Thursday, September 23, 2021

Win a Three-Week Stay in Provence!


Having led art retreats in Provence for four years now, Nicky Ginsberg has just moved her NG Art Creative Residency & Gallery into a beautiful new space...and she’s giving away a three-week residency in Provence to celebrate. The deadline is October 1 and all the details are below.

Previously based in a lovely old farmhouse in Eygalieres, Nicky’s international non-profit arts association is now permanently settled into a renovated 17 th-century olive mill, nestled in the foothills of the Alpilles mountains. It’s just outside the village of Maussane, a stone’s throw from the historic medieval hilltown of Les Baux.

Christened Moulin de Gréoux some 400 years ago, the grand old property offers international artists, writers, poets, musicians, performers, filmmakers, photographers, academic scholars and other creatives “a place of respite, nourishment and enlightenment to enrich their creative process.”

Moulin de Gréoux was lovingly renovated by previous owners to retain many vestiges from its agricultural past, such as vaulted ceilings, wooden beams, stone troughs and its original olive press. The old stone walls and cathedral-like interior are now home to five guestrooms, a large kitchen, shared studio/atelier, gallery, arts library, piano room and indoor swimming pool. For artists working with clay or other materials, there’s a covered outdoor wet area along with shaded terraces, landscaped gardens and more.

Artists in residence enjoy quiet time to work but also the opportunity to mingle with the public and international visitors at festive dinners, musical soirées, cooking workshops and exclusive vernissage (art opening) events. This open-door philosophy allows residents to showcase their work to a local and wider global audience.

Residents can also participate in communal dinners, cooking workshops with local and international chefs, soirées and performance evenings, professional development and mentorship, seasonal studio exhibits, gallery exhibits, outings of cultural  interest and various networking and collaborative opportunities.

Nicky, a long-time gallery owner, entrepreneur and creative director, founded  the program and now runs it with her partner, aspiring artist Edwin Holder-Vale. (The couple met two years ago in a cooking class in Greece...awww!). You can read Nicky’s bio here and follow Edwin on Instagram here.

For residencies at Moulin de Gréoux, there are four different pricing options starting at €500 a week per person. The program includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner daily, transportation to and from the residency and use of a car and bike for the duration of your stay. If needed, you’ll also have studio space including work stations, easels, professional hanging systems and projectors.

There are also subsidized residencies and a number of sponsorships and prizes offered throughout the year.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in your work amidst spectacular, natural surroundings, I can’t think of a nicer place to do it. Steeped in Provençal history, the area boasts olive groves and mills, vineyards and wineries, a large sheep farm, picturesque town squares, scores of restaurants and cafes and myriad historic sites dating to Roman times and beyond. And it’s all bathed in that famous light that inspired Van Gogh, Cézanne and so many others.

Ok so...on to the contest! The giveaway includes a three-week complimentary residency, breakfast and dinner daily, full use of the arts studio, professional development and mentorship, use of a car, en plein air activities, meeting art enthusiasts and like- minded creative folk, the opportunity to exhibit in a dedicated gallery and more.

To enter, you must be on Instagram so this is a great time to sign up if you haven’t. Then follow @ngartcreativeresidency, share their latest post (dated September 19) to your stories and tag them. Finally, leave a comment about why you want to win! The winner will be contacted via Instagram on Friday October 1. (And while you're at it, please follow me too! I'm here.)

If you miss this chance or don’t win this time around, you can learn all about the residency program and application process on the NG Art Creative website. Future contests and news will be announced via social media and in Nicky’s newsletter, so be sure to sign up for it by clicking the subscribe tab on the website.  

Bonne Chance...and hope to see you in Provence!


Photos: (1, 2) This 17th-century olive mill in Maussane has been converted into a beautiful live-and-work space for creatives of all types. Win the Instagram contest and you'll stay here three weeks. (3) Communal dinners are fresh, local, seasonal, colorful and, I hear, perfectly delicious. No starving artists here! (4) One of the five guestrooms. (5) Previous owners did most of the renovation and built a large lovely pool in an old barn.  (6) The shared studio/atelier is large enough for four people to work at a time. (7) An artist-in-residence doing his thing en plein air. (8) Come in May/June when the poppies are blooming and you'll get to paint scenes like this. (9) Everyone is welcome to use the large, beautiful kitchen. (10) In its new home, the residency program will operate year round. In cooler months, dinners may be served in the dramatic vaulted dining room. (11) Lovely terraces provide quiet spaces for work, lunches and more. (12) One of the pretty restaurants on the town square in Maussane. (13) The first group of artists-in-residence at the Moulin this summer. (14) Nicky and Edwin met in a cooking class and quickly discovered shared passions such as art, travel and Provence.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Heritage Days are Sept 18 & 19


