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FRANCE

Price $3300 9 Days
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FRANCE

$3300 per person

Watch our France vlogs to learn about what you might expect from this trip

As many of you know, we lived in the Provence region of France, on and off, for over 4 years. We can never get too far away: cheese, olives, wine, and picture-perfect landscapes…what more does one need? Joking aside, the Provence region of France has captured our hearts like no other place. It is our European home when we need to feel connected to food, the land, and friends. We want to share all this goodness with you. This region of France is known for its sunny weather, colorful countryside, tradition, wine, food, and language. Imagine spending your days among plains of rolling vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and lavender fields.

Join us and your fellow WorldTowning Voyagers for nine days of learning, eating, smelling, hiking, making and more in the Provence region of France! Explore with us, using a purposefully designed itinerary that maximizes exposure to the best parts of the culture: food, art, crafts, wine, cheese and my favorite pastime, meeting the locals.

Does this sound dreamy? The experience is all that, and more.

For more details scroll down for the daily itinerary at the bottom of this page. And for an even greater understanding of what to expect in France, check out our videos from our adventures exploring.

The FAQ also answers many of the questions you may have about vaccines, accommodations, insurance, etc. Both of these pages may be helpful to you before you register for this trip.

Each trip offers a volunteer afternoon, which is optional. During this time we engage with a local partner, give back to the community and connect deeper to the culture.

Price is based on double occupancy and a shared room.

*We have a 16 person minimum that must be met in order to offer this is trip. DO NOT purchase your flights until we have confirmed trip minimum has been met.

*All guests must be fully vaccinated to enter France (as per the French government), willing to comply with local Covid policies and purchase trip insurance.

9 Days
10+ Age
  • Destinations
  • Departure City
    Hyeres/Marseille
  • Level of Difficulty
    Maximum age is 66. Unfortunately, France is not particularly wheelchair accessible or accessible to those facing physical challenges. Much of this trip will have walking involved, therefore it requires mobility and energy. If you struggle with physical activity, have accessibility needs or need special care, then this trip is might not be for you. We cannot guarantee access to alternative modes of transportation (cabs, buses, etc.), which means you will need to walk, even if you are struggling. As a general rule you should be able to walk up to 3 miles per day (not all at the same time), climb four flights of stairs (elevators are non-existent) and be able to drag or carry your belongings on wobbly streets. Of course we wish this trip could accommodate everyone, but certain things are beyond our control.
  • Included
    Accommodations
    Activities/Tours
    Gift Basket
    Live Q & A
    Meals
    Personal Guides
    Private FB Group
    Transportation
    Welcome Party
    WorldTowning Swag
  • Not Included
    Alcohol
    Arrival Day Meals
    Arrival Transportation
    Departure Day Meals
    Departure Transportation
    Equipment Rental
    Flights to Country
    Flights Within Country
    Laundry, Phone Calls, Room Service
    National Park Fees
    non-alcoholic drinks (not offered for free at meals)
    Souvenirs
    Tipping at the Restrooms
    Tips for Guides
    Trip Insurance
    Vegetarian Options
1
HYERES (Nov 4)


Arrive Nov 4th into Hyéres and make yourself comfortable in the hotel. Does this place sound familiar? We lived here for one year before we took off to RV Europe for two and a half years.

Please note: If you would like to arrive earlier and explore on your own prior to Nov 4th, that is fine and we recommend it. However, our trip officially begins Nov 4th, in the evening.

We can’t wait to meet all of you. As a warm welcome we would like to invite you for a wine and cheese pairing evening on the 4th. If you will be arriving late don’t worry, we will do a more formal welcome at breakfast the following morning.

In addition we will hold a short workshop on Nov 4th (during the wine and cheese event) to familiarize you with the cultural nuances of life in France. For example, always say "bonjour" when you enter a shop, watch where you step (the French don't pick up dog poop), never climb a tree (it is forbidden). This is a great way to familarize yourself with the culture before we get started.

Get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow we rock and roll!

Our favorite places in Hyéres. 

Hiking in Hyéres.

Hyéres farmers market.

*Itinerary is subject to change.
2
PORQUEROLLES (Nov 5)


OPENING BREAKFAST

This is the first full day of our voyage together. We will all meet at the opening breakfast to discuss the day, address any questions, and meet those of you who got in late the night before and missed the meet n' greet.

