Join Ann for a fun insider's tour of Provence
SENIORS newspaper travel writer Ann Rickard has been hosting tours in Provence for 10 years.
She is familiar with the towns and villages, au fait with local festivals and knows the best markets in France.
Ann takes only eight guests each European summer to share a magical two-week party in Provence - next year from June 24 through to July 7.
With her trusty husband Geoffrey, Ann celebrates everything that is glorious about France.
"We base ourselves in a big house with pool in the heart of Uzes, a beautifully preserved town in the south of France surrounded by orchards and vineyards, just half an hour from Avignon,” Ann said.
"From there we explore iconic Provencal towns and villages including Roussillon, with its red ochre buildings, and L'isle sur la Sorgue, famous for its waterways and antique shops. We go to Les Baux-de-Provence, with its castle ruins and spine-tingling experience of the sound and light illuminations at Les Carrieres de Lumieres. The beautiful city of Avignon is a highlight, and so is the Roman heritage town Arles where Van Gogh lived for a year.
"Because we've been going every year for the past decade we have made many friends in Provence and love to introduce our Aussie guests to them.”
Ann says that although the two-week Provence tour is structured with myriad highlights, it is also very personal and laid-back.
"Because we stay together in the same big house for two weeks we really get to know each other,” she said. "And most of our guests are 'mature' folks like me so we fit in.
"We leave lots of time to explore the laneways, cafes, shops and beautiful buildings of Uzes. And, yes, we eat a lot ... and enjoy the wonderful local wines. In-house chefs cook gourmet meals for us with exquisite French produce, and we also dine in both high-end restaurants and rustic bistros.”
Ann and Geoffrey believe in an all-included cost so guests have nothing to spend during the tour - unless they want to go shopping of course.
"We include everything: pick-up and drop-off in Avignon, transport in an air-conditioned mini-bus, entry tickets, all meals, unlimited wine, guest chefs, restaurant visits ... everything. There are no added expenses. We really do have the most wonderful time in France. All our past guests have become good friends and we keep in touch.”
See the full itinerary at www.annrickard.com or email ann@annrickard .com or telephone 0408557311. Ann will answer all your questions.
Ann Rickard is a Queensland author of six travel books including the popular Ooh La La! A French Romp.