Sojourner Tours

A boutique tour company specialized in gastronomic sojourns in France. Go beyond the typical tourist trip: immerse yourself in French culture and discover authentic places loved by the French.

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Book early. SPACE IS ALWAYS LIMITED.

Groups are kept to eight guests so you can visit authentic places, stay in charming boutique hotels and eat in the real restaurants where locals dine.


Live Like A Local In Provence itinerary


Sunday:

Arrive at Your Villa

DETAILS:

House in Provence: Sojourner Tours

AFTERNOON: upon arrival, you can settle into your room in a Provencal Villa (housing depends on the size of your group). While other guests are still arriving, you can explore the surroundings on your own, take a dip in the pool or relax at the villa with a cup of espresso or tea.

RECEPTION & DINNER: In the evening, you will get together with your hosts and the rest of the group to celebrate the beginning of the sojourn French-style with a typical apéritif at 6:00 pm featuring the most festive of French beverages: real Champagne! You will then enjoy a laid-back dinner prepared by your hosts.


Monday

 ROMAN RUINS & WINE TASTING the CÔTES DU RHÔNe

 Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of urban walking

Recommended clothing: "dressy casual" with city walking shoes.

CÔTES DU RHÔNE & VAISON-LA-ROMAINE

Your first daytrip is truly an escape from the typical tourist trail and an immersion in the local history. Your destination, Vaison-la-Romaine, was once an affluent Roman town.  Locals come here to experience the region's rich history: you'll see Roman ruins and have time to cross over the steeply arched Roman Bridge to wander through the medieval part of town with its 13th century castle. 

You'll go winetasting at a traditional winery that produces the Cote-du-Rhone appellation (Perhaps you've heard of Chateauneuf-du-Pape). The Rhone is a river that flows through Provence. Wine has been produced along the river banks since pre-Roman times. Today, the Rhone wines are some of the most popular ones in the world. You'll recognize the names of some of the local grapes: Syrah, Grenache and Viognier.

French Vineyard

 

 

Details:

Vaison la Romaine: Sojourner Tours

MORNING: You will travel to Vaison-la-Romaine where you will start the day with a tour of the Roman ruins. You will then visit a traditional winery producing Cote du Rhone, which is one of the most famous wine producing regions. There you will sample the local wines, learn about the area’s sun-drenched grape varietals and the ancestral methods used to make them.

LUNCH: You will enjoy sophisticated French food in a fine restaurant, located in a nearby village, chosen for the skills of its chef.

AFTERNOON: Following your meal, you will return to Vaison-la-Romaine for some free time.

  1. OPTION Stroll through the medieval village. Explore the winding cobblestoned streets at your own pace.

  2. OPTION Visit the Archeology museum to see the roman mosaics and statues found here. Learn about daily-life in Roman times.

You will then return to the villa where you will relax, enjoy the pool, and have a glass of wine while your hosts prepare dinner.

DINNER: You will have a typical French-style summertime dinner with an assortment of local wines at the villa.


TUESDAY

EXPLORING "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES" OF THE lUBERON

Light to moderate physical challenge: 2-5 miles of urban walking (and hiking)

Recommended clothing: “casual” with athletic shoes if hiking or "dressy casual" with good walking shoes.

MÉNERBES & ROUSSILLION

The Luberon mountain chain in Provence is home to several villages bearing the official title "Most Beautiful Village in France"and each has a very distinct character. Ménerbes is a humble village perched atop a hill with sweeping views over the lush area and a most quintessential French aesthetic of understated elegance: well-maintained stone homes with shutters and doors painted in sophisticated grey-toned colors and cottage-garden-type landscaping. Those who have read A Year in Provence will thrill at visiting because the author's home, which is featured in the book, was here. Roussillion, another "Most Beautiful Village in France", has an entirely different spunk. The environmental setting, featuring weathered ochre contrasted against deep green vegetation, has earned it the nickname "the Colorado of Provence." What is delightful is that the homes all celebrate this natural pigment.

Ménerbes, France: Sojourner Tours

DETAILS:

Roussillion France: Sojourner Tours

MORNING: Your day will begin in Ménerbes, a lovely hilltop village where you can let yourself be seduced by the panoramic views over the Luberon, the vegetation, the charm of the village. You'll arrive early enough to stroll around, pop in a few places like the church, or perhaps a shop or art gallery.

LUNCH: (FREE CHOICE) You'll be free to find the restaurant of your choice. Options range from simple cafes to a restaurant housed in a  17th century manor featuring truffle mushrooms.

AFTERNOON: After lunch, you'll head to the village of Roussillon. The striking ochre colored earth here is used to color the buildings of the village.

  1. OPTION: Take an easy, one-hour scenic hike through the ochre escarpments before visiting the adjoining village.

  2. OPTION: Take the shorter 30-minute trail and spend more time in the village.

  3. OPTION: Skip the hike and enjoy spending all your time exploring the village.

We’ll return to the villa early enough so you can enjoy the pool, the garden or the terrace, and have a glass of wine while your hosts prepare dinner.

DINNER: You will have a typical French-style summertime dinner with an assortment of local wines at the villa.


Wednesday

Off-The-beaten-Path IN The MOUntainous Drôme Provencale

 Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of urban walking

Recommended clothing: “business casual” with city walking shoes.

