What a unique tour with two, three and four night stays capturing the essence and vibrancy of four very evocative regions - each one littered with wonderfully preserved cities, hill top villages, a smorgasbord of culture, food and wine. Stay four nights in Provence, visit the hilltop town of Gordes in the Luberon and cruise the glorious Calanques. Spend 3 nights on the Cote dAzur with visits from chic St Tropez to Nice and Monaco. Over three nights in Tuscany and three nights in Umbria explore the medieval cities and towns, and explore the fairytale ˜town of towers San Gimignano and medieval Spoleto.

Experience Provence & Tuscany

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 18 DAYSPrice : FROM $7589Country : FRANCE
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Stunning Provence Lavender fields © LaCity Travel
Old town, Nice © CRT Côte d'AzurCannes, Le Suquet © CRT Côte d'Azur - Photographe: Robert PALOMBACollosseum in Rome © LaCity TravelWhite wine with barell in vineyard, Italy  © LaCity TravelFlorence @ LaCity TravelMonaco @ LaCity Travel

What a unique tour with two, three and four night stays capturing the essence and vibrancy of four very evocative regions - each one littered with wonderfully preserved cities, hill top villages, a smorgasbord of culture, food and wine. Stay four nights in Provence, visit the hilltop town of Gordes in the Luberon and cruise the glorious Calanques. Spend 3 nights on the Cote dAzur with visits from chic St Tropez to Nice and Monaco. Over three nights in Tuscany and three nights in Umbria explore the medieval cities and towns, and explore the fairytale ˜town of towers San Gimignano and medieval Spoleto.

Included in the price

  • All the sightseeing, scenic drives and excursions (as per the itinerary)
  • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
  • First class air-conditioned touring coach
  • End of tour tips to Tour Manager, drivers and local guides
  • 17 nights selected accommodation as described
  • Porterage (1 bag per person)
  • Buffet breakfasts daily
  • 10 dinners including welcome & farewell dinners, restaurant dinners in Avignon, Nice and Tuscany, Farewell to Umbria dinner
  • TGV train Paris to Avignon (2nd class)
  • Local guides: Florence, Assisi, Rome
  • Entrances: Papal Palace Avignon, Abbey of San Fruttuoso,  Accademia Gallery, Roman Forum and Colosseum
  • Petit Train ride Avignon, boat ride to the Calanques, ferry to St Tropez, boat ride to Portofino, Cinque Terre excursion by train and boat, food, wine and olive oil tasting at a Tuscan Farmhouse Estate
  • Personal audio system whilst on tour

Day 1: Paris

Day 1: Paris

Your tour commences this evening with a welcome drink before dinner in your first class hotel. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.(D) Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Paris Opera, Paris (4-star)

Day 2: Paris - Villeneuve les Avignon

Day 2: Paris - Villeneuve les Avignon

Today we catch the TGV high speed train south to Avignon in the region of Provence, the land of old peasant villages surrounded by rich, purple lavender fields and vineyards. Arriving just under three hours later, we board our coach and drive north to see the beautifully preserved Pont du Gard - an imposing 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct which was built with giant stones weighing up to six tonnes. In a beautiful setting, this remarkable structure spans 200 metres between the craggy hillsides of the River Gard. We then travel to Villeneuve les Avignon, a charming medieval town on the opposite bank of the Rhone from Avignon city. Over 600 years ago, after the fortification and the Abbey Saint André were built, Villeneuve became the residence of the popes and cardinals of the Papal Court wishing to escape from the hustle and bustle of the crowded centre of Avignon city. We stay here for the next four nights. (B, D) Accommodation: La Magnaneraie, Villeneuve-les-Avignon (4-star) [22 June departure stays at Hotel Mas de l'Oulivie, Les Baux]

