La Joie de Vivre, Paris and Provence

SOLD OUT

town of cassis on the Mediterranean on an exclusive small group tour to the south of france

La Joie de Vivre, Paris and Provence: Limited to just 1 exclusive date! SOLD OUT

10 Days/9 Nights

SOLD OUT

June 04 to 13, 2022

From $4,877USD pp (double occupancy) 

The France You' ve Dreamed Of

Itinerary

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 regions like Normandy, Burgundy and the French Riviera. For pricing on the extensions contact Audrey.

Love this itinerary, but these dates don't work for you? Want to book this itinerary for your own private group? Audrey can help!

**AIRFARE NOT INCLUDED**

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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
  • 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

SOLD OUT: June 04 to 13, 2022

PRICING: from $4,877USD per person (double occupancy)

Overview

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)

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.

I invite you to come along with me to experience great cuisine, wonderful people and authentic France. Do not miss the chance to discover treasures both famous and beyond the beaten path. Come experience France like never before!

Health insurance mandatory.
Due to local restrictions, we are currently only offering this itinerary to COVID-19 fully-vaccinated guests. 
Entry & exit COVID-19 testing is likely to be required (not included)

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL PARIS (Saturday June 4)

Your greeter will be waiting for you at baggage claim to transport you from the airport to your boutique hotel in the 7th arrondissement in Paris: Hotel Saint Dominique including daily breakfast for 3 nights. Located on the Rive Gauche, or Left Bank, the 7th arrondissement is set in the heart of Paris, offering the perfect mix of the city’s grandest sites combined with the village-like atmosphere of this quintessentially Parisian neighborhood.  Overflowing with charm and boasting an ideal central location, the 7th arrondissement is one of Paris’s most desirable neighborhoods. You are walking distance from the market street Rue Cler, the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, wonderful cafés, bistros and boutiques shops, and of course, the Seine river.

After checking into your hotel and time to freshen up, we'll start our time in Paris together with an orientation walk including tickets for the Eiffel tower (2nd floor) followed by a welcome dinner at a local French bistro.

NOTE: Please ensure you have what you need to freshen up with in your carry-on luggage as rooms are typically not ready before 14:00

DAY 2: FOODIE TOUR OF PARIS (Sunday, June 5)

After breakfast, enjoy a 3-hour private food tour with your local expert guide at one of the local markets.  This tour will provide an interesting variety of tasting samples with explanations from your guide as to the "why they have become a must-eat of the French culture". Feel at home while you browse along the olives, breads, cheeses, fruits or charcuteries. Join your guide to step into one of the most famous bakeries in the area to taste the bread and hear why this baker is renowned for placing the mighty French baguette back into the center of attention.

Try not to eat all your bread because next door is a famous cheese shop. Your guide will select the most popular cheeses but also some more surprising options for you to try.  As you leave the cheese shop, it is time for a some excellent local coffee. After the authentic French morning coffee, it is time to discover the area a bit more and even see remnants of Roman history.  Along the way enjoy some of the best views on Notre Dame Cathedral. Even if the building was heavily damaged a year ago, you can still admire its grandeur and elegance. Along with the historical anecdotes, you will also learn about famous French dishes and regional specialties. It is after all during the Middle Ages that famous French refined cuisine started!

Toward the end of your tour, step onto Paris smallest island, Saint Louis island. It is a residential spot, full of quaint little shops and restaurants. Probably the best ice cream in Paris is at Berthillon's. They have delicious creations such as strawberry-basil or chocolate-orange. Stroll the island, where many famous French actors have elected to live, and spot the private mentions of the 1600's. To finish your tour in luxury, your expert has selected the best of Parisian chocolates. Did you know that wine and chocolate go really well together? The tour ends at a local family-owned cellar where you get a tasting of three varieties of wines. 

DAY 3: HALF-DAY GUIDED TOUR PARIS (Monday, June 6)the louvre in paris

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Ernest Hemingway

After breakfast, enjoy a private guided walking tour of Paris with your local expert guide including entrance to the Louvre and La Chapelle.

The Louvre is one of the largest palaces in the world, now a sprawling art museum. The museum houses Western works of art dating from the Middle Ages to 1848, in addition to collections of ancient oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman civilizations, as well as graphic and Islamic arts. From room to room, the former royal palace reveals its masterpieces to the public: the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, the Venus de Milo, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace just to name a few. It is home to some 400,000 works of art, 35,000 of which are on permanent display. With its 800 year-old history, the Louvre has been influenced by numerous architectural trends, from the medieval fortress of the 12th century to the glass pyramid by Pei (1989).

Nothing can truly describe the feeling you get when you first set foot in Sainte-Chapelle, a small royal chapel just a short walk from Notre Dame. With its stunning stained-glass windows, among the oldest in Paris, the Sainte-Chapelle is a gem of Gothic architecture in the heart of Paris. Welcoming over 900,000 visitors each year, the medieval chapel is one of Paris’ most magical sights.

Paris is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world.  It is certainly one of the most romantic and historic as well.  Today is your day to spend it as you choose. From the incredible art galleries and imposing monuments, to the world-renowned shopping, quaint cafés and hidden treasure, Paris is a wonderful city to explore. There’s so much to see! Here are some recommendations for your time at leisure: 

  • Pick up delicious macarons, check out the many specialty food shops, shop in some of the most prestigious shopping areas of Paris, or simply sit at a café and partake in the Joie de Vivre.
  • Visit the Musée d'Orsay , Arc de Triomphe, and a host of other wonderful attractions
  • Take a stroll through the pretty little lanes of the Latin Quarter. Laze in the elegant shop-lined streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, wandering down the opulent Champs-Élysées and meandering through the winding bohemian streets of Montmartre will also give you a wonderful overview of the city. 
  • Relax with a baguette and cheese in the Luxembourg gardens, one of Hemingway’s favorite retreats, watching the French go about their daily life.
  • Visit Père Lachaise cemetery, the world’s most visited cemetery due to its ornate tombs and moving memorials to the rich and famous such as Frédéric Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Walk over to Parc de Belleville, the highest park in Paris which has views rivaling those from the hill of the Basilica at Sacré-Cœur but without the mass of other tourists.

Dinner tonight is on your own. On every tour, we 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.

DAY 4: TRANSFER TO PROVENCE (Tuesday, June 7)

After checkout from your hotel, your private transfer will take you the Paris-Gare-de-Lyon train station for your train journey from Paris to Avignon (high-speed TGV train-3h15 direct with first class tickets). A private transfer is included from the train station in Avignon to your hotel in St. Remy.

