Riviera Rhapsody: An Enchanting Voyage from Avignon to Como
2 nights in Avignon, 2 nights in Aix-en-Provence, 2 night in Cannes, 3 nights in Santa Margherita Ligure, 2 nights in Como
Welcome to a journey that epitomizes the essence of European charm and elegance, stretching from the heart of Provence to the picturesque landscapes of Italy. This meticulously crafted tour begins with an arrival in Nice, followed by a high-speed train journey to Avignon, your first destination. Here, you’ll be embraced by the medieval grandeur of Avignon, including the Palais des Papes and the historic Pont Saint-Bénézet.
As you journey through Provence, experience a day dedicated to the artistic legacy of Van Gogh in Arles and St-Rémy, coupled with a wine tour in the renowned vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In Aix-en-Provence, indulge in the city’s vibrant art and culture with a walking tour and a culinary adventure, including a hands-on cooking class that immerses you in the flavors of Provence.
Your exploration continues to the French Riviera, with a visit to the perfume capital, Grasse, and the coastal beauty of Antibes, before reaching the glamorous Cannes. A day in Cannes offers relaxation along the Boulevard de la Croisette and an afternoon trip to the opulence of Monte Carlo.
Cross into Italy, where you’ll experience the serene Hanbury Botanical Gardens near Ventimiglia on your way to Santa Margherita Ligure, a quintessential Italian Riviera town. Discover the allure of Portofino and the Tigullio region, famous for its picturesque harbor and historic abbey, followed by a mesmerizing day exploring the colorful villages of Cinque Terre.
Before concluding your journey in Como, enjoy a brief sojourn in Lugano, Switzerland, where you can revel in its beautiful lake views and vibrant city life. Finally, immerse yourself in the beauty of Lake Como with a private boat tour, exploring its charming towns and soaking in the stunning scenery.
This journey from Provence to Italy is more than a tour; it’s an unforgettable experience blending culture, history, and natural beauty, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Day 1: Arrival in Nice and Train to Avignon
Upon arrival at Nice airport, transfer from Nice to Nice Station to board you high-speed train to TGV Station in Aix-en-Provence ( 2 nours and a half). Then, meet your driver and transfer to your hotel.
In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in the city. Overnight in Avignon.
Day 2: Van Gogh In Arles And St-Rémy & Wine In Chateauneuf-Du-Pape
Enjoy a full-day journey through the stunning Provence region, where you’ll explore the charming villages and iconic sites that inspired Vincent Van Gogh. Meet your guide in Avignon at 8:30 am to begin your adventure.
Each village in Provence has its unique personality and specialties, and our knowledgeable guide will reveal each village’s secrets as you explore them. The first stop on your tour will be Arles, where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the city to discover its rich heritage and the various sites painted by Van Gogh, including “The Night Café” and “The Garden of the Health Home.” Next, you’ll continue on to Saint-Rémy de Provence, where you’ll follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh on a walking tour of the town. Your guide will show you reproductions of Van Gogh’s paintings and take you to the recreation of his bedroom in Saint Paul de Mausole, the hospital where he stayed.
Of course, no trip to Provence is complete without a visit to the world-renowned vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. During your wine tour, you’ll visit two different vineyards and learn about the history and know-how of the local winemakers. You’ll also visit the famous castle in the center of the village and admire the exceptional terroir, with breathtaking views of the vineyards surrounding this former summer residence of the popes. This tour offers a truly authentic Provencal experience, allowing you to discover the region’s rich culture and heritage while enjoying some of its most famous wines.
Overnight in Avignon.
Day 3: Avignon and Luberon
Embark on an enchanting journey through the heart of Provence, beginning your day in the historic city of Avignon. This city, renowned for its medieval grandeur, offers a walk back in time with its impressive Palais des Papes, a testament to its past as the seat of Western Christianity. Wander across the iconic Pont Saint-Bénézet, immersing yourself in the tales that echo from its stones. The historic center of Avignon, with its vibrant markets and quaint cafes, provides a delightful setting for a morning exploration.
In the afternoon, the tour takes you to the picturesque village of Gordes, a jewel in the Luberon region. Here, you can admire the striking hilltop views and the unique architecture of the buildings that seem to cascade down the hillsides. The day concludes in Aix-en-Provence, a city known for its lively streets, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful fountains, providing a perfect end to an unforgettable Provençal adventure.