Day 3: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

Day 3: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

This morning we visit the striking hilltop town of Gordes, on the edge of the plateau of Vaucluse. Its houses of white and grey stone, with beautiful old doorways, rise up in a spiral around the rock on which the village is set. At the very top are the church and castle which face out onto the hills of the Luberon (made famous by Peter Mayles book, A Year in Provence). Your morning will be at leisure in this delightful town. On our return journey we make a photo stop at the Abbaye de Senanque (best time for lavender is June/July). We arrive in Avignon around lunchtime where we have included a ride on the Petit Train of Avignon. This versatile little train will take you on a panoramic tour, with commentary included, around the streets, squares and sights of the city. Afterwards we have included entrance (headsets included) to the 600 year old Palais des Popes, once the grand residence of the exiled Roman Catholic Popes. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this historic town on the banks of the River Rhone, with its grand central square with numerous side streets and alleys full of colourful cafes and shops. Later we will transfer you back to your hotel. (B)

Day 4: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

Day 4: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

First stop today will be in the old fishing village of Cassis, on the Cote dAzur. From here we enjoy a morning cruise to explore some of the incredibly picturesque Calanques. These rugged inlets with steep cliffs tumbling into the crystal clear, Azur waters are best viewed by boat. Lunchtime will be at leisure back in Cassis. In the afternoon we stop in Aix-en-Provence on the Cours Mirabeau, a tree-lined avenue of cafés and fountains, flanked by elegant 17th and 18th century houses. (B)

Day 5: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

Day 5: Villeneuve les Avignon in Provence

This morning we journey to the crumbling castle and once deserted village of Les Baux to discover the craft shops and cafés scattered throughout the ruins. Set on the craggy hillside, this rejuvenated town is an extraordinary sight. Later we spend time amongst the terracotta roofs and ochre walls of Arles, with its Roman ruins and giant amphitheatre. Later this afternoon, there will be time at leisure to relax at your hotel, before a special dinner tonight in a local restaurant. (B, D)

Day 6: Villeneuve les Avignon - Nice

Day 6: Villeneuve les Avignon - Nice

There is nothing like a day on the Azur Coast! Driving down to the Cote d'Azur we catch a ferry from Sainte-Maxime directly into the old port of world famous St Tropez, where we enjoy a leisurely lunch break. After the second world war this quaint fishing village developed into a must stay chic resort frequented by millionaires, the jet set and of course Brigitte Bardot. Later we continue to Nice, nicknamed the Queen of the Riviera, where we stay the next three nights. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant, a short walk from your hotel. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Massena, Nice (4-star)

Day 7: Nice on the Cote d'Azur

Day 7: Nice on the Cote d'Azur

First stop this morning is in the extravagant sea side resort of Cannes. Time to explore the old port town and La Croisette, the seafront promenade lined with palm trees, up market boutiques, cafes and grand hotels. Around lunchtime, we drive in to the foothills of the Alpes Maritimes to the old town of St Paul de Vence with its imposing ramparts, overlooking the Provençal countryside. Inspired by the stylish town and its wonderful natural light, a host of famous painters flocked here in the early 20th century to found art schools. Later, film directors and movie stars followed, and now there is an artist colony along with galleries and shops. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure in Nice. This evening we have also included an excursion to Monaco. Following the scenic drive along the Moyenne Corniche to the city of Monte Carlo we will see the Royal Palace and famous Casino, before time at leisure for dinner. (B).

Day 8: Nice on the Cote d'Azur

Day 8: Nice on the Cote d'Azur

Your day is entirely free in the elegant resort town of Nice. Take time to stroll and shop amongst the winding streets and perhaps enjoy lunch in one of the attractive seaside restaurants. Nice also boasts a number of art museums. Make sure you visit the wonderful fresh food, local produce and flower markets which are amongst the best in France! They are literally on the doorstep of your hotel. (B)

Day 9: Nice - Santa Marherita Ligure

Day 9: Nice - Santa Marherita Ligure

Bidding adieu to France, we enter Italy and soon arrive at Genoa. In the port you will find the massive black galleon built for Roman Polanskis film, the Pirates. But the true gem of this city lies in the old heart where there are beautiful churches and squares and nearly 50 UNESCO listed palaces and stately homes lining the pedestrian malls. Later this afternoon we continue past Rapallo to the beautiful harbour town of Santa Margherita Ligure where we stay two nights.* Dinner tonight is in Les Bougainvillées restaurant which spills onto the graceful terrace overlooking the Ligurian Sea. (B, D) Accommodation: The Grand Hotel Miramare, Santa Marherita Ligure(4-star) [4 June, 22 June, 6 July & 17 August departures stay at Grand Hotel Savoia in Genoa for 2 nights and do not dine at Les Bougainvillées restaurant.]

