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Paris Explorer (Winter Season)

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
Paris, France
Tour Style: First Class
9 Days from $2,250 per person

With the zest of a large city and the heart of a little village, Paris reveals its secrets to a select few. See the City of Lights as it has never been seen before – the hidden courtyards and charming ‘arrondissements', each with their own distinct personality. You'll also witness the opulence of Versailles and sample French flavors fit for royalty.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Paris, capital of France and the City of Light. After check-in to your hotel – the ideal spot for your exploration of this magnificent city, you can relax or take a stroll in the local neighborhood. This afternoon meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers to attend a Welcome Reception in the heart of the city.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Novotel Tour Eiffel
  3. This morning after a leisurely start, your Travel Director takes you on a tour of this mesmerizing city for views of the Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Your Local Expert reveals not just where, but how real Parisians live and shop, showing you the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris' oldest historical neighborhoods. This short insider walk finishes at one of the loveliest squares, little known to outsiders, but a real favorite of the locals. Later visit the second level of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views across the city. This evening you may decide to take an Optional Experience to the Latin Quarter for a visit inside Notre Dame and a cruise down the River Seine.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  4. Today is completely yours to explore Paris further or you may wish to experience a full-day Optional Experience and travel to the historical and poignant D-Day landing beaches. During the festive vacations experience the spectacular Christmas illuminations that light up the city this evening. Luminous arches, multi-colored bulbs, incandescent flames and sparkling projections of light deck out the avenues of the French capital in festive splendor.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  5. Visit the best-known and most resplendent palace in France, Versailles. Our Local Expert guides you through the majestic palace followed by the breathtaking picturesque Royal Gardens. Later visit Petit Trianon Palace where you can relax for lunch before continuing to Marie Antoinette's hamlet to gain yet more insight into the lives of the French Royalty before the revolution. This evening you may wish to utilize your Parisian Brasserie voucher which gives you a choice of centrally located brasseries to visit for dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  6. Today's exploration of French culture takes on another dimension as you meet a real Parisian chef for a French cuisine experience including a light lunch. During your Cultural Insight learn some culinary secrets and get to savor your creation. The balance of the day is then yours to enjoy as you wish. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll along the River Seine or enjoy some of the great shopping in the heart of Paris. Your Travel Director will be there to give you advice. This evening you may wish to consider an Optional Experience to attend a performance of a true French cabaret at the world-famous Moulin Rouge.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  7. This morning after a relaxing start take a private street trolley car to visit the fascinating and colorful “village” of Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. Your Local Expert will show you the hidden squares', artists haunts and romantic hideaways of this most beautiful Parisian neighborhood. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy. Later a unique experience awaits you; a special evening reservation to visit the renowned Louvre museum. During this Small Group Sightseeing tour your Local Specialist will show you the most important masterpieces and the stunning apartments of Napoleon III, when the museum is quieter and the crowds have disappeared.  

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  8. Today is your last chance for last-minute souvenir shopping or alternatively participate on an Optional Experience to visit the Musée d'Orsay. During the festive vacation period, visit the Christmas markets that are held all over the capital: in Montparnasse, on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and in La Défense. Or visit the Nativity scenes in Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the Madeleine church, and Basilique Sacré-Cœur. Whether they be traditional, baroque or modern, these veritable works of art welcome a large number of visitors. This afternoon enjoy a walking tour to a part of Paris where you will discover how the French Revolution began. Join your Travel Director and companions for a Farewell Dinner at an iconic Parisian restaurant dating back to 1686.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  9. After breakfast, say farewell to Paris and your newfound friends as you prepare to return home after a memorable week in one of the world's greatest cities. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
3 Nov 18 11 Nov 18 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
17 Nov 18 25 Nov 18 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
1 Dec 18 9 Dec 18 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
15 Dec 18 23 Dec 18 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
22 Dec 18 30 Dec 18 $2,350pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
29 Dec 18 6 Jan 19 $2,450pp Request Quote Book Now
12 Jan 19 20 Jan 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Jan 19 3 Feb 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Feb 19 17 Feb 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Feb 19 3 Mar 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Mar 19 17 Mar 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 19 31 Mar 19 $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.

