This is the land of lavender and olives, of plane trees shading weekly markets, of popes and artists, of gypsies and troubadours.
See what's planned
- Relax in the history filled town of Avignon.
- Wander streets of Avignon with a local guide before heading on to the vineyards of Chateaunerf du Pape.
- Soak up the tastes and smells of St Remy de Provence and Les Baux, a true rural French experience.
- Visit Arles, famous for being the muse in many of Van Gogh's most famous paintings.
Provence, the ancient ‘Provincia Romana’. This is the land of lavender and olives, of plane trees shading weekly markets, of popes and artists, of gypsies and troubadours. From our base in medieval Avignon we set out each day to see the many sides of this unique area, from the Roman remains in Arles to the wild horses, bulls and flamingos of the Camargue.
Provence’s countryside and towns encourage you to take things easy, to relax in a shady pavement café with a cup of coffee, glass of wine or Pastis. We spend time in the countryside, but most of the walking is amongst the honey-coloured buildings of towns steeped in the history and romance of the south.
- Return rail from London St Pancras to Avignon with Eurostar and SNCF.
- Train station transfers including across Paris (some routes may be via Lille).
- Bed & Breakfast en-suite accomodation
- Dinners in the hotel and local restaurants
- All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers
- Half day tour round Avignon with a local guide.
What's not included?
- Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary Tips
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions or changes beyond our control. Distances, ascent/descent and timings are all approximate and refer only to the countryside walking element of each day.
Welcome to Provence
Cloitre Saint Louis
We travel by Eurostar to Avignon, either via Paris or Lille. It is then a short transfer to our hotel within the city whose ramparts were built during the 14th century when Avignon was the home of the Pope and his entourage.
In & Around Avignon
Cloitre Saint Louis
Avignon is a great city to explore of foot. Much of the city is pedestrianized, and there is otherwise little traffic. A local guide takes us around the city, including the Palais des Papes and the Pont St Bénézet across the River Rhone, made famous by the song ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon’. After lunch we travel the short distance north to Châteauneuf du Pape for a stroll through the vineyards and village, finishing with a wine-tasting. The village produces some of France’s most prestigious wines – enjoy a mouthful and feel the heat and herbs of the south infusing your taste buds.
The Wild Camargue
Cloitre Saint Louis
South of Avignon lies the wild flat expanse of the Camargue. This area, created by the Rhone delta, is great for spotting wild horses, bulls, flamingos and egrets, to learn more, we will take a short walk in a nature reserve. It also has two well-known small towns which we visit – the ‘bastide’ town of Aigues Mortes surrounded by thick medieval walls, and the seaside village of les Saintes Maries de la Mer, a gypsy pilgrimage site with a sandy beach and whitewashed houses.
Cloitre Saint Louis
Nominally a free day, but Avignon is a great base from which to explore further afield. Just 30 minutes away by train lies Nimes with some of the greatest Roman remains anywhere. The Maison Carrée is a perfect classical temple and the Arena still hosts sporting and other events. The Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct can be reached by local bus and a short walk. No one can fail to be stunned when they see this amazing structure from antiquity for the first time.
St Remy de Provence & Les Baux
Cloitre Saint Louis
We visit the vibrant local market in St Remy de Provence, full of the tastes and smells of the warm south. We then make a short stop at St Paul de Mausole, where Van Gogh painted many great works, and Glanum, a ruined Roman town.
The highlight of the day is the village of Les Baux de Provence, where a cobbled street leads us up past small shops and restaurants to the plateau at the top of town. Here was once the mighty castle of the Lords of Les Baux. Now the battlements lie in ruins, but from on high the whole of Provence seems to lie beneath you, a patchwork of olive groves and almond trees, with the Mediterranean shimmering in the distance. The views can be enjoyed from cafes, viewpoints or on a 2.2km (1.4miles) walk around the outside of the village.
Before leaving Les Baux we taste some of the local olive oil, then drive on to Fontvieille for a short walk on the Sentier des Moulins, to visit a pretty windmill where Alphonse Daudet’s tales of bygone Provence were set.
A Year in Provence - Le Luberon
Cloitre Saint Louis
Peter Mayle’s 'A Year in Provence' made the Luberon district famous. Today we visit some of the most beautiful sights in the area, starting with L’Isle sur la Sorgue, a small town surrounded by the River Sorgue which has canals running between the ancient narrow streets. We continue to Gordes, a beautiful limestone village perched above the valley with a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone alleys called ‘calades’. Next, we visit Sénanque Abbey, situated beside of some of Provence’s most famous lavender fields, still housing a community of Cistercian monks. Our next stop, Roussillon, is a hill village constructed from the local ochre-coloured stone, contrasting with the lush green pine trees which surround it. Here we have the option to walk the Ochre Path, where two easy hiking trails take us through a former ochre quarry and the surrounding woods, also known as the Provence Grand Canyon. We end the day with some wine tasting.
In places there will be 250 steps to be negotiated.
In Van Gogh's Footsteps
Cloitre Saint Louis
Today we visit Arles, the city where Van Gogh spend the most productive months of his life. He arrived here in the winter of 1890 planning to create an artists’ community with Paul Gauguin as its leader. That didn’t work out, but his brush was rarely still as he painted the buildings, people and countryside. Café de Nuit… Starry Night… Dr Gachet … the Sunflowers… they were all painted here. Around the town are boards placed in the spots where Van Gogh stood and painted. Besides the sights associated with him there are impressive Roman ruins, the beautiful Romanesque church and cloister of St Trophime, and quaint cobbled streets to wander.
Today we board the train and bid au revoir to Avignon.
Walks & Excursions
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The currency in France is the euro.
Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
Getting to your Holiday
We travel to Paris Gare du Nord or Lille by Eurostar from London St Pancras International. From here we have a private transfer to Paris Gare Montparnasse and then take the TGV direct to Avignon. We will then have a few minutes transfer by private coach again from Avignon train station to the Hotel Cloitre Saint Louis.
During the week we will travel on foot, by road and by train/bus.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfast and all dinners are included in the price of the holiday. Breakfasts will be taken in the hotel and four dinners will be taken in their bright dining room overlooking the hotel’s beautiful inner courtyard shaded by plane trees. On other nights we eat in local restaurants.
We don’t include lunches in the price of the holiday – normally these can be taken as a picnic or in a pleasant café.
Footwear & Kit List
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
- Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
- A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
- Sun cream.
- Hand sanitiser
- Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
- A water bottle. (see Water-to-Go below)
- A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
- A simple basic first aid kit.
- A daypack to hold all the above.
- Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)
Swimming in France
Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday currency
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Electricity in France
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Maps & Guidebooks
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
The Rough Guide to France has about 50 pages on the Avignon region and a couple of pages on Avignon itself.
The Avignon Tourist Office’s website is www.avignon-tourisme.com with lots of information on all sorts of things in Avignon itself.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Find out more
Euro; CFP Franc
1.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 65mm
Avg. Rain: 56mm
Avg. Rain: 55mm
Avg. Rain: 59mm
Avg. Rain: 66mm
Avg. Rain: 58mm
Avg. Rain: 51mm
Avg. Rain: 56mm
Avg. Rain: 66mm
Avg. Rain: 79mm
Avg. Rain: 76mm
Avg. Rain: 74mm
Staying Healthy on Holiday
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Please make sure you are insured for guided walking. It is important that you bring your travel insurance documents with you on holiday, including your policy number and 24-hour assistance telephone number.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for future holidays. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
We suggest that you may want to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.