Edito

The management and its team of Provence Tours wish you all a Happy and Peaceful New Year. We thank you for your confidence in reserving our tours in the past. Marseille has been nominated the European Capital of Culture in 2013 and in 2017, it's the European Capital of Sports. Therefore, there will be many exciting events going on in this 2nd biggest city of France. Marseille is also the gateway to many historical monuments, wine, nature, gastronomy, lavender or hilltop villages in the region. We will be most happy to design a tour that will suits your interest and make your holidays a dream come true.

06/01/2017 --------------------------------------------

Hidden between sea and hills, Marseille is an amazing city that moves with the seasons and passions. Founded 2600 years ago, the oldest city in France combines the richness of a unique heritage, an intense cultural life, and an exceptional location. Sometimes affectionate, sometimes rebellious, she loves to seduce the visitor with the charm of its 16 different districts, its mild climate and its gastronomy.
It is a port city with a strong identity, and has also kept abreast of the changes throughout time to become an important capital of the Mediterranean Basin open to the world. Marseilles has been visited in 2014 by more than 2 millions people and the expectations has been on the rise for 2015 with 2,5 millions. We are expected more for 2016. Thanks to the cruise ship industry, the 2016 season will start in April with more than 4 ships a day during the week and 3 ships the weekends.

It is now official: » MARSEILLES IS THE PLACE TO BE IN 2016 « 




31/10/2016 --------------------------------------------

Summer is here and the nature wakes up. People from Marseilles meet on the terraces or try to lose their kilos running along the famous Corniche overlooking the sea. The regulars get back to the beaches, and the pleasure to live in a Mediterranean city  in the heart of Provence is an extraordinary opportunity.
Lavender, the international symbol for Provence, takes a close look and will appear mid-June. An ocean of blue flowers will give us the finest fragrance and will amaze the younger and older ones, the locals as well as the tourists.
We will never get enough observing the nature coming back and offering the greatest she can show. Let's get even more of us to discover or rediscover it this year and don't be afraid : Lavender has to be considered as a wonder of the world.

15/09/16 -------------------------------------------------------

During their stay in Avignon the Popes developed the interest for wine in the region and in particular at Chateauneuf du Pape. Thanks to the Popes presence the wine making activity in the area boomed. Since that time, in the XIIIth century, the wine making processes in Chateauneuf du Pape remained authentic and the quality of the wine prevailed.

In the XVIIIth century the wines from Chateauneuf du Pape started being exported to Freanch and European Aristocratie and within the end of the century it was already being exported outside of Europe.

Today, the brand Chateauneuf du Pape is well known globally and it is recognize by experts as a great wine. The name Chateauneuf du Pape, the area has been protected by an AOC label since 1936.

Many rules have to be met in order to call a wine Chateauneuf du Pape among which :

- Harversting has to made by hand.

- Only grapes from 13 varieties can be used in making a Chateauneuf du Pape (grenache, mouvèdre, syrah, cinsault, muscardin, counoise, clairette, bourboulenc, roussanne, picpoul, picardan, vaccarèse, terret noir).

- No rosé wine can be manufactured.

14/09/09 --------------------------------------------

In what we call green Provence lies the village of Entrecasteaux, it is a very picturesque village with a deep history and a lot of heritage.

The village is very characteristic of Provence with narrow streets, stairs and arks. One of the highlight on the village is of course its Renaissance Castle built on top of the fundations of the Xith century Fort ! The castle possess a very typical French garden designed by Le Notre the designer from Versailles gardens !

The Fortified XIIIth century church St Sauveur also is quite a sight and one of the many remnants of past as long as the old lavoury.

The entire village is in fact registered as a protected monument !



13/09/09 -------------------------------------------------

The charming town of Lourmarin in the Luberon area is also known as the three tower village: the church bell tower, the old fort tower and the castle tower.

Many artists have fallen in love with this village and its atmosphere among them Nobel prize winner and french writer Albert Camus decided to live there and chose to be burried there.

The typical narrow streets and architecture cannot be mistaken, this is as much Provence as you can get. The traditionnal market on fridays is also a sight !

The XVth century castle is also quite surprising in Provence as very few Renaissance castles can be found in the area.

12/09/09 --------------------------------------------



The charming harbour town of Cassis is a very appreciated destination for Marseille inhabitants.

The picturesque port is very lively in summer with markets and restaurants, it is also the starting point for short cruises in the unique site of Calanques between Marseille and Cassis.

The sand beach is also a big highlight during the hot summer season.

Cassis has many interests for tourists, countless painters have been inspired by the beauty of the village and its surroundings. The Cap Canaille, highest sea cliff in Europe, dominates the village and offers a astonishing view on the Cassis bay.

Cassis is also well known for its wine and its numerous hiking trails,

11/09/16 --------------------------------------------------------------



The town of UZES:

The city of Uzes is one of those cities in France which have existed since Celtic times before becoming a Roman village and later developped as a very charming medieval town.

Building after building, hundrerds of years of history are displayed before ones eyes. It trully is a journey back in time.

The many XIIth and XIIIth centuries mansions along the streets of Uzes, the churches, the 16th century Cathedral and the squares of the town all give off that medieval feeling.

