Stay in a château in southern France… A French château with a lush garden landscape will be your base for 10 days. Experience the grandeur as the nobles did in this beautifully-kept château built in the 16th century.
Southern France like a local: Shop for groceries at the nearby farmer’s market, play a game of pétanque accompanied by a glass of fine French wine, and sip on a cup of coffee as you people-watch at a sidewalk cafe… All part of the quintessential French experience!
Charming villages galore: Picture-perfect medieval towns full of well-preserved traditions and beautiful monuments steeped in history are just part of southern France’s appeal.
Countryside picnic of yesteryear: In the footsteps of horses, discover the French countryside’s vineyards, scents of thyme, rosemary, and wild mint, and enjoy a picnic in the middle of nature with regional specialties and wines.
Welcome to France! Airport pick-up has been arranged to take you to your historic 16th-century château (castle). Your trip leader will be waiting for you at the château and will show you to your room. There will be welcome drinks and hors d’oeuvres for you upon arrival. You will have the rest of the day to explore your new home.
Later that evening, there will be a welcome dinner. The dinner will be French-style and served at the château as you get to know your fellow travelers.
Meals: Welcome drink and hors d’oeuvres, Welcome dinner
*Transfer to the château is only included for those arriving on Day 1 or staying pre-tour in Marseille. If you are staying pre-tour in Marseille, we will email you closer to the trip with the pick-up location and instructions.
Discover the enchanting town of Uzès, just a 10-minute drive from the château, on a guided orientation walk. Uzès is rich in history with well-preserved medieval architecture. It is one of only 3 towns in France that has been awarded 3 stars in the Michelin Green Guide.
Entering the town is like stepping back in time which you’ll quickly discover as you visit the historic center and its cobbled streets. Along the way, your trip leader will point out local landmarks, restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, the bank, the pharmacy, and anything else that you might need during your stay.
Afterward, have lunch at a local restaurant followed by free time to explore Uzès and take in its charming atmosphere. LaPlace aux Herbes, the town’s main square, is one of the best places to observe daily French life. Every Saturday, there is a local market here which is recognized as the most beautiful market in southern France. (A smaller market also takes place on Wednesdays.)
Start your day with a visit to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole Monastery which dates back to the 11th century. This monastery later became an insane asylum and psychiatric hospital. It is now famous as where Van Gogh lived after mutilating his left ear with his own razor. Van Gogh created some of his most famous masterpieces here including Starry Night, Irises, and Wheat Field with Reaper among many others. The monastery’s lush gardens and wheat fields served as a backdrop and inspiration for his paintings.
Next up, have a traditional lunch in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence before heading to the citadel of Les Baux-de-Provence, officially classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Discover this tiny medieval village nestled on a cliff and its incomparable vistas over the Alpilles mountain range. Enjoy some free time here to explore the wonders hidden in the village’s rocky alleys. We recommend a visit to the town’s castle and ruins dating back to the 10th century which offers breathtaking views. Alternatively, you can just take it easy and indulge in some of the local delicacies, explore art galleries and craft workshops, or go for a little retail therapy at the boutiques around town.
Lastly, head to Carrières des Lumières for a unique sensorial experience. Used as a limestone quarry from the Roman era until the 1930s, this historic site in Les Baux-de-Provence is now a site for audiovisual shows with bright colors and music. Hidden away on a hillside, the Carrières des Lumières show will completely immerse you with images projected onto the huge quarry walls.
Activities: Saint-Paul-de-Mausole Monastery; Saint-Rémy-de-Provence; Les Baux-de-Provence; Carrières des Lumières; Castle of Baux (optional)
Spend today à la française beginning with a hands-on perfume workshop at the château to create your own unique fragrance that you can take home. There’ll be 50 raw materials to choose from and a perfume expert will explain the art of creating a good perfume. She will evaluate your unique sensitivities, explain the families of scents, and describe the basic principles of creating a well-balanced scent. The perfumer will be there to offer advice and guide you if needed, but you will have free rein to concoct your own personalized perfume or cologne.
After the workshop, you will have some free time. You can get some R&R at the château, whip up a quiche with your fellow travelers and French trip leader, or just relax in the château gardens with a glass of rosé.
