Road Scholar : Home
The Best of Southern France: Provence and the Cote d'Azur

Program Number: 21096RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/11/2014 - 9/19/2014; 9/25/2014 - 10/3/2014; 10/9/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/30/2014 - 11/7/2014; 2/21/2015 - 3/1/2015; 4/23/2015 - 5/1/2015; 5/7/2015 - 5/15/2015; 5/21/2015 - 5/29/2015; 9/10/2015 - 9/18/2015; 9/24/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/8/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/29/2015 - 11/6/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $2,296.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 13; 7 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

From the green hills, sunbaked villages and lavender fields of Provence to the brilliant azure waters and billowing white sails of the French Riviera, absorb the colors — not to mention the sights, sounds and flavors — of Southern France on this journey that combines field trips led by top-notch Road Scholar experts with plenty of time for independent discoveries.




Highlights

• Explore Provence’s lively open-air markets, medieval villages and natural environments.
• Discover the famed French Riviera resort of Cannes and the historic city of Nice on expert-led excursions.
• Enjoy independent time to experience this beautiful and unique region on your own.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some cobblestones and uneven and hilly terrain.




Date Specific Information

9-11-2014, 9-25-2014, 10-9-2014, 10-30-2014, 4-23-2015, 5-7-2015, 5-21-2015, 9-10-2015, 9-24-2015, 10-8-2015, 10-29-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



2-21-2015

For this departure only, due to the Nice Carnival, you will spend three nights in Aix and four nights in Nice.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Marseille, coach to Aix-en-Provence, 4 nights; coach to Nice, 3 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Marseille
Coach to Aix-en-Provence
4 nights

An expert-led walking excursion introduces you to Aix’s old town including the Cours Mirabeau thoroughfare, the 17th- and 18th-century mansions and the lively Provençal markets. Journey to the picturesque medieval town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to attend one of the largest open-air markets in Provence. Explore the villages of the Luberon, the hilly area made famous by the book “A Year in Provence.” Take a field trip to Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to examine its impressive Roman monuments. Continue to the spectacular hillside village Les Baux-de-Provence and step inside its historic fort.



Coach to Nice
3 nights
Departure

Venture to the famous French Riviera resort of Cannes for an expert-led walking excursion. Visit the Picasso Museum in Antibes, located in a historic chateau where the artist once lived. Explore Nice’s old town and the Cours Saleya square with its daily flower market. Discover the Roman ruins of Cimiez Hill. Delve into the works of two great French artists who were inspired by Nice, Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse, at the respective museums dedicated to them. Enjoy free time to soak up the sun and the history in this beautiful Mediterranean port city.




France

The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.



