Museums and Art, Arles and Van Gogh, History, Culture, Delicious Cuisine, Monet, the Mediterranean, Cathedrals and Castles, Markets, Shopping, Picasso and Renoir
This tour is enhanced with Dr. Brittany Harker Martin’s experiential art program, “Through the Eyes of Artists ™”. Travel days are infused with hands-on, art experiences that guide you through artistic processes to help you see the world as artists do. No artistic experience or talent is required. In fact, this program is perfect for art novices who want to play with artistic materials and try something new.
DAY 1 – Wednesday, May 27, 2020 Depart Calgary International Airport
Meet TYW at the Calgary International Airport at 13:00. Depart for Amsterdam at 15:10, arriving at 08:05 the next day. Depart Amsterdam at 10:50, arriving into Marseilles at 12:40.
DAY 2 – Thursday, May 28, 2020 Marseille to L’Estaque
Overnight: L’Estaque Meals Included: Welcome Dinner
Bonjour! Welcome to France!
Begin your adventures with a city tour of Marseille beginning with the Vieux Port, bustling market where boats have been docking for a thousand years to the incredible Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. Standing at 154m above the Vieux port, this 19th-century Romano-Byzantine basilica is Marseille’s most-visited icon. Built on the foundations of a 16th-century fort, which was itself an enlargement of a 13th-century chapel, the basilica is ornamented with coloured marble, superb Byzantine-style mosaics, and murals depicting ships sailing under the protection of La Bonne Mère (The Good Mother). Visit L’Estaque, a quaint fishing village that inspired Cézanne, Braque and an array of other late 19th century painters. Cézanne in particular spent a lot of time in L’Estaque, painting scenes of the village and sea throughout the seasons. The Marseille artist Adolphe Monticelli (born in Marseille in October 14, 1824 and died June 29, 1886), was another painter linked to L’Estaque in this period. There is a museum in L’Estaque with the largest single collection of his work in the world.
Cézanne enthused about the fishing village of L’Estaque to Pissarro in 1876: “It is like a playing card. Red roofs over the blue sea. . . . The sun is so terrific here that it seems to me as if the objects were silhouetted not only in black and white, but in blue, red, brown, and violet.” Cézanne painted some twenty views of L’Estaque over the next decade, a dozen of them facing toward or across the gulf of Marseilles. www.metmuseum.org Be sure to try the panisses (chips made with chickpea flour).
Dinner along the seaside of L’Estaque
Art experience: Simple Snap-Sketches ~ Participants will learn a quick sketching technique for beginners who want to document their journey through art.
DAY 3 – Friday, May 29, 2020 Aix en Provence to Arles
Overnight: Arles Meals Included: B
Begin your adventures to Aix en Provence as you walk in the footsteps of Paul Cézanne, the Father of modern painting. Follow the guided walk, marked with a “C” to discover the landmarks of his early years (the houses where he lived as a child, his schools, etc), the places that marked him, the addresses of his family and acquaintances, the cafés where he met his fellow artist friends. Visit the Musee Granet, home of ten of his paintings, as well as drawings and sketches.
The highlight of the day ~ The studio of Paul Cezanne which offers you a glimpse into the last years of his life.
Located in a beautiful garden, you will visit his studio still filled with his personal materials and furnishings
Enjoy your lunch at one of the most popular brasseries in town, Les Deux Garcons, named after Cézanne and his childhood friend, Emile Zola. After enjoying a cool cocktail at the Place de la Mairie, where Cézanne married his wife, Hortense Fiquet, on April 28, 1886. Continue your travels to Sainte Victoire, a large mountain just outside of Aix en Provence. It was here that Cézanne was inspired to paint 44 oil paintings and 43 watercolours. “the father of us all!” ….Picasso
Continue your day to Arles, the quaint village on the Rhone River and famous for inspiring Vincent Van Gogh.
Arles ~ Once a metropolis of ancient Roman, then a symbol of Christianity, as you will discover exploring the Arena and the Amphitheater, both UNESCO world heritage sites. The ferias or bull runs and bull fights are held in this very same arena (12,000 seats) that was the scene of the Roman games in the first century. Today Arles is the gateway to the Camargue home of the gypsies and meeting place of the Camargue cowboys. Vincent Van Gogh lived here with his friend, Paul Gaugin. Picasso, a lover of bull fights, was inspired by them and completed 2 paintings and 57 drawings here.
It was here in Arles that Van Gogh created about 300 paintings and drawings in 15 months. (February 1888 and May 1889). Many locations throughout the city where Van Gogh had set his easel are now marked with panels representing his paintings.
Art experience: Peering at Perspective ~ Participants will learn how see perspective as artists do and experience art making outdoors “en plein air.”
DAY 4 – Saturday, May 30, 2020 Gordes + Senanque Abbey + Menerbes
Overnight: Arles Meals Included: B
After breakfast depart Arles for a full day of adventure
Senanque Abbey ~ Art Mediation
Gordes ~ the Iconic Provencal village and a great place to stop for lunch.