Overnight in Aix-en-Provence.
Day 4: A Day of Enchantment and Culinary Discovery in Aix-en-Provence
Your day in the charming city of Aix-en-Provence begins with the soft morning light illuminating its vibrant streets and historic buildings. The city, a canvas of art, culture, and Provençal tradition, invites you on a leisurely walking tour. As you stroll through the quaint lanes, you’ll discover the city’s heart, where every corner reveals a piece of history, from the grandeur of the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral to the intimate charm of tiny bookshops and cafes.
By mid-morning, your senses are awakened at the local fresh market, a bustling hub in the center of the city. Here, the air is filled with the aromas of fresh herbs, ripe fruits, and artisanal baked goods. This market is not just a place for shopping; it’s a vibrant scene of daily life where locals and visitors alike mingle, sharing stories and smiles over the colorful displays of produce, cheeses, and Provençal delicacies.
In the afternoon, the culinary adventure begins with a hands-on cooking class. Guided by a local chef, you’re immersed in the world of Provençal cuisine. The class is a journey through taste and tradition, teaching you how to transform fresh, local ingredients into classic dishes. As you chop, sauté, and simmer, you’ll learn about the region’s culinary history and techniques.
The day culminates in a delightful dining experience, where you savor the dishes you’ve lovingly prepared. Seated with fellow food enthusiasts, you’ll enjoy a meal that is not just nourishing but also a celebration of your day’s journey. As you dine, the flavors of your creations tell the story of Aix-en-Provence, a tale of history, culture, and the simple joys of life in this enchanting Provençal city. Overnight in Aix-en-Provence.
Day 5: A Journey from Aix-en-Provence to Cannes Through Grasse and Antibes
Embarking on a journey from Aix-en-Provence to Cannes with the luxury of a private driver offers a captivating opportunity to explore the charm of the French Riviera. Your first stop is the picturesque city of Grasse, renowned as the world’s perfume capital. Nestled amid hills, Grasse enchants with its maze of narrow streets, brimming with the scents of jasmine and roses used in local perfumeries. Here, you can visit one of the famous perfume factories, like Fragonard, and delve into the art of fragrance creation.
After indulging in the olfactory pleasures of Grasse, your journey continues towards Antibes. This coastal gem, positioned between Cannes and Nice, is a haven of Mediterranean beauty. Antibes is famous for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts, offering stunning sea views. Stroll along its cobblestone streets to explore the bustling market, local artisan shops, and the Picasso Museum, housed in the historic Château Grimaldi.
Each city, with its unique allure, sets the stage for an enriching experience. As you approach Cannes, the allure of luxury yachts and the famed Boulevard de la Croisette await. This route, filled with sensory and cultural delights, embodies the essence of the French Riviera, leaving you with lasting memories of its beauty and charm.Overnight in Cannes
Day 6: From Cannes Sands to Monte Carlo’s Grandeur: A Day of Discovery
Begin your day leisurely in Cannes, a city synonymous with glamour and beauty on the French Riviera. The morning is yours to bask in the Mediterranean sun along the exquisite Boulevard de la Croisette. Stroll along this famed promenade, lined with palm trees and luxury boutiques, or relax on the sandy beaches, watching the azure waves gently lap the shore. Take time to explore Le Suquet, the old quarter of Cannes, where quaint cobblestone streets lead to stunning views of the city and sea.
In the afternoon, your private driver will whisk you away to the opulent Monte Carlo in Monaco. Just an hour’s drive from Cannes, Monte Carlo is a world of luxury and elegance. Visit the iconic Monte Carlo Casino, a masterpiece of Belle Époque architecture, and perhaps try your luck at its famed gaming rooms. Wander through the meticulously manicured gardens and marvel at the lavish yachts in the harbor. As the sun begins to set, take a leisurely drive along the Corniche, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline, before returning to Cannes. This blend of Cannes’ relaxed charm and Monte Carlo’s grandeur makes for an unforgettable day on the French Riviera.
Overnight in Cannes
Day 7: Mediterranean Mosaic: A Scenic Drive from Cannes to Santa Margherita with a Botanical Interlude”
Embark on a charming tour from Cannes to Santa Margherita Ligure, an enchanting journey that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes of the French and Italian Rivieras. Your day begins with the scenic drive from Cannes, along the picturesque Mediterranean coastline, where azure waters meet charming seaside towns.