Don't miss on climbing the 100 stairs of Uzes tower to enjoy the breathtaking view of the surroundings and the city.

10/09/09 ---------------------------------------------------------

The story behing the famous song of Avignon Bridge:

Under the Popes rule the city of Avignon was a bit more strict regarding entertainment as the rest of France. More precisely, dancing bars known as “Guinguettes“ had been forbidden within the city walls of Avignon.

This interdiction made Avignon residents look for other places to have fun and dance. The Bridge of Avignon linked the two banks of the Rhone river and went through the big Island Barthelasse. That island was home for many of those traditional guinguettes and it was only logic for the inhabitant to go there for entertainment, with the alcohol and the dancing they didn't hesitate to voice their unhapiness towards Avignon strict rules and created the famous song saying that everyone were dancing under the Avignon brigde which had a view on the Pope's Palace and sang the song and danced as a way to defy those rules !

09/09/16 -----------------------------------------------------



The story of the sardine blocking Marseille harbour.

Marseille inhabitants are known throughout France for exagerating and one of the sources of this stereotype is the story of the sardine that blocked Marseille harbour !

The year is 1779 and French prisonners captured in India are being sent back to France by ship to Marseille on board of a fregate called Sartine ! Unfortunately for them English navy which ruled the mediterranean sea at that time attacked the ship by mistake killing the captain before letting it pursue its route. Arriving at Marseille without captain the Sartine hurt a rocky area upon entering the harbour and sunk in the narrow canal leading to the port ! Due to its size it took days to remove it and meanwhile no one could enter or exit the port ! Years of story telling changed the t in a d and this event became famous as the moment when a Sardine managed to blockade the entire harbour of Marseille !!!

08/09/16 ----------------------------------------------------------

Ochre cliffs legend :

Lady Sermonde and Sir Raymond d'Avignon were the lords of Roussillon but Raymond spent more time hunting than taking care of his dear wife.

Lady Sermonde fell in love with a page in the castle and soon Raymond took notice of their secret affair. Furious Raymond had the page executed and went as far as serving his heart to lady Sermonde for lunch.

When he told her what she had just eaten lady Sermonde in despair rushed to the edge of the castle, Raymond could only watch the event unfold before is eyes as his beloved launched herself from the cliff to her death.

It is said that it is her blood that tainted the cliffs red for eternity.

07/09/16 --------------------------------------------------

Silvacane Abbey:

The village of La Roque D'Antheron in the South Luberon area displays this jewel of architecture and history.

Cistercian monks set up this abbey in this abbey during in the middle of the XIIth century and started developping. Unfortunately, a couple of years later, the abbey had to face a conflict with the Benedictan abbey of Montmajour near Arles. The influence of the Silvacane Abbey suffered from this greatly and weather gave it the final blow when frost killed the fields of the abbey and when a flood occured.

Later on the abbey had many uses, it became a church at first for the village, then after the French revolution it housed different farming exploitations until the mid XXth century . It is now vacant and owned by the town.

06/09/16 -------------------------------------------------------------

The Fort Saint André in Villeneuve Lez Avignon is born of the necessity for the French king to affirmate its power. Its strategic location, facing the Pope city of Avignon and near the border of the Saint German Empire, made it a very important fort for the kingdom of France in the XIVth century.

Being perched on the mount Andaon it made it easy to control the Rhone river and to see troups coming miles away. It was built around a IXth century Abbey which today showcases spectacular gardens.

You will particularly enjoy the panoramic view on the Rhone Valley and on Avignon while resting your feet on top of the Fort tower !

05/09/06 ------------------------------------------------------------

Church of Saintes Maries de la Mer:

The church Our Lady of the Sea in Saintes Maries de la Mer is one of a kind. Devoted to the 3 Maries that are said to have landed there from their journey from Jerusalem. It is one of the oldest churches of Provence and France as it dates back to the mid Vith century, but even before that it was a temple dedicated to Arthemis. In order to secure the village the church has been fortificated in the XIIth century after being damaged many times by pillagers.

Many relics has been discover under the church when the king René of Provence ordered to break the floor to see what lied under. The church's hight offers a very dominant view over the region to offer a way to detect intruders.

04/09/16 ------------------------------------------------------

Chateau de la Barben:

Near Salon de Provence lies the oldest and most well preserved castle of Provence. Dating back to the Xth century this imposant stronghold dominates the valley and offers a magnificient view of its surroundings.

It is one of the most beautiful castles of Provence and its history is very rich. Some of its highlights were being owned by the King René of Provence who sold it to the prestigious family Forbin who kept it for over five centuries. That family played a bid role into reinstating Provence in the French kingdom. The Castle also whitnesses the love story between the Marquis Auguste de Forbin and the sister of the emperor Napoleon 1st .

The gardens of the castle were designed by Le Notre, the designer for the Versailles gardens. They are a very exquisit sight !

03/09/16 ---------------------------------------------------

King René !

As far as kings of Provence go, the good Roy René is the most popular of them.

