Provence Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.
The South of France is drenched with character, probably due to its turbulent history with the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks and nomadic tribes dating as far back as 300,000 BC. The rocky heights of the Maritime Alps lie in tiers, tumbling down to the Riviera’s dramatic coast. On its bluffs, perched villages keep a watchful eye on the distant blue sea. Its rural architecture and colorful untamed beaches almost beg to be photographed. They say, when it comes to Provence, be prepared for a heart-and-soul seduction. This iconic wedge of glittering coast is a mountain retreat, Roman temple and gastronomic art de vivre. Traveling through Provence means sensual sauntering past scented lavender fields and chestnut forests; through fresh apple-green vineyards and silvery olive groves; around markets, Matisse-designed chapels and medieval hilltop villages impossibly perched on rocky crags. Provence is an old-fashioned love affair that never dies. Our adventure will take you from Nice north into the Maritime Alps and south along the coast through the untouched 16th century village of Eze, Saint Paul de Vence, Cannes, and then up to Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Gordes, Sault and more.
This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.
In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our time together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than the magical region of Provence.
PROVENCE | COTE D’AZUR 6 DAYS
Day 1 | Nice – Villefranche sur Mer
We meet on Sunday at our 4-star hotel in Nice, where we will discuss PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles of Photography” as well as our “THE ART OF SEEING” photographic technique. During a group lunch, we will have informal discussions on what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. From here we will set out for a wonderful day of photography throughout the city of Nice, often referred to as “Little Paris”. The Cours Saleya Flower Market and the Promenade des Anglais are always fun to explore. In the evening we celebrate with our “Welcome Dinner” in the charming seaside village of Villefranche sur Mer, which lies just east of Nice. (D)
Day 2 | Eze – Vieux Nice – Saint-Paul de Vence
We set out early on Monday for the fascinating medieval village of Eze, situated about half way between Nice and Monte Carlo. It’s important to beat the tourists and crowds and arrive early. The village sits like an eagle’s nest on a large rock 400 meters above the sea. In the afternoon we visit Old Nice, also known as Vieux Nice in French. Vieux Nice is a beautiful and unique neighborhood. Old Nice is popular with tourists and locals alike, from its popular Cours Selaya daily markets and its historic architecture to boutique shopping and italian influence. In the evening we leave Nice for Saint Paul de Vence one of the best-preserved and prettiest medieval villages in all of Europe. Saint Paul de Vence’s medieval walls encircle narrow streets and capture the heritage of more than a thousand years. This village takes on a completely different feel in the evening when the tourists depart. We’ll enjoy the beautiful low light photography. In Saint Paul the photographic opportunities are endless. (B)
Day 3 | Cannes – Marseille – Avignon
After an early breakfast we review our photos to date and discuss style and technique, composition and light, and post processing. We say farewell to Nice and begin our exploration of Provence. Next stop… Cannes, where we will walk the famous Promenade. After we drive the coast and stop at Château de la Napoule, where we will explore the grounds and have lunch overlooking the sea. Along the way you will be treated to the beautiful coastal villages of the Cote D’Azur. There is something really special about the French Riviera. Perhaps its the diversity of landscapes from cliffs that dive into the sea, to pristine beaches you would only expect to see in the Caribbean. If time allows, we will visit the old port of Marseille. Marseille is a rich, pulsating port city bubbling over with history, cutting-edge creative spaces and hip multicultural urbanites. Since Greek settlers came ashore around 600 BC, waves of immigrants have made Marseille their home. Marseille’s maritime heritage thrives at the vibrant Vieux Port (Old Port), where fresh-off-the-boat catches are sold each morning. In the evening we arrive at our hotel in Avignon, where we will be based for the next two days. Avignon is the city to which the Popes fled to when leaving the corruption of Rome in the 14th century. The palace they built, ‘Le Palais des Papes,’ or the palace of Popes, is the world’s largest Gothic edifice. (B)
Day 4 | Avignon – Gordes – Sault – Carpentras – Velleron
