Driving-Catalonia-Provence

Provence-Medieval streets, Crestet

Freewheeling France – CATALONIA & PROVENCE self-guided driving holiday

Driving holidays for people who want to explore independently with the security of a planned itinerary. Tell us where you want to go, how long you’ve got, your must-see sights, preferred type of accommodation and leave the rest to us.

While all holidays are fully customised, some regions are requested often, such as PROVENCE.  We usually start Provence holidays in Avignon, as it’s less than 3 hours from Paris. Nice is another popular starting point, because its airport has flights to most European centres.

Provence holidays combine well with the Rhone Valley and Burgundy, but below is a 3 week itinerary that we wrote for clients travelling from Barcelona to Nice.

Day 1 – Fly into Barcelona and transfer to your central 4 star hotel with a swimming pool.

Days 2, 3 & 4 – Get over your jet lag and relax and explore Barcelona.

Prov-Collioure:Roussillon

Day 5 – Early train to Perpignan, then leave your luggage at the station and enjoy the day exploring the town.  Late afternoon collect the car and drive south to Collioure for your 3 star hotel with a lovely garden and parking in the centre of the village.

Day 6 – Relax in Collioure, or an excursion to Banyuls, the Maillol museum and the wine cellars.

Day 7 – Leave Collioure for Ceret and its market, then head north to Thuir (Caves de Byrrh) and the beautiful medieval village of Castelnou. Continue north past Forca-Real to Maury (wine tasting possibilities) and up to Cucugnan for a charming 3 room B&B.

Day 8 – Excursion to the amazing castle at Peyrepertuse. Return to Cucugnan through the spectacular Gorges de Galamus, St Paul-de-Fenouillet and the Rivesaltes vineyards.

Day 9 – Morning visit to Queribus castle, then east to Limoux (sparkling wines), en route to Cavenac for a charming 17th century chateau with rooms, restaurant and vineyard.

Day 10 – Morning visit to Carcassonne and La Cité, then autoroute east to St Remy de Provence for 3 nights at a charming small hotel in the heart of the village.

Day 11 – Discover St Remy, its weekly market and the Van Gogh walking trail. Late afternoon excursion to Les Baux-de-Provence.

Day 12 – An excursion to Roman Arles, returning to St Remy via the Abbaye de Montmajour.

Day 13 – Head east for the picturesque Luberon villages and to Roussillon for its ochre quarries and a charming hotel-restaurant with parking in the village – Dinner, B&B.

Provence-Roussillon ochre quarryDay 14 – Wind south through Bonnieux and Lourmarin to pick up the autoroute past Marseille to Cassis.  Choice of accommodation – a modern studio apartment overlooking the port, or an elegant 3 star hotel just up the hill with a swimming pool.

Day 15 – Cassis – free day to relax, swim and take a boat trip around the famous cliffs

Day 16 – Cassis – free day to relax, swim and visit the local vineyards, or take the corniche road over the cliffs to the Bandol vineyards.

Cassis portDay 17 – Autoroute north then wind through the Haut Var villages of Cotignac, Tourtour and Aups to Moustiers-Ste-Marie for a welcoming motel style hotel with swiming pool on the edge of the village.

Day 18 – Explore Moustiers-Ste-Marie, before an excursion around the spectacular Routes des Cretes with look-outs 1300m above the river.

Day 19 – Navigate the Grand Canyon du Verdon en route to Grasse. Visit Fragonard and explore the old town centre before continuing to Le Rouret for a charming hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Day 20 – Discover the picture-postcard village of St Paul de Vence en route to NICE. Drop off your luggage at your stylish, central 3 star hotel, then return the car to the railway station. Walk back to the hotel Promenade des Anglais. 

Day 21 – Relax and enjoy NICE.

Day 22 – Transfer to the airport for your flight to London.

CONTACT US to discuss your Provence driving holiday.