- Experience the magic of Paris at night
- Tour the fairytale Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau
- Wonder at the splendor of the Versailles estate
- Explore Paris through the medium of pastries
- Spend time relaxing on the beach
|Day 1||Welcome to France! Arrive in Paris & Evening Eiffel Tower Tour||Paris|
|Day 2||Pastry Tour of Le Marais & Afternoon at the Louvre||Paris|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Versailles||Paris|
|Day 4||Day Trip to Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau||Paris|
|Day 5||Fly to Nice & Afternoon Free||Nice|
|Day 6||Full Day on the Coast: Cannes, Antibes, & Saint-Paul de Vence||Nice|
|Day 7||Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze||Nice|
|Day 8||Au revoir, France!|
Day 1: Welcome to France! Arrive in Paris & Evening Eiffel Tower Tour
Welcome to Paris, the City of Lights! This elegant capital boasts centuries of history, art, fashion and, of course, romance. Upon arrival, you'll be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel by private car. Take some time to settle in and relax before heading out to explore the streets near your accommodation before dinner.
Paris is alive and thriving with activity, day and night. It's the perfect city to indulge in a little shopping, with department stores like Lafayette and Printemps housing some of the best local designers around, and small boutique shops offering unique high-quality wares.
Colorful boulevards and historic monuments invite visitors to stroll through the downtown, while narrow alleys and cozy cafes create a romantic atmosphere. For art lovers, spending time at Paris' smaller museums is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as the city has one of the most impressive art collections in the world. Alternatively, lazing around in the parks or at a sidewalk cafe on a sunny day is simply blissful.
After settling into your hotel, head out for your first look at the city. Spend some time walking around downtown and enjoying the sights. In the evening, meet with your private guide for a 3.5-hour exploration of the Trocadero Esplanade and Eiffel Tower. Start at the Trocadero to see its statues, monuments, and city views. Continue to the Iron Lady herself with skip-the-line tickets, giving you the most time to visit both floors and take in the incredible views from the top.
Day 2: Pastry Tour of Le Marais & Afternoon at the Louvre
Eating pastries and enjoying art is synonymous with French culture, and you'll get to do plenty of both today. Start your day with a tour of the Le Marais neighborhood with a hyper-local guide (a neighborhood resident, in fact!) to explore the secret cafes and taste the best baked goods in the city. Spend two hours sampling crépes, crème brûlée, pain au chocolat, espresso, chocolates, macarons, and more.
Visit the city's oldest food market, the Marché des Enfants Rouges, and try your hand at haggling for your favorite treat. As you walk, learn about world-famous pastry chefs: Poîlane, Jean-Paul Hévin, Jacques Genin, Pierre Hermé, and others.
In the afternoon, it's time to explore the Louvre, the world's largest art museum. Skip the lines and head right to the classics, as well as your personal favorites. Get up close to Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa, then get some fresh air at the Tuileries Garden. In the evening, explore the Champs Elysees and the majestic Arc de Triomphe.
Day 3: Day Trip to Versailles
In the morning, head outside of the big city to the resplendent Versaille Estate. Take the train there, then head directly inside with your skip-the-line access to spend a few hours exploring the palace and grounds. Travel back in time to past centuries as you discover what life was like living in the splendor of the court of the kings and queens of France. Your historian guide will walk you from hall to gilded hall, pointing out ornately painted ceilings, the Hall of Mirrors, and the private royal quarters.
After touring the castle head outside to the manicured gardens and lawns, where a dazzling display of flowers and exotic plants delight visitors of all ages.
Enjoy lunch near the castle, then take the train back to Paris for a free afternoon in the city. Shop, enjoy the sunshine in one of the city's parks, or explore one of the city's many art museums.
Day 4: Day Trip to Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Take the grand double spiral staircase to the second floor to see the royal apartments of François I and Louis XIV. During its heyday, the chateau and nearby forests were used for royal hunts and other pleasure activities. Continue up to the terraces, where views of the surrounding landscape offer a glimpse into the charmed lives of the castle's royals. From here you can also get a good look at the roofing and chimneys of the chateau, which rises magnificently above the wide moat.
