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Heart of Provence

Scents, flavours & radiant beauty
 
Few holidays have such a wide appeal as this self-guided driving tour (hire car included). Captivating scenery is complemented by abbeys, colourful markets and timeless hill-top villages. Enjoy fabulous cuisine and stay in delightful accommodation of character.
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Provence

Few holidays have such a broad appeal as this one. The sunny patchwork of lavender fields, olive groves and expanses of wild herbs punctuated by deep gorges, the Luberon Massif and frequent undulations in between (more often than not crowned by sleepy villages of shuttered stone houses), cannot fail to seduce. But there’s much more to Provence than just the scenery: Roman monuments, medieval abbeys, colourful markets, intriguing towns, links to famous artists…
Thanks to this wealth of culture, a holiday to Provence can be extremely varied. Follow our suggestions as to how to spend your days and you’ll get to see all these aspects of the region – and more. However, the beauty of having a hire car is that you can truly make the holiday your own. Foodies can focus on the many culinary delights, calling in to local producers for tastings of olive oil, pastis and creamy goat’s cheese, visiting the many markets, and indulging in long lunches in authentic restaurants. Those with an interest in history and architecture can linger at the many fine Roman monuments, the abbeys, and in cities such as Avignon – once the seat of the papacy – and Nîmes. There’s plenty for art lovers too – Van Gogh wasn’t the only artist to have been inspired by the lyrical scenery and Mediterranean light.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Collias
    Night 1: at Hostellerie le Castellas (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Choice of sightseeing options from Collias
    Relax by the pool, use our self-guided trail to explore the nearby town of Uzès (‘the first Duchy of France’, renowned for its graceful Renaissance architecture), or head out on a walk along the Gardon Gorge, keeping a look out for kingfishers, Bonelli's eagles and Egyptian vultures. The UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard, a three-tiered aqueduct that is testimony to the Romans’ enormous engineering expertise, is just a short drive away, while the splendid Roman amphitheatres of Nîmes and Arles are also well within reach.
  • Collias to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
    Our suggested route for today’s drive takes you via St-Rémy-de-Provence, a picturesque and historic village where Van Gogh painted Starry Night and other masterpieces while receiving treatment at the nearby psychiatric hospital. From here, meander through the limestone hills of the Alpilles (‘Little Alps’) which so inspired the painter, pausing awhile in Les Baux-de-Provence to savour France’s most renowned olive oils and to visit the astonishing sound-and-light display at Carrières des Lumières, a former quarry whose stone walls, floors and ceilings have been transformed into a gigantic canvas using 70 video projectors. Your destination is the Hotel du Poète, a haven of tranquillity in the village of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, where you stay three nights. (Minimum driving time: 1.5hrs)
  • Choice of sightseeing options from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
    A combination of country walks and scenic visits by car will fill your two days here very nicely. Potter among the antique shops and pretty riverside restaurants of nearby L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (we provide notes for a town trail), marvel at peerless Sénanque Abbey and visit the stunning village perché  of Gordes. You could also drive to the summit of Mont Ventoux for sweeping views, or spend a day in historic Avignon.
  • Fontaine-de-Vaucluse to Roussillon
    The distance between Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and Roussillon is short, giving you time to stop in three very different hill-top towns and villages along the way. Oppède-le-Vieux perches atop a rocky outcrop, while walled Ménerbes with its unusual corkscrew museum occupies a panoramic ridge. The third, Lacoste, is dominated by its imposing château which served as a retreat for the notorious Marquis de Sade. Time your arrival at Les Sables d’Ocre, your base for the next two nights, for mid-afternoon, and you can take a dip in the outdoor pool before enjoying dinner in a local restaurant. (Minimum driving time: 0.5hrs)
  • Choice of sightseeing options from Roussillon
    Explore more of the sublime hill-top villages that nestle in the folds of the Luberon Massif (St Saturnin-lès-Apt, Bonnieux and Saignon are some of the finest); have lunch in Buoux before a walk through the Aiguebrun Gorge to an impressive hill fort; or admire the brightly coloured cliffs along Roussillon’s Sentier des Ocres. These are the largest ochre deposits in the world, and the colour palette comprises 17 different shades, ranging from yellow through to deep red.
  • Roussillon to Pierrerue
    Head east via the charming village of St Simian La Rotonde, with the option of detouring to the fragrance-filled rose gardens of Valsaintes Abbey (at their best in June), before continuing to Banon where you can sample delicious goat’s cheese hand-wrapped in chestnut leaves, as well as visiting Le Bleuet, a fabulous bookshop aiming to hold France’s largest collection of reading matter amid its labyrinth of shelving and reading rooms. From Banon is it just a short drive to La Campagne Berne, a favourite guesthouse, where you spend your final three nights. (Minimum driving time: 1hr)
  • Choice of sightseeing options from Pierrerue
    Soak up the atmosphere at this rural idyll as you contemplate a wealth of possibilities: visit a local market (the colourful array of cheeses, meats, fruit, vegetables, clothes, crafts and antiques appeal to shoppers and photographers alike); drive to the Benedictine monastery at Ganagobie nearby; or buy top-quality pastis  made at a distillery in Forcalquier from over 50 types of aromatic plants and spices, all the while anticipating another delicious Provençal dinner at a local restaurant. If you would prefer longer days out, you can follow our suggested driving routes, one of which explores eastwards from Pierrerue through the heart of Provence’s lavender-growing region to the spectacular Verdon Gorge, while the other promises a series of extraordinary views as it loops westwards.
 

