DAY ONE : the Popes’ Palace and the Val de Benediction cloister.
Pick-up at 9 :00 a.m. at your hotel lobby (duration: 8 hrs.)
Your driver-guide will be waiting for you at the hotel reception.
He/she will have picked you up at the train station or the airport the day before, made sure that everything was working fine and discussed with you the last details of your next day excursion.
DAY TWO: Pont du Gard, Saint Rémy de Provence, Glanum, les Baux de Provence.
Pick-up at 9 :00 a.m. at your hotel lobby (duration: 9 hrs.)
Your driver-guide is waiting for you at the reception ready to take you to Pont du Gard (30 to 40 minutes drive…).
There you will be astonished to see the biggest aqueduct from ancient Roman times, which used to supply running water to the city of Nimes and its surroundings, still in perfect conditions: a marvel of engineering work that has defied two millenniums, attracting scientists, artists and visitors from all over the world.
This magnificent monument is situated at the end of the Gardon Canyon. From its heights, one can admire the suggestive landscape of the valley and follow the flow of the river Gard, tributary of the Rhône river.
Drive to St. Remy de Provence
Located at the slants of the Alpilles mounts, the town that gave birth to Michel de Notre Dame, universally known as Nostradamus, will capture you in the charm of its streets and ancient fountains. In St. Rémy de Provence you can see the house where the famous diviner was born in 1503. Then you’ll be off to discover the ancient Roman site of Glanum, walk amongst the ruins of the Forum, monuments and baths in a gaulish-roman necropolis that dates from 30 B.C.
After such an intense morning, you should be in good appetite and ready to have lunch in a unique open air terraced restaurant that we have selected for you, looking down at the Forum ruins, called "Taberna Romana", literally the "Roman Tavern".There you will get a taste of dishes in use in ancient Rome and have left a landmark in the history of modern gastronomy!
Drive to Les Baux de Provence
The village of Baux de Provence, classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, is located at the very heart of the Alpilles mounts, on a rocky plateau at 268 yrds. high. It dominates exceptional and breathtaking panoramas. At the end of an easy and pleasant walk (*)along various local Provençal artwork shops (shopping recommended!) the Citadel of le Baux at the end of the village unveil itself to you. Its surface covers more than 17 acres and allows the visitor to witness traces of the tumultuous past of the Baux de Provence: ruins of the medieval castle, siege machines, the cadastral chapel, the donjon, the Sarasin tower…In practice, the whole of the History of Provence told within a vast frame of rocks and stones!
At the end of this extraordinary day you’ll be back at your hotel just on time for dinner...
(*) Walking in the village can be a problem to disabled people
DAY THREE: wine tasting at Châteuneuf du Pape, Senanque Abbey
Pick-up at 9 a.m. at your hotel lobby (duration: 8 hrs.)
Picked-up by your by now friendly driver-guide (patiently waiting for you at the reception :-), you're off for another magic day of excursions to two of the best known resorts of Provence:
the village of Chateuneuf du Pape and its wineries and the mediaeval abbey of Senanque.
Located at about 30 minutes drive from Avignon, Chateauneuf du Pape offers to the visitor the sight of narrow sinuous streets punctuated by beautiful fountains, a castle from the 14th. century, medieval chapels and, of course, tasting one of the best wines of France: Châteauneuf du Pape.
Vine cultivation, already known to the Gauls, was widely developed by the Romans. Monks were the first to clear the land and cultivate these vineyards and Bishops were instrumental in extending vine cultivation. In 1793, the wine growers were able to sell their wine at one third above the maximum price for local, as "Châteauneuf wine is known to be of superior quality in all seasons". The Marquis Tulle de Villefranche shipped his wines all over France, to Italy, Germany, Britain and also to Boston and Philadelphia in the United States.
For your wine tasting session we have chosen for you the Domain Mousset winery. Please, follow the link below (don't forget to come back to our website :…):
Reservation at the Verger des Papes gourmet panoramic restaurant is possible.
The overview on the Rhône river valley is unique!
Drive to Senanque Abbey
After lunch a one hour pleasant drive across lavender covered valleys and fields (*) will lead you to one of the jewels of this part of Provence: the medieval abbey of Senanque.
Sitting at the bottom of a deep valley, Notre-Dame de Senanque remains one of the purest examples of primitive Cistercian architecture. A community of Cistercian monks still lives here. The entire 12th Century building is open for visits: the abbey church, cloister, dormitory, chapterhouse and calefactory. Since returning in 1988, a community of Cistercian monks has lived and prayed here. Notre-Dame de Senanque is an unique example of twelfth century Cistercian abbey, still alive and still standing.
We'll end our day driving back to Avignon through fruits orchards and poppies fields (summertime only).
(*) beginning of July to end of August