Menerbes ~ The floating village. Enjoy free time to be swept away by the beauty and officially one of the most beautiful villages in Provence as well as the famous artists who settled in the village – Picasso, Dora Maar, Nicolas de Stël, Jane Eakin and Joe Downing to name a few, who have all left their mark here
Art experience: Wonder with Water ~ Participants will learn the art of letting go through a visual meditation with brushstrokes and water.
DAY 5 – Sunday, May 31, 2020 Saint Rémy + Les Baux de Provence
Overnight: Arles Meals Included: BL
Saint Remy de Provence ~ the heart of Provence and known for her colourful markets within the ancient Roman Walls. It was here that On 8 May 1889, after months of hospital treatment in Arles, Van Gogh allowed himself to be committed to the Saint Paul de Mausole psychiatric institution. Enjoy your visit of Saint Paul de Mausole, the former Romanesque monastery during your art walk.
Enjoy your lunch at the St. Remy Vineyard with a guided tour.
Les Baux de Provence ~ Situated in the heart of the Alpilles, a rocky plateau 245m high will offer you an amazing view of Arles, the Camargue and the incredible landscapes. This amazing stone fortress is without doubt one of the “must-sees” on the Provencal trail. The village is officially classified and labelled as “one of the most beautiful villages in France”, with 22 architectural treasures classified as “Historic Monuments” (including the church, chateau, town-hall, hospital, chapels, houses, doorways… without counting items of furniture and a collection of paintings). The village has been painstakingly restored and is now one of the most popular attractions in the region… which welcomes more than one-and-a-half-million tourists a year.
End this full day with the spectacular Carriere de Lumieres, a former quarry now an art-based multimedia show, projecting images of masterpiece artwork onto the immense walls that are over 14 meters high. Music accompanies theses masterpieces that come to life before your very eyes. Enjoy!
Art experience: Lashes and Lines ~ Participants will learn to see as Van Gogh did, “through the lashes” and experiment with colour and line.
DAY 6 – Monday June 1, 2020 Arles + Cannes + Antibes
Overnight: Antibes Meals Included: B
Today transfer to Antibes, beachfront playground of the Riviera via Cannes. The chic city of the French Riviera, famous for the International Film Festival, sandy beaches, top notched shopping and Allée des Étoiles – Cannes’ walk of fame.
Recommended to see: Château de la Napoule, for the art and sculptures incorporated into its renovation by American artists Henry Clews Jr. and Marie Clews, who restored and moved into the castle. https://www.lnaf.org/
After a seaside lunch continue to Antibes, a resort town nestled between Nice and Cannes.
Antibes ~ well known for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts with the star-shaped Fort Carré. This overlooks luxury yachts moored in the marina. Walking is the easiest way to get around Antibes’ narrow, cobblestone streets, since most of them are pedestrianized and all of the attractions that you ‘must see’ lie within the historic city center. Enjoy!
Art experience: Seaside Shapes ~ Participants will learn to Braque the rules of perspective through a simple activity using cubist abstraction.
DAY 7 – Tuesday June 2, 2020 Antibes
Overnight: Antibes Meals Included: B
Today is about the sea! Enjoy the day on a lounger at a private beach overlooking the sea views that inspired Monet. Practice painting waves on water canvas or simply relax to the sounds and sites of the Mediterranean. Another ‘must see and explore” is The Market. Every day from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. you’ll find fishmongers, cheese makers and florists posting up with their wares in the covered Provençal market, located in the course Masséna. From mid-June to the end of September, the market transforms in the afternoons (except on Mondays) into an artisan showcase where painters, sculptors and ceramicists show off their creations.
If you prefer not to be in the sun or would rather take a walk or in case of inclement weather, there are beautiful churches to visit, including Antibes’ Notre Dame, the largest church in Antibes. The building is rose coloured featuring Provencal Baroque architecture and houses intricate artwork with a tranquil and quiet interior. The entrance to the cathedral is impressive and not to be missed, with its outstanding architecture. Virgin of the Rosary of Louis Bréa (around 1513) is definitely the main highlight of the cathedral. The Saint-Bernardin Chapel is a 16th-century Gothic church which today is the home of many notable artworks and artefacts including a magnificent altar piece from the 18th century. Usually not noticed by tourists to Antibes, the chapel is a hidden gem waiting to be seen.
Art experience: Waves at Waters-edge ~ Participants will practice painting rolling waves just like the impressionists did, sea-side, sur le motif, with lots of time to watch, wait, and wonder about water and waves.
DAY 8 – Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Nice Driving time ≈ 1 hour
Overnight: Nice Meals Included: B
After breakfast visit the Picasso Museum where in 1946 Pablo Picasso transformed the 14th-century Château Grimaldi (former home of the Royal Family of Monaco) into his personal art studio, leaving behind 23 paintings and 44 drawings. Today this home serves as the first art museum devoted to the artist, housing 245 of Picasso’s paintings and sculptures.
Next, board your coach for Mougins. Picasso discovered this medieval village in 1935, where he lived until his death in 1961. Mougins oozes with art and gastronomy. Enjoy!
