12 days - Best of France

Chateau de Chenonceau, a stunning medieval chateau you'll see on Day 8 of your tour of France!

Route

A ParisB BurgundijaC MCD AvignonE CarcassonneF LurdG BordeauxH Château de ChenonceauI Normandija

Day 1: Arrive in Paris

Bienvenue! Welcome to Paris for the start of your 12 day Highlights of France! If you arrive early in the day, take time to explore, stroll the boulevards, visit the many museums, shop in charming boutiques or simply people-watch from a Parisian cafe. Tonight, a welcome dinner is included, which is a great opportunity to meet the other travellers and your Tour Leader.
Private airport transfer. Dinner.

 

Day 2: Visit Burgundy

Leaving Paris behind us, we make our way to the Burgundy region, stopping along the way to see Chateau de Fontainebleau. One of the largest French royal chateaux, Fontainebleau served as a French royal residence for eight centuries! Kings, queens, emperors and empresses have all made their mark on the palace. Learn the history of this incredible structure and the chateau grounds. Travelling on to the famous Burgundy region, we'll enjoy wine-tasting here in the epicentre of French wine-country, before arriving at our accommodation for the evening.
Breakfast, dinner.

 

Day 3: Visit the French Riviera

Today, we'll be heading south to the coast to the French Riviera. On the way, we'll stop at a traditional French perfumery, learning about the art of making perfume. You may even have the opportunity to mix some ourselves! This evening we'll arrive at our hotel accommodation, then you have free time to relax, shop or explore… the choice is yours!
Breakfast.

 

Day 4: Free day in the French Riviera.

Today is a free day on the famous French Riviera for you to enjoy however you wish! Traditionally a favoured holiday destination of high society and jet set international travellers, the Cote d'Azur is one of the most glamorous regions in the world. Take a trip to Monaco for the day and experience the glamour and style! Formula One fans might be content to stroll along the streets of Monte Carlo where the famous cars streak by every year during the Monaco Grand Prix. Alternatively, catch the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace, visit the Oceanographic Museum or head over to The Casino! Of course, those of you looking forward to a bit of quality beach time could also spend the day in Nice? The choice is yours!
Breakfast.

 

Day 5: Visit Avignon

Today’s leg of your France tour is set to delight the senses. Watching the stunning scenery sweep past you as we continue to travel through the French countryside, you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a 2000 year old Roman built aqueduct at Pont du Gard. Once you are up close to this impressive structure, you will notice that there are no nails, cement or mortar holding the arches together. The Pont du Gard has been an attraction for centuries, primarily based on its immaculate three tiered construction, which carried over 44 million gallons of water a day to the local townships. A very important historical site, UNESCO have included it in their heritage listing - and rightly so. Then we're off to Avignon - a fortified city with a long history, stunning architecture and religious significance as the seat of papal power for a number of years. Enjoy a orientation tour of the city, where you will be able to see the Palace of the Popes, before enjoying dinner in a local restaurant. You will then have the rest of the evening to spend as you wish.
Breakfast & dinner.

 

Day 6: Visit Carcassonne and Lourdes

Today, we continue our tour of France and travel to the medieval fortress town of Carcassonne, this comfort stop offers plenty of photo opportunities as Carcassonne is another UNESCO listed site. The town itself is very impressive, with two outer walls and 53 towers, and you will have time to explore here before we travel to Lourdes. Lourdes is a small town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and is famous for the Marian apparitions said to have occurred in 1858. After we arrive in the hotel, you will have free time in Lourdes to do as you please.
Breakfast.

 

Day 7: Visit Bordeaux

Today, we head to the coast and the stunning town of Biarritz, and here we have time for a comfort stop and a spot of shopping before we continue onto Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, you have plenty of free time to explore! This is the world's major wine industry capital, and half the city of Bordeaux is now a UNESCO World Heritage site - the largest urban UNESCO-listed area in the world. If you're in town, enjoy the pedestrianised boulevards and admire the neo-classical architecture. Ask your tour leader for suggestions too - this is a hugely popular region of France!
Breakfast.

