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Highlights of France Tour

Places Covered: Burgundy, Lourdes, French Riviera
Duration: 12 days
Tour Cost: € 3,100 onwards per person on twin sharing basis.

Mont St Michel, a stunning island monastery you'll visit on your tour of France! Mont St Michel, a stunning island monastery you'll visit on your tour of France!

France is the world's most famous tourist destination for very good reason! Blessed with incredible sights and centuries of historical culture in Paris, the capital alone is reason enough to visit.

From the D-Day landing beaches to the vineyards of Burgundy, our Tour France in 12 days trip offers you a truly memorable experience. Our expert tour leader will show you the very best sights France has to offer. Trips to France by coach are a great way to get a glimpse of such a magnificent country, but our bus tours offer the whole package. Travelling aboard one of our modern and comfortable vehicles you won't miss a second of the beautiful scenery that awaits you!

The tour itinerary is well balanced between guided tours and free time so you really get the best of both worlds. There's something for everyone on this tour, so whether you want to browse the chic Paris boutiques, admire the many chateaux of the Loire Valley or stroll the boulevards of the French Riveria you won't be disappointed!

Cheap trips to France can be hard to find, our bus tours are very competitively priced with great early booking offers. Unlike some budget France tours we guarantee departures on all dates regardless of the number of passengers booked. Coach trips to France offer a unique way to travel, you'll absorb new experiences and culture and make new friends along the way. We take care of everything, we've researched and found the best sights to see, and the best way to get there so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view, with this tour you can be assured of a 'bon voyage'!

DAY 01

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 Expat Explore Tour Leader.

Included: Dinner.

DAY 02

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 epicenter of French wine-country before arriving at our accommodation for the evening.

Included: Breakfast, dinner.

DAY 03

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!

Included: Breakfast.

DAY 04

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!

Included: Breakfast.

DAY 05

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.

Included: Breakfast & dinner.

DAY 06

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 with 53 towers, 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.

Included: Breakfast.

DAY 07

Visit Bordeaux

Today we head to the coast and the stunning town of Biarritz, 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 neoclassical architecture. Ask your Expat Explore tour leader for suggestions too - this is a hugely popular region of France!

Included: Breakfast.

DAY 08

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. Why not 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, the perfect opportunity to indulge in sumptuous French cuisine!

Included: Breakfast, dinner.

DAY 09

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 its listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

Included: Breakfast.

DAY 10

Visit Normandy, Mont St Michel and D-Day Landing Beaches

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 northwestern 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.

Included: Dinner, breakfast.

DAY 11

Visit Giverny & 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 but 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?

Included: 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!

Included: Breakfast.

What's included:

  • 11 Nights accommodation intwin 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
  • Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
  • Services of tour leader who will be on hand with advice and tips and ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader.
  • All taxes and fees.
  • Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
  • Free tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.

REMEMBER ALL TOURS ARE GUARANTEED DEPARTURES AND WILL OPERATE

Many other companies that operate tours of Europe cancel tours if minimum numbers are not achieved or will only guarantee some departure dates. All tours operated by us are guaranteed departures and will operate.*

Tour Experiences

Experiences to enjoy on the Highlights of France tour.

Burgundy

2 Included Experiences
1 Optional Experience
Included:
See the Palace de Fontainebleau, one of the largest French royal châteaux. Located inthe heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries.Enjoy wine-tasting in one of France's main wine producing areas.The most famous wines produced here—those commonly referred to as "Burgundies"—are dry red wines made from Pinot noir grapes and white wines made from Chardonnay grapes
Optional:
Entry intoFontainebleau Châteaux is an additional charge.

French Riviera

1 Included Experience
Included:
Visit a traditional French perfumery in the town of Grasse, the town is considered the world's capital of perfume.

