Châteaux, chic beach resorts, cheese and wine - all you want to see and taste in France... But this is in-depth experience also peels back the layers to reveal the soul of this great country. It's insider moments like….standing in the musty cellars beneath Beaune as you taste classic Burgundy wines – perhaps the subtle depths of Pinot Noir or the signature richness of Chardonnay. It’s imagining the wealthy wine merchants who come to the town every year to sample the harvest before the world-famous charity auction. And when you’re standing on the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, it’s about taking the time to remember the soldiers who gave up their lives on June 6, 1944.

Best of France

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 13 DAYSPrice : FROM $4935Country : FRANCE
Book now
Eiffel Tower, Paris © LaCity Travel
Papal Palace, Avignon © LaCity TravelMont Saint Michel, Normandie © Atout France, Robert PalombaTerraces, Bordeaux ©Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux (Bordeaux Tourist Office) / F.POINCETArles © Atout France, R-CastChateau Chenonceau © Scaliger - Fotolia.comMonaco Aerial View on Fontvieille and Monaco Harbor with Luxury Yachts © Anshar73 - Fotolia.com

Châteaux, chic beach resorts, cheese and wine - all you want to see and taste in France... But this is in-depth experience also peels back the layers to reveal the soul of this great country. It's insider moments like….standing in the musty cellars beneath Beaune as you taste classic Burgundy wines – perhaps the subtle depths of Pinot Noir or the signature richness of Chardonnay. It’s imagining the wealthy wine merchants who come to the town every year to sample the harvest before the world-famous charity auction. And when you’re standing on the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, it’s about taking the time to remember the soldiers who gave up their lives on June 6, 1944.

Included in the price

  • 12 nights' accommodation (9 hotels)
  • 12 hot buffet breakfasts
  • 7 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be my Guest, Regional Meal, 3 three course dinners with wine and Farewell Dinner)
  • All transfers shown
  • All activities/ sightseeing mentionned 

Day 1: Arrive Paris

Welcome to Paris, the City of Light! France is a diverse and fascinating country with so much to offer. From architecture to cuisine, your trip reveals a host of regional delights and specialities. Relax after your journey or take a wander through the streets of this beautiful city. Tonight, meet for a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers and Travel Director and then enjoy an orientation drive through the city to take in some of the breathtaking sights. Meal: Welcome Reception. Accommodation: Novotel Tour Eiffel or Radisson Boulogne

Day 2: Paris - Beaune - Lyon

Drive south into Burgundy wine country, past the Côte d'Or vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits St. Georges. Arrive in the medieval town of Beaune and sample the delicious Local Speciality wines of this region. Tonight in Lyon, why not try out some gourmet specialities for which the city is justifiably famous. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Novotel Lyon Gerland

Day 3: Lyon - Avignon - Monaco - French Riviera

Stop in Avignon to see the Papal Palace and the bridge made famous in the song, 'sur le pont d'Avignon'. Traverse Provence, a picturesque area favoured by artists such as Van Gogh and Cézanne, to the Principality of Monaco. This small city state is both a constitutional monarchy and home to many rich and famous people! Explore the cathedral, where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were married. Later, enjoy a Regional Meal in Monaco before arriving at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Regional Meal. Accommodation: Boscolo Plaza or Marriot La Pore de Monaco or Mercure Rouen Champs de Mars (2 nights)

Day 4: French Riviera

Day at leisure. The Côte d'Azur is a sparkling and pristine stretch of famous coastline. You might like to lounge on the beach, shop in elegant boutiques or perhaps visit the hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence. This evening, why not dine in one of the many pleasant local restaurants. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Boscolo Plaza or Marriot La Pore de Monaco or Mercure Rouen Champs de Mars

Day 5: French Riviera - Arles - Carcassone

Visit the town of Arles, with free time to explore the city. Pass Alaric's Mountain to Carcassonne, a walled city and UNESCO World Heritage site which was extensively restored in the 19th century. See the double ring of ramparts featuring 53 towers during your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert. 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' was filmed on location in and around Carcassonne. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Mercure Porte De La Cite or Best Western Le Donjon

Day 6: Carcassonne - Lourdes - Biarritz

Wind your way through the Corbières Hills and 'Cathar' landscapes toward the Pyrenées. See the Basilica on top of St. Bernadette's grotto at Lourdes, a holy site of pilgrimage. In Biarritz, walk along the renowned surfing beach where the Atlantic waves come crashing in. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Novotel Biarritz Anglet Aeroport