Accommodation

The welcoming accommodation is one of the highlights of this holiday.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 11 nights: 01 April 2019 - 31 July 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £1485 £590
    1 May - 20 Jul 2019 £1595 £680
    1 Sep - 20 Oct 2019 £1595 £680
    3rd & 4th person discount -£140
    Single traveller supplement £140

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included: 11 days’ category B car hire (e.g. Citroën C3 or similar with manual transmission)
    A one-way drop-off fee is payable locally if not returning hire car to same depot as collection - please contact us for details

    Driving time to first hotel: Marseille 1h30, Montpellier 1h, Avignon 1h, Nice 3h
    Driving time from last hotel: Marseille 1h10, Montpellier 2h30, Avignon 1h30, Nice 2h30

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    11 nights: 01 April 2019 - 31 July 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £1695 £590
    1 May - 20 Jul 2019 £1845 £680
    1 Sep - 20 Oct 2019 £1845 £680
    3rd & 4th person discount -£140
    Single traveller supplement £140

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Included travel from UK: UK–Avignon (direct Eurostar) or UK–Paris (Eurostar) & Paris–Avignon (TGV), approx. duration 6h45 out / 5h45 home, plus drive (see below).

    Included: 11 days’ category B car hire (e.g. Citroën C3 with manual transmission or similar)
    A one-way drop-off fee is payable locally if not returning hire car to same depot as collection - please contact us for details

    Driving time to first hotel: 1h
    Driving time to Avignon station: 1h30

    If you book your holiday less than 3 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the sames services at a supplement.

    11 nights: 01 April 2019 - 31 July 2019 & 01 September 2019 - 31 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £1345 £590
    1 May - 20 Jul 2019 £1460 £680
    1 Sep - 20 Oct 2019 £1460 £680
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes all elements in the 'journey price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outbound travel 5-7 Apr & 19-21 Apr, and for inbound travel 21-22 Apr 2019. A supplement of £45 per car per single journey applies outbound on Fridays & Saturdays 24-25 May & 12 Jul-17 Aug 2019 inclusive, and inbound on Saturdays & Sundays 1-2 Jun & 19 Jul-2 Sep 2019 inclusive.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Price include an extra day's hire car.
    Hostellerie le Castellas, Collias (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £98 £148
    01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £115 £190
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £115 £190
    Hotel du Poète, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 31 Jul 2019 £140 £180
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £140 £180
    Les Sables d'Ocre, Roussillon (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2019 £102 £171
    01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £115 £193
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £115 £193
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2019 £102 £171
    La Campagne Berne, Pierrerue (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 31 Jul 2019 £74 £114
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £74 £114
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Marseille, Montpellier, Avignon, Nice

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Nice. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Nice easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Avignon Flybe 
    Birmingham - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Birmingham - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Birmingham - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Marseille easyJet 
    Bristol - Nice easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Durham Tees Valley - Nice (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Marseille Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Amsterdam) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Edinburgh - Nice easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Edinburgh- Nice Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Exeter - Avignon Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Marseille easyJet 
    Glasgow - Nice (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Humberside - Marseille (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Nice Flybe,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Nice easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Nice British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Marseille easyJet 
    Gatwick - Montpellier easyJet 
    Gatwick - Nice British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Marseille British Airways 
    Heathrow - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Heathrow - Nice British Airways 
    Heathrow - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Marseille easyJet 
    Luton - Montpellier easyJet 
    Luton - Nice easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Nice Ryanair 
    Stansted - Marseille Ryanair 
    Stansted - Nice easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Marseille easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Manchester - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Montpellier(via Paris) Air France 
    Manchester - Nice British Airways,  easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Montpellier (via Paris) Air France 
    Newcastle - Nice easyJet 
    Newcastle - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Avignon Flybe 
    Southampton - Marseille (via Paris) Air France 
    Southampton - Montpellier (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Southampton - Nice Flybe 
    Southampton - Nice (via Paris) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Nice. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

What is included
  • 11 nights
  • 2 dinners
    11 breakfasts
  • detailed documentation
  • 11 days' category B car hire
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 10/22/2019 10:45:42 AM