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Scenic France & Northern Spain

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Carcassonne, France
Tour Style: Premium
14 Days from $4,295 per person

Witness some of the most idyllic areas of France as you circle the country. Add a little Spanish influence with two nights in northern San Sebastián. Now includes all evening meals and sightseeing experiences. 

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Transfers leave Charles de Gaulle Airport for the tour hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. After checking-in, the capital's grand boulevards and famous landmarks are yours to explore. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
    hotel:Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, Paris (2 nights).
  3. Sightseeing in the morning with a Local Expert shows you Notre Dame Cathedral and the façades of the Louvre. Drive from the Place de la Concorde along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Skip the long queues at the Eiffel Tower and ascend to the viewing platforms for superlative panoramas of the city. In the evening head to the St. Michel area for a delicious evening of French specialities, followed by a tranquil river Seine cruise for expansive views of the 'City of Light'.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, Paris.
  4. Head southwards to the valley of hte Loire River, lunch time finds you in the town of Tours. Then head for the 'white city' of La Rochelle, one of France's loveliest coastal towns.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Best Western Masqhotel, La Rochelle.
  5. Join a Local Expert to explore the cobbled streets of La Rochelle, secret passageways and covered arcades of the Old Quarter. The arch beneath the Great Clock leads to the well preserved old port, still guarded by two mighty medieval towers. Drive through the placid vine-clad landscapes of the Charente Valley to medieval Cognac, a name synonymous with brandy. Join a guided tour to learn about the double-distilling and ageing process, where the precious liquor takes on its famous golden glow. Now enter Aquitaine, paradoxically named land of water but in fact famous for its wines. Follow the Dordogne Valley to your internationally renowned luxury hotel, dating back to the 16th century.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Château Des Vigiers, Monestier (3 nights).
  6. This day is devoted to the grandeur of Bordeaux, where a Local Expert unveils some of the finest 18th century architecture in France. Drive along broad leafy boulevards, past monuments which recall the days of trading success; the façades of the quaysides, Grand Théâtre, Triangle d'Or and magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces all helped Bordeaux earn inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage list. In the evening, join the locals for a dinner of local specialities and wine tasting.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Chateau Des Vigiers, Monestier.
  7. A morning drive takes you into the stunning Valley of the Dordogne to visit Lascaux II where the world-famous prehistoric cave paintings have been faithfully reproduced. Later, make your way to the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Canéda, its medieval core blessed with fine historic golden limestone houses. The evening's authentic Highlight Dinner is pure Périgord on a plate, served at a rustic family-run countryside restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, HD
    hotel:Chateau Des Vigiers, Monestier.
  8. Head south across the farmlands and forest of the Landes. Stop in Biarritz on the magnificent Bay of Biscay, favourite home of Empress Eugenie – today it affords a nostalgic glimpse into the elegant early 20th century. Cross into Spain and continue to the Basque city of San Sebastián. On arrival, join a Local Expert for a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Ascend Monte Igueldo for beautiful views over the town and La Concha Bay.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastián (2 nights).
  9. The morning is devoted to Pamplona, renowned for its San Fermin fiesta, the 'Running of the Bulls'. Explore the well-preserved medieval core, the famous Estafeta Street and Castle Square where Hemingway would sit with coffee, while writing 'The Sun Also Rises'. Return to San Sebastián, for an afternoon at leisure. Spain's northern Basque country has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world, so why not discover the city's rich gastronomic tradition in the heart of Lo Viejo (Old town) tonight?
    hotel:Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
  10. Cross back in to France and continue to Lourdes, one of Europe's most popular pilgrimage centres. Visit the miraculous grotto, drink the spring waters credited with curative powers and join the torchlight procession - a moving experience never to be forgotten.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hotel Chapelle et Parc, Lourdes.
  11. Continuing east, you arrive at the medieval citadel of Carcassonne. Entering the UNESCO listed site is like stepping back in time; the city has a complete set of ramparts, a medieval keep, even a sports ground for jousting! Visit the Château Comtal, a fortress within a fortress, offering exhibits, informative video and tour of the inner ramparts. Continue to the old University town of Montpellier for an orientation tour. In the evening enjoy a memorable Highlight Dinner of regional cuisine and local entertainment, in a picturesque restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, SE
    hotel:Pullman Montpellier Centre, Montpellier.
  12. Travel to the sun-baked landscapes of Provence today. The town of Arles and surrounding countryside were an inspiration to Van Gogh, with the fields of sunflowers he so loved to paint. Spend some time exploring the seductive streets and historic central square with its Town Hall, obelisk and fountain. Our home for the next two nights is the Principality of Monaco, ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery. This evening enjoy a Provencal dinner at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, RD
    hotel:Columbus Monte Carlo (2 nights).
  13. In the morning, drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit. Then walk with your Tour Director through the old town, see the Royal Palace, where the Grimaldi family live, the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, housing the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. In the evening, join your new-found friends for a Celebration Dinner with local wine before your last chance to try your luck in one of the casinos of Monte Carlo. A perfect finalé to your journey through France.
    meal(s):BB, CD
    hotel:Columbus, Monte Carlo.
  14. Bid au revoir to the sunny French Riviera in the morning. Insight's airport transfers arrive at Nice Airport at 06:15 and 09:00.

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.

  • 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
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Included Quality Dining

12 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 5 Restaurant Dinners (RD), 2 three-course table d'hôte Dinners (DW), 2 Highlight Dinners (HD), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences


  • Ascend to the viewing platforms of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy glorious panoramas.

Lascaux II Caves:

  • These caves contain some of the oldest and finest prehistoric art in the world. For preservation reasons, they have been replicated in all their glory.


  • Join the emotive candlelight procession through the streets of Lourdes - an unforgettable experience!


  • See the Château Comtal, a fortress within a fortress.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
14 Sep 17 27 Sep 17 checkmark $4,295pp Call 1-877-622-9109

This departure stays at Hotel Solitude in Lourdes.

undefinedThis departure will stay at accommodation of a similar standard in the french Riviera. There is a 40% reduction to the Single Supplement charge for the April 26th departure and 25% reduction for the October 11th departure, subject to availability.

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 $780 p.p.

Triple Supplement: $100 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $114 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to France and Spain 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 or Spain.

  • The currency in France and Spain is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive, 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. 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 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 48 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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