Provence & IVV Olympiad 2019

October 10-19, 2019 • 10 Days • $3990** – 2 SPOTS LEFT!

Walks and sightseeing in Avignon, Marseilles, Arles and more, offer a diverse introduction to southern France. This tour features the 16th IVV Olympiad, a walking convention offered by the International Federation of Popular Sports taking place in Aix en Provence in 2019.

**Traveler Rewards Program: New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Provence & IVV Olympiad tour and a $100 discount on the Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour. Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. Check out our Traveler Rewards page for more details.

Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour

October 6 – 10, 2019 • 5 days • $1990** – 2 SPOTS LEFT!

The Pre-tour option starts in Paris with a night in the City of Light. Of course, you may wish to arrive a day early to sample some of this fabled city’s many attractions. The next day, we depart for the Burgundy region, famous for its wines. A walk in the city of Dijon (yes of mustard fame) precedes our arrival in the lovely walled city of Beaune, where we spend two nights. A walk in the vineyards and a stroll through the medieval lanes of Beaune is combined with a wine tasting tour in one of the many cellars hollowed out beneath the town. We then journey south through France, arriving in time to get settled in at our hotel in Marseille in preparation for a walk in Old Marseilles and the start of the main tour.

Reserve your spot on this tour with a $500 Registration Deposit!

Provence is a name with a colorful medley of magical associations. It is the far southeastern region of France that has become one of the country’s most sought-after vacation spots. We are there in autumn, long after the famous lavender fields have dropped their blooms but with excellent opportunities to experience the renowned luminescence of Provençal light. Like a magnet, these rare qualities of light drew impressionist artists from the rest of Europe – names like Van Gogh and Picasso, and homegrown Paul Cézanne from Aix-en-Provence. We sample that light throughout the region, marveling at the way it illuminates the stunning white angles of the Palace of the Popes in Avignon and the yellow sandstone of the monolithic Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard. Provence, in fact, is full of Roman ruins, permanent proofs of engineering grandeur from a 2000-year-old civilization. We see this evidence repeatedly during walks in Nîmes and Arles as well. Bucolic panoramas abound in Provence – olive groves, patchwork farms, and the surprising spectacle of gardians (cowboys) on white Camargue horses herding black bulls through one of Europe’s largest wetlands.

Provence offers many attractions, and is an excellent setting for the 16th Olympiad of the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV). Aix-en-Provence is considered by many one of the most beautiful cities in France. We spend five nights there in a lovely hotel centrally located in the heart of yet another historic center, equidistant from the two primary Olympiad venues.

Those with a yen to experience more of France are invited to meet us for the pre-tour starting in Paris. The main attractions of these 5 days are the history, culture, and natural wonders of Burgundy, in particular its famous vineyards and wine markets centered around the medieval gem of Beaune.

Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour

Including:

  • All land transportation as listed
  • Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 5 meals: all breakfasts and 1 dinner (as denoted BD)
  • 4 walks with commentary by local guides
  • Fees for walking credit (IVV sanctions will be applied for)
  • Entrance to Hôtel Dieu with guided tour
  • Wine tasting in the cellars of Beaune
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • Nature, cultural, and historical expertise of local guides in Dijon, Burgundy vineyards, Beaune walking tour, and Marseille
  • Services of local tour manager throughout
  • All tipping for local guides, coach drivers, and group meals
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available at a supplement of $275.

Provence & IVV Olympiad

Including:

  • All land travel in Provence before arriving in Aix-en-Provence for the Olympiad
  • Motorcoach service to and from walk sites during three days of the Olympiad
  • Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
  • 1 night Marseille, 3 nights Avignon, 5 nights Aix-en-Provence in a 5-star hotel
  • 13 meals: all breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners (as denoted BLD)
  • 7 walk routes, plus the walk/bike/swim events, etc. at the IVV Olympiad
  • Fees for walking credit (IVV sanctions will be applied for)
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • All tipping for local guides, coach drivers, and group meals
  • Nature, cultural, and historical expertise of local guides at Pont du Gard, and in Nimes, Arles, the Vaucluse Plateau, and Aix-en-Provence
  • Services of national guide for 4 days from Marseille until Aix-en-Provence
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available at a supplement of $775.

