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Self-Drive - Explore Provence and the Riviera

From

1,229

/ person
  • 1
  • 8 Days

Stephen Molloy

Objectif France

We are an inbound tour operator that builds voyages of discovery across France and Western Europe.

  • Local time:16:18

Self-Drive - Explore Provence and the Riviera

This trip is not just about the Côte d'Azur. The interior has quieter roads and prettier towns, makes for great touring. The coast is a must-see for the blue skys and azur seas. You’ll have complete independence on each day, but also have the reassurance that the route is well planned to take in the best of the sights and monuments in the area, then each night the hotels are perfectly chosen. Yu'll see the Alpilles, Luberon and hinterland of Nice.

Day 1 - Marseille

Welcome to Marseille. Pick up your rental car at the train station, airport or downtown. Although Marseille’s history dates back to ancient Greece, because of its geographical proximity to North Africa and France’s colonial history there, which ended only in the 1960s, Marseille may be more deeply linked to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria than any non-African city. Some 120,000 to 150,000 people from those three countries – known collectively as the Maghreb - live in Marseille, a bustling and slightly raffish port city that offers fabulous restaurants and a variety of nightclubs and theaters. The city’s main thoroughfare, the wide boulevard Canabiere, stretches eastward from the Old Port. Try the local fish soup, Bouillabaisse, and drink the local alcoholic aniseed beverage, Pastis, found on every Marseilles table. Read more

Marseille
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Through ancient lands to Avignon.

Leave Marseille and drive through the Provencal countryside to the city of Arles, proud of its traditions and famed for both its Roman and its early medieval heritage. On to Nimes whose elegant and bustling boulevards are shaded by lotus trees. Your route now takes you passed one of France’s greatest and best-preserved pieces of Roman architecture, the superb aqueduct of Pont du Gard. One of the wonders of antiquity, it was built in late 1st century BC to channel water from a spring some 50 km from Nimes. Continue to Avignon where your two-night stay has been arranged. Read more

Avignon

Up and over the Provencal Countryside

Protected by its ramparts, the historic core of Avignon is a lively center of art and culture. As one of Europe’s most important gothic ensembles it has a quaint medieval feel. During the 14th century Avignon was the capital of the Christian world and was the temporary home of the Popes. The grand Palais des Papes is an impressive site to visit. See the bridge Saint Benezet from the popular song “Sur le pont d’Avignon” and enjoy the many parks and gardens. See the beauty and variety of the landscapes of Provence, the wild mountainous countryside and gentle valleys dotted with fruit orchards, wooded hills of pine and oak, and ancient villages of honey-colored stone. See Mt. Ventoux and on to its summit. Read more

Avignon

Hilltop towns and stately boulevards

Another day to enjoy Provence. From Avignon drive to the pretty village of St. Remy de Provence, encircled by a 14th century wall which is still in use today. St. Remy is a busy, active village where you can purchase regional pottery including some influenced by Van Gogh who lived here. It was in this village that Nostradamus was born. Leave St. Remy for the picturesque village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and admire the surrounding countryside. Just inside the entrance to the village are narrow cobblestone streets, terrace cafés, and souvenir shops. On to Aix-en-Provence, a town of water and a town of art, for your overnight stay. End your day with wonderful food and fine wines at one of the city’s many restaurants. Read more

Aix-en-Provence

Through the back country

Built and developed around its dual identity of a town of water and of art, Aix-en-Provence is all color and sensation with the golden stone of its facades and thetransparent green of the fountains. Founded in 123 BC by the Roman consulSextius Calvinus, a tour of thiswondrous town is a chance to travel in time, withits architectural and cultural heritage accessible to everyone; treasures that you will discover simply by walking around the town. Leave Aix-en-Provence and drive through the natural beauty of the magnificent Grand Canyon du Verdon.These gigantic rock cliffs are the result of the erosion of the Verdon river. Deep, compact, wild and beautiful, rich in flora and fauna, the scenery here is astonishing. The villages have maintained their old-fashioned Provencal appeal, and you will be warmly welcomed. Drive through the valley of Castellane and on to the town of Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, with lots of outlets to buy its perfumes. It is a short drive from Grasse to the Riviera and the glamour of Nice where your two-night stay has been arranged. Read more

Nice

The French Riviera

With its beautiful beaches, lovely seaside promenade, diverse shopping, splendid dining and lovely art-deco facades Nice is the playground of the rich and famous. Take a walking tour of the city’s Cours Saleya (Flower Market), with its abundance of ripe produce, sidewalk cafes, souvenir shops and of course flowers simply bursting with colors. Today discover the Cote d’Azur – The Blue Coast - as you follow the Mediterranean coastline and visit the glamorous resorts of Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, and Cap-Ferrat. Visit the fascinating principality of Monaco. In the 13th century the House of Grimaldi, descended from a Genoese nobleman, took power in Monaco, Antibes and Nice and built castles at Grimaud, Cagnes-sur-Mer and Antibes. The present Prince Albert II of Monaco (son of the late beloved Grace Kelly) is a descendant of the Grimaldis. The world’s smallest French speaking country, it takes less than one hour to walk the width of Monaco. Enjoy its exceptional location between mountain and sea, and its beautiful gardens. If you have the time, book an extra day so that you can enjoy a visit to the Italian Riviera which extends from the border of the French Riviera. Read more

Nice
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Looping back along the coast

St. Tropez was once a small fishing village, and when discovered by the painter Paul Signac attracted other painters, writers and bohemians. Luxury yachts are now moored at its harbor, teeming with life as it has become the fashionable resort frequented by artists and celebrities of the entertainment world. Continue to Toulon. Backed by high hills whose summits are crowned by forts, it is France’s second most important naval base. There are numerous shops, restaurants and cafes, and visitors who are interested in naval history will find the Naval Museum and the Museum of Old Toulon worthwhile visits. Your day ends as you return to Marseilles for your overnight stay. Read more

Marseille
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Heading home

Depart to the airport for your return flight home and Drop-off Rental Car

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Marseille
Day 2
Location Avignon
Day 4
Location Aix-en-Provence
Day 5
Location Nice
Day 7
Location Marseille

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • 7 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • A manual rental car of a compact category with unlimited kilometres and zero excess insurance. The car will be a Ford Focus or similar, Including Unlimited Mileage (UM), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Theft Protectiont (TP) & Taxes. If you are more than four people it will be a larger and more comfortable vehicle.
  • A customized Roadbook with all relevant tourist information, itinerary details, and detailed maps
  • Telephone assistance 24/ 7 – english and French

Package excludes

  • Any extras proposed by the rental car agency.
  • Fuel and Parking Charges.
  • Admissions to Parks and Attractions unless otherwise stated.
  • Any city tax to be paid directly on site (approximately 2 € per night per person)
  • Tours and excursions not specified in the program
  • The entrance fees for any paying sites
  • Everything that is not mentioned in "The budget for this trip includes"

More information

  • Price per person based on twin share. Please ask us if your group is larger.
  • There is a single supplment of 560€ when someone chooses to sleep in a single room.
  • Accommodation
  • The accommodation options mentioned in the itinerary above are available at the creation of this quotation; the final accommodation options depend on the availability at the moment of payment of the deposit. If an accommodation option is unavailable, we will reserve accommodation of equivalent quality. The earlier that you reserve the tour, the more likelihood that all preferred accommodation choices mentioned above will be available.
  • Optional:
  • If you would like an experienced local guide (who speaks your language) please contact us for a quote.

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