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Immerse yourself in the distinctive beauty of Provence with a full-day tour from Avignon! With your small group, view elegant mansions and local art in Aix-en-Provence before heading to the cliffside town of Moustiers Ste-Marie to catch breathtaking views and peruse signature ceramics. Finish with a visit to Sainte-Croix du Verdon and the limestone peaks of Verdon Gorge, where you can unwind with a lakeside stroll and a refreshing swim.
Aix-en-Provence and Verdon Gorge day trip from Avignon
Explore the medieval town of Aix-en-Provence with an expert guide
Discover the hilltop town of Moustiers Ste-Marie
Meet a skilled artisan in a local ceramics workshop and learn of the techniques used in production
Travel beneath the towering limestone cliffs of the Verdon Gorge to the village of Sainte-Croix
Relax by the lake, stroll along the beach and explore at your leisure
Small-group tour limited to eight people, ensuring a personalized experience
Your full-day, small-group Provence tour starts with morning pickup from your Avignon hotel. Meet your guide and board the minivan for a short ride to Aix-en-Provence, a chic university town with a distinct bohemian vibe. As you head out of Avignon, admire the rare beauty of the sun cresting over rolling hills of lavender.
Disembark in Aix-en-Provence for a brief walking tour. Snap memorable photos of 17th- and 18th-century mansions, interesting façades and tree-lined walkways. Make your way to a local bakery to sample a calisson, a French sweet made of candied fruit and almonds, then enjoy some free time to explore the town’s vibrant open-air market.
Next, head to Moustiers Ste-Marie, a medieval village nestled in a limestone canyon. Soak up sunshine and heady lavender scents as you walk through town and peruse the traditional ceramics for which the town is known. Pop into a workshop to get a unique look at ceramic production and technique from a local artist.
Your final stop is the Verdon Gorge and the village of Sainte-Croix du Verdon. Here, take in magnificent views of the towering limestone cliffs and discover the science behind the river’s unbelievable turquoise hue. Take your time wandering the charming town, swimming and lounging on the golden sand beach.
Your 9-hour tour ends with evening drop-off at your Avignon hotel.
Reviews by Viator travelers
Interesting trip but very limited time in Aix.
, Aug 2018
I chose this tour mainly because I thought it would be an easy way to see Aix. As other reviews have mentioned we were there for only about one hour and a lot of that time was spent getting to the place to try the special cake that is famous. That left only enough time to visit only one other thing in Aix. The rest of the day was very interesting but a lot of time on the road as it takes a while to drive from Aix to Verdon, etc. Our driver Remi did a great job. If you want to see places in Provence that are difficult to access then this is the trip for you. If you want to mainly see Aix it is faster and much cheaper to take the train or bus and go visit Aix for a day.
Despite the rainy weather, my daughter and I very much enjoyed our unexpectedly-private day trip around Provence! Our guide Jeremy picked us up right on time at our hotel, where we were surprised to learn that it would be just the two of us taking the tour.
Our first stop was Aix-en-Provence, where Jeremy led us on an interesting and enlightening 20-minute walking tour past some major sights in the town before leaving us with a map and 45 minutes to explore on our own. We enjoyed the sights and smells of the Thursday markets and even picked up some items for a picnic lunch to enjoy later in the day.
After Aix, we drove to Moustiers Sainte-Marie, where we had an hour and 15 minutes on our own to explore the hillside village built across a waterfall. Though the weather did not cooperate and it started raining harder, it did not dampen our spirits. Moustiers was still truly breathtaking!
We were slightly delayed in Moustiers due to our van getting stuck in the muddy parking lot below the town. While we waited for the van to be towed, Jeremy escorted us on foot a short walk downhill, to our next stop, a nearby ceramics factory. Jeremy gave us an informative tour of the factory, then we had some time to buy souvenirs in the adjacent shop.
With our van successfully rescued from the mud, we drove on to our next stop, the Gorge du Verdon. We briefly stopped at a bridge between the lake and the gorge to take in the scenery before continuing on to Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon and its lakeside beach. We had an hour there on our own either to explore the town or meander down to the beach. The town and beach were unfortunately deserted due to the rain, but it was still a nice place to see.
After Sainte-Croix, we drove 2 and half hours back to our hotel in Avignon.
All of the places we visited on this tour were spectacular, and we had just enough time to get a flavor of each place before moving on to the next. We recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys exploring beautiful places!
We saw beautiful places on this trip and our guide Jeremy was really good. There were only 3 customers, so almost like a private tour. First we spent an hour in Aix-en-Provence. We walked to the calisson place and then had free time. The city was nice, but an hour was not much. There was a market, but at least the area where they sold clothes and bags etc wasn't very interesting. Most stalls sold the same stuff, that looked like it was brought from China.
Next was Moustiers Ste-Marie, about an hour there too. The village was very beautiful! There's some old place and a good view higher on the mountain. I had lunch here so I didn't have time to climb up, but another person on the trip did and recommended it. You have more time to look around if you bring your own food or just grab something quick. Otherwise you have to eat here or in Aix.
Next stop was a ceramics workshop. It was interesting, but it took an hour which was too long. We drove up higher and stopped to take photos above the lake, the view was beautiful. The canyon we only saw briefly from the car, before we turned back to drive down to the lake. We stopped at a place where the canyon starts and then drove to Sainte-Croix. We had about 30 min by the lake. None of us had swimming suits with us, but there wouldn't have been much time for swimming anyway.
On our way back we stopped by a lavender field, but they were not fully in bloom yet early June. The overview page says that the trip is 9 hours and the info page says 11. For us it was a bit over 10 hours.
I really enjoyed the trip, but I would've changed a few things. I booked it because I wanted to see the river canyon, but we didn't see it very much. I would have liked a possibility to rent a boat and go to the river, but I don't know if that's possible on this kind of tours. Though Aix and the ceramics were interesting, I could have skipped them to have more time in the canyon and Moustiers.
Overall the trip was good and Remy was a pleasant and professional guide, but there were a few problems. The main reason I booked this trip was because I wanted to visit the gorge and maybe go for a swim if time. However, due to the stop at the earthenware factory being far too long and several members of the group not meeting back on time, we had literally 10 minutes by the water. And then a 2 1/2 hour drive back.
Our tour was wonderful, I would highly recommend it. Our guIde Emilie was wonderful, very helpful and full of interesting and knowledgeable information. Pleasure to spend the day with and it was fantastic to be able to visit so many places within the one day with comfortable stops in between. Highly recommend if not for Gorges Verdun alone.
The long walk in the back streets of Aix en Provence to try a piece of calisson was not worth it. Cours Maribeau and Cezanne' studio would have been much more interesting. The rest of the trip was good .
Emelie the driver was very good.