• Soak up the delightful atmosphere of a Provençal Christmas – from its traditional ‘thirteen desserts’ markets to charismatic nativity scenes – alongside a series of musical treats
• Enjoy a special recital from guest Tour Director and award-winning pianist Emilie Capulet
• Travel to nearby St Tropez and Nîmes to explore the historical heritage of the region, from dramatic Roman ruins to France’s maritime history
John Bryden, MA, ARCM, ARCO
international concert pianist and organist and classical music lecturer
Depart Heathrow 1055 on British Airways, arriving Marseille 1350. Tour Director organ recital at Marseille Cathedral. Transfer to Aix-en-Provence for six nights at the Grand Hôtel Roi René. Welcome and introductory lecture.
Morning: Saint Sauveur Cathedral (where Cézanne worshipped) followed by guided tour of Musée Granet (impressive collection of 18th-20th century Italian, Flemish and French works). Afternoon: guided tour of Atelier Cézanne (studio, built 1897) followed by free time to enjoy Christmas markets.
Whole day visit to St Tropez: La Citadelle de St Tropez (Museum of Maritime History), Notre Dame de l’Assomption, walk along the Old Port and visit to a private art gallery.
Christmas Eve Caumont Centre d’Art (gallery housed in an 18th century hotel particulier) followed by special Christmas Eve lunch. Afternoon excursion to the Château de Lourmarin (picturesque Renaissance castle, originally a 12th century fortress), including private piano recital by guest Tour Director Emilie Capulet.
Christmas Day High Mass in Saint Sauveur Cathedral followed by Christmas Day brunch. Afternoon: St Jean de Malte (architecturally stunning 13th century Gothic church), followed by some free time.
Whole day visit to Nîmes: Roman amphitheatre, Maison Carrée (remarkably well preserved Roman temple). Return to Aix via scenic hilltop village of Uzès (historical home of the Dukes of Uzès).
Transfer to Marseille for guided walking tour of the Old Port and visit to Notre Dame Basilica. Depart Marseille 1440, arriving Heathrow 1545.
21 Dec — 27 Dec 2017
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Cost of £2295 includes:
Return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, one brunch, dinner with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £295.