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Best of France

Operated by: Trafalgar

13 Days from $3,475 per person
MAY - OCT 2021
Saint Emilion vineyard at sunset, France

Countries Visited

France, Monaco ...more France, Monaco

Locations Visited

Paris, Beaune, Lyon, Monte Carlo, Nice, Eze, Carcassonne, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Dordogne, Luynes, Villandry, Port En Bessin, Colleville-sur-Mer, Giverny ...more Paris, Beaune, Lyon, Monte Carlo, Nice, Eze, Carcassonne, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Dordogne, Luynes, Villandry, Port En Bessin, Colleville-sur-Mer, Giverny
  1. Day 1 Bonjour Paris

    All the flavours of France come to life on this unforgettable journey, which kicks off in Paris, the 'City of Lights'. Spend your day strolling past its iconic landmarks in search of hidden treasures, before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and an orientation drive through the city.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Mercure 17 Batignolles
  2. Day 2 Journey through Burgundy to Lyon

    We travel south to Burgundy, past the Côte d'Or vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits St. Georges. The colourful geometric roof tiles of the 15th-century Hospices are a sight to behold as we arrive in the medieval town of Beaune before continuing to Lyon, the gourmet capital of France. Consider spending your evening delving into the epicurean delights for which Lyon is justifiably famous. Why not wander up the city's narrow lanes lined with pastel pink and yellow façades in search of a cosy bouchon for a tasty dinner with newfound friends?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Mercure Centre Saxe Lafayette
  3. Day 3 Onwards to Avignon, Monaco and the French Riviera

    We stop in the heart of Provence and the city of Avignon, once the Papal Seat in the 14th century. See the Papal Palace and the bridge made famous in the song - Sur le Pont d'Avignon. Journeying through the fields of Provence, immortalised in the great works of such artists as Van Gogh and Cézanne, we arrive in the sophisticated Principality of Monaco, where we will view the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were married. This evening, we enjoy a Regional Dinner in Monaco before arriving at our hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
    hotel Holiday Inn
  4. Day 4 The French Riviera Your Way

    The sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera are yours to explore today. Consider relaxing on the beach with your fellow sun-worshippers or an Optional Experience could see you visit the hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a popular haunt for actors seeking a relaxing retreat. In your free time, soak up the fresh sea air and perhaps indulge in a delicious Salade Niçoise.

    meals Breakfast
  5. Day 5 Admire Arles and Continue to Carcassonne

    Visit Arles with its honey-coloured façades, Roman ruins and Camargue culture, and enjoy some time at leisure to explore this beautiful city. Alternatively, choose an Optional Experience to gain a deeper understanding of Vincent van Gogh and local history with our resident expert before winding your way to the fortified city of Carcassonne. Join a Local Specialist to explore this exquisite ancient town, view the Cité, and see the double ring of ramparts and 52 towers.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Mercure La Cité
  6. Day 6 Pilgrimage to Lourdes and on to Biarritz

    We drive toward the Pyrenees this morning and arrive in Lourdes, the global centre of the Marian pilgrimage. You will have an opportunity to see the Basilica, perched atop St. Bernadette's Grotto, where the young girl, turned saint, is said to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary. Then, travel west to the Basque Coast, where we spend the night.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Radisson Blu
  7. Day 7 Venture to Bordeaux

    Journeying through Les Landes, we arrive in the wine capital of Bordeaux, whose stunning Garonne riverfront and Age of Enlightenment history and architecture have made it one of France's most visited cities. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century and the bi-annual wine fair attracts buyers from all over the world. Spend some time seeing the sights during your orientation of the city.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Mercure Centre-Ville
  8. Day 8 Discover Scenic Dordogne

    The lush green valleys and hills of the Dordogne take centre stage today during a scenic half-day included excursion. We drive to Saint-Émilion, whose wine heritage dates back to Roman times and return to Bordeaux this evening for some free time to explore the city. Perhaps, tease your taste buds with delicious Bordelaise cuisine or stroll through the city's historical centre admiring its beautiful architecture by night.