Accommodations
Aix-en-Provence: Stylish hotel in the heart of old town. Nice: Four-star hotel in the city center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Artea
  Aix en Provence, France 4 nights
   Hotel Brice
  Nice, France 3 nights
 Hotel Artea
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The former house of the music composer Darius Milhaud, Hotel Artea combines the charm and the quality of an old Aix townhouse with modern facilities. Just a few minutes from the pedestrian heart of Aix-en Provence, the Théâtre de Provence and the Cours Mirabeau, Hotel Artea is the perfect base for exploring this lively town. The SNCF train station is only a five minute walk from the hotel.
  Contact info: 4 Boulevard de la République
Aix-en-Provence,  13100 France
phone: +33 (0)4 42 27 36 00
web: http://www.hotel-artea-aix-en-provence.com/en.php
  Room amenities: All 50 rooms are spacious, simply furnished with traditional style and have air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable television with English language channels, a direct-dial telephone, a mini-fridge, soundproof windows, and a private bathroom with a bathtub and a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The htoel includes a bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, elevator, soundproof rooms, heating, baggage storage, air conditioning, a meeting room, and free Wi-Fi is available in all areas. The entire hotel is non-smoking.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and reservations.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Brice
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Brice Hotel is located in central Nice, just a 5-minute walk from the Promenade des Anglais and the beach. It offers a sauna, a solarium and grounds with a fountain. A buffet breakfast is served in the breakfast room every morning. On sunny days, guests can enjoy a drink from the hotel bar on the terrace under the orange and lemon trees. The hotel is just a ten minute walk from the tram line and Nice’s central train station. It is ideally located for exploring the city and nearby town such as Monte-Carlo and Cannes.
  Contact info: 44 Rue du Maréchal Joffre
Nice,  06000 France
phone: +33 (0)4 93 88 14 44
web: http://www.nice-hotel-brice.com/
  Room amenities: Each guest room at Brice Hotel is equipped with satellite TV, a mini fridge and a work desk. Each has a private bathroom with a hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel includes a bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, newspapers, terrace, elevator, safe, baggage storage, air-conditioning, a sauna, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, bicycle rental, car rental, tour desk, fax/photocopying, and free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program starts with the orientation in Aix-en-Provence at 6 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Artea that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the hotel in Nice. Check out is 11:30 AM. You will be staying at Hotel Brice the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. All U.S. citizens require a passport that is valid a minimum of 6 months after their return date to the US. If you must apply for a new passport, plan to allow six to eight weeks for this process. Please bring along a photocopy of the first page of your passport (the page that has your photograph and information); in the event that your passport is lost or stolen, a copy of it will be of great assistance.
  Parking availability:
Not available or recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: TGV is a great option to travel in France and Both Nice and Aix en Provence are connected to Paris by TGV.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Aix en Provence
  Nearest highway: A7, A46, A54, A9 and A8
  Nearest airport:  Marseille-Provence International Airport
  Transportation to site: A transfer from the airport in Marseille to the hotel in Aix is provided for all participants who purchased air from Road Scholar and arrive on the program start date. If you arrive early or want to make your own way to the hotel, taxis from the Marseille (MRS) airport to the hotel in Aix en Provence are available and cost about 40 Euro. We do not recommend using buses. Taxis from the Aix en Provence TGV station into the city will cost about 20 - 25 Euro.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Nice
  Nearest airport:  NCE
  Transportation from site: A transfer from the hotel to the airport in Nice is provided for all participants who purchased air from Road Scholar and depart on the program end date. If you are departing later or want to make your own way to the airport, taxis from the hotel in Nice to the airport are available and cost about 25 Euro. We do not recommend using buses. Taxis from the Hotel to the TGV station will cost no more than 10 Euro.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the U.S.
(Thursday, October 29)
   
 In Transit: International flights to France.

Day 2: Arrival in Marseille / Transfer to Aix-en-Provence
(Friday, October 30)
   
 Morning: NOTE FOR PARTICIPANTS COMBINING THIS PROGRAM WITH PROGRAM 21095 ending in Paris CDG: Because these programs are designed to be taken together, your transportation to Aix-en-Provence from Paris has been arranged by Road Scholar and is complimentary. Please see details of program below for start time on this day. All other participants will have individual transfers from the airport to the hotel. Look for our shuttle service driver to greet you at our set meeting point.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel in Aix and take time to relax and freshen up before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room at 6 p.m. 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: Welcome dinner.
 Evening: Enjoy exploring the old city at night through a tour on foot.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Artea
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Aix-en-Provence Old Town / The Local Provençal Market
(Saturday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we will depart on foot to take a walking field trip around Aix-en-Provence to discover this historic city and heart of Provence. We will discover the old religious and civil districts around the cathedral and the city hall, XVII and XVIII century mansions façades, and typical squares with their fountains, as well as the Cours Mirabeau. In addition, we will explore the various Saturday markets; Saturday is the busiest market day and each square offers a different variety of stalls.
 Lunch: On your own in the Old Town of Aix.
 Afternoon: Take the afternoon to freely explore. Saturday is the best day to check out the shops and to experience the Old Town on your own.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant in Old Aix.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Artea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Market / The Sights and Perched Villages of the Luberon
(Sunday, November 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, explore one of the largest markets in Provence and one of the largest antique markets in the world. L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue is a picturesque Medieval town that offers a sumptuous setting for a Sunday market. Follow your guide as you learn the history of this small town and also sample some of the local specialties and learn about how they are made. Later, enjoy some time to continue the morning at your leisure to discover the city and explore the vendor stalls.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, we will depart by coach for Senanque and Gorde to discover some of the lesser visited sites of Luberon, a region made famous by Peter Mayle's book, "A Year in Provence." We will stop to see the outside of the Abbey of Senanque, walk the streets of Gorde, and as we cross over the Luberon mountains, we will stop in the village of Lourmarin before making our way back to Aix.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant near the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Artea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Arles / Roman History / Van Gogh / Les-Baux-de-Provence
(Monday, November 2)

