Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea

Provence, France

Changi Airport Terminal 1

This adventure is: #tastebud tickling, #far far away, #scenic

Provence: Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Ri...

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“Hi, it's u­­­s, Georg­i­n­a, Bri­tt­a, and ­Lee­ Lin­g­”

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Highlights

What do you think of when we talk about Provence?  To me is about lavender fields, wine, cheese, beautiful weather, art, good food, stunning scenery, and slow pace place place to enjoy and relax.  That is exactly how I have curated this trip to be.  To make it a more adventurous trip, we are going to hike the coast ofFrench Riviera and hang around Cannes a bit.  So this will not be the usual Europe trip moving from city to city, but rather an immersive experience living like a local in Southern France.  Let's make a trip down to Southern France and I think we will know why the artists, rich, and famous frequently visit this part of France.


The highlights of this trip are as follows:


  • Stroll along the seaside walkways in the storybook village of Collioure, where pastel-colored homes and vibrant Mediterranean waters inspire artists

  • Discover the storybook walls of Carcassonne, home to the longest city ramparts in Europe

  • Embark on the finest South of France tours, and relish the enchanting cobblestone streets in medieval villages across Provence

  • Delight in a classic lifestyle of sunshine and coastline on the French Riviera Scenic Drive and hike the French Riviera

  • Discover the residence of Vincent Van Gogh during his years of producing paintings such as The Starry Night and The Wheat Field series

  • Follow in the footsteps of celebrated Impressionist painter Cezanne, touring his house and gardens in Aix en Provence

  • Delight in a hands-on cooking class that takes you through the markets of Avignon and into a private kitchen accompanied by personalized sommelier

  • Discover how perfume is made from the Master Perfumer in Grasse, the World Capital of Perfume

  • Enjoy a wine tasting tour of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the premier wine growing regions in France

  • Immerse yourself in the village atmosphere of Cote d’Azur, witnessing quiet charms along the streets and architecture that have inspired celebrated artists

  • Revel in the grandeur of Avignon, following in the footsteps of 14th-century popes



Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceWe will be visiting lavender fields in Provence.

Following which we will follow the footsteps of Cezanne and Van Gogh and discover the inspiration for their artwork. Cezanne a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century.  Van Gogh, a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who is among the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art.  He produced 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings!

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceThe Large Bathers one of Cezanne's masterpiece.

Following the Cezanne's trail begins at the house and winds through the countryside, we will be visitingLes Deux Garcons where Cezanne sat and wondered in search for inspiration.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceThe quiet historic hospital of Saint-Remy-de-Provence where Vincent van Gogh produced momentous works that are still celebrated today.  One of his masterpiece, The Starry Night depicts the view outside his sanitarium room window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. Since 1941 it has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceThe Starry Night one of Vincent Van Gogh's masterpiece.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceView of Chateau de Gordes

We make your way to the perched village of Gordes in the Luberon Natural Regional Park, Chateau de Gordes.

The next day we will head to Luberon for the lavender fields and captivating history at the Abbaye de Senanque.  Pablo Picasso once owned a home in the village and retreated to the streets when in search of quiet and inspiration.   We then head to Avignon the seat of the Catholic popes to learn cooking, after which wonderng the streets and the Pope's Palace.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceFood sold in Avignon, photo by Casal Partiu licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceThe Pope's Palace in Avignon

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceGrapes picking in the premier wine producing regions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, photo by jean-louis Zimmermann licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0  

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceEnjoying wine and food 

Then to the storybook walls of Carcassonne.
Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceCarcassonne, photo by Josue Goge licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Carcassonne is a fortified French town. The fortified city itself consists essentially of a concentric design with two outer walls with 53 towers and barbicans to prevent attack by siege engines. We will visit another storybook town, Collioure.  Collioure the pearl of the Vermillion Coast, this little town, prized by painters, has an incredibly picturesque, enchanting scene.  A picture postcard place, with its royal castle by the sea, its port with local boats, its small pebbly beaches, its café terraces, the old town with its coloured façades and its emblematic pink-domed bell-tower!

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceCollioure Château Royal, photo by Robert licensed under CC BY 2.0 

We move move towards the coast the French Riviera known as Côte d'Azur.  It began as a winter health resort for the British upper class at the end of the 18th century. With the arrival of the railway in the mid-19th century, it became the playground and vacation spot of British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, when he was Prince of Wales.  In the first half of the 20th century, it was frequented by artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Francis Bacon, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, and Aldous Huxley, as well as wealthy Americans and Europeans. After World War II, it became a popular tourist destination and convention site. Many celebrities, such as Elton John and Brigitte Bardot, have homes in the region.  The French Riviera is home to 163 nationalities with 83,962 foreign residents.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceWaterfront houses along Nice, photo by Robbie Shade licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceNice and the Côte d'Azur by the evening, photo by Mendhak licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceWe will be hiking along the coast of Côte d'Azur.

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceLearn the know-how of perfume from the World Perfume Capital Grasse, recently declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.  This is an old perfume stills in the perfume museum of Grasse, photo by Dennis Jarvis licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Live Like a Local in Provence and The French Riviera: Art, Food, Charm, and Sea starting at Provence, FranceCol De Valcaveir in Pedimont photo by Jacques Dufrenoy  licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

Itinerary

Day 1, 24th Aug
Fly from Singapore to Nice

Day 2, 25th Aug
Nice Airport transfer hotel check in
Old city walking Tour 
Street farmers market
Coastal walk on the famous Promenade des Anglais
Overnight in Nice 

Day 3, 26th Aug
Coastal drive to this places:
Monaco 
Cannes 
Antibes
Discover perfum in Grasse
Overnight in Nice 

Day 4, 27th Aug
Hike Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the peninsula of billionaires (4-5 hours)
Free and easy in Nice
Overnight in Nice


Day 5, 28th Aug
Drive to St Rémy 
Visit Vincent Van Gogh, St. Paul of Mausolus, Saint Remy de Provence, Cezanne Studio Museum in Aix-en-Provence 
Overnight in Aix-en-Provence 

Day 6, 29th Aug
Drive to Chateauneuf-du-Pape : wine tasting presented by a world famous sommelier, follow by market shopping with the Chef, cooking course and lunch in a 13th century cellar.
Overnight in Avignon

Day 7, 30th Aug
Visit the Roman Pont du Gard, Avignon city walking tour and visit Pope Palace in Avignon, free time for shopping 
Overnight in Avignon 

Day 8, 31st Aug
Drive to Carcassonne, visit the medieval city
Drive to Collioure, The Little Train 
Overnight in Collioure 

Day 9, 1st Sep
Free and easy Collioure
Leave Collioure at 10:30 am for transfer to Barcelona Airport (3 hours)

Day 10, 2nd Sep
Reach Singapore