Circuit Haute Provence, Tour Provence Verdon, la région des lacs
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TOUR ALPES HAUTE PROVENCE- VERDON – 6 DAYS

TOUR ALPES HAUTE PROVENCE- VERDON – 6 DAYS

New! TOUR ALPES HAUTE PROVENCE- VERDON  – 6 DAYS

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 Tour in Provence , autotour  in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence between mountains and sea with very divers lands with  beautiful lavender fields in summer and ski slopes in winter.Tourism and holidays in Provence Alps are in fresh air.Visit Villages and cities of character of Provence « Villages et cités de caractère » road links these villages with superb views of the most remarkable landscapes in the Alpes de Haute-Provence

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Description

ALPES HAUTE PROVENCE TOUR – 6 DAYS

DAY 1: MARSEILLE – MANOSQUE – SISTERON –SERRE PONCON LAKE – VALLEE DE L’UBAYE – BARCELONNETTE – JAUSIERS

 

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If you arrive by Aix en Provence:

Aix en Provence is surrounded by unspoilt countryside with authentic Provencal houses and fragrant gardens. Its name comes from the hot springs discovered in the foundation of the city by the Romans. As a city of art and culture, Aix is like an open-air museum with a rich architectural heritage which has been beautifully restored.

You will taste the Calissons of Confiserie Leonard Parli. Carole Fracalosso welcomes you to the factory of Calissons, where you will enjoy the emblematic dessert of Aix in Provence. (Depending on your travel dates it can be another Calissons factory).

Or if you arrive by Marseille:

Notre-Dame de la Garde dominates and watches over the city. Marseilles is a city which is composed by a mosaic of buildings and monuments. The Saint-Victor Abbey houses the crypts of the birth of Christianity in Provence. Triumphal architecture of the XIX century is mounted throughout the city witnessing the splendour of trade of that time. The sea is just at your feet! You will discover the most charming parts of Marseille with authentic fishing huts which have been completely restored… The Auffes valley, the Goudes … without forgetting the Château d’Ifand the islands of Friuli, between March and September, you can take the shuttle bus in Estaque village from the Vieux Port.

On the way to Manosque if you want to you can see the home of Jean Giono in Manosque, near the centre named “Lou Paraïs”.

You will visit L’Occitane which manufactures essential oils and various beauty and skin care products for the Provence.

Barcelonnette located in the heart of the Valley of the Ubaye, is a small mountain town which has a double face:

- In the summer, it is surrounded by orchards and green pastures offering thousands of strolls and multiple activities with pastures the height of a thousand sheep.

- In the winter it turns into a fantastic winter sports resort with 3 alpine ski resorts: Pra-Loup, Sauze Super-Sauze and Sainte Anne. Two cross-country ski centres: Paul Larche et Saint.

Experience the magic Alps in spring, summer and autumn time in the Mercantour National Park. There, you will find mountains (The vertices of mountains are sometimes more than 3000 m of altitude), glacial lakes and 6 distinct valleys.   The Mercantour National Park an hour from the sea, is a unique jewel of a preserved nature and is a complex mixture of Mediterranean and alpine influences.

Lunch at your leisure ( You have a range of  restaurant selections in the guidebook that we offer you)

Dinner at hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the chosen option

Accommodation in hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen


DAY 2:  VAL D’ALLOS – ST ANDRE OF ALPES – DIGNE- LA PALUD SUR VERDON – MOUSTIERS ST MARIE

 

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The Val d’Allos is the highest mountain in the Southern Alps at 1800 meters’ altitude.

A rail toboggan runs in the summer and in the winter “Verdon Express” will make you fall in love with the great mountain air.

At the crossroads to the French Riviera and the Southern Alps, 900 meters’ altitude, St André les Alpes welcomes you along the lake of Castillon, in the Alpes de Haute Provence.

As a natural, relaxing, conservative area, St André les Alpes is a gateway to the Regional Natural Park of Verdon. In the territory of the geological reserve of Haute Provence stage is the famous Route Napoleon. Barrême owns a house where the Emperor spent the night on March 4th, 1815, as recalled by a plaque on the facade. Once known for its lavender distillation plants – there is always a quality label “fine lavender Barrême”.

Digne les Bains, spa with superb climate is situated at the intersection of three valleys and has an impressive geological reserve. It offers exhibitions, guided tours, scientific research and work on fossil sites.

La maison des Gorges du Verdon is located at la Palud-sur-Verdon in a museum and cultural heritage journey, you will descend gradually to the bottom of the Grand Canyon du Verdon. You can then discover the geological history, nature (optional).

Moustiers Sainte-Marie, famous for its pottery is a village classified as one of the most beautiful in France is built under the purest sky in Europe.

The village is at the crossroads of the site of the Gorges du Verdon which is about twenty kilometres from the Village and the Valensole on the route de la Lavande. There is also an opportunity to visit a pottery (optional.)

