Heart In Provence offers unique, escorted tours at your pace with monthly offerings and flexible dates. If you are going to France, you must go to Paris. Is is the city of light and so much more.We meet in Marseille /Provence with 7 night stay in one of Aix-en-Provence's historic hotels. It is a perfectly central spot to make short day trips around the region. Lavender fields in Valensole? Yes- only 1.5 hours away-but only in summer months. (the guide books omit that little detail). Seaside of Marseilles? Absolutely- a quaint local train ride away. The majestic palaces of the Popes in Avignon- couple that with the local wine and that is an amazing day trip. It is all possible from Aix. And don't forget a leisurely market stroll followed by a typical lunch in a local café- people watching extraordinaire. TGV 1st class with champagne picnic off to Paris for 3 nights- discover the real Paris. You will see it is like the movies you have seen and the books you have read. Truly.
What is included?
Here are just a few of the possibilities Paris 3 days + Provence
Day 1-Depart Vancouver- transfer to Marseille /Provence. Arrive next day.
Private car transfer to Aix.
Ideal departure day is Thursday but we have total flexibility. As a small group, we can customize as we choose. Unpack, get settled and we go for a light meal and a beverage - a short walk around Aix. You will get your bearings and a feel for this amazing ancient city. Dinner and an early night- if you choose.
Explore Aix and it`s amazing markets!
Market day and Aix has one of the best in Provence. After a delightful French breakfast in a local café-just as you think it should be-juice, croissants, baguette, strong café,then a 5 minute stroll will land us at the market. It is not to be missed. Antiques, clothing, shoes, leather goods, fabric, soaps, lavender, souvenirs, and glorious food are spread out in the amazing market. It arrives at 7:30 am and is gone by 1:00, so shop until we settle in for lunch. Local specialties of olives, meats, cheeses, breads, wines, poultry, vegetables and almost anything you can think of in season is in abundance. The French eat less than we do - quality not quantity here is what it is all about. Settle in for a shady lunch with some local rosé wine.
Special excursions could be Avignon, Arles, Nimes or Isle sur la Sorgue
Day trip to Marseille. We will visit this amazing Mediterranean City- full of history and rustic charm. Lunch at the Vieux Port- shopping, Muceum and exhibits await.
Trip to Puy St Reparade for a special vineyard visit and lunch. This is where modern meets historic. You will be amazed at how seamlessly they blend.
Aix has more to discover than you can imagine. We will dip our collective travelling selves into the culture pool here :Cezanne, Van Gogh, Zola and many other writers and artists spent time in Aix. Museum Granet has a special exhibit of Cezanne at the moment.
Last day to revist favorites: this is time to go back to shops, re visit the market and maybe a day trip to the fabulous Thermes Sextius (the water based spa).
Day 8- PARIS!.
We say adieu to Aix and take the train to Paris to our hotel. Located in the Bastille/Marais neighbourhood, this woman-owned property is a true gem. Flora is the chef as well: she runs a bang up place. Each floor is uniquely decorated, quiet and comfortable. We head out to the grande boulevards- Haussman, Champs d'Elysee, and left bank. Museums- we have a special private entrance to the Louvre, Orangerie and many more - a well kept secret. No waiting in lines. (security lines are manditory, regardless of our pass) Late dinner at small café. A true gem, not in any tourist guide books. This is where the French go for dinner.
Day 9- more Paris
Day 10 - more Paris
Day 11 more Paris and head to an airport hotel for convenient departure the next day.
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Example: order a coffee and you get an espresso. Order a martini and you get vermouth. Want to go to a Museum on Tuesday? Check that because most are closed. It is just the way things are in France!