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Destinations Offered > France > Marseilles, Corsica and the Towns of Provence

Marseilles, Corsica and the Towns of Provence

The Old Port of Marseilles
You are invited to experience the rugged grandeur of the island of Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, part of France but close to Italy and offering its own culture, food, wine and way of life. When you combine this with a stay in Marseilles and the charmimg towns of Provence you have an experience to remember.
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Traveler's Overview12 Days $11,526 per person inclusive of superior rooms in deluxe hotels, all meals, wine with meals, private guides throughout and touring and transfers by private car and driver. International airfare is additional. Private departures based on your schedule for a minimum of four and a maximum of six guests. Rates for private departures based on two persons on request.
Trip Dossier

Personal Highlights:

• The opportunity to try your hand at making your own perfume in Grasse
• Following the grand prix course in Monte Carlo ( but at a more reasonable speed)
• Exploring the Provence town of Aix-en-Provence at your own pace
• Taking the high speed ferry between Marseilles to Ajaccio in Corsica
• Spending the time with the fishermen in Propriano

Day 1 Depart USA

You board your aircraft for the overnight flight to Marseilles and the beginning of your exploration of Provence and the rugged and charming island of Corsica


Day 2 Bievenue a Marseilles

Upon completion of arrival formalities you are me by your Ultitude guide who will escort you to the car and take you on an orintation tour of the city which was founded by the Phoenicians over 2,500 years ago and expanded by the Greeks and the Romans who valued its deep harbor which thet protected by two forts. You will get an overview of the city before arriving at your hotel which overlooks the harbor of the old port. You have a chance to relax before enjoying dinner with a scenic view


Day 3 Fishermen and Cowboys

You have an early breakfast at the hotel because we want to arrive at the harbor in time for the morning fish market. As they say in Marseilles, "Peche le nuit, vendu le matin" or "caught at night, sold in the morning". This is not a wholesale market but true B2C. As the fishermen dock their small boats they set up a tray on a folding stand, usually assisted by a female relative on shore. Once the table and scales are set up the fresh catch is deposited in the tray where eager customers are ready to buy and take off with their still-wriggling fish, eel or even octopus in plastic bags. For the essence of Marseilles it cannot be beat.. You then return to your vehicle for trip to the nearby Camargue, a wide scenic delta which is home to cattle and the cowboys who mange them. this is a truly unique area of France and you will enjoy the contrast as well as the delightful lunch with scenic views. After a tour of the area you return to the hotel. Later you are taken to a local restaurant where you enjoy "bouillabaisse" made up of eight or more variety of fishes some of which you may have seen arriving at the jetty in the morning.

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Day 4 Corsica, the Birthplace of Napoleon

After breakfast you are driven to the airport to Ajaccio the main city of Corsica. This island is the fourth largest in the Mediterranean with only Sardinia, Sicily and Cyprus being larger and is actually closer to Italy than France. While technically part of France this rugged and beautiful Island has its own culture and language and offers a unique Mediterranean experience. Upon landing you are met by your guide and transferred to your hotel which is located just outside Propriano, a little Corsican fishing Village bathed in the scent of Myrtle on the Gulf of Valinco in south Corsica. Tonight enjoy dinner by the pool with stunning views over the water. 

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Day 5 Exploring Bonifacio

Today we will have a car and guide to take you to some of the scenic highlights of this mountainous and beautiful Island.After some touring you will arrive at the town of Bonifacio which offers historic attractions along with quaint waterfron bars. Of paricular historic note is the ancient citadel which until 1983 served as the headquarters of the French Foreign Legion. Your tour will begin with another cruise to view the city from a water perspective and then a tour on land. Tonight another dinner under the stars and overlooking the Bay is in order. Propriano is a fishing village so be prepared for fresh fish grilled to perfection.

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Day 6 Food and Wine in Corsica

This morning you will set out to explore the culinary aspects fof Corsica. The island is noted for its chartcuerie, chesses and olive oil and you will get to sample them all. The island is also home to many wine growing areas and you will visit the Ortolo Valley which offers a micro climate ideal for good wine production. You will stop at Domaine Saparale for wine tasting and a light lunch before returning to the hotel

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Day 7 A Tranquil Day in Propriano

We have left this day open to allow you to totally relax and absorb the rhythm of the island. If you like, the hotel can provide you a picnic lunch so that youn can explore the coves and villages nearby. The village of Propriano is just a short walk away and you may want to go down to see the fishermen and their catch. On the other hand you may wish to take a dip in the bay and catch up on your reading. The choice is yours.

