This unique self-drive itinerary will have you cross the South of France from its Western coast in the Basque Country to beautiful Provence, with its cicadas and lavender fields.
based on double occupancy.
Step by step
The Basque Country : surf, gastronomy and Pyrenees foothills
- Your trip starts in the Basque Country where you will stay for 5 nights in a comfortable house located 5 miles from the ocean, between Biarritz and Saint-Jean de Luz. From the Atlantic coastline, its waves and tanned surfers, to the rugged Pyrenees Mountains, from the peacefulness of the untouched villages to the lively nightlife in Saint Jean de Luz, the Basque Country will not disappoint.
- We will craft your days so you get a feel of everything the Basque culture has to offer, and there is a lot: taste the local Bayonne ham after strolling a valley and discovering the traditional and still alive mountain pig farming, get acquainted with the Basque weaving tradition, try to make your own Basque cake or stroll one of the many farmers markets.
- Several “most beautiful villages of France” will be on your scenic drives – and you may see some locals playing the Basque Pelote game at the town’s fronton. Nature and outdoors lovers will enjoy endless walks and hikes in the Pyrenees foothills, occasional walkers will relax on the walks along the beaches and enjoy a coffee at a terrace watching surfers.
- You will also follow a local guide in Biarritz. He will give you the keys to the Basque culture so you will understand more about the Basque language and the traditions and festivals such as Pelote or Basque Force. This tour ends at the covered market, where you will taste some Basque specialties.
Carcassonne's medieval cité & the Cathar country
- Carcassonne and the Cathar country are the perfect stop over on the way to Provence. Carcassonne's medieval “Cité” will amaze you by its size and conservation.
- Stay 2 nights in downtown Carcassonne lively “Bastide St Louis”, a short walk to the UNESCO Medieval city. Your lovely and international hosts have travelled the world and are happy to share many stories and tips with their guests.
- In the Cathar country, walkers/hikers will be rewarded with breath taking landscapes and fortresses such as Quéribus or Perpeytuse. History lovers will be intrigued by the Cathar history. Wine lovers may be surprised by the quality of the “Minervois” wines which have improved a lot in the past 10 years. They are now on the wine lists of some of the most famous restaurants in the world.
- On the 8th day, you will drive about 2hr30 along the Mediterranean Sea to get to Provence.
Provence, away from the beaten path
- Your Bed & Breakfast for 5 nights lies just outside a lovely village on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. This "mas house" has belonged to your hostess’s family for 4 generations and is surrounded by olive and cherry trees. One night, your host Chris will cook a delicious table d’hôtes dinner you will enjoy with fellow travellers in a very convivial ambiance.
- Mont Ventoux remains the most authentic part of Provence, with little villages such as Vaison la Romaine, Malaucène and Bedoin and dramatic landscapes like “les Dentelles de Montmirail”. One day, we will take you to a place you could not find on your own, lost in the mountains, at a very private wine estate. Here, you will take a tour of the winery, then enjoy a wine tasting followed by a nice picnic in the vineyards. A very romantic time.
- So many things to see in less than an hour's drive from your B&B: beautiful Avignon, also referred to as “the City of Popes”, where you can visit the Palace of the Popes, the well-preserved ramparts and the famous “Avignon Bridge”. Enjoy hilltop villages on market day, walking in the footsteps of famous painters such as Cézanne or Picasso. We will also tell you about some hidden jewels - off the beaten track villages where you will stroll around charming streets or have a drink at a provençal café with locals. We can also recommend a farmer’s market and wine cellar for each day of the week!
- Speaking of gastronomy, let a local man who was born and raised in Avignon, take you on a walking tour to discover the Provençal food specialties - a great way to get acquainted with the local culture, from the Pompe à l’huile to the thyme chocolates.
- If you are interested in history, don’t miss the Roman ruins in Arles, Orange and the Pont du Gard. We will also take you to smaller sites – less famous and much quieter. You may explore the salt marshes of the Camargue and visit the Alpilles region, where you will find beautiful Saint Remy de Provence.
Basque sheep and Provençal cicadas, Irrouléguy wine and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Basque language and the old Provençal dialect . . .
you will experience a lot!
A Private Guide to introduce you to the Basque culture
Follow a local guide in Biarritz, by the Ocean. He will give you the keys to his city and to the Basque culture. You will end this tour at the covered market, tasting some Basque produces: cheese, hams and wines.
Gourmet Experience in Provence
Let a passionate who was born and raised in Provence, take you to his best addresses in the old city to discover Provence food specialties.
Wine Tasting & Picnic in a very private Estate
Explore a very private wine estate, lost in the hills of Provence. You will enjoy a tour of the estate followed by a wine tasting, then have a picnic lunch in the vineyards. A very special place you would not find on your own.