St. Remy, one of the oldest, loveliest villages in Provence is where you will be spending the next 7 nights.  You can settle into your charming hotel and enjoy the outdoor garden before our first meal together. 

NOTE: if you are choosing to start your tour with us in Provence and are arriving into the airport in Marseille, we will add a private transfer to bring you to St Remy to meet the rest of the group and your tour host for the welcome dinner.

DAY 5: GOURMET PROVENCE (Market day from 7am to 1pm-Wednesday, June 8)

Market day in St. Remy! Start the day at the beautiful Provencal market in St. Remy de Provence. You have the option, at an additional cost, to book a cooking class following the market visit. 

We'll meet as a group in the afternoon to explore some of St. Remy's most important historic sites. These include the famous archaeological site, the City of Glanum, a fascinating first century BCE site which was settled by Celtic Ligurians, Greeks, and then the Romans. This is one of the largest and oldest archaeological sites in France. After your visit to Glanum you will continue onto St. Paul de Mausole, the hospital where Dutch painter Van Gogh admitted himself as a patient after his “crisis” in Arles.  After your visit to St. Paul de Mausole you will have time to explore the town on your own

DAY 6: LES BAUX and ARLES (Thursday, June 9)

Your day starts with a guided walking tour of the historic city of Arles on a private walking tour with a local guide. Arles is a walkable town noted for its narrow winding streets that inspired paintings and drawings by both Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Van Gogh produced a number of his works here, like his paintings of the yellow café, hospital and Roman Ruins.

Here in Arles you have 2000 years of history to discover, including remnants of the Roman Empire as early as the 2nd century BCE. Your tour with a local expert guide will include the Roman Amphitheater.

After lunch, a short drive will take you to the Village of Les Baux de Provence, in the Alpilles Mountains (meaning baby Alps), a 1000 year-old village, a Huguenot stronghold.  A special treat is the Carrieres de Lumieres (entrance tickets included), a stone quarry turned into an art gallery. This is a must-see attraction. An outstanding display of art and lights projected onto towering white blocks of stone, creates a unique and dramatic work of art!

DAY 7: CASSIS & THE MEDITERRANEAN (Friday, June 10)town of cassis in provence

We’ll spend a full day in the picturesque, wine-producing village of Cassis, France. This spectacular coastal village dates back to 500 BCE, it is surrounded by vineyards, and it is bordered by the Mediterranean sea, colorful cliffs and beach. For centuries artists have been drawn to the light in this part of France, particularly to the unspoiled beauty of nearby Cassis, one of the prettiest coastal towns on the Riviera. Cassis is most famous for Les Calanques: dramatic white cliffs with finger-shaped fjords and tableaux of sailboats, pristine beaches, and aquamarine waters. Stroll through this village’s pedestrian streets for photo-ops of the colorful port, historical architecture, and beautiful vineyard-dotted coastline.  It’s market day also in Cassis, and coastal markets offer a completely different experience to that of inland Provence.  Peruse the vibrantly-toned stands, taste artisan products, and photograph the colorful products on offer.

DAY 8: AVIGNON & Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Saturday, June 11)

Today begins with a visit to the 14th century city once home to seven consecutive Catholic popes, the Papal city of Avignon. Your 3-hour private guided tour with a local expert guide includes admission to the Pope’s palace, and the Benezet Bridge.

Partake in a gourmet lunch with wine tour and tasting at nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the country’s premier wine-growing regions, to celebrate the flavors of Provence and local wine. Only a small ruin remains of the château, but we’ll take it all in and sip the flavors harvested from the land around us.

DAY 9: La Vie Provençal (Sunday, June 12)

Today, we are off on an amazing drive into the Luberon, a Provençal patchwork of hilltop villages, vineyards, ancient abbeys, and mile after mile of fragrant lavender fields. It's a rural, traditional region that still makes time for the good things in life –fine food, even finer wine. Nearly every village hosts its own weekly market, packed with stalls selling local specialties, especially olive oil, honey, and lavender.

Our first stop of the day is at the hilltop village of Gordes, designated as one of the most beautiful villages in France, a tiered village rising like a giant wedding cake over the rivers. Part of the fun of exploring here is getting lost on the back lanes, stopping for coffee at a quiet village café, and taking as much time as you possibly can to soak up the scenery. We’ll spend time in Menerbes (made famous by author Peter Mayle in his book “A year in Provence”).

Next, you are off to Roussillon, which is also listed as “one of the most beautiful villages of France” but looks completely different! 

Tonight we get together for our last dinner together! It is not a sad occasion but one of joy, for having seen so many beautiful places, met new friends, good food, and good wine.

DAY 10: DEPARTURE DAY (Monday, June 13)

A private transfer to the airport in Marseille for your flight home is included in your tour package for today.  You may also choose to extend your stay in France with one of Audrey's optional post-tour extensions. Please check with Audrey for options and pricing.

What's Included

What's Included

  • 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 at Hotel Saint Dominique (or similar)
    • 6 nights in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence at Hotel Sous Les Figuiers (or similar)
  • 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
    • 2nd 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 Options

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. 

Post-Tour Options

Are you planning to spend more time in France after the tour? France has so many beautiful cities and regions to explore. Audrey can help you to extend your stay with post-tour options, tailored to your preferences. Contact Audrey for pricing on post-tour options. Here are some of Audrey's suggestions:

EXTENSION 1: 5 DAYS ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

DAY 1:  VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER

Transfer from Provence to your hotel in Nice via train followed by a private transfer to your hotel in Villefranche-sur-Mer. Spend the day exploring, relaxing, discovering Villefranche-sur-mer, a seaside hamlet located six kilometers (3.7 miles) East of Nice. It is a delightful village, with its buildings in warm pastel colors and founded in the 13th century and has retained its picturesque charm over the years.