A typical France breakfast is called a petite dejeuner. This consists of coffee/tea/hot cocoa/juice, and a variety of breads with jam and butter. Our breakfast in Hyéres will be in our hotel breakfast salon. We will not have access to

During breakfast, Largo will give a 30 minute crash course in the most important French words to know for our adventure. You cannot explore France without knowing how to say "More wine and cheese please!"

PORQUEROLLES

Today we will take a short ferry to one of the three famous islands that make up the extension of Hyéres mainland. Porquerolles will be our destination. Known as a land conservation site with limited development other than a 17th century village, secluded beaches, nature, wildlife and a vineyard.

EVENTS OF THE DAY:
VINEYARD


The vineyards of Porquerolles, planted in the 19th century by Francois Fournier, are an essential element of the landscape. Discover the history of the area caressed by sea spray and gilded by the midday sun. The visit of the vineyards and the care will be followed by a wine tasting, in three colors, accompanied by Provencal specialties.

LUNCH 

We will enjoy a local traditional French lunch while on the island.

NATURE TOUR

Accompanied by our naturalist guide we will discover the wild beauty of this multifaceted island with astonishing natural diversity.

REST OR FREE TIME

We will arrive back in Hyéres via ferry boat around 4pm. You will have time to rest or walk around Center Ville (the medieval town center) until dinner at 7pm.

DINNER AT LA MOULIN À CHAPELLE

We will dine in a unique setting, an old country house that housed oil mills or on the terrace (pending weather). Come and taste traditional and gourmet French Provencal cuisine.
3
HYERES OR GRASSE (Nov 6)
BREAKFAST

Petite déjeuner in the hotel breakfast salon.

CHOICE OF ACTIVITIES IN THE MORNING

You will have a choice of one of two activities for the morning through mid-afternoon.

1. PERFUME MAKING (subject to change to another event)

Make your own signature fragrance to take with you. We will enjoy a guided visit of a perfume factory and the perfume workshop, Each participant will have a perfume creation station consisting of 127 high quality essences. You will be guided on how to create a perfume perfect for you (ladies, mens or unisex). Your creation of 100 ml (3,3 fl,oz) Eau de Parfum will be customized with a label and the formula will be kept on file for future ordering of the fragrance. This is a 3 hour class.

LUNCH LE PADDOCK  (For Perfume Makers only)

We will discover traditional cuisine made from fresh and local products in a chic and relaxed atmosphere. Come and taste the beef fillet with Bordeaux sauce or the truffled mashed potato, or find something else that meets your fancy.

DRIVE TIME FOR PERFUME MAKING EXPERIENCE

90 minutes (each way)

OR

2. BEGINNERS ART CLASS

Just after breakfast enjoy a two hour, beginners art class with Karin, a local artist.

LUNCH (For Painters)

Visit one of our favorite restaurants in Hyéres, Dolce Italia. We have tried all the pizza places, this one is the best! You might want to take this opportunity to experiment with a new flavor pizza, maybe something that has French influence. For example, four cheese, sardines, crème fraîche and don't forget to say coupé if you want it cut. The French eat their pizza with a fork and knife and cut it themselves.

DRIVE TIME FOR BEGINNER ART CLASS

10 minutes (each way)

AFTERNOON/EVENING ACTIVITIES

FREE TIME TO REST/EXPLORE CENTERVILLE

After a day of perfume making or painting you may choose to rest or explore the medieval village before we meet again.

APÉRITIF

In France, the traditional apéritif is a friendly ritual. French people like to sip some cocktail, fruit juice or alcohol drink, especially before dinner with relatives or friends. The very word of "Aperitif" actually designates both the drink and the convivial moment before a meal. We will meet before dinner for a group apéritif in centerville.

DINNER

Tonight we will venture to another one of our favorite restaurants in Hyéres. If weather permits we will dine on the terrace under the lavender umbrellas in this charming family run restaurant. Brescaola salad, Italian tartare, porchetta, carpaccio of artichokes or swordfish Sicilian, panna cotta, tiramisu, it is all devine.
4
CALANQUES (Nov 7)
PRE BREAKFAST HIKE OR SLEEP

Join us at 6am for a 45 minute hike to the windswept castle perched high above Hyéres. On the top we will enjoy panoramic views of the coast through the remaining wall sections and vestiges of crenellated turrets.

