Spend ten days taking in some of the top treasures in France from north to south. You'll start off exploring Paris with local guides to see both its star attractions and secret spots, then head to the historic city of Marseille. Continue to the famed French Riviera and the seaside city of Nice to end your trip in the sun.

Highlights

  • Learn the secrets of the Louvre
  • Visit the glamour of Versailles
  • Stroll the ancient streets of Marseille
  • Lounge on the French Riviera

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris Paris
Day 2 Treasures of the Louvre Tour Paris
Day 3 Notre Dame Cathedral & The Cradle of Paris Paris
Day 4 Day Trip to Versailles Paris
Day 5 Paris to Marseille Marseille
Day 6 Explore Marseille Marseille
Day 7 Marseille to Nice Nice
Day 8 French Riviera Nice
Day 9 Free Day in Nice Nice
Day 10 Depart Nice  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Welcome to France! Your journey begins in Paris, the "City of Lights." After transferring from the airport to your lodging, take some time to settle in before your afternoon date with the Eiffel Tower.

You'll meet your guide among the statues of the Trocadero esplanade to view the Tower from afar, then make your way up to its base accompanied by the stories of this famous monument. Ascend both viewing floors and the Tower's summit with your guide to take in the views and history.

Day 2: Treasures of the Louvre Tour

Louvre
Louvre

Take a leisurely morning to stroll among the Parisian cafes and work on your jet lag. In the afternoon, you'll head to the Louvre for a private tour accompanied by a local art historian. Go directly into the museum to learn about some of the world-class masterpieces from artists like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Delacroix over the course of two and a half hours.

Day 3: Notre Dame Cathedral & The Cradle of Paris

Latin district
Latin district

Start your morning strolling through the Cradle of Paris, the stunning Ile de la Cité. Your tour begins at the famed 12th-century Notre Dame cathedral; though you can't go inside, there is plenty to admire on the exterior and a slew of stories to tell.

Cross over the Seine from there to visit the Latin Quarter, home to some of the oldest streets in Paris such as Rue du Chat Qui Pêche and Rue Galande, as well as the city's oldest tree. Your guide will drop you off at Shakespeare & Co bookstore, leaving you plenty of time to wander the shelves.

Day 4: Day Trip to Versailles

Versailles gardens
Versailles gardens

Travel back to one of France's most aristocratic eras with a day trip to Versailles. You'll be transferred from your hotel to this opulent palace, filled with gold and crystal, for a five-hour exploration of the lavish life of the monarchy. A guided tour will fill you in all the place's secrets as you walk through its corridors and out through the royal gardens.

After the tour, you can choose to return to Paris for the afternoon or wander the property on your own until you want to go back to the city.

Day 5: Paris to Marseille

Bay of Marseille
Bay of Marseille

Transfer to the train station this morning to head to Marseille, roughly a 3-hour, 25-minute train ride away. You can choose to either spend the day free to explore the city at your own pace or take a guided tour of Marseille and neighboring Cassis.

The guided tour will take you along the Ginese and Crests roads out to Cape Canaille, known for its views of the bay and the Gardiole mountain range. Continue to the ancient fishing port of Cassis and board a boat for a 45-minute ride out to the 3 Calanques, steep-walled coves hiding small harbors and secret beaches.

After you've spent sufficient time in the sun, you'll return to Marseille for a tour including the Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, a drive past the 19th-century luxury homes of the Corniche Road, and the 11th-century Saint-Victor Abbey that guards the entrance to the Vieux-Port (Old Port).

Day 6: Explore Marseille

'Le Panier' district
'Le Panier' district

A guided four-hour tour gives you today's glimpse into the stories of Marseille. Start at the Marseille Town Hall and the city's oldest neighborhood, Le Panier, as you walk along the Vieux Port, Old Charity hospital, and Byzantine architecture of Cathedral La Major.

Continue to see a different side of the city at the Musée des Civilisations d'Europe et de Méditerranée (MUCEM), a modern design that contrasts with the older architecture of the city. Explore the museum collection, then take in views of Fort St. Jean and Fort St. Nicolas from its seaside terrace.

Day 7: Marseille to Nice

Nice
Beach in Nice

Get on the road after breakfast to the last stop on your trip, the seaside city of Nice on the French Riviera. Roughly a 2.5-hour drive from Marseille, this city is the unofficial capital of the Côte d’Azur and magnet for both sunbathers and the luxury set since the 19th century. Visit the markets, old town, and scads of restaurants to soak up the Riviera vibe.

Day 8: French Riviera

Cannes
Cannes harbor

Experience three cities of the French Riviera on today's tour.

You'll start in Cannes, home of the famous film festival, and walk on the red carpet up the steps of the Palais des Festivals. Then continue down the coast to Antibes, with a rampart-enclosed old town built in the medieval era. The ramparts once protected the city from invaders, but later inspired Picasso when he made the city his home for a few years.

Conclude your tour in one of the most-visited cities in France, Saint Paul de Vence. This fortified village dates back to the 11th century has been the home of famous creatives including the painters Chagall, Picasso, and Matisse; authors Prévert and Pagnol; and actors Signoret and Montand. View some of their classic works in the La Colombe d'Or, visit Chagall's grave at Le Puy, and wander the streets visiting the villages' shops and galleries.

Day 9: Free Day in Nice

Danse from Matisse
Danse by Matisse

Your schedule for your last full day in France is up to you. Explore Nice on your own, or join an art tour of the French Riviera.

If you choose to join the 4.5-hour tour, you'll start at the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, built more than 100 years ago at the top of the peninsula of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and now home to works of art collected by Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild. Walk through its colorful gardens with multiple themes and take in the views of the Villefranche and Beaulieu bays.

Continue to the Matisse Museum on the hill of Cimiez in Nice, housed in a 17th-century Genoese villa. After exploring Matisse's evolution, you'll end your tour in the Marc Chagall National Museum. The artist wanted to gather all of his 17 paintings on the Biblical Message in one place, alongside other works.

Day 10: Depart Nice

Home, sweet home!
Nice views

After breakfast, catch your transfer to the airport in Nice for your flight home.