Provence, France Photo Tour Details
• June 23 to July 2, 2018 (9 nights)
• Costs: $5,995, single supplement $745
• Group size: min 5, max 12
• Tour starts and ends at the Marseille airport
Lavender and sunflowers in full bloom, white horses running through the surf, charming French villages, and best of all, you are there to capture it all with your camera on our Provence, France Photo Tour.
This part of Provence offers so many photographic opportunites in such a small area that we could not pass this up as a Photo Tour offering.
The timing for our Provence, France Photo Tour is scheduled to coincide with the lavender and sunflower blooms. For 2018 we have extended the tour to 9 nights and have added two full days (4 sessions) to photograph the famous white horses of the Camargue. We will team with a local photographer, Patrice Aguilar, who has had years of experience working with the horses and their guardians(cowboys). After our photo sessions with the white horses we will spend our days following the “Route de la Lavande” as well as exploring and photographing the many villages and sites along the way. The Luberon region alone has five villages ranked among “The Most Beautiful Villages in France.”
Join us for this nine-day Provence, France Photo Tour for an experience of a lifetime in a region that you will not want to leave!
- The end of June to mid July is the best time to photograph the vast lavender fields of southern France.
- The white horses of the Camargue are a natural add-on to this popular tour. Wow, lavender, sunflowers, white horses and quaint villages.
- This tour is timed to coincide with the lavender blooms on the famous Valensole Plateau, the Sault Plateau and the Luberon Valley.
- Sunflower fields can be in bloom at this time of year as well. In 2014 we found both lavender and sunflowers in bloom, often side by side!
- We will visit some of the most beautiful villages in southern France including Bonnieux, Lourmarin, Roussillon, Lacoste, Gordes, Saignon, Oppede le Vieux, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt, Viens, Forcalquier, Greoux-les-Bains and Moustiers-Ste-Marie.
- This region is known for it’s exquisite cuisine and wines.
- The outdoor weekly markets in the villages of Provence offer some great photo ops. as well as fantastic shopping!
- We will also take time each day to share images and learn post processing and in-the-field techniques.
- In addition to great photography opportunities on this Provence, France Photo Tour we will have time for photo sharing and critiques. We will also be lecturing on photographic topics including:
- Digital Workflow
- HDR Photography
- Panoramic Photography
- Depth of Field calculation
- Focal Blending
- Blue Hour Photography
- Filters, Neutral Density and Neutral Density Grads
- Photoshop and Lightroom Tips and Tricks
- Nik software
This is a sample itinerary which is subject to change depending on weather and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are always made to provide the best possible experience for our clients.
Our Provence, France Photo Tour participants will meet at the Marseille Airport Best Western Hotel at 10:30am. There are a handful of other hotels nearby if you don’t want to stay at the Best Western the night before. We then proceed southwest to the seaside village of Saintes Maries de la Mer, our home base for the next three evenings. After checking into the hotel we will have a group meeting and orientation. In the afternoon you will have the option of visiting and photographing in the nearby bird sanctuary Pont de Gau. Or you may wish to relax at the hotel by the pool to rest up for the early morning, pre sunrise departure for our first session with the white horses.
We will have four action packed sessions with the white horses running through the surf and marshes. Two early morning and two sunset sessions. Our local photo guide, Patrice Aguilar, will be organize the photo sessions with the horse guardians.
We say goodbye to the Camargue leaving our hotel in Saintes Maries de la Mer at 10 am for Bonnieux which is our home base for the next three nights. The drive will take about 2 hours and after checking into our hotel we have have a leisurely lunch and explore the village of Bonnieux. In the afternoon we will drive south 30 minutes to the very photogenic village of Lourmarin. We will photograph its charming architecture and a wonderful, winding staircase in a medieval fortress.
Today we head north to the very intriguing high elevation landscape of the Sault Plateau. A rugged area with fields of purple lavender and rich green grass that we can photograph from high vantage points. We will first visit the village of Sault to photograph its weekly farmer’s market. We will lunch in Sault before heading out to explore and photograph the wonderful surrounding countryside.
