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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 Sep 5 — Sep 17, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Friday, September 05 - Departures from the U.S.A.
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, September 06 - Arrival Marseille / Transfer to Aix-en-Provence /...
Morning: Arrivals at the Marseille airport and transfers to the hotel in Aix-en-Provence.

Afternoon: 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, September 07 - Aix-en-Provence / French Language Workshop
Note: Today's activities include walking up to a maximum of 2 km over uneven pavement as you explore Aix.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a presentation titled, "Passé Composé-The History of Aix" by your local expert guide which will give 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. On this field trip, 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 provide you with an introduction to French. Learn 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, September 08 - Marseille and its Old Port
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A little walk will bring us to the short ferry boat to cross the old port and access the oldest district of Marseille, Le Panier. On this field trip, we will explore Marseille and venture through the winding, narrow streets of Le Panier. See the Town Hall overlooking the Old Port, and climb the steps of the Montée des Accoules. Discover the austere splendor of the galleries, inner courtyard and chapel of La Vieille Charité, the antique vestiges in the Roman Docks museum. Explore the renovated Fort Saint Jean and the brand new Mucem museum walk.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Discover the rich diversity of Marseille, designated Cultural Capital of Europe, the picture-postcard fishing village of Vallon des Auffes, the majestic seaside drive Corniche Kennedy and the city's Old Port founded in 600 BC by the Greeks. Visit the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde (walking up numerous stairs). This major landmark, that dominates the city, was built 800 years ago in a Romanesque-Byzantine style and 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

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 Five: Tuesday, September 09 - Following Cezanne's Footsteps
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture titled, "The Living landscapes of Cézanne and Van Gogh." 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. Catch a glimpse of the Château Noir, and discover the rugged countryside and sharp light of Provence, made famous by Cézanne's work.

Lunch: At the American Center in the form of a lecture and tasting of the prized cheeses of France. Learn to savor, serve, and enjoy an assortment of the gourmet, farmhouse cheese of France.

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, short-time home and burial place of Picasso. Visit Cézanne's Studio: 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, and the plaster cupid statue made by Belgian sculptor François Duquesno.

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 Six: Wednesday, September 10 - 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 explore Lourmarin, 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 stop at 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. We will carry on with a visit to the village of Gordes, where you will follow narrow cobblestone streets threading their way past elegant townhouses 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, September 11 - Free Time on Market Day in Aix / Presentation
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Experience Market day in Aix-en-Provence. 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: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Listen to a presentation titled, "The French Loves and Contradictions" by your local expert. Understand the foundations of the French attachment to the art of living. Afterward, enjoy a visit of the Granet museum, whose permanent collections make it one of the richest provencial museums of France. The museum houses ten works of Aix-born painter Paul Cezanne including the Portrait of Zola and the "Baigneuse."

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Artea

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, 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.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eight: Friday, September 12 - 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: The coach will depart for Arles (35 minutes). Arrive in Arles and walk five minutes to Hotel du Forum. Take time to unpack and relax after checking-in. Later, enjoy a lecture and wine tasting at the hotel. 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.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Nine: Saturday, September 13 - Ancient Arles Museum / Saint Rémy / The Baux-de-P...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture and a guided visit of 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.

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

Afternoon: A short walk up the hill will take you to the village of 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 government. They include a romanesque church, medieval castle, renaissance façades, 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.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Ten: Sunday, September 14 - Roman and Romanesque Arles / Arles Historical Cen...
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: There will be a lecture at the hotel titled, "Roman and the Romanesque." The presence of the past is seen throughout this brief summary of the history of Arles recounted through its architecture--from Roman ruins to more "contemporary" landmarks.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture and a 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. You will also have some free time to explore the city at your own pace.

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.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eleven: Monday, September 15 - The Camargue / Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart for 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: The coach will depart to 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.

Evening: Discover the history and the up-lifting sounds of Provencal folk music, its Italian influences and the traditional use of the fife and drum, called galoubets-tambourins.

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.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Twelve: Tuesday, September 16 - Avignon / Palace of the Popes
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Take delight in an excursion to Avignon. We will stop on the Barthelasse Presqu'ile to enjoy the view on the Rhone 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. Later, enjoy a guided visit of the Palace of the Popes, official Papal residence of the 14th century and one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic structures in Europe.

Lunch: Farewell lunch.

Afternoon: Return by coach to Arles and take some time to pack before dinner.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Lodging: Hotel du Forum

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Thirteen: Wednesday, September 17 - 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
24 meals: 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
16 Field trips
6 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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