Later in the afternoon, discover two of Marseille’s most famous traditions: pétanque and pastis (an anise spirit). Break out your fancy outfits and channel your inner French bourgeoisie (think Downton Abbey!) for a pétanque tournament on the château’s property. Sip on pastis and nibble on hors d’oeuvres… It doesn’t get any more French than this!
Activities: Perfume workshop; Pétanque lesson & tournament with apéritif
Today you will journey through Southern France’s countryside and traditions. First, visit a local farm and vineyard and meet the owner, Emmanuel, who will tell you about his passion for horses and organic winemaking. He will take you for a ride through the Provencal countryside in a horse-drawn carriage while you take in the scents of rosemary, thyme, and wild mint all around you.
Stop for a picnic right in the heart of the countryside where you will taste some of the best local flavors accompanied by some of Emmanuel’s organic wines. You’ll also get to try Cartagena (a sweet liqueur wine), a specialty of the Languedoc region, also produced by Emmanuel.
The rest of the afternoon will be free for you to rest at the château or go to Uzès if you wish to have dinner in town.
Activities: Vineyard and horse farm visit; Countryside horse carriage ride; Picnic and wine tasting
All remaining days are completely free to do as you wish. You can choose to relax by the pool with a glass of rosé, chill at the château, take a French cooking class, or explore some more. It’s your choice!
If you’re feeling creative, we recommend a pottery class in France’s first pottery village, just a few minutes from the château. You could also spend a day in the beautiful town of Avignon and taste the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine produced nearby. Avignon is also the home of the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), the largest gothic palace in Europe and an important center for the Catholic Church for about seven centuries.
If you want to discover more of France’s history, we highly recommend a day trip to Arles, a town filled with Roman treasures, art, and colorful pastel houses. Alternatively, you could visit the medieval town of Aigues Mortes, marked by the crusades and the Templar Knights. Don’t miss out on its impressive castle overlooking the pink salt harvests while you’re there. For nature lovers, spend a day with locals on a Jeep safari through Camargue National Park’s unique flora and fauna for one of the most authentic adventures to be had in the area.
Your trip leader will be there to assist you with any arrangements and will have optional excursions to sign up for.
Activities: Free days (trip leader can recommend activities for you)
$3,700 – Trip cost per person (See below for inclusions and exclusions).
A down payment of $1,850 per person is needed to secure a spot on the trip.
*$300 of the down payment serves as an administration fee and is non-refundable. You can see our cancellation policy HERE.
I’m a single traveler. Will I be charged a single supplement?
There is no single supplement fee for this trip meaning you will have your own room with no additional charge. You can upgrade your room for an additional fee.
*Please see the ‘Rooms’ tab for more information on each room. All rooms are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are 2 people who are sharing a room, you can pick any room and you will not have to pay an upgrade fee. We do not offer roommate pairing on this trip.
What is included :
9 nights accommodation in a private château
Local French trip leader
International airport pick-up from Marseille*
Breakfast served daily
3 lunches/ 1 dinner / 2 apéritifs
Globe Drifters representative
Activities as noted on the itinerary
*Chateau transfer is only included for guests arriving on Day 1 or if you’re arriving on another day and staying in Marseille.
During the first few days of your slowcation, some activities and excursions are included in the trip cost. These are a great chance to help you get to know your fellow travelers and get familiarized with your new surroundings.
There will also be sign-up sheets for optional activities and excursions that you can join, but it is completely up to you what you do in your free time. You are also free to plan events, host dinners, or organize trips/excursions for the group or just for yourself.
In the château, there will be a place for you to post announcements. For example, if you would like to host a happy hour before dinner one night, you can add this announcement and invite your fellow travelers.
Find out more about how our slowcations work by clicking the following link: HOW IT WORKS.
Each group usually consists of 15 – 20 travelers. We prefer small group travel because based on our experience, small groups are more easily able to integrate into local society and generally have more authentic contact with the locals.
A small group number also means that you will receive more personalized treatment from the trip leader who can thoroughly attend to the needs of each person. Small groups are also more mobile and flexible as travel plans can be easily altered. If the group discovers a special event or festival that they would like to attend, it is easier to organize with a smaller group.
