Pure Pleasure in Provence


I’m just back from a walking tour in Provence with The Wayfarers and am still savoring the magical moments and remain bedazzled by all that I saw, ate and experienced.

 

 

The trip was chock-a-block with Impressionist landscapes of gnarled olive trees, endless horizons of bright orange poppies and vineyard rows, the wonderful, warm and sometimes irascible characters made famous by Peter Mayle’s books, picture-perfect hilltop villages, and of course, the famed Provençal cuisine. 

There were eight of us: an affable group of outdoorsy, inquisitive Americans ranging in age from 40ish to 70-something. We spent our days rambling down sleepy rural tracks, shaded forest trails and ancient village streets, chatting with friendly farmers and locals, and lingering over delicious café lunches.

A walk with The Wayfarers falls into my new favorite category of travel, “luxury adventure.” Which is to say that, après hike, we got to take a relaxing bath, enjoy a gourmet dinner, drink fine French wine and sleep in the comfort of a luxury hotel. Life was good!

Hard to capture the complexity, the camaraderie, and the richness of a week spent walking through an aromatic landscape of flowering broom and wild herbs, attuning my ear to the melodious lilt of Provençal French and falling under the spell of flattering Frenchmen in a single blog, but suffice it to say, I’m already dreaming about the next trip….Tuscany, 2009 anyone?  

P.S. Click here for photos. 

For More Information:  The Wayfarers (800-249-4620; www.thewayfarers.com).  Walking vacations include six to twelve nights in luxury accommodations and characteristic country inns & hotels, all meals (including wine with dinner) and on-trail snacks and refreshments, gratuities at hotels and restaurants, full-time services of both a walk leader and manager, support vehicle and all transfers (ferries, taxis, trains, etc.) as specified. Walking vacations range from $1,950 to $4,995 per person, double occupancy. 

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".