With medieval architecture on the banks of the Rhone and beautifully preserved 16th century houses.
Today you’ll board the Eurostar at either St Pancras or Ebbsfleet and head to Lille, where you’ll connect with a TGV high-speed train for your journey to Aix-en-Provence. Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery as your train reaches speeds of up to 186mph. Aix-en-Provence is your base for the next seven nights.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a free morning in which to make your own discoveries. The birthplace of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, Aix-en-Provence boasts a unique history and atmosphere. Explore its narrow, winding streets which are lined with 16th and 17th century houses and be sure to take a stroll along the Cours Mirabeau - this long, stately thoroughfare is decorated with trees and fountains and is as popular with the locals as it is with tourists.
During the afternoon, you might like to take our optional excursion to the picturesque harbour village of Cassis. You can take the ‘petit train touristique’ (little tourist train) to the peninsula to the south-west of the village, or simply watch the world go by in one of the inviting bars and restaurants on the quay.
Relax and take things at your own pace this morning, or join our optional halfday excursion to the fortified village of Les Baux. Perched on a rocky outcrop above the Provençal landscape, you can wander up through the winding streets to the ruined citadel and take in the breathtaking views over the Camargue countryside.
On our included full-day excursion to Avignon, you’ll get the chance to take in all of this beautiful city’s highlights at your own pace. Explore the old ramparts of the fantastic Palais des Papes (Pope’s Palace), which dominates the city’s skyline and gives beautiful views over the Rhone. You’ll also visit Pont d’Avignon, the famous medieval bridge that spans the river, and the cathedral, which is a national monument of France.
Discover more treasures of Aix as you explore at your own pace today. Perhaps you’ll view the medieval art treasures of the beautiful Cathedral of St Sauveur, including tapestries that once hung in Canterbury Cathedral. Or simply immerse yourself in the French way of life by relaxing with a coffee in one of the many pavement cafés.
Located on the banks of the Rhone, Arles is a charming town, and our optional excursion will take you to its well-preserved amphitheatre and numerous other Roman and medieval monuments. It was here that Van Gogh painted such masterpieces as Sunflowers and Starry Night.
You’ll also visit the Camargue - a beautiful, wild wilderness at the mouth of the Rhone, dotted with lagoons and marshes and famous for its wild white horses, often seen running through the marshlands.
Set against the foothills of the Cevennes, Nimes has an impressive Roman past. You’ll get to experience some of it, including the amphitheatre and a superbly preserved temple, the Maison Carree, on today’s optional excursion. Your day ends at the magnificent Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct and an ancient marvel of engineering.
After breakfast this morning you’ll head to the railway station for your return journey back to the UK following the same pattern as your outward trip.
To maximise your enjoyment of this holiday a certain amount of walking is essential.
Accommodation is of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotel you will stay in is:
This hotel is ideally located close to the centre of Aix-en-Provence. The hotel features a restaurant and choice of bars and lounges, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Guest rooms have en suite facilities, TV and telephone.