Hit the roads less traveled...
Bonjour! My name is Claire Paris (yes, that's my real name) and I'm a provencal by adoption!
I was born outside of Paris during the marvelous 80s', from a dad from Champagne and a mum from Burgundy. The perfect blend!
I spent my childhood in the parisian region and moved to Lorraine when I was a teenager. Most of my beloved friends and a part of my family are from there.
I moved to Provence after two years of tourism study that made me a licensed guide and a 6 year experience acquired in leading companies of the tourism industry. I started my own business in 2013 to share my love for Provence and all the things that make it so special.
I'm an outgoing and enthusiastic person. I enjoy being outside, I will never miss an opportunity to pat a cat or wear a sundress, I'm amazed by the little things, I devour books (especially biographies), and I'm a biiiiiiiiiiig foodie! Traveling is also a huge passion of mine, hence the career as a tour guide, I suppose!
I want to show you the many beauties of Provence I got to discover over the years, and hopefully you will fall madly in love with it, just like I did! Whether you want to learn about roman history, visit a castle, have a picnic in the lavender fields, take gorgeous pictures to make your friends jealous, I can cater everything to make your vacation the most enjoyable ever.
You will find below an interactive map of Provence as well as ideas of tours for inspiration (if you're scrolling on your phone, let's meet on a computer!).
Everything is completely customizable. I exclusively do private tours. My air-conditioned van can accommodate up to 6 people. All you have to do is hop on and let the magic happen! Feel free to email me so we can discuss the best itinerary possible for your unforgettable experience in Provence!
Private tours &
Tailor made experiences
passionate Licensed guide
Pick up at your location
One of the best preserved roman theaters
Both roman and medieval
Lavender all over!
The Provence of postcards! It's famous for the hilltop villages, every one of them is perfection, from Gordes, the most famous, to Roussillon, the colorful one. And many other hidden treasures!
The Paris of Provence
Home of Cézanne
The wildest part of Provence! Pink flamingos, white horses and bulls live in the delta of the Rhône river.
Roman heritage, Van Gogh sites and a lot of beauty!
Gorgeous roman heritage
Laid back and beyond charming, craft shops at every corner
THE wine place!
This little chain of mountains has a lot to offer, with charming towns like Saint Rémy de Provence, medieval history with les Baux, and art with Van Gogh!
The tallest roman aqueduct that still exists
Merci Hélène for this adorable map of Provence!
Go check her amazing work as a ceramist!
14th century home of the Popes. Best base to explore Provence!
Antic stores and cristal clear river
Need inspiration? Here's a little help!
Meet local producers
Meet local producers
Among the activities you can do during the day, visiting a local producer will certainly be a wonderful experience! Whether we visit a goat farm, a nougat maker, a fig farm or an olive mill, you will leave with a wondeful taste of Provence.
Subject to availability.
Combine a day in lovely Provence with a bit of History! What about going to Arles in the morning, have lunch in a cute quaint provencal town and finish the day at Pont du Gard, one of the world's best preserved roman aqueducts?
Market and Picnic
Market and picnic
Have you ever dreamed of going to a provencal market in the morning, buy all the yummy food there and go for a picnic in the countryside? I can make that dream come true! So pack your prettiest sundress (even you, gentlemen) and get ready to feel like a real provencal!
Picnic equipment provided, food not included. Everyday except Tuesday
Lavender and Villages
Lavender and villages
Lavender fields are so close to many beautiful places! We can spend the day exploring lovely hilltop villages and make many lavender photo stops along the way.
Available roughly from mid June to mid August.
Van Gogh's footsteps
Van Gogh's life in Provence
The world famous dutch painter spent 2 years in Provence and made his most inspired work there. Follow his footsteps with a visit of his beloved Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence and immerge yourself in an authentic provencal atmosphere.
The best of Provence!
the best of Provence!
Buckle up and let me drive you for a compilation of the best of Provence! If your time in the area is limited, this is the tour you need. We'll go from hilltop villages to beautiful countryside, medieval history and roman sites. The perfect mix of everything Provence has to offer!
Wanna go deep into History? Walking tours might just be what you need!