As you cross the border into Italy, your journey leads you to the celebrated Hanbury Botanical Gardens near Ventimiglia. These gardens are a true horticultural paradise, sprawling over 18 hectares. Established in the 19th century by Sir Thomas Hanbury, they boast a remarkable exotic and Mediterranean flora collection. Meandering through these lush, terraced gardens offers a feast for the eyes and a tranquil retreat with panoramic sea views.
Following this serene interlude, your private driver will continue the journey towards the Italian Riviera, with Santa Margherita Ligure as your final destination. This charming coastal town, with its pastel-colored houses, historic villas, and picturesque harbor, is a quintessential Italian Riviera experience.
Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure
Day 8: Portofino & Tigullio
Meet your guide at the hotel and move to Portofino by boat.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery, charming streets, and delicious seafood with a 4-hour guided visit. Portofino is a picturesque fishing village known for its beautiful harbor and pastel-colored buildings. The town has long been a favorite of artists and writers, who have been drawn to its beauty and tranquility for centuries. Visitors to Portofino can enjoy a stroll along the waterfront, explore the charming streets and alleyways, or take a boat tour of the stunning coastline. Just a short boat ride from Portofino is the San Fruttuoso Abbey, a beautiful medieval abbey that is only accessible by boat or hiking trail. The abbey was founded in the 10th century and is in a beautiful cove surrounded by rocky cliffs and crystal-clear water. Visitors can explore the abbey’s beautiful cloister and chapel, swim in the clear waters of the cove, or enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the nearby restaurants.
You will have a table reserved at The Splendido ( upon availability)
Return to Santa Margherita Ligure on your own ( your guide will give you the return ticket to Santa Margherita. Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Day 9: Cinque Terre
Meet your driver and move to Monterosso to enjoy a guided visit to Cinque Terre by boat, a beautiful coastal region known for its colorful houses and stunning views.
Meet your guide in Monterosso to explore the stunning Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of five colorful fishing villages perched on the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera. The five villages – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – are linked by a beautiful hiking trail that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the rugged cliffs. Visitors can start the day by taking a train from Santa Margherita Ligure to Monterosso al Mare, the largest and most popular of the five villages. They can explore the village’s charming streets, beautiful beaches, and colorful houses from there. Monterosso is known for its delicious seafood, so you can enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants along the waterfront. After lunch, you can take the hiking trail to Vernazza, a beautiful village known for its charming harbor and picturesque streets. The trail offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and the Mediterranean Sea, and it is a great way to experience the region’s natural beauty. You can also stop at various viewpoints to take in the stunning scenery.
You can continue along the hiking trail to the other villages from Vernazza or take a train to Corniglia, a charming hilltop village known for its beautiful sea and surrounding countryside views. Visitors can explore the village’s narrow streets, colorful houses, and beautiful churches and take in the stunning views from the village’s panoramic terrace. The next village is Manarola, a beautiful village known for its colorful houses and charming harbor. Visitors can explore the village’s winding streets and alleyways and enjoy the stunning views of the sea and surrounding cliffs.
Finally, meet your driver in Portovenere and move back to Santa Margherita Ligure. Overnight in Santa Margherita Ligure.
Day 10: Santa Margherita Ligure to Milan via Lugano
Take a train to Milan and meet your private driver.
Journey to this Swiss gem with a private driver and explore its charming streets, elegant buildings, and breathtaking lake views at your own pace. Wander through the vibrant Piazza della Riforma, visit the lush Parco Civico, and indulge in Swiss chocolate and local delicacies. Enjoy your 4-hour stop in Lugano taking an independent stroll along the lakeside promenade before returning to Como, creating your perfect day trip filled with captivating sights and unforgettable memories.
Arrive in Como late afternoon. Overnight in Como.
Day 11: Como Boat Tour
After breakfast, spend the afternoon exploring the stunning Lake Como, one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, with crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a 4-hour private boat tour of the lake to explore its charming towns and villages, such as Bellagio, Varenna, and Menaggio. These towns are known for their beautiful architecture, picturesque streets, and delicious food. Alternatively, you can spend some time relaxing by the lake, enjoying the beautiful scenery, and soaking up the sunshine. In the evening, return to your accommodation in Como and enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in the city. Overnight in Como.
Day 12: Departure