The château is located just outside of the small village of Saint-Victor-des-Oules and a 10-minute drive from the historic town of Uzès, in southeastern France, on the border between Provence and Occitania regions.
Saint-Victor-des-Oules is a couple of minutes’ walk from the château. It is a wonderful place to relax and immerse yourself in culture and history. There is a beautiful castle in the main square of the village dating back to the 19th century. On the same road as the château, there is a well-kept garden called Le Jardin des Oules where 1200 olive trees were planted to create a maze and local artists donated a variety of sculptures.
Uzès is less than 10 minutes away by car from our château. It is a charming medieval town of just over 8,500 residents. It was founded by the Romans and later named the 1st Duchy of France. The town is small and quaint and has all the amenities you need including a supermarket as well as several eateries, bars, and cafes to choose from. Uzès is also famous for its award-winning weekly market every Saturday and Wednesday.
Additionally, Uzès is a designated city of art and history thanks to its rich architectural heritage dating as far back as the 2nd century BC. It has several beautiful churches, the first ducal palace in France, a medieval garden, and other interesting historical sites that will keep you busy during your stay.
Most of our travelers are in their late 30s to late 60s/early 70s and most are solo travelers. The minimum age on our trips is 18. Generally, we get a good mix of diverse people and every trip is unique thanks to the group dynamic.
We like to think of our trips as get-togethers at amazing destinations. Past travelers have told us that the group dynamic and the friends they made were highlights of the trip.
When most people arrive, they want to hit the ground running, so we have included excursions at the beginning of each trip. That way, you have activities to do upon arrival and then, you can arrange your optional excursions for later dates. These excursions are included in the trip cost. Then, you will have your choice of activities at an additional cost. It is completely up to you how you spend your free days.
There will be sign-up sheets for some activities (i.e. kayaking, wine and cheese tasting, a jeep safari, a hot air balloon ride, etc.) and you can join those that interest you. Some of the popular places in the area are easily reachable by train or bus, but if enough people sign up, you can also rent a van with a driver for the day. Your trip leader will be there to help arrange activities and excursions as well as make any necessary reservations.
Almost everything in this area can be arranged with just a few days’ notice or less so just arrive and we will do the rest for you!
We strongly recommend using ATMs to get cash in France as they usually offer the best exchange rates. The easiest way is to pull out some money from ATMs at the airport upon arrival and throughout your trip. It is always a good idea to carry some cash on you in case your bank puts a hold on your ATM card.
You can find ATMs at almost all bank branches as well as at some large supermarkets, gas stations, shopping malls, airports, and post offices. There are banks in Uzès so you won’t have any issues finding an ATM.
It’s important to tell your bank and/or credit card company that you’ll be using your card in France. Some banks block transactions in foreign countries or currencies if they haven’t been forewarned about your travel plans.
Since the euro is a popular currency, most banks in your hometown/city will exchange your local currency for euros. This is a very convenient way to get euros, but be aware that some banks might not have favorable exchange rates and charge additional fees to exchange. It is best to check with your bank to see what fees are associated with exchanging money in your hometown.
We recommend having access to anywhere between 600 to 900 euros during the duration of your stay based on past customers’ feedback. We strongly advise budgeting more than you plan to spend in case of an emergency.
Passport holders of Australia, Canada, the UK, the EU, and the United States do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days.
If you hold a passport from another country, it’s best to contact your nearest French embassy or consulate about entry requirements.
As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.
When using your phone overseas, be sure to check with your provider to get informed about data and call roaming prices. When you land in France, you will usually get a message from your provider that will give you the price of data, calls, and texts in that country. See the example below:
Welcome to France! Your plan gives you unlimited data at up to 2G speeds and texts at no extra cost. Calls at 20 cents/min. Want our fastest data and unlimited calls? Get an International Pass for just $5/day.
We recommend contacting your service provider to learn about what kind of international plans they offer for calls, texts, and data.
The château has Wifi and you will be able to access it from your room and the general living areas. You can also connect to Wifi at most cafes and restaurants. Keep in mind that the signal and connection speeds may not be as strong or fast as you’re used to at home.
