July 5th - 15th, 2025
It’s time to travel to beautiful southern France! The Provence region is alive with colors and medieval architecture. From the iconic white Camargue horse private photo shoots to pink greater flamingos, to red-ocher houses, to fields of lavender row after row, this trip will be filled with images begging to be captured.
We’ll photograph some of the same scenes that Vincent van Gogh painted, explore the picturesque villages and countryside of southern France, sample local wines and food at the farmers’ market, and explore cobblestone alleys lined with shops and restaurants in quaint hillside villages. Smell the lavender everywhere in Provence!
Tour Gothic cathedrals and wander around natural areas—this schedule allows for time to explore on your own. We will experience luxury while staying at some spectacular four- and five-star chateaus… OK, we even included three nights at a boutique castle 🙂 We’ll indulge in an exclusive cellar wine tasting and lunch in Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a Master Sommelier. This is a true photographic vacation. Non-photographing spouses are welcome!
Meet Daniel and Tanya Cox
2025 Camargue and Provence France Photography Tour Travel Plans
Saturday, July 5 (D)
Arrive at Marseille Provence Airport or by train from Paris at any time of the day. We recommend taking a local taxi to transfer to the hotel; it is the easiest and most efficient. Spend the day at leisure to recover from jet lag or explore Marseille on your own. Welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant this evening. Overnight Intercontinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu
Sunday, July 6 (B, L)
This morning is at your leisure, with time to explore Marseille’s waterfront. Today we start our adventure and make our way to the heart of lavender country. The lavender should be in full bloom during our trip. Photo shoots and stops along the way.
We’ll take a break midday and stop to have lunch in L’Isle sur la Sorgue. This small “island city” on the Sorgue River is often referred to as the “Venice of Provence” due to the abundance of waterways that flow throughout its ancient streets. Embrace the charming riverside ambiance while exploring the local art galleries, historic waterwheels, and antique shops that this small town is famous for. Since it’s Sunday, we’ll have the opportunity to browse the flea market, which has been running for 900 years and is the largest market in the Luberon region. This is the perfect location to purchase olive oils, herbs, soaps, aged cheeses, pottery, candles, books, and any other souvenirs that might be on your shopping list!
Monday, July 7 (B, L)
This morning we take in the sights and scents of the lavender fields surrounding Notre-Dame de Senanque Abbey. The Cistercian monks, who still occupy the abbey, welcome us to their home. The lavender fields backed by the 12th-century abbey make for lovely photographs.
Between lavender shoots, we’ll also stop for a photo session in the colorful hilltop village of Roussillon. Perched on the southern edge of the Plateau de Vaucluse, Roussillon is a beautiful village with red rocks, ochre-red stone buildings, and red tile roofs set in a deep green pine forest. Narrow, medieval streets wind through this small village.
We’ll spend the remainder of the day in the lavender fields. Overnight at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide
Tuesday, July 8 (B, D)
Standing on the edge of the Vaucluse Plateau, Gordes is home to movie stars and artists. Its tall houses of white and gray stone rise in a spiral around the rock where the village is set, topping out at a church and castle. Today we will take some time to meander the scenes of this hilltop village and also shop in the local market.
Later in the day, we’ll visit one of the most spectacular ochre sites, Colorado Provencal. As its name suggests, the fiery orange and red rock formations mimic geological scenes found in Colorado and other Western US states. A combination of natural erosion and ochre mining has resulted in more than 100 hectares of engaging sculptural landforms, the reds and oranges interspersed with yellows, browns, greens, and mauves will provide a very colorful palette for your camera to behold!
Overnight at Airelles Gordes, La Bastide
Wednesday, July 9 (B, D)
We head to the interior scenic part of Provence this morning. The Provence region was the first Roman province beyond the Alps. They called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. While it has been part of France for more than 500 years, it still retains a distinct cultural and linguistic identity, particularly in the interior of the region.
