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Jewish Heritage Tour in the Vaucluse (Provence)

Visit Medieval Synagogues, a Jewish Ghetto, and Cemetery

tour unrated (all ratings for this guide)
Provence France France private tour, personal tour
Jews came to Provence as early as the 1st century A. D. Then in the Middle Ages, as they were expelled from England, Spain, Portugal and France (Provence was not part of France then), the Pope welcomed them (under certain conditions) into his territory known as the Comtat Venaissin, today part of the Vaucluse department. They are known as the "Pope's Jews. " There are many places in the Vaucluse where the Jews lived and worshiped, and their history is part of the overall history of the region.

We will visit 2 restored medieval synagogues, one of which is the oldest in France still used for services. Each synagogue has a boulangerie and mikveh--though these may be closed. Both were located in a medieval Jewish "carriere" (ghetto), only one still exists. We can also visit WWII deportation camp or a medieval Jewish cemetery, dating from the 14th century.

We can combine a Jewish synagogue visit with other sites in Provence, e. g. in the Luberon.
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Suggested itinerary:

The tours at the Synagogues have specific hours so these drive our day. A likely itinerary is:
Pick-up at your hotel or rental, then travel to one of the towns with a synagogue. Have coffee or a drink if you wish before the visit, depending on the schedule.

After the morning visit, have a quick lunch or snack if you wish, and then travel 1/2 hour to the next site.

Afternoon visit to another synagogue, and then make a visit to a medieval Jewish cemetery. Depending on the time, we might visit the only WWII deportation camp in France.

One of the visits to a synagogue will have an on-site guide, but only open at specific hours. For the other synagogue plus the cemetery we will have private, on-site guides (required by the community. )

Again, depending on the schedule, we may have time to visit the Jewish ghetto in a beautifully preserved medieval village.

Then back to your hotel or rental.
  Where and When:
Meet up location: I will meet you at your hotel or rental near a town or city in the Vaucluse (near Avignon or Orange.) Please ask about your specific location.
End location: I will leave you at your hotel or rental.
Duration: 8 hours 30 min.
Traffic around Avignon is heavy around 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
I am not yet a licensed French guide and may not be able to guide you inside of some historical monuments.
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Currency: USD     AUD  CAD  CHF  EUR  GBP  JPY 
TOUR PRICE:  (duration 8 hours 30 min.)
495 USD (for up to 3 people)
deposit ?
  Estimated Local Cash Needed:
20 euros - Lunch.
  What's Included:
In addition to services of a local, professional guide (native English speaker/fluent French and Spanish,) gas, parking and road tolls are included, along with entrance fees to the synagogues and the services of an on-site, private guide, when required by the community. Morning stop for coffee and a pastry is also included.
  What's Extra:
Can rent a larger vehicle to accommodate larger groups.

The cemetery can only be visited from the exterior since vandalism occurred there in the 90's. To visit the interior of the cemetery, we must pay around $100 for the services of a local caretaker/guide.
Tour #: 20619
Tour Type: Cultural, Other
Transportation Method: We will travel in a 2009 Toyota Yaris, air conditioned, clean and in excellent condition. I can rent a larger vehicle (SUV style) for larger groups of 3-6 guests for an additional cost of approximately $205 US (one day rentals are expensive.)
Or for larger groups oe we can take your rental vehicle which I can drive.
Activity Level: Light
Friendly: No.
We will walk around some small towns and a cemetery.
Kid Friendly: Yes. Parents can decide if the tour is appropriate for their children.
Language(s): English (fluent), French (fluent), Spanish (conversational) explanation
Maximum travelers: 3
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