Day 10: Santa Marherita Ligure

Day 10: Santa Marherita Ligure

Your morning is at leisure to explore the elegant shops, boutiques and cafes that litter the port of Santa Margherita Ligure. Later we take a boat along the rugged coastline to the world famous harbour of Portofino. Delightfully set in a tiny bay, overlooked by the church and castle high above, this old port makes a perfect afternoon stop. Later, we continue around the coast to visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, which is only accessible by boat. Your evening is at leisure, a chance to discover a local restaurant and relax. (B)

Day 11: Santa Marherita Ligure - Lucca

Day 11: Santa Marherita Ligure - Lucca

A delightful day is planned as we explore the famous Cinque Terre. The name means ˜five lands and comes from the five unspoilt fishing villages that cling to the cliffs, overlooking the sea. Taking the train along the coast we visit the pretty port of Monterosso. From here we catch a boat and cruise along the spectacular coastline of the Cinque Terre to visit the delightful villages of Vernazza and Portovenere. Arriving in La Spezia we board our coach and travel to Tuscany. We stay the next three nights in the typically Tuscan town of Lucca - a medieval walled city, filled with palaces, churches and ancient houses. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant. (B, D) Accommodation: San Lucca Palace, Lucca (4-star)

Day 12: Lucca in Tuscany

Day 12: Lucca in Tuscany

This morning we visit nearby Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery in the magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli. Your afternoon has been left entirely free to explore delightful Lucca. Perhaps visit the former home of Puccini, where he wrote Turandot or borrow one of the hotels bicycles to cycle, or walk, around the entire town on top of the broad city walls. Delightful! As a highlight this evening we drive into the picturesque Tuscan countryside to visit a local Olive Farmhouse Estate. Before dinner is served in the Osteria, we spend time amongst the olive groves and enjoy an olive oil tasting accompanied by Tuscan wines and a selection of antipasto including local meats, cheese and bread, all specialities of this region. (B, D)

Day 13: Lucca in Tuscany

Day 13: Lucca in Tuscany

Today is dedicated to nearby Firenze (Florence). A local guide will bring to life this truly beautiful city which is otherwise known as the Cradle of the Renaissance. Your tour starts with a visit to the famous Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelos David and numerous other extraordinary Italian, Florentine and Renaissance works of art. We see the Duomo and take in the magnificent statues in the Piazza della Signoria. Your afternoon is entirely free to enjoy Florence at your own pace. Espresso Coffee on Piazza Santa Croce where Michelangelo is buried? A gelato whilst strolling across the Ponte Vecchio? Dont forget the excellent shopping. (B)

Day 14: Lucca - Spoleto

Day 14: Lucca - Spoleto

We make the short drive across Tuscany to the fairy-tale town of towers San Gimignano, famous for its 13th and 14th century Tuscan towers. Exploring the pedestrian walkways of this hilltop town is an absolute delight. Lunchtime will be at leisure in the beautifully preserved streets of medieval Siena among the great sights such as the Gothic town hall and the Piazza del Campo, scene of the famous Palio horse race. Next we wind up to the hills of Umbria and the wonderful walled town of Spoleto where we stay the next three nights. Medieval Spoleto is easily explored on foot. There are numerous romanesque churches and cobbled stone alleyways lined with shops, bars and trattorias. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Dei Duchi, Spoleto (4-star)

Day 15: Spoleto in Umbria

Day 15: Spoleto in Umbria

We spend this morning in the nearby beautiful Umbrian city of Assisi. Badly damaged by earthquakes in 1997, the city, dominated by two medieval castles, undertook a remarkable programme of restoration which soon brought it back to all its glory. On arrival in Assisi we are joined by a lay Franciscan Monk for a guided tour of the Basilica of St Francis with its magnificent frescoes. Afterwards there is time for you to explore Assisi at your own pace. On our return journey to Spoleto, we make an afternoon stop to enjoy the wonderful sights of the medieval hilltop town of Spello. (B)

