The Best of Provence - Past Travelers' Comments
Want to know what it’s like to travel with Tuscany Tours?
Here is some feedback from past travelers on The Best of Provence Tour:
I want to be back in Provence right now. It was a dreamland of flavors and beauty. Our experience with Tuscany Tours introduced us to hidden glimpses that typical group experiences don't provide. Our guides were friendly, informative and accommodating allowing us to enjoy Provence at a steady relaxed pace. The meals were an experience unto themselves with the wine flowing fully. And the lavender fields and markets ... spectacular!
Ludo and Cid were amazing as tour leader and guide, and I now think of them both as friends that I hope to travel with again. And having Pam with us was also really special.
I love the markets, the unbelievable meals with dishes of such intense flavor - and all the experiences. I honestly can't pick just one or two. I wouldn't leave anything out. In our downtime, we took in the scenery and enjoyed just being there. The sky and light take on a different tone than what we have here in the Illinois!
Sue Monhait - July 2022 - Best of Provence
The Provence tour was absolutely wonderful! Pam, Ludo, Cid, Matilda and Kelly were superb in every way. Offering a balance of local education, sites, activities, food and wine - the tour was the best we've been on.
Favorite things - everything! All professional, educational and fun. Our travel companions were fun and a joy to travel with. Cid, Kelly and Matilda were great guides, and Ludo was a fantastic "escort" for our group. Kelly's "instruction" on wine was over-the-top great. The aqueduct and swimming were unforgettably fun. The food, wine and lunches in the villages of Provence were excellent. The boutique hotel in St. Remy was terrific.
We love Tuscany Tours and can't wait to see 2023 dates!
Dale & Lorraine Kirby Provence 2022
We have traveled with Pam & Sam in past, and knew we would be back. Provence was on our "Bucket List". We had a fabulous itinerary, a wonderful group, great guides (Pam & Cid), a miracle worker for a bus driver (Fred), that made the experience another "Trip Of A Lifetime."
Huge "Thank You" to all involved, we truly enjoyed every minute! Until next time...
Debbie & Ed Hughes, July 2019
There's nothing better than a small group tour. Timing of everything fantastic. The wine, food and superb guide made it great. My favorite part was going through "Van Gogh and Cezanne land".
This is a tour company that pays attention to every detail, including any special needs of the people on the tour.
Your trips keep me happy. Can't wait until my next adventure with Tuscany Tours.
Miriam & Richard Sondak, July 2019
Thanks so much for the Best Trip to a Tuscany Tours' Best Place. Everything sure went smoothly, and as you predicted the group was a fun, stimulating, and entertaining bunch. I still can’t get Jenny to do an acrobatic yoga pose in the kitchen, however. The unexpected highlight for me was the cooking class, the prospect of which initially got an eye roll out of me. Turned out to be a real treat. And you gotta admire those Romans, eh? We could have spent all day at Pont du Gard. Every stop was a highlight, really. A great trip. We think fondly of you and the trip as our livers decompress.
Ken & Jenny Younger, July 2017
What's it like traveling with Tuscany Tours? Pam, Sam and their local friends weave together a mosaic of experiences that create lasting memories. In Provence, we were greeted at the Marseilles train station by our driver who inquired if we wanted to take the direct route to St. Remy, or the longer, scenic route through the Luberon hills of southern France. We made the right choice -- and so began our eight days of new sites, friends, tastes and experiences along the "scenic route."
Among the highlights......
- Our welcome dinner prepared by the hotel's owners and served with wine from their own vineyard...on the eve of the running of the bulls in St. Remy.
- Traveling with Kelly, the only American sommelier in France, who knows everyone in the region.....and magically made wine and crystal appear during an unplanned bocci ball lesson in Avignon!
George & Karen Bergstrom – August 2015
My sister and I went on the Best of Provence Tour in July 2015 and I had been on the Tuscany Tour with Pam and Same with my husband the year before and had a great time. The best part was that we had 9 of our group from our trip to Tuscany the year before so we knew it would be great. Our favorite part was the cooking class in Avignon where we shopped and cooked together with a real chef and had a great meal. Our other favorites were the Market in Aix-en-Provence, Luberon Day with the beautiful Roussouillon village and an unexpected visit to an underground cave with pictures and movies all around. We also loved riding in the bus with Fred our driver and looking at the beautiful French countryside with the Sycamore trees and our last meal together in a vineyard.
Wendy Crabbe – July 2015
As a returning traveler with Tuscany Tours, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience through Provence! All of the tours and excursions we did were truly a once in a lifetime experience. From seeing the lavender fields in full bloom to visiting the ancient Roman aqueduct at Ponte du Gard, picnicking outside a lavender festival, shopping in St. Remy and Aix-en-Provence, visiting the places that inspired van Gogh and Cézanne, wine tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a backdrop of Provence to enjoying a rustic French dinner in the middle of a vineyard – the trip was one “oh this is my favorite day” to “no, THIS is my favorite day!”.
