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Take a walk through 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 its history, culture and culinary delights, from the iconic Iron Lady to croque-monsieurs, lazing on the banks of the Seine, 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 and join an Optional Experience, a Seine cruise and a scenic drive stopping at all the best photo spots.
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 conducted by your Travel Director in its heart. See the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées then spend the rest of the day discovering the city on your terms. Don’t resist the urge to tread in the footsteps of Picasso and Dalí during an optional visit to Montmartre this afternoon, exploring the maze of streets and Artist’s Square. There’s time to shop for artwork and savour some local specialities before a real highlight this evening – an optional dinner and cabaret performance.
Au revoir Paris. The City of Lights will keep shining, but for now our sights are set on medieval Beaune where the official raison d'être is the local wine: making, tasting, and most of all drinking it. Later today you’ll arrive in Lyon. Get your bearings during your orientation tour in preparation for a free afternoon to explore the city on your terms. If you really want to discover its secrets, consider joining an Optional Experience which will deliver France’s gastronomic capital on a plate.
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 hill-top 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 a UNESCO-listed vineyard, complete with a tour of the underground cellars. Later arrive in the city of Tours, the gateway to the Loire Valley. At its car-free centre you’ll discover a fascinating medieval reflected in its timber-framed houses and renaissance mansions.
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 structure in the Loire Valley and it’s easy to see why. Explore its priceless collections of Renaissance art and furniture and stroll through its 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 head to 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 in the Old Town and 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 poured out onto French soil, in what became the largest seaborne invasion in history. After a poignant stop at the American cemetery at Omaha Beach, you’ll arrive at 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 which holds the rather unenviable status as the city where Joan of Arc was tragically burned at the stake. Despite this, there’s much to fall in love with here, from the city’s cobblestone centre to its Gothic churches and impressive cathedral. After a busy day engaging with all that history, you’ll return to the glittering French capital for a night on your own. You may consider joining an Optional Experience dinner for a final 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. Find out more about your available transfers at costsavertour.com/transfers.
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.
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.
Available on Day 1
Tonight, we'll enjoy a delicious Parisian dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. Afterward, make the most of your tour as we drive through enchanting streets to marvel at the magic of the illuminated ‘City of Light.’ We'll stop at scenic vantage points for opportunities to capture these fascinating sights on camera.
Adult Price: € 67
Available on Day 2
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.
Adult Price: € 32
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
No tour of Paris is complete until you’ve enjoyed dinner and cabaret at the world-famous Moulin Rouge! The original Parisian cabaret, immortalized in film by Baz Luhrmann, boasts 60 dancers and entertainers, with more than 1000 costumes to admire as you take in the spectacular show. With wine and champagne included, you’ll toast to an unforgettable evening in Paris.
Adult Price: € 165
Ooh, la LA! Get swept away by Can-Can dancers and other dazzling acts at one of Paris’s oldest and most authentic cabaret houses. We’ll dine, pop a few bottles of champagne, and enjoy fun, music and la joie de vivre! Truly a night you’ll never forget.
Adult Price: € 139
Available on Day 3
Relax and unwind as we take an evening drive along the beautiful Saône River and savor 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 a historic center, Lyon is also the gastronomic capital of France! Our chef will prepare a mouth-watering three-course dinner, with local wines included.
Adult Price: € 69
Available on Day 5
We’ll kick things off with a visit to the artist’s paradise of St. Paul, to explore the medieval hilltop town in all its quirky glory. Continuing along the Riviera, we’ll travel on the Corniche Roads to take in their spectacular views as we make way for a Perfumery Tour. Later, we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner and included drinks at a local restaurant.
Adult Price: € 83
Available on Day 5
Travel into the Esterel Heights to uncover the quaint town of St. Paul de Vence. Walk through the winding streets of the village with your Local Specialist, admiring elegant fountains and medieval architecture, before continuing along the Riviera to glamorous Nice. Enjoy the famous city, exploring its old town and provençal markets.
Adult Price: € 43
Available on Day 6
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
Available on Day 8
Say hola! Today we’re setting out on a journey into the beautiful Pyrénées Mountains, where we’ll hop on board a funicular train to ascend the beautiful pastures to the top of these magnificent mountains that traverse the border between Spain and France. Finding ourselves on the Spanish side, we’ll have time to enjoy some quintessential Basque hospitality and an included drink before our descent. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: € 42
Available on Day 9
Enjoy an iconic travel experience in Bordeaux as we journey through the scenic wineries of St Emilion to our favorite French Chateaux 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.
Adult Price: € 38
Available on Day 10
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.
Adult Price: € 67
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