Lunch at your leisure ( You have a range of  restaurant selections in the guidebook that we offer you)

Dinner at hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen

Accommodation in hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen


DAY 3: THE REGION OF LACS – RIEZ -QUINSON – ESPARON SUR VERDON – GREOUX LES BAINS –VALENSOLE – ORAISON – FORCALQUIER

 

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Riez founded in the 1st century is the oldest city of the Alpes de Haute Provence, it is called Riez la Romaine.  There you can discover the rich history of the village through the relics from different eras, Gallo-Roman, medieval and renaissance. Riez also offers the season’s delicious truffle, honey, lavender, thyme and rosemary … In Riez you can also enjoy one of the best truffles scrambled in the area! Quinson museum is one of the largest Prehistory museums in Europe, it traces a million years of human adventure. There you can read text panels, watch videos or discover by 3-D films reconstructions (optional).

The village of Esparron is perched at the entrance of the lower Verdon gorges. At the foot of the village reflects the turquoise waters of Lake Esparron, lined with creeks, cliffs and forests. In the vicinity of large plateaus, you can find lavender fields. Between Luberon and Verdon Gréoux les Bains is the heart of the plateau Valensole – famous for its lavender.

Valensole is located in the heart of a magnificent plateau of lavender and almond trees. Valensole originates in Vallis and solis, which means “The Valley of the Sun”.  In the spring the almond trees are in flower. In the summer you can enjoy the fragrance of the lavender in the sweet smelling the air.

Prayer located along the Durance, is surrounded by a beautiful preserved nature. In summer you can refresh yourself in the Lakes, also in Buissonnades. Sailboard sails are waiting for you.

Forcalquier is the capital of scents and tastes and the people preserve an ancestral tradition of more than 100 years to prepare the recipes, aperitifs and alcohols.
The Pastis Henri Bardouin, Absinthe, Bau, Rinquinquin, La Farigoule, are the most famous local drinks (alcohol) in Provence. You can find them both in elegant prestige restaurants in Provence and in local bars
The citadel of Sisteron throne on his rock, is called the pearl of High Provence. You can begin your journey to discovering the city by the famous small-train.

The Serre Poncon Lake extends over 19 km in the Durance Valley and about 9 km in the valley of the Ubaye. It is at the foot of the Ecrins national park, a boating destination in summer and is a marina of Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur. Thanks to the craftsmen, farmers and regional producers, you are going to be able to discover their expertise with quality products: chocolates, crunchy, pies of the mountain, Génépi cottage, jams, honey, deli meats, cheeses … a true delight with the good French bread of the mountain! (We recommend which breads baked in the wood-fire you will be able to find in a local bakery)

Tour of the vinery of the domains of Provence. 

Lunch at your leisure ( You have a range of  restaurant selections in the guidebook that we offer you)

Dinner at  hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen

Accommodation in hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen


DAY 4: MANE – BANON – SIMIANE LA ROTONDE – APT – ROUSSILLON – GORDES – FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE – L’ISLE SUR SORGUE – AVIGNON

 

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Mane has the unique fortification (complete) with double ramparts of the anterior Haute Provence formed in the seventeenth century. Situated 2 Km from Mane, you can discover the Castle of Sauvan (the “Petit Trianon provencal”) built in 1720 and beautifully restored in the pure classic French style, the same as its origins.

Banon, a perched village, has become famous for its tasty little goat cheese delicately wrapped in a sheet of chestnut hair and many limits of a twine from raffia. You will discover a site medieval fortified in bleachers. Simiane la Rotonde, a small village surrounded by fields of lavender, was for a long time, the regional capital of the lavender.

You will love the charm of its blooms: an immense blue expanses when night falls, an excellent scent in the summer nights.
Apt is the world capital of candied fruits. The master confectioners of Apt perpetuates today the art of candied fruit, the history dates back centuries ago.

You will then visit a factory of candied fruit (Guided tours and tastings from March to September.)

There is also a visit in season near Apt to the countryside of Luberon, La Ferme aux Basilisks (farm) is entirely dedicated to the species of basils. There are up to 30 varieties and different smells. (Optional tour available when in season).

Roussillon offers its beautiful restored houses which were built more than 300 years ago. The ocher mines below the village have an extraordinary range of colours: white, orange and red.

There is a miniature version of American Bryce Canyon National Park using the Roussillon ocher stones, which is magnificent! (Optional tour available).

Gordes is a charming traditional village with a myriad of narrow alleys and cobblestones that meander towards the top. The castle was rebuilt in 1525 and houses an art museum exhibition, which was first started by the artist Victor Vasarely who rented the castle for a long period of time.

