- Immerse yourself in the sporting history of Paris
- Go truffle hunting and wine tasting in Burgundy
- Take cooking classes in Burgundy and Provence
- Enjoy food tours and market visits in Lyon and Nîmes
|Arrive in Paris, Sporting City Tour
|Train to Beaune, Truffle Hunt
|Beaune Highlights, Burgundy Wine Tour
|Cooking Class in Beaune
|Train to Lyon, Old Town Food Tour
|Beaujolais Wine Tasting & Medieval Pérouges
|Morning Les Halles Market Tour, Transfer to Nîmes
|Nîmes Food Tour, Transfer to Marseille, Sunset Dinner Cruise
|Cooking Class in Marseille
|Free Morning in Marseille, Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Paris, Sporting City Tour
Welcome to France! The 2024 Olympics are coming to Paris, and you can bet it will be a memorable occasion in the City of Lights. This isn't France's first dance with the world's most famous multi-sport event—Paris has actually hosted the event twice before, in 1900 and 1924—but 2024 is sure to be one for the books.
Upon arrival at the airport in Paris, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Then you can head out and see all the preparations the city has been making ever since winning the bid to host the Olympics in 2017. You can bet that major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the romantic Seine River will play a major role.
On a sporting tour of Paris, a local guide will lead you on a city tour focusing on Paris' sporting history. Over two hours, you'll stop at various historical sites connected to the Olympic Games, including the Stade Pierre de Coubertin indoor arena and the Roland Garros tennis courts. After the tour, you'll have the rest of the day to explore Paris on your own.
Day 2: Train to Beaune, Truffle Hunt
This morning, transfer to the station and board a train for the two-hour ride southeast into the Burgundy region and Beaune. This storybook town is the official wine capital of Burgundy, and features a treasure trove of well-preserved examples of Burgundian architecture, charming half-timbered houses, and cobbled streets. Needless to say, the historic Old Town is a delight to explore.
Your first order of business upon arrival is that most quintessential of European foodie adventures: a truffle hunt. Transfer outside of town to the countryside, where for two hours, you'll witness a demonstration by a local expert and their dogs on how to sniff out Burgundy's prized truffles. These local fungi are hugely valuable due to their scarcity and the fact they only grow in a few specific areas, and Burgundy truffles in particular have a distinct flavor that adds a whole new dimension of complexity to dishes. Of course, the tour includes a tasting. Afterward, you'll return to town.
Day 3: Beaune Highlights, Burgundy Wine Tour
It's time to experience the best of Beaune! Leave after breakfast on a full-day highlights tour, beginning in the Old Town at its most famous landmark, the Hospices de Beaune. This stunning 15th-century hospital, with its colorful roof tiles, is today a museum showcasing the town's history and art. Its exterior is a model of historic Burgundian Gothic architecture famous for its glitz.
Next, keep strolling the area's cobbled streets, stopping periodically at the wine cellars and tasting rooms. While not a single landmark, these destinations throughout Beaune are a quintessential part of the town's culture and history. Their origins date back to the 12th century, as even then Beaune was a hub for wine production. Today, these cellars and tasting rooms are great places to stop and try Burgundy's famous wines, particularly its chardonnays and pinot noirs.
The wine theme continues as you embark on a trip to the countryside. After stopping for a convivial lunch in a charming village, you'll visit the region's famous vineyards at a family-run wine estate. During a tour, you'll learn the secrets to Burgundy's terroir, which enjoys microclimates created by hills and valleys. This, combined with diverse soil types and meticulous winemaking practices emphasizing minimal intervention, is why this region produces some of the world's best reds and whites. You'll experience these deep flavors for yourself during a tasting, before returning to town.
Day 4: Cooking Class in Beaune
You've tasted the fruits of Burgundy's terroir on a wine tour, now it's time to dive deep into the region's cuisine. If it's a weekend, you'll hop over to Beaune's farmers market to pick up the requisite ingredients and fresh seasonal produce to use in today's cooking workshop. If it's a weekday, then you'll head straight to the kitchen.
Once there, meet the chef/instructor who'll lead you on a culinary journey. Throughout the morning, you'll cook an entire Burgundian menu comprised of four courses. If everything goes according to plan, your meal should be ready around lunchtime, and you can sit down to enjoy your creations. As an added bonus, your instructor will match your meal with some great Burgundy wines and offer some tips about pairing.
Day 5: Train to Lyon, Old Town Food Tour
Transfer to the station in the morning for the two-hour train ride south to Lyon. The capital of France's Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, this historic city sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. More even than its scenic beauty, Lyon is famous for being the gastronomic capital of France—no small feat in a country with legendary cuisine.
