My parents and I took a mediterranean cruise this summer that had Marseilles as a port of call. I knew immediately that we would want to visit the Provencal hill towns because we typically prefer smaller more intimate towns rather than larger cities. I usually do quite a bit of research on places to see so began my search for a tour/guide. We wanted to book a small group or private tour that visited several towns in the region. I came across the One Day in Provence website through a google search and a high review on Trip Advisor. I was drawn in immediately because of the professional presentation of their website and the information provided. I reached out to William to enquire about itinerary, cost, etc. He was extremely quick to reply and provided great information. After considering a few other options (itineraries, cost, group size, etc.) we decided to book our tour with One Day in Provence. The deposit payment process was very easy (looked like something similar to PayPal) and then we paid the remaining balance the day of the tour. I think this tour was a great value for what you get to see and the professional experience. It was worth every penny!
Now for the best part, tour day! Our cruise boat ended up docking at an unusual spot in the harbor. William was quick to communicate with us so that we were able to meet up quickly. The vehicle was a spacious, luxury van that was easy to get in and out of and it had great AC. William was a great driver that we felt safe with the whole time. On our way to our first hill town William gave us some history of the area. We learned a little about his family and personal history and how he ended up in the area and why he started this tour business.
Our tour started out visiting the town of Gordes. William took us to a great overlook/photo opp stop which immediately took our breath away. We entered the town and had time to explore the town for a bit.
Next we drove to the ochre colored cliff town of Roussillon. In route, William stopped us at an off the beaten path farm house that had lavender in bloom for a photo and to admire the beauty. We jokingly thanked William for making the weather cooperate so we could have such a beautiful view. Once we arrived in Roussillon we again had time to explore the town and make a few souvenir purchases.
Our next stop was the town of Lacoste. This town is pretty quiet but has a unique look and history of its inhabitants. William explained some of the history and gave us instructions on a walking path through the city.
Our final hill town stop was Lourmarin. I think this was our favorite stop of all. William had made us a reservation at a cafe that he frequents that was delightful. He mentioned that have a sampler type dish that would allow us to sample several items from the region. It was fantastic and the staff was very friendly and accommodating to our short schedule. We also were able to enjoy one of the local Rose wines from the region and William gave us some recommendations for some to look for when we got back home. After lunch we explored and shopped in that village. As a very American sounding side note, it was great having a native French speaker with us for the day. Everyone we met/spoke with were very friendly and most spoke good English but it just made communication that much faster and easier.
We ended our tour by seeing the town of Aix. We had mentioned to William early in the day that we wanted to purchase some local olive oil, herbs and linens to take back. Because of his familiarity of the region he took us directly to great stores to buy these items.
On our way back to the ship William asked us about the remaining ports on our cruise. He gave us some fantastic recommendations on what to do along the French Riviera and suggestions on what he would look to do on the island of Corsica.
We could not have had a better day and can't wait to go back to visit again! If we get the chance to go back we won't hesitate to contact William to schedule something again!
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