France Today Travel's first Provence tour was a terrific experience for anyone who wants to learn more about the flip side of Provence, beyond the Peter Mayle clichés, and see how the real folks cook, pick and distill lavender, hunt for truffles and unwind with a game of pétanque. Highlight: standing in a pungent lavender field with a sweeping view of the Alpilles, and one lone oak tree. As if that weren't enough, there was a homemade surprise for the group--a lavender ice cream sandwich thrust into my hands, which I promptly devoured. My idea of bliss.
I have always wanted to see the lavender fields of Provence so my friends and I jumped at the chance to join the France Today Tour. We were lucky in many ways. For one, it seems we were the first tour for this region so we were sure that the tour would be well thought out including as many interesting aspects as possible. Secondly, we were only a group of eight travellers in all so we were well taken care of. The fact that the group was compatible and got along was an added bonus. And lastly we had a gem of a tour guide in Jennifer Dugdale who was efficient, thoughtful and made sure all our needs were met. I learned so many things on this tour and got to see things I would not have had an opportunity to see or do like go truffle hunting with Johann, Jean Marc and their dogs, had meals cooked especially for us by Joyce and Mathilde and saw lavender fields that stretched to the horizon. I especially enjoyed roaming around the farmers' market. I definitely would recommend this tour to anyone interested in exploring this region.