It's that time again: The 38th annual Journ
ées du Patrimoine (Heritage Days) takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 18 and 19, in cities and villages all over France. The program was launched by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984 and has since spread all over Europe (officially it's now called European Heritage Days or JEP, for Journées Européennes du Patrimoine). This year the theme is "Heritage for All" and 20,000 sites or so are expected to participate. This is one the biggest events in France and one of my favorite weekends of the year.

The idea is that a wide range of monuments, religious sites, estates, gardens,  museums, workshops, galleries, ateliers, factories and more are open for special visits, including many that are normally closed to the public. Most sites are offering free entry and will have a guide on hand; some are hosting special tours and events (mostly in French). Some may require you to sign up in advance...but for the most part, you just show up. 
Some villages will have events on Friday Sept 17 as well. 

The main Journées du Patrimoine website is here (or in English here) and the department-by-department listings are here. But I'd wait a little while and then check back; I'm told that final event details are coming in slowly as the various sites decide whether to participate or not...and how to best handle Covid protocols. Local tourist offices will have Patrimoine info on their own sites...or will direct you to it if you call...and in year's past I've found that they have the most comprehensive, up-to-date info. 

For example, as of today the department-listings page on the Patrimoine site mentions just one participating site in my village of St. Remy (in Department #13, the Bouches-du-Rhone) but every year St. Remy publishes its own terrific map/guide and this year I see 22 sites listed. You can see and download the 2021 St. Remy program here. Or you can pick one up at the St. Remy Tourist Office or at the participating sites.

To get you started, here are some listings for the six departments of PACA (Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur): Alpes-de-Haute-ProvenceAlpes-MaritimesBouches du Rhone, the Hautes-Alpes and the Var. For the Vaucluse, try here and here. And here's the Gard (which is not technically in Provence but never mind). 

And here are the programs for Avignon, Aix, Arles Marseille and Nice. But don't forget about tiny villages, many of which offer fantastic tours, visits and programs as well.  

For events and participating sites in Paris, look here and here

The main Patrimoine website will continue updating their full nationwide map and program here. It's a bit clunky but you're smart and you'll figure it out.

Some events (such as concerts, guided tours and lectures) are happening at specific times, on one day of the weekend on both. And many villages are offering additional activities not pegged to specific sites, such as the historic walking tours that St. Remy is offering on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am (reservations required, call 04 90 92 05 22) and four free jazz concerts sponsored by Jazz à St. Remy (three on Saturday, one on Sunday). 

For additional updates, you can also follow the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine on Instagram and on Facebook

Vive le Patrimoine de France!

Photos: Get out there and explore! A few of the many thousands of sites that have offered or will offer Patrimoine events include the LUMA Foundation in Arles, The Unterlinden Museum in Colmar (Alsace), The Museon Arlaten in Arles, The Confectionery Factory Roy René and Museum of Calisson outside Aix, the fantastical houses of Jacques-Emile Lecaron in Clamart, the Théâtre Antique d'Orange, La Cite Radieuse by Le Corbusier in Marseille, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on the Cap Ferrat, the Roman Amphitheatre in Arles, the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, the Jewish Cemetery in St. Remy, the Gare de Reims, the Maison du Riz in the Camargue, the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, the Heliport of Paris, The Château Raspail in Gigondas, the Château d'Aujac and the Palace of Versailles.  At the bottom, this year's poster.

Monday, June 21, 2021

River Kayaking in Provence 2021


On a hot sunny day, river kayaking is a fabulous way to while away a few hours...and doing it in Provence is super easy. You can kayak (and stand-up paddleboard) on the Rhône from Avignon (with views of the ramparts, the Pont St. Benezet and the 14th-century Palais des Papes), but whenever I get the chance, I love kayaking on the River Sorgue, from Fontaine-de-Vaucluse in the Luberon. You can also kayak on the River Gardon from Collias (a great way to see the Pont du Gard) and while I haven't done it there myself, my friends and clients who have say it's fantastic. If you've never kayaked before, not to worry! You'll get a short tutorial, there are staffers on the river to help (at least on the Sorgue there are), the kayaks are very open (meaning, on the off chance that you tip, you're not trapped)...and these are not fast-running rivers. Below you'll find the details on everything.

