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Tastes of The South of France: A Small-Group Luxury Gourmet Tour

Wherever you go in the South of France, you’ll feast to your heart’s content. Embark on a gourmet voyage of discovery as you uncover the sun-kissed beauty of Provence and the French Riviera on a nine-day, small-group luxury tour (max. 16 travellers). Taste your way through the streets of Nice on a foodie tour, sampling the best ice cream on the Riviera, local cheeses, pastries, wine and more. Set sail on a cruise of the azure waters of the French Riviera, enjoy private wine tastings with a world-class sommelier, learn the secrets of French cuisine during a cooking class in Provence and access private vineyards in some of the best wine regions in the world. Stay in hand-picked, luxury boutique accommodation with daily breakfasts, gourmet dining experiences, private transportation, insider experiences and so much more.

9 Days from
AUD$5,499/person

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$7,950
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Food, art and coastal culture are the very essence of this beautiful sun-drenched region. Indulge along a tasting trail of the region’s cuisine through Nice, the French Riviera, Cassis and Provence. With its sweeping fields of lavender, sun-kissed vineyards producing world-class wines, charming old villages, olive groves and sparkling azure coastline, the South of France has long been a go-to destination for lovers of gourmet food and wine. Basque and Spanish tastes lend a sumptuous influence to the likes of pissladiere, bouillabaisse, salade Nicoise and the region’s famous cassoulet.

What You’ll Love

The Indulgent Taste Sensations – Explore unique, once-in-a-lifetime culinary experiences

Embark on a sensorial tasting trail of Nice, sampling local delicacies including ice cream, cheeses, oils, pastries, chocolates, wines and more whilst soaking up the sights of the city. Shop for fresh produce at the famous Cours Saleya market before exploring the many boutiques, museums and galleries and admiring spectacular panoramic views to the port and beyond from the city’s highest lookout point.

Explore one of the best wine areas in the world with wine expert Kelly McAuliffe, former sommelier for Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse. Gain access to some of the finest private vineyards of Côtes-du-Rhône and learn the secrets of ‘Le Nez du Vin’ sommelier training.

Go foraging for ingredients in the foothills of the highest mountain in Provence – and learn all about the art of picking edible plants and flowers – before returning to one of the most beautiful villages in Provence for an authentic cooking class in a private home, led by a fourth-generation villager.

Total Cultural Immersion – Enjoy a stunning variety of breathtaking landscapes, mediaeval architecture and the region’s rich artistic legacy

Board a cruise boat in Cassis for an afternoon of sailing the sparkling azure waters of the French Riviera, admiring breathtaking scenery en route before taking a dip.

Visit the celebrated wine region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape with its 14th-century Papal castle, before sitting down to an indulgent four-course feast with paired wines.

Drive north to the spectacular countryside of the Luberon, made famous by the author Peter Mayle. On the way, stop for an unforgettable immersive art experience at Carrières de Lumières, a former limestone quarry which stages one-of-a-kind virtual art exhibitions projected onto its walls, accompanied by atmospheric music.

Where You’ll Stay – Traditional village charm meets contemporary sophistication in luxury accommodation at every stop

Stay in gorgeous boutique hotels hand-picked for their exceptional locations and distinctive style.

Hotel La Pérouse Nice – a hidden boutique gem spectacularly built into a hillside on the famous Promenade des Anglais, overlooking the crystalline waters of the Baie des Anges. You will have access to the most beautiful private beach in Nice – right on the hotel's doorstep.

Hostellerie Bérard in La Cadière d'Azur isn't a single property; it's actually a cluster of buildings in the heart of the village, including the "Bastide des Saveurs", with its pretty blue shutters, the "Pavillon des Peintres" (Artists' Pavilion), the 11th-century "Couvent" (ancient monastery) and "Les Remparts" (Ramparts). This charming spa hotel is also home to an impressive Michelin-star rated gastronomic restaurant.

La Maison de Crillon, a traditional French villa in the hilltop village of Crillon-le-Brave, has been elegantly decorated in contemporary, minimalist style with retro touches that speak of the property's history. Enjoy picturesque views as you lounge by the heated infinity pool in the Provincial sun.

Your Package Includes:

  • Eight nights’ accommodation in luxury boutique hotels, hand-picked for excellence and breathtaking locations. Enjoy two nights at Hotel La Perouse in Nice, two nights at Hostellerie Bérard in the French Riviera, and four nights at La Maison de Crillon in Provence.
  • Gourmet experiences: Daily breakfasts and additional meals as detailed in the itinerary, including an indulgent four-course wine and food pairing lunch, a typical Provincial lunch in a local bistro and French delicacies such as cheeses and pastries.
  • Private transportation throughout the tour in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Sightseeing with the services of expert local guides.
  • Convenient private return transfers from the airport or train station.

Tour Extension:

Make the most of your time in the South of France with an extended 12-day tour.

