In the Footsteps of Van Gogh at a Chateau

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  • France
  • May 03 – 09, 2022
  • 7 Days/6 Nights
  • 8-12 Guests

Overview

Have you ever dreamed of Provençal hilltop villages, fields of red poppies and olive trees with glistening ripe olives dripping from them? Then consider joining our women-only tour to discover the highlights of this enchanting, famous region in the spring before the hordes of tourists descend.

Highlights

  • Learning to hunt for truffles, black gold
  • Walking the Ocre Trail in Roussillon
  • Staying at a Magnificent Chateau
  • Strolling through the market and antique stall in Ile sur la Sorgue
  • Visiting Van Gogh’s room in Saint Paul de Mausole
  • Taking pictures in a field of red poppies
  • Savoring a Michelin star meal with a glass of fresh rosé
  • Exploring picturesque ancient Les Baux when the tourists have left
  • Playing pétanque with the boys
  • Enjoying a Provençal cooking class
  • Shopping picture perfect Lourmarin, très chic!

This was the first trip we did way back when we first began doing group trips and since we have perfected the offerings so that in one short week you’ll be able to see and experience the very best that Provence has to offer. On this adventure we’ve upgraded you to a glorious Chateau but we’ll still be hunting for truffles and participating in a cooking class with our very own chef.  You will notice a certain feeling that comes over you when you step into Van Gogh’s room where he painted over 100 of his best works. We know from experience that Provence is a place that will live in your heart for many years to come.

Itinerary

Day 1 – May 3rd, Tuesday

Arrive into the Avignon TGV train station where you’ll be picked up. Once you arrive you’ll have time to refresh, unpack and relax at our magnificent private Chateau St. Victor la Coste, reserved just for us!

Drinks start at 7pm and then we’ll dine at the Chateau providing the weather is fine outside on the terrace.

Day 2 – May 4th, Wednesday

Today is our truffle hunt with the experts & their dogs where you’ll learn everything you never knew about truffles, how they’re raised and why they cost so much. After tasting our fresh truffles with champagne by the pool at the proprietors home, we’ll head to the beautiful village of Lourmarin and enjoy a light lunch.

After lunch we’ll have time to walk around, explore and shop the exquisitely chic shops in this picturesque town known as Peter Mayle’s favorite.

In the late afternoon we’ll be instructed on how to play pétanque by our truffle guys. Pétanque is the Provençal version of Boule, a game played outside with metal balls. While we play we’ll enjoy a light apéro as well as home-made paté and Pastis made by Jean-Marc, the owner of the truffle dogs. The less of an athlete you are the better you’ll be at pétanque!

Dinner tonight will be close by at the charming Le Papet restaurant in the small village of St. Laurent des Arbres.

Day 3 – May 5th, Thursday

Today we’ll explore the environs of historic Avignon, former city of popes. We’ll visit the Palais du Papes and spend some time shopping in between resting and reviving ourselves at a local cafe.

Then we’ll head back to our Chateau for some free time for rest and relaxation.

The late afternoon and evening will be reserved for a visit to Les Baux where we’ll enjoy the opportunity to explore this most famous town once the hordes of tourist have left.

Upon arrival we will visit les Carrieres des Lumieres, a unique museum which is a very moving immersive art and music experience.

After a walk through town, we’ll dine in style at the Michelin starred L’Aupiho (French for the little alps). If the weather is fine, we’ll sit outside on the terrace. Prepare to be amazed!

Day 4 – May 6th, Friday

Today is the day for us to visit St. Remy de Provence and Van Gogh’s monastery where he lived and painted. In addition we’ll get to see some Roman Ruins a short walk away. We’ll then be able to explore the small but über-charming village of St. Remy where Nostradamus was born. In this delightful town we’ll take time to savor lunch at L’aile ou La Cuisse where they serve superb desserts, so be sure to save room! Shopping is de rigeur in this town, where Princess Caroline summers, there is one more delightful shop after another so we’ll set you free to conquer the boutiques.

After we’ll head back to our Chateau for a short rest and then we’ll partake in a cooking class with the owner of the chateau often called the Chatelaine using fresh local produce.

After all is said and done, we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor with wine as our meal tonight.

Day 5 – May 7th, Saturday

After a lovely breakfast at the Chateau we will have the pleasure of visiting two of the most charming villages in Provence. Gordes with rests on the top of a limestone hill and Rousillon the ochre colored town. First, we’ll head to Rousillon and where we’ll walk the ochre trail. This where they once mined ochre for coloring, paint and dying back in the day. It’s now a lovely nature walk. We’ll lunch at La Treille bistro in town before taking a bit of a walk around to discover the hidden corners.

Then we’ll head over to Gordes for guided tour. This ancient village was a hot spot for the resistance during WWII. This town is also famous for its artistic side, once home to Marc Chagall. After some free time on your own, we’ll meet up for tea and then head back to our Chateau.

Tonight dinner will be on your own. There’s a casual place to dine just a block down the road, or we can stop and help you pick up some picnic supplies so you can stay and relax at the hotel.

Day 6 – May 8th, Sunday 

Because it’s so famous, we dare not miss the market at Isle-sur-la-Sorgue which is well known throughout the region for it’s classic marché items such as: local olives, cheeses, jams, flowers and even French espadrilles and Provençal fabrics. Its the very best on a Sunday!

We’ll enjoy perusing this darling town surrounded by a river and watermills including a peek inside their 17th century church with its gorgeous painted blue walls and gilded nave.

Lunch today will be at the delightful Jouvaud Patisserie and tea salon which also seconds as a charming gift shop. Their savory pastries, soups and salads are light and delicious. The afternoon is your choice, explore all the antique stalls or go with us to the Fontaine de Vaucluse, the source of the Sorgue river for a short nature walk which will inspire and refresh you.

Tonight we’ll relax and enjoy a wine and cheese pairing and tasting at our Chateau. We’ll be able to explore the famous wines of the region including the rosés, the whites from Cassis, the reds from Les Baux and of course the world famous Gigondas and Chateaneuf-du-Pape. This will be an enjoyable and relaxing way to end our week together.

 Day 7 – May 9th, Monday

Breakfast, photo sharing & depart from the Avignon Train station back up to Paris or wherever the road might take you!

GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!

 ** Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood. Options are plentiful.

Trip Cost

Trip Cost: 5,055 Euro*

  • * All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay (unless otherwise indicated). Everyone gets their own fabulous room! If you’re traveling with a friend/relative, or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, we can usually organize double occupancy at a reduction in cost. Please inquire.
  • * All our trips are priced in the home currency of the trip’s location; however, we will invoice you in the equivalent USD calculated at the exchange rate at the time of invoice.
  • Interest-free payment plans are available. Please inquire.

What’s included?

  • Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals except one (where indicated) and plus wine with dinner
  • All classes and hunts as described
  • All guides
  • All Museum or other entry fees
  • All in-country transport including transfers to and from the train station in Avignon

What’s not Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare to France
  • Roundtrip train from Paris to Avignon
  • Any spa treatments desired
  • Any personal souvenirs or purchases.
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) and trip medical coverage (required for travelers over 50 years of age).

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.

Our cancellation policy is here.

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