Places of interest in Monaco:
With Monaco just a short journey away you have plenty of options for your free day:

  • Museum of Napoleon souvenirs and historicalarchivecollections court
  • Cathedral of Monaco
  • Flower Gardenof Princess Grace
  • Oceanographic museum and aquarium
  • Museum of Stamps and Coins

Other places of interest you could visit in your free time in the French Riviera:

  • Cannes
  • Nice

Avignon

2 Included Experiences
Included:
Visit the 2000 year old Roman built aqueduct at Pont du Gard.The bridge has three tiers of arches, standing 48.8 m (160 ft) high and has been a tourist attraction for centuries.
Visit the stunning fortified city ofAvignon, here you will enjoy an orientation walking tour of the historic city centre, see the Palace of the Popes,the cathedral, and the Pont d'Avignon. Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is famous for its city walls.

Carcassonne

1 Included Experience
Included:
VisitCité de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress town restored by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1853, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lourdes

1 Included Experience
Included:
Explore the pilgrimage town of Lourdes, this small market town which lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees and is famous for the Marian apparitions.

Biarritz

1 Included Experience
Included:
Visit the seaside town of Biarritz for a comfort stop. Stroll along the beach or do a spot of shopping.

Bordeaux

1 Included Bordeaux
Included:
Visit Bordeaux and have some time in the world's major wine capital.

Chenonceau

1 Included Experience
1 Optional Experience
Included:
Comfort stop inthe small village of Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley.

Optional:
Entry into the Chateau de Chenonceau is additional. ThisFrench château crosses the River Cher, and is one of the most well-known châteaux of the Loire valley.

Tours

1 Included Experience
Included:
Visit the historical city of Tours. The town is often referred to as the gateway of the Loire Valley.

Places of interest in Tours:
With a full free day there is plenty for you to explore in Tours:

  • Cathedrale St-Gatien
  • Musee du Compagnonnage
  • Basilique Saint Martin
  • Botanic Garden
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts
  • Priory de Saint-Cosme
  • Garden of Les prébendes d'Oé

Normandy

2 Included Experiences
1 Optional Experience
Included:
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site ofMont Saint-Michel, an island commune and monastery.One of France's most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel attracts more than 3 million visitors each year. Visit the D-Day landing beaches of Arromanches and Omaha.Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II.
Optional:
Arromanches 360 cinema. Hear thestory of the terrible Battle of Normandy thanks to archive images gathered from around the world. This film is a tribute to soldiers from all countries and to the 20,000 civilians who were killed during this battle for the liberation of Europe.

Giverny

1 Included Experiences
1 Optional Experience
Included:
Visit to the town of Giverny, famous for the famous painter Claude Monet.
Optional:
Enter the famous and garden of Claude Monet's, you are sure to be delighted. Claude Monet lived for forty-three years in his house in Giverny. With a passion for gardening as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionnism and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphéas, his greatest sources of inspiration.

Paris

1 Included Experience
3 Optional Experience
Included:
Driving tour of Paris.
We’ll take a driving tour of this famous city when you arrive. Look out for L’Opéra Garnier, the Tuileries Gardens, Place de la Concorde, Hotel de Ville, The River Seine, l'Ile de la Cite, the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Lovers Bridge, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre, Pigalle (the Red Light District) and the Moulin Rouge!

Optional Excursions:

  • River Seine Cruise
  • Cabaret Show
  • Montparnasse Tower

Other places of interest you could visit in your free time:

  • Disneyland Paris
  • Notre Dame
  • Rodin Museum
  • Louvre
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Catacombs
  • Pantheon
  • Jardin du Luxembourg
  • The Arab Institute
  • Orangerie Museum
  • Latin Quarter
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Eiffel tower

Tour Dates & Rates

Tour Dates & Rates

Dates Tour Price Early Bird Status

Description

03 Jun to 14 Jun 2015

€1575

€1075

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 17 seats left

29 Jul to 09 Aug 2015

€1715

€990

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 28 seats left

23 Sep to 04 Oct 2015

€1575

€945

Guaranteed to depart

Less than 23 seats left

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