Spend three nights in the famous wine region of Bordeaux, where you'll sample freshly shucked oysters from the bay at Cap Ferret, discover the medieval citadel of Carcassonne and enjoy a winemaking workshop with a master sommelier, lunch and wine tasting at one of Bordeaux's most prestigious vineyards, Chateau Pape Clement.

Stay at the beautiful Hotel Burdigala - MGallery by Sofitel, located just a short walk from the historic centre of Bordeaux, a UNESCO world-heritage site.

See the 'Itinerary' tab for full details.

Tour Dates:

Valid for tours departing on:

23 June 2018

1 September 2018

1 June 2019

7 September 2019

Important: Please allow time for travelling from Australia. Flights are not included in your package and must be purchased separately. It is your responsibility to make your own travel arrangements and ensure that you arrive in Nice on Day 1 of your chosen tour date.

The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 18 years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise, an additional single traveller surcharge will apply. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

Single Traveller Surcharge: If travelling alone, you must purchase the Single Traveller package option. See the package options for further details.

Maximum tour capacity is 16 guests, minimum tour capacity is four guests.

All departure dates are subject to availability and early bookings are highly recommended.

Instant Booking: To secure your dates of purchase, click 'Instant Booking' and select your preferred package. Once your preferred package is selected you'll click through to 'Choose Your Dates of Travel' and will be able to enter in your preferred tour commencement date.

Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion (as a guide, approx. US$10 - 15 per person, per day is the industry standard).

Arrival and departure transfers are only available on the first and last day of the tour. Any arrivals and departures outside of these days will need to make their own arrangements to/from the airport.

Tour includes accommodation in a lead-in room at the following hotels:

Two nights – Hotel La Perouse

Two nights – Hostellerie Bérard

Four nights – La Maison de Crillon

Accommodation is subject to availability and may be substituted for a hotel of a similar standard.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two adults.

Please note, connecting rooms are not available.

All surcharges are payable directly to Luxury Escapes.

Please note: disability access is limited during the tour, please consider this when making your booking.

Before making a reservation, please ensure that the name on the reservation is the same as it appears on your passport. An error may result in a name change penalty or boarding being denied by the airline. Luxury Escapes accepts no responsibility for accuracy of name on the travel documents.

The ’7 day change of mind guarantee’ does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Luxury Escapes Refund Policy applies.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

Travel insurance is compulsory. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package.

Additional expenses such as (but not limited to) flights are not included with this tour package.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

A visa may be required to the countries you are visiting and transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are holding a current visa.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply - refer LuxuryEscapes.com/terms

DAY 1 – Nice

On arrival in Nice you will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your hotel on the French Riviera. There are no activities planned during the day so you may arrive at any time. In the evening meet your leader and the rest of your group for sunset cocktails before a welcome dinner in one of Nice’s best bistros.

Accommodation: Hotel La Perouse Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 – Nice

Enjoy a stroll in the morning around the Cours Saleya market which overflows with fresh produce, cheeses, olives, herbs, flowers and charm. A veritable kaleidoscope of sights and smells, it’s bursting with history, ambience, and culinary inspiration. Then head to the highest part of Nice (lift available) with spectacular views along the coast and down to the port and beyond. Spend the rest of the day at leisure by exploring the excellent shopping, museums and galleries. Your tour leader can assist with arrangements for a quick trip along the coast to the sparkling jewel that is Monte Carlo or a water taxi across to Cannes and its famous promenade.

ACCOMMODATION: Hotel La Perouse Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3 – French Riviera

Embark on a tasting trail through Nice, winding your way all over this wonderful city to get a taste of local life and culture by feasting on Nicoise delicacies. Try the best ice cream on the Riviera, cheeses, oils, pastries, chocolates, wines and so much more whilst learning the most fascinating details of Nice’s rich and varied history. After a long grazing lunch, head west along the French Riviera to our home in an idyllic Provencal hilltop town, off the beaten track with its small flower-filled streets steeped in medieval history. The evening is at your leisure – our hotel’s location ensures you can wander the village at dusk, enjoy a game of petanque with the locals and people-watch the evening away at your choice of delightful local restaurants.

Accommodation: Hostellerie Bérard Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4 – French Riviera

After breakfast at the hotel take a short and truly spectacular drive via an incredible mountain road and over the highest sea cliff in Europe – the views will simply take your breath away. Arriving in the charming village of Cassis, we enjoy the morning wandering the village and the delightful port before boarding a cruise boat for an afternoon along the French Riviera. Passing through sparkling turquoise waters known as the Calanques, or narrow limestone inlets, for which Cassis is famous the scenery is stunning and a great way to spend the afternoon. You’ll also have the chance to go swimming in these beautiful waters, so don’t forget your swimmers.

