Provence

The land of the Romans, Van Gogh, and Peter Mayle is everything you imagine: cobblestone alleys, fields of lavender, hilltop towns, earthy cuisine, and elegant accommodations.

Cycling and walking are of course the perfect way to discover it all—and not just because it’s easy to pull off for a pastis as required.

In the Alpilles region, highlights include a stay at the family-run Château des Alpilles, a private tour of Van Gogh’s St. Rémy, a Provençal cooking class, and authentic bistro meals. Afterwards, it’s on to the iconic hill towns of Gordes, Ménerbes, Lacoste, and Bonnieux. Each little town is worth exploring. The elegant yet casual La Bastide de Marie hotel is the perfect base, nestled among vineyards. Further east near Forcalquier in the wilder Lubéron Valley lies the Occitane Spa at Couvent de Minimes. After great days of biking or hiking, be sure to save time for treatments in the spa. Ratatouille, tapenade, anchoide, and pissaladière are just a few of the local specialties.

We had such a fabulous trip! It exceeded every expectation – we cannot imagine anything being improved upon! I miss my pain chocolat every morning…
T.F., Massachusetts, USA

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