Christmas & New Year’s Eve Highlights: The December 23rd 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Paris. And the December 30th 2017 departure will toast New Year’s Eve in Paris. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $570 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 per person.

Airport Transfers: On arrival to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport transfers will operate at 8:00 am, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport at 8:00 am and 11:30 am.

Shared Rooming: Room Share and Triple Rooms are not available on this trip.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Breakfast Daily Breakfast Daily

Meal Summary

11 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 Regional Meal lunch, 2 dinners, 1 Parisian Brasserie voucher.

Included Highlights

Cultural Insight

  • Discover Paris on Parisian terms as your Local Specialist reveals some of the city's hidden gems, including a behind the scenes tour of Montmartre to discover the secrets of the artists quarter. The secrets of ‘la cuisine' are yours to discover and enjoy as you learn how to cook the Parisian way with a local chef

Small Group Sightseeing

  • Enjoy an in-depth, intimate guided tour at the fascinating Louvre Museum in a group size of no more than 25 guests

Local Expert

  • For included sightseeing in Paris, Montmartre, the Louvre and Versailles

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Insider walking tour in Paris with a Local Expert
  • Orientation tour in Paris
  • Visit the Royal Estate of Versailles including the Royal Palace, Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette's Hamlet “Le Petit Hameau”, ascend to second floor of Eiffel Tower, the “village” of Montmartre, the Latin Quarter and the shopping district of Paris
  • View the Champs Élysées, Paris Opera House, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame Cathedral