LA DRÔME

Locals generally say that the Drome is what Provence was before the influx of tourists even though it is not technically part of Provence. Here you have all the best of rural inland Provence: the lavender, the wine, the olives and the bonus of having it all to yourself... and the local French residents. The Drome is breathtaking, amidst the mountains you'll see the stone buildings of old Feudal villages clustered atop hills. Spending a day in  the Drome is truly  living-like-a-local.

Lavender in France: Sojourner Tours
The Drome, France: Sojourner Tours

Details:

The Drome, France: Sojourner Tours

MORNING: A scenic drive through the countryside will take you to the town of Sault, where few foreign tourists venture. You will start the day with a visit to the town's traditional outdoor market, which will be in full swing, to select local specialties, including wine and produce for today's picnic lunch. Also feel free to stroll through the lovely small town.  You will then head to a lavender farm to discover one of the trademarks of Provence.

LUNCH: You will travel to a nearby picturesque hamlet where you will have a picnic lunch.

AFTERNOON: After lunch, you will head to a hilltop village which bears the official title "Most Beautiful Village of France". You will have free time to explore its ancient winding cobblestoned streets and medieval fortifications at your own pace. Then you will go to another nearby village famous for its scenic eagle nest location and charm. After that, you'll return to the villa to relax, enjoy the pool, or have a glass of wine while your hosts prepare dinner. 

DINNER: You will have a typical French-style summertime dinner with an assortment of local wines at the villa.


THURSDAY

HiGH CULTURE in fashionable Aix-en-provence & WINETASTING

 Light to moderate physical challenge: 2-5 miles of urban walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual” with city walking shoes.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE

This sophisticated college town is considered the heart of elegance Provence-style: this is the place to shop or sip coffee on a terrace and people-watch. Outdoor markets, charming public squares, museums, a cathedral... Aix has plenty to discover and its compact historic center make this small city a fun and easy place to wander.  The countryside around Aix has been immortalized in the post-impressionist paintings of Paul Cezanne, who was born here and turned into one of the most significant painters of the 19th century.

 
Aix-en-Provence Cathedral
Vineyard, France: Sojourner Tours

Details:

Aix-en-Provence

MORNING: Thursday is the perfect day to visit the city because it is a Grand Market day with four of the city's markets in full swing in the morning. You will have free time to explore the flea market, the textile market, the food market and the flower market as well as the historic district at your own pace. This is a great opportunity to buy local crafts and souvenirs like honey and lavender products.

LUNCH: (FREE CHOICE) You'll be free to select your own restaurant for lunch. There is no end to the options in Aix.

AFTERNOON: After lunch, you'll have a couple of choices...

  1. OPTION: Continue to enjoy the city on your own --visit the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral, stroll the pedestrian streets and majestic city squares, go to the Granet Art Museum;

  2. OPTION: Do a self-guided "Cezanne-Walk" (using a map provided by your guides) to see the spots associated with the great artist in the city center;

LATE AFTERNOON: Before heading back to the villa, you'll drive to a winery with your group where you'll learn about another local wine appellation and sample the production. You will then return to the villa to relax, enjoy the pool or have a glass of wine while your hosts prepare dinner.

DINNER: You will have a typical French-style summertime dinner with an assortment of local wines a the villa.


friDAY

DISCOVER MORE "most beautiful villages" In the luberon

 Very light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of urban walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual” with city walking shoes.

Senanque abbey, Gordes & Lourmarin

The Senanque Abbey is Provence's calendar girl. You have undoubtedly seen photographs of this humble abbey flanked by lavender fields: it is one of the most recognizable sites in the area. Gordes is the "poster" village of Provence: a feudal town atop a hill crowned by a fortified castle. It is so charming that it has become a trendy spot for actors and artists to buy second homes. Part of the draw are the narrow cobblestoned "calades" or streets which intertwine and create a fun maze in which to wander. Just over the mountains is a Renaissance castle and the charming village of Lourmarin (where author Mayle later moved).

Provence, France: Sojourner Tours

details:

Gorde, France: Sojourner Tours

MORNING: Traveling through beautiful provencal landscapes, you will arrive you will arrive at the Senanque Abbey. You will take a guided tour of the Abbey. You will then head to the close by famous hilltop village of Gordes, which bears the title of one of the "Most Beautiful Villages" of France. You will have free time to explore its charming cobblestone streets at your own pace.

LUNCH: You will have a refined lunch in a luxurious gastronomic restaurant that boasts a Michelin star (one of the most sought-after distinctions in the culinary world).

AFTERNOON: Following lunch, you'll head on to another famous Provence hilltop village which also bears the title  of one of France's "Most Beautiful Villages".  First, you'll visit its beautifully furnished Renaissance castle. You will then have free time to explore its lovely main street lined with elegant boutiques.

You will then head back to the villa where you can relax, enjoy the pool, or have a  glass of wine while your hosts prepare dinner.

DINNER: The meal will be preceded by an aperitif featuring the most festive of French beverages: real Champagne! You will then have a typical French-style summertime dinner with an assortment of local wines at the villa.


SATURDAYFAREWELLS

Luberon, France: Sojourenr Tours

DETAILS:

End of the tour.

Breakfast at the villa.

Departure.


SOJOURNERS: AT HOME IN THE WORLD