- Sample delicious pastries, macarons, and chocolates in Paris' Marais district
- Swim in the turquoise waters of Calanques National Park
- Take in a magical, interactive light show at Les Carrières de Lumières
- Relax on the warm, sandy beaches of Saint-Tropez
|Day 1||Arrive in Paris||Paris|
|Day 2||Marais Pastry & Chocolate Tour||Paris|
|Day 3||French Revolution Revealed Tour||Paris|
|Day 4||Train to Aix-en-Provence, Free Afternoon in Aix-en-Provence||Aix-en-Provence|
|Day 5||Private Day Tour to Cassis, Calanques & Boat Ride||Aix-en-Provence|
|Day 6||Drive to Les Baux-de-Provence & Saint-Rémy-de-Provence||Saint-Rémy-de-Provence|
|Day 7||Drive to Arles, Explore Roman History||Saint-Rémy-de-Provence|
|Day 8||Day Trip to Avignon & Provençal Gard||Saint-Rémy-de-Provence|
|Day 9||Drive to Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle, Grimaud, Sainte-Maxime||Saint-Tropez|
|Day 10||Free Day in Saint-Tropez||Saint-Tropez|
|Day 11||Drive to Cannes & Nice||Nice|
|Day 12||Free Day in Nice||Nice|
|Day 13||Oceanographic Museum of Monaco||Nice|
|Day 14||Depart Nice|
Day 1: Arrive in Paris
Welcome to Paris, France's capital city and an epicenter of culture, art, fashion, food, and a rich history that spans more than 2,000 years. Upon your arrival at the airport, you'll be picked up by a private driver and transferred to your hotel. After taking some time to settle in at your accommodations, head out for your first look at the city.
Start your immersion into Parisian life with a stroll along the Seine, a 483-mile (777 km) river that runs through the city. If the kids want to get out on the water, there are several boat tours available that can take you along some of the prominent sights and landmarks. You can also visit some of the city's kid-friendly museums, such as the Cité des Sciences ("Science & Industry Museum"), with exhibits designed just for children, or the Natural History Museum and Zoo, which has an interactive kids gallery and several rooms dedicated to the evolution of various species.
Of course, nothing says Paris like the Eiffel Tower! Built for the 1889 World's Fair, this 1,063-foot (324 m) structure is one of the city's most well-known and popular sites. The tower consists of three levels, with the highest platform sitting more than 900 feet (276 m) above the ground. There are elevators that transport you to the upper levels, but active kids might enjoy making the 600-step climb to the second level, which has an observation deck that showcases the whole city. If heights aren't a concern, ascend in a glass-walled elevator all the way to the top for the best views.
Day 2: Marais Pastry & Chocolate Tour
Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of French pastries and desserts today with a guided tour of the Le Marais neighborhood, located in the 4th arrondissement and home to some of the best cafés and pâtisseries in the city. Your guide will escort you through this vibrant district, sharing information on some of its most historic sites while you stop to sample delicious pastries, macarons, and French chocolates.
After all those sweets, the kids might want to burn off some energy, so head to Le Marais' Place des Vosges square, one of the oldest planned squares in the city. The park features a central fountain, lots of green space, and a quiet grape arbor with benches to relax on. Other parks in the Marais that the family might like include Square Leopold Achille, which has a play area and climbing structures, or Square Charles-Victor Langlois, where you'll find slides and bouncy toys.
Day 3: French Revolution Revealed Tour
Learn all about the history of the French Revolution with a guided walking tour that provides insight into how the revolution shaped the country as it is today. Your guides will take you through some of the most important sites surrounding the revolution, educating you and the kids on how the French society of that era was shaped and how it impacted the country. Walk the very steps of Queen Marie-Antoinette & Robespierre, visit the Place de la Concorde, and see the Obelisk of Luxor, a 3,300-year-old obelisk that marks the spot the guillotine stood during the revolution.
Day 4: Train to Aix-en-Provence, Free Afternoon in Aix-en-Provence
Head to the city of Aix-en-Provence, often referred to as a "mini-Paris" and rich in French heritage and culture. Take a high-speed train from Paris and once you land in the city and get checked in at your hotel, your day is free to see some of the sights here.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Private Day Tour to Cassis, Calanques & Boat Ride
Visit the coastal town of Cassis and take a private boat tour today. Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you'll head to Cassis, an old-world village that sits on the edge of Calanques National Park. The park is home to the Creeks of Cassis, a series of small creeks that are only accessible on foot or by boat.