First, the medieval hilltop village of Les Baux de Provence to shop, or sit and have a nice glass of wine and enjoy the spectacular views.
Les Baux de Provence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Especially photogenic, the town is filled with small squares, well-shaded terraces, narrow streets, and small shops. We’ll have views of Arles, the Camargue, and the low hills of the Alpilles Mountains from lookout points in the stone fortress.
We’ll then head north to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the hub of the Rhône wine-making region. After we check in at Chateau Des Fines Roches, it’s time to visit another quarry, this one very different from the previous one that we’ve seen. The Carrieres de Lumieres, an abandoned quarry and old iron foundry, has been transformed into a unique digital art exhibit. Enter the caverns and become instantly mesmerized by the vibrant, dancing artworks that are choreographed to music and projected onto the huge walls, pillars, and floors of the quarry.
Return to the Chateau Des Fines Roches, a castle built in the late 19th century, high on a hill and surrounded by vineyards. We’ll stay here for three nights to fully enjoy the views, gourmet food, and wine. Take a swim in the pool, or a bike ride through the vineyard… OK, we will be a little spoiled on this tour!
Thursday, July 10 (B, L)
Today beautiful opportunities to photograph right outside your bedroom window! The morning will be at leisure. We can photograph the vineyards and rolling hills surrounding the castle, enjoy a relaxing morning at The Spa or participate in one of the many activities the castle offers.
Today we will have a special private lunch and cellar wine tasting with one of the top Master Sommeliers in the region. Wine can be shipped home if you desire.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore in and around the medieval town of Uzès. Uzès was born as a Roman settlement, founded as early as the 1st century BC. Marvel at the historical white stone architecture as you wander through the pedestrian-friendly cobblestone lanes. There are many captivating sights to see and photograph in Uzès. Its most prominent landmark, The Duke’s Castle, also known as the Duchy, still serves as a summer residence to the current Duke. In the medieval gardens behind the castle, climb King’s Tower for a panoramic view of the city. Visit La Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit, which features the only round bell tower in all of France and is often referred to as Uzès’ Leaning Tower of Pisa. Last but not least, Place aux Herbes, the main square, is filled with tiny boutiques, gelato shops, and trendy cafes, a nice place to sit, relax, and take in the inviting atmosphere of this hidden gem nicknamed “French Tuscany.”
Overnight at Chateau Des Fines Roches
Friday, July 11 (B, L D)
Today we’ll make our way to two distinct local wine regions, Gigondas and Vacqueyras, in the southern Rhône valley. Grapes in Gigondas have been harvested for two thousand years. Grenache is the principal red (and rosé) variety produced here, and the wine is comparable to that of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Red wines made from Grenache also dominate in the Vacqueyras region, though the flavors of Vacqueyras are a bit more peppery and heady at times. This is due to the sandy and stony soils present in the vineyards situated at lower altitudes than those in Gigondas.
In the late afternoon, we’ll have a photo shoot at the 2000-year-old Roman aqueduct of Pont du Gard. We’ll picnic here for dinner while snapping photos of the sunset over the aqueducts, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Chateau Des Fines Roches
Saturday, July 12 (B, L, D)
Rise and shine! Today we’ll make our way to Camargue, the wetlands of Provence.
The first stop of the day is the Roman city of Arles. Roman treasures, sultry stone squares, and a festive atmosphere are all part of the backdrop to the amazing photos we will take. We’ll see the colorful houses that show up in some of van Gogh’s paintings. We will visit the Arenes D’Arles Amphitheatre dating back to 90 AD. This amphitheater was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody battles—very impressive! You will have some time to explore Arles on your own. We will meet for lunch at the iconic Cafe van Gogh.
Early dinner at the hotel before our photo session at the Pont de Gau Bird Park, known for its greater flamingos and great diversity of birds. Each night the flamingos fly in to feed, making it the perfect time to capture them with our cameras.
