Bonjour. Welcome to Paris, France. Your 'Highlights of France' adventure begins with a welcome meeting, which is usually at around 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After the meeting, head out for dinner with your new travel companions in a local Parisian restaurant. If you arrive early into the city, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and things to do. Wandering around the Champs-Elysees, the student-filled Latin Quarter and the bohemian Montmartre will give you a good feel for the city.
Paris - After breakfast this morning, the rest of your day is free to explore Paris. Explore the world-famous Louvre, where you can see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Join the Thinker in his eternal contemplation at the Rodin Museum. Visit the Musee d'Orsay, home to some of the most famous Impressionist paintings. Climb the Eiffel Tower (or take the lift) for some impressive aerial views of Paris. Study the Notre Dame Cathedral with its vast rose window and menacing gargoyles.
Paris - You'll travel to an idyllic French chateau today, spending the night amid spectacular scenery. You'll have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds here, indulging in some of the delicious local cuisine and taking the time to explore the local French countryside.
Paris - Dijon - Leave Paris by train today and journey to Dijon, which should take around three hours. From your base in Dijon, discover one of France’s wealthiest provinces in the region of Burgundy. Perhaps visit the Mustard Museum in your spare time to learn about the history and gastronomy behind this world famous condiment. It may not sound like the most exciting activity, but this a great attraction. Take a walk around the city and look up to find medieval and Renaissance architecture dotted on every street. Be sure to try some local cuisine in the evening, as this region is famed for it.
Dijon - Beaune - After breakfast this morning, you'll have some free time before visiting one of the region’s most famed wineries in Beaune. On arrival to the 'wine capital of France', lunch at the Michelin-recommended restaurant of La Caveau des Arches. Hidden in the vaults beneath a 16th-century fortified bridge, you'll have the opportunity to try dishes such as roasted veal filet mignon or scallop risotto. Afterwards, enjoy a wine-tasting session in one of Beaune's local cellar doors.
Beaun - Avignon - Take the train south-west to Avignon today, which takes around three hours in total. This journey is idyllic, so make sure you have a camera at the ready. On arrival into Avignon, check in to your hotel and then take a walk around this walled city that was once home to French popes for more than a century. Go on an included visit to the grand Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace) and cross the iconic bridge of Pont St-Benezet.
Avignon - Use your free time here wisely, as there are lots of sights and activities to keep you busy. Taking the train to Arles is a popular option, as the city has an abundance of Roman monuments and a strong association with the arts. If you stay within Avignon, comb the city's own impressive collection of art. Perhaps hire a bike to see more of this picturesque valley and head to one of the city's amazing bakeries. You can even put a baguette in your basket.
Aix-en-Provence - Leave Avignon behind this morning and continue your French journey to the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) town of Aix-en-Provence. Boasting its rustic French appearance, high-end shopping and a pure Provencal climate, Aix is the ideal place to finish your French adventure. Wander around Roman ruins to soak in some of the region’s stormy history and get lost in the medieval tangle of streets - with old mansions dating back as far as 16th century. If you're an artistic soul, don't miss out on the Centre d`Art Caumont. Perhaps visit a Musee des Calissons and learn how the special sweets of Provence earned their fame, or just sit back next to one of town's fountains and watch the world go by. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions on your last night.
Aix-en-Provence - Your 'Highlights of France' adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Depart at any time.
This tour only operates on the following departure dates: 16 June; 28 July; 15 & 29 September 2017.