After lunch, take in your lesson on cubist portraits a la Picasso, followed by a walking tour and time to explore this quaint little villa. Late afternoon, continue to Nice, your home for the last, but not least, four nights of adventure. Complete your day with a stroll along the famous Promenade Des Anglais where you will find a variety of street artists at work.
Art experience: Plexiglass Portraits ~ Participants will learn how to create portraits like a cubist and distort reality a la avant-garde.
DAY 9 – Thursday, June 4, 2020 Nice
Overnight: Nice Meals Included: B
Nice, being the most ancient city in the area was founded by the Greeks, who then called it “Nike”, meaning victory. Because of its brilliant sunshine and relaxing beaches, it still today the most popular destination in the Riviera. Enjoy your guided tour of Nice where you will see the Castle Hill, the Russian Cathedral (the finest outside of Russia), the center of “Old Nice” and of course you must walk the Promenade Des Anglais.
After lunch, regroup to spend your afternoon with a guided tour of the Musée Marc Chagall, including time for lesson on quick-sketching with charcoal in your journal. You may choose to dine with a seafood feast overlooking the extraordinary views of the Cote D’Azur.
Art experience: Colourful Canvas ~ Participants will learn how pure colour can be used to create surreal and symbolic scenes.
DAY 10 – Friday, June 5, 2020 Nice
Overnight: Nice Meals Included: B
This morning be prepared for a full day of touring as you visit the homes of Renoir, Chagall, and Leger.
First, visit Cagnes Sur Mer, home and final resting place of Pierre August Renoir. Visit the Musée Renoir where you can see the workshop of the artist, and views from the windows that inspired some of his work. Following the tour, take your visual journal to sketch in the museum’s beautiful gardens and olive grove, where you can learn about shadow and reflection: an impressionist obsession! Enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant, then take in the scenic drive to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, hometown of Marc Chagall and Fernand Leger. Here you will have the option to visit the museum of the Maeght Gallery, or you may choose to wander the town in search of the perfect dinner. Late return to Nice.
Art experience: Seeing Shadows ~ Participants will learn how the impressionists saw colour in shadow and spend time exploring shadow and light.
DAY 11 – Saturday, June 6, 2020 Nice
Overnight: Nice Meals Included: B, Farewell lunch at Villa Ephrussi
Nice = Matisse. It is only appropriate to spend your last day in France visiting the museum dedicated to Henri Matisse. Learn all about the fauvist techniques, and observe the different periods of this artist’s long and distinguished career. As part of this experience, learn how to create a collage, and document your adventures through this art-form inspired by the paper cuttings of Matisse. Last, we head to the Villa Ephrussi for a tour and our final lunch together at this world renowned villa with unsurpassable views of the French Riviera.
Art experience: Creative Collage ~ Participants will learn the art of collage, and layer paper cuttings into a fun work of art that captures the essence of the experience.
DAY 12 – Sunday June 7, 2020 International flight to Calgary
Overnight: On board Meals Included: B / on flight
Depart Nice on KLM 1250 at 6:30, arriving into Amsterdam at 8:30
Depart Amsterdam at 12:25, arriving into Calgary at 1:20
- All accommodations in 3+* hotels
- Daily breakfast, welcome dinner, vineyard luncheon, farewell lunch at the Villa Ephrussi
- Private coach transfers
- Your full time TYW tour director
- Licensed and professional local english speaking guides
- Entrances to: Museum Garnet, Atelier de Cézanne, Arles Roman Coliseum, Foundation of Vincent Gogh, Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque, Saint-Paul De Mausole, St. Remy Vineyard, Carrieres de Lumineres, Picasso Museum, Musee Marc Chagall, Musee Renoir, Museum Matisse, Villa Ephrussi,
- Guided Museum tours : Atelier de Cézanne, Foundation of Vincent Gogh, Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque, Saint-Paul De Mausole, St. Remy Vineyard, Picasso Museum, Musee Marc Chagall, Musee Renoir, Museum Matisse and the Villa Ephrussi
- Guided city tours of: Marseilles, Arles, Mougins, Nice,
- Art Experiences with Dr. Brittany Harker-Martin, PhD :
- International airfare from Calgary with estimated air taxes
- All gratuities
- Items of personal nature
- Mandatory Travel Insurance
- Meals & Beverages not mentioned
Vaccinations: At the time of this posting, no vaccinations are required. Please confirm with your local traveller’s health clinic prior to departure.
Travel Visa: Not required at the time of this post if travelling with a Canadian passport. However, modifications to this policy are determined by each country and can change without notice
Climate: Spring in Provence: Highs of 30° & lows of 19°
Tour Package Price
$5,495.00 Land Only
Based on 18 participants in shared accommodations
Single Supplement: $895.00
Join Dr. Brittany Harker Martin, PhD. in flight from Calgary with air rates starting at $1405.00, inclusive of air taxes.
Minimum 10 passengers required for this group air rate.
For alternate air quotes and reservations contact firstname.lastname@example.org | 780.739.2245