Avignon has no secrets for me! Are you ready to travel back in time and explore the capital of the catholic world in the 14th century? Let's embark on a journey through History, where you will discover the reasons that led the Pope to leave Rome and choose Avignon over any other place in Europe, and learn about the medieval daily life inside and outside the popes palace. Did you know that pollution was way worse then than it is nowadays? Or that street names are not random?
Arles is the perfect combination of roman heritage, Van Gogh sites and provencal charm! Why was this city so important for the romans that they built monuments you could only find in the most important cities of the Empire? Why did Van Gogh leave Paris and everything behind to live in a city he only had heard of a couple times, and why did he paint so much there?
Arles also has one of my favorite neighborhoods in all Provence. Fancy a walk there?
These are the starting prices, for up to 6 people, from Avignon and close surroundings.
An extra charge may apply based on your departure place and our destinations.
Gasoline, parking, toll fees are included.
All the other expenses such as entrance fees, food and drinks, souvenirs, are at your own charge.
Full Day Tour (8 hours)
Half Day Tour (5 hours)
These tours don't require the use of a car. Pick up on request with extra charge.
All the other expenses such as entrance fees, food and drinks, souvenirs, are at your own charge.
Avignon (3 hours)
Arles (3 hours)
First time in Provence? A little lost and confused about where, when, how? Here's a little help to prepare your visit!
How to get thereProvence is accessible by the highways A7 and A9 , as well as by TGV (Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseille), and the airport of Marseille (international) and Avignon (for the lucky ones with a private jet!).
When to comeThe nicest seasons are the spring and the beginning of fall. The weather is lovely, temperatures are ideal, and it's not overcrowded. May is the perfect balance between all these factors, in addition to the beauty of nature ! For the flowering times, see "Visits" !
Where to stayAvignon is probably the best base : accessible by highway, TGV, and only an hour away from Marseille airport ! The town, in addition to its indeniable charm, offers a large choice of accommodations as well as excellent restaurants and bars. Arles is a good alternative, with similar assets, minus the TGV access. L'Isle sur la Sorgue and Saint Rémy de Provence will be a delight for the countryside lovers, and still offer a great choice of accommodations and restaurants.
What to packComfortable shoes! You will walk a lot, and steep cobblestone streets are everywhere in Provence. Summers are hot (high 90F°), hats and sunglasses are highly recommended as well as sunscreen. Light fabrics such as flax are what locals wear. At night temperatures drop a bit but are still quite high, you will probably just need a light jacket. Insulated bottles have been my best friends for a few years now! I don't leave home without one. Make sure you slip one in your suitcase. The spring can be quite windy and chilly if our "beloved" Mistral wind decides to show up. It then feels much cooler than what the weather forecast says: bring an extra layer on your day out, just in case!
Transportation on siteThe car is the best way to move once in Provence. It is quite rural, regional trains are not developped, and buses offer a service that lacks frequency. Roads are sometimes very narrow, especially in the Luberon or Alpilles. It's highly recommended to have a good driving experience ! As for towns like Avignon and Arles, driving can be a challenge : the streets are extremely narrow, most of the time one way, and most of them are closed to traffic anyway. Seat belts have to be worn by law. Otherwise the ticket is 135€. Ouch!
MarketsThe provencal markets are well known all around the world. They're a must for anyone who wants to experience Provence, which explains why they can be very busy, especially in the heart of summer. Go early morning ! Getting there by 9 am is the guarantee you will enjoy your experience even more, even if it means you'll have to set your alarm clock !
SouvenirsHere is a non exhaustive list of wonders to bring for your dear ones: lavender sachets and essential oil, Marseille soap, olive oil, nougat and calissons (a candy made of almond paste), table clothes and fabrics, lavender wands, wine, Camargue rice, salt, potteries, paintings, pigments, santons, ceramic cicadas... Craftmen all over Provence are proud and happy to make local and high quality products.
Blooming seasonsLavender, the star of Provence, is a summer flower. It blooms from mid June to mid August. However, depending on the previous winter, it can be either early or late. The first 10 days of July are the certainty (or almost!) to see lavender at its best ! Sunflowers bloom shortly after lavender, but it's very rare to see two fields of these flowers side by side, in spite of what you can see on many pictures. Poppies, not quite as famous as lavender and sunflowers, aren't less of a spectacular show. May is when you want to come to see them.
