- Air-conditioned and licensed round-trip transportation from outside your Villefranche tender pier!
- Walkthrough and perfume-making demonstration in Grasse!
- Free time in Medieval Valbonne!
- Free time in Medieval Gourdon!
- Wine tasting at a local winery!
- Escape the cruise ship shore excursion crowds and enjoy the unique sights of Villefranche and the surrounding area!
A great way to enjoy the French Provencal Countryside with perfume, medieval towns, and local traditional wine tasting.
Your driver will be waiting for you after you tender ashore in the port of Villefranche. This is a small group excursion with only 8 participants. You will depart Villefranche, driving along the motorway to reach the wonderfully fragrant town of Grasse, located on the foothills of the Alps approximately 30 minutes away. Grasse is the center of the French perfume industry due to its perfect location for growing flowers and is referred to as the capital of perfume.
You will visit the Fragonard perfume factory which has been located in the same building since 1782. You will have a 30-minute walk-through during which you will learn many of the procedures involved in producing perfume. You will also learn what a "nose" is. You will also have approximately 30 minutes to visit the perfume museum or ask the staff to recommend a fragrance that compliments you. This is a great shopping opportunity to pick up some French soap or perfume.
The medieval town of Valbonne is just 15 minutes away. It was the building of an abbey around 1200 AD that marked the first real settlement, although there have been artifacts found in this area dating back to prehistoric times. Soon after the abbey was built, a village sprung up around it. The parts of the town you see today date from the 16th century. You will have approximately 90 minutes of free time on your own to stroll its quaint streets lined with cafes and shops specializing in local handicrafts. You will have the opportunity to stop for lunch (at your own expense) or simply sit and enjoy the stunning views.
20 minutes away is the feudal hilltop village of Gourdon. Perched in the mountainside more than 2200 feet above the valley, which made it the ideal place of refuge. You will have approximately 90 minutes of free time to wander and explore the shops where you can find perfumes, soaps, honey, nougat, gingerbread, glassware, and other handmade crafts.
From Gourdon, you will follow the scenic Loup River part of the way to your final stop, the Chateau de Bellet. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about winemaking and sample some of the wines made with traditional local grapes. The total time at the winery is approximately 60 minutes.
Leaving the winery, the transportation will drive you back to the tender pier in Villefranche, approximately 20 minutes away.