The warm climate in this niche on the French Riviera has made it a favorite holiday destination among European aristocracy and international millionaires for centuries. This geographic area was part of the Kingdom of Sardinia (now ruled by Italy) until 1860 when the County of Nice was finally ceded by treaty to France. This coincided with the time when the peninsula became a magnet for royalties and wealthy visitors alike. In 1905 Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild chose Cap-Ferrat to build an opulent and exquisite Tuscan-style palazzo, now known as Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

A true highlight for you today is an included visit to the villa and a walk around its impeccable gardens, including a Japanese garden and a splendid rose garden. Your walk ends back in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, another aristocratic vacation resort, before taking a short train ride back to Villefranche-sur-Mer. (3 hours walking/10km)

DAY 2: EXPLORING NICE 

After breakfast begin your half day tour of historic Nice, including Castel Park, a drive along the port, Place Garibaldi and Promenade des Arts. Visit Cimiez (Monastery), the winter home of Queen Victoria and stop at the Roman arenas of Cemenelum to walk along the magnificent olive tree gardens. En route back to your hotel, pass Promenade des Anglais and its famous landmarks and end the journey with a visit to the market in the Old Town.  After lunch enjoy walking in the old center with its maze of staircases and lanes, fine Baroque churches, bustling flower market and the famous Promenade des Anglais. Nice’s Old Quarter is a warren of alleyways, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants awaiting discovery. Here you can have lunch and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Options available:

  • Stroll along the Promenades des Anglais, Nice’s beach boulevard. It is pedestrian friendly, a hot spot for street theater, local artists, beautiful people and visitors alike.
  • Visit the flea market in Old Nice.  Nice’s colorful, sun-drenched Cours Saleya is filled with over 200 flea market vendors selling their wares.  A huge variety of treasures can be found: silver, vintage linens and Hermes scarves, posters, ceramics, paintings, toys, jewelry, and more.
  • Take advantage of the beautiful beaches or stroll Vieux Nice, a labyrinth of secret passageways and cobblestone streets.
  • Visit the Villa Massena, the Matisse and Chagall museums, the many Baroque churches in old Nice, or sit in the square of Place Rossetti and wait for Edith Piaf to appear and sing to you.

DAY 3: MONACO, EZE

Full day today! This morning we will have a beautiful and exciting drive to Monaco and Eze (along the cornice one way and along the upper cornice on the return), the highest perched village on the Riviera at 1,407 feet above the sea.  Monaco, the playground of the rich and famous, known for its dazzling harbor and lively entertainment. Stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Town, sit in a street cafe or wander around Port Hercule.

After our visit of Monaco and lunch, we will start the afternoon with a visit to a famous perfume maker followed by a visit of the village Eze. Begin with the exotic garden at the top of the village with more spectacular views of the Mediterranean. At the top of the gardens you will find the ruins of the chateau that Louis XIV had dismantled in 1706.  Take lots of photos! It is very picturesque and you will be thrilled with the results.

Today we could opt to finish the afternoon visiting Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, the finest villa on the Riviera, if you wish to spend your time on another option on Day 4.  Seventeen acres of gardens and fountains surround the Belle Époque villa, which houses the art and antique collection of the Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild- Built on the narrowest part of the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat promontory, this sumptuous palazzo, one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera, has views over the Bay of Villefranche on one side and the Bay of Beaulieu on the other. The Villa is surrounded by nine magnificent gardens offering patios, waterfalls, ponds, herbaceous borders, shady paths and rare trees. These are the Florentine, Spanish French, Exotic, Japanese, Stone and Provencal gardens.

DAY 4: SAINT-PAUL-DE-VENCE, VENCE

You do not want to miss the “arriere-pays”, the back country. In the French Riviera, the back country is the exact opposite of the coastal area. It is more laid back, and its scenery all around. You will see the beautiful village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence during this drive, followed by the neighboring town of Vence, known as the ‘City of Art’. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the small streets and squares of this beautiful town. Enjoy an evening at leisure to discover Vence’s many art galleries, quaint cafes and restaurants.

DAY 5: DEPARTURE DAY

We can arrange a transfer for you based on your return flight home departure time.

EXENSION 2: LYON AND BURGUNDY WINES

DAY 1: LYON

Check-out in Provence, travel up to the city of Lyon with your driver-guide. Enjoy a private guided walking tour of the old town of Lyon including a visit to La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière.

Lyon has been known as the world’s food capital for the last 80 years. Not only is Lyon a beautiful city but it’s also the food capital of France. In 1935, French food critic Curnonsky, the Prince of Gastronomy, dubbed Lyon as the ‘world capital of gastronomy’.

 For centuries, Lyon has served as a crossroads between France’s south and north, as well as gateway to the nearby Alps. The silk trade flourished here in the 15th and 16th centuries and left behind Europe’s largest collection of Renaissance architecture in the historic quarter, called Vieux Lyon, where covered passageways (traboules) linked buildings and courtyards. Today it is a passion for food, not textiles, that defines France’s thirds largest city with more restaurants per square mile (more than 2000 in all). Lyon is the ideal place to discover French cuisine and to fall in love with it. In the 21st century, Lyon’s simple and high-quality cuisine has been exported to other parts of France and abroad.

Enjoy an afternoon guided tour including a visit to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and incredible views of the city.  The beautiful white Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, known by locals as the upside-down elephant, sits on the top of Fourvière hill, aka the ‘praying hill’, is a spectacular place to visit. From its dominant position, looming over the city below with vantage points aplenty, Fourvière has become a symbol of Lyon, attracting over 2 million visitors annually. Designed by Pierre Bossan, Fourvière basilica draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. The basilica was built between 1872 and 1884 by private funds, like the Sacré Coeur of Montmartre in Paris. Housing stunning mosaics, beautiful stained glass and a crypt of Saint Joseph.

Dinner: Being in Lyon, a must is enjoying dinner in a local “bouchon” (cost not included in tour package)

DAY 2: BURGUNDY & BEAUJOLAIS WINE COUNTRY

On our way to Beaune, the capital of Burgundy wine country, we will be driving through the beautiful Beaujolais countryside where the names are evocative of fruity, flavored and intense wines: Fleurie, Morgon and more. The picturesque Beaujolais vineyards run along the Saône River, where winemakers have crafted deliciously supple and fruity wines since the days of Ancient Rome.

Enjoy a wine tasting & tour of one of the Grand Crus in the Fleurie area before arriving in Beaune with another wine tasting on the famed on the Grand Crus Wine Road, the famed Golden Triangle of Burgundy’s Great wines.

The rolling hills of Burgundy gave birth to superior wine, fine cuisine, spicy mustard, sleepy villages smothered in luscious landscapes. This deceptively peaceful region witnessed Julius Caesar’s defeat of the Gauls and in the 14thcentury its powerful dukes controlled an immense area stretching north to Holland. This is a calm cultivated and serene region, where nature is as sophisticated as culture.

Along with Bordeaux, Burgundy is why France is famous for wine. From Chablis to Beaujolais, you will find great fruity reds, dry white and crisp roses. The 3 key grapes are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay. The rural region also helped define classic French cuisine with dishes such as escargots (snails) and boeuf bourguignon (beef Burgundy).

DAY 3: DAY IN BEAUNE 

The historical 2000 year old town of Beaune, nestled between prestigious vineyards, is bursting with boutique shops, wine stores and fabulous French bistros. You will feel comfortable right away in this prosperous popular and perfect French little wine capital where life centers on the production and consumption of the Cote d’Or wines (gold coast).

