Romantic Provence lingers on the mind with images of rustic stone farmhouses, vineyards, silvery olive groves, lavender and gently herb scented hills, colorful weekly markets and ancient villages crowning the hilltops. Your tour can include by some of Provence's most luxurious hotels or charming countryside accommodations, many of them Relais & Chateaux properties known for their exceptional cuisine. Tour Roman ruins at Arles, Orange or St. Remy, a magnificent medieval city at Avignon or the cloisters of St-Trophime in Arles, hilltop villages like Bonnieux, Menerbes, Gordes, Apt and the flaming red town of Roussillon all in the Luberon Valley or the wild natural parks like the Camargue or the Gorges du Verdon. As you explore the countryside visit tiny villages like Fayence, Tourrettes, Seillans or Mougins with their local markets where there are regional specialties of cheeses, olives, soaps, ceramics, baskets and honey. Or taste the delicious wines of the Cote du Provence or shop for Provencal fabrics and French countryside antiques. Relax at outdoor cafes, snack on olives while sipping Pastis, or take a picnic to the riverbank below the Pont du Gard. If your holiday in Provence occurs in the summer, attend one of the internationally acclaimed festivals of opera, music, jazz, dance or theater.
Plan a holiday along the French Riviera where luxurious hotels with sweeping vistas over the Mediterranean make day trips easy to the beautiful villages perche like Eze, Vence, Grasse and St. Paul de Vence. Stroll their tiny cobbled streets, visit ancient castles or just enjoy a glass of wine while drinking in views of rolling hills carpeted with wildflowers, olive groves and pine woods which stretch down to the sea shore.
Because of our nearly four decades of personal and professional partnerships with French providers, we are able to not only offer our clients premium value for these indelible Provence and the Côte d’Azur experiences but also the opportunity to savor them in a highly personalized luxury manner. Whether you are a budget minded traveler or one with Platinum travel tastes, let Endless Beginnings create a luxury custom journey to fulfill your dreams.
Provence stirs all your senses. You eyes capture a brilliant palate of color - the intense blue sea and sky, soft silvery green olive trees and cheerful yellow sunflowers, waves of purple lavender, golden red tiled houses with their pastel shutters of blue and green—all bathed in the clear bright light of Provence.
In the markets hear a symphony of sounds from the joyful voices of buyers and sellers in the stall, nearby clank of the metal pétanque balls thrown by old men in the village squares and in the summer the ever-present sound of cicadas. Any day of the week you can find some village market setting up its stalls near the main square.
On your strolls, breathe deeply and enjoy the scent of lavender, thyme and rosemary all growing in the fields or lined in neat stacks in the markets. Sip wine or taste of the nuances of olive oil, garlic, basil, figs and the countless varieties of fruit and vegetables. Let the sun caress your skin, warming you to this slower pace of life. Give in to these sensual contrasts, forgetting everything but the moment, knowing that this is life as it should be lived.
Everyone knows the French Riviera for its beaches lined from St. Tropez to the Italian border, beaches with opulent resort cities that attract the rich and famous. This stretch of coast is where you’ll find Nice, the capital of the Riviera and your nearest airport, St-Tropez made famous by Bridget Bardot in her heyday, the elegant Principality of Monaco epitomized by the marriage of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier and the glamorous city of Cannes, site of the annual film festival. On the Riviera you can enjoy elegant beaches with luxury hotels, cliff-hanging traditional towns and historic structures. But this coastal paradise also has a backdrop of hills covered with lush vegetation and pine forests, historic fortresses, monasteries and medieval villages.
It was home to some of the 20th century’s most famous artists - Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Leger, Chagall - and writers, Aldous Huxley and F. Scott Fitzgerald who described it as a “playground” with a “fairy blue” sea, where the whole world goes to "to forget or rejoice, to hide its face or have its fling”. Gardens filled with rare and tropical species, houses like Villa Rothschild or Krylos can make a rewarding day of sightseeing. In one day alone you can visit the heights at Eze for jaw dropping views, take in a museum highlighting the artists fo the 20th century outside of St. Paul de Vence, see how perfume is made in Grasse or sail along Nice’s Bay of Angels.
While Provence and the Côte d'Azur have their own specialties, they share a common a gastronomic tradition built on local products - fresh vegetables, garlic, olive oil and herbs - all heavily influenced by nearby Italy. The resulting cuisine is a bright, sunny, colorful cuisine, full of scents and aromatics all tempting to the palate.
Along the Côte d'Azur, Italy’s influence is most strongly felt as Nice was at one time in its history Italian. There are some traditional dishes from Nice, ratatouille, salade niçoise, stuffed vegetables, pissaladière, stew with niçoise, artichokes barigoule and soup with pesto. And the seafood, bouillabaisse, fresh sardines, flambeed sea bass with fennel and anise liqueur, soup au pistou, and the south’s version of pizza, pissadaldiere. Along with local wines, pastis is a favored drink.
And in Provence you’ll find many of these dishes are also in the spotlight. Add in colorful images of red and yellow peppers, magnificent tomatoes, eggplants, fresh fish, grilled lamb, olives and olive oil, citrus fruits and golden Cavaillon melons ripened under the Mediterranean sun. The quality and profusion of fruits and vegetables grown is as much a treat for the eyes as for the taste buds. Provencal dishes combine classic elements of French, Italian and Spanish cuisine in a bouquet of authentic flavors. At Marseille you’ll find the famous bouillabaisse, in Aix the preferred sweet, calissons, Apt’s candied fruit tapenade, truffles from Carpentras and fougasse, a bakery speciality. The Camargue is famous for its rice cultivated since 1830, and salt, but also the famous Arles sausage created in the 17th century. From the southern Rhone valley enjoy the wines of Gigondas, Tavel, hearty Chateauneuf du Pape outside of Avignon and the roses the southern coast.
Provence Lavender & Sunflowers
Aix En Provence Square
Aix En Provence Treat
Flower Market in Aix en Provence
Arles, Roman Ampitheater
Provence below snow capped mountains
Arlésienne costume Festival
Les Baux de Provence
Les Baux de Provence
Saint Rémy de Provence
Pont du Gard
Hôtel on the Côte d'Azur
Sunflowers of Provence
Église Saint-Martin d'Ansouis
St Tropez, Cote D'Azur
French Riviera - Côte d'Azur
Nice, Cote d`Azur
Nice and the Côte d'Azur
St Remy de Provence
Spices in Avignon
Market in Aix-en-Provence
Saint Tropez, France
A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its idyllic pastoral countryside and historical treasures, discovering unknown France experienced only from the intimate access a barge can offer. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking all the while enjoying a blend of daily excursions, fascinating cruising, exceptional Cuisine and phenomenal wine.
Imagine a romantic hot air balloon flight in France. Floating majestically and effortlessly over the prettiest regions including Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Auvergne. Hot air balloon flights can be enjoyed by everyone as there are no particular age or physical requirements. Take flight in the early hours just after dawn or later in the day just before sunset when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently, gazing down at the countryside carpet below, including châteaux, medieval villages, and vineyards. Finishing up with the traditional Champagne "toast aux Aéronautes" at the landing.