Activities/Visits to:

  • All listed walks: Pont du Gard, Nîmes, Vaucluse Plateau, Camargue Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Olympiad walks, bikes, swims
  • Palace of the Popes – Avignon
  • Pont du Gard
  • Manada – bull breeding farm – the Camargue
  • Chariot Tracte carriage ride – the Camargue
  • IVV Olympiad Pass including opening ceremonies, access to all 21 event courses, closing ceremonies, an Olympiad bag, and 8 bus passes to reach events not served by our coach
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Optional Excursion:

  • Old Marseille Walk – Day 1

Featuring*

  • On average a 1:10 guide to traveler ratio

  • 13 meals: All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners

  • Superior tourist class or better hotel accommodations

  • 7 walk routes + additional walk/bike/swim options at IVV Olympiad

  • IVV Olympiad Pass

  • Motorcoach service during IVV Olympiad

  • 2-4 Guides throughout

  • Transportation in 40+ pax motorcoaches

*Statistics apply to the Provence & IVV Olympiad tour.

Discounts available. See below for more details on activities included.

View Daily Itinerary

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

25-29 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Superior Tourist Class or better

Meals

13 meals: All breakfasts included with 2 lunches and 2 dinners as denoted (BLD)

Airfare

Not Included. The Provence & IVV Olympiad tour starts and finishes in Marseilles (airport code MRS). The Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour starts in Paris (airport code CDG) and finishes in Marseilles.

Transportation

Included. We use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 40+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

Walking Adventures Guide Dan FriesenDan Friesen has been guiding tours for over 20 years on all 7 continents. He has hiked the Great Wall of China, hobnobbed with penguins in Antarctica, felt the spray of Iguazu Falls in Brazil, yodeled from the heights of the Swiss Alps, and walked the ruins of majestic Machu Picchu. Dan will be accompanied by an assistant, national guide, and local guides on this tour. He looks forward to taking in Southern France and the IVV Olympiad with you!

Jim Brickley, Walking Adventures GuideJim Brickley has always loved a good adventure and the opportunity to explore. Jim enjoys interacting in various environments with different cultures, and welcomes the challenges travel brings. His hobbies include motorcycling and scuba diving, as well as hiking and travel. He anticipates growing through diverse international encounters that challenge his paradigm of “normal” and looks forward to sharing these learning experiences with you on tour. Jim will be assisting Dan on the Provence & IVV Olympiad tour.

Itinerary

Click on each day heading for more details.

Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour

Day 1-Oct 6: Arrive Paris

Optional Paris, City of Lights Walk – 12 km, rated 1A

We meet today in the City of Lights! Our hotel is in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and a couple of blocks from a Metro stop. We use Paris as a meeting point only, with no activities planned, because of the convenience of the airport and because so many people have already visited Paris. However, we have booked an extra set of rooms for the night of October 5 to accommodate those who would like to spend another day in Paris. An excellent WAI “intro to Paris” walk is also available for anyone who would like to stretch their legs while seeing the highlights of Paris.

Because travelers arrive throughout the day, our first group activity is loading the bus for Burgundy after breakfast tomorrow morning!

Day 2-Oct 7: Paris – Beaune (BD)

Dijon Owl Walk – 5 km, rated 1A

We head east through France today bound for the city of Dijon! After the fall of Rome, several centuries were needed for the region of Gaul to coalesce into the country of France. In the interim, it struggled through the feudal system as a confusing collection of minor kingdoms, duchies, and principalities; Dijon and the surrounding region was ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy. The rich history and impressive architecture of the city is, as always, best discovered on foot. After time for lunch, a local guide opens our eyes to the photogenic attractions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site including Rue des Forges, a street lined with ornate 13th, 15th, and 16th century noble houses; the Burgundy Canal; and Place de la Libération, an impressive, semi-circular square initially built to display a state of Louis XIV. The statue has since disappeared; it was melted down to make cannons during the French Revolution! Our evening finishes in nearby Beaune, a medieval, walled gem of a town we’ll explore tomorrow. Dinner this evening is in a restaurant in the old town.

Day 3-Oct 8: Activities from Beaune (B)

Burgundy Vineyards Walk – 8 km, rating unknown
Beaune Walking Tour – 2 km, unrated

Dijon is known for mustard, but Burgundy is world-famous for wine! We wander the vineyards of Côte-d’Or (hills of gold) this morning on a lovely stroll through bucolic scenes that have changed little over the centuries. Some of these plots date back 1000 years, and small differences in gradation of land or location on the slope are enough to generate a completely different kind of wine! Following time for lunch back in Beaune, we enjoy a guided walking tour of the historic core, the jewel of which is Hôtel Dieu. Also called Hospices de Beaune, this beautiful building with its typically Burgundian colored tile roof was a 15th century hospital. Originally it served Beaune’s overwhelmingly destitute population at the close of the 100 Years’ War, but it continued in its role as hospital into the late 1970s. Today’s last activity is a wine-tasting tour deep in cellars beneath Beaune, some of which date back to the Roman period!