This morning enjoy a private tour of the Hospice de Beaune (Hotel-Dieu), a masterpiece of Flemish-influenced architecture which has become one of the famous emblems of Burgundy culture, along with a short panoramic walking tour of the historical part of town followed by a tour of the Moutarderie to taste the famous mustard the area is known for.

Afternoon at leisure.

DAY 4: FLAVIGNY-SUR-OZERAIN

Today we have a long drive up to the outskirts of Paris for your last night before catching your flight home. We will make a stop, in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (a medieval village considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in France and famous for its aniseed sweets production and visit its Carolingian Crypt). 

DAY 5: DEPARTURE DAY

Transfer to the airport Charles de Gaulle for your flight home.

Important Notes

Travels with Audrey RECOMMENDS YOU BOOK EARLY as hotel availability may occasionally be an issue due to popularity, capacity of unique accommodations, and/or high season. A supplemental fee may be applied if our normal set of hotels in each city is not available. Hotels are booked based on availability at time of booking. If a specific hotel is not available, a similar quality or location will be chosen. Your hotels will be finalized about 90 days prior to the tour (after receipt of full payment) and will be available in your pre-tour documents mailed to you within 30 days prior to your tour.

Accommodation information

There is frequent confusion over the terminology used for hotel rooms. A “double” room is recognized as meaning a room with a double bed, which may be two single beds pushed together. A “twin” room is a room with two single beds. A “single” room tends to be smaller than double or twin rooms. Triples are usually two-bedded rooms plus a roll-away cot and not recommended for comfort. Some properties offer 1 double and 1 single bed, or 1 double and 1 pull out sofa

Please note that the hotel staff assigns rooms to guests. Some rooms may include stairs. A specific view is not guaranteed. As we work mainly with luxury historic inns and small upscale boutique hotels, rooms differ in size and layout. In general, Italian bedrooms and bathrooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and basic toiletry set. Please contact us if you have specific requests/needs.

Prepare for Your Trip

European travel in general involves a lot of walking, much more than we are used to in the US. Most of our tours include city walking tours, visits to hilltop towns and villages, and meandering through cobbled streets. Keeping active and incorporating long walks into your busy schedule in the weeks before your departure will make your vacation much more rewarding.

  • Don’t Overpack: A challenge even for some experienced travelers! Plan to wash or dry clean some clothes during your travel. Some hotels and villas we choose offer laundry and dry cleaning services and towns and cities have laundromats. Most also provide hair dryers. Toiletries and cosmetics can also be purchased at your destinations. Please contact us if you need some assistance.
  • It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Europe. Please verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. 

The first day on tour is your arrival day into the city in which we meet. So you would be flying no later than the day before from the United States or Canada. It is your responsibility to get to the city where and when the tour begins. When making flight arrangements, please allow sufficient time to claim luggage and clear customs in order to join the included transfer from the airport to your hotel. For all pre-designed tour packages, we meet for our first orientation walk of the tour at 3:00PM (15:00) on tour start date in the hotel lobby. The tour ends when you check out of the hotel on your last day on tour.

Note: Please make note or inquire with us as to the meeting time on that first day on tour. This should be done prior to you making any flight or train bookings so that it is clearly understood that the arrangements will fit in with our times. Your train or flight should arrive between 09:00AM and 12:00PM-noon (no later) on Day 1 of the tour to allow you enough time to check in to your hotel, freshen up and meet for the orientation walk with our other group guests.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination.

Pricing

  • All prices are subject to change until a deposit has been made for your tour. Please bear in mind that each hand-crafted pre-packaged itinerary showcased on the website represents a typical itinerary, and the actual details may vary due to season and special events. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Itinerary changes are also made to improve the tour and your experience. Prices are subject to change with global exchange rates. Please be aware that equivalent dollar costs are based on exchange rates and are contingent upon a fluctuating currency market.
  • All quoted prices are subject to changes based on Euro dollar/US dollar exchange rate, until balance is paid. Once the deposit has been received, the price is locked, regardless of exchange fluctuations prior to the tour . Variations in price will be made only if Euro value increases 5% or more from the time of reservation to the time that balance is due. Any variations in price, which may or may not increase your balance, will be communicated by email.

General Information

  • Air Conditioning: Hotels and mini-buses/vans used are air-conditioned for your comfort. European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system; most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system may be less than what you may have in your own home. Some hotels in Europe do not operate their air conditioning systems on a year round basis, but only during certain months of the year.
  • Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility. You must be able to walk up and down hills, on uneven surfaces and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Itinerary Changes and Price Flexibility: We pledge to make every effort to operate all our tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or transportation as deemed necessary.

Please note: while we do our best to adhere to our published itineraries, they may be changed at the discretion of the tour leader (local host) due to weather conditions and any other unforeseeable circumstances.

The purchase of TRAVEL INSURANCE is strongly recommended to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

Please read our Terms and Conditions here

Visit Paris and the south of France with your host Audrey

What Audrey's clients are saying...

Custom Italy Tour Package

Jean and Alan-Private tour of Italy

Denver, CO

We highly recommend Audrey and here’s why: she planned the vacation exactly the way we wanted it. Every detail was planned out, up to personal drivers and personal tour guides. We didn’t have to worry about anything. She provided additional info for places to eat and things to see and she was always there if we had a problem or question while on our trip. The Personal Guides were outstanding-very friendly and knowledgeable and the tickets to bypass the lines were exceptional. Hotels were centrally located for easy walking and all very clean and friendly. We really enjoyed Audrey taking us to the Venice that most tourist don’t get to see, especially our “Venetian Bar Crawl with wine and Cicchetti”. We were fortunately very lucky to have Audrey as our driver-guide from Rome to San Marino and eventually to Venice. She was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area we were driving through. It was such a pleasure to work with Audrey: our trip was OUTSTANDING because of the care and personal attention she gave to us from our initial planning to our final itinerary.
View Jean & Allan's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide from Rome to Venice)

customized private tour of italy including the amalfi coast

Kelly and Dave-Private tour of Italy

Brampton, ON, Canada

My husband and I just completed a tour of Italy arranged with Travels with Audrey. Everything was perfect, I mean, really perfect! I’m sure Audrey even arranged the weather!! The hotel recommendations were impeccable, as were the restaurants, and each of our guides along the way was extremely knowledgeable, personable and such a pleasure to spend time with. It was a trip completed at our pace, acknowledging our wishes, but with some gentle (and much needed) guidance. We feel we’ve not only gained a real knowledge and understanding of the sights we’ve seen, but a real appreciation for the rich history of Italy and the lives of its inhabitants today. Some olive oil and a few pieces of ceramic have been picked up along our travels, as well as about 2,500 photos, but more than that, our lives have been enriched by our experience, and we’ve gained a new friend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you Audrey! 
View Kelly & Dave's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy, with Audrey as driver-guide in Tuscany and orientation walk in Venice)

