This 6-day getaway immerses you in the rhythms of Provençal life, starting among the stunning landscapes of the Verdon Gorge. Settle into the fairytale village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, then venture into the wild river canyon by canoe. Switch gears and head to the coast to discover the flavors of Marseille with a gourmet walking tour, then bid Provence farewell as you hop a train to Paris and toast your final night with a romantic dinner cruise along the Seine.

Highlights

  • Discover the exquisite Provençal village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
  • Canoe through the spectacular Baudinard Gorge
  • Explore Marseille's hidden corners & culinary secrets on a walking tour
  • Spend a final day in Paris & board a dinner cruise down the Seine

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cannes, Transfer to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Day 2 Canoe the Baudinard Gorge Moustiers-Sainte-Marie
Day 3 Drive to Manosque, Train to Marseille Marseille
Day 4 Marseille Private Boat Cruise & Half-Day Gourmet Walking Tour Marseille
Day 5 Train to Paris, Seine Dinner Cruise Paris
Day 6 Au Revoir Paris!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cannes, Drive to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Sunrise over Moustiers-Sainte-Marie

Welcome to the South of France! Upon arrival in Cannes, enjoy a leisurely breakfast before picking up your rental car and setting out for the Verdon Region and the village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie.  

This exquisite fairytale village is perched at the natural gateway to the Verdon Gorge, the largest canyon in Europe. Verdon is also home to the small villages of Bauduen and Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon, as well as the hilltop villages of Aiguines, and Castellane

Get settled into your hotel, then explore the tiny village on foot. If you're feeling sporty you can walk to the top (following stairways and paths) to appreciate sweeping views of the surrounding plains and Sainte-Croix Lake. It's also the perfect vantage point to admire the famous Star of Moustiers. Local legend says that the origins of the gold star, which hangs suspended between the high canyon over the village, date from the time of the Crusades.
 
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. You can enjoy the village's many small cafés and shops, stroll its narrow Provençal streets, or head into the adjoining park to relax on the lakeside beaches, go canoeing, or hike in the mountains. At the height of the flowering season, the Valensole Plateau is awash with color as the lavender blooms, covering the hillsides in spectacular purple swaths.

Day 2: Canoe the Baudinard Gorge

The brilliant turquoise waters of the Verdon Gorge
Escape the crowds today and embark on a canoe trip through the Baudinard Gorge, a smaller and wilder section of the vast Verdon Gorge. Located at the southwestern end of Lake Sainte-Croix, this scenic river canyon is dotted with caves and waterfalls surrounded by walls of moss.
 
Today's half-day excursion starts with a walk to the river's edge, where you'll meet your certified guide and launch your super-light, collapsable canoes. Paddle through a breathtaking landscape of turquoise water and dizzying cliffs, taking time to observe the spectacular scenery and the soothing sounds of the river as a soundtrack. Along the way, you'll spot the diverse flora, fauna, and aquatic life that inhabits this biodiverse region as you cross three small, wild lakes. 
 
After a 6-mile (10 km) journey downstream, you'll arrive in Artignosc, where a shuttle awaits to return you to your car at the starting point. Return to Moustiers-Sainte-Marie for the afternoon, and enjoy a dinner of local  Provençal specialties.

Day 3: Drive to Manosque, Train to Marseille

Today you'll catch a train to the historic port city of Marseille
Say your goodbyes to Moustier-Sainte-Marie this morning as you hit the road for a 45-minute drive to Manosque. Here you'll drop off your rental car and hop on the train for a scenic 1.5-hour journey to the vibrant port city of Marseille
 
After settling into your hotel, the rest of the day is free to explore this historic city on the Mediterranean coast. "Historic" might even be an understatement—with 2600 years of history under its belt, this is France’s oldest city, with foundations that date back to the ancient Greek colony of Massalia around 600 BCE.
 
Spend the day visiting the city's historic neighborhoods, like the colorful district of Le Panier. This is the "Old Marseille," where the city has its roots. It's a working-class enclave on the central port and is the picture of Mediterranean beauty with medieval plazas, ancient churches, and brightly colored facades of the tenement buildings. You'll also find street art on the walls in the form of colorful frescoes.
 
Other must-visit areas of Marseille include the city center, the waterfront, the hilltop basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, and the roman monastic foundation of Saint-Victor Abbey. You can also follow a walkway to Fort Saint-Jean, a fortification dominating the port that was built in 1660 by Louis XIV. Be sure to pay a visit to the fascinating Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM), which features permanent exhibits devoted to the history of these regional societies from ancient times to the present day. At the end of the day, enjoy dinner in the city center.

Day 4: Marseille Private Boat Cruise & Half-Day Gourmet Walking Tour

Malmousque
Turquoise waters at Malmousque

Spend the morning discovering the hidden gems of Marseille. Just a stone's throw from the tumult of the city center, you'll find one of the world's most beautiful coastal regions. Make your way to the port, then set sail on a private boat tour. Your personal skipper will navigate to the day's first stop: the Frioul Islands archipelago. With its little port and famous Château d'If, this neighborhood of Marseille includes four small islands with great views of little rocky coves and the ancient castle.

From here, continue your tour to Malmousque to explore hidden rocky inlets and turquoise water—perfect for a quick swim. Finish your trip at the beautiful Vallon des Auffes, an ancient fishing port located under a huge bridge. You'll have ample time for swimming in these hidden coves, which are difficult to access without a boat.

Back on solid ground, you'll set out to explore more of this historic Mediterranean city on foot. Meet your guide in the center of this multicultural city for a private gourmet walking tour. Begin in the Old Port, under the modern architectural artwork known as the Ombrière. Here you'll find the bustling daily fish market. A few steps away is Le Panier, Marseille’s oldest section where the Greeks began the foundation of the city. As your guide leads you through the diverse neighborhoods and secret corners of Marseille, you can try the city's famous navettes (sweet biscuits), sample the best ice cream in town, and taste the finest local chocolates and olive oils. Along the way, you'll discover local artisans and galleries, explore the ancient fort & gardens of Fort Saint-Jean, and visit the Cathédrale St Marie Majeure and the famous Hotel Dieu

End the excursion in Vieux-Port in the heart of the city, where you can finish off the day by enjoying good pastis or beer accompanied by a beautiful sunset.

Day 5: Train to Paris, Seine Dinner Cruise

Sunset over the Eiffel Tower and the City of Light

After a relaxed breakfast, bid farewell to the seaside and catch the 3-hour train north to Paris.

After settling into your hotel, head out for your first look at the "City of Light." Paris is alive and thriving with activity, day and night. It's the perfect city to indulge in a little shopping, with department stores like Lafayette and Printemps housing some of the best local designers around, and small boutique shops offering unique high-quality wares. 

Colorful boulevards and historic monuments invite visitors to stroll through the downtown, while narrow alleys and cozy cafes create a romantic atmosphere. For art lovers, spending time at Paris' smaller museums is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as the city has one of the most impressive art collections in the world. Alternatively, lazing around in the parks or at a sidewalk cafe on a sunny day is simply blissful. 

As evening falls, you'll board a luxury yacht for an evening on the Seine. Cruise down the river as you enjoy a gourmet dinner and watch the city lights go by—toasting your final night in France in style. 

Day 6: Au Revoir Paris!

Nightfall over the Seine

Your time in France draws to a close this morning, as you're picked up by a private driver and transferred to the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) for your departing flight. Au revoir!

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