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  • The small group
    travel experience

    Just 12-24 Guests, Guaranteed
  • Information & Reservations

    1-888-370-6765

    Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST

A MESSAGE FROM BRUCE EPSTEIN

When the time is right for travel, we’ll be here

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What People Are Saying About Us

I would definitely do another Odysseys tour – great company, great value.

Nancy Huntley
Springfield, IL

We continue to be amazed at the value and quality of these trips.

Peg & Ray Dutcher
Wellesley, MA

Love your company and feel like we get excellent value.

Eugene & Carol Simpson
Raleigh, NC

The small group (20) was perfect.

Jacqueline Meyer
Foster City, CA

Love small group tours.  Odysseys does it right!

Kathy Root
Grafton, OH

I loved the small group...I felt safe and well cared for.

Deborah Miles
Denver, CO

Odysseys is our #1 choice for group travel.

Karin Knutsen
Chagrin Falls, OH

It was a truly first-rate experience in every way.

Enid & Jerry Liess
Annandale, VA

Each of our four tours with you has been outstanding!

Howard Sosne
Raleigh, NC

Our first experience made us loyal customers.

Doug Bates
The Villages, FL

First-rate tour. Odysseys Unlimited came highly recommended.

Carol & Michael Ferraris
Massapequa Park, NY

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH
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Six-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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Ranked #2
Best Group Tour
Company
10Best Readers'
Choice poll

Explore the Region

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Meet Our Tour Directors

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Visits to quintessential Provençal villages of Lourmarin, Rousillon, Les Baux, Saint-Rémy
  • Aix touring, including Atelier Cézanne
  • Tasting and dinner at local winery
  • UNESCO sites of Roman Arles
  • Two-night stay in rugged, beautiful Camargue region
  • Visit to a working Camargue ranch
  • Birdlife at Pont de Gau ornithological reserve
  • Pont du Gard excursion
  • Avignon sightseeing, including Papal Palace
  • Private Provençal cooking lesson and dinner
  • Carrières de Lumières multimedia art show
  • Art haven of Saint-Paul-de-Vence
  • Two-night stay on the French Riviera
  • Two- and three-night stays in distinctive and intimate lodgings
Day-by-Day Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Marseille, France

Day 2: Arrive Marseille/Aix-en-Provence We arrive in Marseille and transfer to the Provençal town of Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”). Tonight, we meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel. D

Day 3: Aix-en-Provence/Lourmarin/Roussillon Today’s excursion to the beloved Luberon region of charming hilltop villages overlooking vineyards and orchards reveals Provence in all its storied beauty. We first visit Lourmarin, with its narrow winding streets lined with restored Mediterranean houses and boutiques, cafés, and restaurants. We tour the landmark Renaissance castle then enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant. This afternoon we continue on to equally alluring Roussillon, perched atop a striking ochre ridge. B,L

Day 4: Aix-en-Provence We discover this lovely university town today, known for the beautiful Cours-Mirabeau, the plane tree-lined main boulevard bordered by stately homes and the many elegant Roman fountains decorating city squares. On our walking tour, we admire Aix’s rich architectural heritage and the “Vielle Ville” (Old Town). After a guided visit to the Atelier Cézanne, the studio where artist Paul Cézanne worked from 1902 to 1906, we have free time to explore as we wish. Late afternoon we leave for a wine tasting and dinner at a nearby winery. B,D

Day 5: Aix-en-Provence/Arles/Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer This morning, we call on Arles, once part of Roman Gaul then a clarion of Christianity, and, more recently, where Van Gogh painted. We see much of that history on our tour here, which includes a visit to the Roman Amphitheater, a UNESCO site dating to 90 CE and preserved virtually intact. We continue on to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, capital of the Camargue region of vast plains, wetlands, lakes, and lagoons. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at 360 square miles, the Camargue is known for unique breeds of white horses and bulls, its pink flamingos, and as a staging point for thousands of migratory birds. Mid-afternoon, we reach Saintes-Maries, a seaside resort in the heart of the Camargue. B,D