In the spring and autumn, the weather is usually cool to warm during the day and cold at night. A light jacket and/or sweater is recommended for the daytime and a warm jacket and pajamas for nighttime.
In the summer, the weather is warm to hot during the day and light clothing is recommended. The nights may get cooler so we recommend packing a light jacket just in case.
Provided at the château are the basic essentials such as:
Breakfast will be served daily and cleaning will be done once a week in the rooms and common areas.
Wine will be available for purchase at the château. This will be done on an honor system. If you take anything from the pantry, you must make note of it on a list that we’ll provide. We will tally your bill at the end of your stay.
There is a grocery store in Uzès so you can easily buy any items there and bring them back to the château.
Tap water in France is safe to drink. Many consider tap water in the Occitania region to be superior as it comes clean and fresh directly from the mountains. By drinking tap water instead of bottled water, you can help alleviate the plastic waste epidemic.
In larger cities such as Nîmes or Marseille, you can buy bottled water. Many travelers have said that they didn’t enjoy the taste of the water in the bigger cities, but it is still safe to drink.
France does not have a strong tipping culture. In restaurants, taxis, and for personal services, all tips are at your discretion. If you do decide to tip, around 10-20% of the total bill is appreciated.
Tipping your trip leader: If you feel he/she did an exceptional job, then you can tip anywhere between 8 – 15 euros a day at the end of the trip based on past travelers’ feedback.
Drivers: When going on an excursion, a suggested amount to tip your driver is around 5 euros a day.
Breakfast staff: An attendant(s) will be there every morning to prepare breakfast and hot drinks. We recommend tipping the staff a total of 20 – 30 euros at the end of your stay.
Most areas of France that you will visit on this trip experience few crimes compared to bigger US and European cities. As with any travel destination, it is important to be aware of your surroundings with a secure over-the-shoulder day pack that closes tightly. This way, your belongings won’t easily become the property of any purse snatchers or pickpockets.
When going to larger cities such as Nîmes or Marseille, pickpocketing is much more common and we advise not putting anything in your back pockets, especially if you are on a crowded bus/train or at a crowded tourist spot as thieves tend to target these areas.
Yes, many of the restaurants offer a wide variety of foods. When making your reservation, please notify us of your specific requests such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc. Alternative options will always be possible throughout the trip though the variety might not be as great as you’re used to.
If you suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about what vaccinations may be right for you, we strongly advise that you visit a medical professional or your personal physician before your trip.
Yes, we offer private tours to France for groups of 8 or more people. The itinerary can be tailored to your needs while you will enjoy a personalized experience with our guides and your friends and family.
If planning a family reunion or a trip with friends, we can take care of all the details and work with you to create an amazing experience!
Your arrival and departure airport is Marseille (MRS).
Please do not book any flights until you receive a confirmation from us.
Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and United States passport holders do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. If you are not a citizen of one of the countries mentioned above, please check with your nearest French embassy or consulate for information on visas and travel to France.
As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel in France or the Schengen Zone.
The château is part of a historic French estate dating back to the 1600s which belonged to the same family for over two centuries. In 1875, the château was sold to a new owner, restored, and enlarged. This owner also renovated the gardens that surround the château and sponsored the creation of a road that goes from Uzès to the nearby village of Saint Victor des Oules. He also had the clock tower built behind the château which still rings today.
When the owner passed away in 1923, ownership of the château changed several times and in 1993, it became a hotel restaurant with additions including a swimming pool, tennis court, and helicopter landing field.
Since 2014, the 9,000-square-foot home has undergone extensive renovations, including improvements to its slate-tiled towers which were added in the 19th century, and the lime rendering on the stone facade. It has also been lovingly redecorated with sumptuous finishes.
The property has a main living area and 15 rooms as well as two rooms located in the independent garden suites. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom. You can find pictures and brief descriptions of the rooms under the ‘Rooms’ tab.
On the ground floor, there is a professional kitchen with two stoves, a walk-in refrigerator, a large refrigerator/freezer for everyday use, an espresso maker, etc. There are also three generous salon areas and a large table for family-style dining.
