Taking in the wonderfully photogenic regions of Provence and Languedoc, our South of France photography holiday enables us to capture medieval citadels, striking fields of lavender, the wild horses and cowboys of the Camargue and ancient villages with cobbled streets and old stone houses.
Nice, the elegant capital of the French Riviera, mixes old-world opulence with a modern vibrant urban energy to create a very special city. The old town offers traditional markets, narrow labyrinthine streets and colourful houses, and the famous Promenade des Anglais is a great place for eating out or watching the sunset.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about your tour.
Accommodation: Ambassador Hotel
The old town of Nice has hardly changed since the 18th century and will provide us with numerous photographic opportunities. We’ll visit the Cours Saleya flower and food markets for a colourful slice of every day life before wandering around the nearby narrow lanes that are filled with small food shops and delicatessens. We also visit the fish market of Place St Francois and shoot some of the Baroque buildings that are dotted around the area, and there’ll be an opportunity to get up high and shoot the terracotta-coloured roofs of the city.
Accommodation: Ambassador Hotel
This morning we take a short drive to St Paul de Vence, a medieval village that was discovered by the rich and famous in the 50’s and 60’s. It still retains much of its charm with cobbled streets and stone architecture, but has a vibrant, contemporary feel to it with its many art galleries and chic cafes.
Early morning is the best time for capturing the village as it can become busy during the day, so we’ll make the most of the early light and quiet streets before breakfast. Then we’ll drive via the pretty town of Castellane to the Plateau de Valensole and the heart of lavender country, making several stops along the way to capture the spectacular fields with their perfect lines of purple-blue flowers. Our overnight is in the town of Digne les Bains which has a pretty old centre; it is the perfect base for getting out in to the fields, and we’ll ensure we are at a great location for sunset this evening.
Accommodation: Hotel Tonic
Today we head out into the rolling lavender-covered hills of the region. We’ll start early and spend most of the morning in the countryside, finding the best viewpoints before driving to the historical city of Avignon. Ringed by well-preserved 800-year-old stone ramparts, Avignon is an attractive and lively city with an historic centre that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cobbled streets once used by knights wind between wonderful buildings, including the massive fortress that dates from the 1300’s and the Papal Palace, one of the most important Gothic structures in Europe. We’ll end the day shooting the famous unfinished Saint-Bénézet bridge across the Rhone.
Accommodation: Le Mas des Amandiers
After breakfast we drive to Saint Remy de Provence where we’ll wander around a typical Provencal food market and photograph the nearby Saint Paul de Mausole monastery. The building dates from the 12th century and is surrounded by lavender and wheat fields; the latter famously the subject of some of Van Gogh’s paintings when he was a resident in the late 19th century.
After lunch we drive to Arles, a stunning medieval city on the banks of the Rhone. The colourful stone houses line narrow streets and were another favourite subject of Van Gogh, and the roman amphitheatre, dating from the 1st century BC, is a fitting centrepiece for such an historic city. We’ll wander the streets and capture the best angles for our photos, ensuring we make the most of the late afternoon light.
Accommodation: Hotel Muette
After breakfast we’ll take to the old streets of Arles again before driving to the Camargue, a stunningly beautiful National Park formed by the Rhone’s delta and famous for its wild white horses and birdlife. The park’s horses are ridden by local cowboys to herd the feral bulls and sheep of the region, offering a tremendously photogenic scene in the early evening light.
Accommodation: Domaine le sauvage
This morning we’ll be out early to photograph the other delightfully photogenic residents of the Camargue – the flamingos. These beautiful birds make their home in the reed-covered marshes and brine lagoons and there are an impressive 15,000 to 20,000 breeding pairs.
After lunch we drive to Carcassonne. Perched on a rocky hilltop, this impressive medieval town is the perfect image of a fairytale medieval castle. Huge battlements and pointed turrets are set against a mountainous backdrop and surrounded by dense woodland, making the town a wonderfully photogenic location. We’ll photograph the city in the late afternoon light, strolling long its fortifications to the old bridge, aiming to be there as the town begins to light up for the night.
Accommodation: Hotel Aragon
An early start ensures we get to shoot the ancient streets, alleyways and buildings of Carcassonne before the crowds and while the light is at its best. Our walking route will be around 6 km and will include the most interesting buildings and viewpoints of the town including the Bastide Saint-Louis area and the Saint Vincent church. Here those willing to take the 232 steps to the top will be rewarded with breathtaking views across the town.
After lunch we’ll leave Carcassonne, stopping one last time for iconic shots of the town as we head to Toulouse. Known as ‘La Ville Rose’ (the Pink City), the city sits at the confluence of the River Garonne and the Canal du Midi. We’ll shoot the food markets, cityscapes, streets and architecture of the city until dusk.
Accommodation: Hôtel Ibis Toulouse Centre
Our tour ends this morning in Toulouse after breakfast.
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photographing them. This generally means trying to avoid crowds and being out when the light is best, just after sunrise, and again in the late afternoon. Occasionally we’ll stay out after sunset or make use of clear night skies. The middle of the day is often reserved for lunch, free time, travelling, downloading images and relaxing. We try to make the most of each area we visit so there may a lot of distance covered and sometimes days can be long. Please read the itineraries carefully to get an idea of driving times and any particularly demanding days.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
UK citizens should refer to the FCO advice on entry requirements here.
All other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consulate.
The joining time is 18:00 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £39 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
You’ll need light casual clothes and comfortable shoes. Early mornings can be chilly so a sweater is recommended. A sun hat and some long sleeved items are a good idea to help protect your skin against the sun.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis. If 2 people book together, they will automatically be roomed together. Those travelling alone will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex unless a single room has been booked. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single room.
All accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. You’ll need money to cover lunch, dinner and your drinks. As a rough guide we’d recommend that you allow around £15 – £25 per day.
The Camargue is an area where there are lots of mosquitoes, particularly in late summer and early autumn. It is advisable to bring insect repellant and long sleeves and trousers for our time in the Camargue area.
|*22 June 2018||01 July 2018||£1999||£450||Renato Granieri||Available|
|23 June 2018||01 July 2018||£1899||£450||Renato Granieri||Available|
|28* June 2019||06 July 2019||£1949||£450||Renato Granieri||Available|
|29 June 2019||06 July 2019||£2099||£450||Renato Granieri||Available|
* includes one day pre tour tuition
This photography holiday starts at 18:00 in Nice on day 1 of the tour, so your flight should ideally arrive before then. If you need to book a flight arriving later then please contact us and let us know when you will be arriving. The tour ends after breakfast on the final day at the hotel in Toulouse so you can book your return flight for any time that day. Use the below to search for flights with Skyscanner.
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Tel: 020 8242 6618
Hours: Mon – Sat 09.00 – 17.00 Sunday CLOSED
Photography Holidays Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered No: 10731934. Registered office: 481 Green Lanes Palmers Green London N13 4BS.