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FRANCE

Provence: The Art of Living

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Road Scholar
Program #3729RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 3 — Oct 15, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Friday, October 03 - Departures from the USA
Depart From: International flights to France.

Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Saturday, October 04 - Arrival in Marseille / Transfer to Aix-en-Provenc...
Afternoon: Arrive at the Marseille airport and transfer to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence. After checking in at the hotel, take some time to unpack and relax before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Get to know your fellow participants at the Welcome Dinner.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Sunday, October 05 - Historic Center of Aix-en-Provence / French Langu...
Note: Today's activities include walking up to one mile over uneven pavement as you explore Aix-en-Provence.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Your local expert guide will give a presentation titled, "Passé Composé- The History of Aix." Enjoy a graphic illustration of the urban and architectural evolution of the city, layer after layer, from Roman to Modern times. Afterwards, we will depart on foot for the center of Aix-en-Provence where you will receive an introduction to the historical center and the history of Aix-en-Provence: the Saint Sauveur Cathedral, the Museum of Old Aix, the Archbishops' Palace, Town Hall, Albertas Square and the Palace of Justice. Discover Medieval streets and the city's architectural heritage ranging from the 5th to the 14th century.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue the walking tour of Aix-en-Provence with a stroll down the Cours Mirabeau, Aix's elegant tree-lined main street, dotted with fountains of fresh spring water discovered by the Romans, and a visit to the Mazarin district with its discretely ornate 17th century private town-houses.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: A workshop led by your group leader will teach you basic French expressions and key phrases to help you throughout your journey.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Monday, October 06 - Marseille and its Old Port
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach for Marseille (40 minutes). You will discover the rich diversity of Marseille, with Marie Pontus, Guide/Lecturer specialized in art history and regional heritage. Enjoy an extraordinary view of the port where Greek sailors founded the original city in 600 B.C. Visit the recently renovated Fort St. Jean, a 17th century military fort, converted into a museum complex dedicated to Mediterranean Cultures. Take the esplanade footbridge leading to Le Panier, the city’s oldest district. Venture through the winding and narrow streets, see Town Hall overlooking the Old Port, and climb the steps of the Montée des Accoules. We will return via the Old Port and see the end of the daily fish market.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy the ride along the Marseille coastline via the Corniche Kennedy. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde, a major landmark that dominates the city and was built 800 years ago in a Romanesque-Byzantine style. It features a monumental sculpture of the Virgin Mary, which has become the emblematic, protective figure of Marseille. Don't miss the hand-crafted wooden boats hanging in the chancel, offered as ex-votos by fishermen for their safe return to shore. In addition, take time to enjoy the exceptional panoramic view of Marseille. We will continue on the Corniche Kennedy via the Palais Longchamps and return to Aix-en-Provence.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Tuesday, October 07 - Following Cézanne's Footsteps
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: There will be a lecture titled, "The Living landscapes of Cézanne and Van Gogh." Afterwards, we will depart by coach to admire the landscapes that served as inspiration to Paul Cézanne, prodigal son of Aix and Post-Impressionist painter considered the father of the modern art. Stand in awe of the Sainte Victoire mountain, subject of many of Cézanne's chefs d'oeuvres, get a glimpse of the Château Noir, and discover the rugged countryside and sharp light of Provence, made famous by Cézanne's work.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: See the Terrain des Peintres and be inspired by a different take on Cézanne's cherished Sainte Victoire mountain. On our way to visit Cézanne's studio, we will stop at the Château de Vauvenargues. Cézanne' studio short-time home and burial place of Picasso. Built in 1901, according to the plans of Cézanne himself, the workshop contains much of the original furniture and still-life materials we find in Cézanne's paintings: the pot-belly stove, a chest of drawers, the olive jar and decorative vases, the plaster cupid statue made by Belgian sculptor François Duquesnoy.

Dinner: At the hotel, in the form of a lecture/tasting of the prized cheese of France. Learn to savor, serve, and enjoy an assortment of the gourmet, farmhouse cheese of France.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Wednesday, October 08 - Lourmarin / Roussillon / Gordes & Abbey of Senanq...
Lourmarin / Roussillon / Gordes & Abbey of Senanque / The Perched Villages of the Luberon

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach for Loumarin, truly one of the most beautiful villages in France with its Renaissance castle, animated cafés, and small boutiques. Lourmarin is now home to British writer Peter Mayle, famous for his book, "A Year in Provence." We will depart by coach for Roussillon, or the "Red Village," named after the rich pigments found in the nearby quarries. You will be charmed by this lazy little village evoked by Samuel Beckett in his play, "Waiting for Godot."

