Announced 2020 Dates: 30 May to 6 June (Max 16 people); 12 September to 19 September (Max 16 people)
Launch price for 7 nights: $3,495 per person, single room supplement $750
I have just spent a year writing the new Moon Guide to Provence. Starting in 2020 I will be launching a series of escorted trips designed to encapsulate everything that makes Provence so special: great food, great wine, and great culture. We’ll visit famous hilltop villages, soak-up history at sights ranging from the Roman Arena in Arles to the Palais des Papes in Avignon, we’ll taste truffle laced delicacies, discover the secrets behind lavender production, and take boats out to sea to experience the sensational Calanques. And of course there will be plenty of wine tastings to enjoy along the way from rich luscious Chateauneuf du Pape reds to humble rosés. Yet, amid all this activity there will always be plenty of time to sit in a shady café and watch the world pass by.
Touring with me you can relax knowing that you are in safe hands. As well as the Moon Guide, I’ve written three books about Provencal rosé* and one on truffles. In a former life I worked as a lawyer in London. I gave up the rat race and I’ve lived in Provence for thirteen years now raising a family in this beautiful corner of the world. During the last two years I have planned tour itineraries and led day experiences in Provence for tour groups. Here’s a sample testimonial.
“On a recent trip to Provence that I organized for members of our wine club, Jamie worked directly with me in helping to arrange a number of wine tastings for our group. To a person, we loved the locations he selected. We would not have had the rich experience we had without his help, his knowledge of the region, and his contacts on the ground. Jamie also came to our villa one night to give a presentation on the wines of Provence. Not only did he enrich our knowledge of the wines of Provence, but his humor and demeanor made this a highlight of our trip. “
Joe Olney, Olney Wine Tours
We will be based in the Luberon regional nature park in the heart of Provence. The Luberon is famous for its hill villages and beautiful wild countryside. It is a great base from which to explore the rest of Provence. Aix, Arles, Avignon and the coast are all within easy reach. We will stay on a winery – Chateau Constantin which is located 1km outside the village of Lourmarin. Lourmarin is one of the most celebrated villages in Provence. It’s full of restaurants, cafes, art galleries and boutiques and it never fails to seduce visitors with its abundance of Provencal charm. Chateau Constantin is an 18th century wine estate that produces some of the finest wines in the Luberon region of Provence. The property has been recently refurbished and offers historic charm combined with modern luxuries. The Chateau is such a wonderful place, that you may even want to opt out of the tour altogether for a day, to relax by the pool, play tennis, explore Lourmarin, take an e-bike ride, or enjoy a hike into the hills. For me choice is everything when touring.
To see more details of the accommodation visit the Chateau’s website here.
Please note that early bookers will get first choice of rooms.
The best of Provence escorted tour includes:
7 nights accommodation at the 18th century Chateau Constantin wine estate, including daily clean of rooms
Each morning there will be a full French breakfast available, including croissants, baguettes, and pain au chocolat fresh from the village boulangerie. Accompanying jams and honeys will all be made locally.
All evening meals prepared by a local chef from fresh local ingredients. Please notify us of any special dietary requirements when booking.
All drinks (alcoholic and non alcoholic) while at the Chateau.
All daily excursions.
Chilled mineral water on the bus during excursions.
Airport/TGV station transfer from/back to either Marseille Marigane airport or Avignon TGV.
All admission fees to sights and monuments.
Launch price: $3,495 per person based upon two people sharing a twin/double room
Single person supplement $750.
What’s not included
Lunch and drinks/snacks while touring.
Why not? When we are out and about visiting villages and cities, there will be a wide range of restaurant options available. Some guests will look forward to and enjoy a long lunch time meal, others will prefer a quick bite and sightseeing. To adapt the tour to all guests I feel people are best left to choose for themselves at lunchtime. I will of course recommend suitable restaurants.
Good restaurants offer delicious daily specials for between €15 and €20 and two/three course menus from between €20 and €35. Add another €10 for a couple of glasses of wine. A healthy budget for 6 lunchtime meals in good restaurants would be €240 per person for the week.
A simple sandwich and a glass of wine costs under €10. So an appropriate budget for a more casual light lunch approach would be €60 per person for the week.
The stay at home options listed in the itinerary and below
If you want to opt out of daily activities in favour of a tennis lesson or an e-bike ride there will be a supplemental cost:
Tennis class (€36 per hour book in advance) – Lourmarin has an excellent tennis coach who has worked with top tour professionals. If you would like lessons during your stay please let me know.
E-bike village tour. Lourmarin is surrounded by picturesque villages. The best way to see them is to hire an electric bike. A 10km round circuit will take you through Vaugines, Cucuron and Ansouis. It’s a great way of spending half a day, with perhaps a stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants I can recommend. (€26 for half a day)