Day 4-Oct 9: Beaune – Marseille (B)

We travel south to Marseille and Provence today. After a leisurely breakfast, we board our bus for the journey along the Saône River, primary tributary of the Rhône, which it joins in the major site of Lyon. The Rhône River Valley funnels us south towards the Mediterranean providing on and off views of this major French river that has, from time immemorial, linked northwestern Europe with the Mediterranean. With stops en route, we enter Marseille late-afternoon arriving at our hotel for a two-night stay just a few minutes’ walk from the Old Port, Marseilles picturesque waterfront.

Day 5-Oct 10: Finish in Marseille (B)

Old Marseille Walk – 5 km, rated 2B

Marseille is France’s second largest city and the main city of Provence. Set on the banks of the Mediterranean, its story begins with its founding by Greek settlers around 600 BC as “Massalia”. We spend the morning exploring sections of the old city starting with the lively fish market on the Old Port and working our way into the delightful Le Panier (“the basket”) district, the oldest part of Marseille. The route courses along narrow streets and winds through pleasant squares offering more the feeling of a small Provençal village than the second largest city in France. Sites along the way are myriad and include Place des Moulins, oldest square in Marseille; colorful Rue du Panier; Place de Lenche, offering a splendid view of Notre-Dame de la Garde; and a plethora of imaginative street art that now flourishes throughout Le Panier. The afternoon is free to explore the area near our hotel, or perhaps take a second walk on the opposite side of Old Port. Travelers arriving for the main tour – Provence & the IVV Olympiad join us this evening for dinner near our hotel and the start of our Adventure together in the south of France!

Provence & IVV Olympiad

Day 1-Oct 10: Arrive Marseille, France (D)

Optional Old Marseille Walk – 5 km, rated 2B

Travelers arrive into Marseille today in preparation for our adventure in Provence and at the 16th Olympiad of the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV). The Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour group will have arrived the evening before – October 9 – and will participate in a guided walk of Old Marseille this morning. The walk will start and finish at our hotel and offer an introduction to Le Panier, the oldest district of Marseille. See Day 5 of the Pre-tour for a description of the walk. Main tour only travelers are welcome to join us for this guided walk for the estimated price of $10 per person. Later this evening, all travelers rendezvous for a welcome orientation and dinner.

Day 2-Oct 11: Marseille – Avignon (BD)

Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct Walk – 7 km, rated 2B

We drive north this morning to Avignon, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and one of the few French cities to have preserved its medieval ramparts. Its greatest claim to fame, however, is the stately Palais des Papes – Palace of the Popes. Due to 14th century political turmoil, Pope Clement V, a French pope, refused to establish his papacy in Rome and chose Avignon instead. For the next 67 years, seven successive popes led the Roman Catholic church from Avignon. Our first activity in Avignon is a tour of this expansive, statuesque palace, considered one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. After a break for lunch, this afternoon’s walk takes us to a larger-than-life monument from a different age – that of the Romans. These master engineers excelled in the transport of water over long distances, and our walk takes us through Provençal countryside to their massive, 3-tiered Pont du Gard, a UNESCO-listed aqueduct bridge that was part of an incredible, 31-mile aqueduct carrying water to the city of Nîmes. Our day ends back in Avignon with dinner at our hotel.

Day 3-Oct 12: Activities from Avignon (B)

Nîmes Roman Amphitheater Walk – 6 km, rated 1A
Arles Walking Tour – 2 km, unrated

From Avignon, we visit two more examples of ancient Rome’s development of the Provence region. Nîmes was the terminus of the aqueduct we saw yesterday, and our walk here explores the Roman amphitheater (used today for a very entertaining Provençal style of bull fighting where the bull wins!), the Castellum water distribution system where the aqueduct finished its job, and the charming squares and lanes of this friendly, picturesque city. Arles is nearby and traces its story back to pre-Roman times. A local guide leads us on a walking tour of the town past an impressive series of UNESCO-listed Roman sites surpassing even what we saw in Nîmes. Included in this collection are the amphitheater, Roman baths, forum, theater, and the cryptoportico, a unique covered passageway lit by openings at the top of its arches.