Where to swimFor the sea lovers, Les Saintes Maries de la Mer in Camargue is where you want to go : the sandy beaches and shallow water are ideal for families with young children. For the hikers, go to the calanques, near Marseille : they offer the right combination between sport and chill. The place is beyong gorgeous ! As their access is limited in the summer make sure you get the right information before you go ! If you like rivers better, then Pont du Gard is made for you ! Here History and water meet for a both educational and leisure visit ! When will you ever swim at the feet of a 2000 year old aqueduct again ?
GreetingsIn Provence people greet each other by kissing one another 3 times, starting from the right cheek. It's called « la bise ». A hand shake will do it too, especially if you don't know the person. But unfortunately we don't use the friendly hug. When you walk into a place, make sure you say « bonjour » before starting asking questions. The french are also very fond of « merci » and « s'il vous plaît ». It's a little annoying at first but you will quickly get used to it !
L'apéritifAs everywhere in France, we love to seat in the sun and share a drink with friends ! Pastis, a liquorice alcohol you mix with water, is the star of Provence apéritifs ! Rosé is also wildely popular : refreshing, light, easy to drink, it will suit most palets. For the younger ones, « Pac à l'eau » is a sweet lemon syrup mixed with water. Nice and refreshing ! Along with tapenades (olive spreads), olives and pickled garlic, here's the perfect provencal aperitif !
At the restaurantWhether you booked a table or not, you can't seat yourself : the waiter will direct you to your table. He will then ask if you want an « apéritif » (see below). It isn't customary to have butter or olive oil on the table for you to eat with your bread. Ice is also not a habit, don't worry if the waiter doesn't bring a bucket along with your drinks. Tap water is drinkable almost everywhere, and has a very neutral taste. Tips are always included in France, but if you had a great time and you consider your waiter deserves one, feel free to give him a little something ! 5 to 10% is the usual, but you can give more if you feel like it. Your waiter won't bring the check straight away : ask him when you are ready to leave !
Food and local specialtiesAïoli is the Friday dish here in Provence : steamed cod and vegetables, served with garlic mayonnaise, yum ! Many restaurants will have it on menus on Fridays. Soupe au pistou also is a local's favorite! It's a soup made of different kinds of beans, potatoes, carrots, zucchini, to which we add loads of pistou, the provencal pesto. Seasonal fruits and vegetables grown close by are a big part of the provencal cuisine. Strawberries in September or figs in the spring are most definitely imported, and locals won't buy them. Garlic is an important part of our food heritage. Chefs will use just the right amount, but in private homes it reigns as the king of condiments !
BooksFor you, bookworm, who need to get into the provencal mood before you visit! Marcel Pagnol was a prolific writter and most of his work is a beautiful picture of Provence at the beginning of the 20th century. Among his biggest successes is My Father's Glory, one of my favorite books. Warning: some of his stories are tragic! Alphonse Daudet wrote delighful provencal stories too! His most famous book is Letters from my Mill, a collection of tales and legends. Frédéric Mistral is the most famous writter in Provence. He's considered a local heroe after he saved the local dialect by writing in that language. He even won the Nobel prize of litterature in 1904! How not to mention Peter Mayle and his world famous A Year in Provence! A classic that made Provence the dreamy destination for many...
MoviesMost of Marcel Pagnol's books were turned into movies in the 80s'. They're a wonderful way to immerge yourself in the delightful atmosphere of the early 20th century Provence! For Van Gogh lovers, At Eternity's Gate is a accurate picture of what the painter's life was like in Saint Rémy de Provence, his home for a year. If you're in the mood for a rom com, go watch A Good Year, by Ridley Scott! A romantic love story that takes place in the Luberon. My Summer in Provence takes place in one of my favorite villages! Three siblings from Paris spend the summer at their grand parents in the Alpilles. Their grand father isn't as grumpy as he first seems...
Je parle français!
"She looks like me, that shows great qualities" - Dad
"She used to torture me when we were kids, but she doesn't do it anymore. I guess she's ok now..." - Sister
"In all objectivity she's the best" - Mum
"Hands down the best granddaughter. As a tour guide I couldn't say" - Grandma
"Meowwwwww" - Cat