BREAKFAST

Petite déjeuner in the hotel breakfast salon. This morning we will check-out of our hotel in centerville Hyéres and head to our villa deeper into the Provence region.

CATAMARAN TOUR OF CALANQUES

After breakfast we will continue the morning with a tranquil and relaxing tour of the calanques on a  luxury catamaran. The calanques are a series of majestic cliffs situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. On one side of the catamaran, we will observe exceptional flora and fauna contributing to the dream scenery of the Parc National des Calanques and on the other side will be water as far as the eye can see. The area stretches from Marseille to Cassis, spanning 20 km in length and 4 km in width along the coast.

We will spend the day seeing the most beautiful Calanques on the catamaran, as well as exploring secret spots all while snorkeling, eating and enjoying music.

LUNCH ON THE CATAMARAN

We will dine while at sea.

CHECK INTO VILLA

After our day at sea we will be pretty tired. We will hop in our van for a 1  hour and fifteen minute drive to the majestic villa where we can get settled, rest, socialize on the terrace or take a swim at our private pool before dinner.

DRIVE TIME

2 hours, broken up as 1 hour at a time.

DINNER

Chef Paul will present us with a gourmet French meal. Yes, tonight we will dine on the terrace amongst the olive groves and connect deeper as a group.
5
TBD (Nov 8)
BREAKFAST

We will enjoy a petite dejeuner in the dining room or on the terrace.

OLIVE FARM

We will start our morning with an olive tapenade tasting where we will learn how olives are grown, harvested, pressed and made into tapenade. Although it will be too early to observe the harvest/pressing, we will have an opportunity to taste some olive oil from last years harvest.

GOAT CHEESE FARM

After our olive extravaganza we will drive to a local goat cheese farm where we will dine on local farm-to-table products and learn about everything goat cheese. After lunch we will tour the facilities and get even deeper into our cheese education. Of course, this will be my favorite experience and I may request to be left here forever.

DRIVE

2 hours, broken up.

DINNER 

Upon returning to the villa we will have a one hour rest period and then we will drive just 10 short minutes to a local chefs house for dinner. We will dine on local, fresh ingredients during our traditional meal, on the terrace of course.
6
AIX-EN-PROVENCE (Nov 9)


BREAKFAST

We will enjoy a petite dejeuner in the dining room or on the terrace.

CHOICE OF ACTIVITIES IN THE AIX-EN-PROVENCE AREA

You will have a choice of one of two activities for the day.

1. GOURMET COOKING EXPERIENCE 

Food and cooking are at the core of any culture, it brings people together to share great moments in life. Through selecting the appropriate recipes and ingredients, to preparing and tasting typical dishes, we will share a special day with Gilles. We will explore the local food markets meeting the producers and tasting their products, we will stop by a prestigious local winery to taste and get their best wine and then cook in Gilles countryside home. We will enjoy a delicious lunch on his 12 acres countryside home all while immersed in an authentic Provencal atmosphere.

OR 

2. EXPLORING AIX  

If you are not particularly interested in learning to cook French provencal cuisine, but would love to explore the city of Aix en Provence and walk in the footsteps Cézanne this is your opportunity. You will be given a stipend for lunch and a map of the city to roam as you see fit.

Our vlog from Aix. 

DRIVE

1 hour and fifteen minute drive each way.

VINEYARD 

We will go directly from the gourmet cooking experience/Aix exploration day to Le Château la Verrerie winery. This estate has replanted the vines with grape varieties typically from the Rhône and Provence regions. Plus, it is said that prehistoric wine vats were found here. How cool is that?

We will visit the vinification cellar and aging room with a knowledgeable sommelier, have a full tasting of five wines and close it out with a picnic on the grounds. 3 hours.
7
AIX-EN-PROVENCE (Nov 10)


BREAKFAST

We will enjoy a petite dejeuner in the dining room or on the terrace.

