Provence: Lavender, Perfume & Wine

On this six-night trip to Provence, we’ll show the best bits of this stunning region that just begs to be explored. From bottling your own perfume in medieval hilltop villages to sun-kissed afternoons sauntering through the lavender fields, you’ll soon see why we have fallen hook, line and sinker for Provence.

Pretty Provence

Arriving at Aix-en-Provence, get the engine revving as you hit the road to start your Provençal tour. Being in native L’Occitane country, stop at its factory for your own private tour, and learn the ins and outs of production for the brand’s signature fragrances and skincare products. A visit to the L’Occitane museum and store next door will then complete the experience, as you learn about the company’s values and absorb the aromatic essence of Provence.  Your journey continues on to Mane, where you’ll check into the opulent Hotel des Minimes, and spend the rest of your day unwinding and breathing in the sights and sounds of the French countryside.

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Bottling it

After a leisurely breakfast, get nose deep at your own exclusive perfume workshop at the Couvent des Cordeliers. Mix your own signature scent with aromatic experts on hand to help you distinguish between peony and myrtle. After your hard day’s work, it’s time for some much-needed rest and relaxation at the L’Occitane spa where you will be enveloped in the scents of soothing lavender, elegant rose and citrusy verbena. Once you have finished being preened and pampered, take your seat at the hotel’s restaurant, Le Cloitre. One of the area’s most renowned restaurants, you will sample a delicious menu comprised of fresh ingredients – picked mostly from the hotel’s private gardens.

Scenic landscapes

Today you’ll depart the majestic Couvent des Minimes for the village of Crillon le Brave, and wow what a drive is in store, where you’ll soon discover how beautiful this part of the world really is. Choose from several different routes of the journey, our favourite is travelling across the Plateau via Sault via Banon. Look forward to gazing at the breath-taking views over the Mont Ventoux with the lavender fields in the foreground, simply stunning. Stop off at some of the quaint villages before arriving at your next hotel, Hotel Crillon Le Brave, a truly stunning complex of stone buildings perched on a hilltop offering views over the surrounding vineyards and olive groves. Quite a sight to wake up to you’ll find.

Wining and dining

After a restful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, you’ll be met by the hotel’s expert sommelier who will help create the ultimate wine enthusiast’s dream excursion. You’ll be whisked off on a private tour, visiting some of the world’s most iconic wineries such as Chateauneuf du Pape and Baumes de Venise. Once you’ve sipped your way to wine heaven you’ll be driven back your hotel where if you still feel the need to acquaint yourself with more Sauvignons or Shiraz then Cedric we give you a private tasting in the hotel’s cellars.

Bright and Early

The next morning gets off to an early start as you get ahead of the crowds to visit the famous Carrieres de Lumières sound-and-light exhibition in Les Baux de Provence. Marvel as works by Picasso and other local artists lit up the interior of an ancient cave before continuing onto Saint-Rémy for a walking tour and lunch in a local brasserie. Head to the Abbaye de Senanque to visit the abbey and its beautiful lavender gardens before passing through Gordes, onto Roussillon for a walk along the stunning Ochre Trail. To round the day off, you’ll finish up in Menerbes with another wine tasting before returning to your hotel.

Medieval charm

Tomorrow, after a relaxing breakfast and leisurely morning, take to the road to your final destination of Aix-en-Provence, and spend the day getting to know the town that Paul Cezanne called home. Step out and explore the cobblestone streets of this quaint town as you wander through its stylish boutiques and galleries and stop for a drink of the local drop of Aix-en-Provence by visiting the nearby Chateau Simone. Join the experts for a drink at this well respected historical vineyard, dating back to the 16th century, and learn the basics of fine wine. Having spent the day treating your taste buds, continue the spoiling but this time at acclaimed Pierre Rebouls molecular restaurant. This inventive and wholly unique dining experience mixes the old town of Aix with a spirit of the new.

Just like that, it’s time to say goodbye to the French countryside and your travelling wheels as you fly home, hopefully with a few scented gifts in tow.

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