La Joie de Vivre, Paris and Provence
The France You' ve Dreamed Of
DAY 1: Arrival in Paris (tour starts on a Saturday)
DAY 2: Morning private food tour of Paris
DAY 3: Private 1/2 day tour of Paris (The Louvre & Sainte-Chapelle)
DAY 4: High speed train to Avignon
DAY 5: Gourmet Provence
DAY 6: Les Baux and Arles
DAY 7: Cassis and the Mediterranean
DAY 8: Avignon and Châteauneuf-du-Pape
DAY 9: La Vie Provençal
DAY 10: Departure day. Planning to spend more time in France before or after the tour? Audrey will be happy to help you plan a pre or post tour extension to other French regions. For pricing on the extensions contact Audrey.
**PRIVATE GROUP TOURS ONLY**
(minimum 6 people in your private group)
- Relax in the care of your multi-lingual dedicated local tour leader
- Discover slow travel: a perfect balance of sightseeing and time at leisure
- Explore the French countryside, where towns, historical sites and quaint villages all have a story to tell
- Savor tasty regional cuisine and wines
- Visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Paris
- Discover the incredibly preserved 800-year-old stone battlements of Avignon and the impressive Pope’s Palace
- Taste world class wines during a private tour at one of the prestige wine estates at Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- Wander through Medieval hilltop towns, see the lavender fields of Provence (limited to June & July tours)
- View the natural wonder of the Calanques National Park on a private 3-hour boat tour
- Visit one of the most beautiful towns on the Mediterranean, Cassis
PRICING: Please inquire about 2023 pricing
Indulge in the laid-back, country-chic lifestyle of Provence, world-renowned wineries, and Paris, the city of lights
Arrival airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
Departure airport: Marseille Provence Airport (MRS)
I invite you to experience great cuisine, wonderful people and authentic France on this "best of Paris and Provence" 10 day itineray. Do not miss the chance to discover treasures both famous and beyond the beaten path.
The city of lights, Paris, and the south of France holds so many charms that it must rank at the top of anyone’s bucket list. The region of Provence is one of the oldest areas of France, having been occupied since prehistoric times. In fact, the coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Artists have been painting in Provence since prehistoric times as well, and you can view cave-paintings of bison, seals, auks and horses dating to between 27,000 and 19,000 B.C.E. The Romans made the region into the first Roman province beyond the Alps and called it Provincia Romana, which evolved into the present name. They ruled the area from the 2nd century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. during which time aqueducts, baths, arenas, theaters, villas and monuments were built, many of which can still be seen today. Experience the magic of Provence: cypress and olive trees, red-tile roofs, the scent of wild thyme and lavender, medieval villages, colorful markets and of course, sun-filled landscapes, the very same that inspired the Post-Impressionists. On this 10 day tour, you will not only visit Paris but also discover why the region of Provence has inspired generations of artists like Van Gogh and Cezanne.
- Unwind for 9 nights at charming, boutique style, locally owned accommodations that offer French hospitality, comfort and local character (standard rooms with daily breakfast included):
- 3 nights in Paris
- 6 nights in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
- Embark on private guided tours with local expert guides and skip the line entrance tickets:
- The Louvre Museum and the Sainte Chapelle in Paris
- Arles and its Roman amphitheater
- Avignon with Pope's palace and the Benezet bridge
- Top floor Eiffel tower (with your host Audrey)
- Carrieres de Lumieres in Provence (with your host Audrey)
- Enjoy hand-picked experiences:
- 3-hour food tour in Paris with a local expert
- Taste local world-class wines with lunch in Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- 3-hour private boat ride to view the dramatic white cliffs of the Calanques National Park
- Private transfer (pick up at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, drop-off at Marseille airport) and private transportation in Provence
- The services of your host, Audrey, fluent in French and English
- Gain insider access to the French way of life
- Enjoy leisure time to choose your own optional experiences
- Sample regional cuisine for your welcome and farewell dinners in Paris and Saint-Remy
- Rest assured that we will never guide you into a tourist trap shopping experience or surprise you with hidden fees.
- Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, city tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees
NOTE: In the grand European tradition, I believe that dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture and a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager. I guide you to your favorite dish … or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. I choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. When we are at a cooking lesson or a wine tasting, rest assured that you'll go home with new knowledge that will increase your appetite for more. On every tour, I have included dinners as a group as well as nights on your own. Of course, you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.