Accommodation: Hostellerie Bérard Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5 – Provence

In the morning leave the Cote D’ Azur and drive north into the spectacular countryside of the Luberon, made famous by the author Peter Mayle. On the way visit a one-of-a-kind art gallery set in a 2500-square foot soaring underground limestone quarry. This amazing installation, set in the dark, projects gigantic works of art across every surface and is choreographed to exquisite music. Afterwards enjoy a typical Provincial lunch in a charming local bistro, before continuing into the Provencal hills where the scent of wild herbs drifts through the air. Our home for the next four nights is a beautiful French villa in a charming village with amazing vistas wherever you look. Spend the evening at leisure.

Accommodation: La Maison de Crillon Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6 – Provence

Embark on an exciting day of exploring and tasting some of the best wine areas in the world! Your host for the day will be our private sommelier and expert internationally renowned wine guide (former head sommelier for Alan Ducasse) – who will take you to some of the pre-eminent private vineyards of the southern Cote du Rhone. Stop in the charming world acclaimed village of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, browse through a superb wine boutique then visit the historic ruins of the Pope’s summer palace which was the seat of the Vatican for 70 years. Your wine expert will share his vast knowledge during the spectacular four-course wine and food pairing lunch. Then wind your way home, stopping at some superb wineries before returning to the hotel terrace for sunset drinks and an introduction to the “nez du vin’’ where you’ll learn how sommeliers train their sense of smell.

Accommodation: La Maison de Crillon Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7 – Provence

After breakfast head out for a very special cooking class in perhaps the most beautiful village in Provence. The morning starts with a guided walk in the foothills of the highest mountain in Provence, Mt Ventoux. Learn the art of picking edible plants and flowers whilst foraging for additions to your lunch. Gain an understanding for the amazing homeopathic and medicinal qualities of the plants. Adjourn to a private home in this idyllic village and take part in an entertaining hands- on cooking class hosted by a delightful fourth-generation villager. Then indulge in a truly sumptuous lunch, accompanied by wine on the terrace overlooking the valley. Spend your evening at leisure.

Accommodation: La Maison de Crillon Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 – Provence

Enjoy your last day at leisure in our exquisite village. Hop on a bike to explore the idyllic countryside, visit the next village and enjoy their famous weekly Monday market, have a game of petanque, walk through the vines, or simply sit by the pool, relax and enjoy the never ending views across the spectacular Rhone valley. This evening enjoy a special final dinner together as a group.

Accommodation: La Maison de Crillon Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 – tour ends

Your time in Southern France ends after breakfast with a transfer to Avignon airport or train station for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

12-DAY EXTENDED TOUR

DAY 9 – Bordeaux

After breakfast head west cross-country through the glorious vistas of southern France to Bordeaux, your home for the next three nights. En route stop at Carcassonne, a beautiful walled medieval citadel with walls dating back to Gallo Roman times. In Bordeaux your Hotel Burdigala – Mgallery by Sofitel, is one of the best addresses in the city, making it easy to explore the river, the Opera house and the famous Place de la Bourse with its stunning architecture and fountains. Spend the evening at leisure with plenty of delicious local dining options. Whether it’s a local wine bar, rustic bistro or Michelin-starred dining room, Bordeaux has it all.

Accommodation: Hotel Burdigala – Mgallery by Sofitel Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10 – Bordeaux

Visit the charming Victorian town of Arcachon and the laidback French chic village of Cap Ferret on the wild Atlantic west coast famous for oyster farming. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters straight from the bay, whilst dangling your feet in the water and sipping local Bordeaux wine. After lunch visit the famous Dune de Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, and climb to the top for the most magnificent views of the bay, pine forests and wild ocean beyond.

Accommodation: Hotel Burdigala – Mgallery by Sofitel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11 – Bordeaux

Visit one of Bordeaux’s most prestigious vineyards – Chateau Pape Clement, famous for its Grands Crus Classés wines. Enjoy a tour of the chateau, the vault and the barrel cellars before an unforgettable wine-making workshop. Immerse yourself in all things ‘vin’ and make and label your very own bottle of wine, self blended to your exact specifications. This is a hands-on and great fun experience, expertly guided by a master sommelier. After class enjoy a wine tasting before partaking in a private alfresco lunch on the rooftop of the lavish 12-century neo gothic chateau, surrounded by 60 hectares of vines. Back in Bordeaux the afternoon and evening is at your leisure to enjoy the wonderful shopping in this very chic town, sample incredible wines in the Maison du Vin du Bordeaux (the 18th-century headquarters of the regions wine council) or visit the world’s first dedicated wine exhibition centre.

Accommodation: Hotel Burdigala – Mgallery by Sofitel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12 – Tour ends

Your time in France ends after breakfast with a transfer to the train station for your onward journey.

Meals: Breakfast

Flights to Nice depart daily from all major Australian cities, via carriers including Emirates, Air France, British Airways and Qantas.

Book your flight through us. First, confirm your tour booking dates. Our Tours Concierge will then be in touch within 24 business hours to assist with additional arrangements, with no booking fee to you.

A visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each travellers responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor website Visa’s Direct to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes. If you require any supporting documentation when applying for your visa please let us know and we would be more than happy to assist.