H I G H L I G H T S & E X C U R S I O N S
P R O V E N C E - C A M A R G U E - L A N G U E D O C
Provence, throughout the Roman Empire has been praised as the "fairest of all provinces" - so rich - so varied - a land of hedonists.
Roi Soleil offers you a unique vantage point as we sail down the ancient border between the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne, the river Rhone. When we step ashore to discover the land within, the richness of culture, history, architecture, arts and crafts begins to reveal itself. Roi Soleil will then follow a tributary of the Rhone, to enter into the mysterious region of the Camargue.
HIGHLIGHTS: Avignon, city of the Popes - Roman ruins and the Pont du Gard - Chateau Neuf du Pape wines - Duchy of Uzes - Arles - St Remy de Provence - Les Beaux de Provence - Hill Villages - Petit Rhone river - Aigues Mortes and Camargue - Sete Port - Lagoon of Thau - Agde - Beziers.
Being on charter means that you can tailor the excursions according to your party's special interests. For example:
Historic Tours and Architecture
In Avignon you may see the rich architectural influence of each of the 8 Popes who resided in the Palais des Papes, from medieval to the Renaissance time. The Palais des Papes presents a magnificent image, as we sail by the Pont de Benezet (famous for the song: "sur le pont d'Avignon") in the pastel colors of the Provencal sunset. Another architectural beauty to see, is the aqueduct of the Pont du Gard, a prodigy of the Romans and one of the wonders of the ancient world. Then there is the Roman arena, the antique theatre, some impressive medieval architecture in Arles, once capital of the whole of the Gaul's plus the sites of picturesque St Remy de Provence. As an option, you can even participate in a dig on a private site with a top local archeologist. Take the magnificent setting of the little town of Uzes which was the prime Duchy of France, where in the 17th Century, the Duke and the Bishop of Uzes competed in erecting architectural monuments.
A breathtaking site from the panorama of the fortified village of les Beaux de Provence, also renowned for it's ancient cobbled streets and picturesque charm and whose history develops around the rebel barons who defied the King!
You can walk along the fortified walls that completely surround the little medieval city of Aigues-Mortes, built on in the marshes as King St Louis sought a safe harbor to embark his crusaders on the route to Jerusalem.
Pezenas is a jewel for lovers of art and literature, where Moliere and his theatre troop found refuge in the 17th Century, under the protection of the Governor and Prince de Conti.
Local Culture, Arts, Crafts and Antiques
The whole of Provence has always been particularly rich in arts and crafts as you may see through the rich Arletan Museum of Arles, due to its prime position on the trade routes. Since the 19th Century, Provence artists were most successful in preserving local identity and tradition, in defiance of the inroads of industrialization.
For any occasion, the Arlesian woman will don their typical costumes with hand-made laces that have been passed preciously down from mother to daughter throughout the generations, and the Guardians will dance and defy each other in games in the bull rings, inspired by their medieval troubadour ancestors. In Arles you can also personally experience the sites depicted in the paintings of Van Gogh.
Throughout the year there are colorful festivals in all the cities & villages, where the locals proudly present their talents which have been passed on to them from generation to generation. We can introduce you to local artisans, fabricating by hand, basket weaving, figurines, chairs and furniture, provencal fabrics and "boutis", paintings and pottery, some of whose work is now sought after internationally. The Camargue region is particularly rich in guardian feasts in honor of the bulls and their prized white horses. In Sete you could witness the fishermen jostling in teams - a spectacle on water.
You can be as involved as sponsoring the daredevil "raseteurs" fighting the bulls in the village arena or simply taking in the local game of bowls "petanque" from a terrace cafe in the typical village of Fontveille.
For the connoisseurs interested in antiques, there is a haven of antique treasures in L'Isle sur la Sorgue where no less than 160 antique dealers are presenting their finds.
Natural sites and The Camargue
Beautiful panoramas unfold amongst the hill villages and across the cool waters and gorges as may be seen in Fontaines de Vaucluse. From the tranquil river of the Petit Rhone, we enter into the secret of the Camargue where fresh and salt sea water make up the marshlands - the refuge of hundreds of migratory birds. There we will also see the guardians mounted on their white horses tending their prize bulls for the bull rings.
The provencal market is a total feast to the senses where you can delve into the stalls of local artifacts, and amongst the bouquets of lavender and thyme there are branches of artichokes, pyramids of olives in hues of pastel greens to rich black, and hand pressed A.O.C. olive oils ... freshly farmed goats cheeses ... Tapenades and olive breads. For the sweet tooth, there are delicious almond sweets, Calissons from Aix en Provence, and the sumptuous miniature preserved fruits from Apt.
... and then there are the vineyards!! The Rhone valley with its varied terroir and private tastings, beckons the senses - Chateauneuf du Pape - Gigondas - Lirac - Muscat of Beaumes de Venise, and for the new and rewarding discovery - the Languedoc region is making its mark on the sommeliers around the world.
Did we mentions that our chef is an authentic provencal food artist, eager to share his secrets in the open plan galley of "Roi Soleil" for cooking demonstrations? Pour yourself a glass of wine - and enjoy the show.
Activities - The Young Family
Apart from simply taking a walk through the waterside villages or bicycling along banks of the canal, there are scores of activities to choose from: Ballooning - horse riding or 4 x wheel driving in Camargue - attending the bull races or village processions - bird spotting in the Camargue reserve - an eagle watching spectacle in the Castle of Beaucaire- white water rafting or gentle canoeing - caves to explore... tell us your fantasy and we'll follow your dream.
|Accommodations||Rate Type||Rate Amount|
|Charter 6 passengers wholeboat||Regular||37900|
|Charter 6 passengers wholeboat||Value||33000|
|Charter 4 passengers wholeboat||Regular||34100|
|Charter 4 passengers wholeboat||Value||29700|
|Departure Dates (Sunday)||Rate Type||Route|
|Sep 03||Regular||Avignon to Beziers|
|Sep 10, 17, 24 Oct 01,8||Regular||Canal du Midi|
|Jul 16, 23, 30; Aug 6, 13||Value||Canal du Midi|
|Mar 26; Apr 02, 09, 16||Value||Canal du Midi|
|Apr 23, 30; May 07, 14, 21, 28; Jun 04, 11, 18, 25; Jul 02, 09 Aug 20||Regular||Canal du Midi|
|Aug 27||Regular||Beziers to Avignon|
|Oct 15, 22||Value||Canal du Midi|
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