Many houses are immaculately restored with doors and windows from that time, and the area is dotted with luxury shops and restaurants. A visit to the nearby village Les Bories: Bories national monument is an ancient stone dwelling which date back to 3000, there you can see sheepfolds, bread ovens etc …

L’Isle sur la Sorgue has the gigantic Fontaine de Vaucluse, which has an impressive spring source which flows at the foot of a 230m high cliff. It is the most powerful spring source in France (and the fifth world). Its emerald green water is usually calm in summer but becomes spectacular in the flood period (in the fall and spring) the beauty of the green banks gives a real sense of enchantment.
L’Isle sur la Sorgue and its canals are renowned by the large number of antique shops (open mainly on weekends), art galleries and paintings. Twice a year, at Easter and on August 15th more than 500 antique sellers gather here to present treasures to tourists from all over the world …

Lunch at your leisure ( You have a range of  restaurant selections in the guidebook that we offer you)

Dinner at hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen in Avignon

Accommodation in hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen


Day 5: AVIGNON – MARSEILLE

 

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Discover Avignon the old town and the Palace of the Popes, famous worldwide for being the capital of the papacy from 1309 to 1376. Avignon has its impressive Papal Palace, the residence of the Popes and the centre of the Catholic power for nearly a century.

Visit to the Papal city is on foot : 4 marked streets (la promenade des Doms, la promenade Joseph Vernet, la promenade des Teinturiers, la promenade de la Carreterie).  This allows you to discover the attractions of the city, churches, chapels, the old streets and the mansions.

See the old Avignon behind the Palais des Papes, the famous wine bar “Vache à Carreaux ” with its beautiful sixteenth century wine cellar. The famous local wine Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine has a strong character. On the ancient papal territory, winemakers have shaped the land in their own special way in order to get the best grapes.

 Visit the Palace of the Popes, the bridge

Marseille, founded in 600 BC by the Greek seamen of Phokaia, is the oldest largest complex and endearing French city. It has a picturesque old port, bouillabaisse and popular folklore.

 The City Pass  24 hours allows you to discover the city of contrasts with its old neighborhoods (Le Panier near the Vieux Port), the abbey St Victor and Notre dame de la Garde. You can take the ferry boat to the castle and the small train to Notre Dame de la Garde.  Entry to museums, and numerous reductions are also included in the Pass.

To discover the true baroque beauty of Marseille, do not hesitate to visit the famous districts like: le Panier, la Place de Lenche, le Vallon des Auffes, Notre Dame du Mont avec son Cours Julien, les Goudes. You can also visit L’Estaque where Cézanne, Dufy and Braque lived, do not forget to try the local snack “chichi Fregi “at Magali ….

The Marseille accent is like singing, you have a transparent sky without clouds and when you breathe you can feel the vivid air of the “mistrale”.  You have Calanques and Casis just nearby. Many small fishing ports are hidden around the city, spread out on the coast and on the blue side, such as Niolon, la Vesse, Figuières, Méjean, Carry Le Rouet.  If you love seafood, do not miss the Oursinades season in Sausset les Pins (January and February), or sardinades in Martigues (in summer).

Lunch at your leisure ( You have a range of  restaurant selections in the guidebook that we offer you)

Diner bouillabaisse

Accommodation in hotel 3 or 4 **** according to the option chosen


DAY 6: MARSEILLE

 

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Take your time and relax, check out is at 12:00.

THE PRICE INCLUDES:
* Car rental: pickup and drop-off from the train station or at the airport, unlimited kilometers,  insurance providing “tiers” or “all risks” coverage
* 5 Nights breakfast in the hotel 3 or 4 **** according to option chosen
* 1 Dinner Bouillabaisse in Marseille
* The city pass  24 Hours
* The insurance during your circuit
* Visit a manufactures of calissons in Aix en Provence or a soap factory in Marseilles (depending on the city of arrival)
* Visit  L’Occitane and its museum in Manosque
* The visits included in the city pass to Marseille
* Visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon
* Visit an alcohol distillery of Provence in Forcalquier
* Visit  a manufactures of candied fruits in Apt

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE :
* Flights
* The airport transfer or other transfer services(between the hotels and airport, train station etc)
- According to your time of arrival or departure you might need to plan an additional night
- We are able to receive you and send you to everywhere you wish in France(an airport, a train station, or a street…)
* Meals except for the ones specified above
* Beverages other than the ones specified above
* The hotel taxes (city tax or others)
* Tips, Personal expenses and any extra arrangements
* As marked in the Fuel Policies of Car hire companies, your vehicle will be supplied with a full tank of fuel and must be returned full, missing fuel will be charged on your return.
* Cancellation fees
* Anything not mentioned under “The price includes”

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR BOOKING

TAXES
Hotel taxes are not included in our programs, they are variable, and will be demanded directly by the hotels before your leaving. The taxes can be different between the hotels even if they are in a same standard or have same stars.

CANCELLATION IN HIGH SEASONS
Regardless of the cancellation fees set out in our terms and conditions,  some providers and hotels may apply different rules in high seasons. These terms of payment and cancellation will be specified in each reservation.  You will be  informed  right after your booking . It happens that the hotels require the total booking value in case of cancellation.

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