Flavours of Provence

Not to be missed - Wine and gastronomy

Gourmets and foodies from all over flock to Provence which has assembled all the ingredients for an exciting culinary journey. In this part of the world, the vineyards along the Cassis wine route graze the Mediterranean Sea. In Aix-en-Provence, the almond scent of calisson sweets mingles with the orange blossom of Navettes de Marseille biscuits. Rouille brings colour to bowls of bouillabaisse while olive oil made in the Alpilles is a staple on every table! Not to forget rice and meat from Camargue. A gourmet tour of Provence promises an epicurean feast.

Day 1 – The Cassis wine route

Your gastronomic journey starts with a tour of the Ferme Blanche and Paternel estates. These are two excellent wineries where you can try some of the region's most famous AOC and AOP wines, in moderation of course! The experience continues with lunch in Cassis. At the foot of Cap Canaille, the Bagnol estate is a chance to sample another exceptional nectar. Wrap up the day with a visit to one of the most unusual sites along the Cassis wine route: the coastal vineyard of Clos Sainte Magdeleine.

Day 2 – Fish and other delights in Marseille

Marseille is your gourmet destination for day 2. Sip your morning coffee accompanied by an orange blossom-scented 'navette' biscuit from the Four des Navettes bakery in the St Victor district. Your next stop is the city's famous fish market where all your senses will be awakened. Since you're at the Old Port, this is the perfect opportunity to savour an authentic bowl of bouillabaisse at one of the restaurants which have signed up to the 'Quality Charter'. Lastly, fill your boots with Provençal specialities from the local patisseries and delis.

Day 3 – A gastronomic tour of Berre lagoon

Day 3 is another flavour-packed day, this time spent around Berre lagoon. The first thing for you to do is meet local producers at Marché de La Fare. Make sure you get to taste poutargue (cured cod roe) from Martigues. Next learn everything there is to know about producing olive oil at Château Calissanne in Lançon-de-Provence. Then it's on to Saint-Chamas where you'll stop for lunch. Last port of call is Istres to taste a local craft beer at the Sulauze brewery.

Day 4 – Flavours of Camargue

It's off to Camargue the next day which is all about new foodies discoveries. After picking out a few bottles at the Mas de Valériol wine cellars, make your way to Arles for lunch. Try local specialities like tellina or bull meat. Not to forget Camargue rice which has its own museum in Arles. In the afternoon, explore Saintes-Maries and the bird park at Pont du Gau by foot. Watching the sun set from the sea wall before dining and spending the night at the Mas de Colverts is a soothing way to end day 4.

Day 5 – On the wine route in the Alpilles

Day 5 begins in the foothills of the Alpilles, a region known for its particularly fruity wines. First stop Mouriès and a tour of the Mas de Gourgonnier where they produce organic AOP Les Baux-de-Provence wines. Then follow the Route de Saint-Rémy for a fascinating visit to the Vallongue estate. Eygalières is an ideal spot to break for lunch. Pleasantly full, head to Orgon to pick up a few foodie souvenirs at the delicatessen at the Valdition winery. Finish your wine trek in Eyguières at the Vallon des Glauges estate.

Day 6 – The Alpilles, wine & olive oil in the Baux valley

For this sixth day, follow the Via Domitia to Saint-Etienne-du-Grès. There you can stretch your legs around the landscaped grounds at the Dalmeran estate before heading to the Mas de Sainte-Berthe for a tasting of Vallée des Baux de Provence wines. Olive oil is just as flowing in the Alpilles. After lunch, continue your gastronomic tour at the oil producing estates: at Moulin Castelas first, for its deliciously fruity AOP oil, then the Moulin Jean-Marie Cornille co-op.

Day 8 – Aix-en-Provence, wine & gastronomy – exploring the Durance

Stay in Aix-en-Provence for final day of your foodie tour, this time exploring the area around the Durance River. Start in the north of town tasting the sweet treats produced at the Chocolaterie Puyricard. Then head to the Puy-Sainte-Réparade vineyards and the cellars at the well-respected Château Paradis. Next hit the road for a fancy lunch in Venelles. Spend the afternoon in Jouques, specifically at the Château Revelette, Chapelle Saint-Bacchi and Domaine Villemus wineries where their experts await.

Can't-miss experiences

  • Taking a tour of Provence's markets: Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Aubagne…
  • Treating yourself to a Provençal cooking class with a top chef

We love

  • Meeting passionate producers
  • Exploring three regions taking in land and sea

The best time to visit

  • In autumn for the olive harvest.
  • In summer to sip chilled rosé (in moderation) and participate in the Sardinades festival.
  • In November to buy the 13 Provençal Christmas desserts at the Provence Prestige fair in Arles or the 13 Desserts market in Aix-en-Provence.
  • In winter for the Oursinades, a festival devoted to urchins.
  • Theme

    Not to be missed, Wine and gastronomy

  • Duration

    Stay

  • Transport means

    Personal vehicle

  • Visited cities

    Cassis, Marseille, Arles, Saintes Maries de la Mer, La Fare les Oliviers, Lançon Provence, Saint Chamas, Miramas, Istres, Port de Bouc, Maussane les Alpilles, Mouriès, Eygalières, Eyguières, Orgon, Saint Etienne du Grès, Les Baux de Provence, Aix en Provence, Puyloubier, Rousset, Trets, Le Puy Sainte Réparade, Jouques

  • Ideal for

    All year round

Discover other itineraries

Arles, cultural city break ancient and modern

Arles is an oasis of antiquity with its archaeology museum, Roman amphitheatre and the long-condemned ancient cryptoporticus. You'll travel back to the Middle Ages with a visit to the Church of St. Trophime and Montmajour Abbey that affords fantastic views all around. At the Fondation Van Gogh, learn about the painter's work and his influence on the art world, while the Réattu gives you an insight into 19th and 20th century art history. Don't forget to stop for lunch (we recommend J.L Rabanel) and follow that with more culture at the Actes Sud centre.

Tour of the Alpilles, olives, villages and more

There's a lot to see in the Alpilles, so it's a race against the clock if you hope to fit it all in. The humble olive is the star of the region and tours and tastings are available at plenty of local estates. For lunch, get a table at Le Patio, totally devoted to regional produce and set in a former sheep fold. Les Olivades is devoted to the manufacture of Provençal fabric. To stretch your legs, walk around Aureille, Orgon and Chiari cheese dairy. A visit to Saint-Rémy isn't complete without enjoying a sumptuous treat from the Lilamand confectioner's. Ready? Steady... Go!

Provence's artists, on the trail of painters and filmmakers

Provence is a place where art comes to life. Its landscapes and light inspired Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, Van Gogh in Arles and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the Lumière brothers in La Ciotat and Pagnol in Aubagne. From Cézanne's studio to the Bibemus Quarries that were so inspiring, visit sites on which the painters left an indelible impression. Van Gogh painted almost 300 works in 15 months, his most prolific period, in Arles! From museums to iconic landscapes, this 4-day tour promises a journey of Provence through film and the fine arts.

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