Audrey's Gold Standard
I've personally tried, tasted and tested every single experience, ensuring quality and authenticity. If it doesn’t meet my personal stamp of approval, it won’t be on your tour!
What's Not Included
- Passport fees, visa fees, immunization costs, entry clearing fees (when applicable)
- Optional enhancements like room upgrades
- Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of your itinerary
- Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
- Personal charges such as laundry, phone calls, SIM cards or room service
- Lunches, dinners and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), unless specified in the itinerary
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
- Your international and domestic airfare
- Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone
Pre Tour Option
Are you planning to spend more time in France before or after the tour? France has so many beautiful cities and regions to explore. Audrey can help you to extend your stay with pre & post tour options, tailored to your preferences. Contact Audrey for pricing on pre and post tour options. Here is one of Audrey's pre-tour suggestions of Normandy and Mont Saint-Michel:
5 DAYS IN NORMANDY designed as a pre-tour extension
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN PARIS
I will be waiting for you at the airport for when your flight arrives in Paris. We drive to Normandy via Monet’s Garden in the small village of Giverny, home of the French impressionist, Claude Monet. This tiny country village is a place of pilgrimage for devotees of Impressionism. Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926 surrounded by flower filled gardens at his home.
Next we travel to Honfleur, one of the best preserved old ports in Normandy, where we will enjoy a walk around. It is exquisite to look at. Its heart is the picturesque Vieux Bassin (Old Harbour) from where explorers once set sail for the New World. You could take some time and indulge in the spa at your hotel before dinner.
DAY 2: HONFLEUR to BAYEUX
Spend some time enjoying Honfleur after breakfast before we leave for Bayeux. Our fist stop of the day after leaving Honfleur, is visiting a family run cheese farm. Normandy is a cheese producing region and it has its great cows to thank for the abundance of rich milk that they produce. Well known specialty cheeses in Normandy include Camembert, Pavé d’Auge, Livarot, Pont l’Evêque, Neufchatel, Boursin, Brillat-Savarain and Brin de Paille.
Upon arrival in Bayeux and checking into to your hotel, you have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy exploring this beautiful town, and if you so wish visit the famous Tapestry museum or the Cathedral before dinner.
Bayeux is a wonderful city to hang out in. This medieval town with cobbled streets was spared during the war, thanks to the fact that it was quickly taken by the Allied during Overlord Operation. The Tapestry de Bayeux is without a doubt the world’s most celebrated piece of embroidery. Over 58 panels it recounts the invasion of England in 1066 by William I (William the Conqueror).
DAY 3: FULL DAY NORMANDY WWII SITES
Today is the day when we remember the sacrifices of a young generation of Americans, Canadians, British and French Soldiers who fought for our freedom. Our local guide will take us on a full day tour of the Landing Beaches. We will first drive to Sainte-Mère-Église to see the famous church. This area is where everything started on D-Day: June 6. We are then off to Utah Beach. We’ll spend a moment at the Memorial of Major Winters (Band of Brothers, 101st Airborne), before reaching the German Cemetery of La Cambe. We then will go thru Pointe du Hoc, before continuing on to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery. The visit of the German guns at Longue Sur Mer will make you realize what the Atlantic Wall was all about. The day ends at Arromanches and its temporary Mulberry Port, an all-important just-made-on-time portable port and bridges which allowed the arrival of thousands of troops and equipment necessary to the Battle of Normandy and the invasion of Germany. A poignant day.
DAY 4: MONT SAINT-MICHEL
Today, travel a short distance (1.5 hours) to the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a guided visit including the abbey. Perched on a rocky islet, this 11th century Gothic style abbey is one of France’s most recognizable sights. The fortified island village ranks among the wonders of the Western World.
It is a long climb to the top, involving walking up fairly steep paths and steps to arrive at the imposing abbey on top, but it is worth every step for the views. You’ll have about 3 hours here, so you can take your time to make your way up to explore the abbey with your guide. You’ll have a time on your own to explore and have lunch before we head back to Bayeux.
DAY 5: RETURN TO PARIS
Today transfer to Paris to meet the rest of the group arriving today.