Day 7: Biarritz - Bordeaux

Follow the west coast north through Les Landes to the classical town of Bordeaux. Built on the River Garonne, this is the world's major wine industry capital. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century and the annual wine fair held in the city attracts buyers from all over the world. See the sights including the magnificent Esplanade des Quinconces during your orientation. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Mercure Bordeaux Chateau Chartrons (2 nights)

Day 8: Dordogne

Enjoy a scenic half-day included excursion through beautiful countryside and picturesque scenery in the Dordogne region, best known for the enchanting medieval 'Bastide' villages. Drive to the renowned wine village of St. Emilion, possible one of the most famous towns with ties to wine production. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or shopping for souvenirs. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Mercure Bordeaux Chateau Chartrons

Day 9: Bordeaux - Loire Valley

Continue north through the Poitou Charentes region to the Loire Valley, and stop to visit the beautiful fairytale Château Chenonceau, which straddles the River Cher. One of the most remarkable castles ever built, Chenonceau features stunning landscaped gardens and priceless collections of Renaissance furniture, tapestries and art. Join your fellow travellers this evening for a special Be My Guest dining experience in a 17th century traditional farmhouse. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Be My Guest Dining. Accommodation: Mercure Tours Nord or Alliance Tours Centre

Day 10: Loire Valley - Mont St. Michel - Omaha Beach

In Brittany, visit the island-town of Mont St. Michel, featuring the Abbey and picturesque streets. Follow the Liberty Highway to St. Lô and on to Omaha Beach, where your Travel Director provides an excellent account of the momentous events that took place here. Pause and reflect on the courage of those who gave their lives. Visit the D-Day museum and learn in detail about how the operation was planned and executed. Arrive later at your hotel where you dine tonight. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Mercure Omaha Beach or Novotel Bayeux or Mercure Pont L'Eveque Deauville or Novotel Caen Cote de Nacre

Day 11: Omaha Beach - Giverny - Paris

Head south-east towards the valley of the River Seine. Stop at Giverny and visit the house and gardens where Claude Monet lived for most of his life. One of the founders of French Impressionism, some of his most famous paintings were inspired by this spectacular garden. This evening in the glittering capital, Paris, consider a trip to one of the city's renowned cabaret venues. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Novotel Tour Eiffel or similar (2nights)

Day 12: Paris

Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, the Champs Élysées – see all these landmarks and more during your sightseeing tour with a Local Expert! See the unique skyline from the second level of the Eiffel Tower, where you enjoy panoramic views across the city. Spend the rest of the day seeing more sights and shopping for souvenirs. Or simply relax and watch the world go by! This evening, celebrate with your Travel Director and new-found friends at a Farewell Dinner. Meals: Buffet Breakfast & Farewell Dinner. Accommodation: Novotel Tour Eiffel or similar

Day 13: Depart Paris

Say 'au revoir' to your fellow travellers at the end of a magical and memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available.

Arles

Arles

Located amid unspoiled natural places: the banks of the Rhône, the arid Crau plain, the Camargue and the Alpilles, Arles has preserved its architectural heritage with more than 100 listed buildings and monuments, although it owes its international fame to its amphitheatre.
Paris: Eiffel Tower

Paris: Eiffel Tower

Once the tallest structure in the world, the Eiffel Tower is probably Europe's best known landmark and Paris's most famous symbol.You couldn't possibly visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Even if you do not want to visit this world famous structure, you will see its top from all over Paris. The tower rises 300 meters tall (984 ft); when it was completed at the end of the nineteenth century it was twice as high as the Washington Monument, at the time the tallest structure in the world.
Paris: Place de la Concorde

Paris: Place de la Concorde

Built by Gabriel, architect to Louis XV, between 1755 and 1775, it is octagonal in shape. It was the scene of a number of key historical events, including the execution of Louis XVI. With its Egyptian obelisk - presented to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt - in the centre, its statues and its majestic dimensions, Place de la Concorde is one of the most beautiful squares in Paris. 
Burgundy