We’ll settle in Saintes Maries de la Mer, a Roman-era fishing village, built on an island, where the Petit Rhône joins the sea. It’s now a bustling seaside resort full of shops and activities. Vincent van Gogh painted several paintings here, including Street in Saintes-Maries in 1888.
Overnight Hotel Mangio Fango
Sunday, July 13 (B)
We’ll start the day with a sunrise photo shoot of the famous Camargue horses. These white horses evolved and adapted to the wet environment of the marshes and wetlands in the area and can run through water with the same gracefulness most horses exhibit on land. They are indigenous to the Camargue and are generally considered one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.
You’ll have mid-morning to relax, swim, or edit photos before gathering for lunch in the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes. Aigues-Mortes sits on the flat marshes of the Petite Camargue and is considered the purest example of 13th-century military architecture. Today it looks much like it did in the Middle Ages. A crenelated wall with five towers and ten fortified doors surrounds the town of neatly rectilinear streets.
We’ll end the day with another shoot of the Camargue horses. Overnight Hotel Mangio Fango
Monday, July 14 (B, D)
We’ll start the day with a thrilling photo shoot of sparring, young stallions just wanting to play. Have your cameras ready as the Camargue horses rear and clash!
As with yesterday’s schedule, you’ll have mid-morning to relax, swim, or edit photos before gathering for lunch, today in Saintes Maries de la Mer.
We’ll have several bouts of on-your-own-time during this trip to avoid the heat of the day. But if you’d like to get out and explore Saintes Maries de la Mer, there is plenty to see!
- Walk along the shore on the edge of town, or watch windsurfers in “The Canal,” AKA the “French Trench,” built especially for speed record-breaking sailing.
- Explore the Notre-Dame-de-la-Mer church. Its location and fortress architecture helped defend the town from pirates during the 9th-12th centuries.
- The Musée Baroncelli showcases the traditions of the Camargue. It has collections dedicated to the zoology in the Camargue, the archaeology in Saintes Maries de la Mer, and the regional folklore.
- The museum is located in the former town hall and court of justice and peace, built in 1876 by Veran, an architect from Arles, and replaced the first town hall built in 1655.
Since this is a seaside town, be sure to sample the wide variety of fish and shellfish dishes. “Terrines à la Provençale” is made with tiny clam-like shellfish. There’s a Spanish influence here, too, and good paellas are a specialty.
One last photo session with the white horses tonight. Two models will ride horses in the dunes and along the Mediterranean Sea for our photographing pleasure. We’ll have dinner and a night on the town in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer. In addition to seafood, the Camargue is known for its black bulls (taureaux), so there are good steaks for the carnivores among us. Overnight Hotel Mangio Fango
Tuesday, July 15 (B)
We’ll immerse ourselves in nature during our sunrise photoshoot over Vaccarès Pond. Return to the hotel to have breakfast, check out, and load up into our vans to make our way to Marseille Provence airport. Depart any time after 2:00 p.m.
Professional photographer Patrice Aguilar will be leading this tour, assisted by Natural Exposures host Tanya Cox. Patrice has helped to organize and assist our past France tours. He is from the Marseilles and Provence region and knows all the best places for photography. We will travel in private vans (for greater mobility) to work the lavender fields and for transfers between villages versus a large bus. It won’t be “as roomy” as a big bus but makes more sense in this area for photography stops on the smaller roads.
We will stay at some BEAUTIFUL hotels in France. This is a true photographic vacation and great for non-photographing spouses. We did not want to over-schedule this trip and have included free time to explore on your own or relax. You will have many opportunities for early AM and late PM shoots for the best light. All are optional and flexible!
On the lavender… We know you want to come during prime time for lavender. The Lavender region is a huge area with lots of rolling hills and lowlands. All are planted and harvested at different times, and the weather changes from year to year, so you’re never going to have the “ultimate” day or week. You will always see fields full, partly full, and those harvested or getting harvested. The best time to see the lavender is mid-June to mid-July (a 3-4 week period). With increasingly unpredictable weather—typically summers being hotter on average and also arriving earlier in many places—it’s hard to know exactly what we’ll see, but we’re going during the time it is typically vibrant in this area.
