COUNTRY ROADS OF FRANCE (SUMMER 2020)

Duration: 16 days  Visiting: France, Monaco

Leafy vineyards, majestic mountains, Riviera sunshine, Roman remains and fortified towns, combined with great food and wine, make for an engaging ‘Tour de France.'

Roundtrip from Paris, France
June 6 - 21, 2020

$6,129 CAD per person
SAVINGS OF $994 per couple

*Other dates available!

/_uploads/images/exclusive-email/france.pngParis: Choose between shopping at Galeries Lafayette and a guided tour around the Right Bank led by the Local Expert. Alternatively, join a local foodie to venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives and explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies.

Vers Pont Du Gard: Take part in a lesson in the French sport of pétanque. Steady your hand and get ready to test your new found skills as you take part in a game. End with a glass of pastis, a French apéritif.



TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

• Bastille Day: Celebrated across France on 14 July, Bastille Day commemorates the end of the French monarchy. Witness the remarkable display of fireworks lighting up the warm summer sky and perhaps join in one of the traditional balls.
• Troyes: Explore the medieval heart of the Champagne capital.
• Dijon: Listen as your Travel Director tells you about the history of Dijon, the capital city of the Burgundy region.
• Chamonix: Stay in France’s mountaineering capital.
• Annecy: Enjoy free time in the Little Venice area.
• Nice: Enjoy exploring the beautiful coastal town of Nice on the French Riviera.
• Côte d’Azur: Visit a perfumery to learn about the French perfume industry and discover your signature scent.
• Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit. Wander the old town to see the Royal Palace and the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral to see the Tomb of Princess Grace.
• St-Paul de Vence: Discover the beauty of this hilltop town and why it became a refuge for artists.
• Aix-en-Provence: See the mansions of the Cours Mirabeau.
• Avignon: During a city orientation learn about the history behind this medieval city. See Pont Saint-Bénézet, also known as Pont d'Avignon, and pass the medieval battlements to the town centre to see the Papal Palace.
• Pont du Gard: See the ancient Roman bridges of Pont du Gard that cross the Gardon River.
• Arles: Hear more about the city that is famed for being the inspiration behind the Van Gogh paintings during a city orientation.
• Carcassonne: Enjoy an orientation of this fortified town and see the fortress, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Albi: This is the birthplace of artist, Toulouse Lautrec. Walk the town and marvel at the awe-inspiring cathedral.
• Rocamadour: Visit this medieval cliff top town.
• Sarlat-la-Canéda: See the golden limestone buildings.
• Lascaux II Caves: These caves contain some of the oldest and finest prehistoric art in the world. For preservation reasons, they have been replicated in all their glory.
• Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the • Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
• Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the scenery of the French countryside as you travel through Burgundy, the High Alps, along the Route Napoleon and French Riviera, past Cote d’Azur, Avignon, the Languedoc Region and through the Dordogne Valley.


ITINERARY

DAY 1
WELCOME TO PARIS.
Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. Relax and settle in, or start exploring this great capital, before joining your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30 for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel:Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel. 
Meals:Dinner with Wine

