Tuesday September 11 Book an overnight flight from U.S. to arrive in Paris morning of September 12, 2018
Wednesday September 12 - Paris Arrival - Tour Begins
Private transfer to hotel. We will start our Paris excursion with a short introductory walk around our distinctive neighborhood, the 1st arrondissement. Our lodging will be the Normandy Hotel, or similar, located near the the lovely Palais Royal, Louvre museum and the ornate Palais Garnier Opera. The neighborhood features a mix of high-end contemporary shopping venues, quaint cafes and cultural attractions.
Our morning will include a stroll along Paris’ famed Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the neighborhood full of lovely boutiques where we will do as the French say, "lèche les vitrines," which literally means to lick the windows as we oogle the window displays! After stretching our legs and shaking off our overnight flight cobwebs, we will enjoy a relaxing lunch at an outdoor terrace in the Tuileries gardens or by the Arts Decoratifs museum by the Louvre. Late afternoon you will will have an option to either settle into your room or join Jackie for bit of culture at Musée de l'Orangerie or the Musée d'Orsay featuring impressionist art and we will stop for a sweet indulgence at a fabulous tea room. Dinner tonight will be a light affair at a neighborhood bistro or brasserie. After sunset, we will enjoy our “welcome to Paris” river cruise and champagne toast to the kick-off to our Journey from Paris to Provence.
Includes: Transfer to hotel, dinner and river cruise (lunch together, but purchased on own)
Thursday September 13
This morning is about appealing to your inner Parisienne as you walk the streets of St. Germain des Prés we will join up with a Parisienne guide for an intimate look at this wonderful and vibrant arrondissement. We will visit some her favorite historical sites, sidewalk cafes, gardens and of course sample the best Macarons and Chocolates Paris has to offer – we will hold our own private taste test! Bring your cameras for extra special and unique views of the city as we explore. We will lunch in one of the small charming cafes in this area before heading back across the river.
Your afternoon options are: Visit Île de la Cite (Notre Dame, the Flower & Bird markets and St. Chapelle) or visit the beautiful Paris Opera – the Palais Garnier and a few of Paris’ covered passages in the area– these are collections of small boutiques and cafes in glass covered walkways built in the 1700s and 1800s–located near our hotel. We will meet up late afternoon at the hotel to depart for our market -to-dinner class with a French chef.
Includes: Lunch Entry fee to Saint Chapelle or Palais Garnier
Friday September 14
A guided walking tour of the Marais will highlight this once beloved home to many members of the French court. Today, the Marais is full of trendy shopping and unique boutiques, but around every corner is history and unknown to many non-Parisians, some of the sweetest small gardens in the entire city. We will bid-adieu to Paris with a lunch in a much loved Parisian gem of a restaurant before grabbing our luggage and heading to the train station. A surprise awaits in the beautiful Gare de Lyon before we board our fast train to Avignon. We will catch a late afternoon train to Avignon.
We will be met at the train station and transferred to our Provençal Mas - country manor, our home away from home for the next few days.
Includes: Guided Tour, Lunch, Train, Transfer (dinner together but purchased on own)
Saturday September 15
Each day we will start with a fabulous stretch and yoga session with Connie followed by a beautiful traditional continental breakfast.
On Saturday, our driver will pick us up for our excursion to some of the most beautiful hill towns of the Luberon. We plan to stop and visit 2-3 of these villages along with other activities including a wine stomp! Some of these villages include: Gordes, Joucas, Roussillion, Lurmarin and Menherbes Dinner will be either in Avignon or Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.
Sunday September 16
Market day in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue & Antiques markets are open. This is the grand-daddy of the markets in the region! We will start with a walk through the open market and shops followed by some leisurely brocante shopping. The town is full of lovely cafes for lunch and people watching. A late afternoon visit to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to see the beautiful crystal clear water will round out our day.
Monday September 17
Avignon, Pont du Gard & Uzès. Our visit to Avignon will start with a tour of the Popes Palace. We will have time to stroll through the old village center before heading to the Les Halles - the Market. We will meet with a chef who will shop with us and then prepare us a lunch. After our lovely repas, we will stop for photos by the famous Pont du Gard before our visit to Uzès - one of the most picturesque villages in Provence. Here we will visit the medieval herb garden and stroll through the cobbled streets, and climb the clock tower for a fantastic view. There are plenty of tree shaded cafe tables for an afternoon glass of rosé and people watching before we head back to the Mas.
Tuesday September 18
St Remy, Arles and Les Baux -- today's focus will be on Art. We will stop in the lovely village of St. Remy to get a sense of the light and beauty that captured the eye Van Gogh. We will visit the city of Arles and on our return in the afternoon we will stop at Les Baux to tour the castle ruins.
Wednesday September 19
Depart for the airport -- your transfers to the Marseilles Airport will be included