itineraries for family vacations to italy

Jay C and family-Private family tour of Italy

Littleton, CO

My family and I recently traveled to Italy with Audrey. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and all agreed that Audrey enhanced our trip way beyond anything we could have organized ourselves. Audrey is well networked with local hotels, guides and transportation services. What that meant for us, is that we got the best rooms in the hotels with views, we travelled in Luxury Mercedes vans and mini-buses with friendly, knowledgeable drivers. Our Guides to the many venues enriched our tours with their vast amount knowledge and enthusiasm. And they could get us in to venues skipping lines that were blocks long. Amazing! All of Audrey’s contacts respect and adore her and make sure her clients get the best service. We went to many of the most well-known sights and places, such as Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Tuscany. However, we also went to many off the beaten track places that Audrey knew that were wonderful, such as lunch and wine tasting at the Chianti winery, a private dinner prepared by our own chef in Rome and to some Greek ruins that were incredible in southern Italy to mention a few. I highly recommend Audrey. She is a warm gracious woman who works very hard for you and keeps your group organized. She saves you hours of logistics time, because she knows the regions and people well. Paying the money up front in the beginning was scary, but we had heard about her and took the risk. She really took care of us. Our family all agreed that our small group tour was far more satisfying than a larger tour could have ever been for not much more money.
View Jay C's & family private tour package
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

private tour of northern france

Bill & Gail / Lil & Tom-Private tour of Scotland, London, France

Dallas, TX / Tulsa, OK

We just took a tailored two week trip with our best friends.  Audrey developed our travel plan to Edinburgh, London, Normandy and the Loire valley.  It was a DREAM TRIP.  The hotels were all very good and the food was superb.  The best thing about the trip was the personal guides that Audrey set up for us; they were extremely knowledgeable, personable and entertaining.  Audrey drove us around in France and was our guide in the Loire.  A great trip! 
View Bill, Gail, Tom & Lil's private tour package and what they consider to be most valuable about Audrey's service
(Private Customized Tour to Edinburgh, London and France. In France with Audrey as driver-guide)

greek temples in italy

Marti and family-Private family tour of Italy

Ann Arbor, MI

I would like to thank you for making our family vacation so special. Everything went without a hitch, from the tour guides, to the dinners you planned. We LOVED everything! The special personal chef night was fantastic, just perfect! I know traveling with toddlers is not always easy but you made it seamless. I really appreciated you giving them places to go that the girls would enjoy, and the hotel with the pool, great choice. You know that I chose to book with you because you were our guide five years ago and we really enjoyed ourselves then. I’m so happy we found you again. Booking with you was easy and I will not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends and family.
View Marti's private tour package in Italy (2018)
View Marti's private tour package in France (2019)
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

Italy off the beaten path

Kathy and Rich-Private tour of Italy

Ann Arbor, MI

We had a family adventure with 13 of us, ages 1 to 67 years old, related as brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren.  Audrey spent two weeks with the whole gang as our Tour Manager and then my husband Rich and I stayed on another week with Audrey to see sites in Northern Italy with her as our driver-guide. The whole trip was AWESOME.  We made marvelous memories together.  Audrey was terrific at meeting the needs of this diverse group.  She took us to special spots that we had visited with her 5 years before.  That is one of the reasons we selected her to help guide us and she far exceeded our expectations.  She also added many new treasures to enjoy and share with each other.  Audrey is organized, knowledgeable, fun, flexible, curious, thoughtful, energetic, discreet, adventurous, and sentimental. We enjoyed Audrey’s tour and her company as she shared her favorite spots with us along the way.  We ate things that surprised us  and went to places that we would never have found on our own. Audrey was our constant guide and friend.  Tomorrow night I am meeting with the family to begin planning a trip with Audrey to France in the fall!
View Kathy's private tour package in Italy (2018)
View Kathy's private tour package in France (2019)

(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy and Audrey as tour manager, followed by 7 days of a Private Customized Guided tour of Northern Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

Italy off the beaten path

Janet and Tim-Private tour of Italy

Seattle, WA

After some research online we found and liked Audrey’s website and decided she would be a good fit for the kind of tour we had in mind, which entailed the availability of Audrey as our driver-guide who confidently drove us around well-known and lesser-known regions of Italy allowing us to discover little known locations and enjoy wonderful food and delicious wines along the way. The best part of it was the complete ability to let the trip just happen, without having to worry about anything. From driving itineraries to hotels, private guided tours in Rome and the Vatican to wine tastings and suggestions for places to eat, Audrey took care of it all for us. I would absolutely recommend Travels with Audrey, especially if you are looking for a private tour and do not want the hassle of planning or driving in a foreign country.  Audrey introduced us to parts of Italy we did not know existed! Our understanding and appreciation for Italy are now so much deeper that we would like to go back and re-visit some of those areas. By far the most notable experiences included observing the truffle hunting dogs at work in Umbria. We then had the opportunity to watch fresh pasta being made from scratch followed by a hearty lunch, accompanied by good local wines. All of this at their private home as if we part of their family. Wild boar home smoked “salame”, fresh pasta with a delicious truffle sauce…all of it conspired to creating lots of very fond memories! 
View Janet & Tim's private tour package
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

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Angela and Juan-Private family tour of Spain

TX, USA

My family just got back from a 10 day trip to Spain with Audrey and it was AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel again without her! Audrey took care of everything…hotels, transportation, obtaining tickets to sites, shows, etc., which left us to just enjoy our trip! We had told her in advance which activities and cities we were interested in and she made it happen. She was even able to squeeze in some extra activities (like wine tasting!) while we were there. Audrey is so nice, and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed her company and her love for the country. If you want to have a great vacation without any worries, you have to use Audrey!
View Angela's & family private tour package
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Beth and Jay-Private family tour of Spain

