A tour that every kosher epicurean could only dream of.... until now! Hilltop towns, village markets, Cezanne, Van Gogh, lavender, fine cuisine and...wine!! Possibly for the first time ever, in March 2011, a Michelin star restaurant was made kosher for our Tour. Its award winning chef, Marc de Passorio (3 toques Gault & Millau), prepared Kosher haute cuisine such as our guests had NEVER experienced. The tour was a phenomenal success, and we are returning in November. Amazingly, we were INVITED BACK!! We will stay in the beautiful Vallon de Valrugues Hotel, in which the restaurant is situated. The hotel recently received its 5th star. It is just 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of Saint Remy.
Meeting point: Marseille airport: 2pm...
then off to Aix en Provence: town of water, town of art- the perfect place to start a tour of Provence We'll enjoy a late lunch, followed by a walking tour. Aix is a small, classically Provençal town, famous for being home to Cezanne. Aix has always been a rich city. There is a stark contrast with Marseille (30 km away). Whereas Marseille is one the poorest French cities, Aix is perhaps one of the richest. It is a quiet, clean and comfortable city. The city center is mostly pedestrian and, though it is quite small (you can cross the center in 15 minutes by foot), offers long hours of nice walks. As in all Provençal towns, the city center consists of narrow streets, lined with 17thcentury buildings and paved plazas. One hour's drive and we reach our hotel in St Rémy: Welcome Dinner: our first taste of what is to follow.
Day 2: (Wednesday)
Saint Rémy de Provence
Saint Rémy de Provence: our base and one of the "must-sees" in Provence. The main reason is without a doubt Vincent Van Gogh, who produced more than 150 paintings of the countryside surrounding Saint Rémy, including the "vase avec iris". Many of the places painted by the artist can be rediscovered, the wild flowers, olive trees, cypresses, the Alpilles - and, sadly enough, the room in the Saint Paul de Mausole Asylum where Van Gogh stayed from May 1889 to June 1890. Were it not for Vincent van Gogh and his paintings, St. Rémy would be just another historic town in France. It has wonderfully restored town houses, it is the birth place of Jewish astronomer Nostradamus, lovely shops and a weekly market.Wednesday is market day, then a visit to the famous Jewish cemetery with graves from before 1400.
Les Baux de Provence: one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. The real highlight of Baux is in its great location - nestling in the Alpilles Mountains, it has great views across the plains that stretch to the south, and on to the Mediterranean beyond, as well as the attractive rocky landscape of the Alpilles themselves. Lunch will be enjoyed in the grounds of an olive oil producer in the region.
Arles: its Roman Amphitheatre and Arlatan MuseumArles, a lively Provencal town, proud of its origins, is France's largest municipality. Above all, it is a town of the arts: it was a capital in Roman times and became a major religious centre in the Middle Ages.
Welcome to the Michelin Kitchen: by chef Marc de Passorio, followed by dinner!!!
Day 3(Thursday) - Jewish history of Provence day
Avignon: visit to the town, famous for its bridges on the river Rhone, the Pope's palace, and the synagogue In the 14th Century, France expelled the Jews, but the Pope offered them refuge in Provence, a papal territory in the south. For about a century, the Papacy made its headquarters in Avignon. The Jews of Provence became known as the "Pope's Jews" and there they lived in relative freedom, enjoying the Pope's protection (though they were made to observe curfews and wear identifying hats) and being employed in many occupations and professions. Lunch -in a winery producing Kosher wines.
Cavaillon: visit to the Synagogue and the museum Judéo- Comtadin. One of the most remarkable synagogues of Provence, the Cavaillon Synagogue, bears the hallmarks of a unique history specific to the Jews of this region. The present structure, built in 1774 in a place of another synagogue dating to the 15th Century, features many of the extravagant decorative flourishes and color palette (including pink, gold, green and blue) of the Rococo style that was fashionable at the time. Gold and crystal chandeliers hang over the main room and the gilded ark is flanked by neo-classical columns topped with carvings of flowers indigenous to Provence.
