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!
May 23, 2024 @ 1:00 pm –
June 1, 2024 @ 10:00 am
Nearest Airport: MRS or you can use CDG to visit Paris
Nearest Airport: MRS or you can use CDG to visit Paris
10 days / 9 nights
$5,750 per person, double occupancy$6,750 per person, single occupancy, limited availability
Sketch and Sip Your Way Through Provence!
If you have traveled to Provence before you have surely been put under its spell. The forever views of lavender and sunflowers, the vineyards flush with grapes ready to become Provence in a glass, the colorful markets bursting with picture perfect produce, farm-fresh cheeses and sun-kissed Provençal olives, the bakery windows tempting you with their mouth-watering displays, shops full of brightly colored pottery and souvenirs of all kinds, medieval towns with cobblestone streets straight from a fairytale.
Once you’ve experienced the magic of this region, you’ll immediately understand why so many artists have tried to capture the light and the spirit of this paradise. And as an urban sketcher, you can’t help but feel inspired to fill your sketchbook with the spirit of Provence. For years we have been sipping and sketching our way through Provence and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to co-host an amazing 9-night sketchbook workshop with our friend and esteemed art instructor, Jaime Howard. We hope you will join us in May for this exclusive, small group sketch-cation through the Best of Provence.
Sketch & Sip Provence Tour
May 23 – June1, 2024
Click on the Itinerary Tab Above for Day by Day Details!
Please Note: Space and bedding configuration (twins vs king) is limited. Rooms in Chateau will be assigned on a first come basis. Please contact us with any questions prior to booking.
Imagine yourself living like royalty in a chateau, enjoying gourmet meals from your own private chef, drinking wines at a VIP private tasting experience and capturing it all in your sketchbook…
This is Not a Dream. This is your Sip Savor Sketch Tour of Provence!
So Stop Dreaming and Start Packing!
Here are Some of the Highlights of our
COVID-19: Due to the constantly fluid situation surrounding Covid 19, Vaccination, Booster and/or Testing Requirements vary from country to country. You will be required to meet the current requirements at the time of your tour for the country or countries in which you will be touring in order to participate in the tour. Proof of vaccination and/or tests may be requested at embarkation/arrival. See Terms and Conditions for further info.
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 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 event, winery or sight since the itinerary was published that we’d like to share with you. Since our 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 that the tour is a go.
Welcome to Provence! After settling into the Hôtel de l’Horloge, our 4-star boutique property in Avignon, we will gather for a welcome toast and orientation.
This evening we’ll dine at a fabulous gastronomic restaurant, just a short stroll from our hotel, where we will enjoy a multi-course gourmet welcome dinner in a beautiful, historic setting.
After dinner, if you are not too tired, you may want to stroll around the town for a sunset view (the sun sets very late here during the summer!) of the magnificent Pope’s Palace before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure at the hotel before joining the group later this morning 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, Les Halles is a great place to people watch, taste your way around the tantalizing local specialties, grab a few items and sit down for lunch- and maybe even some sketching?
After lunch you’ll have some free-time until we meet back in the library of our hotel for a sketch workshop followed by an afternoon sketching session at one of the many captivating locations in town. (location will be pointed out during walking tour).
We’ll wrap up the afternoon session with what is known amongst Urban Sketch groups as a throw down – basically a short show & tell session sharing today’s sketches.
Dinner is on your own this evening, at one of the many delicious bistros in town, suggestions and info will be on your sketch-cation app.
Make sure to fuel up at breakfast this morning! We have a great day ahead of us! We’ll hold a morning sketch workshop in the hotel. After our workshop we’ll head off the beaten path with bikes ( e bikes also available)to explore the nearby île de la Barthelasse. The views of the Popes Palace and the Pont d’Avignon are fabulous from our vantage point, just across the Rhone river, so we’ll stay a while to allow time to sketch either the skyline of Avignon and/or Pont d’Avignon. After our sketching session, we’ll grab some lunch.
Then we’ll continue our ride on the quiet road around the island which leads us through orchards and farms to the Manguin Distillery. During our visit here, we’ll learn how this artisanal distillery has been creating amazing fruited brandies and other delicious spirits via traditional methods for over 60 years and of course, those who are inclined will be treated to some samples 🙂
The rest of the day is yours to explore the sights, sounds and tastes of Avignon. From the Pope’s Palace to some great shopping, there is plenty to see and do. And of course, as always,, There are numerous bars around the city for a pre or post dinner cocktail or glass of wine and if you cheat on wine with beer like we do, Mike is always happy to point you to some great local beer bars and likely will meet you there for happy hour! Dinner is on your own this evening. Avignon is a foodie’s city, so check the app for suggestions.
This morning, after breakfast in the Château, we will check out of our hotel and head 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 colorful tablecloths with Provençal prints to an antique chaise lounge! 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 tapenade, olive oil and cheese! Here you’ll have free-time for shopping, sketching and lunch on your own.
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.
From here, it’s time to move into our home for the next week. Staying in our own private chateau gives new meaning to the expression “a person’s home is their castle”. Once we are settled in, we will take a short tour of the chateau and grounds and enjoy a welcome toast with one of the many delicious wines made with grapes from the vineyards surrounding the property. With some wine in your hand, we’ll get to some fun business with an afternoon sketching workshop.
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, cheeses, bread, fruits and vegetables, fresh from the market and of course, accompanied by local wines.
