Places Covered: Paris, Aix en Provence, Nice
Duration: 13 Nights / 14 Day
Tour Cost: € 2,099 onwards
Your Local Host is on hand to help you create lasting memories in the “City of Light.”
Morning guided sightseeing and orientation takes you to Notre Dame Cathedral, where Napoleon was crowned emperor in 1804, to admire its amazing 13th-century, stained-glass Rose Window. Pass the Latin Quarter, Les Invalides, the Opéra, Place de la Concorde, and Arc de Triomphe. Drive by the Seine River with its beautiful bridges, and along the fashionable Champs-Elysées. Stop to take photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower from one of the best panoramic viewing points. Also enter the world's most visited museum, The Louvre, with its modern glass pyramid, to see Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and other treasures.
You'll be amazed at all the options available today. Your Local Host will have many suggestions—perhaps an excursion to the Loire castles, a trip to the Champagne region, a visit to Versailles, a dinner show at Moulin Rouge, or a stroll through the charming Marais District with its stylish boutiques and ethnic eateries.
Paris to Aix en Provence
Travel by high speed TGV Train (first-class) to Aix-en-Provence.
Aix en Provence
On your morning guided sightseeing and orientation, walk along the 17th-century Cours Mirabeau, a lively area with fountains, elegant homes, and famous cafés. Admire Mazarin Quarter, City Hall, the Jewish Quarter, and visit the Cathedral of the Saviour, known for its interesting combination of architectural styles and the Burning Bush Triptych art masterpiece by Nicolas Froment. During your afternoon at leisure in Cézanne's hometown, your Local Host will have suggestions, such as a visit to the artist's studio, a trip to Cassis with a boat cruise, where to sample Côte-de-Provence wine and bœuf-en-daube, or the best places to shop for faience pottery and colorful provençal cloth.
Aix en Provence to Nice
Travel by high speed TGV Train (first-class) to Nice. Your guided sightseeing and orientation features the Promenade Des Anglais, originally built in the second half of the 18th century and the most famous boulevard in Nice. Walk through the Old Town to admire fine examples of the Belle Époque. See Cours Saleya with the Kings of Sardinia Palace and flower market, and the lovely Palace Square with Palais de Justice and Palais Rusca.
Your Local Host has many ideas for your day at leisure. Why not take an excursion to Èze and Monaco, enjoy a round of golf in famous Cannes, visit the Matisse Museum, or relax and sip a pastis with the locals on the Promenade at sunset.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Saturday - Lourdes Visits, Wine Tasting in St. Emilion, Bordeaux
In Lourdes, visit the sacred church, sanctuary and grotto where the apparitions took place and behold the healing water spring from the grotto, believed to possess healing properties. Time to reflect on your own before departing this holy city. Afterward, drive north through magnificent rolling landscapes to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of St. Emilion. In this fertile area, viticulture was first introduced by the Romans and further intensified in the Middle Ages. The tradition was carried on by the monk Emilion, who was the first to begin commercial wine production. Views of the city include Romanesque churches and fascinating historical ruins stretching along steep and narrow streets. Enjoy a wine tasting and then free time to wander on your own in this delightful town before continuing to Bordeaux. A lovely evening tonight! Dinner together at a local restaurant in Bordeaux accented by fabulous wines and local flavors
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sunday - Tour of Bordeaux
Morning tour of Bordeaux, on the crescent-shaped Garonne River, with its rich architectural and cultural heritage. Bordeaux is distinguished for the wines that bear its name, considered by connoisseurs to be amongst the best in the world. The city tour begins at the Place des Quinconces, the largest square in Western Europe with its mighty pillar centerpiece, the Girondist Column. In the historic Old Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, view the beautiful Grand Theatre built in 1780 and the Victory Arch, an amazing piece of Roman architecture. The afternoon is yours to independently explore this beautiful city. Choose to stroll down Rue St. Catherine, a main pedestrian thoroughfare running through the historic district, or, browse the charming boutiques in the lively center of Bordeaux. In the late afternoon, perhaps join the optional tour to the Medoc countryside, where many of the famous wine estates are located. This evening, an optional dinner in the Bordeaux countryside will complete the day
Optional: Bordeaux Countryside with Dinner (PM)
Monday - Cognac Tasting, Chateau of Blois, Loire Valley
Depart Bordeaux to the enchanting town of Cognac, world-famous for the grape-based spirit produced here for over 300 years. Visit one of the cellars, hear about the history of cognac and enjoy a tasting! Onward to Blois, in the very heart of the magnificent Loire Valley, brimming with treasures waiting to be discovered. For centuries, royalty and nobility built their magnificent chateaux here, inspired by the lush forests and rich farmlands. Tour the elegant Chateau de Blois, residence of French kings and queens, a site indicative of the power and daily life at court in the Renaissance. The royal apartments, furnished and embellished with magnificent décor from this era, are classified as a Museum of France, overflowing with more than 35,000 works of art. Arrive at your hotel in the Loire Valley for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Loire Valley
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Tuesday - Farewell in Paris
Our day in the Loire Valley starts with a view of fairy-tale Chateau de Chambord, the largest residence in the valley, designed and built in the 16th century for Francois I. In 2000, UNESCO gave official recognition to the Loire Valley for its outstanding architectural heritage, combined with its exceptional untouched natural surroundings. The day continues with a return visit to Paris and time at leisure to independently discover this city with its never-ending surprises - for one last time. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner together in a Parisian bistro, including wine as we bid au revoir to our new found friends and a fascinating journey through France
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Wednesday - Depart France
Bon Voyage! Transfer to the airport for your departure flight on your own.
Highlights and Inclusions
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
Dates: 5th June 2015 onwards
Prices: EURO 2,099 onwards per person on twin sharing basis. Prices are subject to the availability of the seats.