Carpentras: the oldest active synagogue in France!! Jews lived in Carpentras since at least the 12th century, when its scholars and doctors were esteemed in Paris and the rest of France. Expelled in the early 13th century from Carpentras, they returned half a century later and spent several centuries in Carpentras, often required to pay taxes or homage to the Pope. The original synagogue dates from 1367 and formed the base for the reconstruction of the synagogue in the 18th century, then restored in the 1950's. The exterior facade is plain, similar to neighboring buildings, as required by law.
Day 4 (Friday) - A hike on the cliffs
Les Calanques: on foot or by boat. The Massif des Calanques is a wild and rugged terrain stretching from Marseille to the east towards Cassis, a series of inlets with steep walls-the French fjords! This is one of France's great natural beauty areas and we will offer a choice of ways to enjoy it. Lunch at Cassis: pretty fishing village with lovely and lively harbor. Back to St. Remy to prepare for Shabbat (which begins 18h20)
Day 5 (Shabbat)
After davening and a full late breakfast, we'll walk into Saint Remy, visiting some of the highlights of this lovely unspoiled town. Mincha and a late Lunch (Seuda III) will be followed by free time to rest (Shabbat ends 19.20; dinner 21.00) After every Shabbat, they say, there's a Motza'ei Shabbat: evening entertainment!!
Day 6 (Sunday) - Luberon day
L'Isle sur la Sorgue: Sunday is market day and this one is famous for its antiques. Lavender is the most popular of aromatic plants known for its perfume and therapeutic virtues. The Romans already used it for its olfactory qualities. Only in the beginning of the 20th century did lavender start to be cultivated. The first flowers appear in June and are cut at the end of July or beginning of August. Driving through the Luberon, we will discover a very beautiful countryside with extraordinary sites and some wonderful stone constructions called "Bories" made by shepherds and farmers with the stones they found in the fields. This massif presents also many exceptional villages remarkably set in the surrounding countryside. Four of "the most beautiful villages in France" are located in the Luberon-short hiking options will be available.
Fontaine de Vaucluse: The fame of the village is essentially due to the impressive spring which weâ€™ll climb up to see. This gigantic source is the most powerful in France and 630 million cubic meters of water flow out every year. The emerald green calm summer waters become spectacular in the autumn spilling into the River Sorgue. Lunch in a café in Fontaine de Vaucluse.
Roussillon: Situated in one of the world's biggest ochre deposits, Roussillon is known for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries. The red, yellow and brown shades of the earth form a striking contrast with the lush green pine trees. The vivid blue of the Provençal sky and the exceptional quality of light make this a magical site.
Gordes: The village has a world wide reputation due to its famous inhabitants, and Peter Mayle's book A Year in Provence certainly helped. While strolling around the tiny streets which climb up between the tall houses, you will discover here and there beautiful old doorways, arcades and walls of flat stone perfectly restored, and on the other side, there is the panorama of the valley and mountains of Luberon.
Day 7 (Monday)
Departure to the airport after breakfast for mid-day flights
Every day: 3 minyanim, full buffet breakfast,
light lunch on the move,
elegant served dinner
Price for 7 days, 6 nights, per person, sharing
(DLX room and single supplements available)
•First Class Tourist Hotels
•Entrance fees as per the itinerary
•Comfortable air conditioned touring coach
•Half board kosher food daily & supplies for making sandwiches for lunch
•Professional experienced English-speaking guide
•Local English-speaking Guide as required
• Travel & Health Insurance
• Personal expenses and evening entertainment not included in the itinerary
• Tips for local service providers ($150 per prson)
• Shows and evening entertainment not included in the itinerary
• Miscellaneous expenses such as departure fees visas security surcharges etc. where applicable.
• Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend all our clients to be adequately insured. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for an easy and comprehensive insurance premium. Eddie’s Kosher Travel is not responsible for lost or stolen goods or for cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances. There are safes in the hotel rooms for your use.