Day 4-Oct 13: Activities from Avignon (BL)

Vaucluse Plateau Walk – 10 km, rating unknown

Set in the heart of the Provençal countryside, the Vaucluse Plateau is a mosaic of sun-kissed olive groves, lavender fields, orchards, and villages famous for a luminescent quality of light that captivated artists Paul Cézanne and Marc Chagall. Today’s walk weaves together these elements at this blessed junction of the Alps and the Rhône Valley. Lunch in one of the villages provides local sustenance in a fun local setting. We expect to return to Avignon mid-afternoon with time for one more jaunt through this lively, medieval town.

Day 5-Oct 14: Avignon – Aix-en-Provence (BL)

Camargue Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer Walk – 10 km, rating unknown

The Camargue is a vast wetland set on the Rhône River delta as it drains into the Mediterranean. Our walk here introduces us to any number of its highlights: more than 350 species of birds, fighting bulls bred on distinctive local farms called manadas; and Camargue horses, possibly one of the world’s oldest breeds and the most recognized emblem of the Camargue. Following our walk, we explore other aspects of this pristine nature aboard the traditional carriage, the “Chariot Tracte”.  After a late lunch, we continue to Aix-en-Provence and check into a lovely, centrally-located hotel that will be home for the next five nights!

Day 6-Oct 15: Olympiad activities from Aix-en-Provence (B)

Aix-en-Provence Walking Tour – 2 km, unrated

Following breakfast, a guided walking tour orients us to the historic district of the city in the environs of our hotel. Registration packets for the IVV Olympiad will be delivered to our hotel, then, later this afternoon, we walk to the Maurice David Stadium for the Parade of Nations and the opening ceremonies of the 16th Olympiad of the Federation of International Popular Sport!

Day 7-Oct 16: Olympiad activities from Aix-en-Provence (B)

Walk – Saint-Cannat: 7.5 & 13 km
Walk – Lambesc: 20 km
Swimming – Sainte-Victoire aquatic centre: 100 m, 300 m, 500 m, 1000 m
Bicycling – Parc Jourdan: 16 km & 60 km

The Olympiad committee offers a surprisingly wide selection of events, over 20, during the next 3 days in towns and locales in the general vicinity of Aix-en-Provence. The main Olympiad site is Parc Jourdan, about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. Two walk routes are available here every day (6 & 12 km), along with a geo-caching course and two bicycle routes. A 32 km walk route is available today only. Marathons (42 km) are available today and on October 18.

A public bus pass is included in your Olympiad pass, but to help you use your time more efficiently, WAI has contracted for a private bus to take us to 3 different, distant walk sites on each of the three days. On two of the days, we plan to stop at the Olympiad swimming pool en route back to the hotel to drop-off travelers who would like to participate in swim events.

Our proposed schedule today takes the bus to the villages of Saint-Cannat and Lambesc for walk events of 7.5 and 13 km (Saint-Cannat) and 20 km (Lambesc). Saint-Cannat, like most Provençal towns, has an ancient history, dating back at least to the 5th century. Walks here feature the bucolic Provençal countryside and picturesque architecture of the historic core from a variety of periods past. Lambesc is another pleasant Provençal village offering the delightful images of small-town Provence, but also claims a pivotal political role during the reigns of the Bourbon kings – Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI.

On our way back to the hotel, we stop at the Sainte-Victoire aquatic centre for walkers who want to also be swimmers. Alternatively, the afternoon and evening are free to enjoy Olympiad events from Parc Jourdan or explore more of the historic quarter near our hotel.

Day 8-Oct 17: Olympiad activities from Aix-en-Provence (B)

Walk – Rognes: 5 km
Walk – La Roque-d’Antheron: 10 & 14 km
Swimming – Sainte-Victoire aquatic centre: 100 m, 300 m, 500 m, 1000 m
Bicycling – Parc Jourdan: 16 km & 60 km

Like yesterday, walking and biking events are available at Parc Jourdan without the use of our bus or public transport. In addition, our private coach will take us to the village of Rognes and La Roque-d’Antheron this morning. Rognes traces its origins back to the stone-age. Its reputation is linked primarily to agriculture (award-winning wines) and truffles, but it is also known for the quality of stone taken from its quarries. The delightful surrounding countryside will undoubtedly be featured on the walk. La Roque-d’Antheron is a village WAI has enjoyed with walking groups in the past. It’s nestled on the banks of the Durance River and is world famous for its highly regarded International Piano Festival. The majestic ruins of Silvacane Abbey, built by the Cistercian order in the 12th century, will certainly be featured on the walks, along with Luberon Regional Nature Park.