Wednesday is a magical day. Today we travel the countryside in search of lavender and the delicate nuances of Provence. Close your eyes and breathe deep – your senses tell you you are in Provence. We depart early for the famous Abby in Gordes and its lavender fields. A lovely medieval Cistercian abbey that is one of the best places to see Provence’s famed lavender fields. Founded in 1148 and once again populated by Cistercian monks. Next we drive to Sault (pronounced Soo). Sault is an old fortified village perched along the top of a high ridge overlooking a wide valley, with large lavender fields spread out below to the south and west. A long multi-arched road bridge crosses the tiny La Croc stream below, past the southeast end of the village. Along with the ancient buildings lining the high ridge are the remains of a huge southeast end of the village. Sault is a great place to break for lunch. As we make our way back to Avignon (and if time allows) we will visit Carpentras, the city of arts and history, which owes most of its originality to the Holy City from the 13th to the 18th century. It was frequently the residence of the Avignon popes; the Papal States retained possession of the Venaissin until the French Revolution. Its architecture was inspired by Italian models, and the presence of the Jews, protected by the Popes, marks its culture. Before heading back to Avignon., we visit Velleron, one of our favorite little villages in Provence. (B)
Day 5 | Avignon – Aix-en-Provence
In the early morning we will concentrate on low-light photography, exploring the streets, bridges and monuments for Avignon. After lunch we depart for our hotel in Avignon for Aix-en-Provence. A pocket of left-bank Parisian chic deep in Provence, Aix (pronounced like the letter X) is all class: its leafy boulevards and public squares are lined with 17th- and 18th-century mansions, punctuated by gurgling moss-covered fountains. Haughty stone lions guard its grandest avenue, cafe-laced cours Mirabeau, where fashionable Aixois pose on polished pavement terraces sipping overpriced espresso. Our hotel is located about 20 minutes outside of Aix. An nice opportunity for us to enjoy both he countryside and the city at the same time. In the afternoon we will review our photos to date and discuss post processing. In the evening we will prepare for our wonderful South of France “Farewell Dinner”, with great fun and laughter as we discuss all the highlights of the trip. (B) (D)
Day 6 | Aix-en-Provence – Nice
On day six, we conduct our final group discussion, review our past weeks photos, trade contact information, and check out of our hotel before we drive back to Nice and bid you farewell. We urge you to extend your stay in France and make good use of everything you will learn on our photo adventure. (B)
May all who come as guests… leave as friends®
Experience | Difficulty
Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
Travel by car or minibus
Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking
(non-photographers also welcome)
Travel, landscape, seascape, architecture, nature and people photography
Professional photographer | guide
Photo walks & discussions
Small group size (4-8 guests)
4 or 5 star hotels
Nice – Radisson Blu Hotel, Mercure Nice Marche Fleurs or similar
Avignon – Avignon Grand Hotel, Mercure Pont d’Avignon or similar
Aix-en-Provence – Hotel Mercure Aix en Provence Sainte Victoire or similar
Arrival & Departure Airport: Nice, France (NCE) – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.
Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality.
Single Supplement: $700
(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room: $350
(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room: $350
Options and Benefits
Private Guided Tours & Adventures
We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine.
We offer travel insurance through Travelex. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating.
Street, Landscape and People Photographer
Born in Jerusalem, raised in London and spending most of his time since a teenager traveling around the globe, you could say that living in Barcelona for the last 10 years has been the longest time that you could find Laurie in one spot!
Combining his extensive travels with his photography background, Laurie has been offering photography tours for over 20 years. He enjoys nothing more than using his experience to aid photo enthusiasts in the technical and creative skills needed to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary one – all the while guiding his students to Barcelona’s most photogenic locations.
His first foray in photography started when he was just 13. He documented his adventures when he sailed with his brother, father, and Ruby the family dog, from England to Israel on a 3.5 month sailing trip on their yacht. With a deep connection to the sea, and still a teenager, he set about his first freelance business in Southeast Asia where he offered underwater photographic tours to divers using the Nikonos underwater camera system. Since then, he has been a photo tour guide in some of the most exotic locations found anywhere on the globe.
As well as using professional DSLR’s and lenses, Laurie considers himself a purist and still uses his film cameras on occasion. He tries to convey on his tours that it is not the equipment that makes a great image, but what the photographer is trying to achieve before they even take the lens cap off the camera. A difficult thing to achieve, with so many photographic opportunities in this amazing city.