Feel free to give us a call or email us with any questions about our tours, tastings or events. We’re always happy to talk about beer and travel!
June 21, 2019 @ 3:00 pm –
June 30, 2019 @ 10:00 am
Nearest Airport: MRS or you can use CDG to visit Paris 1st
Nearest Airport: MRS or you can use CDG to visit Paris
10 days / 9 nights
$4,196 per person, double occupancy
Many of you have heard us talk about our “happy place” for vacation (other than the places on our beercation itineraries). This is a region of France called Provence. Since so many of you have expressed interest in exploring this region with us, a year ago we decided to create an exclusive, small group private tour showcasing some of what we consider the Best of Provence. The tour was an amazing success and for this year we have decided to extend the trip and add an additional night in our fabulous chateau.
As some of you may know, the parent company for Bon Beer Voyage is called Provence Dreams. We have been vacationing in Provence for years now, and have some very special places and experiences we are looking forward to sharing with you.
You are cordially Invited
to join Ruth & Mike in Provence, France
June 21- June 30, 2019 for
Provence Dreams’ Best of Provence Tour
Below are the highlights of what we are planning for this year’s itinerary. The day to day itinerary listed has more details and will be updated as we get closer to tour time. There will be a maximum of only 14 guests on this tour so that we can all have a truly personalized trip and arrange for some special experiences that are not available to larger groups.
As you know, we like to travel a bit differently than most standard tours, so although some folks associate Provence with the Cote d’Azure, our trip will take us a bit away from the coastal towns and instead will focus on charming perched villages with medieval cobblestone streets, drives along the mountains and countryside, and views of the stunning lavender fields and vineyards that grace the area.
This is a very special itinerary and we are really looking forward to sharing it. We hope you will be able to join us.
Feel free to call or email us with any questions, but here are some of the highlights:
Our accommodation will start out with a few nights in the papal city of Avignon and then we will transfer to our main location -a chateau in a vineyard near the famous wine region of Chateauneuf-du -Pape!
In Avignon, we will dive right into the fabulous food experiences one expects in Provence with a gourmet welcome dinner in one of the city’s fabulous restaurants. Four to five special dinners will be part of this itinerary, including a cooking class with a local chef for those who are interested (those who would rather relax than cook can still participate in the meal. There will be 9 breakfasts and some lunches also included, with one of these will be a serious indulgence from appetizer to cheese plate at one of our favorite restaurants.
The morning after arrival day, we will begin our adventures with a privately guided tour by an award winning local guide in Avignon.
We’ve planned outings to some of our favorite perched villages and other charming towns in the surrounding areas. Our drives will bring us through the picturesque countryside and towns made famous by artists like Cezanne and Van Gogh. Whether you enjoy painting, photography, cooking or any art form, including admiring others’ works, you can’t help but be inspired by the beauty that will surround you.
Seeing the lavender fields that Provence is famous for is a must experience. You will be surprised to find the myriad uses for the essential oils distilled from this product that has become one of the symbols of Provence.
We’ll explore Vaison La Romaine, an incredible medieval town with winding cobblestone walkways that make you think a knight in shining armor will be riding around the corner any minute! You can hike up to the ruins of the castle at the top of the town or visit the Roman ruins in the lower part of the city. There are a number of fabulous art galleries we will have a chance to visit and, if scheduling works out, have a chance to chat with some of our favorite local artists. Or perhaps visit the local award winning fromagerie? The choices abound and will delight your senses.
You will want to bring extra batteries for your digital camera so you can keep taking pictures when we visit Roussillon, located in the heart of one of the largest ochre deposits in the world. The buildings in this beautiful town are literally pigmented in red and rust tones derived from the the indigenous ochre mines. Here we’ll have the option for a beautiful, short and easy hike through the mines as well as time to enjoy the picturesque Provencal village.
Any visitor to France must see at least a few of the towns classified as one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages in France). You will find those that are perched up on the top of the hillsides like Gordes and Le Baux de Provence are pretty incredible. Sometimes it is hard to decide which is a more amazing sight the view of the villages like this photo to the left, or the views from the villages over the surrounding countryside!
