9-day ‘Proe Provence’ Tour With Marita Van Der Vyver 20 Sep – 28 Sep 2020

9-day ‘Proe Provence’ Tour With Marita Van Der Vyver 20 Sep – 28 Sep 2020

Welcome to Provence Art de Vivre!

It can be argued that it is not the Romans who conquered Provence, but Provence which conquered the heart of the Romans. The Romans settled in Provence as early as 125 BC, and left behind outstanding examples of their civilization, now claimed as UNESCO Heritage for all Humanity.

During the Middle Ages, marked by strong faith, churches were built or rebuilt, religious orders spread, building convents and abbeys. In 1309 Pope Clément V settled in Avignon. For a long time the beautiful city of Aix en Provence has been the capital of the area and has now been replaced by the 2600 years old harbour city of Marseille, second largest city in France. Nowadays Provence is a dynamic region where the traditions of the Greeks and roman settlers are well preserved. Provence is a major producer of wine and olive oil and the fruit Orchard of France; not to mention its gastronomy, rich in the flavours of Provence, herbs and smells of Lavender…

Day 1 – SUN 20 Sep:

Check in at O.R. Tambo airport in Johannesburg at 14h30
After passport control we meet in the ‘Premier Class’ lounge at 15h30
Depart Johannesburg on TK 39 at 18h10

Day 2 – MON 21 Sep:

Arrive istanbul International  airport at 05h00
Depart from Istanbul on TK 1365 at 08h45
Arrive in Marseille at 11h10
Met and transferred to Avigon 12h30

Avignon is a beautiful city located on the left bank of the Rhône River, which has preserved its medieval character. Completely surrounded by almost intact 14th C walls, Avignon is frequently referred to as the “City of Popes”. The historic centre, the Palace of the Popes, Rocher des Doms and the bridge of Avignon are well preserved and were classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Lunch in Avignon (own arrangements) before afternoon visit to winelands

Chateauneuf wine domains, some of the most famous vineyards in the world! We will visit the cellars and production domains where you will sample wines before returning to your hotel .

Cloître Saint-Louis  4*  (Dinner included)
20 rue du Portail Boquier
84000 Avignon
Tel : +33 (0)4 90 80 98 01

Day 3 – TUE 22 Sep:


After a short sightseeing stop at the Chateau Valcombe for wine tasting we continue to Nimes to have lunch with our South African hostess  at L’Esclafidou restaurant.

Château Valcombe – Costière de Nimes
In 1740 a branch of the Ricome family (the Surville) acquires Château Valcombe. It is at that time a Provencal residence for hunters. In 1760, the farm buildings and stables are started and completed in 1784 and  the first vines planted, beginning a long wine producer saga. After WW2, Charles Ricombe decides to produce even better wine and plants Syrah vineyards in Valcombe. He is the first wine producer to dare using Syrah.

Dinner – own arrangements
Overnight: Cloître Saint-Louis 4* (BB)

Day 4 – WED 23 Sep:

Today we visit the market in Saint Remy, then Les Baux de Provence  for wine and olive                          oil tasting.
Lunch own arrangements.

Saint Rémy de Provence & market

In the traditional village of Provence amidst the olive orchards and the vineyards, you can truly enjoy the ‘Art de vivre’ in Provence. Sit at a café discussing the world, shopping at the famous market and meet the locals as they buy their weekly cheese and fruits. Do not forget to taste the local olive oil and all the other local products Located near the classified Alpilles National Park, the landscapes are traditional from the region. They are still like Van Gogh drafted them in its paintings during his stay at Hospice St Paul de Maussole in 1889-1890.  After the visit you can enjoy the visit to a cheese maker in the Alpille area.

Dinner – own arrangements
Overnight: Cloître Saint-Louis 4* (BB)

Day 5 – THU 24 Sep :

Today we travel to the Luberon Mountains and enjoy the typical Provencal landscape of rolling hills with beautiful valleys and villages where we also find some superb estates owned by famous celebrities. We pass the town of Roussillon and its surprising ocre quarries and visit the lovely Abbaye de Sénanque. We have a lunch stop in Ménerbes at the house of the Truffles for a wine and olive oil tasting. Continue to the perched village of Gordes, where the medieval houses are grouped around the massive castle. Here you will experience the Provencal ambiance at its best. After a guided tour, you will have a little time for shopping.

