6 Days Luxury Gourmet Food Tours in Provence, France

  • St. Remy de Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône

Overview

Luxury Wine Tasting and Cooking Holiday in France

During this luxury holiday you will enjoy expert American guides who live in France, inspiring itineraries, deluxe hotel accommodations, sumptuous French meals, classified wines, and comfortable transportation. Imagine being able to participate in cooking classes with Meilleur Ouvrier de France, and Michelin-star chefs, shop at weekly historical village markets, walk the same countryside and vineyard trails that local French people do, enjoy the slow road scenery of flower fields of lavender, sunflowers, olive and fruit orchards. Whether youre a seasoned small group tour traveler or new on the scene the tour offers experiences for everyone, while also including leisure time to pursue independent interests.

Highlights

  • Guided shopping trip
  • Winery visit and tasting
  • Private cooking classes
  • Sumptuous French meals with wine
  • 3 dinners at Michelin-star restaurants
  • 5 nights accommodations
  • Cultural walking tours
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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Gounod hotel has a perfect and quaint location in the heart of St. Remy de Provence town, and is the most historical hotel in town having hosted some of the most famous personalities in Provence history. Under new ownership since November 2014, the hotel has undergone a complete renovation this winter to become a 4-star hotel in 2015.

The hotels 32 spacious and newly refurbished guest rooms are uniquely furnished with luxury linens and Occitan toiletry products. Because the hotel has been completely renovated, styled to reflect the history and culture of the Provence region, and is also a historical building, no two rooms are alike in size, decoration or furnishings.

All rooms feature air-conditioning and are equipped with European king-size beds (or two single beds on request), and private ensuite bathrooms. Rooms also feature a hairdryer, flat screen television, individual safe, telephone, free Wi-Fi, and Occitan bath products. Complimentary use of an iPad with Wi-Fi access is also available for guest use. Ask your guides for details. Like many countryside hotels, Hotel Gounod is not equipped with an elevator.

Day 1: Group arrival, check-in at hotel, gourmet welcome dinner

Meet and greet by your Provence tour guides at Avignon TGV (fast train rail station) at the scheduled group pick-up time and location inside the station. The group meeting time for transfer is 4:00 pm.

Transfer, as a group, to our deluxe boutique hotel accommodations, the Gounod hotel in the heart of the historical Gallo-roman town of St. Remy de Provence.

Enjoy a glass of regional ros wine while your guides provide an introductory briefing about the tour, the hotel and guest services during the check-in process.

Afterwards, take time to settle into your room, explore the hotel and/or St. Remy de Provence.

Departure to our 1st gourmet Provenal dinner together. Dinner dress code is resort chic or business casual. Our welcome dinner is a wonderful time to get to know fellow travel guests.

Day 2: Les Alpilles, artisan and craft market, olive oil mill tour, village walk

Breakfast.

Visit at St. Remy de Provence market. Enjoy your morning perusing and shopping at the weekly market in the town that inspired some of Van Goghs most famous art work. Noble names of our time include Princess Diana who once had a home here and Princess Caroline of Monaco. Your guides provide a guided tour and introduction to the market after which you are free to explore the vendors lining the towns large plaza and cobblestone streets. Situated in the heart of the Alpilles, surrounded by lush valleys of olive trees and Baux de Provence vineyards, the sounds of cicadas chirping, the visual delight of plane trees and flowers and its Gallo-Roman architecture, St. Remy reflects the heart and soul of Provence. Market day in town is a must for any stay in Provence.

Indulge yourself with a lunch at our favorite celebrity bistrot brasserie - cuisine at its finest. This place was made famous by chef and cookbook author Patricia Wells who has included many of the restaurants original recipes in her books.

Depart to visit Les Baux-de-Provence village. Enjoy a guided tour and leisure time prior to the village to village walk scheduled for interested guests. In Provence olive oil plays an important role in daily cuisine, and before we arrive in Les Baux-de-Provence village, we are welcomed, as special guests, to one of the most famous olive oil mills of the region owned by our local French friends for a private tour and tasting.