We had two trips back to back in 2017 with essentially the same itinerary. Both trips were very good for lavender, but one area was good on the first trip and another was good on the second.
We wish we could predict the weather for many of our trips – the salmon run for bears, fall colors changing, and the lavender blooms and harvesting, but all we can do is work with what we know. We want to give you the best trip possible and hope to meet everyone’s expectations.
SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE TO SEE IMAGES FROM EXPLORERS ON PAST NE FRANCE TOURS.
12 Guests Maximum
EXPLORER RATE: TBA pp, DBL occupancy
NON-EXPLORER RATE: ADD TBA
Single Supplement: Please inquire for rate, limited availability
Less than 10 guests booked: ADD TBA pp
Pricing in USD
$2000 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
July 15, 2024: $2000 pp first installment
December 10, 2024: Final Payment
Check only for the first and final installments. Please make checks payable to Natural Exposures and mail to our office:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Private small group travel in vans with professional photographer Patrice Aguilar, assisted by NE host Tanya Cox
- Group transfer from the hotel to the airport on July 15 (departure day)
- Entrance fees for various locations noted in the itinerary
- Meals where indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Beverages (house wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks) with included meals
- 10 nights of accommodations as noted in the itinerary
- Wine tasting fees as noted in the itinerary
- Water and snacks on the bus
- International airfare
- Laundry, Internet, and other personal miscellaneous expenses
- Any optional activities (including some wine tastings and culinary classes)
- Any activities not listed in the itinerary
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities for Patrice
Flights to Book
July 5, 2025
Arrive at Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) or by train any time of day.
July 15, 2025
Depart Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) or by train at 2:00 p.m. or later.
Travel/emergency medical evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2025 Camargue and Provence France Photography Tour
July 5 (1 night)
InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu • Marseille • 5-star
Hotel Dieu is perched atop Panier Hill in Marseille at the gateway to Provence. Next door is the world-famous Vieux-Port, the cultural and historic center of France’s second-largest city.
Hotel Dieu has in-house dining, including a magnificent terrace for meals, and a large Spa by Clarins, complete with an indoor swimming pool.
White leather headboards, an embroidered Provencal throw, and the old-style bathtubs remind visitors that this is an old, venerable building that has been gently, but efficiently modernized. Before it was renovated into a great 5-star hotel, the building weathered centuries of history. The building served as a hospital from 1188-1993. Today the hotel’s facade and intricate wrought iron stairways are on the inventory of Listed Monuments.
July 6-8 (3 nights)
Airelles Gordes, La Bastide • Le Village Gordes • 5-star
Set atop a rocky outcrop at the center of the village, Airelles Gordes, La Bastide, offers all the splendor of a former stately home and is part of “The Leading Hotels of the World” Collection. Carved into the very rock face of the hill and built on 12th-century ramparts, the chateau is integrated into the fortifications of the village. Combining charm, elegance, comfort, and luxury, the hotel features intimate, welcoming, and restful interiors.
La Bastide will awaken your senses and make your tastebuds tingle with its restaurants, each with an original concept. From classic Southern dishes to Asian and Italian flavors, Airelles Gordes offers a wide range of cuisine for every occasion, to satisfy even the most demanding of gourmets. In an exceptional and peaceful location, these Gordes restaurants give Provencal cuisine pride of place, making the most of quality products and local savoir-faire.
Airelles Spa is a natural environment dedicated to serenity and the well-being of the body and mind. Handsomely appointed in a refined yet relaxed style, with appealingly rustic touches, the rooms provide unparalleled and memorable views over the fabled Luberon Valley and mountains.
