- 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
|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|
Day 1: Arrive in Paris, Seine Dinner Cruise
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.
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 ParisParis 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:
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
- 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
Day 3: Train to Tours, Transfer to Amboise & the Loire Valley
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.
Day 4: Loire Valley: Châteaus de Chambord & Chenonceau
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
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
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.