I am not normally one to take tours and I debated long and hard about renting a car and driving around the Provence countryside (as they did in all of those books). Boy, am I glad that I ditched that idea!! I decided to go with Sarah and Discover Provence and take her three-day tour. She was wonderful at helping us arrange everything, keeping in touch to make sure that we arrived from Paris, and was wonderful at communicating. We had Sarah for two days and Janicke for one day. There is no way that I would have found half of the things in twice the amount of time by myself. Sarah and Janicke took us around (only 4 on tour which was fantastic) showed us where to eat locally, sometimes eating with us, and gave us good historical information. They are both passionate about what they do and that enthusiasm was apparent.
The only thing missing was the wine country and Avignon, as I lamented to Sarah. No problem she said. They work with Romain of Provence and Wine (see his tour) and he agreed to take three of us on a full day tour of the Chateauneuf du Pape wine region and Avignon. He even picked us up from our hotel in Aix and we spent the entire day with us. This was a wonderful surprise and I left Provence feeling that I had seen all of the major highlights that I wanted to see.
If you want a small tour (max 6), want to avoid the crowds, and want to see up close and personal the area with smart and knowledgable guides, then ditch the car, write Sarah, and hire her for as many days as you have. Let her perform her magic and sit back and relax and enjoy (and take tons of pictures).
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