Provence - Food and Archaeology

The old bridge of Avignon at sunset
The old bridge of Avignon at sunset
Avignon Bridge with the Popes Palace
Avignon Bridge with the Popes Palace
Lavender fields and distillery, Provence
Lavender fields and distillery, Provence
Roman temple, Maison CarreƩ
Roman temple, Maison Carreé
Calisson, a traditional French candy
Calisson, a traditional French candy
Wine and cheese in a French restaurant
Wine and cheese in a French restaurant
Pont Julian
Pont Julian
Rice Fields, Camargue
Rice Fields, Camargue
Cookery class
Cookery class

An indulgent and enchanting adventure awaits in this glorious region of France. From delicious local cuisine through to ancient remains that tell stories of the past, we are treated to a vast array of unique experiences that showcase this area’s true heart.

Learn traditional recipes at a cookery class, discover the practices (and sample the produce) of a working lavender distillery and stand before a majestic Roman amphitheatre as its history is brought vividly back to life by our expert guides. A captivating fusion of archaeology, rich culture and gastronomy makes for a memorable holiday that will stay with you long after your return.

  • Enjoy an indulgent dinner at an exceptional local wine château
  • See how delicious Calissons are made during a special factory tour
  • Admire incredible ancient remains, from amphitheatres to bridges
  • Pay a privileged visit to a local lavender distillery & enjoy tastings
  • Lose yourself in regional flavours during a fantastic cookery class


  • Romans
  • Cultural Excursion


  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly from London to Marseille in the morning and transfer to our hotel in Avignon. This was once the centre of the Catholic world in the early 14th century, and what remains is a stunning legacy of papal architecture - most notable is the ‘Popes Palace’. This evening, we visit a winery in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We have dinner here and sample some of the wines that are produced here.

Day 2

The day starts with an exploration of the centre of Avignon including a walk through the Place de l’Horloge, once the Roman forum leading us to the majestic Palais des Papes, the Papal residence of the 14th century. In the afternoon we take a cookery class, where we will learn how to prepare some local dishes, and then later enjoy them for dinner.

Day 3

Nîmes has some of the best Roman remains in Provence and today we will drive to the city to see the Amphitheatre and the Maison Carrée, a well-preserved Roman temple. We will visit the new recently opened Musée de la Romanité in Nimes before lunch. In the afternoon, we take a relaxing drive through the rice fields of the Camargue to the Salt Pans at Aigue Mortes.

Day 4

Today we drive to Vaison-la-Romaine, the largest area of Gallo-Roman ruins excavated in France. Here we visit the Roman sites including La Villasse and the Roman bridge. After lunch, we visit a lavender farm and distillery, with a chance to taste some of the products.

Day 5

We head north to explore the troglodyte village of Barry, set in a forested hill overlooking the Rhône Valley. People lived here from Neolithic times right through to the early 20th century. We return to Avignon for lunch, then the afternoon is free to explore at your leisure.

Day 6

We take a long drive out into the hills to visit a farm where we will be introduced to some of the cheeses produced here. After lunch we will drive to the Pont Julien to view the Roman stone arch bridge built over the Cavalon River and from there a short drive to the Dolmen de L’Ubac, a Neolithic burial chamber discovered by chance in 1994. On our way back to Avignon, we will have another sweet treat with a visit to see how candied fruits are made.

Day 7

This morning we visit the Oppidum Entremont site, once a major Celtic-Ligurian settlement abandoned during the Roman period in favour of a new city, now Aix-en-Provence. After lunch we will see how Calissons are made. These sweet treats include ingredients such as almonds and candied melon and, of course, we will have an opportunity to taste them and pick our favourites. We then go into Aix-en-Provence for a visit to the Granet Museum where finds from the Oppidum Entremont site are displayed.

Day 8

Free time to explore Avignon this morning. After lunch we depart for Marseilles Airport for our flight home.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

Have a question or just want to find out more?

Book now

2019 Tour Details

Thu 13th June - Thu 20th June


Guaranteed Departure



sgl supp: £495


Led By: Rosetta Ferrari , Tony O'Connor

Guide Lecturers

Share tour with friends