Fairytale French landscapes beckon on this romantic, week-long itinerary. Start in Paris with a twilight dinner cruise down the Seine, then head to the storied Loire Valley. Here in the heart of France, you'll explore postcard-perfect medieval villages, lush vineyards, and stately châteaus. Continue south to elegant Bordeaux to sample the rich local gastronomy and visit the world-famous vineyards of the Haute-Gironde.


  • See the sparkling Paris skyline from a Seine dinner cruise
  • Tour the fairytale châteaus of the Loire Valley 
  • Sample Bordeaux's local delicacies 
  • Cruise through the Haute-Gironde wine country

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris, Seine Dinner Cruise Paris
Day 2 Free Day in Paris Paris
Day 3 Train to Tours, Transfer to Amboise & the Loire Valley Amboise
Day 4 Loire Valley: Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau Amboise
Day 5 Train to Bordeaux, Gourmet Dinner Bordeaux
Day 6 Cruise Down the Gironde Bordeaux
Day 7 Train to Paris, Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris, Seine Dinner Cruise

Summit the Eiffel Tower today
Sunshine over the Paris skyline

Welcome to Paris, the City of Light! 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. 

In the evening, embark on a Paris city tour while enjoying the best of French gastronomy. With family, friends, or for a romantic dinner for two, set sail on an unforgettable dinner cruise along the Seine. Pass monuments like the Louvre Museum, Grand Palais, the French Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower as the city lights sparkle on the water.

Day 2: 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:  
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  • 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-minute 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, head to the Palais de Tokyo (an art museum) for a drink at Les Grands Verres before viewing art until well past midnight, or take to the skies and view the city lights from a flight on the Ballon de Paris, one of the world's largest air balloons. 

Day 3: Train to Tours, Transfer to Amboise & the Loire Valley

The Loire River at Amboise

In the morning, take a private car to the Paris Montparnasse station, then catch a 1.5-hour high-speed regional train to Amboise, where a driver will transfer you to the hotel. Check-in, then head out for a day in the valley. 

Brimming over with fairytale charm and character, the six towns of the Loire Valley are full of architecture and quiet country roads. Four of them—Orléans, Blois, Amboise, and Tours—sit on the banks of Europe's last untamed river, listed by UNESCO. Their architecture reflects their ties to the kings of France and with the Loire, which was for a long time France's leading economic artery.
Chartres and Bourges are particularly lovely. Their cathedrals are also UNESCO World Heritage-listed, and pedestrian streets bordered by half-timbered houses make these two medieval towns ideal for a stroll. On the left bank of the Loire, Amboise retains traces of its royal past. In summer, the town's majestic château (with its terraces overlooking the Loire Valley) lights up as though in a fairytale. 

From Nantes to Sancerre, the Loire Valley vineyards stretch along the river of the same name. You can follow it along the longest wine route in France as you visit villages, gardens, and royal abbeys in a landscape of hills and plains. Hidden behind each renowned wine district is a famous Loire château: Brissac, Saumur, and Chinon. More than one thousand vineyards are open to the public, including 400 specially accredited wine cellars, where you can meet the winemakers and taste their unique Loire Valley wines. From massive wine cellars to wine-tasting walks in the vineyards, there's no shortage of ways to experience the valley.

Day 4: Loire Valley: Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau

The 16th-century Château de Chambord

Start the morning with a private hotel pickup for your full-day tour through two of the Loire Valley's grandest castles.
Your first stop is Chambord, whose French-Renaissance construction dates back to the early 16th century. This extravagant château is one of France's most famous and recognizable, thanks to its stately facade and sprawling grounds. 

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 grounds 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, which rise magnificently above the wide moat. 
Stop for lunch, then continue to Château de Chenonceau—a building whose history is defined by a nearly uninterrupted succession of women. The first château was built on this location in the 12th and 13th centuries, although it was burned down in the 14th century. Only the medieval dungeon—Tour des Marque—remains from this construction. 

The château 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 castle. It's so well-loved that it's the second-most visited château in France, after Versaille.  

Day 5: Train to Bordeaux, Gourmet Dinner

Historic city center in Bordeaux
Bordeaux's historic city center

Catch a chauffeur to the train station to take the train south for two hours towards the world capital of wine—the famed Bordeaux region, 80 miles (130 km) away.

Spend the afternoon strolling the city at your leisure. Visit the former Royal Square, now known as the Place de la Bourse, with the Fountain of Three Graces and water mirror at its center. Stop at the Gothic 15th-century St. André Cathedral and neighboring Tour Pey-Berland to take in the history, then find a bakery to enjoy a sweet cannelé.

In the evening, enjoy another quintessential Bordeaux tradition. In this region of wine and gastronomy, l'apéritif (the pre-dinner drink) is an unmissable rendez-vous, and the perfect way to start your visit to Bordeaux. 

To wrap up the evening, head to one of Bordeaux's elegant restaurants. Feast on a dinner of local delicacies, such as duck breast fillet stuffed with foie gras, then follow up with the Arcachon Basin's famed oysters paired with a glass of chilled Entre-Deux-Mers. Savor desserts, each prettier than the last, as you take in the city's resplendent atmosphere. When it comes to food and wine, Bordeaux is a lady who knows how to host.

Day 6: Cruise Down the Gironde

Historic town of Blaye
Visit the historic town of Blaye

Start your day with a small group visit to the Cité du Vin in the city center, where you'll follow immersive exhibits about wine culture through the ages. Once you've finished up indoors, board a guided cruise through the Gironde estuary to discover the wines and heritage of the Haute-Gironde.

On the boat, you'll pass the fortified towns of Blaye and Bourg, stopping for lunch at a Côtes de Bourg estate with the winemaker himself. The astonishingly well-preserved citadel of Blaye has survived countless sieges since the 5th century and contains almost one mile of ramparts, four bastions, moats, and underground passages. Thanks to its historic importance, it's a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—and also home to the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux wine appellation.

Day 7: Train to Paris, Departure

Take a sunrise stroll or shop for some final souvenirs this morning
Savor a final morning in Bordeaux. After breakfast, a transfer takes you to the Bordeaux Saint-Jean station, where you'll catch the TGV back to the Paris Montparnasse station and continue your onward journey. Bon voyage!

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