Provence in the Spring
Designed as a post-tour to the Mediterranean Opera and Music Cruise, this tour can be booked on its own. Previously overlooked by travellers, Marseille has undergone a major transformation in the past decade, in large part thanks to the 2013 European Capital of Culture Marseille-Provence program which resulted in the renovation of existing cultural facilities and the building of new museums such as MUCEM. The city is shaking off its once seedy reputation and is fast becoming a hot new ‘destination du jour’. The Marseille Opera’s production of Lakmé stars French soprano coloratura Sabine Devieilhe in the title role.
Arrival in Aix-en-Provence for lunch and a walking tour, finishing with a visit to the Atelier Paul Cézanne, the last house and studio of the artist. Late afternoon arrival in Marseille.
This morning enjoy an introduction to Marseille, Frances’s second largest city and its major Mediterranean port. Beginning from the Old Port, drive past the 19th century ports of La Joliette and up to Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde for a panoramic view. Continue around the Corniche Kennedy and drive along La Canebière, the historic high street in the old quarter, to the Palais Longchamp.
After lunch, visit the new (2013) Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisation (MUCEM), incorporating the historic Fort St-Jean, founded in the 13th century by the Knights Hospitalier of St John of Jerusalem and later rebuilt by Louis XIV, and a contemporary museum designed by Algerian-born architect Rudy Ricciotti.
Enjoy a full day tour to Arles and Les Baux de Provence. The historic centre of Arles is dominated by the remains of the Roman amphitheatre (21,000 seats) and the ancient Roman theatre, and is also known for its association with Vincent van Gogh.
After lunch, continue to Les Baux de Provence, dubbed ‘One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France’. Situated on a rocky plateau in the heart of the Alpilles, Les Baux features an ancient village, extensive ruins and spectacular views towards Arles, the Camargue and the Alpilles.
Following a talk on this evening’s opera, continue your exploration of Marseille with a walking tour of the historic Panier quarter with its narrow streets, artisans’ shops and terraced houses. Visit the Vieille Charité, a former alms-house, now functioning as a museum and cultural centre.
Afternoon at leisure to further explore Marseille.
This evening, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a special farewell dinner, followed by a performance of Delibes’ opera Lakmé at the elegant Art Deco Opéra de Marseille. The performance stars the acclaimed French soprano Sabine Devieilhe in the title role.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast.
Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) is located 27 km northwest of the city and offers flights to most major European destinations. Marseille St Charles station is well served by France’s TGV rail network (2.5 hr to Paris or Nice).
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking
Final payment due
18 February 2017
Please see terms & conditions for fitness level definitions.
Qantas / Emirates
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current fares and specials.
Tour price includes
- Four nights’ accommodations in Marseille with daily breakfast (B)
- Other meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=dinner) including wines
- Comprehensive sightseeing including entrance fees as per itinerary
- A-reserve ticket for Lakmé at Marseille Opera
- Gratuities throughout
- Hotel porterage
Tour price does not include
- Items of a personal nature (i.e. mini-bar, telephone, laundry etc.)
- Travel insurance