July 9-11 (3 nights)
Chateau Des Fines Roches • Chateauneuf-du-Pape • 4-star
This 11-guestroom castle is located in the heart of the prestigious vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Built in the late 19th century, it was inhabited by the Marquis de Baroncelli and frequented by many Provencal poets. Both fantasy and medieval neo-Provencal style, this castle was built high on a hill with a panoramic terrace surrounding the vineyards offering timeless moments to rest and relax. Indoor and outdoor pools for your enjoyment along with rentals available for bike and electric bikes.
July 12-14 (3 nights)
Mangio Fango • Les Saintes Maries de la mer • 4-star
Set among the wild landscapes of the Camargue, the gentle charms of Hotel Mangio Fango will woo you. The traditional white farmhouse is outlined against blue Provence skies. Surrounded by unspoiled nature and greenery, we won’t want to leave this 4-star hotel.
The refined rooms and suites with their natural colors and elegant furnishings provide a high level of comfort and serenity. Overlooking the garden, the pool, or the marsh, each room has its own private terrace or large balcony.
The Mangio Fango restaurant draws inspiration from seasonal Mediterranean produce and traditional Camargue region meat and fish dishes.
The hotel also has a Decléor spa, heated outdoor swimming pool, steam room, and sauna.
Helpful Information for 2025 Camargue and Provence France Photography Tour
We will be traveling between villages in two small sprinter vans with nine seats each (six guests max per van). We’ve used a bus in the past (roomier and bigger), but on the smaller village roads, it was difficult to stop. The drives are not long on most days, and we feel the vans make more sense in this region.
We have provided a fair amount of free time to explore on your own. We’ll have snacks during some early morning shoots and then go back for a late breakfast, so some lunches are not included. Some days we will have early dinners or late dinners, depending on our location. We will mix dinners with French “picnic-style, in the field” to multiple-course gourmet dinners with wine and beer included during meals.
Please Note: The schedule may change if circumstances are out of our control/weather permit.
Each day there will be moderate walking which might include elevated areas in the villages or through the lavender fields. Remember this is Europe! To enjoy these medieval villages you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking, sometimes on cobblestones and up and down on uneven surfaces. Please be prepared.
WEATHER and HOTELS
Temperatures this time of year could be in the mid-70s up to the 90s. All hotels will have air-conditioning and WiFi; most will have pools too. This trip is not a standard photo tour; we have included some of the most beautiful accommodations to make this trip truly enjoyable! Not all accommodations will look like those of your fellow travelers. Since we’re staying in some smaller boutique-style hotels, room sizes and views will vary.
PASSPORT and VISAS
Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your date of departure from the Schengen area. One blank page is required for the entry/exit stamps. Beginning in 2024, US citizens will be required to have an ETIAS travel authorization to enter most European countries, including France.
No vaccinations are required to enter France.
France’s currency is the Euro.
230-volt, 50 Hz, Type C Europlug – the plug used in most other European countries, or Schuko Type E/F. Plug adapters will be sufficient for most laptops, cellphone chargers, and digital cameras. A voltage converter/transformer would be needed for appliances such as a hair dryer or electric shaver.
Have a question?
Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.
Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"If you ever want to travel to another country and you want to go first class, travel with Natural Exposures. They are number one in showing their guests the best time ever in the classiest way. I would recommend Natural Exposures Tours to everyone. If you want to go in style, go with NE!"
Michelle Duggan, Massachusetts
"Tanya and Dan’s logistic skills provide a seamless photo tour where one can truly enjoy the experience. With unlimited photographic opportunities Dan’s instruction has taken my photography to a higher level."
Linda Henry, Oregon
"Tanya/Dan are a dynamic duo! There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to cover the entire breath of their combined strengths. Fair, attention to detail, supportive of everyone’s needs, ability to get things done, did I mention down right good people, and on and on. We hope there will be a trip in the future that we could take advantage of."
Corbett Alley, Arizona
"I just wanted to again thank you for a wonderful week of photography and relaxation away from the office. It was a really a good group."
Sue Wolfe, Texas