Le Roussillon, Legend has it that the wife of a nobleman threw herself from the top of the cliffs after her husband forced her to eat her dead lover’s heart. The earth turned scarlet with her blood, and rocks and village were left with a permanent rosy glow.
Seguret, this amazing medieval settlement hugs its hillside like a tight belt.
Gordes, perched on top of a steep cliff is a cascade of multicolored houses, which has inspired countless painters.Painting exhibitions in the chapel around the town square, which is lined with small shops. in the center is an overpowering 16th-century castle, which in 1541 was endowed with a fireplace still famous for its size and elegant carving.
Oppede le Vieux,Flourishing in Renaissance times, Oppede was deserted by 1900 – no one wanted to live on a barely accessible rock. Today some of the houses are being restored and you can see the ruins of a medieval castle in ruins.
Ansouis, This village, with its wandering streets, is made remarkable by its chateau built in the 1100s , remodeled at various times , the castle is still owned by the duke of Sabran and his family. In the 14th century it was home to St Elzear and his wife, Ste Dauphine. There is a medieval kitchen. Delightful views over the box woodtrees in the “Paradise Garden“
Menerbes, was superbly sited for defense. As protestant stronghold it held out for about 5 years during the 18th-century wars of religion.Peace now reigns around the citadel and townhouses.
Malaucene, this was where pope Clement V had his summer residence and it remains a beautiful spot of 17th-and 18th-century houses, fountains and avenues shaded by plane trees.
Vacqueyras, one of Provence’s most prestigious villages, The town houses an 11th-century church with its elegant belltower, then you can enjoy wine tasting.
Brantes, overhanging the gorges ( 1,800 feet) below , Brantes stares across the toulourenc valley to Mont Ventoux. It is a very impressive place to be in March when the almond trees are in bloom.
Le Barroux, An eagle’s nest of a village, its very narrow streets lead steeply up to this beautiful chateau at the top.
The Vaucluse exudes a very cultured air. Its very rich past – Roman inheritance in Orange, papal legacy of Avignon is very amplified by summer festivals in both towns, while the perched villages of the Luberon are reserved to holiday homes. The villages are not perched by accident and Avignon’s ramparts were built for protection. Defense was the main reason for both.
Vaison La Romaine, one of the best preserved Roman towns of Provence.
Abbaye de Senanque, built in 1148, this is one of the primitive abbeys known as ” the Cistercian Sisters of Provence” to allow the monks to meditate undistracted, according to the rule of St -Benedict. The abbey is spectacular when it is surrounded by lavender fields.
Le Mont Ventoux, on a clear day you can see all 6,500 ft of the “giant of Provence“, with the observatory at the summit as it rises between the Rhone Valley, the Vaucluse plateau and the massifs of Barronies. The road to the top is one of striking contrasts, as it snakes past orchards, dense pinewoods and bare limestone. The summit is buffeted by strong winds all year round.
Roman theater, Orange,The might of the 1st-century Rome is revealed in all its glory in this amphitheater and one of the best preserved relics from antiquity. The acoustics are exceptional. A marble statue of Augustus is still there to welcome spectators.
Parc Naturel regional du Luberon, The Luberon has a wild natural mountain beauty. It is also the parks job to maintain tourists and the environment.
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, is one of the most powerful waters in the world. The torrent suddenly emerged in the 7th-century, watering the fig trees and feeding the river Sorgue. Truly spectacular after heavy rain.
Les Dentelles de Montmirail, the prettiest mountain range in Provence. It has taken clay, salt , limestone and 200 million years to create the lace-like pattern of mountaintops against the sky. For people who like to hike : the lacy path is longer than it looks!
Synagogue, Carpentras, until the 19th-century, Carpentras -capital of the Comtat Venaissin, a former papal enclave inside France – had a large Jewish community. All that now survives is France’s oldest synagogue, founded in the 14th- century- its sanctuary and bread ovens intact.
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Marseille. fish dish of up to six species, such as monk fish and John Dory as well as mussels, clams. Spicy stock is served first as soup. Fishermen’s favorite hearty soup. www.luxurytravelconsultant2.com.
Have lunch at le Miramar, 12 Quai du Port, http://www.bouillabaisse.com. This comfortable, polished restaurant alongside the Vieux Port is renowned for its bouillabaisse and other top-quality fish dishes.
Salade Nicoise. Purist only use raw vegetables, hard boiled eggs, anchovies, olives, roasted red peppers and fresh tuna. It is Nice‘s most exported dish.
Another Nicoise specialty is Le Pan- Bagnat – bread usually dipped in olive oil filled with tuna, eggs, and salad – once the priced meal of fishemen.
Olives. Signature Provencal product, introduced by the Greeks in the 4th-century BC, olive oil is central to regional dishes.
Le Poupeton. A souffle made with fish left over from Bouillabaisse.
Aioli. Garlic mayonnaise made with olive oil. Accompanies raw vegetables, cold cod and hard boiled eggs.
Oursinade. is a platter of sea orchins freshly caught from the ocean.
La soupe au pistou. A hearty bean, tomato and zucchini broth, flavored with garlic, olive oil and basil pesto.
Pieds et Paquets. Lamb’s feet ( pieds) and stuffed sheep’s stomach ( paquets) in white white wine.
