The Mediterranean Provence Experience – Women’s Week

Updated on July 21st, 2023

WOMEN-ONLY TRIP. A week in one place on the stunning Mediterranean coast of southern France!

The Mediterranean Provence Experience – Women’s Week is based in the lovely seaside town of Bandol on the protected, lesser-known western coast of the French Riviera. The landscape features natural Provence forests, rocky cliffs, coastal paths, sandy coves, and the azure blue sea. We stay in a traditional, locally-owned hotel in a quiet neighborhood just a short walk from the port and the seaside promenade.

Highlights of this week include:

* A day trip to Marseille, France’s oldest city. We enjoy a walking tour of the historic port area, the Roman docks, and the new Mucem facility perched above the harbor entrance. We also visit Notre Dame de la Garde, guarding the city and offering sprawling views across the terracotta rooftops and to the outlying islands.

* Visits to small villages such as Le Castellet and Sanary sur Mer, with their bustling farmers markets. Fishing boats return each day with the fresh local catch, always a big feature.

* Exploration of the seaside village of Cassis, surrounded by the tallest sea cliffs in Europe. We drive to the lookout above the town for a bird’s eye view over the surrounding vineyards, thenhead out on a boat ride to experience the fjord-like inlets called “calanques” (a national park).

* An optional morning walk along the “sentier littoral” coastal path. There’s also a lovely beach a short walk from our hotel.

* A visit to a classified garden or arboretum to learn about Mediterranean plant species and “dry” gardening.

* Wine discoveries, including a vineyard/winery visit. One of the most prestigious Provence red wines is made in this region under the “Bandol” appellation. We also enjoy an equally prestigious minerally-white wine from Cassis.

* A day trip to Toulon, considered one of the world’s most beautiful naval ports. The harbor is home to submarines and warships as well as fishing boats and ferries. We visit the Liberation Museum to learn about the “other” WWII landings took place in France. The museum is located on Mont Faron, offering spectacular views. In the afternoon we take a boat tour of the harbor to explore its fascinating history.

* A day trip to one of the area’s many outlying islands… a highlight of the week, including a nature walk and a picnic.

* Memorable meals of local specialties in a variety of settings including port-side bistros and picnics in the vineyard-covered countryside.

* Time for relaxing and exploring on your own.

Our schedule is flexible based on the interests of the group. And as always with our all-women groups, there’s a unique camaraderie and spirit that’s an important part of the experience.

Additional Dates: June 7 – 14, 2024