Imagine what it would be like if you could walk into and through some of the world’s most famous paintings. In the old, inactive chalk mines in Le Baux, you will be mesmerized by one of the world’s most beautiful multimedia art presentations – the Carrieres des Lumieres. Let’s just say that there is no way to describe this amazing, immersive presentation except to experience it in person.
Of course we could not bring you to Provence without plans for private VIP visits and tastings at some of the best wineries in Chateauneuf du Pape and other regions. And because we want you to be able to experience as much of the wonderful regional products as possible, we have also arranged for a guided wine and chocolate tasting!
Foodies and dog lovers alike will love our unique truffle hunting experience. Truffles are one of the most expensive foods in the world and truffle hunters tend to be very secretive and territorial.We will learn how these “black diamonds” grow, the mystique behind them, meet the truffle dogs(not pigs!) and go on a truffle hunt. Afterwards we will have the opportunity to taste some of the amazing products created with truffles in our beautiful Provencal setting.
No trip to Provence would be complete without spending some time at one of the weekly markets and the famous weekend market in L’Isle sur la Sorgue is one of the most lively and colorful in Provence. From the Antiques and Bric a Brac (Isle sur la Sorgues boasts the second largest Antiques center in France after Paris) to the delicious local products such as cheese to charcuterie, or locally milled soaps to lavender sachets, you are sure to find some souvenir of Provence as you stroll along the stands lining the streets and waterways.
And of course, we want to make sure you are never thirsty; so besides the wine, while this is not a beer-centric tour, we will make sure to have an opportunity to taste some local beers – you knew we’d search out some of those, right?
All of this and more awaits you in Provence.
Won’t you join us on vacation in our happy place?
This 10 Day/9 night tour will start in Avignon, which has easy access from the TGV and will finish in our Chateau near Chateauneuf du Pape, with transfers available back to Avignon.
Early Booking Price is $4196 pp person double occupancy for
As you know, space is very limited and room assignments will be based on a first come first serve basis.
Please Email or Call Us at 1-888-846-2337 with any questions.
Hope you can join us!
Ruth and Mike
Please Read our Terms & Conditions, and complete your Signature & Release Form before you travel. You will need to sign and then either mail or fax this page back to us at least 30 days prior to tour departure-thanks.
Our beer tour itineraries are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather, transportation problems, or an unexpected business closure. We’re continually looking for ways to improve our tours and we sometimes come across a special new pub or brewery since the itinerary was published that we’d like to share with you. Since our beer tours are planned far in advance, we may occasionally adjust the itinerary as necessary to provide you with the best trip possible! Since a minimum number of passengers are required in order to run each trip, we suggest you refrain from non-refundable air purchases until 2 months prior to your departure date or confirmation of sailing.
Arrival day in Avignon. After settling into our hotel, we will gather in the lobby to meet your fellow Provence Dreamers. We’ll take a short stroll to one of Avignon’s gastronomic restaurants where we will enjoy a leisurely and delicious welcome dinner, in true Provencal style. After dinner, you’re free to meander around town and walk off dinner or check out the magnificent view of the Pope’s Palace lit up at night.
Today we will have breakfast at the hotel and then we are off to explore Avignon on a private walking tour with our local guide. As we wander through town we will see the Pope’s Palace- a UNESCO world heritage site, Saint Benezet bridge (the legendary Pont d’Avignon), The Jardin des Doms and more until we end up in Les Halles, the fabulous food market. After the tour, this is a great place to hang out, sniff and taste your way around, grab a few things and sit down for lunch. You are free the rest of the day to explore or relax as you please. Meanwhile, in the app you will find a list of some of the locally recommended delicious restaurants in Avignon for dinner on your own this evening – bon appetite!
This morning we’ll have breakfast in the hotel and then we will load up our bags into our coach and head off to one of the best markets in Provence and maybe even in France! The Sunday market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, “The Venice of Provence”, has it all – a food market, “brocante”(flea market) and antique market all in one so you can buy everything from artisanal cheese to an antique wardrobe! Stroll along the streets lined with vendors and flower-filled riverside cafés. Check out the waterwheels, do some great people watching and take a peek into the local church. Taste your way along the vendors sampling tapanade, olive oil and cheese! When you have totally whet your appetite, find a waterside or garden café and relax with a cool glass of some local rose and a nice lunch. If you are looking for a reservation at somewhere a little out of the crowded market, then check out our app for suggestions. Some of the smaller restaurants fill up fast on market day, so make sure to reserve in advance.