Day 6: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer Our exploration of the Camargue begins with a visit to a manade, a traditional ranch where gardians (cowboys) raise bulls both for meat and to perform in local arenas. We learn about the traditional way of life as we tour the manade, watch the gardians manage their herds while on horseback, and enjoy a lunch of local specialties. Then we head to the Pont de Gau ornithological reserve in the heart of the Camargue Regional Natural Park. We’re likely to see the pink flamingos for which the park is known, as well as species of heron, birds of prey, and seasonal migratory birds. B,L

Day 7: Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer/Aigues-Mortes/Pont du Gard/Avignon As we approach Aigues-Mortes this morning, we see the rose-hued salins (salt marshes) that produce the famed Camarguais salt. We take a walking tour featuring the weekly Sunday market and entrance to the medieval city walls and ramparts. After time for lunch on our own, we continue on to Avignon, stopping at Pont du Gard, the 1st-century Roman aqueduct whose three tiers of arches span the Gardon River. We reach our historic hotel, a converted 16th-century Jesuit dormitory, late afternoon and dine there tonight. B,D

Day 8: Avignon This morning, we encounter the ancient Roman city that was the capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages. We visit Avignon’s historic city center (a UNESCO site), with its cathedral, half-finished Saint-Bénézet Bridge, and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), one of the world’s largest and most important Gothic structures. We tour the palace, where seven successive popes lived during the 14th century. Then we have free time to explore on our own before tonight’s small group highlight as we join a local chef for a Provençal cooking class followed by dinner. B,D

Day 9: Avignon/Les-Baux-de-Provence/Saint-Rémy-de-Provence We set out this morning for Les Baux, a gem of a medieval village perched atop a rock spur. Our first stop: the Carrières de Lumières multimedia/art exhibition set in a former stone quarry. Then we explore Les Baux itself, considered one of the country’s most beautiful villages, with its restored ancient houses, Renaissance-era façades, historic monuments, and stone citadel. After lunch together, we visit the Gallo-Romanesque jewel of St-Paul de Mausole, where Van Gogh was confined after severing his ear. We continue to the picturesque village of Saint-Rémy, where Van Gogh once painted. We take a walking tour of the ancient Gallo-Roman city center with its maze of winding streets and fountain-filled squares. B,L

Day 10: Avignon/Saint-Paul-de-Vence/Nice We’re bound today for the Cote d’Azur, the fabled French Riviera. Mid-day we reach Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the beautiful medieval hilltop village once home to many prominent artists, including Marc Chagall. After a walking tour together, we’re free to explore as we wish. Then we continue on to Nice, capital of the French Riviera, arriving late this afternoon. B

Day 11: Nice This morning’s sightseeing begins with spectacular views of Nice and its prized setting along the Baie des Anges from atop Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill), once a citadel and now a park. We stroll along the iconic seaside boulevard, Promenade des Anglais; explore “Vieux Nice” (Old Nice), with its colorful pastel buildings; and visit the historic Marché aux Fleurs (flower market). Tonight, we celebrate our adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 12: Depart for U.S. Today we depart for the Nice airport and our return flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking up hills or stairs, and on uneven or cobblestone streets. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class and First Class hotels
  • 19 meals: 10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
2020 Tour Dates & Prices

2020 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Oct 12Oct 5
Boston, New York$3,997$4,297
Charlotte, Phil,
Washington, DC
$4,197$4,497
Atlanta, Chicago,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Dallas, Detroit,
Hou, Miami, Minn,
Orlando, Tampa
$4,297$4,597
Denver, Los Ang,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,397$4,697

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees of $502, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $995 Oct; $1,195 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 45 days before departure. All 2020 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees) are guaranteed.

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

Post-Tour French Riviera Extension: $245 Oct; $295 all other dates. Single Supplement: $195 Oct; $225 all other dates

A visa is not required for this tour.

2021 Tour Dates & Prices

2021 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Apr 5
Apr 12
Oct 7
Oct 11
May 3
May 10
Sep 30
May 27
Jun 7
Aug 26
Sep 2,9
Sep 16
Boston, New York$3,997$4,297$4,597
Charlotte, Phil,
Washington, DC
$4,197$4,497$4,797
Atlanta, Chicago,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Dallas, Detroit,
Hou, Miami, Minn,
Orlando, Tampa
$4,297$4,597$4,897
Denver, Los Ang,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,397$4,697$4,997

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees of $502, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $995 Apr, Oct; $1,195 all other dates. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2021 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees) are guaranteed.