Late afternoon at leisure on our return to the hotel.

Dinner independently this evening. Try one of our recommended St. Remys restaurants.

Day 3: The Luberon, cultural visits in Roussillon, Gordes, Lumieres, Goult, Provenal dinner

Breakfast

Shuttle to Gordes village.

To start the day you will have the opportunity of start shaping your own one in a life time holiday. You can select one from our guided optional tours in Excursions section below.

Lunch on the form of a gourmet French picnic together amidst the vineyards of the Luberon Valley. Our picnic is comprised of specialty and regional products and cuisine traditional to Provence accompanied by a selection of classified regional wines including Chateauneuf du Pape and Crozes-Hermitage wines.

Our first visit takes us to Gordes, one of the most stunning of the hilltop villages of Provence. The village appears like Atlantis surrounded by fields instead of ocean. To one side looms the massif of Mount Ventoux, the Olympus of Provence, to the other, the pastoral whale-back of Mount Luberon. The breadth and height of this region balance in utter serenity in Gordes. The viewpoint of our initial stop perches us dizzyingly at a canyons edge across from which the village could be mistaken for a masonry version of an anthill. The private homes, chateau and imposing church form a kind of medieval cliff-dwelling community. Arriving to the village center, we are afforded a stroll of the cobbled lanes where dry stone walls serrate the magical vistas of the sunny land at our feet.

Well next visit, explore and shop in the artist village of Roussillon, a colorful hilltop village that reflects the canto of color and harbors tales of a mythical story of a lover, a murder, and the suicide of the faithful bereft that describes how the name of the village honors a redhead. The romance, colors, the very ground and reddish walls of the buildings that line the winding village streets make Roussillon a very special place in Provence. Known as the village of ochre, this unique mineral creates a substance formerly used as a dying agent. A meandering walk of the preserved ochre quarry reveals the handiwork of nature amidst the collapsing excavations of man. The residents of Roussillon are predominately artists and artisans. This has led to many shops being authentic and individual in character. Explore the village and the colorful Ochre Park.

Photo-op stops plus visit and tasting at celebrity winery.

En-route back to our hotel in St. Remy de Provence.

At leisure on our return to the hotel.

Gourmet Provenal dinner together.

Day 4: The Mediterranean coast and Cassis tour, Michelin-star lunch, the calanques (Roman fjords)

Breakfast.

Departure for a full day in the picturesque Mediterranean coastal, wine producing village of Cassis, France which dates back to 500 BC, is surrounded by vineyards, and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, colorful cliffs, and beach. Stroll through the pedestrian streets of this art deco style village for photo-ops of the cobblestone streets, colorful port, and beautiful vineyard covered coastline. Shop and try a local caf at the port. Its market day also in Cassis, and the coastal markets offer a completely different experience to that of inland Provence. Peruse the stands, taste artisan products, and photograph the colorful market and Mediterranean products on offer.On arrival in Cassis your guides provide an introductory tour to the village and market, then you have the opportunity to shop at the morning market and village shops, guides are available to assist with market purchases and help with any questions guests might have. For interested guests, join your cultural guide for a tour at one of the oldest and most famous artisan perfumeries on the French Riviera.

Discover typical Mediterranean decor and quaint cafs while exploring the historic village streets. Take time to enjoy a glass of locally produced Cassis wine, and people watch while seated at a caf or brasserie along the colorful port. Some guests may also wish to go for a swim in the Mediterranean sea or sunbath at the beautiful beach, (changing facilities are available at the beach) your guides will direct you where to go. At noon we head to a fabulous Michelin-star restaurant that features the most spectacular view of the Mediterranean sea coast, it will take your breath away.

A gourmet, 2 Michelin-star lunch together overlooking the Mediterranean sea, will be prepared by one of our favorite chefs and accompanied by classified Cassis wine.