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Afternoon: We will visit the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a 12th century Romanesque cistercian monastery, still active today and famous for its breath-taking lavendar fields and production of honey. Afterwards, we will carry on with a visit to the village of Gordes where you will follow narrow cobblestone streets threading their way past elegant town-houses built against the rock, clinging onto its hill flanks.

Dinner: With a French family.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Hotel Artea is a small hotel situated in the heart of Aix-en-Provence, just steps from the main boulevard, the Rotonde Fountain and across from the historic center of the city. The hotel occupies the former home of the composer Darius Milhaud.

Contact info:
4 Blvd de la Republique
Aix-en-Provence, 13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php

Room amenities: 50 rooms are simply furnished and spacious, with air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, mini-fridge, soundproof windows, private bathroom with bathtub and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, meeting room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, elevator.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Seven: Thursday, October 09 - Free Time on Market Day in Aix-en-Provence
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Spend your free time exploring the various squares and streets of the city and enjoy the colors, sounds and smells of Provence. Open-market stalls overflow with fresh flowers and ripe produce. In the antiques/flea market section, tables are cluttered with silver spoons and ancient family portraits - ideal for browsing!

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Afternoon: Your local expert will give a presentation titled, "The French Loves and Contradictions" to give you an understanding of the foundations of the French attachment to the art of living. Afterwards, we will go on a visit of the Granet museum, whose permanent collections make it one of the richest Provençal museums of France. The museum houses ten works of Aix-born painter Paul Cézanne including the Portrait of Zola and the Baigneuse.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel du Forum is a family-owned hotel located in the historic center of Arles, on one of the main squares. The hotel is made up of two separate houses, constructed in 1615 and 1850. Renovated over the years with modern fixtures, the buildings retain their traditional character, with antique furnishings and every room individually decorated.

Contact info:
Place du Forum
Arles, 13200 France
phone: +33 (#)4 90 93 48 95
web: www.hotelduforum.com

Room amenities: Each unique, traditional room is spacious and simply furtnished, and is equipped with air conditioning, comfortable twin or double bed, safety deposit box, telephone, cable/satellite television, mini fridge, modern bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Private garden with outdoor swimming pool, complimentary WiFi Internet access, air-conditioning, bar with billiard table.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Varies by program date
Please call Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404 for rates and reservations.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eight: Friday, October 10 - Transfer to Arles
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Free time to enjoy your last day in Aix. Check out is noon at the latest.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Afternoon: Coach departs for Arles. (35 minutes). Arrive in Arles and walk five minutes to the hotel. Take some time to unpack and to relax. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a lecture and wine tasting titled, "Beyond Rosé - The Distinctive Wines of Provence." A local wine expert will introduce you to Provençal wines, whose personalities, like the people of Provence themselves, are lively, colorful, forthright, and complex.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel du Forum is a family-owned hotel located in the historic center of Arles, on one of the main squares. The hotel is made up of two separate houses, constructed in 1615 and 1850. Renovated over the years with modern fixtures, the buildings retain their traditional character, with antique furnishings and every room individually decorated.

Contact info:
Place du Forum
Arles, 13200 France
phone: +33 (#)4 90 93 48 95
web: www.hotelduforum.com

Room amenities: Each unique, traditional room is spacious and simply furtnished, and is equipped with air conditioning, comfortable twin or double bed, safety deposit box, telephone, cable/satellite television, mini fridge, modern bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Private garden with outdoor swimming pool, complimentary WiFi Internet access, air-conditioning, bar with billiard table.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Varies by program date
Please call Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404 for rates and reservations.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Nine: Saturday, October 11 - Ancient Arles / Saint Rémy / Les Baux-de-Provence
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach to the Arles Archeological Museum. Housed in a contemporary building near the remains of the Roman Circus arena, the museum offers unique insight into the city of Arles at the time of Roman rule. Discover a rich selection of sculptures, mosaics, and daily objects that bring to life the ancient origins of Provence. We will later depart for Saint Rémy, birthplace of Nostradamus.

Lunch: On your own in Saint Rémy to explore local cuisine.

Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Les-Baux-de-Provence where an "eagle's nest" fortress was built in the 10th century. Located on a rocky plateau, this medieval stronghold provides a panoramic view of Arles and the Camargue region. Entirely restored, Les Baux counts 22 architectural treasures classified as historic monuments by the French governmen. Among them are a romanesque church, medieval castle, renaissance façades, and ancient townhouses, all of which can be visted only on foot, as no cars are allowed in the village.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel du Forum is a family-owned hotel located in the historic center of Arles, on one of the main squares. The hotel is made up of two separate houses, constructed in 1615 and 1850. Renovated over the years with modern fixtures, the buildings retain their traditional character, with antique furnishings and every room individually decorated.

Contact info:
Place du Forum
Arles, 13200 France
phone: +33 (#)4 90 93 48 95
web: www.hotelduforum.com

Room amenities: Each unique, traditional room is spacious and simply furtnished, and is equipped with air conditioning, comfortable twin or double bed, safety deposit box, telephone, cable/satellite television, mini fridge, modern bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Private garden with outdoor swimming pool, complimentary WiFi Internet access, air-conditioning, bar with billiard table.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Varies by program date
Please call Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404 for rates and reservations.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Ten: Sunday, October 12 - Roman and Romanesque Arles / Arles Historical Cen...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Learn more about Arles' past in a lecture titled, “Arles: Roman and Romanesque.”

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Lecture/walking tour of the historical city center. Local landmarks come alive during this creative tour that traces the daily habits of a typical Roman through the streets of Arles 2,000 years ago.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: Discover the history and uplifting sounds of Provençal folk music.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel du Forum is a family-owned hotel located in the historic center of Arles, on one of the main squares. The hotel is made up of two separate houses, constructed in 1615 and 1850. Renovated over the years with modern fixtures, the buildings retain their traditional character, with antique furnishings and every room individually decorated.

Contact info:
Place du Forum
Arles, 13200 France
phone: +33 (#)4 90 93 48 95
web: www.hotelduforum.com

Room amenities: Each unique, traditional room is spacious and simply furtnished, and is equipped with air conditioning, comfortable twin or double bed, safety deposit box, telephone, cable/satellite television, mini fridge, modern bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Private garden with outdoor swimming pool, complimentary WiFi Internet access, air-conditioning, bar with billiard table.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Varies by program date
Please call Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404 for rates and reservations.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eleven: Monday, October 13 - The Camargue / Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach for the Camargue (54 minutes with several stops), where you will discover the largest river delta in Europe made up of large lakes, natural salt flats, marshlands and lagoons. This natural reserve and regional park is home to flamingos, egrets, wild white horses and black bulls. Later, you will enjoy a personal welcome from one of the area's oldest ranching families at the Mas des Bernacles. Traditional practices come alive as you participate in the Festival of Flowers with Provençal cowboys (Gardians) on horseback.

Lunch: At the manade.

Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer where according to legend, the "three Mary's" (Mary Magdalene, Mary Jacob, and Mary Salome) and Saint Sarah were washed ashore after being forced to flee the Holy Land by boat. This small fishing village has since become a place of pilgrimmage for gypsies who vow an intense devotion to Saint Sarah.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: The Hotel du Forum is a family-owned hotel located in the historic center of Arles, on one of the main squares. The hotel is made up of two separate houses, constructed in 1615 and 1850. Renovated over the years with modern fixtures, the buildings retain their traditional character, with antique furnishings and every room individually decorated.

Contact info:
Place du Forum
Arles, 13200 France
phone: +33 (#)4 90 93 48 95
web: www.hotelduforum.com

Room amenities: Each unique, traditional room is spacious and simply furtnished, and is equipped with air conditioning, comfortable twin or double bed, safety deposit box, telephone, cable/satellite television, mini fridge, modern bathroom with bathtub or shower and hairdryer.

Facility amenities: Private garden with outdoor swimming pool, complimentary WiFi Internet access, air-conditioning, bar with billiard table.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Varies by program date
Please call Road Scholar Travel Services at 1-800-241-1404 for rates and reservations.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Twelve: Tuesday, October 14 - Avignon / Palace of the Popes
Arrive To: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a stop at the Barthelasse Presqu'ile to enjoy the view on the Rhône River and the celebrated bridge "Pont d'Avignon." The bridge was formerly one of the entrances to this fortified city, whose ramparts represent some of the finest examples of medieval fortifications in existence. Afterwards, we will head to the Palace of the Popes (4 minutes) where you will have a guided visit of the official Papal residence of the 14th century- one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic structures in Europe.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will depart for Arles.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Lunch
Day Thirteen: Wednesday, October 15 - Departure
Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Departure to the airport. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
22 meals: 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
5 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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