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Provence

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1 800 735 2478

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Discover
the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Jean-André Charial
View all the Routes du Bonheur

Maître de Maison and Grand Chef of the Oustau de Baumanière
My “best picks” itinerary around Provence

L’Oustau de Baumanière was founded by my grandfather Raymond Thuilier in 1945. At the time, the best restaurants were located along a main road, the National 7, while the top hotels were confined to towns and cities. Baumanière was the first Relais & Châteaux in the world to benefit from a distinguished hotel offering quality cuisine, service and facilities away from a major road. A petrol pump was even installed to allow our guests to reach Baumanière!

Geneviève and I love the simple idea of a “Route de Bonheur” linking Relais & Châteaux properties that share the same dedication to preserving the Provençal art de vivre.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a four-night stay from €960*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
Stage 1: two days, one night

Oustau de Baumanière & Spa

Art de vivre in Provence
Oustau de Baumanière & Spa
Queen Elisabeth II, crime-writer San Antonio, actors and celebrities such as Jean Reno, Bono, Hugh Grant and Pierre Arditi... For over 60 years, personalities from all walks of life have been drawn to the breath-taking luxury offered by the Oustau de Baumanière, a legend in its own right, far from hustle and bustle of modern life, surrounded by the extraordinary natural beauty of the Baux de Provence.

Close to the property...

The Castelas olive oil press

My friends Catherine and Benoit Hugues invite you to discover their olive press and to taste an AOC olive oil from the Vallée des Baux, surrounded by a centuries-old olive grove.

www.castelas.com

On the route...

Tarascon – kilometre 17

On your route, Tarascon is well worth a detour. Made famous by the writer Alphonse Daudet and his celebrated novel Tartarin, Tarascon’s historical heritage draws visitors from far and wide. Start at the Château du Roi René before exploring the churches of Sainte-Marthe and Saint-Jacques, the 400-year old town hall, the baroque theatre and spectacular houses scattered across this historic town. You won’t be disappointed!

Boulbon - kilometre 24

Stop off at Boulbon, a small Provencal village and former fortified town with a history stretching back a thousand years. Stroll through its picturesque, rustic streets and visit the medieval castle, the former parish church of Sainte-Anne, its chapels, and the Bonnet mill before admiring the magnificent panoramic view over the Rhône plain and the Montagnette mountain range.

Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Alexandre, Garons

Here, it’s not the olive or the cypress trees, but the old cedars of Lebanon which offer a saving shade in the garden restaurant run by Michel Kayser. This two-star “Grand Chef”, who invented Moselle, fell in love with the South in his younger years and hasn’t left it since. Having become one of its most loyal ambassadors, he vowed to discover a Gard characterised by finesse and flavour. Since then this “wolf” has confided in olive oil in the creation of the stunning île flottante with truffles on velvety porcini…

Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Alexandre

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PROVENCE

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 2: one day, one night

Le Prieuré

Authenticity, charm and delight a stone’s throw from the Palais des Papes
Le Prieuré
With its perfumed small garden and wisteria-draped trellises in the heart of a medieval town, this former 14th century monastery enjoys a rare charm. Geneviève Charial’s sensitive renovation inspired by the monastery’s history more than merits its “Maison de Baumanière” status.

Close to the property...

Wine tasting at the Château de Beaucastel in Courthezon - kilometre 30 Wine tasting at the Château de Beaucastel in Courthezon - 30 km

Give the Perrin family my regards as you sample their excellent AOC Châteauneuf du Pape wine and discover the 13 grape varieties from which it is made.

La Chartreuse Pontificale du Val de Bénédiction

Close to the Prieuré, the Chartreuse Pontificale du Val de Bénédiction is one of the largest Carthusian monasteries in Europe, with a church, three cloisters, frescoes by Matteo Giovannetti, forty cells and the monks’ garden. It was founded in the 14th century by Pope Innocent VI, whose mausoleum takes pride of place in the church.

On the route...

Oppède-le-Vieux – kilometre 41

At the peak of a rocky spur, discover Oppède-le-Vieux, a delightful hill-top village and its 12th century collegial church. Stroll along the streets of this historic village whose charm and ancient buildings have seduced countless artists and writers.

Lunch at the Abbaye de Sainte-Croix at Salon-de-Provence - kilometre 90

Stop off at Salon-de-Provence and sample the delicious cuisine of the Abbaye de Sainte-Croix. While lunching on the terrace, enjoy one of Provence’s most breath-taking views. Before leaving, don’t miss the house of Nostradamus at Salon, the perfect museum for lovers of mysticism and astrology.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PROVENCE

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 3: one day, one night

Villa Gallici

A stay as sweet as the Calisson candies
Villa Gallici
An ideal base from which to discover Aix en Provence, where total comfort, sophisticated surroundings, a warm welcome and excellent service combine to ensure you enjoy a truly relaxing stay in this enchanting residence. This “bastide”, luxuriously decorated in Provençal style, enjoys a cosy atmosphere and an 18th century Italian feel.

Close to the property...

Calisson tasting at the Confiserie Léonard Parli in Aix-en-Provence

Carole Fracalosso invites you to discover the history of the calisson and to taste this iconic delicacy of the city of Aix en Provence at the Confiserie Léonard Parli, where calissons are produced according to a traditional recipe.

Cézanne in Aix: the Lauves studio

Discover the studio of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. A window onto the world of an artistic genius, this studio, renowned as one of the birthplaces of “Art Nouveau” now plays host to a museum tailor-made for admirers of Cézanne and his work.

On the route...

L’Estaque

As you travel from Aix to Marseille, we suggest a detour via L’Estaque to visit the Route des Peintres, which includes a small fishing port, home to Cézanne for a year and which has inspired countless other artists.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PROVENCE

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 4: one day, one night

Le Petit Nice-Passédat

My cuisine is like plunging into the Mediterranean
Le Petit Nice-Passédat
Suspended between the sea and the sky, this neo-Greek villa offers a perfect place to lay your head and to sample the cuisine of Gérald Passédat. Fish - locally sourced, including bygone favourites, galinette and capon - lie at the heart of his culinary creations to savour with shellfish for delicious sensations direct from the sea.

Close to the property...

Santons Marcel Carbonnel workshop

Philippe Renoux and his team invite you to discover the workshop where the Provençal figurines created by Marcel Renoux in the 1940s are still made. Don’t miss the “santon” museum and shop featuring hand-decorated and stamped figurines.

On the route...

Les Calanques: from Marseille to La Ciotat

The nearby coastline, Les Calanques, is also a delight to explore by boat or on foot. This magnificent rocky landscape filled with creeks and hills plunges into the sea, offering the extraordinary panoramas that have forged the region’s reputation. For sports lovers, they also offer some of the most stunning climbing spots on the coast.

The Chateau d’If and the Iles du Frioul

Just off the coast of Marseille, discover the Frioul archipelago consisting of four white limestone islands: Pomègues and Ratonneau, If and Tiboulen.

The island of If and its fortress made famous by the novelist Alexandre Dumas as the prison of his memorable hero, the Count of Monte Cristo, is well worth a visit.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : PROVENCE

Calling from another country ? Click here