Enjoy the best of Provence with Chef Kathy during this week-long food lover’s vacation. Stay in a stunning villa in the beautiful Luberon Valley. Experience the food, the wine, the vibrant markets, picturesque villages and the seaside towns. The week includes three winery visits, two full-meal market-to-table cooking classes, guided visits to three Provencal outdoor markets, and the best dining experiences under the glorious Southern France sun. Fall in love with the flavors and the countryside of this enchanting region in the sunny south of France. We’ll explore villages and cities in the area: Chateauneuf du Pape wine region, Cassis, Aix-en-Provence, Arles and Avignon.
Amazing accommodations – Stay in a luxury villa located in the heart of the Luberon Valley, within walking distance to the village center of Lourmarin – named one of the most beautiful villages in France. Each room in the villa is decorated in typical Provencal style and has a private, ensuite, bathroom. The entire villa, the pool, and the grounds will be yours for the week!
2019 Vacation Dates:
MAKE THIS A PRIVATE-GROUP VACATION: This vacation is available for private groups of 4 – 8 people throughout the year.
$3,995 per person (based upon double occupancy)
$550 Single Supplement Charge
Maximum Group Size: 8 people
**Airfare, transportation to Marseille (if flying in from elsewhere into France/Europe), travel insurance and expenses of a personal nature (souvenirs and other personal items) are not included in the vacation package price.
The best culinary trip ever! With Chef Kathy we hit the mother lode! The trip was a perfect combination of Provencal cooking classes and touring the region of Provence with someone who actually had lived there getting an “insiders” view. We went to markets throughout the region, toured wineries (my personal favorite, Chateauneuf du Pape, and saw magical and historical small towns and villages. Following our market tours we bought the core ingredients to the recipes we later enjoyed. Oh, and don’t forget all the restaurants, completely included in the price along with great bottles of wine. Chef Kathy is extremely generous in her dinner planning and the restaurants were top shelf! I can’t say enough how special she made the time for us. We have a new, dear friend! Can’t wait to book future trips. Hank (Annapolis, MD)
“No better way to experience Provence than to cook with Chef Kathy. Every recipe we made will be easy to reproduce at home which is not always the case when you take a cooking class in France. I just can’t recommend her enough.” Joyce (New York, NY)
“The food was fantastic. This was a unique and personal experience in Provence” Cara (Chicago, IL)
SEE PHOTOS FROM OUR VACATIONS: FLO Vacations Photo Gallery
THE COOKING CLASSES
We will have three full-meal cooking classes during the week. Ingredients for the classes will be the freshest from that day’s market in Provence. All meals will include a starter, main dish with vegetable side, and French pastry for dessert.
THE SIGHTS, ACTIVITIES AND EXPERIENCES
As the markets and villages of Provence are the focus of your week, you’ll have guided visits to at least two of the best markets of the region: Aix-en-Provence, and Lourmarin. Enjoy famous French pastries during a guided visit, with tastings, to a local pastry shop. During a market day in Aix, we’ll stop at a cheese shop and learn how to create a perfectly French cheese course. Visit wineries in the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape region and learn by tasting these and the Rose’ wines of Provence. You’ll spend an entire day explore the picturesque villages of the Luberon Valley and appreciate its lush and diverse landscape.
CITIES AND TOWNS YOU’LL VISIT
Day 1: Welcome to Provence
After your afternoon pick up from the Marseille Airport or Aix-en-Provence TGV station, you’ll have time to settle into your accommodations at the villa in Lourmarin.
We will meet each other in the late afternoon for a Champagne and wine reception followed by an orientation walk through Lourmarin and a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Avignon and Wine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Spend the morning in the walled-city of Avignon, visiting the old city center, Les Halles market, Palais des Papes and the famous bridge, Pont Saint Benezet. You will have time to explore and shop in Avignon and then we’ll enjoy lunch at a gourmet bistro.
Our afternoon will be in the Southern Rhone Wine Valley. We’ll visit two wine chateau in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine region.
We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner in the village of Vaugines.
Day 3: Market Day in Aix – Market-to-Table Cooking Class
Explore the historic center of Aix-en-Provence and its huge Tuesday market. Kathy will take you on a guided tour of her home in Provence market. After the market tour, we’ll have a group lunch together in Aix. Afterwards, you will have free time to enjoy Aix on your own. We’ll meet back up before leaving Aix to visit a cheese shop and pastry shop and pick up items for our apero pool party this evening.
Dinner will be poolside at the villa as you enjoy a rite of Summer in Provence, the apero dinatoire – made with items we picked up at the market.
Day 4: Hilltop Towns and the Seaside Village of Cassis
We’ll leave in the late morning for the picturesque hilltop town of Le Castellet together. Enjoy its views above Provence and the village’s cute shops. After our walk, we’ll have crepes together in the village.
After lunch, we’ll head over to Cassis and take a boat tour along the Calanques, leaving time for a stroll through the cozy seaside town. Dinner tonight will be at an outdoor table along the sea
Day 5: Morning at the Market in Aix – French cheese tasting – Cooking Class
The morning will be at the market, where you’ll have free time to explore the market on your own and pick up any food items and/or gifts to take home. We’ll meet back up to visit a cheese shop and purchase cheese for the all-important French cheese course, part of our four-course meal.
At our private kitchen in Aix, we’ll have another full day of food during our hands-on cooking class. We’ll create a four-course meal of typical Provencal dishes and desserts.
Day 6: The Luberon Valley
Our day will focus on exploring the gorgeous villages of the Luberon valley, their beauty immortalized in words by many writers, most recently Peter Mayle. We’ll first visit the ochre-covered hills of Roussillon. In Roussillon, you’ll have time to explore the town on your own, take photos and/or shop in the village,s many cute little shops. We’ll have lunch together at a beautiful spot in the countryside of Menerbes before returning to Lourmarin.
Day 7: Arles – Farewell dinner together
We’ll spend the morning at the big Saturday market in Arles and then take a guided walking tour of the old Roman city. We’ll have lunch together in Arles and then you’ll have free time to wander the city on your own.
Tonight’s farewell dinner will be at a fine-dining restaurant in a nearby village.
Day 8: Perfectly French Breakfast and Au Revoir Provence
Morning breakfast of pastries, baguette and cheese together before your departure to either the Aix-en-Provence TGV Station or the Marseille Airport at 8:00am.
**Sequence of classes, activities and excursions may vary. The final itinerary will be given to each guest on the first day of the vacation. Whenever there are local festivals or events happening during a tour, we will try to include them with adjustments to the itinerary to enhance your vacation experience.