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Top Reasons to Take a Walking Tour of Provence with VBT

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The Provence region of southeastern France is a scenic and historic area that is perfect for discovering on foot.  Travelers on our France: Slow Road Through Provence vacation will discover the region’s timeless beauty—from ancient hilltop villages to bustling outdoor markets to verdant vineyards that line the foothills of the Alpilles—at a slow pace, which allows you to fully take it all in. With so many amazing sites, friendly locals, delicious meals and epic cycling offered on this week-long walking tour, there is so much to discover. Here are our top reasons why you should talk a walking tour of Provence with VBT.

Strolling in St. Remy
Van Gogh Tour St Remy
Upon our arrival to the historic commune of St. Remy, we’ll learn about the last years of van Gogh’s life and his most famous painting, The Starry Night—which was inspired from his window view in St. Remy—on a guided tour of the village with a local historian. After our informative and inspirational tour, the afternoon is free for you to set out to explore St. Remy on your own. What it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in atmosphere. It’s convenient, horseshoe-like center invites a delicious stroll around town. Luckily, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to indulge in when you’d like a rest.

Explore Avignon, the fortified “City of the Popes”
Popes

We’ll meet with a local friend for an enlightening guided tour of the famed “City of Popes,” which served as the Papal seat for almost seven decades during the 14th century when seven popes—beginning with Clement V—abandoned Rome and made the city their permanent residence. During our stroll, we’ll tour Avignon’s historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and view the Palais de Papes—the magnificent Gothic complex in which the holy men once lived.

Marvel at one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France: Gordes

Gordes, Provence

On Day 4 of our adventure in Provence, we’ll take in the cobblestone streets of Gordes, which is included in the listing of “The Most Beautiful Villages in France.” Take your time exploring before ambling just outside of the village among Provence’s iconic lavender fields en route to Senanque Abbey. Here, we’ll learn how the lavender is cultivated by the Benedictine monks that still work and reside in this peaceful hamlet.

Mingling at le Marche
Provence market
Cultural immersion is a huge part of any VBT tour. On Day 5 of our walking tour of Provence we’ll combine a cultural experience with lots and lots of local food, visiting the market of Vaison la Romaine. Take in the sights, sounds and smells of local life here and maybe pick up a few of the most tempting items to enjoy for lunch.

Hotel Aquabella
Aquabella Pool
A night in this wonderful hotel situated in the heart of the old town of Aix-en-Provence both begins and ends our tour. After a lovely evening of exploring the lively city of Aix, guests may relax in the hotel’s spa or heated pool. The guest rooms are decorated in Provençal style and all are fully equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, direct telephone, mini-bar and furnished with bathrobes and slippers.

les beaxLooking Out from Les Baux
One of the most interesting towns that you’ll find on this tour is Les Baux. Built directly into the rocky hills of Les Alpilles, this 12th century town astounds and delights visitors with its quaint shops and majestic views of the valley below. During our visit we’ll have time to explore the fascinating village and the Château des Baux—a fortified 10th century castle that sits atop the historic town.

The Food of France
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On top of all the wonderful experiences that we’ve built into our Walking Tour of Provence, we’ve also left some time for you to wander on your own. Exploring in France is often best done by way of your taste buds. Enjoy free afternoons and evenings to find a perfect bistro to reward your day’s discovery. Best of all, our native Trip Leaders can fill you in on all the local secrets and spots that only residents know about. So you’re guaranteed to find a culinary highlight or two on your VBT Provence vacation.

These are just some examples of the unique accommodations you’ll stay at on our France: Slow Road Through Provence​ walking vacation. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit www.vbt.com . They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Ride through the Burgundy and Bordeaux Wine Regions with VBT

Chateau Bike Ride
One of the great things about bicycling through the French countryside is the bike routes that take you along pastoral roads past serene rivers and beautiful stretches of hillside vineyards. Two of our favorite tours in some of France’s wine regions are Bicycling Bordeaux & the River Dordogne and the aptly named, Burgundy: The Wine Route. On these two tours, our daily rides are accentuated with visits to local wine cellars and vineyards where you’ll get to learn about wine production and more importantly, taste some of the delicious samples.  ​

Cycling the Bordeaux region with VBT
Grapes on the Vine
During our Bicycling Bordeaux & the River Dordogne​ tour, we’ll explore the surrounding villages of St. Emilion—our home for 2 nights—and bike along rolling terrain past several impressive vineyard Châteaux—including the renowned Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc. Both of these wineries are classified as 1st Grand Cru Classe A, Wine Tastingwhich is the French rating system for ‘first growth’ wines in the St. Emilion region of Bordeaux. The aforementioned Châteaux are the only ones that have been distinguished as Classe A in the area.

Later in the tour, our cycling route will take us past a 13th-century castle in the small town of Rauzan and the abbey at Blasimon, which dates back to the 12th century. After a rewarding day on our bikes we’ll be treated to a visit with Claire Poncet at the Château Font-Vidal in Julliac, who will enlighten us with a talk about the process of wine production on her estate before offering us a tasting. The Château Font-Vidal has been family-owned since the early 1800’s and produces richly red Bordeaux that features a “balanced palate with tasty tannins.”

Visiting the Burgundy Region with VBT
Vineyard Ride
On this fascinating journey on our Burgundy: The Wine Route tour, we’ll cycle along small wine roads through the Hospices de Beauneworld-famous vineyards of the Côte de Beaune and pass well-known villages like Puligny Montrachet, Meursault and Pommard—considered by many oenophiles as the mecca of Chardonnay production. Beaune is nicknamed the “Capital of Burgundy Wines” and its downtown is highlighted by the Hospices de Beaune, a 15th-century structure that once served as a charitable almshouse. The perfectly preserved Gothic masterpiece also hosts one of France’s largest charity wine auctions every year. During our stay in Beaune, we’ll also walk to one of the towns many wine cellars to taste some of the regional wines.

Vineyard ChurchAs we make our way from Beaune to Dijon later in the tour we’ll wind our way to Nuits St. George, the region where famed Côte de Nuits red wines are produced. In this area, monks made wine for religious services for centuries and historians believe that the very first red wines in the world were made here. It is believed that the monks macerated the grape skins so the typical rosé wine would more closely resemble the blood of Christ.

These are just a couple examples of the many cultural highlights you’ll find on these France biking vacations. To read more about all of our vacations in France please click here.  If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

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