Burgundy

This eastern region of central France offers incredibly beautiful natural scenery of picturesque vineyards, rolling hills, river valleys and medieval palaces that are worth exploring. The region of Burgundy is among the best known (if not the most well known) wine regions in the world. The terms "white burgundy" and "red burgundy" are often used to describe a quality wine like a Burgundy-style wines incomparable in taste and smell to any other kind of wine worldwide. Admirers call the elixir produced there "Monseigneur le Vin de Bourgogne" and say that if France still has a real beauty and splendor of an actual modern miracle this is undoubtedly Burgundy wine with its ethereal, sensual and aristocratic restraint.
Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel

It's one of France's most iconic images: the slender towers and sky-scraping turrets of the abbey of Mont St-Michel rising from stout ramparts and battlements, the whole ensemble connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway (which will be replaced by a bridge by 2014). Fortunately, although it's visited by huge numbers of tourists, both French and foreign, the Mont still manages to whisk you back to the Middle Ages, its fantastic architecture set against the backdrop of the area's extraordinary tides.
The historical centre of Avignon

The historical centre of Avignon

Avignon, located in southern France, in the very popular Vaucluse region, called the “City of the Popes”, has maintained its city walls and its historical centre, composed of the Papal Palace, the Episcopal ensemble and the Bridge of Avignon. These were registered as Unesco world heritage sites in 1995. The city is also the sublime backdrop for an international theatre festival.
Monaco

Monaco

Squeezed into just 200 hectares, this confetti principality might be the world’s second-smallest country (the Vatican is smaller), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in attitude. Glitzy, glam and screaming hedonism, Monaco is truly beguiling. Although a sovereign state, the principality's status is unusual. It is not a member of the European Union, yet it participates in the EU customs territory (meaning no border formalities crossing from France into Monaco) and uses the euro as its currency.
The fortified city of Carcassonne

The fortified city of Carcassonne

Perched on a rocky hilltop and bristling with zig-zag battlements, stout walls and spiky turrets, from afar the fortified city of Carcassonne looks like something out of a children's storybook. It's most people's perfect idea of a medieval castle, and it's undoubtedly an impressive spectacle – not to mention one of the Languedoc's biggest tourist draws.
Lourdes: Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

Lourdes: Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

If you've ever wondered what a Catholic version of Las Vegas might look like, chances are it'd turn out pretty close to Lourdes. This sprawling town, 43km southeast of Pau, has been one of the world's most important pilgrimage sites since 1858, when 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous (1844–79) saw the Virgin Mary in a series of 18 visions in a rocky grotto. The visions were subsequently confirmed by the Vatican, and Bernadette was beatified in 1933. Now known as the Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes, the grotto is considered to be one of the holiest sites in Christendom. Over six million people arrive in Lourdes every year, to pray, pay homage and be doused in the suposedly miraculous waters, but in contrast to its spiritual importance, the modern town of Lourdes itself is a pretty dispiriting experience, with a tatty tangle of neon-signed hotels and souvenir shops selling everything from plastic crucifixes to Madonna–shaped bottles (just add holy water at the shrine).
Biarritz

Biarritz

As ritzy as its name suggests, this stylish coastal town, 8km west of Bayonne, took off as a resort in the mid-19th century when Napoléon III and his Spanish-born wife, Eugénie, visited regularly. Along its rocky coastline are architectural hallmarks of this golden age, and the belle époque and art deco eras that followed. Although it retains a high glamour quotient (and high prices to match), it's also a magnet for vanloads of surfers, with some of Europe's best waves.
Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordeaux: World wine capital

Bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux, the capital of Southwest France has changed beyond all recognition in recent years and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2007, the largest urban area ever to receive this acclaim. The heart of the historical sector offers a stunning beauty and unity of architectural style, with charming squares and parks, absorbing museums, and highly cultivated and bustling places of entertainment. It is a focal point of fine dining and shopping with fine cuisine in top class restaurants and friendly bistros at every turn inviting visitors to linger. High-fashion boutiques are situated in pedestrian streets featuring many famous international and well-known French brands. The name “Bordeaux” is always synonymous with quality, and often outstanding quality, for wine lovers. The largest and oldest fine wine vineyard in the world covers some 115,000 hectares of vines in 60 appellations. Bordeaux, the gateway to the most famous vineyards in the world…
Loire Valley: Château Chenonceau

Loire Valley: Château Chenonceau

The Château of Chenonceau is located in the Centre Val de Loire region, and was once a royal residence as property of the crown. It is a truly exceptional site, both for its original idea of building it on the Cher River, and for its destiny: to be loved, managed, and protected by women such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici. Today, the Château of Chenonceau is second only to Versailles as the most visited château in France.
Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