Embark on a scenic 45-minute boat tour of the historical, Mediterranean calques (Roman fjords). Afterwards, enjoy home-made ice-cream and leisure time in the village before our departure from Cassis. Late afternoon return to St. Remy de Provence.

Dinner will be independently this evening. Again you could try one of our recommended St. Remy de Provence recommendations.

Day 5: Cooking class or cultural visit, Eygalieres village and St. Paul de Mausole tour, gourmet farewell dinner

Breakfast.

All guests are taken to the shuttle to cooking class after breakfast.

Once arrived at cooking class, guests select their option - participate in our fun, hands-on cooking class with our Chef, a family friend, or attend a cultural visit accompanied by your cultural guide.

Following the cultural visit and photo ops to/from the visit, youll head over to our cooking class chefs estate to join the rest of the group for a gourmet lunch of recipes your fellow travelers prepared in class.

Dine as VIP guests at our celebrity Chefs table to enjoy a lunch of the recipes prepared in cooking class with wine pairings from our Chefs private cellar.

After cooking class lunch, guests return to St. Remy de Provence, and select from the many options available, either a hidden gems of Provence tour or watch and simply enjoy the local ambiance from a pleasant Caf.

We get ready for our farewell gourmet dinner together accompanied by our favorite regionally classified Provence wines.

Day 6: Tour conclusion

Breakfast.

Trip concludes today with 11:30 am arrival at the Avignon TGV rail station followed by drop-off at Avignon center station for guests departing from this station and for guests going to an Avignon hotel for an extended stay.

Earlier and later departures can be organized.

Day 2

According to your own interest and motivation, we suggest two different group tour options, walkers and non-walkers.

For walkers: The Alpilles village to village walk from les Baux-de-Provence to St. Remy de Provence. Guided walk of the southern Alpilles area of Provence. This spectacular walk begins in les Baux-de-Provence village taking guests on a scenic trail from the village through the southern Alpilles most prominent olive orchards and vineyards, and through Les Alpilles forest arriving into St. Remy de Provence with a spectacular panoramic view of the town and countryside.

For non-walkers: shuttle to/from les Baux-de-Provence village by comfortable minivan for a guided tour and leisure time in this beautiful village. Castle ruins, shopping, wine tasting, art galleries, cafs and restaurants are available in the village.

Day 3

You will enjoy a guided tour to Luberon valley. One more time you are free to choose between a walker and non-walker tour.

For walkers: participate in a spectacular, guided, Luberon Village to Village walk from Gordes to Roussillon. The Luberon countryside is absolutely beautiful with incredible, often unexpected variety, and offers the perfect setting for a golden walking experience unlike any other. Comprised of very unique experiences, our Luberon walk takes us from Gordes, a golden stone village with an imposing noble 11th century castle, to Roussillon, a famous artist village whose history evolved around the tale of a red-headed damsel and her troubadour lover. Well pass through farms, vineyards, orchards and wooded areas, past beautifully restored homes and simple farm dwellings.The area surrounding the Luberon is a designated natural park. The countryside is rich with bits of history and evidence of life from other times, and on foot youll discover special places that arent in the tourist guidebooks. We pass prehistoric caves, ancient Bories, a Roman oppidium, old mills, 700-year old chapels, and abandoned villages. Also famous for its vineyard and lavender covered countryside, walking in the Luberon offers photo opportunities of spectacular colors of lavender, poppies and sunflowers, and scenery that will completely contrast your experience in the Alpilles and along the Mediterranean coast.

For non-walkers: shuttle from village to village for guided tours of and free time to explore 2 of the most beautiful, perched villages in the picturesque Luberon area of Provence made famous by Peter Mayles books A Year in Provence and A Good Year Gordes and Roussillon villages. Time permitting, we offer a photo stop in Goult.

Day 5

You can choose your morning activity, either, participate in our fun, hands-on cooking class with our chef, a family friend, or attend a cultural visit accompanied by your cultural guide.

