If two weeks in France is a dream come true, then this luxury itinerary is waiting for you. From the lights of Paris to the rocky coast of the French Riviera, every moment of this itinerary is packed with unforgettable moments. Spend an afternoon at the Louvre, set sail for the Frioul Islands on a private boat cruise, and sample Provence wine in postcard-worthy villages. 

Highlights

  • Soak in history and culture in Aix-en-Provence
  • Tour artisanal perfumeries in Nice
  • Prepare a 3-course meal at a scenic Provence chateau
  • Visit the troglodyte caves of Villecroze
  • Experience the magic of Paris at nighttime

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris Paris
Day 2 Chauffeured Tour of Paris in a Vintage Car Paris
Day 3 Pastry Tour of Le Marais & Afternoon at the Louvre Paris
Day 4 Free Day in Paris Paris
Day 5 Paris to Marseille, Afternoon of Art & History Marseille
Day 6 Private Boat Cruise & Photography Workshop Marseille
Day 7 Arrive in Aix-en-Provence Aix en Provence
Day 8 Avignon & Hilltop Villages of the Luberon Aix en Provence
Day 9 Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence Aix en Provence
Day 10 Aix-en-Provence to Nice: Wine Estate, Villecroze, & Nature Nice
Day 11 Cooking Class & Perfume Tour in Nice Nice
Day 12 Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze Nice
Day 13 Free Day in Nice Nice
Day 14 Au revoir, France!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris

Welcome to Paris!
Welcome to Paris!

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 filled with unique high-quality wares. 

Colorful streets and historic monuments invite visitors to stroll downtown, while narrow streets and cozy coffee shops 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. At the end of the day, head to a bar along the Rives de Seine for a pre-dinner aperitif on the terrace while you enjoy the sunset and a glass of wine. Take in the city views of the Pont Neuf, the tip of Île de la Cité, and the Pont des Arts as you watch the people and boats going by. After drinks, make your way to a local French restaurant for a three-course dinner next to your hotel.

Day 2: Chauffeured Tour of Paris in a Vintage Car

Vintage car in Paris
Vintage car in Paris

Enjoy a luxurious Parisian breakfast, then head out for a tour of the capital in a classic vintage car. Spend three hours exploring the city's most remarkable monuments, wide-open boulevards, and riverside esplanades. See the famous sights like Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower but also less-known locations like the Arènes de Lutèce, an ancient Roman amphitheater.  Get to know the capital's secrets while enjoying the comfort and class of your vintage ride.

After lunch at a cozy neighborhood eatery, stretch your legs with a private walking tour. Visit historical highlights of the Île de la Cité, like the medieval Palais de la Cité and Sainte Chapelle, renowned for its floor-to-ceiling stained-glass windows. Unfortunately, due to the April 2019 fire in Notre Dame, the cathedral is closed for several years for restoration, but a walk around the exterior still gives a sense of the building's magnificence. 

From here, wander through the streets of the trendy Le Marais district to see historic sights like the Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris. 

Wrap up the day with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Enjoy the views from this iconic monument before ending the tour with a romantic boat cruise along the Seine.

Day 3: Pastry Tour of Le Marais & Afternoon at the Louvre

The perfect way to start your day
The perfect way to start your day

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 4: Free Day in Paris

Notre Dame in spring
Notre Dame in spring

Paris is an inexhaustible source of culture and leisure, from incredible monuments to gastronomy. Beyond traditional tours, new ways to visit the capital have emerged in recent years.

Pick from the following unique options to make the most of your time in the French capital: 
  • Walk along the Seine riverbanks between the Musée d’Orsay and the Pont d’Alma
  • Visit the Grande Mosque de Paris, then rejuvenate on the patio among the wisteria and rosettes of mosaics with a mint green tea
  • Sample village life at the Butte aux Cailles, a ten minutes walk south of busy Place d'Italie, where you'll find a slightly counter-cultural enclave with cobbled streets and laidback bars
  • See street art in Belleville, from the Rue Sainte-Marthe and its candy-colored shop fronts to the Rue Denoyez with an ever-changing array of tags and artwork
  • Engage in a sensory experience at the Atelier des Lumières, a former foundry reinvented in a space of digital art that offers a striking immersive exhibition
  • Walk along the Canal Saint-Martin past art galleries and peaceful shaded banks
  • Escape the crowds in Buttes-Chaumont, one of the city's loveliest green spaces 
  • Take a stroll along Petite Ceinture, a disused railway line that runs for miles around the inner city. Several of its stretches are now urban bio-diversity trails
  • For lunch, there's nothing better than the warm atmosphere of the Belleville neighborhood
  • On a rainy day, visit the Catacombs and explore the seedy underbelly of Paris
  • For a tropical getaway in the city visit the greenhouses of the Jardin des Plantes
In the evening, choose from a few options. Head to the Palais de Tokyo (an art museum) for a drink at Les Grands Verres before viewing art until well past midnight. 

