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Costsaver trips are great if you are looking for a budget friendly, semi-independent vacation that is designed with just the basics in mind. Unlike classic tours, Costsaver includes just the essentials including 3-star accommodation (not always centrally located, but close to public transportation for easy access to the center of town), airconditioned motorcoach transportation, an expert Travel Director and Driver. With a basic orientation included in major cities, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the destination at your own pace, or tailor your days on trip with Choice Optional Experiences unique to each itinerary and arranged by your Travel Director.View all CostSaver Tours
It won’t take long for France to touch your heart, but in 13 days it will capture it outright. Surrender to the allure of the Loire Valley, the sophisticated French Riviera and historic villages, towns and cities from Beaune to Bordeaux. You’ll explore a hidden realm of scenic vineyard-clad landscapes, admire the medieval façades of Carcassonne and get your WWII history fix in Normandy, where the tales of the D-Day Landings come to life.
It's time to explore Paris’s grand past, its dynamic present and exciting future. This is one capital city that doesn’t hold back and doesn’t expect you to either. Dive right into the history, culture and culinary delights of this extraordinary city, from the iconic Iron Lady to croque monsieurs, lazing on the banks of the Seine, or visiting museums and monuments. After checking in there’s time to relax or explore the city your way, but you might like to get a head start on your sightseeing by joining an Optional Experience - a Seine cruise and scenic drive taking in many of the major sights.
The Parisians know a thing or two about beauty, elegance and a life well lived, which your full day in Paris will deliver in abundance. Hit the grand boulevards on a city sightseeing tour through the heart of the city conducted by your Travel Director. See the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Élysées then perhaps choose to tread in the footsteps of Picasso and Dalí during an optional visit to Montmartre, exploring the cobbled streets and Artist’s Square. This evening, consider a trip to one of the city's renowned cabarets.
Au revoir Paris. The City of Light will keep shining, but for now our sights are set on medieval Beaune where the official raison d'être is the local wine. The beautiful marketplace and 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu are yours to explore before later continuing your journey to Lyon. Get your bearings during an orientation tour, then perhaps consider joining an Optional Experience delving into the rich history of the city and the classical French cuisine that helped make it famous.
Follow the Rhône Valley south, enjoying some free time in the Provençal town of Aix-en-Provence, founded by the Romans over natural hot springs. The last leg of your journey southwards stretches out to the shimmering Mediterranean coast, where the Principality of Monaco and the Côte d'Azur await. Keep your cameras at the ready as you drive along its elegant boulevards and attempt to capture the sophistication that seems to ooze from every corner.
Ooh là là! A full free day on the French Riviera. There’s no shame in spending the day sprawled out on a sun-lounger with a cocktail, but if you can pull yourself away from the beach you’ll want to join your fellow travellers for an optional exploration of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Life is rather idyllic in this enchanting walled hill-town and, like some of its famous residents, you’ll want to linger here a little longer. You never know who you might spot seated in those sleek Ferraris and private yachts that dot the French Riviera.
Fuel up on a characteristically French breakfast of croissant and coffee before embarking on your next adventure. Today we travel west to the Camargue centre of Arles, where Vincent Van Gogh found inspiration for so many of his paintings. Next, you'll view the magnificent Pont du Gard, an aqueduct carefully constructed in the first century to supply fresh water. Continue to the heart of Provence and the city of Avignon which features one of the world's most incredible religious architectural legacies.
Like a scene straight from the pages of a children’s storybook, Carcassonne stands proudly on a hillside behind fortified stone walls. Its undeniable charm is evident when you come across the town’s 12th century architecture and turreted medieval castle. From fairy tales to the foothills of the Pyrénées, your next stop is the pilgrimage town of Lourdes where you’ll tread in the footsteps of the millions of Catholics who have made the journey to pay homage to St. Bernadette and view the basilica on top of the Grotto where she is said to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary. This evening presents an opportunity to join a procession by torchlight with the pilgrims – a truly magical and moving experience.
The beach is back on the agenda today, so get your hat and sunglasses ready for a trip to the glamorous seaside town of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast. There’s no need to think about what to do next. Take your cue from the European royals who have been visiting this resort town since the 1800s and find your new favourite spot on a wicker chair in the sun. If watching local surfers perform their stunts isn’t enticing enough, you could choose an Optional Experience into the Basque country. After a good dose of sun, sea and lofty peaks, it’s back into the rolling countryside of Les Landes and onwards to our final destination of the day, Bordeaux.
