Paris & Provence
DAY 1: USA | FRANCE
- Fly overnight to Paris.
DAY 2: PARIS
- Bienvenue en France! On arrival in Paris, your French Forum Tour Manager will greet you at the airport and remain with you throughout your tour.
- Transfer by private bus to your hotel and drop off your bags.
- Head to a local market to discover some French delicacies!
- This afternoon, stroll down the most famous avenue of the capital, the Champs-Elysées. Climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to admire the view.
- Afterwards, walk through the Trocadéro and view “la Ville Lumière” from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower.
- After dinner at a local restaurant, board a glass-topped Bateau Mouche and enjoy an evening cruise on the Seine River.
DAY 3: PARIS
- After breakfast at your hotel, visit the Musée du Louvre, the world’s largest art museum. Its famous collection of art and antiquities includes the Mona Lisa along with 35,000 more works of art on display in 300 rooms!
- Enjoy some free time for lunch in the Jardins des Tuilleries.
- In the afternoon, explore the Île de la Cité. See the Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame and enter the Sainte-Chapelle, a breathtaking Gothic-style chapel built in 1238.
- Discover the Latin Quarter with your Tour Manager. See the Sorbonne University, the Pantheon and the Jardins du Luxembourg.
- Have dinner in the Latin Quarter then enjoy an evening stroll back to your hotel.
DAY 4: PARIS | VERSAILLES
- After breakfast, take the RER train to the Château de Versailles, the extravagant Palace built for the Sun King.
- Walk in the footsteps of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and Presidents Jefferson and Wilson on your guided tour.
- Enjoy a picnic lunch before exploring the elegantly landscaped gardens on a rented bicycle!
- Visit the Petit Trianon and see Le Hameau de la Reine, Marie Antoinette’s rustic retreat where she sought refuge from the pressures of court life.
- Return to Paris in the afternoon and head up to the highest point in the city, Montmartre (known locally as La Butte).
- Climb the steps to reach the Sacré-Coeur, Montmartre’s hilltop church and most famous landmark.
- Enjoy a dinner music show at La Bonne Franquette.
DAY 5: PARIS | AVIGNON
- After breakfast at your hotel, board the high-speed TGV train to Avignon.
- Meet your local guide for a guided visit of Avignon. Explore the café-lined place de l’Horloge, the site of the city’s imposing Hôtel de Ville and clock tower, and the Opéra. Around the square, on rues de Mons, Molière and Corneille, famous faces appear in windows painted on the buildings.
- Discover the Pope’s Palace, with its massive stone vaults, battlements and sluices for pouring hot oil on attackers.
- Follow your guide along the Pont d’Avignon, famous for the song of the same name.
- Enjoy dinner with your group at a local restaurant.
DAY 6: AVIGNON | PONT DU GARD | AIX-EN-PROVENCE
- After breakfast, board your private bus and drive further south.
- En route, stop at the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct built in the middle of the 1st Century A.D, and embark on a canoeing adventure!
- After a break for lunch, visit Camargue Natural Park and explore Lake Vaccares on a horseback riding tour.
- Continue to Aix-en-Provence for dinner and night accommodation.
DAY 7: AIX-EN-PROVENCE | LES BAUX DE PROVENCE
- After breakfast at your hotel, have some free time to shop at Lourmain Market, one of the biggest markets in Vaucluse!
- Then board your bus to Bonnieux and enjoy a pizza lunch with your group.
- Continue to the village of Roussillon famous for its magnificent red cliffs and ochre quarries.
- Later in the afternoon, head to les Baux-de-Provence and visit the Château des Baux, a fortified castle built during the 10th century. Admire the view of the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) and even glimpse the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
- Then explore the mesmerizing Carrières de Lumières.
- Return to Aix-en-Provence for dinner and night accommodation.
DAY 8: AIX-EN-PROVENCE | CASSIS
- After breakfast at your hotel, follow your Tour Manager on a Paul Cézanne Walking Tour: “Sur les pas de Cézanne.” Enter the painting studio of the post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, native of Aix en Provence.
- Then, head to the local market and enjoy all the colors and smells of local Mediterranean food!
- After some free time for lunch, board your private bus to Cassis.
- Upon arrival, hop on a boat to explore the spectacular Calanques, a geologic formation in the form of a deep valley.
- After, relax on the beach or discover the lovely coast town of Cassis before returning to Aix-en-Provence for dinner and night accommodation.
DAY 9: DEPART
- Transfer to the Marseille-Provence airport for your return flight home.
- Your Tour Manager will help you for the check in and stay with your group until departure.
This was my first time ever traveling with a group, and it was one of the best vacations I have personally ever taken. Door to door service and safe travels with a larger group – I never had a concern. From the hotels, meals, metro and tram, bus and plane travel, this was an amazing…
A local guide’s perspective
Using lesser-known stories of historical figures, Emma opens her students’ eyes to what life was once like in Paris.