If the Normandy landings nearly failed anywhere, it was certainly on Omaha Beach at Colleville-sur-Mer. The heavy losses suffered by American troops on D-Day earned it the name of "Bloody Omaha". Omaha Beach is one of the five Landing beaches. The future of France and Europe was at stake here on 6th June 1944. When you visit this beach which extends over Vierville-sur-Mer, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer and Colleville-sur-Mer, you will obtain a clearer idea of the progress of the battles. The Bessin coastline is composed of steep chalk cliffs, which rise one hundred feet or so above the sea. Inaugurated in 1956,  the American cemetery at Colleville was laid out in an area of 70 hectares (170 acres) which was ceded to the United States by the French government.
Giverny: Claude Monet's House and Garden

Giverny: Claude Monet's House and Garden

The light in this delightful village can be found nowhere else, according to the master of Impressionism, Claude Monet... Sited on the right bank of the Seine, Giverny is known the world over through the paintings of Claude Monet, who lived here from 1883 to his death in 1926. His presence in the village drew numerous artists of different nationalities, who contributed to turning it into a site which even today remains a symbol of Impressionism.  Giverny now relives the days when Claude Monet took his inspiration from his gardens, of which he took great care. In the changing light, the flowers regulate the seasons.
Paris: Champs Elysées

Paris: Champs Elysées

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is probably the most famous avenue in the world. This impressive street stretches from the Place the la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle, the site of the Arc de Triomphe.
The historic site of Lyon

The historic site of Lyon

Lyon, the ancient town at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, capital of the Rhône-Alpes region and popular centre, has played a major role in Europe's political, cultural and economic development since Roman times. The city's extremely rich heart contains many historic buildings from all ages and has been listed as a Unesco world heritage since 1998.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for France    

VISAS: France tourist visa is not required for citizens of Australia for a stay up to 90 days, although you will need to have a return ticket. All passports must be valid for 6 months from the date of the arrival. Some other nationalities may require a visa. For further information please contact the French consulate website or your travel consultant   

MONEY: 1 AUD = 0.65 € (20/02/2014). You always get a better exchange rate in-country, though it’s a good idea to arrive with enough local currency to take a taxi to a hotel if you have to. Carry as little cash as possible while travelling around. In Paris, exchange bureaux (bureaux de change) are faster and easier, open longer hours and give better rates than most banks. In general, post offices in Paris can offer the best exchange rates and accept banknotes in various currencies as well as American Express and Visa travellers cheques. The commission for travellers cheques is 1.5% (minimum about €4). Familiarise yourself with rates offered by the post office and compare them with those at exchange bureaux. On small transactions, even exchange places with less-than-optimal rates may leave you with more euros in your pocket.   

ELECTRICITY: Type C (European 2-pin), Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: France has several climatic zones and substantial variations in its weather due to its great size and location on the western edge of Europe. The north and northeastern areas have predictably warm summers and cold winters with abundant rainfall while the Atlantic Ocean provides cooler summers from westerly winds and warmer winters along the western coast. South of the Loire river is where the weather becomes significantly warmer. The Mediterranean zone in the south and southeast has hot and somewhat dry summers, mild winters, and low, yet unpredictable rainfall. The south is also subject to the formidable mistral (violent winds) and sudden storms, but generally has reliable weather for visitors. The mountainous zones are in the Pyrénées, Alps, and Massif Central and have heavy winter snowfall, yet cool and sunny summers with abundant rain.   

TIME DIFFERENCE: (GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris   

BEST TIME TO VISIT FRANCE: Depending on what you want to get out of your trip, there is always a good time to visit France. Winter is a great time to enjoy snow sports in the Alps and Pyrenees, while the summer is great for soaking up the sun on the beaches of the Cote d’Azur. Generally, France enjoys a temperate climate with cool winters and warm summers, except for the Mediterranean areas that bask in warm temperatures most of the year. Popular tourist spots can get crowded during the peak holiday periods of Christmas, Easter and the school holiday months of July and August; if travelling during these times, be prepared to share France with many other travellers and holidaying locals.   

LANGUAGE: French is the official language but English is widely spoken.    

ACCOMMODATION: Travelling with LaCity Travel is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.   