After checking into your hotel, you'll discover this culinary heritage one bite at a time on a delicious food tour. This half-day walk is as much a journey into the city's culture as its cuisine. To that end, you'll wander cobbled streets in Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), marvel at colorful murals, and visit workshops where local artisans ply their trade.
During the walk, you'll stop to try Lyonnaise cuisine, which might include regional classics like quenelles (dumplings), salade Lyonnaise (salad with bacon and vinaigrette), and coq au vin (chicken braised in red wine). Added treats include local ice cream, beer, chocolate pie, and other tasty surprises.
Day 6: Beaujolais Wine Tasting & Medieval Pérouges
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Meet your driver/guide in the morning for a tour of Beaujolais, a famous wine region just north of Lyon. Often compared to Tuscany, this beautiful countryside is known for its rolling green hills blanketed in flourishing vineyards. During the tour, your guide will offer insight into the region's history and what makes its terroir particularly suited for winemaking. You'll glean more insight into the area's viticulture scene when you meet with a local winemaker who will lead you on a delicious tasting tour.
Continue the adventure with a visit to Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, in the adjacent Bresse region. With its historic timber houses and medieval/Renaissance heritage, this charming village is a great place to stop for lunch (try its famous poultry dishes). If you're here on a Saturday you can browse the stalls of the local market, which dates to the 11th century.
Later, take the scenic road to the nearby Dombes region, with its green plateaus and 1,000 lakes. Here, you'll stop at Pérouges, which is ranked as one of the prettiest villages in France. Enjoy some free time exploring the village's cobbled streets before transferring back to Lyon.
Day 7: Morning Les Halles Market Tour, Train to Nîmes
Rise and shine! Wake early and beat the crowds to Les Halles of Lyon. Commonly known as Les Halles, this famous indoor food market has a rich history dating back to 1859. Over the years it has undergone various transformations, most notably in 2006 when it was renamed after legendary French chef Paul Bocuse. During a guided visit, you'll browse a wide range of fresh, local, and gourmet products, including fresh produce, meats, cheeses, seafood, pastries, and more. It's a haven for food lovers and chefs alike.
Afterward, you'll transfer to the station for the 1.5-hour ride into southern France and Nîmes. Situated at the heart of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, this city is known as the "Rome of France" and you'll quickly learn why. It was founded by the Romans around 28-27 BCE and boasts much well-preserved architecture dating back some 2,000 years. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and can then head out on your own to explore. Must-visit landmarks include the Maison Carrée Roman temple and the Arena of Nîmes, a Roman amphitheater dating to the first century.
Day 8: Nîmes Food Tour, Transfer to Marseille, Sunset Dinner Cruise
Besides its ancient Roman monuments, Nîmes is famous for its cuisine. Meet a local guide in the morning for a three-hour food walk during which you'll dive right into the city's culinary heritage. During the experience, you'll stop in at artisan shops to sample local delicacies, plus visit a covered market to sample regional cheeses.
Afterward, transfer about 1.5 hours down the coast to Marseille. Not Paris, not Lyon—this ancient port city has its own identity defined by a rich cultural diversity with influences from North Africa, Italy, Asia, and beyond. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to the hotel and then have the rest of the day free to explore. Must-visit highlights include highlights include the hilltop Notre-Dame de la Garde, and Saint-Victor Abbey, which dates to the fifth century. You can also walk to Fort Saint-Jean, a fortification dominating the port that was built in 1660 by Louis XIV.
At the end of the afternoon, head to the port and board a boat for a three-hour cruise along the coast. Enjoy an adult beverage as the sun dips below the Mediterranean, then sit down for a delicious buffet dinner as the lights of the city twinkle in the distance. There will even be a stop to swim at the Frioul Islands, located just off the coast of Marseille.
Day 9: Cooking Class in Marseille
Your culinary odyssey through France continues here at the coast with a cooking workshop. It's a great opportunity to dive into the renowned cuisine of France's southern Provence region. This gourmet experience begins in the morning with a visit to local markets to pick up the day's ingredients. Then you'll leave the city and travel to a countryside estate, where the owner, an expert local chef, will lead you on the workshop.
During the class, you and a group of like-minded culinary enthusiasts will prepare a variety of traditional Provençal recipes. After two hours of cooking, everyone will sit down at the long communal table for a fun and rewarding meal. Return to your hotel in Marseille later in the later afternoon.