Cooking class: This cooking class will take place at the private culinary workshop of our chefs castle estate amidst the sunflower fields in the beautiful Provence countryside. Our dear friend and master chef has hosted over 300 gourmet and culinary shows, and currently hosts a Provence culinary show when not in class. He has also authored 15 Provence cookbooks to date. A humble and happy man whose passion for cooking and sharing that passion in a fun and easy-going, relaxed environment, opens his private home workshop to us during each of our best adventures in Provence tours. Our chef welcomes us with great anticipation into his world of everything Provenal foodie. He loves opening his home to our guests for a fun, hands-on cooking experience unlike any other that one might experience in the region. During class, we learn about local Provence cuisine, put our hands to work chopping, slicing, and dicing, and are privy to learning the secrets of his Provence recipes. While working on our recipes in cooking class, chef will open some of his favorite regional wines from Chateauneuf du Pape for us to enjoy together. And after weve finished, well enjoy more of his fabulous wines together in the garden along with a gourmet lunch of the recipes prepared together in class. No experience necessary! The focus of this class is to have fun while learning about traditional Provence cuisine! Its always lots of fun, and an authentic French experience spending time with our chef!

Cultural visit: You will have the occasion to join one of our specialty excursions: visit of the Roman ruins of Arles, visit of the ruins of Glanum or visit of the Abbaye Saint-Michel de Frigolet.

The following are options for you to choose upon arrival at St. Remy-de-Provence.

For walkers: participate in a third and final guided walk, hidden gems of Provence! Walk village to village through the countryside taking in the sites and smells that make Provence so mystical and magical! Photo-ops all along the walk! Plus, its a great way to walk off those fabulous cooking class calories! We walk through the vineyards of the producer who makes the wine well drink this evening at dinner!

For non-walkers: enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to explore more of this picturesque Provence gem of a town, shop for souvenirs and local artisan products, or pick-up any must have Provence goodies. Enjoy a drink at a local caf and people watch and simply enjoy the local ambiance.

For non-walkers: join one of your guides who is a Provence history specialist for a guided visit of St. Paul de Mausole hospital to learn about Van Goghs presence in the region and St. Remy de Provence. And, enjoy the spectacular gardens there.

This luxurious holiday will take place in the 3 best and most beautiful areas of Provence: the Alpilles, the Luberon and the Mediterranean coast in the sun drenched and historically rich south of France.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Massage
  • Mountain walking/trekking
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shopping
  • Spa
  • Wine tasting
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Caf nearby
  • Concierge desk
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lake nearby
  • Luggage room
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant nearby
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
Services
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Meeting room
  • Room cleaning
  • Shop
  • Wake-up calls

Indulge in a Michelin-star lunch and gourmet meals prepared for you. The package includes 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners.

  • 1 culinary class
  • 1 visit to the wine producing village of Cassis
  • 5 nights luxury accommodation
  • 12 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 45-minute cruise to view historical calanques (Roman ruin fjords)
  • All ground transportations
  • Bottled water provided throughout the tour
  • Complimentary use of 2 digital point and shoot cameras during tours
  • Complimentary use of iPad minis (with both 4G and Wi-Fi access) during tours
  • For non-walkers: shuttle to/from all visits, restaurants, excursions and activities during the tour
  • For walkers: hidden gems of Provence walk, Les Alpilles village-to-village walk, Luberon valley village-to-village walk
  • Guided tour Les Carrieres des Lumires in Les Baux
  • Guided tour of craft, art and artisan market in Provence
  • Guided tour of St. Paul de Mausole
  • Professional guides
  • Provence regional wines included at all group meals
  • Surprise regional gift
  • Visit and taste at a Provence olive oil mill
  • Visit at the Mediterranean coast
  • Visit of the Arles Roman ruins
  • Visit to villages in the Luberon area of Provence
  • 2 dinners
  • Airfare to/from France
  • Entry fees to any optional cultural activities or excursions
  • Gratuities to tour guides and professional driver
  • Personal purchases
  • Spa treatments
  • Train fare to/from Avignon TGV station
For information about the booking conditions, please send Off the Beaten Path an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by David and Kim Y

    "We enjoyed both the Provence and Bordeaux tours about a year apart."