Ratatouille. A vegetarian stew of red peppers, courgettes (zucchini), aubergines ( eggplant), tomatoes, onions, sauteed in love oil.
Truffles. Hunting of the highly flavored underground fungus runs mid November to mid March. Carpentras is the place to be for the famous fungus.
Daube Provencal.Beef ( or wild boar) marinated and simmered in red wine, herbs and garlic.
Tapenade. Puree of olives, capers and anchovies, spread on toast. Anchoiade is similar but without capers.
The fertile soil baked in sunshine, sprinkled with the right amount of rain along the lengthy coast, Provence’s climate has all the right ingredients for glorious harvests of wine grapes, olives, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, garlic, fresh herbs , truffles , melons, lemons and much more. And locals know what to do with their goods. Century old traditions have influenced every Provencal kitchen, where age- old specialties and contemporary creations are based on some of the world’s finest olive oils and produce picked that very morning. You are never too far away from the Mediterranean sea, a region where fresh seafood takes pride of place on most tables. To top it all off , the local wines – Cotes du Rhones, including Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and crisp Cote de Provence roses – fuels lively with Chatter and makes dining here an incredible & memorable experience.
During the tour , we will visit Marseille, fresh fruits of the sea define Marseillaise cuisine – most notably Bouillabaisse, a fish stew as old as the city itself ( from 600 a.c). Fisherman have been concocting it for centuries to make use of the least desirable portion of their catch. From the words bouillir ( to boil) and baisse ( to turn down the heat), genuine Bouillabaisse is traditionally two dishes, a saffron tinted broth , with orange zest and fennel seeds, followed by a variety of fish poached in the base. Servers present the fish first, to demonstrate its impeccable freshness, and then ladle more soup over it, served with une rouille ( a sauce of red chilies, garlic, olive oil, egg yolk and cayenne). After visiting the old port of Marseille we will have Bouillabaisse for lunch in one of the cafes in the old part of town.
A visit to a truffle farm plantation in Cadenet , Luberon about 30 kms from Aix en Provence operated by a Franco – American couple . It is an 11 hectare – organic farm to trade the American world of finance and PR to go green in the Luberon. You will discover how truffles are cultivated and how truffle dogs are trained. If you want to finally learned about truffles and tell your friends about it when you get back to the States, this is the place for you. You will get to sip on champagne and taste fresh truffles on toast. Lunch will follow and a truffle burger will be served, modeled after Daniel Boulud’s recipe. A burger stuffed with Foie Gras , bacon and truffles.
We will get to taste wines & truffle olive oils, you can also buy organic olive oil as well as truffle olive oil, the owners ship anywhere in the US.
Another visit to an organic vineyard, located in the foothills of The Luberon , in the south-east of the region stands 350 m above sea level in an exceptional lush green setting surrounded by holm oaks and scrublands and has over 70 ha of uninterrupted land.
Once you step into this chateau, you will find yourself immersed in the world of wine. we will learn about the vineyards and growing methods. A light lunch & wine tasting will follow.
Let’s have a cooking class.
The chef will gladly share his passion and expertise with you, and will give you a custom – designed lesson at the property. The cooking lesson includes:
9 a.m: we will meet the chef at the market coffee shop.
9 :30 a.m : Visit of the market & selection of products.
10 : 30 a.m : back at the villa and let’s start cooking in the kitchen.
12:00 p.m : Let’s sit down and enjoy our meal.
We won’t leave Provence without paying a visit to La Camargue where pink flamingoes, black bulls and white horses live free. La Camargue is a 800 square km ( 300 miles) zone of lagoons, salt-flats and marshes; remote and rich in birdlife. Large stretches are protected and inaccessible, but open to all travelers are the long evenings of gypsy music and wine as the sun sets in the horizon. A visit to l’Abbaye de Montmajour, in AD 948 a community of hermits was founded in the middle of the marshes. The extent of the ruins give us some idea of its enormous size and we will learn more about this very stark architecture.
A stop at La Fontaine de Vaucluse.
From deep in a circular hollow, springs one of the most powerful water sources in the world. One myth claims that a nymph removed seven diamonds from the rocks, one by one to release it. The torrent suddenly emerged in the 7th-century, watering the fig trees above the chasm and feeding the river Sorgue. Truly spectacular after heavy rain. We can also make a stop at L’isle sur la Sorgue, if you like antiques and enjoy the slow pace of looking at knick-knacks, pieces of furniture and other treasures, this is the perfect place .We always have backups if our clientele is not interested.
The village des Bories has always interested our clients. So we will visit this hamlet consisting entirely of restored bories ( dry-stone igloos), where inhabitants of the Vaucluse and the Luberon lived from Ligurian times ( 6th-century BC).
The tour dates are:
November 22, 2014 – November 29, 2014.
8 days/ 7 nights
Villa Accommodations ( double occupancy) $250.00 single room supplement.
Drivers ( transfers, touring the region).
TGV train ride round trip included.
Visits to a truffle farm, an organic vineyard and more…
Local chef ( breakfast, lunch & dinner included).
Thanksgiving meal included on Thursday November 27.
3 bottles of wine included with dinners.
* Air fare not included