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. The gastronomic pleasures of France are world-renowned, so travellers won’t be disappointed with the food of France. There’s something to suit all budgets here, from Michelin star restaurants to humble cafes and market stalls.   

RELIGION: 63% of French people consider themselves Catholic, 30% declare themselves without religion.   

HISTORY: 
New Early History: France has a fascinating history marked by war, invasion, imperialistic expansion and revolution. Enduring the ravages of the Black Death, and the uncertainty of political upheaval and civil unrest, it's probably these events that give the modern French people their passionate, fighting spirit. 
Recent History: France’s recent history is as interesting as its beginnings. Invaded by Germany during World War I and World War II, France suffered many losses during both of these wars. Civilian and military lives were lost, strict rationing created harsh living conditions, and regular airstrikes and shelling created a climate of fear. The French Resistance has been the subject of many books and movies, mainly because it’s such an interesting example of the French spirit. The French Resistance is the name given to pockets of men and women who rallied against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Using guerrilla tactics, as well as underground press and other means, these groups provided safe houses and escape networks for Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. They also provided intelligence and other information to the Allies, as well as committed acts of sabotage against the German military. Visitors to France can choose to see many sites that reflect these times including the beaches of Normandy and the battlefields of Ypres and the Somme. 
More recently, France has enjoyed the stability that comes with being a part of the European Union and NATO; even though unemployment remains high, France is currently enjoying more peaceful times than it has had in the past.
  

SHOPPING:  Home to designer fashion houses, luxurious perfumeries, exclusive boutiques and antique merchants, France isn’t a great shopping destination for those on a budget. Regardless, there’s much fun to be had whether you’re window shopping or indulging in the real thing. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.   

TAXIS: You should only use licenced, official taxis in France, as assaults and robberies have occurred in unlicensed taxis. Unlicensed taxis often target high traffic destinations such as airports, train stations, theatres and nightclubs. In Paris, licenced taxis have the sign ‘Taxi Parisien’ located at the top of the car. Private car companies are legal but must be pre-booked.   

DRIVING: Australians wanting to drive in France must have a valid Australian driver's licence and a valid International Driving Permit (IDP), issued by the relevant IDP authority in your state before leaving Australia. The minimum age to drive a vehicle is 18. Australians resident in France may exchange their Australian driver licence for a French licence within the first 12 months of their residency. It is obligatory for all vehicles to carry a reflective vest and warning triangle for use in case of breakdown.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:  
Wednesday 01 January - New Year's Day 
Sunday 20 April - Easter 
Monday 21 April - Easter Monday 
Thursday 01 May - Labour Day 
Thursday 08 May - VE Day - WWII Victory Day
Thursday 29 May - Ascension Day 
Sunday 08 June - Whit
Sunday 
Monday 09 June - Whit Monday
Monday 14 July - Bastille Day 
Friday 15 August - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Saturday 01 November - All Saints' Day 
Tuesday 11 November - Armistice Day 
Thursday 25 December - Christmas Day   

HEALTH: No vaccinations are required to travel to France.   

SAFETY / SECURITY: France is generally a safe place in which to live and travel, but crime has risen dramatically in the last few years. Property crime is a major problem but it is extremely unlikely that you will be physically assaulted while walking down the street. Always check your government’s travel advisory warnings.   

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY:
SAMU (medical emergencies): 15 
Police emergencies: 17 
Fire Service emergencies: 18 
European emergency line: 112 
SOS Médecins (Paris – emergency doctors): +33 (0) 1 47 07 77 77 or +33 (0) 820 332 424 
SOS Dentistes (Paris – emergency dentists): +33 (0) 1 43 37 51 00   

TIPPING: it is usual to leave a tip.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.   

Australian Embassy 
4, rue Jean Rey 
75015 Paris Métro 
Ligne 6 Station Bir-Hakeim 
RER C Station Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel

Contact us for departure dates

$4935

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Terms and Conditions

1. Price are in AUD, subject to the availabilities and per person twin-share price.
2. For the best savings, and to avoid disappointment book early
3. Valid for sale & departure until 24 October 2019
4. LaCity Travel reserves the right to adjust the itinerary as it sees fi­t to ensure the smooth running of the tour and to substitute hotels of a similar standard if the hotels listed in our brochure are not available. Passengers must remain with the tour group at all times and must not deviate from the set itinerary unless otherwise stated such as “free at leisure”.