Sunday – Arrival day
Provence Guru will arrange a pick up by taxi or minibus (depending on numbers) at an agreed time from either Avignon TGV or Marseille Marignane airport. You will be transferred to Chateau Constantin, located 1km outside the Luberon village of Lourmarin. The journey is an easy hour’s drive through picturesque countryside.
Upon arrival a small hamper of luxurious Provencal goodies awaits in your bedroom. The group will gather for a champagne reception followed by a gala welcome dinner.
Monday – The Northern Luberon
The locals call the Luberon a corner of paradise. It’s not hard to understand why: – there are countless picturesque villages; numerous vineyards producing sumptuous wines; olive groves that stretch for miles; cherry orchards which produce snow storms of blossom in Spring and rolling mountains stretching away towards the Alps.
We will find the perfect place for our artists and photographers (“Artists”) to set-up to capture this landscape.
For non Artists our village visits include: Roussillon, famed for its red soil. Local legend has it that a jilted lover threw herself from a cliff and her blood stained the soil for miles around; and Gordes, which for decades has been an ultra-chic retreat for wealthy Parisian families and French celebrities.
Early evening – mentoring sessions.
Tuesday – Cucuron market
The small village of Cucuron in the Southern Luberon hosts one of the most picturesque markets in Provence. We will enjoy the market and a leisurely lunch by the etang. Artists can then set-up and work beneath the centuries old plane trees trying to capture the unique light of Provence, as it filters through the leaves onto the rippling waters of the etang.
For non-Artists a scenic walk up to the nearby hermitage in the foothills of the Luberon mountains is proposed.
Early evening – Mentoring sessions
Wednesday – Aix en Provence
A highlight of the tour is our visit to Aix en Provence. Artists may wish to take on Cezanne’s favourite subject: Mont Saint Victoire.
For non Artists, an enjoyable day can easily be spent people watching from the cafe terraces and indulging in a little retail therapy. Jamie will share his love of the city in a brief orientation tour and then point members of the group towards the main sights including, Cezanne’s atelier and the viewpoint from which he painted Mont Sainte Victoire and the Musee Granet, a world-class painting and sculpture museum.
Early evening – Mentoring sessions.
Thursday – Cassis and Les Calanques
We will head for the glittering Mediterranean and the charming port of Cassis. We will split up to explore the port and enjoy a lunch. Enthusiasts of seafood should not miss the opportunity to try Provence’s famed Bouillabaisse fish soup. Artists are spoiled for choice: the port buildings with their pastel shades, the imposing cliff which overshadows the port, street scenes, or the rocky majesty of a Calanque.
Non Artists can take a boat tour out into Les Calanques – renowned as almost the last untouched stretch of the French Mediterranean coast, these rocky coves are accessible only by boat or on foot. The Calanques are a world famous wildlife reserve and a national treasure.
Returning to the Chateau we will enjoy a special gourmet truffle evening, with delicacies such as truffle pizza, and cheese laced with truffles. Based on his book about training his dog to find truffles Jamie Ivey will share the secrets of truffle hunting in Provence with the group.
Friday – Lourmarin market
Our home village Lourmarin hosts one of the largest and best Provencal markets. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up some gifts to take home.
Afternoon: Mentoring sessions and an opportunity to work on your projects.
Guests can also choose to relax by the pool, play tennis, or go for an e-bike ride.
In the evening Jamie will lead a rosé tasting before supper.
We will visit the Carrieres de Lumieres art show. The show takes place in a former Bauxite quarry and is a unique artistic experience. In 2020 the show focuses on Van Gogh. The master’s work is projected onto immense walls, and images shift and move in time with the music.
Afterwards we will head to Saint Remy de Provence for lunch. Group members are free to explore the town and or paint.
The last evening will begin with Provencal aperitifs such as pastis, rinquinquin and of course rosé. For those feeling sporty there will be a boule competition. Afterwards we will enjoy a BBQ.