This weeklong itinerary splits its time between the French Riviera and the City of Lights for a great introduction to France. Starting in Nice, you'll explore on your own before a local guide shows you around Monaco, Cannes, and Antibes (to name a few). Then, fly to Paris where you'll cruise along the Seine, skip the line at Versailles, and summit the Eiffel Tower—at sunset!—to complete the adventure.

Highlights

  • Explore Nice's architectural gems, beaches, and seafood restaurants
  • Visit the Cousteau Oceanographic Museum while in glitzy Monaco
  • Stroll along Saint Paul's cobbled streets laden with shops and art galleries
  • Take a relaxing day-trip to the Château de Versailles and Royal Gardens
  • Sample chocolates and pastries in Le Marais, an iconic neighborhood in Paris

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nice - Explore the City Nice
Day 2 Guided Tour of Eze & Monaco Nice
Day 3 Guided Tour of Cannes, Antibes & Saint Paul de Vence Nice
Day 4 Fly to Paris - Cruise on the Seine Paris
Day 5 Day-Trip to Versailles - Summit the Eiffel Tower Paris
Day 6 Chocolate & Pastry Tour - Free Time Paris
Day 7 Depart Paris  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nice - Explore the City

Welcome to the South of France!
Welcome to the South of France!

Welcome to Nice! Upon arrival at the airport or train station, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in the city center. From here, you'll have the rest of the day to explore at your own pace. 

With old-world opulence, year-round sunshine, and a stunning seaside location, Nice is the unofficial capital of the Côte d'Azur, and a must-see for every visitor. The city has been a retreat for high-rollers since the 19th century and today offers fabulous markets, glorious architecture, and excellent dining options. 

A good place to start is by visiting Nice's old town, or Vieux Nice. Wander through its maze of narrow lanes and architectural gems, such as the Cathédral Sainte-Réparate, Opera House, and Palais du Justice and an awe-inspiring bell tower. You can also visit the city's daily market called Cours Saleya featuring a vast array of products from handcrafted carvings to fresh flowers and quality fruit and vegetables. 

From here, you can walk along the Promenade des Anglais, a boulevard fronting the bay lined with grand cafes and hotels. If hitting the beach is a priority, simply head to the pebbly shores and soak in the Mediterranean views. 

Perhaps you want to finish the day with a sunset drink at the port as you watch boats bobbing in the harbor. As for dinner, Nice offers a large concentration of restaurants to choose from; the city is known for dishes made with olives and seafood, like salade niçoise.

Day 2: Guided Tour of Eze & Monaco

The hilltop village of Eze
The hilltop village of Eze

This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll have the entire morning to explore more of Nice at your leisure. In the afternoon, you'll be picked up by a local guide for a small-group tour of Eze and Monaco (4 hours). 

The first stop your guide will take you to is Eze, a medieval village with crafts shops and breathtaking views from its perched setting. During your visit, you'll take a guided tour of the perfumery Fragonard, for a real taste of Provence.

Next, head to the gorgeous old town of Monaco where you can visit the Prince's Palace of Monaco, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, and Cousteau Oceanographic Museum. You'll also take a tour of Monte-Carlo and drive the amazing Grand Prix circuit. There will be some free time to browse the luxurious shopping options, stroll through beautiful gardens, or simply watch the rich and beautiful with their megayachts in their favorite haunt.

Finish today's tour with a drive along the spectacular Lower Corniche, which harbors ancient villages and modern marinas while checking out the Bay of Villefranche. You'll eventually return to Nice where you can enjoy the rest of the evening as you please.

Day 3: Guided Tour of Cannes, Antibes & Saint Paul de Vence

A street performer in Cannes
A street performer in Cannes

After breakfast, you'll be picked up by a local guide for a tour of more French Riviera highlights including Cannes, Antibes, and Saint Paul de Vence (4 hours).

Your first stop is Cannes, a resort town famed for its international film festival. Here, you can take the opportunity to walk on the world-famous red carpet covering the steps of the Palais des Festivals. Also take a stroll on the Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, lined with sandy beaches, boutiques, and grand hotels.

Next, follow a road along the sea towards Antibes in order to discover an old town surrounded by medieval ramparts. These were built to protect the city from the barbarian invasions of the Goths, Visigoths, and other Saracens. Antibes also enjoys a focus on contemporary art thanks to Picasso who spent a part of his life here. After checking out the town, you'll also have time to see the Cap d' Antibes peninsula situated between Antibes and a famous seaside resort.