Dallas, TX

WARNING! You may never be able to travel without Audrey again. We have used Audrey’s services twice in the past, once to Italy and once to Spain. Our most recent trip was to Spain. This trip exceeded our expectations in many ways. First of all, individual travelers are different and have different needs. Audrey takes this into account and tailors the trip to the specific personality of the group. For example, our group had a mixture of adults, young adults and teenagers. Audrey arranged the transportation so that we were never rushed in the morning, had ample time to eat breakfast and set off to a day of sightseeing feeling rested and excited about the day. We visited all the typical tourist spots, but also had intimate “one of a kind” trips to a vineyard, sherry bodega, cooking class and olive oil factory. The longer drives were broken up by timely stops in unique towns. All this adds up to a one of a kind experience that really allows you to feel the culture of the country. We left the hotel planning up to Audrey and each hotel was centrally located, unique and clean. Audrey has extensive knowledge about the countries that she offers and a love for travel and the people. You cannot go wrong with a trip with Audrey. Try her once, and like us, you will be back for more. 
View Beth's & family private tour package
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

guests enjoying a private paella cooking class in Sevilla

Laurian & Gerald-Private tour of Spain & Portugal

Grand Junction, CO

We had a lovely time on this trip, thank you for your expertise in organizing it! Initially we were unsure about using a tour organizer without a personal recommendation and had the usual concerns about cost and quality.  We have had reasonable experiences in the past using the web to find tour organizers and, in this respect, the testimonials on your site were very helpful. We didn’t have to worry about the many specifics of doing what we wanted to do, in consideration of the fact that we had a very specific and peculiar itinerary: it was wonderful to have someone personalize our tour. Two things were very useful.  First, the identification of good quality yet small hotels that were well-located.  It would have been difficult to do this ourselves based on web searches.  Second, your arranging the tours and specific activities for us so we didn’t have to search for those.  In most cases, these activities were also located near our hotels, so the whole experience was very low hassle! Our best experiences were in Granada with Antonio as guide to the Alhambra and with the flamenco show there, which was excellent, though designed for tourists. The winery in Portugal was a great find! Everything was very high quality. In closing, we would absolutely recommend your services to others.
Thanks again!

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Tom and Dom-Private father & son tour of Spain and Portugal

Denver, CO

Dominic and I came back from our two week trip to Portugal and southern Spain.  It was a great father & son trip and we had a great time!  From Lisbon, to Evora to Seville to Cordoba to Granada and finally Madrid, we had a great time.  I would highly recommend the private car with driver and local guides that Audrey arranged for us.  It was the best way of seeing the sites without any crowds, exactly the way Audrey envisions and offers in her tours. What a great way to see more of the country.  The food recommendations Audrey provided us with in the various towns came in very handy and were very accurate.  The accommodations she chose far exceeded our expectations. The prepaid tickets arranged by Audrey for the Bullet train and the Prado saved us a lot of time. We enjoyed ourselves and look forward to booking any future trip that will measure up to this one and highly recommend Travels with Audrey.
View Tom's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package, father and son vacation to Portugal and Spain)

private tour of scotland

Mike and Ellen-Private tour of Scotland & London

Indianapolis, IN

Our trip to Scotland was magical. With the help of Travels with Audrey we were able to enjoy a stress free trip in a country that prides itself on being laid back. The visit was centered in the Highlands, we had certain requests that were not only met but exceeded. The driver assigned was fabulous. An Irish chap who was the friendliest and most accommodating chap you can imagine. He was familiar with the territory and found the most interesting little spots to stop for a “lovely picture and maybe a cup of tea or coffee before we get on our way”.The variety of Hotels, Castles, Guest Houses and B & B’s made for an exciting time. The Distillery tours (2) were fun and informative and tasty. The scenery of the Highlands and the roads ventured to make the most of the tour made for a great journey. We had only one variation where a ferry could not be guaranteed to run, the driver was able to modify that on the run and found us an alternative town, Oban, that was one of the highlights of the entire trip. All in all from Edinburgh and St Andrews to the Isle of Skye to Oban and Sterling it was a couple of weeks that will live in our fondest memories.
(Customized Itinerary Package to Scotland and London, England)

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Gregg & Maureen / Coleen & Don-Private tour of France, Holland, Germany

IL & NJ

Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk café in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!
View Gregg, Maureen, Coleen and Don's private tour package
(Private Customized Guided Tour with Audrey as tour manager, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany). 

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Tony, Dan and family-Private family tour of Paris, Venice & Rome

Atlanta, GA

We were fortunate enough to have had Audrey De Monte serve as Tour Manager for our 10 day family trip to Europe. The tour was a 10-day multi generational family tour (grandparents to teen age grandchildren) of the cities of Paris, Venice and Rome. Audrey was extremely well organized and always provided multiple suggestions to make sure that everyone was having a great time. She knew the cities well which enabled us to get access to great reasonably priced restaurants that served authentic local food which was not an easy task for such a large group. She kept our group on time and always offered suggestions for other activities when we had free time. She made this family trip a very precious memory for all and for that we are grateful. Thank you Audrey!
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Paris, Venice and Rome, with Audrey as tour manager)

best option for discovering france off the beaten path

Terry and Bill-Private tour of Paris

Toronto, ON, Canada

We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Travels with Audrey for organizing our personalized tour of Paris, France – from the pick up at the dock in Lyon to the train station – to the pickup in Paris to drop off at our hotel – we felt very special for the efficiency and courtesy provided by Audrey’s personnel. We enjoyed our excursions to Versailles; the Louvre and Notre Dame – instructions provided were well illustrated and we had no difficulty is locating the meeting centers. Our hotel was quaint and close to the downtown core – we were able to walk around visiting various sites with ease and comfort. Would highly recommend Travels with Audrey to friends and family who may consider visiting France.
Many thanks!

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Eleni & Anne-Private family tour of Italy

Toronto, Canada

My family and I just returned from a vacation to Italy, planned by Audrey. I had never been to Italy before, and I didn’t know where to begin planning. Audrey’s knowledge of Italy is incredible. We gave her some ideas, and our budget, and she planned the most amazing trip for us! Each step was perfect. The hotels were beautiful, and we loved private tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Florence. The cooking class she set up in Sorrento was one of the highlights! We kept raving about how flawless and easy each part of the trip was! And Stresa, a place we never even knew about, was breathtaking! If it wasn’t for Audrey, we would have never gone there! She planned every detail, right down to the train tickets. Audrey, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You made our trip perfect and memorable. We will definitely be booking with you again!

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Merritt and Ellen Halem

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome with an extension to the Amalfi coast

There are not enough praising words for Audrey. It really was a wonderful vacation and we thank you, Audrey, for being such a huge part of its success. You really went out of your way to be sure that everyone enjoyed their time in Italy and your knowledge, expertise and genuine concern contributed greatly to a once in a lifetime trip. We are both back to work and into the routing of daily life. We hope to have the opportunity to travel with you again. 

