France·May 7 - 13 2025

The Charming Villages of Provence

Witness the countryside that inspired Van Gogh's greatest paintings

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Overview

If you've never been to Provence, it's a must-see destination. The quaint hilltop villages, the history imbued in the Roman aqueducts and coliseum, the fields of sunflowers and lavender, the markets of St. Remy, hunting for truffles - I could go on and on. Then, there's the food & wine. May can't come quickly enough! This was the first Girls’ Guide trip we ever did, and we’ve perfected it over the years. In one short week, you’ll see and experience the very best this region has to offer. Provence will live in your heart for many years to come.

Highlights

Learn to hunt for truffles, black gold

Learn to hunt for truffles, black gold

Stay in an exquisitely beautiful Provençal hotel

Stay in an exquisitely beautiful Provençal hotel

Visit Van Gogh’s bedroom in Saint Paul de Mausole

Visit Van Gogh’s bedroom in Saint Paul de Mausole

Explore the market in St. Remy

Explore the market in St. Remy

Savor an authentic gourmet Provençal meal with a glass of fresh rosé

Savor an authentic gourmet Provençal meal with a glass of fresh rosé

Explore picturesque ancient Les Baux

Explore picturesque ancient Les Baux

Play pétanque with the boys

Play pétanque with the boys

Participate in a Provençal cooking class with a French chef

Participate in a Provençal cooking class with a French chef

Visit Cezanne’s atelier in Aix

Visit Cezanne’s atelier in Aix

Explore the Roman amphitheater in Arles

Explore the Roman amphitheater in Arles

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip:

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Day 1: Wednesday, May 7th, 2025

We'll meet at 9:00 am at a cafe near the Gare de Lyon train station. A Girls' Guide representative will meet you there and escort you to your first-class train seats. The train leaves at approximately 10:30 am. You'll have a lovely, 3-hour ride through the French countryside to Avignon.

If you're arriving by plane today, there's a train station at Charles-de-Gaulle Airport (CDG). There are direct trains from CDG to Avignon, leaving almost every hour. We'll make sure you get the right one!

In Avignon, our driver will pick you up at the train station. It's a 30-minute drive to the 4-star La Régalido Villa and Spa hotel in Fontvieille, our home for the week. Check in, unpack, and relax. Upon arrival, we can help you make optional jet-lag-curing spa appointments.

We'll have a welcome drink at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner at the hotel, where your trip leader, Nancy, will review the plans for the week.

If you're traveling across an ocean to get to France, consider arriving in Paris a day early. Our concierge will happily help you with an extra night at the hotel.  

Included

Welcome Drink & Dinner

Train Tickets

Not Included

Spa treatments

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Day 2: Thursday, May 8th, 2025

Today, we're headed to Uzès, the gorgeous walled town with a circular town square. We’ll participate in a Provençal cooking workshop followed by lunch. Spend free time after lunch strolling and shopping in this stunning town.

Before we return to the hotel, we’ll visit the famous Pont du Gard, the ancient Roman aqueduct bridge built over 2,000 years ago.

You’ll have free time to relax at the hotel before dinner at the colorful Le Patio in Fontvieille.

Included

All Meals

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Day 3: Friday, May 9th, 2025

We’ll rise earlier today to experience the early morning at the beautiful market in St. Remy. The market sells freshly picked produce, espadrilles, provencal fabrics, olives, and other goodies, perfect gifts to take home. Don’t worry. You’ll also have time to duck into the lovely boutiques that line every street.

After the market, we’ll have an Italian lunch at Da Pepe in St. Remy to change things up a bit.

Then, we’ll visit the monastery of La Mausole de St. Paul. It's the hospital where Van Gogh stayed after the "ear incident" and where he created some of his most famous paintings. You’ll visit his room and, if we're lucky, see irises, which he captured in several of his paintings, still in bloom behind the building. 

In the late afternoon, we’ll learn how to play Petanque in St. Remy. Petanque is the Provençal version of Boule, a game played outside with metal balls. You get better the more rosé you drink!

Dinner will be at the wonderful L’Ail ou la Cuisse in St. Remy. Save room for dessert. The chef here specializes in spectacular French pastries.

Included

All Meals

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Day 4: Saturday, May 10th, 2025

After breakfast, we're off to an olive oil mill to learn how the unctuous local oil is made. A tasting is in order.

Then, we’ll lunch at Bistro du Paradou in Le Paradou, a tiny medieval village.

This afternoon, we'll attend an interactive show at Carriere des Lumieres, followed by a stroll in the famous town of Les Baux. This is the first location that started the interactive, music, and light show museum craze that has traveled across the globe.

After a full day, dinner is yours to enjoy as you please tonight. There are loads of places within walking distance of our hotel.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Not Included

Dinner

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Day 5: Sunday, May 11th, 2025

Today, after breakfast, we’ll drive and meet up with our truffle-hunting companions. Here, on a typical Provençal farm, you’ll learn everything about growing and hunting truffles with trained dogs. Luckily, the truffle guides are funny and produce superb products. After the hunt, you’ll enjoy a tasting of the less intense summer truffle outside at the family pool. It's served with bubbly, of course!

Afterward, we’ll have time to explore Lourmarin (one of Peter Mayle’s favorites) and its wonderful shops. Grab a bite or a dessert if the truffle tasting didn’t fill you up. This charming village is where the famous French writer Albert Camus once lived and worked.