The three places mentioned above are by no means the only places for kayaking in Provence; you can do it in the Camargue, at the Gorges du Verdon and in sea kayaks up and down Mediterranean Coast. If you have a favorite kayak place and want to share the info, please leave a comment below.

KAYAKING ON THE SORGUE


Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is 15 minutes from L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and if you hit the big Sunday market or smaller Thursday market there (in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue), kayaking from Fontaine is a great way to spend the afternoon. It’s an easy trip (about five miles) on clear, cool shallow water and you see lots of lovely, lush countryside. You leave your car in Fontaine and they bring you back by bus.  There are two companies that do it: Kayak Vert and Canoe Evasion. Both are outside town with big signs so they’re easy to find. I prefer Canoe Evasion for a couple small reasons but either is fine! If you go with Kayak Vert, there's sometimes a wait at the beginning of the route where you have to go over a dam but there's always someone there to help. Both have small snack bars for cold drinks and ice cream.

With Kayak Vert, you can go at your own pace; with Canoe Evasion you’re sort of encouraged to stay with a group of boats but you don’t really have to.  The trip takes 2 to 2.5 hours and there’s a little break in the middle for swimming or just chilling on the river banks. And don't miss the rope swing!  Whether you swim or not you’ll definitely get wet so plan accordingly; it's good to have a beach towel with you. Also, definitely wear water shoes or grippy sandals because there may be a few places where you have a little walk on slippery rocks. 

Both outfitters give you a watertight container for your stuff (still, let's leave those priceless heirlooms at home)...and life preserver vests...and there's staff here and there on the river to help if you need it.

Here are the two outfitters for kayaking the Sorgue and reservations are definitely recommended!

Canoe Evasion: 2021 prices:  20 pp adults; 10 for kids under 14.  Groups of 10 or more: adults pay 16 each. Payment is by cash, French check or credit card. The price includes your gear (boats, paddles, watertight cans, life jackets) and your return ride in the bus. There’s no minimum age per se, but kids have to be able to swim at least 25 meters and be able to submerge themselves (meaning, not panic if they go under water). In general, the company prefers kids be five or older. Open every day from May 15 to October 15 (but closed the third weekend in September every year).  Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, with departures every half hour, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Bookings must be made by phone  : +33 (0)4 90 38 26 22 (no online booking), canoe-evasion.com, contact@canoe-evasion.net.

Kayak Vert. 2021 prices:  Adults (14 years and older) are  €22 in July/August or  €20 rest of the year, kids (under 14) are €12 in July/August or €10 rest of the year. For groups of 15 or more, adults pay €18 each. Price includes boats, paddles, watertight cans, life jackets and your return ride in the bus. Kayak Vert’s age minimum is six and kids must be able to swim 25 meters.  Payment by credit card only (no American Express).  Open May 15 to October 15. Reservations only by phone:  +33 (0)4 82 29 42 42 or online at canoevert-vaucluse.fr

*A Bit about Fontaine de Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is an interesting village so leave some time before or after kayaking to explore. This pretty little town (population 600 or so) is best known for its deep-water source or spring at the foot of a steep cliff 230 meters high. It’s the biggest spring in France and the fifth largest in the world; it's where the Sorgue River begins and when the water is high and running strong, the source is truly a gorgeous site to see. Even when it’s not at its peak, the river is super peaceful, bringing serenity in the height of the summer crowds. In 1946, Jacques Cousteau and another diver were almost killed searching for the bottom of the spring, at about 100 meters down. (They weren’t even close, as it turns out: the bottom is at 308 meters.) The spring is the only exit point of a subterranean basin that collects water from Mont Ventoux, the Vaucluse Mountains and Lure Mountain. People have lived in the area since Neolithic times (you know, back when you could still find a parking spot easily). Archaeological digs have turned up more than 1600 coins, from the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD. 

Fontaine has an interesting museum in an old paper mill (with a cool shop selling all types of paper products, diaries, puzzles, handmade books, stationary and other goodies around the same theme), a museum about Petrarch and one filled with Santons (traditional Provencale figurines). Plus, the village has plenty of cafes and restaurants on or near the water and some cute shops.

And not far from Canoe Evasion is a "parc accrobranche" that kids love. This is one of those ropes courses where you swing from trees on zip lines and such. It's called La Passerelle des Cîmes and friends who’ve been say everyone loves it...all ages. As you approach Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, you’ll see the signs.