Overnight : Hotel Le Mas de Guilles HB. Dinner included
Route de Vaugines
84160 Lourmarin
Tel: +33 (0) 4 90 68 3055 / Fax: +33 (0) 4 90 68 3741

Day 6 – FRI 25 Sep:

Today we have an excursion to Forcalquier to do the Aperitif course – followed by lunch. We then proceed to Banon for goat cheese tasting then return via Rustrel and Roussillon.

University of Scents & Flavours
In this genuine university located in a reconverted convent, the professionals of perfumes and scents enable your guests to benefit from their knowledge and of the richness of the Provence region. Aperitif is a sacred moment in France and particularly in Provence. It is part of the Savoir-Vivre! Associated with friends and conviviality, the “apéro” must be prepared properly…In a Provencal atmosphere. You will make delicious dips which are landmarks of the region: Tapenade, Anchoiade, Sassoun…and then taste the dips prepared during the workshop with local aperitifs from ‘Distilleries & Domaine de Provence’ including pastis.

Overnight: Lourmarin – Hotel Le Mas de Guilles HB. Dinner included

Day 7 – SAT 26 Sep:

Morning tour of Aix-en-Provence & lunch stop
Drive to Grasse – VISIT GRASSE – perfume factory

Aix en Provence  is one of Europe’s finest examples of Renaissance architecture and has kept a great deal of its character dating back to the XVIIth and XVIIIth century. The sober elegance of its mansions, the graceful charm of its squares, the majesty of its avenues and the loveliness of its numerous fountains are impressive. A stroll through Aix is also a great opportunity to discover the unique market atmosphere of Provence. Aix is also well known for its specialties made of processed almonds like the small almond bonbon “calisson” and we visit a typical local bakery.

Lunch – own arrangements.

The Côte d’Azur, known in English as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France, also including the sovereign state of Monaco. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from the Italian border in the east to Saint-Tropez, Toulon, or Cassis in the west.

Grasse has been a perfume town ever since the 17th century, and today as the world’s perfume capital, its reputation speaks for itself. Every year some two million tourists arrive from all over the world to visit the perfume museum, perfume factories and perfume shops. You will learn all about the mysteries of how a
perfume is made, from the raw materials to the perfume itself, by “Fassoum”, a local
speciality consisting of courgette flower doughnuts

Dinner: JAN restaurant – including drinks
Overnight Nice: La Malmaison Hotel 4*(BB)
48, boulevard Victor Hugo – 06000 NICE
Tel : +33 (0)4 93 87 62 56

Day 8 – SUN 27 Sep:


Nice is France’s sixth city, as well as being the biggest resort on the French Riviera. Nice is a city that has masses to offer, including historic quarters, a beautiful long seafront (from the Promenade des Anglais and westwards), a famous flower market, some interesting sites and sights, including the Matisse museum, the Chagall museum, and the famous Russian Orthodox basilica . Nice’s Russian Orthodox cathedral, which is now the property of the Russian Federation, is one of the city’s fine buildings, and the largest Russian orthodox cathedral in W.Europe.

After breakfast a short guided walking tour of Nice
Lunch own arrangements, rest of afternoon at leisure
Airport transfer from hotel at 15h00
Check in at Nice airport at 15h30
Depart Nice to Paris on AF 7709 at 18h00
Arrive Paris CDG at 19h30
Depart Paris CDG on AF 990 at 23h20

Day 09 – Mon 28 Sep:


Depart Istanbul on TK 042 at 01h35
Arrive Johannesburg at 10h20
(Connections to other destinations.)


COST & PAYMENT:  9 DAY TOUR: 20 SEP – 28 SEP 2020

PER PERSON sharing: R59,300 per person**  (Land R45,500 – Airfare R13,800 )

SINGLE: R 64,300 per person** (Land R50,500 – Airfare R13,800 )

** Final cost subject to rate of exchange (R.O.E) at the time of final balance received.

Deposit: R15,000 – immediately with booking

Balance not later than 30 Junie 2020

Cost includes:

– Return airfare in economy class from Johannesburg to Marseille and back from Nice

– Accommodation in 4* hotels

– Breakfast buffet daily and 4 dinners and 3 lunches as per itinerary (including drinks)

– Transport in luxury coach for all transfers & tours

– English speaking tour guide

– All tours, sightseeing an entrance fees and tasting as per itinerary

– Marita as hostess

Not included:

  • Schengen visa (€60)
  • Travel Insurance – ask for a quote/subject to age
  • Tips for driver and guide (€ 40 pp)
  • Meals not included in itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature

Connecting domestic flights

For more information contact : res@rufaro.co.za