There is also a large swimming pool with sun loungers, a pond with fish and frogs, and a large manicured park with ancient plane trees and a rose garden.
Main château exterior
Main château interior
Château surrounding property
There are 14 bedrooms in the main château and 2 rooms in the independent garden suites that date back to the 1600s. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Almost all rooms have a combination shower/bathtub and only 4 rooms have walk-in showers. The rooms that have walk-in showers are noted in the room descriptions below. If not noted, it is a bathtub/shower combination.
Nearly all rooms require walking up many flights of steps. You need to be able to walk up and down stairs to participate in this trip.
Please read the description of each room before selecting your room. All rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and you can select your room at the time of booking. The sooner you book, the better chance you have of getting the room you prefer.
*We do not offer roommate pairing on this trip due to the absence of a single supplement.
Blue Master Suite
The Blue Master Suite is located in the main château on the first floor and has views of the gardens. This room has one king-sized bed and is very spacious. It is the most exclusive room on the property thanks to its large size and decor. The bathroom is smaller in size and has a small walk-in shower and no bathtub.
Upgrade fee: $900
If you are 2 people sharing a room, you do not have to pay the upgrade fee.
The Balcony Room is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the gardens. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Red Room is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the church. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Chandelier Room is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the church. This room is extremely spacious and is equipped with two twin beds that can be converted into one king. The bedroom has a fireplace and a walk-in shower.
The Chapel Room is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the gardens. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed and has its own small foyer. The room is on the left of the foyer and the wardrobe is in the foyer. The bathroom is on the right of the foyer. This is all contained within the room and private.
The Suite Fleur is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the gardens as well as a balcony. This room is equipped with one king-sized bed.The bathroom has been recently renovated and the bedroom is well-appointed and tastefully decorated.
Upgrade fee: $300
Saint Valentine Room
The Saint Valentine Room is located in the main château on the second floor. This room is equipped with one king-sized bed and can be converted into two twins. The room has lower, slanted ceilings.
This room is tastefully decorated, but the slanted celings in the bathroom make it impossible to stand up in the bathtub/shower. Unless you’re under 5′ 1″, it is a sit-down bathtub. Please take this into consideration when booking this room. There is a discount applied to this room for this reason.*
The Lily Room is located in the main château on the second floor in one of the towers and has views of the gardens and mountains. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Jasmine Room is located in the main château on the second floor and has views of the gardens and mountains. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Rose Room is located in the main château on the second floor and has a view of the church. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Spring Room is located in the main château on the second floor and has a view of the gardens. This room is equipped with two twin beds that can be converted into one king.
The Summer Room is located in the main château on the second floor in one of the towers and has a view of the gardens. This room is equipped with two twin beds that can be converted into one king.
The Autumn Room is located in the main château on the second floor and has a view of the mountains. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
The Winter Room is located in the main château on the second floor and has a view of the church. This room is equipped with one queen-sized bed.
This is the only room that is entirely located on the ground floor. If you have difficulty climbing stairs, this is a good option.
The Josephine Suite is adjacent to the main château on the ground floor in the independent garden suites. In addition to the bedroom, there is a larger sitting area and foyer as well as access to a small outdoor terrace.
This room is equipped with two twin beds that can be converted into one king.
Upgrade fee: $300
The Mary House is adjacent to the main château in the independent garden suites and has two floors. The sitting area and foyer area are on the ground floor and the bedroom and bathroom are on the first floor. The first floor is accessible by a staircase (no handrail; refer to the photos below) as well as an outdoor ramp.
This room is equipped with two twin beds that can be converted into one king.
Upgrade fee: $300
All the rooms at the château have ensuite bathrooms. In some bathrooms, the toilets are separate from the main bathroom but are still private and contained within the room. All bathrooms have a toilet, sink, and shower/bathtub combination, and some have a bidet.
We recommend that you purchase trip/travel insurance for your trip. We work with Travelex which offers travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical, Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and more. Otherwise, you are welcome to shop around online for a provider and policy that best suits your needs.
For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click on the image below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792. Globe Drifters’ reference location number is 09-0984.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 E7N
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