 

Day 8: Visit Tours

Today, we travel through the Loire Valley passing stunning scenery and vineyards until we reach the stunning Chateau de Chenonceau. Built in 1513, and having served as a royal residence, the castle straddles the River Cher, and is a stunning example of what a typical French chateau should be. It retains all of its former glory, with original furnishings, art pieces and decorations all exquisitely preserved. Having evaded the Revolutionaries, it's one of only a few examples of such a well-preserved French royal residence. Explore the many rooms of this beautifully-restored castle - including Louis XIV's living room, the Room of Five Queens, the grand gallery and the incredible kitchen, housed in the piers of the bridge. Don't forget to stroll around the beautifully manicured gardens, too! After exploring the chateau, we travel to the town of Tours where we have a two night stay. Dinner is included this evening, giving you the perfect opportunity to indulge in sumptuous French cuisine!
Breakfast, dinner.

 

Day 9: Free day in Tours

Today is a free day - you have the opportunity to do as you please or continue to explore this region. One nearby attraction is the amazing Château de Chambord. Chambord is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture. Building began in 1519 under Francois I, and, though it wasn't completed until much later, Chambord became the largest château in the Loire Valley, hosting royal guests until the time of the Revolution. Although it was plundered and its furnishings sold, the building itself escaped destruction, and today it is listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
Breakfast.

 

Day 10: Visit Normandy

Today, we travel north to the Normandy region stopping en route at magical Mont St Michel. The town of Mont St Michel is an island located just off the Frances north-western coast, and has a permanent population of only 44, but attracts as many as 3 million visitors each year! It is one of France's most recognisable landmarks, and is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Take the time here for some photos and the chance to explore before we continue onto the D-Day landing beaches of Omaha Beach and Arromanches. It was here that the Allied forces landed in June 1944, facing heavy German gunfire and artillery, particularly at Omaha Beach, with German soldiers encamped in the high cliffs overlooking the beach. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the Normandy landings began the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe and led to the eventual liberation of France. You'll have time to explore the region and reflect on all that transpired here, before we travel onward to our accommodation for the night.
Dinner, breakfast.

 

Day 11: Visit Paris

Today is all about Monet… Claude Monet, that is! We make a stop in the town of Giverny, where you can see his old house and garden to see where the famous painter lived and gained inspiration for his masterpieces. Not only is his house impressive, there are two parts in Monet's garden: a flower garden and a Japanese-inspired water garden - both of which will be familiar to art fanatics. We continue onto Paris where your tour leader will lead you on a driving tour of this famous city. Look out for famous sights like L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, the River Seine, l’Ile de la Cite and the Louvre Museum. You’ll also get a glimpse of that most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, overlooked by the famous Arc de Triomphe. After the driving tour, you will have free time to explore. This evening, why not join your fellow travellers at a Cabaret, on one of our famous optional excursions?
Breakfast.

 

Day 12: End of tour.

This morning, your Highlights of France tour concludes after breakfast. Don’t forget to swap details with your fellow travellers before your onward journey home!
Breakfast. Private transfer.

 

What's included:

• 11 Nights accommodation in twin rooms. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement for a private room
• 11 Breakfasts, 5 dinners
• 16 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences).
• Free Wi-Fi in hotels
• Private airport transfer on the first and last day.
• Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
• Services of your tour leader who will be on hand with advice and tips and ensure that you get the most from your trip.
• All taxes and fees.
• Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
• A complimentary memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.

 

 

ACCOMMODATION

 

PARIS

Ibis la Defence
B&B Porte de Lilas
Ibis Budget La Villette
IBIS Paris La Villette Cite des Sciences

 

DIJON

Adagio Access Dijon Republique

 

FRENCH RIVIERA

Ibis Budget Nice Califonie Lenval
Hotel Thomas

 

AVIGNON

Ibis Budget Avignon
Ibis Nimes Ouest
Hotel Du Parc Cavaillon
Ibis Budget Avignon Nord Le Pontet

 

LOURDES

Inter Hotel Astoria Vatican

 

BORDEAUX

Inter Hotel Alton Bordeaux

 

NORMANDY

Premiere Classe Bayeux