Note: Today's activities include travel by coach, climbing of stairs, and walking on cobblestones.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we will travel by coach to take a tour of the Roman and art city of Arles. Eight of Arles' Roman and Romanesque Monuments and 65 acres of downtown are considered part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. As part of our visit, we explore the old town on foot and discover a few of these special sites. In addition, you will learn about the work and places that inspired Van Gogh while he lived in Arles. You will then have time to continue the morning at leisure to discover the city on your own.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: We will depart this afternoon for Les-Baux-de-Provence. This fortified village, with its interesting history, offers some of the most picturesque views of Provence. Here, we will visit and learn about the sites of this fortress. Note: There are many stairs and some climbing involved on cobblestone streets to explore the fortress. Please wear comfy footwear!
   
Accommodations: Hotel Artea
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Transfer to Nice / Exploration of Cannes / Antibes' Picasso Museum
(Tuesday, November 3)

Note: Today's activities include over two hours of travel by coach and a walking tour.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we will depart by coach (with luggage) to explore the famous town of Cannes. Led by a local expert, learn about the town's history during a walking tour that examines Cannes' early history and its current status as a mecca for the rich and the famous. We will then board the coach for a short drive to Antibes.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: After lunch, we will take a field trip to the Picasso Museum (formerly known as Château Grimaldi) to learn about Picasso, his work, and his time in France. Later, enjoy some more free time to see the old city center and to explore at your pace some of the small streets before rejoining the group for our final drive to Nice to check-in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Brice
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: An Introduction to Nice: The Flower Market and the Old Town
(Wednesday, November 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: We will start the morning in Nice, led by our local expert, to drive by and explore the sites of Nice. We will see the Russian Orthodox church, stop at Castle Hill for a panoramic view of the city, and drive along the Promenade des Anglais before reaching the old town and the flower market. Later this morning, led by our local expert, discover and savor the flavors of Nice as you explore the famous local food and flower market and stop at artisan shops where local specialties are made.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Old Nice.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy a brief walking tour of the old town with your expert guide. Later, you can choose to join the coach to return to the hotel or to explore the old town or other sites on your own.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Brice
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Nice's Ancient Past and Her Artists: Chagall, Matisse, and Cimiez Hill
(Thursday, November 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, we will depart by coach for the Cimiez neighborhood. We will begin the morning with a brief walk around the Monastery Gardens that feature the old ruins of Nice's Roman past and the Matisse Museum. At the museum, you will see a comprehensive collection of Henri Matisse's artworks from all periods of his life: from the first paintings made in 1890 to the famous gouache cut outs, 236 drawings, 218 engravings and the complete presentation of the books illustrated by the artist. Later in the morning, we will travel down Cimiez Hill to the Chagall Museum. This museum features biblical scenes illustrated in 17 large paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows, mosaics and tapestries, 205 preparatory sketches, 39 gouaches (1930), 105 engravings (1956) and 215 lithographs. We will leave the Chagall Museum at 12:45 to transfer to the hotel. However, you may choose to stay in the area to explore on your own.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Take the afternoon to leisurely discover Nice's small streets and waterfront. You may also want to consider going to the Museum of Fine Arts that offer an excellent collection of French painters from all periods, or for the more contemporary art lover, the Nice Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is an excellent choice.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Brice
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Return to the U.S.
(Friday, November 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Individual shuttle transfer to the Nice (NCE) airport. Transfer time is dependent on flight time and will happen between 6 AM and 12 Noon. Check out is at 11:30 AM. 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France


Author: Georgeanne Brennan


Description: Marvelously frank about daily chores and the decidedly unglamorous business of raising goats and pigs, Brennan lards her earthy tale of the rural life with recipes, one per chapter.