KAYAKING ON THE GARDON

To kayak the Gardon River and see the Pont du Gard, the two main outfitters are Canoe Collias and Kayak Vert; both leave from the town of Collias. You can keep the kayak all day if you like but most people like the basic two-hour paddle, taking them 8 km up to and under the Pont du Gard. What a fun way to see this 2000- year-old Roman aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All along the river there are little beaches and places to picnic, swim, sunbathe, etc.  The two-hour time frame is calculated on paddling from Collias to the Pont du Gard non-stop, but you can keep the kayak as long as you like for the same price. As they do on the Sorgue, the outfitters bring you back by bus. 2021 prices: €23 for adults, €19 for teens (ages 13 to 17) and €12 for kids (6 to 12). Cash and credit cards accepted. Reservations not required but definitely recommended – online bookings only. For a family or small group, try to reserve at least a few days before.  

Canoe Collias, canoe-collias.com or +33 (0)4 66 22 87 20 or +33 (0)6 23 65 51 32.

Kayak Vert, Collias/Pont du Gard, kayakvert.com or +33 (0)4 66 22 80 76, contact@kayakvert.com.

KAYAKING ON THE RHONE AT AVIGNON

Run by an association (Canoe Outings Comite de Vaucluse de Kayak) rather than a private company, this is extremely popular with river-cruise passengers, locals and groups, who often bring their own translator or request one because not all the staff speaks English. That said, they're currently the only outfitter offering kayaking in this gorgeous city, their prices are low and they have solid reviews on Trip Advisor . I've never canoed here but I see no reason that paddling around the 14th-century Palais des Papes and the famous Pont St. Benezet wouldn't be great fun. Canoe rental in July/August : 30 mins is €8 pp, 60 mins is €12 pp, 90 mins is €16 pp. There are also three different  “river discovery tours” in July & August – check the website for details and prices. +33 (0)6 11 52 16 73, canoe-vaucluse.frcontact@canoe-vaucluse.fr.

Photo Credits: (1, 2) Kayaking on the Sorgue, photos courtesy of Kayak Vert and Canoe Evasion. (3) Kayaking at the Pont du Gard, courtesy of Canoe Collias. (4) Kayaking the Rhône at Avignon, courtesy of Avignon Tourisme.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Ask the Sommelier: 5 Great Vineyards to Visit


So many wineries to visit, so little time! How do you narrow the list?

This week I reached out to Ivan Mandelli, head sommelier at the Michelin one-star Maison Hache in Eygalieres, and asked him to recommend five fantastic wineries to visit in Provence. I suggested he choose based on the warmth of the welcome, the beauty of the domaine, the pricing/value of the vintages offered, the creativity of the winemaker or the way the wines express the attributes of the grapes and terroir. 

Just make sure they produce wonderful wines, I said, and that my readers will be happy they went!

Below you’ll find his selection, in his words. But first, a bit about our sommelier…

Ivan comes from the north of Italy, from a small town between Lake Como and Milan called Merate, where his grandmother had a trattoria and his uncle had a restaurant. He left home at 17 and landed a job in a Swiss hotel. There, he remembers being inspired and impressed by one particular maître d’, who encouraged his career goals and pushed him to get as much experience as possible. “He transferred to me so much knowledge and savoir faire,” Ivan says.

Ivan went on to work in many luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants across Europe including the five-star Hotel Palace (Gstaad, Switzerland), Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa (New Milton, England), and the Michelin three-star Restaurant Michel Bras (Laguiole, France).

He met his French wife, Laurence, in 1999 in Bermuda and they married in Italy in 2002.

After many years as a restaurant manager, Ivan's love of wine inspired a change in career direction and he decided to pursue sommelier training. He earned his diploma in Italy in 2009, from the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS). He later became a member of the Union de la Sommellerie Française (UDSF). 

When friends that Ivan had met at Michel Bras left to open a restaurant in Provence, they encouraged him to join them, to be maître d and sommelier. The restaurant, Meo, opened in Tarascon in 2012 and earned a Michelin star within a year. It closed three years later, when the owners decided to move to Normandy. But Ivan and Laurence were hooked on Provence and they stayed.

In 2019, Christopher Hache left the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, where he was the Michelin-starred executive chef, to open Maison Hache. “Christopher and I met just once but we just knew we had to work together,’’ Ivan remembers. The restaurant launched in May 2019 and earned a star the following year; Ivan now oversees a 300-label cellar. Christopher Hache also co-owns three Hache boulangerie/patisseries, the villages of Eygalieres, Molleges and St. Remy. (Love their pistachio cake!)

