Book your stay in Provence


A carefree and enlightening French holiday designed just for you


Villa Fontane country guesthouse with ensuite rooms and swimming pool is set in rolling hills in the Gulf of St Tropez, Provence.

Enjoy French cookery, art or history lessons, take nature walks or French conversation arranged with like-minded people.

Discover historic villages, local wineries, Provencal markets, spectacular gorges and the glamour of Aix en Provence and St Tropez



La Garde Freinet has a strong cultural heritage and has been an artists’ hideaway.  David Hockney painted his famous Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) here.  It is now a vibrant community of passionate people who are willing to share their knowledge and skills with the Friends in Provence learning programme.

Choose from a selection of cultural activities with local experts:
French (all levels -conversation) – Dona Levy
Cooking  typical Provencal recipes in the village – la Riboto
Painting and drawing – Jean-François Carle
– Make natural cosmetics and herbal remedies – Charlotte Maes
– Learn about Mediterranean culture and heritage on guided walking tours in nature and villages with The Heritage Conservation Agency, for example Romaric’s night walks take you to listen to the sounds of nature and to smell and touch aromatic plants.

Dona Levy is an experienced French teacher who will help you improve your French in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. (

French teacher

Artist provençal

Jean-Francois Carle, an artist in Provence, has been teaching art since 1995 and will guide you through the creative process in charcoal drawing and acrylic painting. You will return home with your own pictures of the surrounding countryside and seascapes. (

Charlotte Maes trained as a herbalist and has a formidable talent for sharing her immense knowledge. You will collect local herbs to prepare cosmetics and remedies. (

Charlotte Maes, herbaliste

Cuisiner ensemble en Provence

The local association, La Riboto, provide cookery sessions where you share the Provencal meal you’ve just prepared.


Heritage Conservation Agency (La Conservatoire du Patrimoine) Walking tours by seasoned guides who know this area by heart, for example Romaric’s night walks take you to listen to the sounds of nature and to smell and touch aromatic plants. (

La Conservatoire du Patrimione du Freinet


Villa Fontane is situated in the heart of Provence. Ideally located to explore the unique Provencal landscapes, villages and towns. During the two weeks, day trips and local excursions are on offer to:

  • The spectacular Verdon Gorges or the beautiful Levant Islands.
  • Sun-drenched medieval villages such as Cotignac, Grimaud, Ramatuelle and Gassin.
  • St Tropez’s glamourous sea frontage and the contrast of its quiet, cobbled backstreets.
  • Thoronet Abbey or a monastery hidden in the Maures mountains, gems of Provence’s heritage.
  • The elegant town of Aix-en-Provence with its medieval architecture or bustling, cosmopolitan Marseille.
  • World renowned Provencal vineyards to enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting.
  • Markets with premium olive oil, French produce and local bric-a-brac fairs.

Alban will take you on the day trips, sharing his regional knowledge and take you to one of many stunning Mediterranean golf courses.

Jane will take you to Provencal markets, to her favourite beaches and on hikes in the surrounding hills.


Alban and Jane offer a warm and friendly welcome into their French home and community.  They are a French-Australian couple who have settled in the hill-top village of La Garde-Freinet, near the Gulf of St Tropez. Villa Fontane is a guesthouse with five bedrooms, with their own bathrooms.   The Villa is set in five acres with woodlands, tree hammocks, terraces, gardens and a heated swimming pool overlooking the grounds and hills.

In the local village life you can enjoy a relaxed drink in the outdoor cafés or a typical Provencal meal in one of the numerous restaurants. Many hiking trails  leave from La Garde Freinet and lead you into the cork oak and chestnut forests or onto hilltops for breath-taking views of the Gulf.
The sandy beaches of the Gulf of St Tropez are an easy drive away for a quick dip or lazy afternoon. The Mediterranean coastline is glorious whether seen from the shore or the sea. As are the Mediterranean golf courses set in stunning locations.

Friends in Provence brings you natural and enhancing experiences.

Alban and Jane will look after you so you can relax, enjoy local wine and home-cooked meals while you discover your activities and learning; introducing you to the local and regional hidden treasures of Provence.

A typical programme over seven days allows a leisurely-paced exposure to a variety of experiences:

Days 1 & 7 – Arrival / Departure
Days 2, 6 – Relax and rest by the pool. Visit the surroundings and discover local villages
Days 3, 5 – Learning experiences
Days 4 – Discovery excursions around Provence

Friends in Provence programme runs for 1 or 2 weeks – each week provides new excursions and activities to complement your learning experience.
Half board (breakfast and lunch or dinner), including all excursions, activities and transport to and from Nice airport.


Consult us for available dates in 2021



Jane Roy:

In Australia: Mike Lynskey +61 2 6166 9498
In the UK: Jo Burns  +44 1865 858644 / 07901 996492


Book your stay