FULL ITINERARY FOR SEPTEMBER 19-26, 2017 TOUR
Tuesday, September 19, 2017: Welcome to France! Upon arriving at Nice airport you will be greeted by your driver and host Dee Poquette. From the airport, we will enjoy the beautiful two-hour drive along parts of the Mediterranean. We will be making a short stop along the way in St-Paul- de-Vence.
In the afternoon, we arrive at our beautiful restored 19th-century farmhouse, Mas du Cimai. We will have ample time to unpack, perhaps take a swim, or just relax before enjoying aperitifs and dinner prepared by Sylvie and Chef Pierre Laury, the proprietors of the farmhouse.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017: Breakfast on the terrace before driving to the beautiful town of Sanary-sur-Mer, which is host to a large and lively street market. After shopping, we continue our day with a drive to the town of Cassis. In its day, Cassis was considered a favorite summer resort of the great master artists such as Matisse, Derain and Dufy. Cassis today remains a busy fishing and tourist port where we will take a boat ride to explore the beautiful Calanques, narrow inlets created by the extension of cliffs that border the shore. After the boat ride, we will drive to a small local goat farm to see how fromage de chevre is made. Our dinner location for the night will be announced at breakfast.
Thursday, September 21, 2017: After breakfast, we head to the medieval village of Evenos to explore the castle remains and breathtaking views to the sea. Before leaving Evenos, we visit an atelier who sells savory jams made from original recipes of the Var region. The jams are made at the base of the castle in a small shop where we will be able to purchase gifts to bring home. The rest of the day is spent visiting two more medieval towns, Le Castellet andLa Cadiere d’ Azur. The village of Le Castellet is a superb little feudal village perched high on a promontory giving it a typical Provencal picturesque setting. The village squares are lined with old houses and many opportunities to shop for ceramics, jewelry, art pieces, leather goods and linens. Other points of interest include a 12th-century castle, a chapel and a church. Under the shade of the old trees, we will have a quick lunch before heading to La Cadiere d’ Azur. La Cadiere d’ Azur is another small medieval village that benefits from a panorama that goes to the shores of the Mediterranean. Later that afternoon we head back to the Mas for our cooking lesson before dinner.
Friday, September 22, 2017: Upon leaving the Mas early in the morning we arrive for our private tour of the local boulangerie or bakery. Once the tour is completed we return to the Mas for our final breakfast and say goodbye to Sylvie and Pierre. The rest of the day finds us making our way to Aix-en-Provence, the beautiful city dubbed “the Paris of the South.” After checking into our hotel we are free to stroll around or relax until dinner at “Les Deux Garcons”, one of Cezanne’s local restaurants. The restaurant is located on the famous Cours Mirabeau, perfect for people watching.
Saturday, September 23, 2017: After an early breakfast at the hotel we head out to the le grand marche, or the grand market, on the “place des Precheurs” next to the “Palais de Justice”. If time allows, we may visit Aix’s famous flower market which is a riot of colors and scents. Saturday afternoon will be spent meandering around town touring the many fountains, Aix’s Old Town (Vieil Aix), complete with cathedrals, museums and boutiques. Early dinner and back to the hotel.
Sunday, September 24, 2017: Breakfast at 7:00 then off to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue for the famous Sunday market. La Sorgue is known as the second largest antique market in Europe after Paris. Our day here will be spent shopping for quality flea market finds at the many outdoor vendors and antique stores. In addition to the flea market, we can visit a number of “antique villages” all made up of high-end antiques dealers. The market coincides with the town’s weekly food market giving the whole shopping experience one of being at a carnival! After shopping, we head back to Aix for our last night in town.
Monday, September 25, 2017: Breakfast at 8:00 before heading back to Nice. With sadness, we say goodbye to our driver and check into our last hotel. Once settled in Le Florence, we are free to spend the afternoon wandering around Old Town Nice or taking a ten-minute walk to the beach on the Promenade des Anglais. On the calmness of a pedestrian street where our hotel is located, we can find a restaurant to have an early dinner before retiring for the night.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017: Take taxi to airport to fly home.