After we’ve had our fill of croissants and other goodies 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. We’ll enjoy lunch here before our group sketching led by Jamie, finishing with a throw down.
Next, we will head to a special spot with the best view of the medieval town of Gordes, where we’ll stop for photos -and of course- time for a (very) quick sketch of the breathtaking view of this popular village perched on the top of a steep hill.
We’ll head back to our chateau via the route that will pass by the famous Abbaye de Senanque. If you have a guidebook for Provence, chances are, there is a picture of this gorgeous setting with lavender fields and the ancient abbaye on the cover or inside the book. We’ll make a stop here for another quick sketching exercise before heading home.
This evening, dinner will be prepared by our private chef and paired with wines from the chateau.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is yours to spend as you please. After breakfast Jamie will lead a morning sketch workshop. Then, the day is yours to relax poolside with a good book and a glass of wine, join in on a pétanque match, sketch around the property or perhaps take a run through the vineyards to work off some of last nights dinner? E-bikes may be reserved in advance by those who want to explore the local surroundings. A short bike ride away is a quaint little town which might be fun to sketch. Picnic makings and quiche are available in the chateau kitchen for a light lunch at your leisure. Today is informal and relaxed. It is your vacation! So do as little or as much as you choose! For those who are interested there will be a short tour of the chateau’s vineyards and cellars, including a tasting of their wines in the mid afternoon.
This evening, those who are feeling inspired will join in on a cooking class with our private chef, the rest of the group are free to relax until dinner is served!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we thought you might want to take advantage of the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a late morning brunch. This will be followed by a late morning sketch workshop by Jamie.
Just before noon, we’ll depart for our fist excursion of the day, a visit to the charming village of Séguret, classified as one of the plus beaux villages (most beautiful villages) in France. We’ll have some time to explore the cobblestone lanes, check out the views and sketch some of the scenes in this lovely medieval town.
Then we are off to visit the Chateau du Barroux, where we will tour a whiskey distillery located within the rooms of the chateau, which is also home to Fanny and Jean Baptiste and their family. Here, they are producing a unique local whisky using a very special type of still from 1928 which was restored by Jean Baptiste. Their unique whisky is made with einkorn, a regional cereal, that adds a special note to the spirit. After touring the distillery, (and a tasting!) we will have a chance to enjoy some of the amazing views from the rest of the chateau. Note: no photos are allowed in the rooms that house the still or barrels, but sketching is welcomed!
Next, we will visit a truly unique winemaker and experience some guided tastings in a whole new fashion. Demoiselles Suzette is a small, award-winning winery owned by Richard Orange, an incredibly passionate winemaker, who gives his all to his wines. After a short visit to the cellars with Richard, we will be treated to a magnificent view over the vineyards and learn about wine through different tasting games. Our sensory tasting experience will help us learn to analyze, understand and talk about wine with the vocabulary of connoisseurs, while having fun. While the sun sets in the background, we’ll feast on a smorgasbord of fresh local products- goat cheese and other cheeses from a nearby farm, charcuterie boards, vegetable pies, breads, tapenades and more- all pairing fabulously with our wine. To experience this all in such a magical setting is a Provence Dream come true.
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 sketching ruins and amazing views is your thing, you’re in for a treat… and if not, how about sketching the giant catapult on display? Afterwards you’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. The bistro’s 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. or feel free to relax at the Chateau with any leftovers or nibbles you may have purchased previously.
Today starts with breakfast at the chateau followed by a sketch workshop with Jaime, then we are off to visit the spectacular UNESCO Heritage site: The Pont du Gard. This ancient Roman aqueduct bridge was built in the first century AD. It is estimated that it took the work of a thousand men 5 years to build the Pont du Gard, which stands as the principal piece in a 50 km-long aqueduct. A tribute to the Roman empire’s greatness, it was built to supply water to the area and to the town of Nîmes. Our guided visit will take us to the top of the bridge- as well as the museum- which will allow us to discover the construction, functions and use of this engineering marvel over time. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch here, then we’ll have time to capture the magnificent view in our sketchbooks with guidance from Jamie.
Next we are off to charming medieval Uzes-yet another of the plus beaux villages that we are fortunate enough to visit on this tour! Located in the Gard department, Uzes is just across the Rhône River from Provence. You’ll have free-time here to roam on the lovely Place aux Herbes, where you can sketch, enjoy a drink under the shade of a parasol or the lovely plane trees at one of the many outdoor cafes. Wandering about the town you will find some nice shops and galleries, the Duke’s castle- which is still sometimes inhabited by the latest Duchal family, and a beautiful Romanesque bell tower- The Tour Fenestrelle.
Tonight our Farewell Dinner will be a feast at the chateau with a wine-paired meal created for us by our own amazing private chef.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
All good things must come to an end… this morning we must say adieu… (unless you are joining us the following week for one of our other Provence tours!)
After breakfast, a group transfer to the Avignon TGV will be provided for those heading out by train. Feel free to ask us for assistance reserving local taxis or private transfers to the airport or your next destination.
Early Booking Pricing!
$5750 per person for Double Occupancy Room
$6750 per person for Single Occupancy Rooms
(please call or email us regarding availability of Single Occupancy Room) Book My May 23 to June 1, 2024 Sketch and Sip Provence Tour Now !
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!
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!!
Likely the best vacation of our lives!
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 event or winery, we may occasionally adjust the itinerary as necessary to provide you with the best wine-cation 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.