    meals Breakfast
  9. Day 9 Explore a Chateau in the Loire Valley

    We journey through the 'Garden of France', before we Connect With Locals for a delicious lunch and Be My Guest experience. Dive Into Culture and visit the remarkable gardens at Château Villandry before arriving at our special hotel for the night - one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest, Dinner
    hotel Château de Beauvois
  10. Day 10 Off to Mont-Saint-Michel and the Normandy Beaches

    We travel through the patchwork landscapes of Brittany, to the island settlement of Mont-Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast, where we visit the island town and view the impressive Norman Benedictine Abbey. Follow the Liberty Highway to St. Lô and on to Omaha Beach. Reflect on the bravery of the young men who sacrificed their lives for freedom and visit the D-Day Landing Zone to learn how the operation was planned and executed. Arrive later at your hotel where you dine tonight.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Mercure Omaha Beach
  11. Day 11 Journey to Paris

    We travel west towards Paris, stopping at Giverny to visit the house and gardens that once inspired Claude Monet's exquisite Impressionist works of art. This evening, consider a trip to one of the city's renowned cabarets.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Mercure 17 Batignolles
  12. Day 12 Discover the Delights of Paris

    Join your Local Specialist on a journey through the historic neighbourhoods of Paris to see where the locals live and shop. Visit the remarkable church of Saint-Sulpice. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the sights on your terms. See the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo at the Louvre, enjoy a leisurely café au lait in quiet surrounds or consider an Optional Experience to the opulent Palace of Versailles. This evening, we celebrate an epic adventure with your Travel Director and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  13. Day 13 Farewell France

    For now it's time to bid a fond au revoir to the Best of France and your fellow travellers at the end of a magical and memorable holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.

    meals Breakfast
Best of France
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch (Be My Guest)
  • 6 dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Explore Carcassonne and Paris with a Local Specialist
  • Discover Beaune, Lyon, Avignon, Monaco, Nice, Arles, Lourdes and Bordeaux
  • Visit the Hospices de Beaune, Chateau Villandry, the D-Day Museum, Claude Monet's home at Giverny and the Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris
  • View the Papal Palace in Avignon, the Royal Palace and Cathedral in Monaco, Promenade des Anglais and Place Massena in Nice, St. Bernadette's Grotto in Lourdes, Esplanade des Quinconces in Bordeaux, the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, the D-Day Beach of Omaha in Normandy and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
  • See the Roman Amphitheatre and the Cathedral in Arles
  • Scenic Drive through the Dordogne and the Loire Valley
  • Connect with Locals Return to 17th-century France and join the de Montferrier family on their farm near the famous Château de Villandry for a delightful Be My Guest lunch. (Day 9)
  • Dive into Culture Visit Château Villandry in the Loire Valley and admire the exquisite Renaissance gardens that surround the elegant estate. (Day 9)
  • Stays With Stories Step back in time with a stay in the regal 16th and 17th-century Château de Beauvois. (Day 9)

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

August 2021
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Aug 22 Sun
Sep 3 Fri
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Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
September 2021
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Sep 5 Sun
Sep 17 Fri
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Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
AARP Members Save $100
Sep 12 Sun
Sep 24 Fri
AARP Members Save $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
October 2021
AARP Members Save $100
Oct 3 Sun
Oct 15 Fri
AARP Members Save $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Local Beaujolais Dinner And Old Town Discovery

Strolling through the maze of hidden courtyards, cobbled streets and hidden traboules with our Local Specialist, we'll step back in time to discover Lyon's secrets. The World Heritage city was formerly home to ancient Gauls, powerful Romans, Gothic Cathedral builders and wealthy Renaissance Silk Merchants. We'll finish the evening with a mouthwatering three-course French feast, paired with local wine.
Adult Price: € 69


St. Paul, Corniche Drive, Perfumery and Meal

Today, with our Local Specialist, let's discover the artists' and shoppers' paradise that is medieval St. Paul, consistently named the most beautiful hilltop town in this region. Next, we’ll travel the Corniche roads, to witness spectacular views of the area's gorgeous landscapes and lavish villas. We’ll then pay a visit to a traditional French perfumery and finish our excursion at a local restaurant for a delicious meal with wine.
Adult Price: € 83