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $1,595 per person

Post-Tour French Riviera Extension: $245 Apr, Oct; $295 all other dates. Single Supplement: $195 Apr, Oct; $225 all other dates

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Grand Hôtel Roi René, Aix-en-Provence / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class

    Situated on the edge of Aix-en-Provence’s historic old town, the Grand Hôtel Roi René conceals an idyllic courtyard and pool area behind its pale sandstone walls.  The 134-room property offers a restaurant and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, safe deposit box, and dry-cleaning service (for a fee).  Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms has a private bath with hair dryer, TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and phone.

    Vila de la Mar, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer / Days 5-6 / First Class

    Vila de la Mar sits just five minutes’ walk from the beach, in the center of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Camargue’s capital surrounded by spreading tidal lagoons and the azure Mediterranean.  The 32-room hotel offers a whitewashed stucco exterior and an interior that reminds guests of their place at the heart of the Camargue region, with furnishings made from local leather and bull hide.  The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar, relaxing spa with a range of treatments (for a fee), outdoor swimming pool, steam room, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms reflect the aesthetics of the region, with driftwood bed frames, pebbled or flagstone floors, and private outdoor patios.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee-making facilities, minibar, TV, and phone.  Note:  All guest rooms have one queen bed and one single bed, and this two-story hotel does not have an elevator.

    Le Cloitre Saint Louis, Avignon / Days 7-9 / First Class

    In the center of Avignon sits Le Cloitre Saint Louis, an 80-room hotel occupying a 16th-century building originally used to house Avignon’s Jesuit priests in training.  The building changed hands several times during its history, serving as a convent and a hospital before being registered as a French historical monument in 1950.  In 1987, the building was renovated into a hotel, allowing guests to experience this stirring architectural monument in an entirely new way.  In addition to the sweeping stone arches and beautiful courtyard with moss-covered fountain, the hotel offers a restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating, rooftop swimming pool and solarium, courtyard garden, laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Befitting its history, each air-conditioned guest room is simply decorated and appointed, featuring private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Hotel le Grimaldi, Nice / Days 10-11, Extension / First Class

    Located on Boulevard Victor Hugo just five minutes’ walk from the Promenade de Anglais and the Place Masséna, Hotel le Grimaldi enjoys an ideal location in the heart of Nice.  There are a host of restaurants, cafes, and shops within easy walking distance of this converted Belle Epoque residential building, and this colorful boutique hotel offers a bar, laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms are decorated in colorful Mediterranean patterns, and have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone.  Note:  Due to the hotel’s location in the city center, rooms here tend to be a bit smaller.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

The French Riviera – On Your Own

3 days/2 nights from $245 total price
Single Supplement: from $195

Savor the good life in this celebrated spot, with splendid scenery, museums, beaches, and rustic villages close at hand.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • 2 nights’ accommodations in Nice at Hôtel le Grimaldi (First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to Nice airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Extension not available on the following departure:

2021
May 10 departure

Tour Directors
Caroline Buizza

“Caroline’s sparkling personality, good humor, and wit made our tour extra-special: one of the best guides ever!”
Sallie & John Kingham
Yardley, PA

Catherine Chamoux

“Catherine is an excellent tour guide! Her knowledge, organization, friendliness, and sense of humor are wonderful assets … It’s very clear that she loves showing guests her France. Catherine is a gem!”
Christine Walker & Janet Jourdain
Belchertown, MA

Muriel Gosselin

“Muriel is wonderful – her knowledge of French history, culture and food/wine is amazing. Traveling with her was a pleasure!”
Tacy Trippe & John Bryer
Wiscasset, ME

Florence Hebert

“Florence Hebert was fantastic! Knowledgeable, energetic, great sense of humor – in short, a true ambassador for France. I cannot praise her more highly.”
Robert Delis
Oceanside, CA

Anita Leroy

“Anita was extremely knowledgeable in all things French: history, art, architecture, culture, geography, vegetation. She was outstanding!”
Barbara Humphries
Leland, NC

Elsa Maréchal

“Elsa is a gem! She is a tremendous tour director and a wonderful human being.”
Michael Meyer
Temecula, CA

Laurent Pesneaud

“‘Excellent’ does not begin to describe Laurent’s gift of sharing France’s culture and history. His gentle humor and generosity made this tour very special.”
Duane & Glenna Meneely
Albuquerque, NM

Fanny Poirier

“‘Fabulous’ Fanny – fun, friendly, informative, superior knowledge of all of France. A 5-star guide!”
Karen & Gary Wilson
Sperryville, VA

Martine Rey

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Suggested Reading for Your Vacation

Ina Caro
The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France
Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.

