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Itinerary -  Shopping in Provence

We wander the narrow streets of lovely Provençal villages and towns, visiting the many little shops where French treasures are awaiting you. Provencal fabrics for table cloths, place mats, lavender scent in pot pourri, cicada pottery….

The parfumerie at Graveson
 

Sunday: You will be met at the location of your choice in Avignon, which is easily accessible by TGV train from Paris or as a rental car return point. You will be transferred to your charming barge home, moored in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

 

The beautiful streets of Avignon

Monday: A full day of shopping and sightseeing. A whole day in fabulous Provence! In the morning we visit the ancient town of Avignon for wonderful shopping and where we can tour the Palais du Pape. We return to the barge for lunch. In the afternoon we go to Gordes, one of the most beautiful villages in France. It has narrow cobbled streets (sensible shoes required) threading their way between tall houses, and is built against the rock. We can visit Le Moulin des Bouillons, located in a typical "bastide" on a roman site, the oldest intact olive-oil mill in France. Dinner is back at the barge, still moored in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

 

Tuesday: This morning we go to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, a charming provencal town 25km from Avignon. The numerous canals and branches of the Sorgue have given the town the nickname of the Venice of Provence. The town center with the church is surrounded by cafés and shops, the many streets radiating out from this center have a wide variety of shops of all kinds with window displays. You will find nearly 300 permanent antique dealers and second hand shops! After lunch on the barge we begin of our cruise and float down  the river Rhone to Vallabrègues, a typical provencal village. Dinner on board with a view of the river.

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Wednesday: This morning  we go to Arles, where van Gogh fell in love with the lights and colors of this fascinating country side. We start with a stroll through the huge and colorful open-air market. Heading to the heart this sophisticated  town we will see Les Arenes, a Roman amphitheater built in the 1C AD and other roman monuments. Lunch will be served on the barge. After lunch we go to the enchanting hilltop village of Les Beaux, known for gorgeous views over the provençal landscape. St Rémy, the home to princess Caroline of Monaco and other celebrities has shops with regional pottery, including beautiful sunflower plates, no doubt influenced by van Gogh. Dinner on board rounds out a wonderful day.  

 

 Thursday: A morning cruise on the river Rhone and the 'petit Rhone', and we pass locks. After the second lock, we continue our cruise on the canal du Rhone a Sète.  Lunch will be served during the cruise and in the afternoon we will arrive in the town of  St. Gilles. This afternoon we go to the musée des arômes et de parfum in Graveson, housed in a lovely 19th-century farmhouse, where you can explore a whole world of delicate scents, the essential oils and products associated with aroma therapy. There is also a shop where you can buy a little something to make you smell and feel good. This evening we dine out in a restaurant where you can try some specialties from this region.

Friday: In the morning we continue our cruise on the canal du Rhône a Sète through the stunningly beautiful Camargue National Park. During this cruise we can observe the wild camargue horses, troops of bulls  and see lots of birds. We moor right at the gates of the amazing 13th century walled town of Aigues-Mortes, an embarkation port for the crusades. After lunch there will be time to walk along the walls. One more opportunity to shop for souvenirs.  There will be time to relax in one of the many outdoor cafés.  Tonight's festive farewell dinner in this quaint setting ends the cruise in style.

 

 

Saturday: You'll say "Au Revoir" and depart after breakfast for transfer to Montpellier. There is, at present, a TGV train departure to Paris and a departure to Nice. You may also be transferred to the airport, rental car office, or hotel.

 
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Our sightseeing schedule is flexible and can be customized to reflect your interests. Occasionally an itinerary will be changed due to canal closures or inclement weather. The Captain will substitute an equally interesting route. Change in itinerary will not be accepted as a cause for cancelling your cruise.

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