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Day 8 Gems of the Riviera

In the morning you will be taken to the airport for the return flight to the mainland but this time, Nice. You will be staying at a hotel in the hills of Provence overlooking the Riviera. First, however, you will explore the highlights cities of the Cote d'Azur The first stop will be the Principality of Monaco where you have the chance to follow the route of the famous Grand Prix, admire the palace and the casino and stroll the harbor in awe of the many yachts at anchor. The next stop is the hill top town of Eze offering winding streets and spectacular views of the coast. You next stop is the glamour city of Cannes, known for its film festival. You will see the Palais de Congres where the festival is held and admire the "palace " hotels that line "La Croissete: Your last stop of the day will be back in Nice where you have the chance to visit the Matisse Museum. You then head to your hotel where dinner awaits

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Day 9 Grasse and the Gorges du Verdon

After breakfast your guide will be waiting to take you to the nearby town of Grasse which is known as the perfume capital of the world. The town, like much of Provence was once affiliated with Italy and was famous for its leather gloves. Thanks to the partonage of Catherine de Medici, scented gloves became the fashion and Grasse supplied the perfume using the flower farms that prospered in the mild climate. Eventually, perfume replaced glove making as the main industry. You will have an oppoorunity to walk through the charming old town and to visit the Musee Internationale de la Parfumerie and learn the history of perfume. While synthetics now make up the bulk of modern perfume, certain flowers are still indispenable in French perfume. Chanel No.5, the best selling perfume in the world is made with a combination of rose de mai, jasmine and a synthetic musk. Chanel owns a farm near Grasse where the roses and jasmine are cultivated. After a chance to make your own perfume you have lunch and then head to Gorge du Verdon a rugged and scenic part of Provence. During your tour you will visit Demandolx, Peyroule, Rougon, Saint Julien du Verdon and Vauplane before returning to your hotel in the hills

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Day 10 Aix-en-Provence and the Legacy of Cezanne

Today you will visit Aix-en-Provence the epitome of a Provencal town and one with a noted history. This was the birthplace of Paul Cezanne. You will see the house where he was born, the bank where his father worked, the college that he attended, along with Emile Zola, the apartment where he lived and his last studio. In addition to the focus on Cezanne you will also have free time to explore the town on your own 

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Day 11 Chagall and St Paul de Vence

The village of St Paul de Vence was home to Marc Chagall from 1965 to 1985 and he loved its specal light and scenic charm. You have the opportunity to walk to and through the village exploring its quaint narrow streets some dating back to the middle ages. You might want to spend the morning there enjoying a coffee and people watching before returning to the hotel for lunch and a session at the spa or you could do the reverse. After dinner you might want to follow the lights on the ramparts to take a nocturnal stroll in the village. A game of Petanque with villagers is also an option.

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Day 12 Return to USA

In the morning you will be driven to the airport for a flight that will connect with your US bound flight arriving back in the USA the same afternoon

Days 2 - 3

Sofitel Vieux Port
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The 5-star Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port , known as "the best address in Marseilles" thanks to its unique view, is an ideal stopover a short distance from the Château d ‘If and the Calanques. The new decor of this luxury hotel is inspired by the history of Marseilles and the seafaring world - reminiscent of a sumptuous yacht on the Mediterranean. Be seduced by the magical views of the old port from the Le Carré lounge bar, the Les Trois Forts gourmet restaurant and the new So SPA. 134 rooms including two suites, a magnificent apartment and 24 rooms with balconies. Light, spacious and luxurious, with marine-inspired decor. Bathrooms fitted with double tubs or hydro-massage showers. Located on the 7th floor, the view from the Les Trois Forts gastronomic restaurant is simply magical. The chef, D. Frérard, a Master Chef of France, offers "haute couture" Mediterranean cuisine in a modern setting overlooking the sea.
Days 4 - 7
Propriano, Corsica

Miramar Boutique Hotel
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Le Miramar is a house of rich character set just outside Propriano on the prestigious golf of Valinco. Nestled amid lush gardens, this Mediterranean style retreat offers an exceptional view on the sea, swimming pool, sauna, fitness room, 21 guestrooms appointed in custom fabrics and furnishings, 5 suites with terraces or separate gardens for those who enjoy seclusion. Le Miramar is an ideal place from which to explore a region rich with historical landmarks, discover an unspoiled coastal environment or enjoy nearby sandy beaches with clear blue waters.
Days 8 - 11
St Paul de Vence

Le Mas D'Artigny
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Set between Nice and Cannes, Le Mas d’Artigny & Spa provides exceptional panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the old village of Saint-Paul de Vence. The hotel lies within 20 acres of scented gardens scattered with modern sculptures. A superb spa with a chromatic pool, an outdoor pool, tennis courts and a restaurant with panoramic views add to the charm of this delightful hotel. Expansive grounds and large public areas provide the hotel with a spacious feel. The rooms have balconies, with lovely sea, town or pine forest views. From the restaurant's veranda, the view is spectacular: perfect to enjoy the romance of the French Riviera, as you sample the best in regional cuisine and local wines from Aix and Bandol.