The king René was part of the royal family of France and had an eventful life. His nephew as the king of France and himself had control over the Anjou area, Provence, Napoli, Sicilia, Jerusalem and Aragon. Some of these titles were honorary but it tells a lot about his importance. He was called the good king for one reason mainly, he was passionate about art and knowledge.

Under his rule the cities of Tarascon, Aix en Provence, Anger and Salon de Provence became centers for art and a court of savants formed there which allowed those cities and kingdoms to prosper !

02/09/16 --------------------------------------------------------------

Michel de Nostradame known as Nostradamus is famous for his 'Centuries', prophecies about the world from his XVIth century to the future days.

He is said to have predicted many major events such as the French Revolution, the rise of emperor Napoleon, the rise of Hitler, the death of French King Henry II, the great fire of London in 1666, Louis Pasteur discoveries and fame, the atomic bomb explosions in Japan, 9/11 attacks.

Nostradamus was born in St Rémy de Provence and lived in Salon de Provence. He is famous today for his prophecies around the word, many of them are said to have really happened !

24/07/16 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notre Dame De La Garde, this one of a kind Basilica is worshipped all around the city of Marseille.

It was built on top of an old Fort and dominates Marseille from its high location.

It was built in the XIXth century in the place of a XIIth century church. It was built in a Neo-Byzantine style which adds to its uniqueness in Provence.

23/07/16 ---------------------------------------------------------

Marseille Soap is well known in France and even in the world for beeing a high quality soap. For centuries Provence artisans have manufactured this product. Today manufacturers have widenned the range of fragance used in the famous soap to relay Provence smells in theur product such as lavender, local herbs and local fruits.

21/07/16 ---------------------------------------------------------------

Olive trees are a very common sight in Provence countryside and the reason for this is pretty simple.

Olives are one of Provence specialties. In fact Provence inhabitants use Olive under all its aspects:

- The small fruit is very appreciated raw or cooked in many different dishes such as the famous Salade Niçoise.

- Olive oil is the main (if not only) kind of oil used for cooking in the region, its aroma is also perfect for seasoning salds in summer.

- Mashed black olives give birth to Tapenade which is a much appreciated side dish during Apréritif !

20/07/16 --------------------------------------------------------------

Provence is a place with a lot of history and interests and there is no better to learn about it all than having a guide.

Our guides are very knowledgeable on all the places they will take you to and they are also very accessible as you will travel in small groups only ! We are very fortunate to have such great guides with us and their service is always aimed towards making sure their tour satisfies you!

19/07/16 ---------------------------------------------------



Some of our guides are wine experts and will take you to the vineyards to show you and explain everything you've always wanted to know about wine making !!



They know the best locations to let you enjoy the best view possible for you to get everlasting memories !!





18/07/16 ------------------------------------------------



Our guides will take you to places that may be hard to find or remote such as a wine Chateau or small picturesque villages.



Transport is not as easy as it seem and if you want to find out about the hidden treasures of Provence our guides are your best bet !!



It is also so much more relaxing if you don't need to be preoccupied by driving on your own !!





17/07/16 -------------------------------------------



Our excursions are made on Mercedes minivans, you may wonder why?



We believe reliability is important is order to provide a safe tour, this is also why our vehicles are often inspected!



We also believe that comfort is very important during our tours and our vehicules will provide just that with the air conditioning!





16/07/16 --------------------------------------------------------



This is almost a ritual in Provence, before almost every meal we get together between friends or family no matter how many participants and we share a drink together.



This moment is the famous Apéro! Snacks consists in local specialties such as olives, small tomatoes, tapenade and such.

One can't talk about Apéritif without talking about Pastis, the local althouugh worlwide famous beverage which is a must in Provence!





15/07/16 ------------------------------------------------------



Gastronomy takes an important role in Provence as we like to share meals with family or friends which may give birth to 4/5 hour long lunches or dinners !!



The many talented chefs of Provence will share with you the delicious meals Provence has to offer such as Bouillabaisse (traditionnal fish soup), Aïoli, Pistou soup, stuffed vegetables and many other specialties. You can even take cooking classes with some of the best chefs !!





14/07/16 ----------------------------------------------------------



For generations Provence inhabitants have been relying on windmills for their daily needs.



They were used for turning wheat into flour and also for turning Olives into the famous Olive Oil. Provence had a big number of those mills due to the powerful wind called Mistral.



Nowadays the scenery of Provence is filled with those treasures and some of them are still in function producing Olive Oil. You can visit them and even taste their delicious oil !!

13/07/16 ------------------------------------------------------------

Provence is well known for its traditionnal markets taking place usually in the morning in tmost villages of Provence.



Local products, fresh fruits and vegetables, a bit of clothing and manufactured items;... In summary almost anything can be found there and the atmosphere is really pleasant, you will surely enjoy spending time there and experience every day life in Provence !

18/07/2016 -------------------

Provence Tours 2016

We have been expecting it for so many months and our new website is finally online !
One of our highlight will be the shared shore excursions we offer from Marseille Cruise Terminal.
Don't miss the opportunity to spend a beautiful day in Provence and book your excursion directly online.
We are eager to welcome you in Marseille !