A Year in Provence


Author: Peter Mayle


Description: The original best-selling tale of settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France.



Death at the Chateau Bremont


Author: M.L. Longworth


Description: When local nobleman Etienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family chateau, the town is abuzz with rumors. A lively whodunit steeped in the rich and romantic atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence, this novel introduces Antoine Verlaque, the handsome and seductive chief magistrate, and his sometime love interest, law professor Marine Bonnet.



Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur


Author: Roger Williams


Description: This is an illustrated, colorful guide to the art and architecture, literature, history and attractions of Provence. With photographs and site plans, maps and sections on the Riviera, the Var, Bouches-du-Rhones, Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.



Lonely Planet French Phrasebook


Author: Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet


Description: This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.



Lunch in Provence


Author: Rachael Mckenna


Description: A richly evocative blend of photographs, recipes, and literary and historical citations, this lovely book features thirty-five Mediterranean lunchtime recipes from Michelin three-star chef Jean-Andre Charial.



Matisse and Picasso, The Story of their Rivalry and Friendship


Author: Jack Flam


Description: Jack Flam explores the compelling, competitive, parallel lives of these two artists and their very different attitudes toward the idea of artistic greatness, toward the women they loved, and ultimately toward their confrontations with death.



My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle


Author: Marcel Pagnol


Description: Best known as a filmmaker, Pagnol evokes his childhood in Provence and Marseilles fifty years ago. These memoirs sparkle with delight in the people, landscapes and daily life of southern France.



Provence A-Z


Author: Peter Mayle


Description: A companion to all things Provencal, from bouillabaisse to lavender and vinaigre, by the British expatriate and Francophile Peter Mayle.



Provence Alps French Riviera Map 527


Author: Michelin Travel Publications


Description: A colorful and detailed map of the region from Lyon to Marseille along the Rhone River, at a scale of 1:200,000.



Provence, From Minstrels to the Machine


Author: Ford Madox Ford


Description: Madox Ford probes the history, attractions and pleasures of the region in this spirited classic, with illustrations by his companion Biala, written during their time on the Mediterranean coast.



The Dream of Scipio


Author: Iain Pears


Description: An unusually rich and illuminating historical novel, The Dream of Scipio interweaves stories from three separate centuries in the Rhone Valley, ancient Roman, Medieval and 20th century.



The Magic of Provence, Pleasures of Southern France


Author: Yvone Lenard


Description: The adventures and misadventures of a French woman and her American husband who leave L.A. for a home in the Luberon mountains.



The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence


Author: Michael Jacobs


Description: With an excellent introduction on the history, culture, landscapes and the pleasures of Southern France, this illustrated guide features 34 towns and villages across Provence from the Vacluse to Bonnieux and Gordes, tranquil Alpine villages and southern vineyards.



The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France


Author: Ina Caro


Description: Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.



The Roman Provence Guide


Author: Edwin Mullins


Description: Mullin's succinct history and guide to the many monuments, arches and other antiquities of Provincia Nostra, the first Roman territory outside Italy, covers the must-see archaeological sites of Provence and neighboring Languedoc in detail. With 2 maps and 60 black and white photographs.



The Yellow House


Author: Martin Gayford


Description: Gayfor chronicles the turbulent three months and texture of the daily lives of Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles, where they worked side by side in 1888. With 60 b&W reproductions.



Two Towns in Provence


Author: M. F. K. Fisher


Description: Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description.



Vincent Van Gogh, The Passionate Eye


Author: Pascal Bonafoux


Description: From Paris to Asnieres, Amsterdam and Provence, this jewel of a book traces the life and art of Vincent Van Gogh, the spirited, self-destructive painter who celebrated the south of France. Engaging, compact and illustrated with hundreds of photographs.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768