OohProvence Group Tours and Customized Itineraries
A Move South
Christopher Curtis and Laurent Nurisso closed their design boutiques, put their possessions in storage, packed-up the car and the dog, and drove from London to Provence. Their friends in England thought they were crazy. Relocating to Marseille in 2013, Christopher and Laurent felt that the gritty port city’s transformation into the glittering European Capital of Culture was a sign of limitless opportunities. Trading cloudy skies for the sunny south and a more relaxed lifestyle was pure joy – OohProvence! (pronounced O Provence.)
Leaving London behind, Christopher and Laurent took inventory of their previous work experiences in hospitality, marketing, and interior design. What would they do in their new city to make a living? Deciding to concentrate on their creative pursuits in photography (Christopher Curtis) and painting (Laurent Nurisso), they filled the gaps by leading walking tours focusing on photo composition and drawing. When friends visited from England, Christopher and Laurent were excited to show them the many highlights of Provence. That was when the “penny dropped,” they turned their pleasure in sharing the region with others into OohProvence, a boutique tour company.
Sharing the Best of Provence
Both Christopher and Laurent are registered French tour guides. They launched OohProvence, in 2018 and have since received a steady stream of clients from around the globe. Available in English or French, the OohProvence excursions include half-day walking circuits in famous Provencal cities, full-day driving tours of the region, and customized itineraries.
OohProvence experiences allow visitors to feel the soul of Provence at a relaxed pace. These guided tours include iconic sites, the marvels of Roman engineering, chic 17th-century neighbourhoods, the Papal Palace, the perched villages of the Luberon and Vaucluse, and the renowned Provencal markets. Expect OohProvence outings dive below the surface, providing a glimpse of the unexpected and the true essence of Provence. Join OohProvence to discover the secrets and to experience the region beyond the stereotypical itineraries.
What if we have time limits?
Discover the cultural and architectural highlights of Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon or Marseille in 3-3 1/2 hours. Join a half-day OohProvence tour and allow Christopher and Laurent to unlock the secrets of these historic cities. These tours are limited to six (6) people, or a maximum of eight (8) if the group is family.
We have all day to explore Provence:
The hard part is deciding on a theme – food and wine, villages and countryside or coastal cities. Once you decide on the itinerary, an OohProvence guide (Christopher or Laurent) and licenced driver will collect you at your hotel or holiday rental. Whether you chose to visit the legendary vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or glitzy St Tropez, where Brigitte Bardot was discovered on the French Riviera, your “job” for the day is to enjoy the experience. OohProvence day tours range from 5-8+ hours in length, with plenty of stops for sightseeing, photos, shopping, lunch, or coffee.
Essence of Provence
If you had to choose one tour that best represents Provence, which one would it be?
Christopher: The Luberon is everything that is quintessential Provence, and that is what people expect to see. It’s so pretty with the three ranges of mountains wrapped around little medieval villages. And there are good vineyards too. To try and answer the question, I would choose Mont Saint Victoire. On the north side of Cézanne’s mountain, you have the Luberon. The southern flank takes you around to Aix-en-Provence and then to the fabulous Château la Coste vineyard with its contemporary art and architecture.
Laurent: It’s tough to answer that question. The geography is vast, and everything is so different, from landscape to architecture to the food. I love the Luberon villages and history. However, I also love Avignon, L’Isle sur la Sorgue and the wild natural Camargue. Then there’s Arles. The city surprises visitors with its layers of everything from Roman ruins to contemporary art and photography.
Why Choose OohProvence?
The OohProvence tour itineraries allow time for questions, unscheduled stops, a leisurely lunch. Each circuit includes planned highlights but allows enough flexibility to ensure that you never feel rushed. Christopher and Laurent want you to feel like you are travelling with family or friends at a gentle holiday pace.
“OohProvence is for people in search of inspirational private tours & custom-made tour itineraries. Whether you’re looking for small individual experiences or meaningful time with your partner & family or the chance to reconnect with yourself – we create tours for those wishing to discover & connect with the local people, culture & traditions of Provence. This is the region of France that epitomises the Mediterranean dream destination.”
New on the Horizon
The OohProvence team seized the opportunity of unexpected downtime in 2020 to refine their tours. They have created new itineraries for 2021 and beyond. Christopher and Laurent plan to incorporate cooking classes, painting, photography and other workshops in their guided experiences. Should you need a guide for a day, they already offer that service. In the future, they plan to add full itinerary planning services, including recommendations for accommodation.
Book Your Tour
OohProvence tours are always in air-conditioned, clean, luxury vehicles.
Small groups of 2-6 persons, your OohProvence is yours for the day as guide and driver.
Larger groups of up to 20 people enjoy spacious minivans with licenced drivers.
The OohProvence tours are open to anyone of any age. Due to uneven surfaces and stairs, some walking tours are better suited to those without mobility challenges.
Image credits: The photos were provided by and published with the permission of OohProvence.