Rooftop drinks in Rome

Lesia McQuade

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

Audrey, thank you so much for the pics! Most of all thank you so much for your cheerful self and smiles to greet us every day. I so enjoyed laughing with you and sharing the awesome time we had in Italy. Such wonderful memories! I hope you are enjoying your stay with your sister-in-law and hope you will see your husband and father soon. OH, what happened with the vase? I hope it got back to the hotel. What a journey that was...sorry you had to be a part of it! Part of the memories was schlepping that vase all around Italy...funny now!

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Audrey Medvin

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

We just got back from our Italian "adventure" last night and I wanted to spend a few minutes sharing with you some of my thoughts about this trip. Most importantly, our local host and tour manager, Audrey, made this a most memorable time with her knowledge, patience, sweetness and fun personality.  This could have been a very grueling time with the extreme heat, non-stop walking and lack of sleep but Audrey made it extremely enjoyable.  We couldn't have asked for anyone better and we feel blessed that we were lucky enough to have her as our guide.  The itinerary was fabulous and we especially loved the side trips to San Gimignano, Assisi, Cortona and the winery tour with lunch. 

I also wanted to mention that our culinary experience in Tuscany was an evening we will never forget.  I twisted the arms of my husband and friends to share this time with me and they couldn't thank me enough.  Veronica, our chef, was so warm and inviting and despite the heat of her kitchen, we had an unforgettable time.  We made pasta, sauce, focaccia bread, stuffed meat loaf, peppers and when Veronica found out we had a chocolate lover amongst us, she changed the dessert to a chocolate cake.  Of course, the wine was flowing!

The last night when the group got together to share our experiences with each other and with Audrey, we felt it was such a nice touch to receive the gifts that she personally got for us and it was so appreciated. I highly recommend Travels with Audrey for your vacation to Italy. 

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Shirley Prygoski

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

Allyson and I were very impressed with our tour to Italy! We wouldn't have changed a thing!!! We loved our hotels from the staff to the clean rooms and fabulous breakfast buffets. Our views from each of them were wonderful...especially the one in Rome. The nearby restaurants were superb. We both loved the first meal together with the taste-testing of drinks. It was a great way to meet each other and an excellent indication of what was ahead of us!!!

Your enthusiasm, attention to details and sweet surprises made each day very special. The musicians on the gondola ride, the wine and appetizers on the balcony, the chocolate candy on the bus, the rooftop wine testing (what a view), the thoughtful gifts you bestowed on us, etc. I also appreciated all you did to retrieve the bag I left behind in Cortona.

On the flight home, Allyson and I tried to determine our favorite destination. It was impossible! They were all so unique and it always seemed as though we had each place to ourselves!!! We liked the general tour you gave in each city. It made it easy for us to travel on our own. Did we tell you that we found a hidden little grocery store in Rome? They even had a gluten free area. We had a blast there and bought some fruit, veggies and goodies.

Audrey was really a fantastic tour manager. We appreciated how much she knew about Italy and that she spoke Italian. She flawlessly made all the arrangements, so that we didn't have to think about anything besides enjoying our trip. She was also an easy person to travel with! We can't recommend her highly enough!

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Kathy Goldsmith

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

Audrey, where do I start? I'm back at the hotel after a glorious afternoon...the Borghese, the synagogue, and the amazing church of Minerva - must see, indeed! When I left the Borghese, I took a cab to the Torre Argentina, wrapped my lovely scarf around me, and never got lost! So thank you, for all your good advice, your patient good spirits, your laughter - but most of all for sharing your joy and your passion for this indescribable country. With deep affection Kathy.

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Paul and Tammy Benson

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

Audrey, just wanted to tell you again how much we enjoyed sharing a little part of Italy with you and our other travel companions. The people, the food and wine, the culture, and the experiences will linger as vivid memories. You made it all happen as it should. Thank you for your professionalism, but most of all for your personal involvement and caring that made everything seem to happy naturally. More than a one-time tour captain, I hope to count you as a new friend. Thanks again and we hope to share new travel experiences with you again in more exciting places in the future. God bless you.

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Maureen and Peter Burke (Canada)

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome with an extension to the Amalfi coast

Thank you for your incredible leadership! As I scribbled on a post card to you on our last day in Sorrento, we truly appreciated your intelligent, enthusiastic, warm, witty and often personalized guidance throughout our wonderful trip to Italy. Your personal imprint was upon each of us who shared in this incredible adventure, and I know I speak for everyone when I say a sincere thank-you for making it so very special for each and every one of us! As our daughter, expressed it, you have the best career in the world! I know that we just witnessed the frosting on the cake, and that your expertise made everything seem so flawless, but that was all because of the hard work that you did behind the scenes. As Captain Jean Luc Picard would say, "make it so!" You are very special! 

small group tour in san gimignano

Cathy and Alex Han

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome

We love Audrey! We still talk about our trip and kids really appreciated her wonderful guiding thru cities especially catacombs. Because of Audrey, we had a wonderful first class tour in Italy. Hopefully we get a chance to see her again next year. She is very professional and fun and helpful. I left my passbooks at previous hotel. She helped me go back retrieve them without any fuss. Best Tour Manager ever!" Thanks Audrey! 

exclusive small group tours and private tour of lake como

Anna and Doug Gillison

Northern Italy Small Group Tour

We just wanted to thank you for making our honeymoon simply unforgettable. We think we were so very fortunate to have had you as our tour manager. You are amazing. Everything about you fits what you do perfectly. We appreciated your being so knowledgeable about the places we visited, so well prepared  and we loved your personality. We find ourselves reminiscing of so many lovely times we had. We would definitely travel with you again! You will be glad to know the bottles of wine made it just fine. And speaking of wine, dining with you at you own personally chosen restaurants was a unique, wonderful experience as well! 

private small group tour of pompeii

Bernie and Susan Moule

Italy's Great Cities Small Group Tour: Venice, Florence & Rome with an extension to the Amalfi coast

Bravissima!  Just returned from our tour of Italy guided by Audrey De Monte.  Can't begin to describe what a wonderful time we had.  Audrey is both charming and extremely professional. Audrey was the consummate professional. Organized and personable. She made the trip seamless and more fun than we could have hoped for. Audrey, you are the BEST ever. Thank you once again.