The tour's last stop is Saint Paul de Vence, a magnificent fortified village dating from the 11th century. Over time, it became a home for creative types including painters (Chagall, Picasso, Matisse), authors (Prévert, Pagnol), and actors (Signoret, Montand). Stroll along Saint Paul's ramparts and cobbled streets inside the walls while discovering shops and art galleries.

Following the tour, you'll return to Nice where you can spend the rest of the day as you please.

Day 4: Fly to Paris - Cruise on the Seine

Welcome to Paris!
Welcome to Paris!

This morning, you'll be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Paris, the City of Lights! Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation where you can drop off your luggage and hit the streets.

Synonymous with food, culture, fashion, and architecture, Paris needs no introduction. Despite being the dream destination for millions of people each year, the French capital still has plenty of hidden secrets to offer. Monument-lined boulevards, museums, classical bistros, and boutiques are now enhanced by a new wave of multimedia galleries, creative wine bars, design shops, and tech start-ups.

A great way to start your Paris portion of the trip is by taking a Seine Cruise (1 hour), with frequent departures daily until 10 pm. These glass boats embark at the foot of the Eiffel Tower with open-air observation decks for exceptional views. Onboard you'll find personal audioguides (optional), which are available in 14 different languages including a special commentary for children. In addition, a hostess-guide will be available onboard to answer all of your questions.

Following the cruise, consider checking out the art scene before choosing a spot for dinner. In addition to museum big hitters like Le Louvre, consider the Musée d’Orsay’s exceptional impressionist collection and the Centre Pompidou’s cache of modern and contemporary art, not to mention scores of smaller museums which showcase every imaginable genre.

Day 5: Day-Trip to Versailles - Summit the Eiffel Tower

Famous Apollo Fountain in Versailles
The famous Apollo Fountain in Versailles

After breakfast in Paris, embark on a day-trip to Versailles for a Chateau and Gardens Tour (4.5 hours). First, you will meet your local guide at a central Paris café where all the details are taken care of, allowing you to relax and enjoy a beautiful time at Versailles including the highly-sought-after Château de Versailles and the vast Royal Gardens. 

During this popular skip-the-line tour, your guide will explain the history of the palace and life at the royal court as you stroll through the beautiful Royal Gardens. You will then by-pass the long lines and be given immediate access to the Palace of Versailles. An audio guide is provided so you can explore the famous palace rooms, including the Hall of Mirrors, at your own pace. 

Following the tour, you'll return to Paris in the early afternoon with plenty of daylight to cross something else off your list. Just make sure to save some energy for what comes next. 

At sunset, it's time to visit the 1050-foot (320-m)-tall Eiffel Tower, conceived by Gustave Eiffel as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World's Fair. Luckily, the art nouveau tower's popularity assured its survival. 

It's advised to prebook your tickets online, which gives you access to the lifts to the first two floors and the summit. It's a timed entry ticket but be aware that you can spend some time in line because of security checkings and the number of tourists. Another option is to climb as far as the 2nd floor via the south pillar's 704 stairs (no prebooking needed). No matter which way you do it, prepare to be wowed by the views from above. 

Day 6: Chocolate & Pastry Tour - Free Time

A quiet street with restaurants in the bohemian Marais district
A quiet street with restaurants in the bohemian Marais district

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll make your way to Le Marais. Located in the heart of Paris, this famous neighborhood is renowned for its grand architecture, boutique shops, and fine food.

While here, meet your guide and explore the district's hidden gems with a food-connoisseur and experienced chef trained by Pierre Gagnaire. Stumble upon a pastry shop, a chocolate shop, a Franco-Russian tea store, and even a store solely dedicated to absinthe! Indulge yourself in the best ice cream you will find in Paris and delicious treats from various bakeries. Finally, you'll visit a shop stacked with 1001 spices from across the world.

Your guide will also share fascinating stories behind this district while you take in the charming atmosphere and beautiful sights of the quaint roadside cafes, the Jewish Quarter, and the stunning mansions.

Following the tour, you'll have the rest of the day to continue enjoying Paris however you'd like.

Day 7: Depart Paris

A street in Montmartre near the Sacre Couer
A street in Montmartre near the Sacre Couer

It's time to say goodbye to France! At the designated time you'll be picked up from your hotel by a private driver and transferred to the airport for your departure home or next destination. Au revoir! 

Map

Map of Paris & the South of France - 7 Days
Map of Paris & the South of France - 7 Days