After a night sampling Bordeaux blends and the city’s eclectic mix of street life and well-preserved 18th century architecture, a new adventure awaits. The hilltop village of Saint-Émilion is an appealing stop for red wine lovers. This is château country and there’s no better way to explore it than joining an optional wine tasting at an historic vineyard. Continue to your hotel by the city of Tours, known as the gateway to the Loire Valley.
Indulge your inner king or queen when you embark on a whimsical tour to Chenonceau with a Local Specialist. This enchanting, fairy-tale château straddling the Cher River is the most photographed sight in the Loire Valley and it’s easy to see why. Explore its priceless collections of Renaissance art and furniture and stroll through the exquisite landscaped gardens before continuing to the royal town of Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci is said to be buried. Your encounter with French nobility not quite at its end, you’ll view the splendid Château de Chambord, one of the world’s most remarkable châteaux. Make the most of your last night back in Tours with an Optional Experience to visit the Old Town and enjoy Touraine cuisine in a traditional restaurant.
Only the epic sight of a medieval town rising out of the sea could compete with the beauty of the Loire Valley and your visit to Mont Saint-Michel will certainly not disappoint. Hear how the Archangel inspired the Bishop of Avranches to build a church atop this rocky outcrop, then continue your journey to the iconic D-Day landing beaches where thousands of Allied soldiers first landed on French soil, in what became the largest seaborne invasion in history. After a poignant stop at the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, you’ll continue on to your hotel in Deauville. This elegant resort is renowned for its racecourse, harbour and high-profile international film festival held in September.
You’ll wish you had the talents of Monet during your brief visit to the colourful port town of Honfleur. It’s easy to see why this 'most ravishing spot in the world' was immortalised on canvas by many of the world’s greatest artists. Next head to Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Despite this tragic episode, there’s much to fall in love with here, from the cobbled streets to Gothic churches and the impressive cathedral. After a busy day engaging with all that history, return to the glittering French capital for the final evening of your adventure. Consider joining an Optional Experience dinner for a celebration of your memorable journey with new friends.
And just like that, you’ve seen all the highlights of France. From Paris and beyond, you’ll be finishing your trip this morning with a lifetime’s supply of memories. Say a fond au revoir to your Travel Director and newfound friends.
Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.
Experience the world-famous 'City of Lights' as Paris transforms in the evening. Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the River Seine, taking in views of iconic Parisian sights such as Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower. Later, kick back for a relaxing drive through this picturesque city that will show off the best Paris has to offer.
Dominated by the soaring Sacre Coeur Basilica, Montmartre is a must-visit destination in Paris. Join a Local Specialist to explore the winding streets, unusual galleries and world-famous Artist’s Square - once home to the works of Toulouse Lautrec and Picasso. With time to browse, barter for original art and taste local cuisine, this tour uncovers the true joy of the Montmartre lifestyle.
With your Local Specialist, visit the historic Saint-Sulpice Church once used in the filming of Dan Brown’s famous ‘Da Vinci Code’. En route to the iconic Latin Quarter, you’ll stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, admiring a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the garden’s famous beehives before enjoying free time to explore the Latin Quarter and view Notre Dame Cathedral.
Set in the heart of Montmartre District and famous for the filming of ‘Emily in Paris’ plus host to numerous fashion events including Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Louboutin & Vivienne Westwood, Nouvelle Eve is a must! Celebrating 125 years as one of the most elegant revue theatres in Paris, you will enjoy a night of sumptuous surroundings, a la carte menu and a sparkling cabaret highlighting the spectacular French Cancan.
(Open Thursday April 27th until Sat Oct 21st)
Relax and unwind as we take an evening drive along the beautiful Saône River and savour the tastes of acclaimed French cuisine. You’ll discover the secrets of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Lyon, from the Gauls to the medieval old town. Along with being an historic centre, Lyon is also the gastronomic capital of France! Our chef will prepare a mouth-watering three course dinner, with local wines included.
We’ll kick things off with a visit to the artist’s paradise of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, exploring the secrets of this medieval hilltop town. Continuing along the Riviera, we’ll travel on the famous Corniche Roads, taking in the most spectacular views of this extraordinary coastline on our way to visit an authentic French perfumery. Later, we’ll enjoy a delicious meal with included drinks at a local restaurant.