The chateau in its current form was built between 1513 and 1517 by Thomas Bohier and his wife Catherine Briçonnet, who oversaw and directed most of the construction. Since then, there has been a long and dramatic line of women who have owned, loved, repaired, expanded on, and restored the chateau. It's so well-loved, in fact, that it's the second-most visited chateau in France, after Versaille.
After the tour, return to your hotel in Paris.
Day 5: Fly to Nice & Afternoon Free
Arrive at Nice International Airport, then transfer to your centrally-located hotel by private car.
Nice sits at the northern end of the French Riviera, near the border with Italy. Nicknamed Nissa La Bella ("Nice the Beautiful") for its artistic spirit, grand plazas, crescent-shaped pebble beaches, Nice is inarguably the French Riviera's most popular city. The narrow cobblestone streets of its colorful old town, Vieille Ville, are lined with pastel-colored buildings and a plethora of shops selling everything from soap to wine.
Spend the day exploring the city on your own. Pick from the following options to make the most of your time in the coastal town:
- Explore the Greek quarter, which dates back to the time of the Ancient Greeks of the Massalia region around 350 BCE
- See remains of the Roman amphitheater and area in the historic Cimiez neighborhood
- While in the Cimiez neighborhood, walk around to see two other notable landmarks: the opulent Excelsior Régina Palace, where Queen Victoria of England used to spend her summers, and the Musée Matisse, a museum showcasing the works of the expressionist master Henri Matisse
- Visit the ornate 20th-century St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which was built by the Royal Family for the Russian community of the French Riviera
- Go for a stroll along the quays of Port Lympia and take in views of the water
- End your day with a stop at the historic Negresco Hotel, where you can enjoy an aperitif in style and make a toast to your very own slice of the Belle Époque.
Day 6: Full Day on the Coast: Cannes, Antibes, & Saint-Paul de Vence
Start your full-day tour of the coast with a drive to Cannes. Spend the morning exploring the city, starting at the Old Port 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.
The port marks the entrance to the Suquet, the oldest quarter, and the 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.
Continue to Antibes, where you'll visit a typical provençal market and wander the streets of the old town. The town is also famous for the Picasso Museum, which chronicles Picasso's 1946 stay in the Château Grimaldi and features the paintings, drawings, and ceramics which he produced during his time there.
Other stops today include the hill-top villages of Provence and Saint-Paul de Vence. Both towns boast exceptional culinary treats: Provençal stew, aioli, anchoïade, herbes de Provence, garlic, basil, olive oil, truffle, figs, honey, and of course the ever-present wine.
In Saint-Paul de Vence, choose from one of two tour options: a wine tasting with experts or a private guided tour of the Folon Chapel and the Maeght Foundation. Visit the keep, collegiate church, and ramparts, then head to the Matisse Chapel in Vence.
Return to Nice in the evening.
Day 7: Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze
In the morning make your way to Monaco, a 12-mile (20 km) drive from Nice, for a guided tour. Monaco is one of the world's smallest countries and is considered a city-state.
Visit the famous Monte Carlo district with its legendary casino and see Prince Rainier's car collection, then continue to the Rock of Monaco (Rocher de Monaco in French.) This is the location of the town's oldest neighborhood, the medieval Old Town. From here, the views of the sunny coast are unparalleled. Learn about this community's history and anecdotes about the dynasty which has reigned there for decades.
From here continue to the medieval village of Eze, which perches high above the Mediterranean sea. Thanks to its location and history, it's a popular destination with painters and artists. Explore the famous Chapelle Sainte-Croix and the ruins of the ancient castle, which allude to the city's strategic location on the coast. Stroll through the town's peaceful gardens and soak in the sunshine.
At the end of the day, return to Nice.
Day 8: Au revoir, France!
After breakfast, take a private car or train transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. A bientôt!