See the lights of Paris at night with a flight on the Ballon de Paris, one of the world's largest air balloons. 

At the end of the night, return to your hotel. 

Day 5: Paris to Marseille, Afternoon of Art & History

Saint Jean Castle, in Marseille
Saint Jean Castle, in Marseille

Start the day with a transfer to Marseille, in the south of France. Arrive at the airport or train station, then head to the hotel via a private transfer. 

After checking in, head out to explore this historic city on the Mediterranean coast. "Historic" might even be an understatement—with 2600 years of history under its belt, this is France’s oldest city. It's so old, in fact, that its foundations date back to the ancient Greek colony of Massalia around 600 BCE.

Spend the day visiting the city's historic neighborhoods, like the colorful district of Le Panier. This is the "Old Marseille," where the city has its roots. It's a working-class enclave on the central port and is the picture of Mediterranean beauty with medieval plazas, ancient churches, and brightly colored facades of the tenement buildings. You'll also find street art on the walls in the form of colorful frescoes. 

Other must-visit areas of Marseille include the city center, the waterfront, the hilltop basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, and the roman monastic foundation of Saint-Victor Abbey. You can also follow a walkway to Fort Saint-Jean, a fortification dominating the port that was built in 1660 by Louis XIV. Be sure to pay a visit to the fascinating Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM), which features permanent exhibits devoted to the history of these regional societies from ancient times to the present day.

End the excursion in Vieux-Port, in the heart of the city, where you can finish the day by enjoying a good pastis or beer as the sun goes down.

Day 6: Private Boat Cruise & Photography Workshop

The Frioul Islands and Château d'If
The Frioul Islands and Château d'If

Spend the morning discovering the hidden gems of Marseille. Just a stone's throw from the tumult of the city center, you'll find one of the world's most beautiful coastal regions. Make your way to the port, then set sail on a private boat tour. Your personal skipper will navigate to the day's first stop: the Frioul Islands archipelago. With its little port and famous Château d'If, this neighborhood of Marseille includes four small islands with great views of little rocky coves and the ancient castle.

From here, continue your tour to Malmousque to explore hidden rocky inlets and turquoise water—perfect for a dip in the water. Finish your trip at the beautiful Vallon des Auffes, an ancient fishing port located under a huge bridge. You'll have ample time for swimming in these hidden coves, which are difficult to access without a boat.

Back on solid ground, enjoy the golden afternoon hour with a local photography guide. Bring your phone or camera with you and explore the colorful streets of Marseille while improving your photography skills with your photographer guide's help.

At the end of the day, enjoy dinner in the city center.

Day 7: Arrive in Aix-en-Provence

Quiet day in Aix
Quiet day in Aix

In the morning, transfer from Marseille to Aix-en-Provence, a half-hour drive away. Spend the morning exploring the famous city on a two-hour guided walking tour and uncover the rich heritage, art, and culture that defines the city. Stroll a labyrinth of narrow streets, passing historic churches and squares as your guide points out famous and hidden gems.

Visit the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral, a Romanesque/Gothic church built on the site of an ancient Greek temple to Apollo. Stop and see the Town Hall (known locally as the Hotel de Ville), which dates to the 14th century and sits on a plaza from the same era. The tour includes a walk along the Cours Mirabeau, a busy thoroughfare lined with leafy trees and full of markets and cafés—perfect for people watching. Keep your eyes peeled for ruins dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. 

Spend the afternoon exploring the city on your own. Visit the flower market and the Provençal food market to find local specialties such as macarons, calissons, goat’s cheeses, olive oil, honey, and fantastic local wines. Wander the narrow streets go shopping in the fashion boutiques of this “mini-Paris," or relax with a luxurious spa or hammam. 

Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the city's incredible farm-to-table restaurants. 

Day 8: Avignon & Hilltop Villages of the Luberon

The Palace of the Popes in Avignon
The Palace of the Popes in Avignon

After breakfast, travel about an hour northwest of Aix-en-Provence to the medieval city of Avignon. There's centuries of history here, as this is where Pope Clemente V moved his court in the 14th century. For several decades thereafter, it was the seat of the Catholic popes.

Spend the day exploring the city on a guided walking tour. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Le Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the Pont Saint-Bénézet medieval bridge, subject of the famous 15th-century song Sur le Pont d’Avignon. You'll also visit Avignon Cathedral, Doms Garden, Saint Pierre Basilica, and the Place de l'Horloge, Avignon's main square. 

From here embark for the surrounding Luberon region, an area known for its countryside vineyards, orchards, and postcard-worthy hilltop villages. Travel at a leisurely pace as your guide takes you to the village of l'Isle Sur la Sorgue, famous for its outdoor weekend markets, antique stores, and old wooden waterwheels churning over the Sorgue River, which bisects the town. There are few better spots to enjoy a relaxing lunch than here in town, which is exactly what you'll do. 

