Guided small group tours in France

Sharing with you a story from a client:

I was a young woman the last time I saw Paris. I studied art there in the 50’s. It was marvelous! My father was in France during the war, and when he came home he always told my sister and me that if we wanted to be artists, we must study in France. My sister had no interest, but I took his advice and loved my time there! I might have stayed had I not met my husband on a visit home, and his job kept him in the U.S., so I said “au revoir” to Paris and vowed to return to France someday.

Now the years have gone by, and I realize that my chances to return are growing fewer and fewer. Occasionally my children and grandchildren would find me thumbing through worn photo albums, looking longingly at photos of my time there. As I have gotten older, those memories have become more and more precious, and my children knew that I lit up whenever I recalled them.

Thankfully, my daughters had a plan. For my next big birthday, they decided the ladies in the family should go to Paris, all 8 of us! They knew how much it meant to me to be able to show them and my granddaughters something so special. They were very clear with me, though, that they did not want me lifting a finger! One of my daughters had recently used Travels with Audrey on a tour of Italy, and knew that Audrey would be the perfect guide to show our family all the beauty that France had to offer. Audrey was kind enough to speak with me along with coordinating with my daughters, and reassured me that she could show us the best of France, while still allowing me to relive the Paris of my youth. Best of all, Audrey understood that I don’t move as quickly as I did in the 1950’s, and was able to set out a more leisurely pace for our adventures.

From the moment we touched down in Paris, I knew that I was home. Audrey found us a charming hotel close to the Seine and the best museums, and with enough amenities to keep my granddaughters from complaining! From our first day she took us walking through cobblestone streets, in and out of local shops that she knew, introducing us to some hidden gems within the district. We walked and walked, and when my knees gave out, she knew exactly where to stop for a glass of wine!

We spent 5 marvelous days in Paris, each one better than the last. Audrey arranged for a guided walking tour one morning, so that my daughters and granddaughters could learn the rich history of the city that they were already falling in love with. The girls climbed the Eiffel Tower, marveled at the Arc de Triomphe, explored the Musee D’Orsay, and I even braved the crowds with them to do a tour of the Louvre. As much as the girls marveled at the attractions, they fell in love with the simplest parts of French living, like our morning trips to the “boulangerie”, or the picnic we had in a small park overlooking the riverbank. Audrey even took us back to my old neighborhood, and I got to show my granddaughters where I lived when I was not much older than them.

As beautiful as Paris was, Audrey told my daughters that we would not truly see France without seeing wine country, to which my daughters of course had no objection! Audrey arranged for private drivers to take us to Burgundy, where we stayed overnight at a small hotel near a beautiful winery, and enjoyed a guided tour of the town from a wonderful local tour guide who taught us all about the history of wine-making in the region. The winery owners were so welcoming in showing us around their property, and of course made sure that we never went thirsty for a minute!

Audrey also took us to Lyon, where we toured the old city as well as the bustling Presqu’île area. My granddaughters told me they could never look at art the same way again after Paris, but the Musee des Beaux Arts in Lyon gave the Louvre a run for its money! Even more amazing was when my youngest told me that she wants to take up painting as soon as she gets home! This came from a girl who barely noticed our arrival in France because she was too busy playing on her cell phone. I could not have been more proud.

“Je vous remercie”, Audrey, for all of your help and guidance in putting this incredible trip together. Not only did you help me recapture the magic of Paris, but our trip to France brought us closer together as a family. My daughters are already talking about us all taking our next trip together in a few years. I hear Spain is beautiful in the Spring!

Planning a vacation to France? Audrey helps you make your vacation truly memorable by creating a unique itinerary that promises a personal experience you will not find anywhere else. Contact Audrey to book your very own private tour to France with an exclusive itinerary designed around your wishes or learn more about the Travels with Audrey Difference.   

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Audrey De Monte

About Audrey De Monte

Born in New York City, raised in Western Africa, I have studied, lived and worked on three continents (Africa, Europe and North America), and have traveled extensively throughout the world. Travel has shaped my life, who I am, how I look at the world and continues to be my biggest teacher. Together with my native Italian husband, we speak 5 languages. Western Europe is my backyard, in particular Spain, France, Germany, and Italy—countries where I have spent my life, since early childhood, visiting family, friends, studying, living and working.