Gail

Gail, Bill, Lil, Tom and Bruce

Dallas, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma

Thank you, Audrey for the “perfect tour” of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.  Our merry little band of “over 70” year olds would have never made this trip on our own, nor would we have tolerated a big bus tour.  Your planning, time management and adjustments to our daily needs and itinerary were invaluable.  We especially enjoyed your personalized booklet as it was a great resource for our pre-trip travel planning.  The daily tour information with history and highlights of all our destinations was also very helpful.  The museums, boat and train rides, castles, wine tastings and your little surprises were enjoyed by all.  Most of all we got to enjoy these countries through all the food experiences you planned.  The Parmigiano-Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar and Prosciutto tours were all interesting and tasty.  Speaking of food, all the restaurants you took us to for lunch and dinner were over the top when it came to ambiance, scenic views and crazy good food.   We dinned everywhere from a ski gondola to a wine cave to hillside restaurants – fantastic.  These are just a few reasons we chose you for the second time to guide us on our lengthy tour.  Lastly, thank you for driving us over 2,200 miles, through 4 countries, in a span of 3 weeks so we could enjoy the beautiful countryside of these amazing countries….and did I mention the FOOD.  This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us that we all enjoyed and could not imagine entrusting anyone but you with coordinating this trip.  You have spoiled us rotten when it comes to traveling.

Tara

Tara and Mark

Leawood, Kansas

This was our second trip with Audrey and once again, the service she provides is top-notch. Her itineraries are a blend of must-see attractions and unique, off-the-beaten path experiences, with unplanned time for you to explore on your own. Audrey takes care of every detail (hotels, transportation, local guides, tickets to attractions) so you can focus on enjoying your time abroad. She chooses hotels, restaurants, and experiences that are charming, upscale and authentic. She’s also sensitive to the needs of her guests, going the extra mile for special occasions, and offering to help make reservations or arrangements outside of planned activities. Fluent in multiple languages, she has solid cultural knowledge of many European countries, and chooses excellent local guides who provide deeper context and history. We love traveling with Audrey, and can’t wait for our next trip with her!

Lesia and Kenneth

Lesia and Kenneth

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Our small group of eight saw Paris and Provence in 10 days with each day full of adventure and new experiences to our senses. This was our second trip using Audrey as our traveling guide. Our first trip was to Italy and with our 12 year old son. We did not hesitate to sign up for Audrey's trip to France when we received the information. Audrey removes the learning curve of travel. She is not just a guide, but becomes a friend who advocates for her guests. Audrey speaks 5 languages and has much knowledge about the places she takes her guests. When you travel with Audrey ALL logistics are taken care of. She is very detailed oriented and ensures that each guest is comfortable. Her trips are smooth and seamless. Tickets for museums and other events are purchased in advance and Audrey's group is ushered in; not waiting in long lines. Our seats on the train from Paris to Provence was in business class; roomy, quiet and comfortable. In Provence we traveled in comfortable luxury vans with the same drivers, visiting different villages who also added to the trip. Audrey hires expert tour guides (historians) for museums and villages who enrich your experience and bring history back to life. In France, we visited some main attractions, but then dove deep off the beaten path to feel the pulse of daily life in quaint villages. I liked it that in Provence we stayed in one Inn as our base camp and then drove to different villages from there. It was a comfort to have such a beautiful Inn to call our home for seven days while in Provence, where each guest had their own veranda. We enjoyed ancient Roman ruins, places where Van Gogh lived, open air markets, medieval castles, and a day on the Mediterranean in a boat swimming and exploring the Calanques. We learned about French wines and olive oils. We visited a beautiful lavender store where we learned about the different lavenders. In Paris we visited the Louvre Museum with an expert guide and historian. Audrey knows how to put a trip together, she advocates for her guests, and is tuned into each guest to make sure everyone is comfortable. We are looking forward to doing more trips with Audrey.

Kelly

Kelly

Mission Hills, Kansas

My family of 4 greatly enjoyed Paris and Provence. Audrey is an outstanding travel facilitator. Her personal attention to details and adjusting itineraries to meet our needs was really helpful. From planning to leading us throughout the trip we had just the right amount of activity, relaxing time, group time, and alone time. Her lifetime of experience and in-depth knowledge of the area was such a bonus. Can't recommend highly enough the value she provides. Looking forward to traveling with Audrey again!

photo testimonial

Janet

In June 2022, Audrey led our group of 8 artist friends through the lovely towns of Provence, France.  I asked her to help create a relaxing pace through the beautiful villages where artists historically came to paint and see the summer light of the Mediterranean towns.  She helped choose the places based on her recent visits, chose a charming boutique hotel on the edge of St Remy, drove us, translated for us, and basically guided us through our experience at a relaxed pace.  It was just perfect and Audrey is a charming and knowledgeable host.
We took her recommendations for which towns to stay longer, where to eat (Audrey is a foodie!) and where the best shopping was.
I highly recommend Audrey to put together your group vacation, just the way you want it!  Merci beaucoup, Audrey!
Should I mention that Audrey and I met as tour managers and have been friends for almost 10 years? I know her planning and attention to detail is impeccable.

Shelly

Shelly

Dallas, Texas

Our trip to Friuli with Audrey and Manlio was incredible! From the first contact with Audrey (thanks to a Google search!) through the planning process, we felt confident about her professionalism and attention to detail. What we didn't know until our trip began is how much fun and local insight Audrey and Manlio would bring to the whole experience. Audrey was quick to laugh with us, to anticipate our every need, and to prepare us for each day's adventures. Manlio was a steady presence, handling driving and sharing stories and memories that enhanced our trip. Their love for Friuli is evident, and it's contagious! Our trip was everything we hoped for and more. We're telling everyone to head to Friuli to see a different side of Italy. There are no better guides to the region than Audrey and Manlio. Grazie to you both! 

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Carolyn and Roger

Dallas, Texas

We have had the most memorable trip to beautiful Italy, made all the better by working with Travels With Audrey.  We were keen to explore the region of Friuli and the region surpassed our expectations.  Experiencing the history, cuisine and wine of this special region was a daily joy.  Having Audrey and Manlio as our main guides made all hassles and irritations of international travel melt away as we were effortlessly transported to our tours, meals and activities.  The hotels arranged by Audrey were beautifully appointed and perfectly located.  We found the pre-trip booklet very helpful in planning for and packing for the trip.

Working with Audrey on the front end to plan the itinerary was pleasant and collaborative.  She crafted a perfectly paced journey, hired wonderfully educational and knowledgeable guides and attended to all our needs along the way.  Audrey and Manlio provided a great balance of help and guidance during the day while also allowing us time on our own to explore and discover cities and sights on our own. We took a chance hiring Audrey to lead us on our trip and we were blessed with great fortune in discovering her services.  We cannot overemphasize how our travel to the amazing region of Friuli was enhanced by doing so with Audrey and Manlio.  We look forward to meeting them again as dear friends when we return in the future.

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Contact

Travels with Audrey, LLC
8181 Arista Place
Suite 100
Broomfield, CO 80021

+1.720.339.2364 (USA)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)

CST # 2140403-40