Afterwards, since one cannot visit Provence without seeing some of the gorgeous lavender that paints the valleys in myriad shades of purple during mid-summer, we’ll head to nearby Coustellet to visit the Musée de Lavande (Lavender Museum) where we will learn about the different types and uses of lavender and see how it is processed, from growing to distillation. (Yes, of course we had to include something with distillation!)
Then we head to our Chateau, located just outside of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
This evening, you are invited to join us for “Ruth and Mike’s Favorite Provence Vacation Dinner”: a casual picnic al fresco, weather permitting, of local meats and cheeses, fresh bread, fruit, wine and beer. If you prefer to dine out, taxi and local restaurant info can be found in your BBV app.
Breakfast, Optional Picnic Dinner
After we fuel up at breakfast this morning we’ll head to the stunning town of Roussillon, where the quarries which once supplied ochre for products such as dye and paints in fabulous hues from crimson to gold now stand like a mini Grand Canyon. We’ll descend into Les Sentiers des Ocres for a magnificent but easy walk through the dazzling red and yellow sand cliffs. (The short version is only ½ hour or you can opt for a longer trail of about 45min to an hour.) Afterwards, you will have free time to stroll around the town, explore the shops and galleries and climb to the top of the viewing area beside the church for a superb panoramic view.
From here, we will head to nearby Gordes, stopping for photos of the breathtaking view of this popular village perched on the top of a steep hill. The narrow and sometimes arcaded medieval lanes invite you to explore and see what is around each corner of this charming village. Take some time to explore and then soak in the atmosphere over lunch on a shaded patio in one of the local restaurants.
Next, Provence in the summer demands a good rosé to drink poolside in the afternoon or anytime, really. So, we are off to a local winery that we discovered just last year for a visit and tasting of their amazing rosés and other local styles.
This evening, we will dine at the château or nearby.
This morning we are heading out a bit later than usual so you can indulge in a second croissant or maybe even sleep in a bit, why not? You are on vacation after all! Our plan today is to head into nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a tasting of some of the best from this famous region. After you’ve had a chance to whet your appetites, you’ll have some free time to wander around the town; maybe do a few more tastings and have lunch at one of the local restaurants.
Then we’ll head back to our Chateau where you can relax by the pool or learn how to play Pétanque; you may have seen groups of French residents enjoying this relaxed game of boules in some of the village squares or park “boulodromes”; It is an institution in the South of France and is quite fun, especially while enjoying an aperitif!
This evening, those who are feeling inspired will join in on a cooking class and help prepare tonight’s fabulous dinner, the rest of the group is free to relax until dinner is served!
Today is yours to spend as you please. Relax poolside with a good book and a glass of wine, or perhaps a run through the vineyards to work off some of last nights dinner? There are numerous options for touring on your own in the surrounding areas, and taxis and suggestions for both activities and dining will be included in your trip app and from your tour directors. Picnic makings for a light lunch will be available if you are spending the day at the chateau.
Today we will spoil your senses with amazing sights, tastes and experiences. We’ll start by touring the vestiges of Château des Baux, an 11th century fortress, perched high on a rocky outcropping. The views from up here seem endless, as if you are at the top of the world. If we are lucky, we may even be there during a demonstration of the giant catapult! Afterwards we’ll have some free time to explore the town which dates back to the 10th century.
Then we head to one of our favorite restaurants in Provence, Le Bistro du Paradou, which we “discovered” years ago, thanks to cookbook author and James Beard award recipient, Patricia Wells. Their plate du jour and amazing cheese selection will likely put you into a food coma, but if you can’t indulge while you are on vacation, then what’s the point?
Once we have finished our dessert, wine and cafes at Paradou, we will head back to Le Baux for the Carrières de Lumières. This extraordinary multimedia experience is held in the chalk quarries. Upon entering the cool caverns, we become surrounded by music accompanying images from the works of famous artists, which are projected larger than life onto all the surfaces of the rock, from ceiling to floor. It is a total immersion, as if you are walking into the paintings!