We’ll move on to the über famous small city of Aix-en-Provence for a guided tour focusing on Cezanne. You’ll get to visit his atelier. It looks as if he’s just walked out for lunch.

Dinner tonight is back in our village at Le Bel Oustau in Fontvieille.

Included

All Meals

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Day 6: Monday, May 12th, 2025

We're off to the city of Arles today. It's famous for its Roman amphitheater. It is also another stop on the trail of Van Gogh.

You’ll have free time here to visit the market. We’re having lunch at the Brasserie La Malarte. Then, we’ll take a guided tour of the city with Heather from Lost in Arles, focusing on Van Gogh.

Tonight, we're having a magnificent farewell dinner and wine tasting at Château Estoublon.

Included

All Meals

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Day 7: Tuesday, May 13th, 2025

Breakfast, photo sharing & departure. You’ll be dropped off at the TGV station for your trip back up to Paris. The train will arrive in Paris at 12:00 pm so make sure your flight home or to your next destination is after 4:00 pm. 

Should you want to fly back from Marseille we can help arrange this option (at an additional cost) for you. 

Au revoir France!

Included

Breakfast

Train ticket from Avignon to Paris

You'll Be Staying Here

Hotel La Regalido

Hotel La Regalido

The Hotel La Régalido is a 4-star establishment located in Fontvieille, at the heart of Provence. This charming residence, originally a 17th-century oil mill, has been transformed into a hotel that blends Provençal tradition and modern luxury. Each of the hotel's rooms is uniquely named after a regional flower or herb, featuring intimate, spacious, and bright accommodations with a blend of antique and contemporary furnishings.

Hosts

Nancy McGee

Nancy McGee

Born and raised bilingual in Quebec, Nancy was naturally attracted to France. She seized a work opportunity that brought her to the south of France, and the love story has lasted since.


After a career in corporate and international event management for the United Nations and Coca-Cola, Nancy wanted to share her passion for this beautiful area with others. She's now having fun using her creative skills and local knowledge, leading trips to Provence and the Cote D'Azur.


Nancy lives in Sète with her papillon spaniel, Jewel.

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own fabulous room!

FROM$7,495

Shared Room

Shared Room

Share a room with a friend or family member!

FROM$6,795

There is nothing quite like a Provençal village

Provence

Provence is famous for its beautiful scenery, light, and colors. Because of this, the region is associated with more than its share of gifted artists. Such great artists, including Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso, found inspired in this land. 

Provence

What's Included

What's Included

Everything stated in itinerary above including all meals except where indicated plus wine with dinner

All classes and hunts as described

All transport in Provence including transfers to and from the train station in Avignon

Accommodations at unique, 4-star or better hotels

Expert Guides and Trip Leaders

A small group experience

All activity entry fees.

Roundtrip Train Tickets from Paris (Gare de Lyon) to Avignon. Return train Avignon to CDG Airport

Roundtrip airfare to France

Any spa treatments desired

Any personal souvenirs or purchases

Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

Reviews

"The trip was totally amazing and magical. Our guide, Nancy McGee was wonderful! Not only did she have an incredible tour planned, but was full of history, local and regional knowledge and customs. We saw and did things that the general public may not know about, or able to get in or experience. The group of women were wonderful!! We laughed so hard and everyone was included. Our private vans were clean and modern. The van drivers also gave us historical information along the ride. There were water bottles for all of us every day! Don’t hesitate to sign up. Truly, a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t be afraid to go solo. You will have an immediate bond with all the women."

Trip Guest, Sept 2023 on Trip advisor

"I wish I could give a "Girls Guide to Paris" 10 stars instead of 5!!! What a memorable and FUN trip this past October in Provence! You will not find Doni's GG2P itineraries in a tourist guide. Accommodations in a charming bed and breakfast, truffle hunting, personalized cooking classes, unique dining experiences, a wine-tasting in a cave, two dedicated and charming drivers and a great group of gals!! I especially appreciated her kindness, her patience and her understanding of our fitness levels and her making adjustments to accommodate everyone. This attention to detail and her flexibility quickly eased the normal stresses of traveling and helped us all to just "relax and enjoy." Doni's exuberant and engaging personality, combined with her extensive knowledge of France and the Provence area, were an added bonus to my "Trip of a Lifetime!" THANK YOU DONI FOR TURNING MY PROVENCE ADVENTURE INTO A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY!!!I I plan on booking more adventures turns with GG2P in 2023!! I can't wait to see what she has in store for my next adventure!!"

Gloria M, Oct 2021 on Trip Advisor

FAQs

The trip officially starts the afternoon of May 7th, but if you’re traveling across an ocean to get to France, consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and adjust to the local time zone. If you decide to arrive early, you can simply book an extra night above.  

Everyone will be arriving at different times, and since it's easy to get into town, we haven't included the cost of private airport transfers in the trip. When you land in Paris, simply take a cab or an Uber after collecting your luggage. They are clean, comfortable, and readily available at Charles de Gaulle airport, and will take you to the train station.

You should fly into the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

We will have a zoom call about 10 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

In the month of May, the maximum temperature is 67°F and the minimum temperature is 52°F (for an average temperature of 59°F). The climate is rather cool around this time of year.

Inquire about this trip

The Charming Villages of Provence

France· May 7 - 13 2025· 6 nights

FROM$7,495/pp