Please note that many wineries in Provence will welcome you for a drop-in tasting (sometimes free, sometimes for a fee) but it’s always best to check the hours, then phone ahead to reserve. 

To follow Ivan on Instagram, click here...and read on for his winery picks!

Domaine Milan

Located in St. Rémy since 1956, Domaine Milan is one of the original and more eclectic winemakers of the region, now in the hands of the third generation. Theophile Milan and his American wife, Nathalie, work closely with Theo’s father Henri, experimenting with unique grape varieties in an organic and biodyamic style. The large selection of wines will surprise you and you’ll appreciate their new natural wines without sulfites added. The tasting room is small and rustic (but charming)…and their wines are very precise and balanced. Plus, ask to taste their gin!

Château La Nerthe

One of the oldest wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (dating to 1560), Château La Nerthe is also one of the most beautiful. The domaine has natural springs, which makes everything green and lush, and there’s a lovely park around the castle, with 100-year-old trees. This is a beautiful space of nature, only a few steps away from the famous wine village, and they’ve been organic since 1998. Be sure to try their whites, especially the Clos de Beauvenir, but all three are very interesting; La Nerthe is actually known more for whites than reds. Of the reds, I love the Cuvée des Cadettes. Guided cellar visits with tastings are available by reservation.

Domaine Laurens, Vignoble des Templiers

Domaine Laurens Vignoble des Templiers is a family business in the small village of Roaix in the Vaucluse, between Rasteau and Seguret, near Gigondas.  The current estate was created in 2016 by winemaker Bastien Laurens (along with his parents Françoise and Bruno, and his sister, Julia) but the story of the property began centuries before, in 1138, with the Templars, the Knights of Rhodes and later, the Popes. (Read their rich history on their website.) I find their wines to be the most interesting of the region, under the appellation Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. Be sure to try their deep and spicy 100% syrah. To me, the Domaine Laurens looks like a spot of Tuscany in the Vallée du Rhone! (Photo of Bruno and Bastien from the winery's Instagram by Nicolas Bria.)

Château Mourgues du Gres

The winery Château Mourgues du Grès, in a 16th-century convent, sits in the countryside outside Beaucaire, west of the Rhône, in the appellation Costières de Nimes. There you’ll find the warming welcome of Anne and François Collard, who make generous and elegant wines, labeled organic since 1990. One wine definitely not to be missed is their Terre d'Argence (IGP Pont du Gard), with a dominance of viognier grapes and the taste of fresh yellow fruits…nice and crispy. The Collards love to promote local food producers at special events and welcome visitors to stroll among the vines and orchards; order ahead and they’ll prepare a picnic for you (local products) and direct you to the perfect spot to enjoy it. They offer wine tastings in the vineyard, with a sommelier, and have holiday cottages for rent too.

Domaine Viret

Twenty minutes from Vaison-La-Romaine, just over the border between the Vaucluse and the Drome, Philippe and Alain Viret of Domaine Viret are producing natural wines without sulfites, using more than 100 grape varieties, growing on 30 hectares. Philippe coined the term "Cosmoculture" to describe their unique philosophy while the cellar itself was designed using the divine proportions of the Golden Ratio, inspired by Egyptian architecture and Cistercian cathedrals. There are currently 14 wines in the range. One wine I like a lot is called Maréotis (grenache and syrah).  I also enjoy two of their amphorae-aged wines called Dolia: one red and one orange/amber that’s macerated for nine months. This place is really quite amazing! And if you understand what they're trying to do, you’ll understand and appreciate the wines even more.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Take a Hike...or Two


A new Avignon-based company called Hike Provence is offering private guided hikes across the region along with organized group hikes on set days that anyone can join. The hikes, at varying levels of difficulty, are designed to appeal to both tourists and locals alike.

While the project may have been nudged along by Covid, Hike Provence was really 30 years in the making.

Raised in Singapore and Korea, Charli Aron launched the company after returning to Europe from Vietnam, where she was painting, writing, climbing and hiking. “My family is in the UK and my son caught very bad Covid last Easter when I was in Vietnam,” she says. “He’s now fully recovered but I realized I wanted to be closer to home.”

