Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Provence Tours, Tailor-Made


Cecile Beillieu is the owner of Tours in Provence, a small company offering full and half-day tours for individuals and small groups. 

Cecile was born in Aix-en-Provence near the foot of the famous Mont St. Victoire. After earning a tourism degree from the University in Aix, she took off for London and soon opened a shop selling products made in Provence. "We focused on the most authentic craft centers," she told me, "such as Ravel from Aubagne, V. Pichon from Uzes, glassware from La Verrerie de Biot, Richard Esteban from Aigues-Vives, Souleiado linens and Laguiole cutlery."

One winter, Cecile went seeking the sun in Barcelona and felt “so well welcome” that she stayed five years, working in the hotel and travel industry around Catalunya.

But then she realized that where she really wanted to be was at home in her beloved Provence.

“I decided to make tours and welcome travelers in own my country,” she says. “It was an idea that I'd always had: to share my love for landscapes bathed in that unique light...for Cassis and the Calanques…for the vineyards and olive groves… for the wildlife of the Camargue…for Les Baux and Les Alpilles…for the Gorges du Verdon and the lavender fields of the Valensole plateau. For La Provence!”

Cecile, who is fluent in English and Spanish, offers set tours, special themes and a la carte adventures. Her tours operate year round. So check her site, see what she suggests, share the link with your friends and consider signing up for a tour yourself.  

Meanwhile here’s a testimonial from Lynn Villyard, a writer and Francophile from Athens, Georgia: “I spent the month of June in Provence, basing in a small village and going far and wide from there. I went about alone most of the time, but didn’t want to take on Marseille without some help. Lucky for me, someone in the village knew Cecile and told me she had just started her guide service, so I called right away. Cecile is friendly and easy-going, and was much more interested in what I had to say than telling me how we should do things.  Once she understood my interests, I had a tailor-made tour. Oh, and for those of us still struggling with our French, she speaks fluent English! Because we could discuss things, I gained so much more from the experience. I can’t say enough positive things about Cecile.”

For more info:
Cecile Beillieu

7 comments:

  1. This is great Julie. 4 days too late since my mom and aunt just left but I'm saving her info in my file for the next visitors. As always, great information. Thank you

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  2. Julie, it is wonderful that you do things like this. Finding the right tour guide is so important. We use private tour guides when we travel. We tried it once, loved it and never looked back. I am on the lookout for one in the Loire Valley. Do you know of any? We will be there for two weeks next August.

    I will definitely keep Cecile in mind when we come to Provence :)

    Best wishes

    Jeanne

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  3. Hi Jeanne, thanks for the nice words...and sorry I don't know anyone in the Loire. Maybe one of my readers does? We shall see!

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  4. Hi Julie.We use private tour guides when we travel. We tried it once, loved it and never looked back. I am on the lookout for one in the Loire Valley.

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  5. Julie, its wonderful post. I like to get such kind of experience and visit the exciting places which I like the most.

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  6. Hi Julie.We are glad with your post.
    We use private tour guides when we travel. We tried it once, loved it and never looked back

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  7. Dear Julie

    Many thanks for this information on Cecile's private tours in Provence. They sound wonderful. I sent her an email nearly a week ago as we're interested in booking for next year, but haven't yet had a reply. Do you know if she's away just now?
    With best wishes
    Pamela
    gwpdmcdonald@bigpond.com

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