After eating, head to Gordes. This is arguably the most beautiful of all the hilltop villages in the Luberon. The skyline of Gordes is dominated by its fortified castle, and from its winding cobbled streets you can look out to wide views over the valley and surrounding hills. From Gordes, it's just a few kilometers to the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sénanque, a Cistercian abbey founded in the 12th century. 

This caps the day's eight-hour tour—from here, head back to Aix for the night.

Day 9: Provençal Cooking Class in Aix-en-Provence

Fresh vegetables for sale
Fresh vegetables for sale

The southeastern French region of Provence is like a postcard. This is the land of the Riveria, and medieval hillside villages, and lavender fields, and endless olive groves and vineyards. But Provence is as much a way of life as it is a point on a map. Today you'll experience Provence's culture and rich way of life on a foodie tour of one of the most beautiful towns in all of France, Aix-en-Provence.

On this day-long cooking adventure, you'll browse the myriad food markets of Aix's Old Town, meet local purveyors, and pick up some of the fresh regional produce that the area is famous for, like herbes de Provence, olive oil, truffles, figs, honey, and more. You'll bring these ingredients to the home of your host and then work on recipes and prepare the feast. On the way back to the country house, which follows a route that passes through the scenic Montaiguet Forest, you'll stop at a local chateau to select some local wine to pair with your meal. 

Upon arriving at the country home, you can take a stroll around the property and search for wild aromatic herbs. Then it will be time to start the cooking class, and you and a group of culinary enthusiasts will actively participate in the preparation of various recipes. After approximately two hours of cooking, it will be time for everyone to sit down at the long convivial table and share in their gastronomic creations. 

Later in the afternoon, you'll return to Aix en Provence where you'll overnight.

Day 10: Aix-en-Provence to Nice: Wine Estate, Villecroze, & Nature

Sillans waterfall
Sillans waterfall

Take your time today as you explore the rural roads of Provence up to the Mediterranean coast on a chauffeured driving tour. You'll spend the day surrounded by the stunning landscapes of the French Riviera.

Start your day with a drive to the Berne Castle, approximately a 1.5-hour drive from Aix. The castle is home to one of the French Riviera's most beautiful vineyards, and the estate produces some of the region's most acclaimed red, rosé, and white Côtes de Provence wines. Enjoy a wine tasting, take in the views, and discover the history and architecture of this incredible property. There's plenty of history to explore: Berne Castle sits on the ancient Roman Via Aurelia, which linked Italy and Spain. In fact, wines have been cultivated on the property for nearly 1,000 years. 

For your lunch, chooses between an entire 3-course truffle menu or any other restaurant in the countryside.

In the afternoon, continue your visit to the unique village of Villecroze, perched at the bottom of the Provençal Alps and surrounded by wild nature. Make sure to see one of the town's most interesting features—the troglodyte caves on the eastern edge of the village, which date back thousands of years.  

From here head to the village of Sillans-la-Cascade, famous for its 140 ft (42 m) high waterfall, which gives this otherwise quiet village distinct energy. 

Finally, transfer to Nice at the end of the afternoon, a 2-hour drive away. Enjoy dinner in Nice.  

Day 11: Cooking Class & Perfume Tour in Nice

Fresh olives and pickles at the market
Fresh olives and pickles at the market

Start your day with a visit to the famous Liberation Market in Nice to search for fresh regional products. Your local guide will lead you through a gastronomic journey as you wind your way through the city's romantic streets, shopping for the perfect ingredients. Your guide will personally introduce you to shop owners and market vendors, who will welcome you like a local.

From the market, continue to a bright apartment in the heart of Nice for your private cooking class. Discuss local cooking techniques and traditional recipes with the chef before diving into the cooking portion of the class. Prepare a traditional meal, then sit down for the best part of the day—your three-course meal! Enjoy your creation, paired with a glass of bright Rosé wine. 

Following this gourmet meal, continue your exploration of Nice with a tour of the local perfume history. Start the experience with an exclusive presentation of the Chanel perfume collection with a brand expert, then visit the perfume museum to discover the emblematic fragrances for yourself. As a perk, bring home a Chanel goody bag to remember the visit long after you depart. 

After, head to the colorful flower market to find the raw materials that comprise the fragrant perfumes from earlier. Along the way, pass by ancient spice shops and perfume ateliers of the Old Town. Finish the day by choosing your favorite essential oil from the French Riviera to bring home. 

Day 12: Private Tour of Monaco, Monte Carlo, & Eze

Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo

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 13: Free Day in Nice

Colorful Port Lympia in Nice
Colorful Port Lympia in Nice

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, 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 14: Au revoir, France!

French Riviera by night
French Riviera by night

After breakfast, take a private car or train transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. A bientôt!


Map

Map of Luxury, Art, & Food in France: Paris, Provence, & the French Riviera - 14 Days
Map of Luxury, Art, & Food in France: Paris, Provence, & the French Riviera - 14 Days