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The best culture and gastronomy tour of Provence

4 women smiling into camera and displaying food they've just cooked in a cookery class in Provence

Late spring is when the poppies bloom in Provence, nodding their heads in the warm breeze. The lavender fields have a purple haze. The sun shines. It’s the perfect time to take a gastronomic tour of Provence and experience the beautiful sights before the crowds of high summer arrive.

The best gastronomy tour of Provence

Group of women dining at a terraced restaurant in Provence

Martine Bertin-Peterson who runs the fabulous Goût et Voyage small-group tours says late spring in Provence is sublime. The locals are laid back and the climate is perfect for wine tasting and dining al fresco. A trip to Provence is the trip of a lifetime. And, the reality of a great tour that’s put together with Martine’s know-how, local knowledge and a lot of love for the experiences to be had – is that it will be even better than you could ever have imagined.

Martine’s enviable little black book of contacts has been built up over years of running tours. It enables her to create and share unique experiences. Most of them would be difficult or impossible to create without her expertise.

Cooking Class in Provence

Group of women enjoying a cookery lesson in a chef's kitchen in Provence

There are cooking classes in chefs’ homes. Plus, you’ll join the chef to tour a colourful market to buy the freshest ingredients for your dishes. You’ll enjoy a foodie tour of Avignon and visit the workshops of artisan food producers. Join a winery tour and discovery the vineyards and world famous wines of Chateaunuef du Pape, Gigondas and Beaumes de Venise.

“The cooking classes are hands on” says Martine. “We prepare ‘real Provencal food’ (not some crazy foam and froufrou dish). As a result, guests are eager to go home and recreate those dishes in their own kitchens. In some of the classes, we make savory madeleines or savory financiers as an appetizer. I love it when my clients tell me that as soon as they got home, they purchased a madeleine pan (or a financier pan) and they have made the recipe for friends and family. They send me pictures of their masterpieces and I know they’ve gone home taking with them, a little bit of Provence they will keep forever”.

Freedom to enjoy authentic Provence

Poppy field in Provence, every inch filled with blooming red poppies

You’ll stay in a small, boutique 4-star boutique hotel throughout so that you get to experience the rhythm of life in authentic Provence. You’ll dine in gourmet restaurants that are off the beaten track. And says Martine, “there are no single supplements. Everything (and I mean everything) is included. None of this ‘one glass of wine per meal, additional wine is not included’ nonsense!”

On Martine’s Goût et Voyage tours, there’s plenty of flexibility and by keeping tour numbers small it means that detours are possible. “We’ll hunt for that perfect poppy field. And we’ll join the crowd to watch the transhumance pass through a small town. We’ll re-route if there’s a not-to-be-missed festival or fair. And, if you want to spend the afternoon by the pool instead of visiting Roman ruins, you’re very welcome to do so” says Martine.

It isn’t about cramming in as many different towns as possible. 30 minutes here, back on the bus, 30 minutes there. The focus is on the experience, not on ticking boxes. “I love sharing my passion for Provence – it’s people, food, wine, crafts and culture” she adds.

Visit the most exquisite towns of Provence

Hilltop town of Gordes, Provence at dusk

This unique spring tour of Provence takes in the most enchanting, picturesque and memorable towns and villages. You’ll visit beautiful Baux de Provence with its ruined medieval castle, and the captivating Les Carrières de Lumières, underground galleries famous for an amazing sound and light show. Some of the officially most beautiful villages in Provence are on your itinerary including ravishing Roussillon with its colourful houses and winding streets.

You’ll explore Roman ruins, wonderful countryside, gorgeous Gordes and the iconic Abbaye de Senanque, famous for its lavender fields. And visit the exquisite medieval town of Vaison-la Romaine. By the end of this tour, you will have immersed yourself into the food and culture of Provence and made memories you’ll always cherish.

“I think it’s about bringing home a bit of Provence and savoring that memory for a long time” Martine says of her tours. The very best kind of trip.

Find out more at Goût et Voyage and take the trip of a lifetime in Provence

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