Day 9-Oct 18: Olympiad activities from Aix-en-Provence (B)

Walk – La Cassis: 5.3 & 12 km
Bicycling – Parc Jourdan: 16 km & 60 km

Our final day of walks takes us to the French Riviera and the enchanting, fjord-like inlets and dramatic limestone cliffs of a geological phenomenon known as calanques. Cassis is the photogenic fishing port at the base of a huge cliff named Cap Canaille and the starting point for two trails (5.3 km and 12 km). Majestic panoramas over the Mediterranean and the calanques are sure to be stars of today’s trails!

Enjoy the opportunity this afternoon to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s departure, but save time for this evening’s closing ceremonies along with the fun of what the Olympiad committee billed as a “festive evening in Aix-en-Provence”!

Day 10-Oct 19: Depart for home (B)

We leave Provence today with wonderful memories of an ancient land of light and color, of stories that took us back to the Romans and beyond, of walks with friends from trips past and new friends from across the globe. The Marseille Airport is about 30 minutes away and your WAI guide will help batch travelers who wish to share a ride. Thank you for joining us on this Provence & the IVV Olympiad adventure!

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

To save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! Due to limited space at hotels, we will take up to 29 travelers on this tour.

Traveler Rewards Program 2019

New Travelers receive a $200 discount on the Provence & IVV Olympiad tour and a $100 discount on the Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour. Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards 2019 page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].

General Tour Conditions and Registration Forms

To finalize your official registration, a completed and signed copy of the Registration Form is necessary. Please be sure to read all the fun stuff (the fine print) in the General Tour Conditions!

Olympiad walks and activities

As described in the itinerary, the Olympiad is held in Aix-en-Provence, France, in the heart of Provence. However, organizers have developed walk routes in several different parts of Provence outside of Aix-en-Provence. Over 20 events are available in 10 different towns radiating out from Aix-en-Provence with a radius of about 30 miles. Public bus tickets are included in the Olympiad Pass that is part of the tour price. Yet because of the complications of sorting out bus routes and schedules, WAI is working to hire bus service for the three days of events – October 16, 17, and 18. More details will be available before departure, but the schedule listed in the itinerary assumes we will strategically select walk starts according to distance from Aix-en-Provence and dates the events are offered.

How is Airfare Arranged?

The official start point for this Adventure is our hotel near the waterfront of the Old Port in the heart of old Marseille. Travelers will likely fly into Marseille Provence Airport (airport code MRS) in France, about 25 kilometers from Marseille. Transfers are not included in the tour price but you should find it easy to take a taxi to our hotel. We finish the Provence & the IVV Olympiad tour in Aix-en-Provence and depart from the same Marseille airport, about 30 kilometers distant. Travelers joining us for the optional Paris & Burgundy Pre-tour will likely fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (airport code CDG)– the meeting point is our hotel in Paris near the Eiffel Tower. These travelers join the main tour group in Marseille and use the Marseille Provence Airport to depart at the end of the main tour in Aix-en-Provence.

We recommend that you contact Debbi Custer, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided by email after you register for the Adventure.  Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!

What about the walks?

Guided walks are generally conducted at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. Because these are guided group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below:

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

Other Planning Considerations

More information, including details on budgeting, currency, weather, packing, etc., to help you plan for this tour will be included in the Tips & Tidbits factsheet that is mailed out about 4 months prior to departure.

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc., a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (email [email protected] -OR- call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the squaremouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

  • Allianz
  • Betins
  • Travel Guard
  • Travel Insured International

NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.

What happens next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. An email with critical information on flight arrangements and the Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review the Flight Arrangements email. Final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

Take a few minutes to peruse the enclosed itinerary. Imagine exploring France with us in the autumn – vineyards and remnants of ancient civilizations, the light and color of Provence, the wide spectrum of birdlife in the Camargue, and the international celebration of walking in Aix-en-Provence. Unsurprisingly, walking is still and always the best way to experience our world. Give us a call and talk to one of our Adventure Consultants about how to join us for this unforgettable one-of-a-kind Walking Adventure program in Provence & the IVV Olympiad.