France's Cultural Discovery
Tour Duration: 11 Days 10 Nights
Explore the intricacies of France and unravel the tales of old that are steeped in mystery. You’ll explore intoxicating landscapes dotted with gothic, medieval, and romantic cities, charming coastal villages, farmlands, and divine eateries. Savor a fresh warm baguette from a traditional boulangerie or dine on sophisticated French cuisine. Wander along at your own leisurely pace exploring seemingly endless vineyards and cobbled streets. Walk in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower or through the Moulin Rouge district and spend a day to view the breathtaking collections at the Louvre. Visit the Loire Vally to explore the spectacular vineyards which lazily grow on the banks of its eponymous river. Discover the secrets of making fine wine and taste the region’s famed dry whites such as Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Allow Venez Discover France to take you on an extraordinary journey of exploration, culture, art, and food.
What’s Included in Your France’s Cultural Discovery Tour
- English speaking trip manager and guides
- Luxurious overnight accommodation in 4* and 5* hotels or châteaux
- Porter assistance at each hotel and between cities
- First-class railway tickets
- Delicious regional French breakfast every morning
- Curated Exploration – Parisian city tour and Versailles Monarchy with skip-the-line estate tickets
- Curated Exploration – Popes Palace and Avignon’s Bridge UNESCO World Heritage
- Curated Exploration – Loire Royal Châteaux’s Heritage with lunch
- Exclusive Exploration- Puy de Dômes’s UNESCO World Heritage discovery – Loire Valley to Lyon (Available in both directions)Exclusive Exploration – Gordes’s heritage and lavender fields
- Dinner and welcome cocktails (five dinners – first night in each city)
- Fully guided explorations (five explorations – first day in each city)
Key Points of your Tour
- Wander in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette through the endless hallways of the Palace of Versailles and uncover the many secrets it holds.
- Delve into the history of the Royal Château, the official residence of seven Kings and 10 Queens of France
- Unravel the Puy de Dôme a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the jewel of the Chaîne des Puys
- Visit the Pope’s Palace and Avignon Bridge UNESCO World Heritage
Itinerary and What to Expect?
Day 1 – Paris
Welcome to Paris. As you arrive, you will be welcomed by your trip manager. Dine on a delightful breakfast or lunch (depending on your time of arrival) at the hotel.
You will embark on a tour of Paris, discovering the city’s highlights, well-loved icons, and hidden gems, not to mention uncovering some of the secrets that the city holds. Your guide will transport you to the Palace of Versailles; you can explore the entire 700-roomed estate where Louis XIV and Queen Marie Antoinette once resided.
Upon returning to your hotel, you can choose to continue exploring your locale or enjoy a restful evening before a cocktail or two and dinner.
Day 2 – Paris
Start the day with a French breakfast before exploring the city of romance under your own steam, or choose from an array of curated explorations so that you can continue unraveling its magic. There is also the opportunity of exploring nearby Normandy and Champagne provinces with your trip manager or guide.
Day 3 – Paris to Loire Valley
Today is an early start. You’ll make your way to Loire Valley in first-class style on the fabulous French TGV. Watch as the impressive rolling countryside, villages, châteaux, and vineyards speed past. Sit back and enjoy the Île de France and other spectacular parts of the Loire Valley.
En route to your hotel, you will wander through the stunning Renaissance gardens at Château Chenonceau as your guide explains its fascinating history. After a lunch to remember, you’ll explore the intricate pathways built by King Francis I of France at Château Chambord. Indulge yourself in the magically woven history of the Loire before you retire for dinner and cocktails in your remarkable château.
Day 4 – Loire Valley
Start your day with another French breakfast and either spend the day at leisure or choose from a collection of tempting curated explorations.
Explore Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, a commune and the most extensive collection of monastic buildings in France. Its vibrant history has seen it run as an abbey, a hospice for lepers, and became one of the most feared prisons in recent years. Your guide will highlight its glorious and varied past. Lunch and wine tasting will take place in one of the finest vineyards in the region.
If you desire to discover other significant regions afield, such as Bretagne, or even Bordeaux, your trip manager will always guide you towards the best-suited curated exploration for you.
