Côte d'Azur - The Via Julia

Arles amphitheatre
Arles amphitheatre
The interior of Arles amphitheatre
The interior of Arles amphitheatre
Villa Kerylos
Villa Kerylos
Church tympanum, Arles, Bouche-du-Rhône, France
Church tympanum, Arles, Bouche-du-Rhône, France
Barbegal aquaduct
Barbegal aquaduct
Nice Harbour
Nice Harbour
View the Marseille harbour from the old citadel
View the Marseille harbour from the old citadel
Aqueduc Romain de Barbegal. Fontvieille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d`Azur, France
Aqueduc Romain de Barbegal. Fontvieille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d`Azur, France

Enjoy a panoramic exploration of Roman and Gallic life in the majestic south of France. On the Mediterranean coastline lays a fascinating story along the road of ‘The Via Julia Augusta’. This ancient Roman road runs from Piacenza to Arles and we explore the numerous remains and surrounding ancient towns, which once relied on this beating vein to supply goods and trade.

This is an area budding with archaeological sites. On this tour discover provincial cities, stand before mighty monuments and uncover the stories of ancient life in this region - even discover one of the oldest Roman ports on the Mediterranean coast.

  • Follow the route forged by the Romans
  • Admire incredibly preserved ancient monuments
  • Soak up the Côte d’Azur’s truly beautiful scenery
  • Enjoy access to the Roman site of Albintimilium
  • Lose yourself in the culture & charm of towns we visit


  • Romans
  • Prehistory
  • Medieval
  • Historic Churches
  • Ancient Greek


  • Special Access
  • All Inclusive

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We depart from London and upon arrival in Marseille, we transfer to our hotel in the Medieval centre of Arles. In a city with an abundance of ancient architecture, it is hard to know where to start first, but after lunch we visit the Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antiques, which contains one of the best collections of Roman material from southern France.
Hotel: Hotel du Forum, Arles
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2

We spend today in golden Arles, a city on the Rhône and one of the major power centres of Roman France. It became the capital of all Gaul in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and was the western terminus of the Via Julia Augusta. We visit well-preserved Roman monuments including the amphitheatre, theatre, the Church of St Trophime  and a cryptoporticus, once the foundation for the forum.

After a pause for lunch, we continue on to visit the city walls and the Alyscamps Necropolis, just one of the subjects in Arles painted by Van Gogh during his stay there in 1888.
Hotel: Hotel du Forum, Arles
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

Leaving Arles, we travel to Barbégal, a mill complex with sixteen water-wheels fed by an aqueduct – the largest concentration of mechanical power in the Roman Empire. We then continue to the St. Chamas Bridge, which carried the Via Julia Augusta over the River Touloubre.

After lunch in Aix-en-Provence, we visit the impressive remains of the Gallic town of Entremont, high in the picturesque mountains. This important pre-Roman settlement once held a shrine to the grisly Celtic cult of the severed head.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux Port
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

Today is spent in Marseille, once the ancient city of Massalia. The remains of the Greek and Roman town defences and docks are still visible to explore. We also visit the Musée de Marseilles, with its impressive collection of Greek, Gallic and Roman material.

Following lunch in the harbour area, there’s an optional boat trip along the coast, alternatively, the afternoon is yours to further explore the city.
Hotel: Grand Hotel Beauvau Marseille Vieux Port
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

We travel to see the Roman and Merovingian remains at Port Fréjus. Formerly Forum Julii, this small town was one of Caesar’s colonies. Agricola, the Roman general responsible for much of the conquest of northern England. Here we visit the aqueduct, amphitheatre and the Gate of the Gauls.

After lunch, we have arranged special access to see the recently discovered Roman fresh water cisterns and fishponds, accompanied by our knowledgeable local guide. We then continue our journey to our hotel in the heart of the old town of Nice.
Hotel: Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

Heading east along the Via Julia Augusta towards Italy, we visit the Balzi Rossi caves – a chance to view some prehistoric material - and then on to the site of Roman Albintimilium, modern Ventimiglia. The ancient site has only recently been discovered, with graves unearthed and an amphitheatre still under excavation.

After lunch in the town, we then visit Forte dell’Annunziata Archaeology Museum, which is dedicated to Girolamo Rossi. He was a great scholar who lived between the 19th and the 20th centuries, and was also a great protagonist of Western Ligurian archaeology.

Our final dinner will be located in the old town of Nice.
Hotel: Hotel Le Grimaldi, Nice
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

A morning departure to Beaulieu-sur-Mer, where we visit the spectacular Villa Kerylos, beautifully set overlooking the sea. We ascend to the Trophée des Alpes, the highest point on the Via Julia Augusta, marked by Augustus’ monument celebrating the conquest of the mountain tribes, to view this extraordinary monument overlooking Monaco.

On leaving the Villa, we take lunch in Beaulieu, before our transfer to Nice airport for our journey home.
Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All 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.

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