& PROVENCE, FRANCE
We arrive in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France. We check
into our hotel in the historic center of the city and explore.
Tonight we enjoy one of Lyon's wonderful restaurants. In the morning
we take a guided walking tour of the old town and have lunch in
one of the charming brasseries in the old quarter. In the afternoon
we take an excursion to the medieval hilltop village of Pérouges.
This evening our Michelin starred restaurant includes a spectacular
panoramic view of Lyon.
Departing Lyon, we drive into the Beaujolais countryside for an
entertaining (and educational!) wine tasting lunch. Next we arrive
in the charming medieval wine town of Beaune, known as the wine
capital of Burgundy. Our hotel for the next three nights is a
dreamy, elegant inn conveniently located in the historic center.
We can walk to dozens of enticing wine shops, boutiques and cafés
along picturesque, narrow streets. We spend the next two days
exploring Beaune, the nearby historic city of Dijon, and the beautiful
Côte d'Or wine region. In Beaune we enjoy a gastronomic
wine-pairing dinner at a local winery.
Today we journey south through the beautiful Burgundian countryside
to the interesting Roman town of Vienne, where we have a guided
walking tour, followed by lunch. We then continue following the
Rhône River south into Provence and arrive at our destination
for the next four nights, the fascinating historic town of Avignon.
Dinner tonight is at a fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant.
Today we take a guided walking tour through Avignon's medieval
streets and squares, the highlight of which is the magnificent
Pope's Palace, a veritable maze of galleries, chambers, chapels
and passages. After lunch we drive through the Châteauneuf
du Pape wine region and stop at a beautiful winery for a tour
and tasting. We return to Avignon for some free time and dinner.
Today's excursion takes us to the mountainous Luberon region,
made famous by Peter Mayle in his bestselling book, A Year in
Provence. We visit a lavender museum and the lovely villages of
Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes, and Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. We return
to Avignon for another gastronomic dinner.
Today we have a day to explore the nearby Roman ruins of this
remarkable region. We see the amazing Pont du Gard, a 2,000-year-old
perfectly preserved Roman aqueduct, and the beautiful Provençal
Roman village of Uzès.
This morning we bid adieu to Avignon and drive to our next destination-a
lovely country inn outside the charming village of Saint Rémy
de Provence. We stop at a local market to shop for the makings
of a gourmet French pique-nique, which we enjoy on the beautiful
grounds of our inn. After lunch, we enjoy a guided tour of a fascinating
Roman village called Glanum, uncovered in 1921. The town was originally
built by a Celtic Ligurian tribe several centuries before being
conquered by the Romans. Tonight our hosts treat us to a wonderful
repast in their lovely dining room.
After a visit to Saint Remy's well known market, we visit the
nearby medieval fortified village of Les Baux de Provence. Les
Baux is set high on a mountain in the Alpilles range, with a spectacular
view of the surrounding peaks and valleys. After lunch in Les
Baux, we visit a winery in the Côtes du Rhône wine
region for a tour and tasting. For those who like to cook, our
chef invites us to assist him in preparing tonight's gourmet dinner.
Today we visit the nearby Roman city of Arles. We have a guided
walking tour of this picturesque town made famous by Vincent Van
Gogh. You will recognize the subjects of a number of his paintings
as we wander through his old neighborhood. Tonight we enjoy our
farewell home-cooked dinner chez nous.
After breakfast we head to the Marseille Airport for the flight