Provence is surely one of France's most fabled regions. Flanked by the Alps to the north, Italy to the east, and the Mediterranean to the south, Provence is known for the incredible diversity that exists within its borders, its rich human and natural history, and its sights,
sounds, tastes, smells, and utter charm. On this trip we will introduce you to all the fascination that Provence has to offer: the ancient
settlement of Avignon, the tiny perched villages of the Luberon, the craggy limestone of the Alpilles, and Mont Ventoux, an inspiration for Van Gogh (and us!). We will combine scenic hikes with visits to village markets, stays at French inns, a little culture, and a chance to sample all the fantastic tastes of the south of France. Maximum group size: 12
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This trip is designed for women who want to combine hiking off the beaten track in the Provence countryside, with exploring local culture, visits to some of their unique and different villages, and savoring fresh cuisine. There is significant elevation gain on several days and paths can be rocky at times. Participants can usually opt out of the day and spend the day on their own. In order to do all of the hikes listed here, women should be in good physical condition and able to hike for three to five hours a day. Being able to keep a fast pace is not necessary; there will be time for photography, admiring views, and savoring amazing picnic lunches. Rating: 1 2 4 5
While this is primarily a hiking trip, there will also be ample time to explore local culture, visit some of the unique and different villages, sip wine, and savor fresh cuisine.
We'll be staying at 3 star hotels in Avignon, Saint Remy de Provence, and Vaison la Romaine. In Buoux we'll stay in a country inn (see the itinerary for the specific hotels).
Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.
My personal highlight was that I completed all the hikes. I was very nervous about failing. I liked the combination of city hikes and country hikes, learning some history, seeing the small villages. After attending the Carrieres de Lumieres I was really happy about it. The show was spectacular. The views were outstanding, the food was great, the guides were remarkable.
Hiking in the countryside and through the old villages, learning about the wildflowers and history. The hike on Mt Ventoux was memorable in a challenging, good way.
This trip was magical. Bernadette is an amazing guide, and she helped me to fall in love with Provence!!! The hikes were great, the food was great.
It was everything I expected and more. If I could have picked a kind of trip and where, this would be it. What made it even better was the wonderful local guide, Marian and all the woman that ended up coming. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
I loved meeting all these women and sharing our challenges and delights everyday. The places we stayed at were spectacular and the daily picnics and evening meals were so good!
I enjoyed the size of group, the guides were very good, the hiking was just right and the views and food were wonderful.
having never done a similar trip and having never travelled to europe my expectations were open however i can say the trip exceeded all of my expectations - first and foremost the AGC coordinator Kim was wonderful and our local guiede Bernadette was amazing they made the trip - I felt like all of my needs were taken into consideration even before i knew what they were - the accomodations were wonderful the day to day agendas perfect i truly feel like i experienced the "real" local not just the tourist view
The guides were great! The history, picturesque scenery and the food were amazing.
Hiking, countryside, skilled guides
Highlights included variety of hikes and areas visited.
I loved the majority of the hikes, the food was amazing, the guides were supportive on the hikes and prepared the most amazing picnic lunches! I had a few accomodations that were not so great. First stay in hotel in Avignon - the room felt like a maid's quarters -- stark, hole in the ceiling, just not very pleasant. Loved my room in St. Remy and if I had stayed the last night in Avignon, the second room I had was very nice. The room in Auberge (the one in the canyon) - had ants crawling all over the table and bathroom sink and smelled like a sewer. I had two nights in that room. It was tolerable - but not pleasant. I loved the location and the hikes from there.
Overall, the trip was wonderful. The highlights for me were the hiking, the scenery, the food and experiencing the local culture. On a personal note it was a gift to have 11 days where I was virtually unplugged from work and technology.
Our French Guide Bernadette made the trip informative, fun, exciting, laid back, all the great adjectives you can attach to a trip to learn an area and culture to include topography, history, food, wine, friendship. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the other wonderful, fun, woman on this trip. I loved that we all hiked and talked and shared and laughed! I cannot say enough good things about Bernadette. She is a treasure.
I didn't see any questions below or opportunity to comment on our French guide, Bernadette. She was fabulous and it was her attention to detail and quality that really made the trip so fantastic. I have traveled with many groups and she is one of the best guides I've had the pleasure of meeting and learning from.
Hiking and seeing Provence with a French guide; spending time at a vineyard with the original French owner and, of course, the food and wine.
Great interaction with other women, beautiful location, hiking, great cuisine
The group dynamic was super. The local guide - Bernadette- was very competent and had great ability to solve problems. She had great interpersonal skills. She shared enough to make the trip interesting while keeping it professional. Both guides worked well together and both were very approachable.
Many highlights but I will name a few: the guides were knowledgeable and accommodating the choice of locations to hike and visit were exceptional every day had its own surprises, many arranged by the guides and some were truly unexpected.
So hard to pinpoint highlights. The hikes were great, showing us a side of Provence different from the popular lavender-and-sunflowers image! All that limestone, cliffs, mountains! Incredible! The food was fantastic. I thought, okay, it won't be like Italy where I ate all the pasta, gelato, and wine I could fine--but it was even better in some ways. But bottom line--the guides made the trip. Deb is great and it was so good to meet her and travel with her. But Bernadette is on another plane--she was absolutely spectacular and MADE the trip. I believe all 12 of us participants had nothing but respect, admiration, and affection for her. What a fantastic guide.
It was a fantastic trip. The hiking locations and lodging were perfect and the two guides (Deb and Bernadette) were amazing. They were great at keeping us moving from place to place and giving us time for photos and wildflower viewings. I loved the time in the villages and Fort Buoux was such an interesting place. Bernadette's knowledge of history and habitat made the trip.
countryside, hikes, guides, food, wine -- everything!
Both guides were great. Bernadette was absolutely marvelous in sharing her love of both the culture and natural beauty of Provence.
The guides were wonderful, informative, helpful, caring. The other travelers were supportive and friendly. The points and sites on the trip gave me a feeling that that I was gaining a broad education and history of the Provence area.