Day 5 – Loire Valley to Lyon
Another gorgeously early start, and you’ll make your way to Lyon on a first-class motorcoach and weave your way through more of the spectacular countryside of the Loire Valley. We will stop at Puy de Dôme to stretch our legs. Your trip manager will lead you through the UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and some of the volcanic puys aligned for 32KM.
You’ll arrive at your hotel in Lyon with time to freshen up and relax before embarking on an exploration of the city. You will discover some of the highlights and the well-hidden secrets of the Old Town and taste local delights. Lyon is bursting with culture and authentic local charm.
If you want to continue exploring, there are several curated explorations s to choose from, or you might want to relax at your city hotel with a cocktail and a hearty gastronomical Lyon dinner.
Day 6 – Lyon
This day is for foodie lovers. After breakfast, why not take part in a delicious cooking class, learn all about truffles and how they are ‘hunted,’ or visit some of the finest Beaune and Burgundy vineyards for an extraordinary tasting? Your trip manager has a plethora of exacting curated explorations to take part in; your trip manager will help you plan your day.
Day 7 – Lyon to Avignon
After breakfast, you’ll make your way to Avignon aboard the French TGV in first-class seating. Sit back and enjoy the countryside of Burgundy and Provence.
Upon arrival at Avignon, your private guide will whisk you onto a city exploration which will leave you captivated with its extraordinary history and tales of mystery. Followed by a visit to Europe’s most significant example of gothic architecture, the Pope’s Palace; it was once a fortress and palace and the papal residence during the 14th century. And, explore the hidden secrets of Avignon Bridge is the most famous medieval bridge in the south of France and crosses the Rhone; built between 1177 and 1185.
You can choose to add on another curated exploration when you arrive back at your hotel or rest before a delicious cocktail and dinner.
Day 8 – Avignon
Explore this beautiful part of the world and participate in some of the most popular curated explorations that take you through the magical villages of Provence. Learn about the exquisite Marseilles soaps made with pure olive oil, wander in the footsteps of the grandmaster of art Vincent Van Gogh and discover how he developed his use of bold colors and dynamic brushstrokes during his time in Arles. Stroll along the river Gardon and cross the ancient Roman aqueduct bridge Pont-du-Gard or go back in time and see some of the best-preserved figurative cave paintings at Vallon Pont-d’Arc Chauvet Cave. Your trip manager is always on hand to guide you.
Day 9 – Avignon to Nice
Today, you’ll discover the hidden gems of Provence. You’ll start in the Luberon Valley and wander through Gordes, the famous hilltop town. Its white stone houses and buildings are built into the mountainside and form ‘calades’ or a labyrinth of pretty meandering streets.
On your way to Nice, you’ll stop at the remarkable lavender fields of Plateau de Valensole. The exploration allows you to understand the benefits of lavender, its heritage, the irresistible scent, and, of course, time to take breathtaking photographs.
You’ll drop off your luggage at your next hotel and have time for a breather before exploring the coastal city of Nice and the blue waters of the Baie des Anges with your trip manager. The city is sheltered by the foothills of the Maritime Alps so that it has a mild climate all year-round. You can choose if you would like to relax or continue your Nice adventure with a curated exploration from the meticulously crafted collection. In the evening, a tasty dinner and cocktails await at your glorious hotel.
Day 10 – Nice
Nice is an exciting destination, so after breakfast, you can choose to do your own thing, or your trip manager can arrange some exciting activities and curated explorations for you. Certain times of year allow you to take a boat trip and go on a dolphin and whale-watching tour. If you prefer to keep your feet on terra firma, why not visit St. Paul de Vence, Monaco, Cannes, or Italy’s famous Portofino’s regional heritage?
Nice to your next destination or home
This is your last day. Depending on your schedule for your next destination or flight home, you might want to continue sightseeing around glorious Nice, purchase some more souvenirs, or relax
Places To See On Our France Cultural Discovery Journey
Paris - Loire Valley - Lyon - Avignon - Nice
Price Per Person Based On Month of Departure In 2021 and 2022
January to March
April to September
October to December
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