This evening, dinner is on your own. Taxi and local restaurant info can be found in your BBV app.
Put on your hunting togs today! After breakfast, we are off to do some truffle hunting! On our truffle hunting excursion, we will go behind the scenes of Provence’s most secretive business to learn how truffles are cultivated and truffle dogs are trained. We’ll go on a hunt for France’s elusive “black gold” with professional truffle hunters who will share the tricks of the trade with us. Finally, we’ll finish up with a sampling of fresh truffle hors d’oeuvres and Champagne. En route back to our chateau, we’ll make a stop at one of the neaby picturesque villages mentioned in Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, where you’ll have time to explore, enjoy some lunch at one of the cafes and maybe even indulge in a bit of souvenir shopping.
This evening, we will enjoy freshly prepared Provencal cuisine at a local restaurant.
We will spend today in one of Provence’s most magical cities. Vaison la Romaine. Vaison la Romaine is a unique and interesting town in that it is divided into 3 areas, each representing different time periods. The Roman ruins and the modern town are down in the valley; then, as you cross over a bridge from the 1st century AD, you will be led into the medieval town which winds its way up a rocky cliff.
We will start our visit today with a guided tour of the ruins and some time to explore the museum housed there. Then we will head up to the medieval part of town for a casual lunch at a local café. As with many towns that are so picturesque and historic, there are a number of talented artists living here. We are happy to point you in the direction of some of their galleries before you head off to explore a bit on your own. The upper town is a wonderful place to wander, with cobblestone pathways and staircases that lead towards the ruins of a castle at the top of the hill. If you are feeling ambitious enough, you might decide to climb all the way to the top. But don’t worry if this is not your thing; wandering leisurely through the ancient town is magical in itself and will provide for some great photo ops.
This evening, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner accompanied by local wine.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Time for a final breakfast at the Chateau before our transfer to the Avignon TGV station then on to wherever your travels will bring you.
Au revoir until next time!
Early Booking Price is $4196 pp person double occupancy for
10 days/9 nights.
Such a great trip! Ruth and Mike thought of everything and I was able to just relax and enjoy my vacation as everything was taken care of. The Chateau was so awesome! Couldn’t have asked for more. Can’t wait to book my next tour with Bon Beer Voyage!!
Ruth and Mike’s knowledge of, and connections in the places we visit are what sets their tours apart. We also like the small group approach, as it makes it easy to get to know our fellow travelers. Dining experiences are first rate, as are accommodations. I also liked the fact that while this was a wine tasting tour, we had plenty of opportunities to sample local craft beer. With Ruth and Mike you will experience things you could never do on your own, or with a large group.
Likely the best vacation of our lives!
There is no way to see and do on your own all that Ruth and Mike organize for you on one of their trips. Their access to top-notch locations, experiences, and experts is unparalleled! Having all the logistics handled so you can just relax and soak in the beer, wine and sights, makes for the perfect vacation. It’s like traveling with your most efficient, and fun, friends!
I was expecting a fun, interesting, well-planned, high quality tour and my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Ruth and Mike share their knowledge of and love for this beautiful area of France and have created this most wonderful “Provence Dream” itinerary. For me, this is what living in Provence is all about – okay, well-to-do living. If you enjoy wine, great food, a beautiful room in a Chateau overlooking vineyards & lavender, day trips to unique hilltop villages, cooking class with a French chef and many other unique stops and experiences are all perfectly planned out for you. Truffle hunting was my favorite activity. Johann did a great job teaching us, he was charming & funny plus served up a spectacular truffle tasting. More champagne, anyone?
We enjoyed the variety of activities–from eating chef-prepared meals in our chateau and truffle-hunting in our small group to the more expansive visit to Carrieres du Lumieres. Most interesting, of course, were the tastings of wines in some exquisite settings in and near Chateauneuf-du-Pape, including at the chateau we stayed at.
As we strive to constantly improve our tours and come across a special new pub or brewery, we may occasionally adjust the itinerary as necessary to provide you with the best beercation experience possible.
Given that there is a minimum number of passengers required for each trip, we suggest you refrain from non-refundable transportation purchases until two months prior to your departure date or confirmation of tour.