Each group is different and seasons change. If we tried to provide a fixed itinerary, we’d be cheating you of those exceptional moments that make travel special.  With that in mind, here is a sample itinerary to tempt you…




Arrival Day, Saturday

You’ll be met at the airport in Marseille or the train station in Avignon, and whisked to Malaucène to your accommodation to join the other members of your group. 

Later that day, if you aren’t having a nap, you’ll be led on a leisurely walk to the famous waters of Groseau.

Cocktails and a simple dinner, discussion about the week to come… and to bed.

Day 1, Sunday

Allowing for jet lag we’ll assume a late start, but don’t get used to it!  Fresh bread and coffee await you when you do surface.

A stroll into the village to get your bearings, enjoy a café visit, and, for those renting, be fitted for your bikes.

Lunch at home – fresh artichokes, crispy breads, local olive oil, salads, cheeses and patés.

Mid-afternoon, a one hour hike, walk, or ride.

Dinner… seasonal vegetable terrine , leg of lamb with black olives and pastis, followed by a cheese course of goat and sheep cheeses.  Fresh baked cherry clafouti to finish. Sip the velvety cuvée Constanci from Ferme Saint Martin, Beaumes de Venise.

Day 3, Tuesday

Vaison-la-Romaine for a very serious market - by car or by bike, your choice. The foodies and shoppers will stay at the market, the bikers will continue on 2 rides – one energetic and one ‘sensible’.

Back to the gite for a late lunch of today’s market finds, followed by a walk in the afternoon.  For those interested, a course in winetasting or some French language practice.

After cocktails of pastis over a rousing game of pétanque, we’ll head to a restaurant for a casual and relaxing dinner.

Day 4, Wednesday – Market day in Malaucéne.

The serious bikers are starting to take the bit, hikers ready for a challenge.  An early start for a serious ride… Suzette, la Phare, Roc al Ric, le Barroux, Beaumes-de-Venise, Suzette, le Barroux, Malaucène. Lots of challenge.

Hikers to Mont Ventoux for a guided walk on the mountain and stunning views of the Alps. 

Afternoon, if anyone has the energy, a visit to a winery.

Dinner at home, homemade ravioli stuffed with fresh goat’s cheese, topped with parsley and olive oil – nothing finer.  A main course of fresh fish chosen at the market and fresh asparagus.  Salad, cheese, tarte tatin.

Day 5, Thursday

A busy day, starting with a medium ride at two speeds – the serious bikers take the lead and do an extra bit, the less serious take their time.

We meet for a picnic al fresco: bread, cheese, radishes, sausage, paté, olives, and whatever is fresh from the market that morning. The return ride also takes two paces – but we all end up at home.

Later in the afternoon, a visit to a local farmer for a close-up view of why we eat so well, then off to dinner at a restaurant.

Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast.


Text Box: The game of Pétanque

Day 2, Monday – No excuses now. 

For those whose interests tend to markets, a trip to Bédoin.

For the more sportif, a hike from Sainte Margueritte to the Bout du Monde (end of the world) or a ride through the vallèe de Veaux with a stop in Mollans.

Afternoon, a visit to the Roman ruins in Vaison-la-Romaine, a wine tasting afterward.

For dinner, a salad of jambon cru (prosciutto), lettuce, walnuts, and parmesan… followed by chicken with 40 cloves of garlic with wild thyme and rosemary, gratin dauphinois, and a fresh vegetable.  Cheese, fresh fruit tarte fait maison, all accompanied by a local, crisp Viognier and a hearty Cairanne.

Day 6, Friday

Last day, time for the hard core to bike up the Mont Ventoux. 9 am start, climb from Malaucène, drop down to Bédoin and a return around the base via the back road.

At the same time, some will hike to Suzette, others will visit the very important Carpentras market. The bikers and hikers will set their own limits, and return when they have had enough, a quiet afternoon at home follows.

Cocktails at 7, dressy, but not too. Friends from the village are invited, you’ll get to know some new people. Dinner, our closing feast, an extravagance of all that is fresh in the market, a collaboration of culinary flair. Champagne, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, ripe cheeses, and an extravagant dessert.

Day 7, Saturday - Sadness that an unforgettable trip has come to an end, shuttles to the airport, and promises to meet again…

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exceptional experiences in provence

sample itinerary