    "The Provence tour was excellent value, gave us a broad food experience in the region as well as wine, history, culture and sights. Although the centrally located hotel in St. Remy was a bit rustic for our tastes, we enjoyed the convenient location as our home base for five nights. We understand they have undergone extensive renovations so I'm sure it's now wonderful. The highlight for us on this tour were our guides David and Philippe. Informative, entertaining, organized, passionate and more! We toured by small motor coach, boat and had some wonderful hikes. Top notch!!"

    "The following year we chose the Bordeaux tour. Obviously you should enjoy good wine if you chose this tour (and we do). The tour focuses heavily on wine with some amazing meal locations and hiking. Although we are wine lovers, we were surprised by how much our appreciation of this tour would have been enhanced had we done some homework on the wineries of the Bordeaux region. I blame myself for this shortfall, although it would be helpful if FOBP found a way to communicate this so that the group's working knowledge on the region was more consistent. My only complaint was that this tour was "overguided" compared to Provence...ie. too many different guides. We loved the accommodation, food experiences, and the access to wineries that would have been difficult if we were on our own."

    "We are frequent travelers and realize that no trip or tour is perfect in every way. This company's tours are fabulous because of the small group size, exceptional tour guides, single central hotel location, and Christy's "hands-on" approach to customer service. These exceptional qualities far outweigh the shortfalls noted in my honest review, hence the 5 star rating. "

    Trustpilot website, edited

  • Review by Travelers

    "The Provence Off the Beaten Path tour with Christy was one of our very favorite trips ever! Every detail was taken care of and we toured like locals! The group we were with was small and we had the best time sharing this experience with new traveling friends! It would not have been the same traveling alone. "

    ""

    "Our hotel was lovely, all resturants were what you would hope for. We were able to hike, tour a winery, and do so many things that would've been so difficult to coordinate on our own. "

    ""

    "We toured (with our daughters) with a well known tour company that is very well regarded a few years later and this tour with Christy made their tour look like (honestly) an expensive bad joke. I am serious! I would never again tour with large groups going from place to place on a huge bus with so many people. "

    ""

    "This tour was truly a delight and we plan to travel with Off the Beaten Path in the hopefully near future."

    Trustpilot website, edited

  • Review by Andrey Popykin and John Edmonds from Atlanta, USA

    "I thought the trip was very well thought out. The activities were appropriate for any aged adult. The guides and driver were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. The days passed very quickly. All of the other guests were so friendly. It made our time on the tour very fun also! We enjoyed the trip a lot, Thanks!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Cheri Rubenstein from New York, USA

    "Thank you for showing us such a lovely side of your beautiful Provence and paving the way for a very unique first visit. We are quite sure we would not have found the special shops and restaurants, dined al fresco, cooked with Yvan, or enjoyed the countryside as we did any other way than with you! You made this a wonderful experience - Thank you so much!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Andrea Lane from California, USA

    "Everything was incredible! It’s difficult to say which activities I liked best, because they were all great! Cooking class and the countryside picnic are both definitely at the top of the list. Our guides were entertaining and informational. The trip was seamless and there is nothing I didn’t like. Thank you again for a wonderful week!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Lyn and Ray Pearson from Brisbane, Australia

    "Hi Christy. Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful Provence tour we did with you all from May 12-17, 2015. You might recall I said I expected this tour to be the highlight of our entire holiday of northern Italy and France. Well it certainly didnt disappoint! We loved it from start to finish in every way. So many thoughtful extras were provided by you as part of the tour. From information, small side excursions, guidance and history the list goes on. Good company, fabulous food and locations and wonderful memories, wed recommend this tour to anyone who cares to listen. Our travel agent now has it on her list of recommended tours. Thanks again and best wishes for future endeavors."