Day 6: Drive to Les Baux-de-Provence & Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
This morning, pick up your rental car and make the one-hour drive to Les Baux-de-Provence, a town that dates back as far as 6,000 BCE. Les Baux became a defensive fortress stronghold in the Middle Ages, and today it's regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Take a self-tour of the city, starting with a visit to its famous 10th-century fortified castle, Château des Baux-de-Provence, which was originally ruled by the lords of Baux. Walk the ruins of the castle and read the posted educational placards that discuss its history, and the kids will love seeing the huge weapons and still-working stocks.
For a truly unforgettable treat, be sure to visit Les Carrières de Lumières, a multimedia art show held in a former quarry near the castle. Art from some of the world's most famous painters is projected onto the cavernous quarry walls and set to music in this magical display, a great way to entertain both smaller children and teens. You can also take an excursion to the Val d'Enfer, a valley filled with unique limestone rock formations, carved by water erosion over thousands of years.
This afternoon, drive to nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence for your overnight. Spend the evening soaking in the charm of this town, with its beautiful old fountains, shady squares, and terraced restaurants. The town also hosts a Provençal market on Wednesdays and Sundays, something the kids might enjoy if you happen to land here on one of those days.
Day 7: Drive to Arles, Explore Roman History
Make the 35-minute drive to Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site abounding with culture and history. This ancient city is located in southern France between the Rhône River delta and the wetlands of Camargue Natural Park. It's a remarkable place defined as much by its historic Roman architecture as it is by its quintessentially French squares and café-lined streets. Arles is also the city that inspired Vincent Van Gogh—he painted his famous 1888 oil painting "Café Terrace at Night" here.
Meander down the old streets and discover the historic legacy of this once provincial capital of ancient Rome. Stop at some of the well-known sites and monuments, such as the amphitheater, which dates back to 90 CE and still hosts the occasional bullfighting match, and the 11th-century Church of Saint-Trophime. Artistically inclined kids will appreciate a visit to the Luma Foundation, a non-profit that showcases the work of local artists and photographers. And depending on the time of year, kids can also see a live demonstration of cattle herding by gardians (local cowboys) on Camargue horses.
Day 8: Day Trip to Avignon & Provençal Gard
Take a day trip to Avignon and the Provençal Gard area, an easy 30-minute drive from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. This region has some of France's most amazing historic sites and beautiful natural landscapes. Visit The Pont du Gard, a 160-foot (48 m) ancient Roman aqueduct bridge, built to carry water and supplies to the Roman colony of Nemausus. The bridge crosses the river Gardon, and is a popular swimming area, with warm, shallow waters that are perfect for the kids. Kayak rentals are also available if you'd like to cruise under the bridge.
From here, head to the town of Laudun-l'Ardoise and hike to the ruins of Le Camp de César. This easy 2.3-mile (3.7 km) loop takes you through a forest and along stunning views of the Rhône Valley, eventually leading you to this historic, Roman-built fortress. You'll also want to visit the city of Uzès and its Duchal castle, the Duchy of Uzès, where you can tour the apartments of the ducal family and catch magnificent views of the countryside from its towers. Have lunch in the town of Chusclan, making a stop at Château de Gicon, a historic castle built on the site of a Roman villa, before returning to Saint-Rémy.
Day 9: Drive to Saint-Tropez, Ramatuelle, Grimaud, Sainte-Maxime
It's off to Saint-Tropez today, a once quiet fishing village that became a mecca for artists, writers, and filmmakers in the 1960s and remains a hotspot for visitors seeking pristine beaches, culture, and nightlife. The 2.5-hour drive traverses picturesque country roads, with views that include small creeks, hidden beaches, and crashing ocean waves.
Just outside the city, you'll find several smaller villages worth visiting. Make a stop in the medieval hilltop village of Ramatuelle, which sits on the hill of Palais and overlooks Pampelonne Beach. You can grab a bite to eat here at one of their sidewalk cafés or have some family beach time on the white sands of Pampelonne. The village is also the location for many seasonal music festivals, so depending on the time of year, you may get to experience some live music as well.
From there, head to Grimaud, which overlooks the bay of Saint-Tropez and is famous for its 11th-century castle, and the charming Port Grimaud, whose little canals and colorful waterfront homes are reminiscent of Venice. You can even hire a water taxi to take you through the waterways, sure to be a highlight for the kids! End the day with a stroll on the bayfront city of Sainte-Maxime, located just north of Saint-Tropez, where you can imbibe in a late-afternoon Côte-de-Provence wine tasting, get in more beach time, or have dinner. Afterward, go to Saint-Tropez and get settled at your hotel.