St. Paul de Vence and Nice

Your sublime day on the Riviera starts with a lovely drive to the town of St. Paul de Vence with your Local Specialist. See why this medieval, walled city lured the likes of Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. Then, because no visit to the Riviera is complete without it, we'll continue to glorious Nice to enjoy the city, its old town and its colorful provençale markets.
Adult Price: € 43


On the Trail of Vincent Van Gogh

You simply can’t come to France without seeing all of the treasures the Romans left behind. Marvel at the Amphitheatre they built 2000 years ago. Then, switch gears with your Local Specialist to learn about Arles’ other great claim to fame – the locations where Vincent Van Gogh produced some of his most famous works in Provence, including The Starry Night.
Adult Price: € 23


Biarritz Train Ride & Basque Country Dinner

All aboard! We’ll take a private train through the streets of the elegant seaside resort of Biarritz, taking in spectacular coastal viewpoints. We’ll arrive at a typical Basque chalet in the nearby countryside to enjoy tasty local specialties for dinner. You might even catch the locals playing their favorite sport: Jaï alaï !
Adult Price: € 69

Highlights Of The Pyrénées

Join us on a beautiful drive up into the Pyrénées, where we'll catch a historic funicular train and ascend through mountain pastures to find ourselves in Spain at the top! Keep an eye out for the Basque ponies, local sheep and the Pyrenean birds of prey. You'll have time to enjoy Basque hospitality and wonderful views before our descent, with a drink included. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: € 41

St. Jean De Luz, Jewel Of The Basque Country

Truly the jewel of the Basque Country, St. Jean de Luz is a wealthy port town with an intriguing past filled with pirates, a royal marriage and closely-guarded family recipes. Our local specialist will guide you through it all and give you the chance to taste this city’s world-famous creation – the macaron. Later, you’ll have time to explore the local craft shops and the beautiful beach.
Adult Price: € 40


Secrets Of The Bordelaise With Lunch Or Dinner

After this morning’s drive, you’ll understand why Bordeaux is often described as the most beautiful wine region in the world. We’ll take you inside the World Heritage Monolithic Church of Saint-Emilion, before heading to our favorite French Chateau Estate. The hostess will take you on a tour of the vineyards and the cellar before we sit down to enjoy a Bordelaise-style feast with local wine.
Adult Price: € 81


Montmartre Village And Artists' Square

Many people go to Paris, but only a few are lucky enough to experience what it’s really all about. Join us for a stroll with our Local Specialist through Montmartre – an artists’ village once home to Picasso and Toulouse Lautrec, tucked away from the modern city. The paint will still be wet on the canvasses, as we watch apprentices work before our eyes in the famous Artist’s Square. Mingle, barter, and stand in awe of Sacré Coeur Basilica in this historic, bohemian neighborhood.
Adult Price: € 37

Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner

It’s world-famous for a reason, and this is your chance to see the real-life inspiration behind the award-winning movie. This Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers with over 1,000 costumes to create a dazzling spectacle. You'll enjoy wine, dinner and Champagne during this unforgettable soirée at the original Parisian Cabaret!
Adult Price: € 165

Versailles Palace And Gardens

Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler, but loathed by the French commoners, which lead to the French Revolution. Step inside the opulent world of Versailles and our Local Specialist will take you through the palace’s Hall of Mirrors and State apartments. Then, enjoy free time to wander the symmetrical, tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability and involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: € 73

Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations

Paris at night is a city transformed. We'll enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterward, driving through this amazing city with our Local Specialist, you'll see some of the fascinating sights this beautiful city has to offer. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.
Adult Price: € 38

Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Representative was friendly and returned calls and e-mails.
Itinerary and optional excursions were great. The dinners were average. Dishes served were catered to the American palate (bland). The only French dish I could think of was the escargot I had for aperitif during the farewell dinner.
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
The material for our upcoming trip was sent to us in a timely manner. When I inquired how best to get from the airport to Paris, the Trafalgar rep told us to take a cab and that the cab would cost exactly 50 Euros.
The Best of France tour had an excellent itinerary. We can't think of anything or place that we did not see! All of the essentials and well-known places were included in the tour itself or in the optional tours. Although some of the hotel rooms were on the smaller side, all hotels were attractive, comfortable, clean, and in safe areas. We were also well fed. Our Tour Director - Martine - was friendly, professional, and organized. She did an excellent job of reorganizing our time in Paris when the "yellow vests" had several areas closed down. And our bus driver - Bart - was a real favorite with the group. Well done, Trafalgar!
Trusted Customer
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Travel consultant was very knowledgeable and provided great info enabling us to book with confidence
Trip met all expectations, but the included meals in Lyon and Chateau Bouvior were not that good and for those of us who do not like duck there were no alternatives offered. Would have liked more time at Omaha Beach
Trusted Customer
Friday, August 23, 2019
We have traveled with GET for 12 trips for the past 9 years, the travel reps are very knowledgeable and reliable. We enjoyed each trip, the fellow travelers are friendly and we make friends with them after the trip.
The hotel in Paris was far away from T station, it took more than 20 minutes to walk to the nearest station.
Louise Sincaglia
Friday, July 26, 2019
I definitely would book with them again. I dropped the rating to a Good because a trip to the Eiffel Tower advertised in the travel book did not happen. very disappointed
We did not get to go to the second level of the Eiffel Tower as advertised.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry and understand how disappointed you must have been. The Eiffel Tower visit was removed from this trip in October of 2018 and replaced with Notre Dame. We do apologize for the miscommunication and hope there were happy memories made despite the change.
Monday, July 29, 2019
Maxine Broderick
Monday, July 1, 2019
Not enough information was given when questions were asked. Last minute details were too last minute - not enough to react if we needed to take action.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry to hear about your disappointment. We will be sure to share this with the team and use it as an opportunity to improve.
Monday, July 1, 2019
No purchases made other than optional excursions.
Clare Friend
Friday, June 7, 2019
Josh was quick to answer any questions I had as well as keeping me updated on travel documents and any changes in our trip.
A fantastic over all. Our TD was ok . I do however prefer Insight Vacation over Trafalgar.
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
All information needed to make the trip comfortable were supplied before we left on our flight.
The Tour Dir and the bus driver made the trip very interesting and everyone enjoyed being together. The places and information for each location give more history of the location.
Teresa Rosolen
Friday, November 9, 2018
Our driver went out of his way to retrieve a cellphone from a site we visited for one of our traveling companions. It relieved her and our[ 4 of us] so we were able to get back to enjoying our vacation .
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is fantastic to hear and we appreciate you sharing your story. Our team is committed to making everyone's trip worry free!
Monday, November 12, 2018
All our days were packed with fun, interesting and Sara is a great tour coordinate keeping this running, smoothly and she is a never ending source of information and had us laughing with her wit
Claudia Dovman
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Where do I begin? My initial contact was okay, but they could not accommodate my request for three additional days in Paris. In the end I was unable to arrange for that and was disappointed by that. As I called with additional questions or requests I found some agents were not friendly and even condescending in tone. My request for receiving the printed information on the tour was ignored. I have a vision impairment and like to have time to read the material in advance. Three weeks I felt was not sufficient time. All in all I think that three stars was a generous rating.
I have come to dislike bus tours in general, but chose this one for three destinations included on it. Two of those, Carcassone and Mont St Michel, were disappointingly short visits for the size and importance of these places. I can say I was there, but I can hardly say that I visited them. Perhaps this tour should be a bit longer, maybe 17 or more days to allow for longer visits to these sites. Our guide, Giovanna, and our driver, Thierry, were outstanding. Could not have asked for better. I have traveled with Giovanna before eleven years ago. I would take a tour with her again anytime. She works so hard for her groups with humor and enthusiasm. Hotels and food were okay. The hotel in Paris was lovely. Hope to return there someday on my own.
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