Michael Jacobs
The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence
With an excellent introduction to the history, culture, landscapes and pleasures of Southern France, this illustrated guide features 34 towns and villages across Provence from the Vaucluse to Bonnieux and Gordes, tranquil Alpine villages and southern vineyards.

Cathy Muscat (Editor)
Insight Guide Provence
This regional guide in the popular series, noteworthy for its color photographs and maps, includes a section of practical information and a pull-out color map.

National Geographic
Southern France Adventure Map
A detailed, full-color fold-up map of southern France at a scale of 1:465,000. Waterproof and tear-resistant, with points of interest and town location included in the index.

Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Laura Morelli
Made in France, A Shopper’s Guide
Both a fascinating history of France’s artisanal legacy and an insider’s shopping guide, the book includes: illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals.

Rachael Mckenna
Lunch in Provence
A richly evocative blend of photographs, recipes, and literary and historical citations, this lovely book features 35 Mediterranean lunchtime recipes from three-star Michelin chef Jean-Andre Charial.

Edwin Mullins
The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile
Grounded in the architecture and papal legacy of Avignon and the surrounding area, this engaging history sets the 70-year period of papal exile in the south of France against the context of Europe’s turbulent transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Robert Cole
A Traveller’s History of France
This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night
The final novel that Fitzgerald published during his life, this famed tale of forbidden romance, turbulent relationships, and fascinatingly flawed characters stretches from the south of France to America to Rome. Fitzgerald considered it his greatest work, and it was ranked as the 28th-best English-language novel of the 20th century.

Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo
This classic of Western literature tells the tale of Edmond Dantés, a sailor who is betrayed by his close associates on the day of his wedding.  This adventurous tale describes the Count’s lifelong efforts to exact revenge.

Martin Gayford
The Yellow House
Gayford chronicles three turbulent months in the everyday lives of Van Gogh and Gauguin in Arles, where the two artists worked side by side in 1888. With 60 black-and-white reproductions.

John Baxter
French Riviera and its Artists:  Art, Literature, Love, and Life on the Côte d’Azur
Author and filmmaker John Baxter unspools a whirlwind tour of the star-studded cultural history of the French Riviera.  Perfect for travelers interested in the artistic and creative luminaries who have graced this region.

Peter Mayle
Provence A-Z
A companion to all things Provençal, from bouillabaisse to lavender and vinaigre, by the British expatriate and Francophile Peter Mayle.

Barbara Stoeltie
Living in Provence
Bringing together the region’s most remarkable interiors, classical and contemporary, this book paints a gorgeous picture of Provençal living.

Luke Barr
Provence, 1970
A unique moment in 1970 brought culinary luminaries James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck and Judith Jones together in Provence. Discussions ranging from the development of taste to the future of food, recorded in the journals and letters of M.F.K. Fisher, are presented here by her great-nephew.

Georgeanne Brennan
A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France
Marvelously frank about daily chores and the decidedly unglamorous business of raising goats and pigs, Brennan lards her earthy tale of the rural life with recipes, one per chapter.

Peter Mayle
A Year in Provence
The original best-selling tale of settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside of the south of France.

Henry James
On Provence
James attempts to capture the provincial spirit of France in this collection of magazine entries, originally published in 1884.

M.L. Longworth
Death at the Chateau Bremont
When local nobleman Etienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family chateau, the town is abuzz with rumors. A lively whodunit steeped in the rich and romantic atmosphere of Aix-en-Provence.

William Rodarmor (Editor)
France, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France by a select group of 20th-century French writers from Colette to Simenon.

Destination Insight

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