Secrets of Provence

From St Pancras International to St Pancras International

Visiting: France


Tour Operator: Rail Discoveries


Prices From:

Tour Overview

Sublime, sun-drenched towns and cities rich with history and glittering waterways await on this fabulous cruise holiday. This fabulous cruise brings you the very best of France's elegant Provence region. This tour is operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys.

Highlights

  • iconAigues Mortes
  • iconArles & The Camargue
  • iconPalavas-Les-Flots
  • iconSète
  • iconMS Anne-Marie
  • iconSainte-Marie-De-La-Mer

Places You'll See

Countries:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 - To Sete

Early this morning we meet at our dedicated Departure Office at St Pancras International and depart on the Eurostar direct to Avignon. On arrival we transfer to Sete, in the afternoon we board our home for the next seven days, the delightful Anne-Marie, a stylish hotel barge. We are presented to the crew and enjoy a welcome drink on board before we enjoy dinner together this evening.

Please Note: For departure CSR2104 you will travel on the Eurostar to Paris before changing trains to Avignon.

icon Day 2 - Étang De Thau & Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert

This morning takes us to Étang De Thau, world-famous for its shellfish. We visit the Étang De Thau Museum, where we learn about the history of the shell-fishing trade and discover how the farmers and fishermen made their living. We sample some of the freshly caught shellfish while savouring the beautiful scenery from a terrace along this unique seascape. This afternoon we enjoy an excursion by coach to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a beautiful French village tucked away in the folds of a verdant valley and boasting a wealth of medieval treasures. Here we embark on an informative guided tour that helps soak up the atmosphere of this destination that feels frozen in time. Some of the town's most impressive sights include its Romanesque abbey and the Devil's Bride which spans a turquoise stretch of the Hérault River, and dates back to the 11th century when Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert was frequently visited by pilgrims following the St James' Way

icon Day 3 - Palavas-Les-Flots

Today we visit an authentic 'manade' farm and discover the life of its herders, taking part in a bull sorting routine. We enjoy snacks made fresh on the farm and sample local produce before returning to the ship.

icon Day 4 - Aigues Mortes

Today we take a tour of Aigues-Mortes, perhaps one of the most beautiful sites in Provence. Encased by square medieval walls, this ancient fortified city is symmetrically perfect, white-washed terracotta topped houses contrast charmingly with the surrounding green countryside, in fact Aigues-Mortes is also famous for its nearby salt marshes which we discover by tourist train. Roman Legionnaires stationed nearby were paid a portion of their wage in salt from these very marshes - an intriguing facet of local history. What makes this sight spectacular is the marshes glow a pink colour, due to the microscopic algae in its waters.

icon Day 5 - The Camargue

Today we visit the Camargue, home to 140,000 hectares of natural wetlands, showcasing an array of different wildlife. This is a paradise for nature lovers as we see wild white horses and even the odd flamingo. Additionally this region is also home to some unusual paddy fields which produce red rice - a fascinating sight. We continue on to Sainte-Marie-la-Mer.

You have free time to explore here; perhaps visit the fortified church which was built in the 9th century as an imposing bastion to deter pirate raiders along the coast, located in a strategic position near the mouth of the Petit-Rhone. The church holds a towering presence over the village and can be seen as far as 10km inland.

icon Day 6 - Arles

Today we enjoy a guided tour of historic Arles, the home of some of Europe's best Roman ruins. With a long history dating back to Celtic times, Arles' heritage of conquest over the years has left it with a rich variety of architecture, which we explore during our visit. We take in the stunning Roman Amphitheatre and enjoy the myriad of Romanesque architecture and sun-baked houses.

Arles was the inspiration for some of Van Gogh's artistry and its heritage harks back to the glory days of Julius Caesar. Once a major Roman port, Arles rose to prominence after Caesar plundered Marseille for backing his political opponent, and evidence of that prosperity is preserved wonderfully for us to see. Following our tour we travel inland to learn about olive oil production in Provence and we sample some of the local produce. Tonight we enjoy a farewell Gala dinner back on board the Anne-Marie, as a perfect way to round off our wonderful French adventure.

icon Day 7 - To London

This morning we enjoy a buffet breakfast on board before making our way to Arles station. Here we will take the train to Paris via Nimes, then change for our Eurostar service back home to London.

icon Day 8 : Shore Excursions - Included in your Tour

Arles

Our fabulous guided tour of historic Arles takes in the Roman Amphitheatre and a grand collection of other Romanesque architecture. We also have a chance to sample some of the local produce in Arles.

Aigues-Mortes

We enjoy time in the walled city of Aigues- Mortes. This city's walls are contrasted against the pink glowing salt marshes nearby and make for a marvellous sight.

Palavas-Les-Flots

Our time here is spent visiting a fascinating 'manade' farm, where we discover the lives of its herders and have chance to sample some of the produce made on site.

Étang De Thau

The shellfish capital of Étang De Thau comprises the largest stretch of lagoons along the French coast and is a prime spot for the local shell-fishing trade. We have a chance to sample the locally caught shellfish.

What's Included

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    UK Tour Manager up to embarkation & from disembarkation of the MS Anne-Marie

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    Authentic farm visit including bull sorting and local produce tasting

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    All coach transfers

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    Standard Class Rail

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    All Inclusive Board Basis

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    6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners

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    Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated St Pancras Departure Office

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    6-night cruise on board the MS Anne-Marie

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Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Rail Discoveries requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Dates & Availability

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Saturday May 07, 2022

Nights

6

Available

5

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Saturday Jun 04, 2022

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6

Available

18

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Saturday Jul 02, 2022

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6

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18

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Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Nights

6

Available

18

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Sep 10, 2022

Nights

6

Available

18

Instant Booking Available

Saturday, May 07, 2022

6Nights

5Available

Instant Booking Available

Saturday, Jun 04, 2022

6Nights

18Available

Instant Booking Available

Saturday, Jul 02, 2022

6Nights

18Available

Instant Booking Available

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

6Nights

18Available

Instant Booking Available

Saturday, Sep 10, 2022

6Nights

18Available