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Five starry nights in Provence

Posted 01 Jan 2016

Five starry nights in Provence

Michelin-star dining, crumbling Roman ruins and the scents of honey and lavender greet you in Provence. The French region hugs the Mediterranean and enjoys a balmy climate and relaxed pace of life. It's set apart from the rest of France by its Provençal dialect, and has inspired artists and writers for centuries, including Cézanne and Van Gogh. Here's a preview of our Five starry nights in Provence tour, though if five nights aren't enough for you to explore this truly magical region, you can always extend your holiday. 

Unique discoveries

Your holiday begins in the extraordinary medieval town of St Rémy de Provence. Cycle along broad boulevards in the shade of plane trees or lose your way among the winding streets of the historic centre. You'll find yourself stumbling across treasures from ornate stone fountains to Joël Durand's chocolate emporium, filled with exquisite chocolates that epitomise the tastes of the region, blending lavender and jasmine with top-quality cocoa. Be sure to visit the Roman ruins of Glanum, which although small are incredibly well preserved, and give you an insight into Roman city life.

Opposite Glanum and just outside St Rémy is the monastery of St Paul de Mausole, where Van Gogh resided at his own request while suffering from a mental illness. You can see the same views from his former rooms out over the sprawling wheat fields that so inspired him. The peaceful Romanesque monastery is where he painted many of his most famous works, including Starry Night and Wheat Field with Cypresses. When you return to St Rémy, you can further trace the artist's footsteps with a Van Gogh-themed walking tour of the town.

Gourmet destinations

After thoroughly soaking up the sights and scents of St Rémy, nights three and four of your holiday will be spent at Collias in our elegant boutique hotel, which also happens to have its own superb restaurant. Collias was founded by the Greeks, and was once a wealthy centre for silk production. This illustrious history is apparent in the graceful towers and arches that dot this tranquil town. Cycle along the winding banks of the Gardon River, taking in the stunning Pont Du Gard, a Roman aqueduct converted in the medieval period into a bridge.

You can still see traces left behind by the Roman builders, including marks designed to dispel evil influences. Kayaking is also a popular pastime along this dreamy stretch of jade-coloured water. Collias is close to the city of Uzès, a must-visit destination for gourmet travellers – its restaurants are heavily featured in the Michelin Guide. Try inventive Asian cuisine at L'Artimise, where you can dine outside under a shady cream canopy. You can learn more about wine at the Uzès wine school, run from Collias by sommelier Nathalie Walterschied.

Experience five starry nights in Provence with Cycling for Softies this summer, Click here for more...

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