One of the days that has stayed at the top of my favorite things was the day we spent at Le Mirande where we went food shopping like the locals, tried wine with a professional sommelier, and created an authentic French lunch with a fun and flirtatious chef! It was a day I will never forget mostly because it was so much fun being in the kitchen with the other members of our group. My sides are still hurting from all the laughing we did at Chateau Mazan from not knowing how to turn the shower on to spending a relaxing pool day with some of the other travelers.
The one thing that you don’t tell us when we book our trip is that we will end the trip with life-long friendships – definitely an added bonus to the sites, smells, and sounds of Tuscany and Provence!
Thank you for all that you do and plan and prepare for us!! See you in Amalfi … or Sicily … or Tuscany again!
Betty Dankas – July 2015
We have traveled with Pam and Sam on two different occasions, that most recent time being on the Profoundly Provence tour. Whenever we travel with them we feel like they are bringing us into the homes of their friends. Restaurants opened their doors to us and created us meals we will never forget, including all types of Provencal specialties. We were invited into kitchens, we met chefs and everyone welcomed our questions and photographs. Our final meal that was prepared for us by a Michelin-starred chef that lingered into the night, with wines so special that we may never taste them again. To say they bring you a once-in-a-lifetime experience is not an understatement. Vineyards welcomed us for tastings created personally for our group - and even included a tour of the vines personally led by the owner. We stood amongst rows of gnarled vines while the sun shone, smelling the soil and tasting the grapes as we learned about the terroir - we’ll forever have that in our memory. It’s these details and personal touches that are throughout the trip that make you feel like each activity has been created with you in mind. Even a birthday and our anniversary was celebrated like everyone was family - which is how you are treated during your entire stay. There is also a perfect balance of time together for structured tours, activities and meals, as well as personal time to experience other aspects of the culture. I’ll forever drink my rosé with ice cubes and think of this trip when I smell lavender - remembering it all with a smile. We can’t wait to take another trip with Tuscany Tours!!
Nicole & Cliff Geiger – August 2015
When we took our first trip with Tuscany Tours, I knew we would return for another. It is so much more than an ordinary travel tour. It is an immersion in a culture and a variety of experiences you could never have anywhere else. This year we experienced The Best of Provence. The accommodations both in St. Remy and Mazan were amazing, each reflecting the flavor and personality of the area. From the first "welcome drink" to the last "farewell dinner" there were a myriad of experiences. So hard to pick out favorites when everything was so well done. We loved shopping in the market at St. Remy on our own, but also loved shopping in the market with our own personal chef who was conducting our cooking class in Avignon. Walking through fields of lavender, tasting wine in Chateauneuf- du- Pape, exploring the actual studio of Cezanne are all experiences that will long be remembered. But what makes these experiences so unique are the special touches of our hosts, Pam and Sam. Their expertise allows them to be spontaneous and take advantage of little extra treats off the beaten path. Meals were always in charming spots and food and wine were far beyond our expectations! Groups are small enough to really enjoy the company and yet there is plenty of time to be on your own too. It's the best way to travel!
Mary Lou & John Curran – July 2016
Traveling with Tuscany Tours is living joyously in each moment while learning about the past and present ways of life in the area of the world that you are visiting. Pam and Sam allow you to discover on your own while you also delight in being part of an intimate and relaxed group. The Best of Provence tour provides simple experiences in extraordinary manners. Walk to the village market and gather fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables and herbs in order to prepare a shared meal with a renowned chef in a cozy French kitchen. Meander through the rolling lavender fields in full bloom and beauty. Picnic under a shade tree in a grassy meadow and enjoy the best baguettes and regional wines and tasty cheeses and expertly crafted chocolates. Relax and explore; rejuvenate. A rare chance to wander in unfamiliar territory while becoming reacquainted with oneself.
Cary Freed – July 2015 (solo traveler)
Tuscany Tours' Provence trip is superb in all ways--starting with the organizational and customer-centric services provided by Pam, Sam and their colleagues all the way through to the selection of sights, cities and restaurants. Each day had its own pleasures, but what I'll always remember are the fabulous cooking school in Avignon, the market/tasting tour in Aix-en-Provence, the wine day with charming food/wine expert Kelly, and the tour of Pont du Gard. I will not forget that every meal was stunning, both in quality and in presentation. I love the Hotel Sous les Figuiers in St. Remy; in fact, I would gladly spend the entire trip based in St. Remy--one of the great towns of Provence. I know from much experience that Tuscany Tours always provides a special experience and the utmost in customer care. Always. You won't be disappointed.
Valerie Smith – July 2016
The entire Provence trip was marvelous. Our days were filled with unusual, exciting and memorable experiences and delicious tastings and glorious meals.
Anita Goss, July 2016
Pam and Sam do a great job personalizing the trip, interacting individually with each person in the group.
Bill & Debbie MacLachlan, July 2016
The trip was wonderful. Could not have seen and experienced more about the South of France.
Randy & Alice Bowlden, July 2016