7 Photo Categories (contest): Spring/Summer in Provence

Bliss – Full” photos of Spring and Summer in Provence, the Luberon

Please give us caption suggestions –either in comments or via email. We will post our favorites and  give you credit –and link to your blog if you are chosen!

A Bientôt,


1. Sunflowers!

2. Painted buildings –from colors mined in Provence.

3. Color co ordinated flower boxes!4. Happy couples  -dare we say “blissful“?

5. Lavender cakes –yes, you heard right. These are absolutely wonderful –and only found here!
6. The amazing cliffs, and the unbelievable, otherworldly blue of the water.

6. The fabulous chefs we get to watch, work with, and whose specialties we adore!

7. Wines, and where they come from!

Provence (Luberon) Special July/August Itineraries!

A perfect week in July or August –These are truly special travel itineraries with exclusive access to events and activities not available anywhere else. One for a week of festivals, fireworks and bull fights. The other for a week of Luberon experiences with option to attend photography, painting or cooking lessons. Tell us what you would do differently (or in addition)! wendy@blisstravels.com

Bastille Week  Day 1: Tuesday, July 10th

–           Pick up Avignon 2pm and transfer to Provencal inn in a Medieval village.

–            A selection of local aperitifs and a privately guided walking tour through a medieval village and private tour of a 1000 year old church, not usually open to the public.***

–            3 course, gourmet “welcome” dining experience at an authentic Provencal restaurant.**

Day 2: Wednesday, July 11

–            Gourmet breakfast

–            Private transport to a perched Medieval village. Explore the ruins and the church, and wander through the gardens below. Panoramic views of the countryside

–             Private wine tasting of wines from Chateauneuf du Pape and  lunch in a 500 year old bakery not open to the public. The chef prepares a  4 course gourmet menu, specially designed by Bliss Travels. ***

–            Visit an artisan jam and sorbet maker in her home garden behind her olive grove and vineyard. Learn how this artisan works and taste her products.

–            Visit a winery and museum (The nearby village is where Peter Mayle lived when he wrote “A Year in Provence”.)

­Dinner on your own

Day 3: Thursday, July 12

–            Gourmet breakfast

–            Visit the largest antiques market outside of Paris to shop and stroll the stalls. And, visit one of the deepest springs in the world. Tour the spring and the nearby ancient paper mill **OR

–            Or,  take the morning to relax then spend the afternoon in a cooking lesson with a famous area chef, followed by a multi course gourmet dinner**

(Private transportation and translation/guide provided for both. 6 people for antiques market required.)

 Day 4: Friday, July 13

–           Gourmet breakfast

–           Tour a village designated as one of France’s “most beautiful” during  market day and visit the restored Chateau. Learn about the village’s illustrious history (home to Albert Camus and Henri Bosco)**

–           Special gourmet picnic on the Chateau grounds, and a tasting of area olive oils and goat cheeses will be included with the picnic**

–           Afternoon back at your hotel to relax, shop, hike or sightsee

–           Dinner on your own

 Days 5 and 6: Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15

–            Gourmet breakfast, with fresh baked breads and croissants, jams, local fruits, yogurt, coffee/tea and juices

–            Go to St. Remy for Bastille Day for the weekend festivities

–            Check into a luxury boutique property in the town center.  (Hotel has private gardens and a pool with magnificent views)

–            A private guide to take you through the sites and also help you to choose things you can do on your own

Weekend festivities include:

–            Markets and street fairs

–            Bull fights (Tickets must be ordered in advance)

–            Running of the bulls in the streets and cowboys herding the bulls in the streets (You will be accompanied to these, and all the traditions will be explained)

–            Parades and evening dancing

–            A group meal hosted by the town (eat with the locals)

–            Fireworks

In addition, you may tour the galleries and museums with a private guide or independently.  Nostradamus lived in St Remy. Van Gogh lived and painted in St Remy (his sanatorium is in the village). There is an important archeological dig and there are Roman ruins in several locations nearby.

–            Celebrate with a tasting menu at a Michelin starred restaurant. Dinner and wines included

Day 7: Monday, July 16

After breakfast, you will be taken to the Avignon train station where our trip ends.

All inclusive Provence:  and  $3,100 (without antiques market trip) to $3,300 per person in a double room.

–ONE room at $2,900 per person.

609 462 6213. wendy@blisstravels.com

AUGUST ITINERARYspecial extras, painting lessons by a renown Provencal painter, photography tips and on the spot sessions, hikes, Roman ruins and independent time to relax!

This trip is exclusive to a private group of 12 until the end of April.

Sunday, August 5:

-Pick up in Avignon at the TGV station. Private transfer to hotel/inn with stop for an olive oil tasting, at a working olive oil mill originally used by the Romans

-Privately guided walking tour through a medieval village, and a privately guided tour through a 1000 year old church with foundations made of Roman stone (not usually open to the public)*** (optional photography lesson)

– Have a gourmet dining experience under the stars

Monday, August 6:

–        Breakfast, with fresh baked breads and croissants, jams, local fruits, yogurt, cheeses, cereal and coffee/tea and juices.