Charli first met her business partner Marushka Delarbre (who grew up in Greece and Denmark) when they were both students in London 30 years ago. “And ever since then we’ve met regularly to walk and talk,” Charli says. “We’re both very keen trekkers and we’ve hiked all over the world, both together and alone.”

Marushka has lived in Provence for 25 years, running an organic apple farm above the village of Tallard in the Hautes-Alpes.

Charli arrived in August 2020.

“Through fortunate happenstance we’re now both based in amazing Provence, with the wonders of Mont Ventoux and the Alpilles Mountains on the horizon,” Charli says. Discovering the stunning hills, gorges and passes has been such a joy. As a passionate climber and trekker, I thank my lucky stars daily that I live in Provence! Here the skies change hourly; over the course of one day we can be blessed with every color under the rainbow. The fauna I trek through in the mountains has all the aromas that season French cuisine. In short, it’s wonderful. And with so many things closed due to Covid this year, lots of other people have been excited to get out into the hills too.”

Private hikes are built around the needs and size of your group. Choose the date, level of difficulty and number of hours... and they’ll design the perfect hike for you. Rough pricing for private hikes is: 30 per person for three- to four-hour walk or 45 per person for a five to eight hours.

The day starts with a cup of Provencal-herb tea and a chat about expectations. “I recently had clients who wanted to hike the Pont du Gard and explained that they had been left weakened by Covid,” Charli recalls. “So of course I wanted to adapt the hike to their needs.” 

Along the route, Charli or Marushka share the history of the region, offering insider knowledge about important historic sites, geography, climate, plants, insects and more. Both women speak French and English while Marushka can also lead hikes in Spanish. A picnic can be added for an extra charge.

Group hikes (ten people max) happen roughly twice a month, in a mix of French and English. Upcoming hikes include Cabrières d'Avignon on Sunday April 25 (4 km) and the Pont du Gard on Sunday May 2 (11 km). Details about both (plus some recent hikes) are on the site here. To help you choose, hikes are rated leisurely, easy, medium or hard.

A Provencal Pass (50) lets you enjoy five group hikes of your choosing at any time.

For now, hiking is mostly in the Luberon, the Alpilles and the Gard but Charli hopes to expand the offerings—possibly even to Corsica--if things go well. In the meantime Marushka is still farming and also does healing massage; Charli works as a writer and a painter. (Learn more about her work here.)

“At the moment, Hike Provence is a pleasure project,” she says. “But hopefully it will develop into something that we both can give plenty of time to. It’s just wonderful to be with people when they’ve pushed beyond their threshold and surprised themselves. A hiker often confronts physical barriers when climbing long, steep hills. And then when we pause, to rest or to have a picnic, there’s such a sense of elation. I also love the intimacy that quickly occurs when we’re walking side by side, sharing the beauty of nature.”

Whether you want to hike alone or with a small convivial group...whether you want hidden mountain passes or meandering river walks, to experience the gentle old goat paths above Avignon or the vertigo-inducing “steeps” of the Dentelles Montmirail...Charli would love to hear from you. 

“Hiking is a wonderful way to explore the secret paths that knit together the most beautiful villages of the region,” she says. “If you want to discover them up close and personal, smell the rosemary and thyme, muddy your boots...come hike with us! We hope your readers will get in touch and are ready to walk the walk!”

HikeProvence.com

hikeprovence@gmail.com

Instagram & Facebook

+33 (0)7 80 42 93 36

 

Photos (1) Charli at the Gorges de Badarel. (2) Charli and Marushka take a break. (3) Hiking from Gordes to the Abbaye de Senanques. (4) Heading down is always more fun than up! (5) In the Dentelles de Montmirail. See the little hiker on the path? (6) The goat looked all friendly and then ate the picnic when backs were turned. (7) Lunch with a view of  the Gorges de Badarel. (8) Happy hikers reach the Rocher des Deux Trous in the Alpilles above St. Remy, overlooking the Greco-Roman ruins of Glanum. (9) Olive trees in the foothills of the Alpilles. (10) Hanging out in the Forêt des Cèdres, during a hike to discover the upper part of Cabrières d'Avignon.  (11) The Gorges du Verdon, often called The Grand Canyon of France. (12) Picnicing at the Pont du Gard, the beautifully preserved 2000-year-old Roman aqueduct built to carry water from Nimes. (13) The ochre cliffs of the Colorado Provençal, in the northern Luberon. (14) At the Gorges de Regalon, a magical trail at the base of a dramatic gorge, both hands and feet are often needed in some of the craggy passes.