Day 10: Free Day in Saint-Tropez
Discover Saint-Tropez this morning with a self-guided tour, which you can do on foot or via rented bicycle if the kids want a faster mode of travel. Go down to the water and see the colorful boats in the harbor, then visit the Citadel, an old fort that houses the Museum of Maritime History, with nautical and historical exhibits. Visit Notre-Dame de l'Assomption parish church and its bell tower built in 1634, the Annonciade chapels, the Vasserot Washhouse (Lavoir Vasserot) where women once gathered to do laundry, and Moutte Park, which sits next to Moutte Beach.
This afternoon, you can check out some of the city's beaches, all of which are free to the public. Many have attached beach clubs where you can rent chairs and umbrellas, and have lunch or a snack. Or, if you're looking for something more lively for the kids, head to Azur Park. Located just 15 minutes outside the city center, the park offers more than 35 fun attractions, including mini golf, rides for all ages, and an on-site restaurant.
Finish your day with another dip in the warm, relaxing waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a stroll along the promenade of the port, treating the kids to some delicious gelato or French pastries. Relax at your hotel tonight before continuing your adventures tomorrow.
Day 11: Drive to Cannes & Nice
Your next destinations are the cities of Cannes and Nice. While most well-known as the host of the famed International Cannes Film Festival, the city has surprisingly humble roots as a modest fishing village. Modern Cannes is busy and energetic, with lots of business and retail shops, restaurants, and a host of beach resorts. The drive here takes approximately 1.5 hours, a scenic cruise along coastal highways.
Upon your arrival, spend the day exploring. Start at the Old Port, located in the heart of the city. Although it lost some of its nautical importance following the construction of the new and bigger Port Canto, the old port still welcomes yachts and boats with traditional rigging, which the kids will enjoy seeing. Then head to Saint-Pierre Quay, a neighborhood full of colorful buildings that date to 1838, and a great spot to grab lunch. Afterward, visit the Suquet, the oldest quarter and historic center of Cannes. Built on a hill, the Suquet invites you for a stroll along its steep medieval streets as you wander to the top viewpoints.
Later, you'll drive to Nice to overnight. Located just a short drive from Cannes, Nice sits at the northern end of the French Riviera, near the border with Italy. Known for its artistic spirit, grand plazas, and crescent-shaped pebble beaches, this is one of the French Riviera's most popular cities. After you check in at your accommodations, take an evening walk along the narrow cobblestone streets of its colorful old town, Vieille Ville, which is lined with pastel-colored buildings and shops selling everything from soap to wine. Have dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
Day 12: Free Day in Nice
Enjoy a free day in Nice with the family. Make a visit to Parc Phoenix, a 17-acre (7 ha) zoo and botanical garden located right in the heart of the city. Built in 1990, the park is home to more than 70 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, and more than 1,000 varietals of plants and trees. Walk along the tree-lined paths, fountains, and picnic areas, and see lemurs, wallabies, flamingoes, and other wildlife. The park also has an insectarium for budding entomologists and a farm with miniature horses and pigs.
If you're wanting to slow things down, a day at the beach where the kids can swim and play on the city's beautiful sandy shores is always a great idea. There are both public and private beaches dotted along the coastline here, the majority of which are easily accessible. While the public beaches are free, the private beaches do charge a rental fee for lounge chairs and umbrellas. The beach areas also have plenty of restaurants and cafés, as well as shops for souvenirs.
Tonight, walk the Promenade des Anglais, or "La Prom." This 4.3-mile (7 km) stretch of shops and restaurants is a popular place to congregate, especially for local families in the evening. The wide walkways and bike paths provide uninterrupted views of the sea, and you can even rent roller skates or scooters for the kids.
Day 13: Oceanographic Museum of Monaco
The whole family will love a visit to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Founded by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco's great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I, the museum is renowned throughout the world for its extensive displays of marine life. Their aquariums include a "Tropical Zone" where both kids and adults can experience face-to-face with sharks and piranhas, see colorful clownfish, and admire sea horses at play, as well as Mediterranean pools that have more than 200 species of invertebrates. Meet the resident octopus, see moray eels, and watch the soothing ballet of the jellyfish.
The museum section includes rooms dedicated to whales, exploration of the voyages of oceanographic discovery, mounted specimens, photographs, models, and marine mammal skeletons. You'll also want to see Oceanomania, a large cabinet of marine world curiosities, created by artist Mark Dion and featuring More than 1,000 objects from the museum's collections.
Day 14: Depart Nice
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