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Karen Lewis from Tennessee, USA

    "I will be recommending this trip to friends, family and travel agents. I hope to be coming back myself! This was without a doubt one of the best times of my life! Apart from it being a bit warm, I cant think of anything I would have changed except of course more time to spend in this beautiful part of the country. I loved it all especially the day at the farmhouse cooking. I love to cook and facilities were a dream as were our hosts! Our guides could not have been better hosts, guides and friends. They truly made the trip run smoothly but more than that there was nothing they wouldnt do to make sure you were thoroughly enjoying yourself. As you see I am a fan and could go on and on, but as usual have to run to catch up with the group. Ive made some wonderful friends and couldnt be happier except if I were staying!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Leslie Lindenbaum from Long Island, USA

    "I will recommend this trip! Everything was terrific, I didnt need to think. I just needed to be there, pace myself so I could taste all the great foods. The villages visited were beautiful and the walks wonderful! This is a perfect trip for those who want to explore the food and beautiful Provence countryside while getting some exercise. Our guides were terrific. Thank you for a very memorable experience!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Gill Hall from Victoria, Australia

    "I would happily recommend the tour and company as nothing was too much trouble for our guides. Our guides were the warmest of hosts. The five days were filled with magical moments. I loved cooking class and our chef, all of the restaurants and the villages especially Cassis. Again thanks to our wonderful hosts. I had high expectations and they were all surpassed! This was truly the experience of a lifetime! Thank you so much."

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Dave and Elizabeth Neithamer from Michigan, USA

    "We loved the walks, Cassis, Roussillon, Gordes, and our favorite thing was the cooking class! Food and wine were plentiful and wonderful, and the hotel was comfortable and staff was great. I cant say enough wonderful things about this trip! We loved the picnic. Our driver and guides were fantastic and awesome! They took what wouldve been a great trip and made it a truly memorable trip of a lifetime. We will never forget our 30th anniversary. We plan to be back!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Margie Krumholz from Washington D.C. USA

    "Thank you for a wonderful and memorable vacation. I loved Roussillon. It was beautiful and a big surprise for me. I also thought Cassis was very nice, especially the calanques walk. Both cooking classes were wonderful and in wonderful settings. And finally, our guide was perfect, friendly, knowledgeable, interesting and very helpful. It was a great experience for me to see Provence for the first time. Off the Beaten Path, merci beaucoup!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Diane Santarsiero from Monkton, USA

    "Thanks for a great experience in Provence! Loved Cassis and having the option to go on the walk or take the boat out to see the calanques, cooking classes were each so different, and the overall travel experience was very comfortable. I loved that we didnt do touristy things! And, I really liked having a great American guide who, since she lives in France, really knows so much about the country, people and daily life. Thank you for a wonderful trip!"

    Off the Beaten Path website, edited

  • Review by Anastacia Scott

    "My husband and I had the pleasure of joining the Provence tour last June and I can tell you that it was the most wonderful part of our trip to France. Our tour leaders were highly professional and warm and truly gave us a wonderful Provencial experience. Our tour consisted of 12 people and our two leaders. We made life long friends as we explored the region. There was a nice balance of walking through out the beautiful countryside, experiencing Provence markets, wine tasting, cooking and eating at incredible restaurants. We had an amazing time and would highly recommend this tour if you like a very personal yet classy experience! My husband and I were just reminiscing this morning and he was looking at our pictures on his iPad on his way home from a business trip yesterday. We were just talking about booking another "Off the Beaten Path" trip to another region of France."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Pennsylvania, United States

Delivering engaging small group, walking, gourmet foodie, and cultural tours exclusively in France.

Speaks English

from --

6 days / 5 nights

Early bird discount

The prices below include an early bird discount of 600 USD per person. To benefit, book or reserve before December 31, 2016.

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