LUXURY SOAP MAKING FACTORY TOUR

Upon entering the luxury soap factory, inaugurated in 1907, we will be immediately transported into the ambiance of a traditional soap factory, the delicate scents that will surround us and the hum of the machines. In a friendly and warm atmosphere, the guided tour will lead us to discover the profession of master soap makers with their historic cauldrons. We will also learn the secrets of making and drying hypoallergenic soap flakes, ideal for sensitive skin. Finally we will explore the workshop where the perfumed soaps are made, watch the actions of our master soap makers; listen to them grind, shape, mold, package; touch the hot soap paste; smell the unique scents of our soaps. And we might even have the opportunity to stamp our very own soap to take home.

LUNCH

We will dine in Aix at a traditional French restaurant.

MACARON MAKING WITH KAREN

During this workshop you will discover the magic about the signature French pastry, The Macaron. In small teams we'll be making them from A-Z, only using sugar, egg whites, almond powder and a bit of water! These simple ingredients turn into this delicious cookie by making an Italian meringue and “fold” this into a mixture of almond powder, egg white and icing sugar. The technique of mixing these ingredients together is called “macaronnage” in French. After 3 hours, you will go home, proudly carrying a box of the freshest and most delicious macarons you have ever tasted!

DRIVE TIME

3-3.5 hours, broken up throughout the day.

DINNER

Tonight we will dine on the terrace of the villa on French provencal food prepared by Chef Paul.

 
8
VERS-PONT-DU-GARD (Nov 11)


BREAKFAST

We will enjoy a petite dejeuner in the dining room or on the terrace.

CARRIÈRES DE LUMIÈRES ART EXHIBIT

An immersive art centre that has become an essential venue in Provence. The Carrières de Lumières has established itself as a place for transversal experimentation and cultural dissemination. Since 2012, they have been holding digital exhibitions that immerse visitors in the pictorial world of the greatest artists; the projection surface spans 7,000 m² from the floor to the ceiling, to a height of up to sixteen meters.

Our vlog from Carrières de Lumières 

LUNCH

We will dine on local cuisine in Avignon.

CHOICE OF ACTIVITIES IN THE AFTERNOON

You will have a choice of one of two sets of activities for the afternoon.

1. PONT DU GARD 

The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge built in the first century AD to carry water over 50 km (31 mi) to the Roman colony of Nemausus. The Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges, and one of the best preserved. It was added to UNESCO's list in 1985 because of its historical importance. We will visit and learn about its history.

OR

2. PAPAL PALACE 

A historical palace located in Avignon. It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Once a fortress and palace, the papal residence was the seat of Western Christianity, during the 14th century. You will have the opportunity to take a guided tour through what is now a museum.

Our vlog from Papel Palace.

DRIVE TIME

2-3 hours (1 hour extra for those exploring the Pont du Gard)

DINNER 

Tonight we will enjoy our last dinner together as a group (family) on the terrace of the villa with a parting French provencal meal prepared by Chef Paul.
9
MARSEILLE (Nov 12)
This the last day of the trip and the toughest. Saying goodbye to new friends is never easy, but we like to think of it as "until we meet again!". In the early AM, the trip will officially conclude and we will drop you at the Marseille airport by 8am. Breakfast will consist of a petite dejeuner to-go. We will miss all of you terribly!

Miss you already.

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Accommodation
Meals
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Value for Money

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Single Occupancy Room
$3850 USD
 
Since we will be staying in 2 different accommodations during our 8-night trip, sleeping arrangements may vary. You may be sleeping in a single room with a twin bed or a double bed, depending on the facilities. If you are a solo traveler and would like us to partner you with a roommate (so you can take advantage of the double occupancy room rate), please let us know. *We only have 3 single rooms available so please book immediately if you are interested.

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Double Occupancy Room

$3300 USD
 
Since we will be staying in 2 different accommodations during our 8-night trip, the sleeping arrangements may vary. You may be sleeping in a double occupancy room laid out with 2 twin beds or with 1 double bed. If you need twin beds, please notify us ahead of time.

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Triple Occupancy Room
.
  Unfortunately we cannot offer triple occupancy rooms on this trip. However, we can arrange for you to room with another traveler.

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Quad Occupancy Room
.
  Unfortunately we cannot offer quad occupancy rooms on this trip. However, we can arrange for you to room with another traveler.
WTV will require their guests to follow the local regulations pertaining to COVID-19 safety, which may include having a negative COVID test prior to arrival, wearing a mask and/or providing proof of vaccination. * It is a WorldTowning Voyages policy that guests MUST be fully vaccinated to join us. Click here for more info.