Love getting off the beaten track and traveling like a local? This tour was tailor-made for you. Experience the best of the French Riviera, including the hilltop villages of Luberon, multicultural Marseille, charming Aix-en-Provence, and vibrant Cannes.

Highlights

  • Explore the cliff-framed Calanques around Marseille
  • Visit the famously beautiful villages of Luberon
  • Create your own perfume in Grasse
  • Visit glitzy Monaco
  • Explore Nice's colorful, delicious markets

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Aix-en-Provence, the jewel of Provence Aix-en-Provence
Day 2 Explore the Calanques from France's oldest city Marseille
Day 3 Tour the hilltop villages of Luberon Cannes
Day 4 Take an epicurean break in the western French Riviera Cannes
Day 5 Create your own scent in the world capital of perfume Nice
Day 6 Explore the past and present of Monte Carlo Monaco
Day 7 Enjoy a gourmet discovery of Nice  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Aix-en-Provence, the Jewel of Provence

Aix-en-Provence

Welcome to Aix-en-Provence - the capital of Provence - where you'll spend your first day and night. Aix is a city rich in heritage, art, culture, and education. It also enjoys an exceptional geographic location, and the picturesque charm of the surrounding villages will pleasantly surprise you. Its magnificent landscapes have been immortalized by painters such as Cezanne, Picasso, and Kandinsky. Discover the beauty of the city by strolling around its labyrinth of narrow streets and thousand fountains on an afternoon tour with a qualified guide. Highlights of the tour include the cathedral, Hotel de Ville, Cours Mirabeau, the Roman ruins, and some secret spots known only by locals.

Day 2: Explore the Calanques from France's oldest city

Calanques National Park

After a transfer to Cassis, start your day by visiting a family of fisherman that have been living in Cassis for more than a century. After a chat, head out into the Calanques National Park for a walk up to En-Vau - a rocky creek where sheer cliffs dive steeply into the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. 

After your walk, relax with a good pastis (a popular anise-flavored liquor) and an al fresco lunch at the Vieux-Port of Marseille - the vibrant heart of the city. Then explore the colorful, ancient city on foot, soaking in 2,600 years of history. Don't miss the traditional district of Le Panier or the walkway to Fort Saint Jean and the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) - an extraordinary mix of old and new. Later in the afternoon, board a private cruise alongside the Côte Bleue and the Calanques, with their stunning scenery of limestone creeks and crystalline waters. You'll visit extraordinary hidden coves only accessible by boat and swim in beautiful, clear waters.

Day 3: Hilltop Villages of Luberon

View of the village of Gordes

Start your third day in France with a visit to the Provençal Market where you can find plenty of local specialties, such as macarons, calissons, goat cheese, olive oil, honey, and fantastic local wines. Go shopping in the fashion boutiques of this mini-Paris or relax in the unique spa at your hotel - built on ancient Roman natural springs - and swim in its outdoor pool at the foot of the ramparts.

After lunch, discover hinterland Provence. The Luberon is a fascinating region with a spectacular countryside of vineyards and orchards, hilltop villages, and outstanding natural produce. Stroll through the springs at Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. Let the hilltop village of Gordes seduce you with its fortified castle and church, its cobbled streets, and its enchanting views over the valley and the hills. Then visit Roussillon, home of the biggest ochre deposits in the world and one of the most beautiful villages in France. Delight in its flamboyant colors and narrow streets. Finally, board your private transfer to Cannes, where you'll spend the night.

Day 4: Epicurean Break in the Western French Riviera

Grimaud and the Bay of Saint-Tropez

Spend your morning discovering hidden creeks and wild beaches scattered along small, pretty roads along the Mediterranean coast. Starting from Cannes, you'll head to the wild coast of Cavalaire-Sur-Mer and take a break in the small village of Ramatuelle before discovering the intimate beaches of Escalet. For lunch, relax and indulge at the edge of the marina in famed Saint-Tropez.

In the afternoon, explore the Medieval village of Grimaud, overlooking the Bay of Saint-Tropez, and Port-Grimaud, known as the Provençal Venice. Then head to Sainte-Maxime for a Côte-de-Provence wine tasting. And finally, end your day with a short sunset hike to Massif de l'Esterel, where a beautiful view of the bay and the Lérins Islands awaits. At the end of your hike, take a gourmet break with an organic Provençal appetizer prepared by your guide.

Day 5: Scents of Provence in the World Capital of Perfume

Galimard Perfumery

Grasse's long-established perfume industry is a real art. Start your day here for an experience of luxury and refinement with a perfumery visit, a stroll through the historic center, and an opportunity to create your own perfume. During the perfume creation workshop - held in the renowned Galimard Perfumery - you'll learn how to choose your notes and create your own scent with a specially designed organ. Register your unique formula and you can re-order your perfume from home anytime you please.

The region around Grasse is known for its tiny hilltop villages, including Fayence, Seillans, and Tourette. Spend your afternoon exploring them and tasting their culinary specialties, including Provençal stew, aioli, anchoïade, herbes de Provence, garlic, basil, olive oil, truffle, figs, honey, and - of course - wine. Finally, make your way to glamorous Nice for the night.

Day 6: Past and Present Monte Carlo

Medieval village of Èze

Welcome to Monaco - one of the smallest countries in the world! Plunge into the heart of this city-state with your local ambassador to visit the famous Monte Carlo with its legendary casino and wander the streets of the old town on the rock. Your guide will share snippets of history and anecdotes about the dynasty that has reigned here for dozens of years.

Once you've had your fill of the rich glitz of Monaco, make your way to Èze - an unusual Medieval village suspended on cliffs above the sea. This unique landscape has a history of attracting great painters. Follow your guide through the charming alleys to discover the famed Chapelle Sainte-Croix and the ruins of the castle.

Day 7: Gourmet Discovery of Nice

Nice's colorful market

On your last morning in Provence, enjoy an unforgettable gourmet discovery walk in Nice's colorful market. Surprise your palate with flavors as amazing as they are delicious. Your professional guide - a native of the region - will guide you through an off-the-beaten-track walk in this charming old city. After the tour, the afternoon is your own. Popular Nice attractions include the Promenade des Anglais, the Chagall Museum, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Map

Map of "Like a Local" Tour in Provence and the French Riviera: 7 Days
Map of "Like a Local" Tour in Provence and the French Riviera: 7 Days