You simply can’t visit Arles without seeing all of the treasures the Romans left behind. Marvel at the amphitheatre 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.
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.
Enjoy an iconic travel experience in Bordeaux as we journey through scenic vineyards to our favourite French Château Estate. Here, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the rolling green vineyards and cellars before sampling some of the world’s most prestigious wines. Heading home with the secrets of French winemaking added to your repertoire; you’ll love feeling like a true wine connoisseur.
Join our Local Specialist for an enchanting excursion to rival the greatest fairy tales, discovering the dreamlike Old Town of Tours, including the Basilica of St. Martin and the history of Renaissance Kings. This evening tour out in the city will also include a feast of Touraine Cuisine in a traditional restaurant, adding yet another authentic experience to your holiday.
France passport, visa, and entry requirement information for US citizens.
France has a varied climate due to its size and geographical diversity. The northern regions, including Paris, have a temperate climate with mild summers and cool winters. Coastal areas along the Mediterranean, such as Nice and Marseille, have a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot summers and mild winters. The mountainous regions, like the French Alps, experience alpine climate conditions with cold winters and heavy snowfall, making them popular for winter sports. Western France, including cities like Bordeaux and Nantes, has an oceanic climate with mild, damp winters and mild summers. Overall, France experiences regional variations in temperature, precipitation, and sunshine hours throughout the year.
On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits
Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb
Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”
So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.
Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
Packing Tips for Your Tour
Packing for a guided tour will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started:
Medications and First Aid:
Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.
American appliances run on 110-120 volts at 60 Hz, while European appliances run on 220-230 volts at 50 Hz.
As a result, American appliances designed for use in the United States (typically 120 volts at 60 Hz) may not be directly compatible with the higher voltage used in European countries. Plugging a 120-volt appliance into a 220-240-volt outlet without the appropriate voltage converter or transformer can cause damage to the appliance or pose safety risks.
If you plan to bring American appliances to Europe, you will need a voltage converter or transformer to change the voltage to 220-240 volts from 110 volts. Additionally, you will likely need a plug adapter to fit the American-style plug into the European power outlets. All of Europe operates on the same two round-pronged outlets (Type C).
It's important to note that not all appliances are compatible with voltage converters, so it's essential to check the labels or user manuals of your devices before using them with a voltage converter. Some electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and camera chargers, are dual voltage and can support 120V and 220-240V, so they may not require a voltage converter, but a plug adapter will still be necessary.
To avoid any issues with electrical compatibility during your travels, consider purchasing appliances specifically designed for the voltage used in the region you'll be visiting or use appropriate voltage converters and plug adapters to ensure the safe operation of your American appliances in Europe.
We recommend purchasing an adapter with a voltage converter so you can pack less. And to pick up any necessary adapters or converters for your electronic devices before departing on your guided tour and bringing them with you.
Hair Dryers in Your Hotel
Hair dryers are common accessories in hotels. Should you want to bring your own, though, you will need to bring an adapter and voltage converter or make sure it is dual voltage by checking the label for INPUT AC 120V - 240V or a switch that can be set to 125V or 250V. Many devices have this feature, so it's worth checking before you travel. If you need a hair dryer during your trip but can't find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.
Air conditioning is commonly available in European hotels, restaurants, and public spaces, especially in major cities and tourist areas, but it is worth noting that the settings will differ from what you are used to in the USA.
However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings. Most hotels in Europe can provide a portable fan for additional room cooling if requested. Your Travel Director will be on hand to assist you throughout your trip.
Traveling by coach
Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.
Airport transfers to and from the airport on the first and last days of your tour are complimentary only if you are traveling on a tour operated by Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, or Luxury Gold and your flight times coincide with the shuttle-coach transfer timings. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.
To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.
The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.
Usually, most Optional Experiences will be priced in the local currency, but please read through the details of individual optional experiences for specific information. Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.
It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad.
In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.
Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.
It's essential to ensure that your routine vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling to any destination. Routine vaccinations may include vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and influenza.
When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity equivalent to $1.00-$2.00 USD per person per half day.
Your Coach Driver and Travel Director
The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents.
For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.
It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.
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