Monday, January 8, 2018
Paris Explorer
Service rating : The best of everything; seating at shows, transportation, restaurants, tours, driver, inside information and places, no lines, extras beyond the requirements on everything, and best of all - our tour guide. Yes, I would recommend Grand European Travel.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We appreciate your praise and are very happy to have exceeded your high expectations.  Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We hope to see you on another trip very soon.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Vacation : Easy to process and follow through.
Monday, November 6, 2017
Service rating : The service was good. The only part that I have a minor complain is with the transfers from the airport to the hotel and vice-versa. Also overcharge on private transportation.
Vacation : Good price. Including the extra tours.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Service rating : Everything was done professionally and first class. The tour director was amazing.
Vacation : Excellent tour with a very good director.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Service rating : This was the fourth trip that I booked with GET and everyone of them has been a wonderful experience. I could not have asked for a more helpful travel agent, Michelle, or a more informed and enthusiastic tour guide, Jonathan.
Vacation : My daughter and I really enjoyed the optional excursions we chose although it would have been nice if more of them had been included in the initial trip cost.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Service rating : Saw all the main attractions but like a good meal, left wanting more. Our tour guide, Jonathan was a joy, informed, patient, well prepared, light hearted, a pleasure to spend the week with him.
Vacation : Didn't do lot of shopping, was too busy enjoying the sites.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Service rating : Everything depends on the guide. In this case, Jonathan Holburn made the tour what it was....excellent. He was very knowledgeable and added personal touches such as local bakeries, a cooking class, hidden inns and food. I saw that he also gave personal attention to individual clients needing special requests. His timing was perfect so that we hit the specific highlights such as a mass at Notre Dame and the National Anthem sung at the Normandy Beach Memorial.
Vacation : This trip offered just what I wanted to see and experience without personal attention. I preferred to go as a group rather than try transportation alone and Paris Explorer had just what I wanted. And I could eliminate attractions I had already experienced or didn't want to attend.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Service rating : Our tour guide was the sole of patience with our older folks. He made sure everybody got where they needed to be with a minimum of fuss over those who couldn't keep to a schedule to save their souls! The itinerary was excellent. We felt we received an excellent overview of everything we saw and expected to see. The accomodations were lovely and well-placed for what we wanted to see on our own.
Vacation : WE saw everything we expected to see and more. The company was excellent, the tour, and food were wonderful.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Service rating : Unfortunately I was robbed while in my room in Budapest. I believe the hotel has security issues and I was not the only person on the tour to be robbed. I was pleased with the flight reservations and airline. I was pleased with the additional tours offered; however, my overall impression and experience was overshadowed by the robbery which resulted in a 6 hour police station visit and missing out on a cruise on the Danube.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are extremely sorry to hear about this.  Our Guest Relations team will be in touch with you very soon to discuss the matter.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Vacation : Tour guide was knowledgeable and experienced. Bus driver was courteous and very proficient. Tours of cities were fast paced, but gave a good overview of historical buildings and events. Additional tours were enjoyable.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Service rating : Yes, Yes.
Vacation : It was an excellent expereince
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Service rating : Great service, friendly, knowledgable, helpful despite two cancellations due to inability to get a large enough group.
Vacation : Great tour, guide (Jonathan) and hotel (Meridien Etoile). Our group included families, couples and individuals ranging from 12 to 85. As such, the activities had to be geared toward a compromise speed that was for many difficult. Check-in was easy Our 7th floor room was modern, art deco, lots of storage, everything works, big bed, clean. Breakfast was a huge layout (quality food) and the lobby was busy with meetings, couches chairs, helpful workers, drinks, food. Very inviting and comfortable. (Contrast the Cumberland in London - long check-in line, unfriendly staff, a lobby like an empty mall. We had to switch rooms TWICE (A/C) and no one came either time. Maids speak no English - "towel", "shampoo". We raided the cart. Beds were the smallest ever seen, no storage or tv remote (reported twice). Breakfast was depressing - winding maze to underground gym with forgettable food.) Back to Paris - arranged meals were "OK" - chicken, beef, fish, ho-hum desserts. For good food go to bistros like Chez Clement. The tour excelled in getting us quickly and easily into sites with no worry about tickets, crowds or transport. Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre (was too short), Giverny, Seine. The pace is exhaustive and on every tour some had to stay back from stragglers. We did stop several times for bathroom / stretch breaks which was nice. Suggestions for travelers: 1. Don't take all optional tours - too exhaustive. Schedule relax times. 2. Use Uber - easy, payment handled and cheap. 3. Use a credit card (Euros only if necessary) Everyone takes cards and most charge no FX fees. A book at Giverny was £22, €25 and $47. With a credit card it was $27.50. 4. Tipping. Check your bill if a tip has been added. If you want you can leave 10% though we were told not to bother several times Suggestions for Trafalgar 1. Incorporate tipping into the price as most cruise ships have done. Spending time and effort on tips appears cheap and cheesy. 2. Use museum headphones - not an "expert guide" that traps you into long-winded explanations of a painting. 3. Warn travelers beforehand about bad cabs (one couple charged $100 for 3 mile trip - use Uber! LOL
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your detailed feedback and great suggestions. We are sorry to hear that the Cumberland Hotel was a disappointment.  We will be sure to pass this along to Trafalgar's Quality Assurance team.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Service rating : 3rd time we have booked thru Grand European Travel. Our Trafalgar tour guide, Jonathan, was great also.
Vacation : We received exactly what we paid for, plus we had enough free time to take the Metro and see a lot of Paris.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Service rating : The tour was well planned and expertly executed by a tour director who knew so much about the sites he showed us. Additionally, he did it with much humor. Also he cared about our experience, comfort and safety.
Vacation : Well planned and expertly executed by a very knowledgeable tour director who may it fun and enlightening
  • U.S. citizens traveling to France must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering France.

  • The currency in France is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in France, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in France. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from.  And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.

    Wine is the most popular drink in France and is consumed at both lunch and dinner. Coffee is generally served black, unless a café au lait or café crème (with milk) is requested. For a simple and inexpensive lunch or snack, stop by a local bakery or food cart for a baguette au jambon (ham sandwich), crêpes, or a savory buckwheat galette filled with melted gruyère cheese and mushrooms. Many restaurants also offer a simple three course menu at a reasonable price.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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