October 14 – 21, 2017

Artist Tour to Provence, France      
Sponsored by the River Gallery School and run by Travel Fever Tours LLC

Soak in the late-season sun in southern France while you paint and watch the wine harvest in one of the world's most picturesque locations.  From vineyards to olive tree groves, from gently rolling hills to the peak of Mont Ventoux, Provence offers the painter a rich variety of scenes to capture in sketches, water colors, pastels or oils.

Travelers are encouraged to bring their own cameras, journals, and art supplies.

Non-artists are warmly welcomed on this tour and will enjoy the many cultural activities and additional excursions planned according to your interests.

Church yard


The town of Vaison-la-Romaine, and its surrounding towns of Nyons and Mirabel-aux-Baronnies, rest in a relatively undiscovered corner of Provence where castle ruins sit side by side with ancient stone villages, and tidy French gardens grow beneath spreading fruit trees.

It is here where you'll be painting for a week under the skilled guidance of River Gallery School artistic director Lydia Thomson.

The surrounding area is the largest grower of olives in France, while also producing apricots and other fruits, not to mention miles and miles of grape vines.

Vaison-la-Romaine itself dates to Roman times, complete with an amphitheater and other ruins. Of more recent vintage is the Medieval castle that tops a labyrinth of ancient village streets.

Tour Art Instructor and Mentor:

Lydia Thomson, Artistic Director, River Gallery School
Lydia has been teaching in the adult program at the River Gallery School since 1994.  She received her BA in Studio Art and also holds an MS in Education. She works mainly in oils and mixed media, landscapes and abstraction, and has exhibited throughout New England and New York. More information about Lydia is found at:

Tour Organizer:

Cicely Carroll, Travel Fever Tours LLC

Travel Fever Tours LLC works with art schools and other organizations in New England to organize engaging trips to Europe and Mexico.  Travel Fever Tours is run by Cicely Carroll, a seasoned traveler and guide who has lived in Spain, Italy and Switzerland. Cicely, an artist herself, has been connected to the River Gallery School for 20 years as both student and tour leader. More information can be found at

Provence Tour Itinerary:

October 14, Saturday
Tour participants arrive at airport.  Pickup by van and driver.  Transport to lodging near Vaison-la-Romaine. Afternoon to settle into hotel, with dinner at a nearby restaurant. A tour of painting sites will be offered and the plan for the week will be presented by the RGS instructor and tour staff.

October 15,  Sunday
After breakfast, we will visit and paint plein air at locations around Vaison-la-Romaine with the RGS instructor. Siesta at hotel followed by more time to paint or explore the town in the afternoon. Optional hike offered.

October 16,  Monday
Plein air painting at locations in and around Vaison-la-Romaine with RGS instructor.  Optional tour of neighboring villages in the region offered in afternoon. Optional wine tasting (price additional).  

October 17,  Tuesday
Visit to open air market in Vaison-la-Romaine followed by trip to the Luberon region of Provence for sightseeing and sketching.

October 18,  Wednesday
Plein air painting with RGS instructor.

October 19, Thursday
Optional visit to open air market in Nyons.  Optional plein air painting.

October 20, Friday
Plein air painting at locations in and around Vaison-la-Romaine with RGS instructor.

To conclude the trip, Lydia will host an exhibit of artists' works. We will all come together for a farewell dinner party.

October 21,  Saturday
Morning departure to airport.

Note that this itinerary is preliminary and subject to change. Additional activities for non-painters will be scheduled depending on their interests.

Tour participants will stay in self-catering style accommodations that capture the culture and aesthetics of the region and allow participants to settle in to a home-away-from-home.

   Traditional French breakfasts to be taken at the lodging facilities.

   Dinner will be served at restaurants in or near Vaison-la-Romaine

Optional day trips:
Several optional day trips will be offered for those who might like to take a day off painting, or for non-painters who come on this trip.

End of trip add-ons (optional):
At the end of the trip, participants may opt for additional nights in Provence, the Riviera or even Paris.  These trip extensions are up to trip participants to organize, but Travel Fever Tours can make recommendations on what to see, how to get there and where to stay.  Some participants may also wish to arrive in Europe a few days early.

 Trip Costs:

Total cost of the trip is $2,600
Supplement for single occupancy of $375
Deposit required to reserve a place on the tour: $350
(Places on the trip are limited to 12 and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.)

What is include in the cost of the trip:
    Art instruction by River Gallery School instructor
    7 nights lodging
    Breakfast and dinner each day
    Pickup and drop off at airport or train station
    Local transportation by van and driver
    Day excursion to the Luberon portion of Provence
    Olive oil tasting

What ís not included:
    Admission to museums and local sites
    Art supplies

Payment schedule
$350 non-refundable required registration fee
$1125 first installment due August 1
$1125 final installment due September 1

Single occupancy supplement: $375

Group size:
Minimum: 6
Maximum: 12

poppiesSmal barn