Today we visit one of the highlights of this region of Provence, the Senanque Abbey. A twelfth-century Cistercian Abbey which is now inhabited by a group of monks who grow lavender and keep honey bees for a livelihood. A lavender field in full bloom leading up to this beautiful building is one of the most photographed scenes in all of Provence. We will first visit the interior of the abbey, arriving early at 8:30 am and will have time to photograph before the large tour groups show up. We will delay our photography session of the famous exterior for later in the day (the light is better in the afternoon) and head to the northwest to have another wonderful Provencal lunch and photo session in the lovely village of Venasque. This medieval village features steep lanes, creamy stone houses and a magnificent baptistery from the 11th century (it looks very old, indeed). Lunch and exploring this delightful village with our cameras.
Mid-afternoon will find us back at the Senanque Abbey to capture some amazing images of this famous scene. For an auditory treat, we can duck into the old church for a moment and listen to the beautiful chanting of the monks. Leaving the abbey, we will stop in Gordes for a coffee break and stroll around town. We then proceed to the nearby hill town of Roussillon. This town with its amazing ochre colored architecture never fails to reward us with memorable photographs. We will spend the late afternoon, have dinner and a blue hour photography session here before heading back to our comfy beds.
10 am departure heading east for the one hour drive to Manosque, our home-base for the next three nights allowing us easy access to the lavender fields of the Valensole Plateau. Lunch at the hotel restaurant and then a visit to the delightful pedestrian only center of Manosque. Great photo ops. of lovely squares and colorful building facades. We will grab some take out food here for dinner and make our way up to the famous Valensole Plateau for our first session with the amazing lavender fields at sunset.
After breakfast Jim will lecture on a few important photographic techniques. At 11:30 am we head to the NE for the one-hour drive to the charming mountain village of Moustiers-Ste-Marie. After lunch, we’ll be roaming the village with our cameras. At 4 pm we make our way SW to the village of Greoux-les-Bains, searching for lavender and sunflower fields along the way. Greoux-les-Bains is a very charming and colorful Provencal village with ample wonderful photo ops. Early dinner back in Manosque.
4:30 am (ouch!) departure for sunrise on the Valensole Plateau. This is an incredible experience, photographing the sun coming up over vast fields of lavender in full bloom. After sunrise, back to the hotel for a well deserved breakfast and nap. After lunch in Manosque, we will have time for post-processsing, image sharing and post-processing lessons by Jim. 4 pm departure for the Valensole Plateau for late afternoon and sunset photography. Dinner in the village of Valensole.
Our Provence, France Photo Tour ends after breakfast (sigh) and you will be transported back to the Marseille airport, departing at 10am.
Dates: June 23 to July 2, 2018 (9 nights)
Cost: $5,995 | single supplement $745
A $500 deposit will secure your spot. Click here to make your deposit »
What is included in this Provence, France Photo Tour?
- 9 nights lodging
- 4 sessions with the white horses of the Camargue
- rubber waders for the Camargue photo sessions
- All breakfasts
- Daily van transportation to photo locations
- Round trip shuttle between Marseille airport and our hotels at the beginning and end of the tour.
- All entrance fees and tolls.
- Jim’s & Magrit’s expertise in guiding and photographic instruction
Provence, France Photo Tour Level of physical difficulty: 2 out of 5
Much of the photography out in countryside will find us close to our van. The villages will be somewhat more challenging as we must park and walk in to and up to the villages.
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Provence, France Photo Tour Personal Items and Weather Conditions
Temperature range for this time of year: 70º to 85º F.
Average monthly rainfall for this time of year: 1″. We have experienced some torrential afternoon showers and thunderstorms.
Try to pack light, as we will not have room in the van for more than one piece of luggage plus camera bags for each of us. Most airlines are now charging for more than one piece of checked baggage. I love the Osprey Ozone series of lightweight wheeled luggage. Magrit used the Ozone 28 for 2.5 months on the road and found it perfect. You will appreciate the lighter load when you have to haul your luggage up steep streets or stairs.
Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field that you can get wet and muddy. One pair for evenings.
Small umbrella for rain and shade. I use an umbrella often to block the sun from hitting the front element of my lens. Black is best. I have recently begun using a handsfree telescopic umbrella which I love. You can watch a video of my review at PhotographyTravelTours.
Sweater or light jacket for possible chill on early morning shoots. A light layer underneath a rain jacket can be surprisingly warm.
Hat for sun and rain protection.
Sun screen and insect repellent.
Bathing suit for the pool in Bonnieux.
For equipment recommendations, please click here »