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.
Transfers: Marseille airport – Château (approx. 2 hours)
Activities: Airport pick-up; Free time
Meals: Welcome drink and hors d’oeuvres, Welcome dinner
Discover the enchanting town of Uzès, just a 10-minute drive from the château. Uzès is rich in history with well-preserved medieval architecture. It is one of only 3 towns in France that has been awarded 3 Michelin stars in the 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 as well as the bank, pharmacy and anything else that you might need during your stay.
Afterward, have lunch at a local restaurant and then, you will have some free time to explore Uzès and take in the atmosphere of this charming town. LaPlace aux Herbes, the main square of the town, is one of the best places to observe daily French life. Every Saturday, a local market is held here and 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, a Romanesque cloister from the 11th century. This monastery later became an insane asylum and psychiatric hospital. It is most notable as the place 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 French 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 panoramic views over the Alpilles mountain range. Enjoy some free time here to explore the wonders hidden in the village’s rocky alleys. We recommend paying a visit to the town’s castle and its ruins dating back to the 10th century which offer breathtaking views of the mountains. 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 is an immersive experience where you’ll be completely surrounded by images projected onto the huge rock walls.
Activities: Saint-Paul-de-Mausole Monastery; Saint-Rémy-de-Provence; Les Baux-de-Provence; Carrières des Lumières; Castle of Baux (optional)
If you’re feeling creative, we recommend a hands-on pottery class in France’s first pottery village a few minutes from the château. You can also spend a day in the beautiful town of Avignon and taste the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine produced nearby. Visit 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.
Alternatively, maybe you’d like to discover the village of Gordes’ heavenly views and maze of narrow cobblestone streets. Explore the lovely village’s fountains, squares and stone houses built into the hillside. The nearby Bories Village is also worth a visit thanks to its dry stone huts dating all the way back to the Bronze Age.
Or, you can visit Nîmes and its Roman ruins that have survived from the days when Emperor Augustus ruled the land 2,000 years ago. Most impressive is the Arena of Nîmes, a huge amphitheater built in 70 AD that once hosted gladiator battles and is still in use today for concerts and bullfights.
The choice is yours and your trip leader will be there to help with logistics and reservations as well as suggested activities.
Activities: Free day (trip leader can recommend activities for you)
Today, you will spend the day à la française. Start with a visit of a local farm and vineyards where the owner will tell us about his passion for horses and organic winemaking. Then, go for a ride in the French countryside in a horse-drawn carriage and stop for a countryside picnic with flavors. Taste some of the best local flavors accompanied by regional wines. You’ll also get to taste Cartagena, a specialty of the Languedoc region, produced by Emmanuel himself. Afterward, you will have free time at the chateau after a gourmet picnic.
After lunch, participate in 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 game of pétanque on the château’s property. Sip on pastis and nibble on hors d’oeuvres… It doesn’t get much more French than this!
Activities: Vineyard and horse farm visit; Horse carriage visit of countryside; Picnic and wine tasting; Pétanque lesson & tournament w/ apéritif
All remaining days are completely free to do as you wish.
You can choose to relax by the pool with a glass of rosé or explore some more. We highly recommend day trips to Marseille, Nîmes and Arles or you can discover the charming town of Aigues Morte and see its castle and pink salt harvests. You could also spend a day with locals on a Jeep safari through Camargue National Park’s lush flora and fauna. Maybe you’d like to kayak down the turquoise Gardon River, go on a hot air balloon ride over Uzès and the surrounding vineyards or take an art class.
Your trip leader will be there to assist you with any arrangements and she will have optional excursions to sign up for on Day 2.
Activities: Free day (trip leader can recommend activities for you)
$3,700 – Trip cost per person (See below for inclusions and exclusions).
A down payment of $1850 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.
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 your choice what to do in your free time. Again, it is your choice which activities you want to participate in and you are free to plan events, host dinners, or organize trips/excursions for the group or just for yourself.
In the breakfast area of 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 personal treatment by the trip host 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.
Our château is located just outside of the small village of Saint-Victor-des-Oules, a 10-minute drive from the historic town of Uzès, in South-East of France, at the border between Provence and Occitania.
Saint-Victor-des-Oules is a couple of minutes’ walk from the château and is a wonderful place to relax, and get immersed in culture and history. There is a beautiful castle on the main square of the village dating from the 19th century and historical gardens called Le Jardin des Oules on the same road as our château. 1200 olive trees were planted to create a maze and local artists donated a variety of sculptures turning the park into a real art museum!
Uzès is less than 10 minutes away by car from our château.
Uzès is a charming medieval town of just over 8,500 residents founded by the Romans and then named the 1st Duchy of France. The town is small and quaint and has all the amenities you need with a supermarket, 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 and exceptional architectural heritage dating as far as the 2nd century BC which offers a real journey back in time. It has several beautiful churches, the first Dacal Palace in France, a Medieval garden, and other interesting historical sites that will keep you busy during your stay.