DAY 2
CHAMPAGNE REGION AND ON TO DIJON.
Journey through the Champagne region, famous for its magnificent core of medieval buildings, appropriately shaped like a champagne cork. Continue to the Burgundy region, once a powerful duchy and synonymous with fine wine. Stop in the quiet village of Chablis which gives its name to one of the most famous French wines. Join an expert vintner for a taste and introduction to these refreshing, steely whites. Continue on to your hotel in Dijon.
Hotel:Grand Hotel Dijon La Cloche MGallery. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 3 - RELAXED START
FREE TIME IN DIJON.
Enjoy the Burgundy capital of Dijon. Its many handsome buildings recall the time when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the Kings of France. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune? In the evening, don't miss the chance of an optional Burgundy wine tasting and traditional dinner in the Premier Cru village of Fixin.
Hotel:Grand Hotel Dijon La Cloche MGallery. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 4
CHAMONIX.
Travel towards the Mâconnais and Beaujolais before turning east into the Alps. A scenic symphony awaits you as you ascend into the high Alps and climb towards Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain. Your destination is the fashionable ski resort of Chamonix. In the evening you may choose to try a local pierrade at a local trendy eatery in a traditional chalet. This Optional Experience provides the chance to try a typical regional meal, cooked on a table barbecue using on a hot stone.
Hotel:Mercure Chamonix Centre. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 5 - RELAXED START
LAKESIDE ANNECY AND GRENOBLE.
In the morning, embark on a beautiful journey to the lakeside town of Annecy, dramatically situated between lake and mountains, it's a medieval spectacle and a summer getaway for the French and the Swiss locals. Enjoy free time for lunch in Little Venice, aptly named for the network of canals criss-crossing through the Old Town. Explore the city’s many lovely bridges at your leisure. This evening, savour a delicious raclette dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel:Park Hotel Grenoble MGallery. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 6
THE FRENCH RIVIERA TO REACH NICE.
Glorious mountain scenery will be yours to enjoy as you travel along a spectacular route, used by the Emperor Napoleon when he returned from his first exile to try to take the throne of France once more. Continue to the French Riviera to reach the elegant resort of Nice. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish. In the evening, why not walk through old town Nice, ending in Cours Saleya where dinner is at your leisure at one of the many lovely bistros?
Hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 7
MONACO AND THE CÔTE D’AZUR.
Wake up ready to rub shoulders with the jet-set on the glamorous Côte d’Azur. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles. Then enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco and walk with your Travel Director through the old town to see the Royal Palace and yacht-filled harbour. Your exploration continues as you visit inside Monaco Cathedral, housing the tomb of Princess Grace. The rest of the day is set aside for you to enjoy the French Riviera at your own pace. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit to the medieval village of Eze and its hill-top Botanical Gardens for a spectacular view of the coastline?
Hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel, Nice. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 8
PICTURESQUE PROVENCE.
Visit the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence, perched high above the Riviera beaches. A walk through its winding streets reveals elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls and views of mountains and sea. Continue to Aix-en-Provence to see the sumptuous mansions lining the Cours Mirabeau, before continuing to the pretty village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Enjoy a wonderful introduction to the famous wine, tasting the difference for yourself as you learn about the various grape varieties that are allowed into the final blend of the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine.
Hotel:Aquabella Hotel, Aix-en-Provence. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 9
AVIGNON AND PONT DU GARD.
Stop in Avignon to enjoy views of the remaining arches of the Pont d'Avignon and the fortified Papal Palace. Enjoy a wonderful introduction to the prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine, tasting the difference for yourself as you learn about the grape varieties. Continue your journey to Pont du Gard to see the greatest of Roman remains. This afternoon, enjoy a lesson in the French sport of pétanque. Steady your hand and get ready to test your new found skills as you take part in a game. After, reward yourself and fellow friends with a glass of pastis, a French apéritif.
Hotel:Aquabella Hotel, Aix-en-Provence. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 10
CARCASSONNE AND TO ALBI.
Head to beautiful Arles and trace the history of the town home to Vincent Van Gogh. Cross the fertile Languedoc region, before journeying inland to the fortified town of Carcassonne. Travellers are often amazed at their first sight of this medieval gem, known for its fortress - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a complete set of ramparts and a medieval keep. Travel on to Albi, the birthplace of Toulouse Lautrec. During your orientation with your Travel Director, marvel at iconic sites including the views of Toulouse Lautrec Museum and the famous awe-inspiring cathedral, before spending the remainder of the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.
Hotel:Hostellerie Saint Antoine, Albi. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 11
FREE TIME IN ALBI.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Albi.
Hotel:Hostellerie Saint Antoine, Albi. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 12 - RELAXED START
CAHORS AND ROCAMADOUR.
Stop in Cahors, famous for its Black Wine, and see the Pont Valentré. You'll also have the opportunity to explore the open air market - full of fresh, seasonal produce and local delicacies, it's an experience to delight all of the senses. Travel to Rocamadour and enjoy free time to explore this medieval town perched on a cliff side above the Alzou River and known as a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Spain. Learn about the aromatic 'black diamonds' as you enjoy a presentation and a walk the through truffle valley led by a hunting dog. After your search, savour a tasting of a variety of truffles and truffle pastes, paired with a glass of wine. Continue to the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Canéda, its medieval core blessed with fine historic golden limestone houses.
Hotel:La Hoirie, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 13
EXPLORING THE DORDOGNE VALLEY.
Start the day with a morning drive into the stunning Valley of the Dordogne to visit Lascaux II where the world-famous prehistoric cave paintings have been faithfully reproduced. Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table Dinner, prepared with locally sourced ingredients, and served with wines from the local region.
Hotel:La Hoirie, Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 14
PARIS, THE CITY OF LIGHT.
Travel onwards to immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Paris where on arrival you are free to explore this fascinating city as you wish. As evening descends, the City of Light lives up to its name as the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to join an Optional Experience to one of the world-famous cabaret shows.
Hotel:Le Méridien Etoile, Paris. 
Meals:Breakfast

DAY 15
ROMANTIC CAPITAL ON THE SEINE.
During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysées to Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. Today enjoy an Insight Choice experience. Choose between shopping at Galeries Lafayette and a guided tour around the Right Bank led by a Local Expert. Alternatively, join a local foodie to venture into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives and explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. You are in for a memorable evening starting with a delicious Celebration Dinner at the historic restaurant La Coupole, serving delicious French cuisine and wine.
Hotel:Le Méridien Etoile, Paris. 
Meals:Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

DAY 16
AU REVOIR PARIS.
Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00.
Meals:Breakfast

 

*Prices quoted are per person, based on double occupancy, are land only and reflect ALL applicable savings. Airfare extra. Save 7.5%* Applies only to trips featuring the “Early Payment Discount” in the price panel - see the new 2020 Europe brochure. Not applicable to Eastern Mediterranean, trips that include cruise components, Last Minute Deals, Special Interest or Expert Hosted Itineraries. Valid on new bookings only and must be booked by 27 February 2020. A deposit of up to $500 is required within three days of booking and full payment is due by 27 February 28 2020 or up to 120 days before departure, whichever is sooner. This offer is based on availability, does not apply to all journeys/departures, and may be withdrawn at any time and without notice. Further restrictions apply. Contact your Travel Agent or Insight Vacations for details. Insight Vacations TICO#187371