–        Private transport to a tiny Medieval village. Hike to the top of the village to visit the ruins, and the church, or wander through the gardens below. You will have panoramic views of the countryside

–        A private lunch in a 500 year old bakery, opened just for use –with a specially planned meal of 3 courses and local wines (and an optional private wine tasting in the cave –no charge). ***

–        Visit a 2,000 year old Roman bridge and learn about the Roman roads in the area (optional photo tips)

–        Dinner on your own in the village

Tuesday, August 7:

–        Breakfast.

–        Learn to paint***/**** or have 1 on 1 photography instruction.  Capture the Provencal landscape with a renown Provencal painter or with our professional photographer

–        Local color: a 2 course café lunch at a local cafe

–        Visit the Bories village (ancient structures)  or hike the cedar forest.

Wednesday, August 8

–        Breakfast, with fresh baked breads and croissants, jams, local fruits, yogurt, cheeses, cereal and coffee/tea and juices.

–        Visit the local Ocher mines.  (This is where Provencal pigments are found). Take one of the walking tours and then explore the art in the village and enjoy a lunch on your own.  (optional photography session –color)

–        Afternoon/evening on your own to wonder the village, swim, hike or relax.

Thursday, August 9:

–        Breakfast

–        Option for a  second painting lesson or photography session*** /****

–        Lunch on your own

–        Private transport to a village designated at one of France’s most beautiful. Learn about the village’s illustrious history (home to Albert Camus and Henri Bosco). Tour the beautifully restored chateau

–        An early dinner in the form of a gourmet picnic on the Chateau grounds is included** and you have the option to remain to hear a piano concert in the Chateau that evening.  (Additional cost for tickets, and tickets are limited and subject to availability)

Friday, August 10:

–        Breakfast

–        Visit the local Provencal market set up outside your door.  (If you are traveling as a family, the kids/teens will have their own outing to the market this morning.) (optional food photography)

Choice to:

visit a secluded family run Auberge, built into the base of the cliffs that surround you.  Enjoy an authentic, traditional Provencal lunch and sip the local wines. Afterwards, you can hike through the ruins of a fort more than 1000 years old.

Or,  spend the late afternoon in a cooking lesson followed by a multi course dinner with wine pairing. **

–        (For families, kids/teens can also have a special local cooking lesson of more kid friendly specialties followed by their own dinner at the inn).***

Saturday, August 11:

–        Breakfast

–        Tour the largest most beautiful market in Provence. Pick up your gifts and favorites for a picnic on the train back to Paris.

Private transfer to the TGV  station in Avignon where our trip ends.

 Priced from $2,900 per person, all inclusive Provence.

609 462 6213. wendy@blisstravels.com to get on the list for a spot.


5 Things To Do and Appreciate in Provence!

What do you do in Provence? Lots. What make the top of the “Bliss” list?

1. Festivals. Of the local kind. We have our favorites, built around our favorite foods or products. The French celebrate every quality crop and artisan product from cherries to melon to wines….Find the best of the local festivals and street fairs and enjoy the pomp and the weekend.

2. Bulls. (No not that kind!) Not many people know about the bull fights, the running of the bulls and the other “cowboy” activities. Find the best time and spot to combine all of these. And see something most people don’t ever get to see!

3. Roman ruins. Most people don’t realize that France has ruins of many thousands of years of age. And, they aren’t behind glass, walled off, or patrolled by park guards. They are a wide open part of the countryside and landscape and they can be built into your daily experience. For example, we often take the 2,000 year old Roman road (or the ruins of that road) on our walk into the village for market day. We picnic on a more than 2,000 year old Roman bridge –and go swimming in a hidden swimming hole that’s part of a more than 2,000 year old Roman aquaduct.

4. Art. Practically every major painter lived and/or painted in this area. Renoir had a home here. Van Gogh lived here. Cezanne too. Chagall. Yep. Cocteau painted, or rather, drew, a chapel. Matisse. Picasso. Leger. The list is endless. Being able literally “see” what they “saw” is eye opening and helps you to both appreciate and understand their art.

4. Nature.  For seasonal wonders, spring might even outdo summer –though it’s a close call! Poppies and cherry blossoms are ethereal. But, lavender is pretty remarkable too! You decide!

5. And nature’s bounty! Nowhere else can you eat like you do in France. The simplest things will shock you with the intensity of their flavor. Knowing the origin of your cherry or egg or tomato was only a few yards away, and picked moments earlier only adds to the enjoyment.

And that’s just for starters. Hope your spring or summer vacation is Blissful.

Top 4 Reasons to Visit Provence in May!

4 Reasons to Visit Provence in May.

Of course, there are many more than 4  reasons. But, let’s just look at the top 4!

1. Beautiful Spring Scenery! May is the time for poppies, cherry blossoms, almond blossoms, and all sorts of spring flowers.

2. Space and warmth! …You beat the crowds and enjoy the season’s first picnics!

3. Everything is new. Spring vegetables are appearing in the markets.

4.It’s Bliss! Experiences most tourists don’t have. Exclusive access events and opportunities. Do what you want –at your pace.  Everything custom designed with ease! May 15-21, 2012

Read  what our clients have to say!

Contact us now to reserve your spot. May 15–21, 2012. wendy@blisstravels.com. 609 462 6213.