The château is 9 minutes drive from the main bus stop in Uzès. The closest train stations in the area are in Avignon and in Nîmes. The buses in Uzès easily connect to the train stations several times a day.
Below are some other places worth visiting during your trip and the time it takes to get there by car:
Most of our travelers are in their late 30s – early 70s with many being solo female travelers. Generally, we get a good mix of diverse people and every trip is unique thanks to the energy created by the group. Past travelers have told us that the group dynamic was one of the 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 cost of the trip. Thereafter, you will have your choice of activities at an additional cost. It is completely up to you how you spend your free days.
We will have sign-up sheets for certain activities that might interest you (i.e. kayaking, wine and cheese tasting, safari day trip, hot air balloon ride, etc.) and you can choose to join them based on your interests. Some of the popular places in the area are easily reachable by train or bus, but if enough people sign up, you can rent a van with a driver for the day. Your host will be there to facilitate and arrange activities and excursions as well as make any necessary reservations.
Almost everything in this area does not require advanced purchase so just arrive and we will do the legwork for you!
To read up on the different activities and landmarks on Uzès, click the following link: Uzès Information Page.
We strongly recommend using ATMs while in France as they usually offer the best exchange rates. The easiest way is to pull money out from the ATM 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 most large supermarkets, some petrol stations, shopping malls, airports, and some post offices. There are several 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 euros are a popular currency, most banks in your home town/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 or charge additional fees to exchange. It is best to check with your bank to see what fees are associated with exchanging money in your home town.
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, and the United States do not need a visa for a stay up to 90 days. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six (6) months after the date you plan to exit France or the Schengen Area.
If you hold a passport from another country, it’s best to contact your nearest 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.
You may consider contacting your service provider to learn about what kind of international plans they offer for calls, texts, and data. Otherwise, you can connect to WiFi at most cafes and restaurants. The château has WiFi and you will be able to access it from your room and the general living areas.
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 the ‘honor code‘. Anything you take from the pantry you must make a mark next to your name on a corresponding list and then we will tally your bill at the end of your stay.
There is a grocery store steps in Uzès so you can easily buy any items there and bring them back to the hotel.
The tap water in France is safe to drink and many consider tap water in the Occitania area 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.
If you go to larger cities such as Nîmes or Marseille, you can buy bottled water if you would like. Many travelers have said that they don’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: A waiter/waitress will be there every morning to prepare your breakfast and favorite hot drinks. We recommend tipping the staff 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, pick-pocketing 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.
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 5 or more people. The itinerary can be entirely 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!
Australia, Canada, and the United States passport holders do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you plan to exit France or the Schengen Area.
If you are not a citizen of one of the above-mentioned countries, please check with your nearest embassy or consulate for information on visas and travel to France.
Your arrival and departure airport is Marseille (MRS).
Please do not book any flights until you receive a confirmation from us.
The château is a historic French estate dating back to the 1600s and belonged to the same family for over two centuries. In 1875, the château was sold to a new owner, restored, and enlarged. This new owner also renovated the gardened property that surrounds the château and sponsored the creation of the road that goes from Uzès to Saint Victor by allowing it to pass through the part of the château’s property. The current owner 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 house 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 suite. 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 fridge/freezer for everyday use, an expresso coffee machine, etc. There are also three generous salon areas and a large table for family-style dinners.
There is also a large swimming pool with sun loungers, a pond with fish and frogs, and a very 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 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.
Please note that nearly all rooms require walking up many flights of steps so please keep in mind that you need to be able to walk up and down steps to join this trip.
Please read the description of each room before making your room selection. 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 garden. This room is equipped with a king bed and is very spacious. This bedroom is the most exclusive on the property thanks to its luxurious decoration. 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 a queen-size 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 a queen-size bed.
The Chandelier Room is located in the main château on the first floor and has a view of the church. This room is equipped with twin beds that can be converted into a king and is an extremely spacious room. 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 a queen bed with its own small foyer where the room is on the left and the wardrobe in the foyer and the bathroom is on the right and all of this is private within the room.
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 a king bed.The bathroom has been updated 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 a king bed and can be converted into twins and has lower, slanted ceilings.
This room is tastefully decorated, but the bathroom’s bathtub/shower combination makes it impossible to stand in the bathtub. 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 a queen 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 a queen 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 a queen 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 a king bed which can be turned into two twin beds.
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 a king bed which can be turned into two twin beds.
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 a queen 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 a queen 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 a king bed which can be turned into two twin beds.
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 a king bed which can be turned into two twin beds.
Upgrade fee: $300
All the rooms at the château have ensuite bathrooms. In some bathrooms, the toilets are separate from the main bathroom. 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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