Day 16: Spoleto in Umbria

Day 16: Spoleto in Umbria

We have left the entire day at leisure for you to relax and enjoy the numerous sights of Spoleto. There is so much to see and enjoy in this ancient Umbrian town. This architectural time capsule spreads down from Mount SantElia towards the valley below, and boasts remnants of civilisation going back to early Roman times. Your hotel is wonderfully located, with all the sights and attractions, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and Piazza del Mercato, on the site of the old Roman Forum, within easy walking distance. Perhaps take a leisurely walk along the path around the castle and across the medieval viaduct in to the Umbrian countryside. This is the real Italy! Tonight we have arranged a special Farewell to Umbria dinner with local wines, in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 17: Spoleto - Rome

Day 17: Spoleto - Rome

We arrive into Rome late morning. We have included a guided walking tour around the ruins of the Forum Romana and a visit to the mighty Colosseum. After checking into our central city hotel, we will enjoy a farewell dinner in a nearby restaurant. (B, D). Accommodation: Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio, Rome (4-star)

Day 18: Rome

Day 18: Rome

Sadly your tour ends this morning after breakfast. (B).

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.
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.
Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard was built shortly before the Christian era to allow the aqueduct of Nîmes (which is almost 50 km long) to cross the Gard river. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers who designed this bridge, which stands almost 50 m high and is on three levels – the longest measuring 275 m – created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece.
Cassis

Cassis

Cassis was a very ancient fishing port and is an interesting village to visit. The village was rebuilt on the old ruins in the 18th century, resulting in a more regular layout than most other medieval villages. A walk through the old village streets will reveal some nice old buildings, some dating back to the 16th century, and some restored with the colorful pastels of Provence. Other sites in the village are old fountains and an open-air artists market. The harbor area is really the prettiest part of Cassis.
Aix en Provence

Aix en Provence

City of water springs, city of Art, Aix en Provence marvelously exemplifies the Provençal art of living so admired by the rest of the world. Cultural capital, Aix en Provence welcomes many artists. Cezanne made it his city, and the surrounding countryside inspired some of his greatest impressionist masterpieces. The boulevards shaded by majestic sycamores, the streets bordered by rich private residences, the discreet squares ornamented with beautiful fountains and garnished with welcoming sidewalk coffee, Aix inevitably seduces those who take the time to linger.
Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez

Pouting sexpot Brigitte Bardot came to St-Tropez in the '50s to star in Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman; 1956) and transformed the peaceful fishing village overnight into a sizzling jet-set favourite. Tropeziens have thrived on their sexy image ever since: at the Vieux Port, yachts like spaceships jostle for millionaire moorings, and infinitely more tourists jostle to admire them. Yet there is a serene side to this village trampled by 100,000 visitors a day in summer. Out of season the St-Tropez of mesmerising quaint beauty and ‘sardine scales glistening like pearls on the cobblestones’ that charmed Guy de Maupassant (1850–93) comes to life. Meander cobbled lanes in the old fishing quarter of La Ponche, sip pastis at a place des Lices cafe, watch old men play pétanque (a variant on the game of bowls) beneath plane trees, or walk in solitary splendour from beach to beach along the coastal path.
Nice

Nice

With its unusual mix of real-city grit, old-world opulence, year-round sunshine and exceptional location, Nice’s appeal is universal. Everyone from backpackers to romance-seeking couples and families will love sitting at a cafe on cours Saleya in Vieux Nice or a bench on the legendary Promenade des Anglais for an epic sunset. Eating options are some of the best you’ll find in France, the nightlife is buzzing and the art scene thriving. You could happily spend a week here and still be hungry for more.
Genoa

Genoa

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Genoa is that its hilly terrain resembles a bowl of spaghetti piled high. Liguria has virtually no flat land, and its capital is a roller coaster of winding streets and staircases sliced into the footpaths. Squashed into the hillsides, Genoa’s tall, narrow, green-shuttered buildings, painted tomato-red, orange and yellow, squeeze in alongside palaces, hanging gardens, church spires and the crumbling remains of the town’s old walls. From the main shopping streets and squares, descending into Genoa’s medieval old town takes you into the belly of its caruggi – a dense tangle of dark pedestrian alleys that evoke the back-stabbing dramas and intrigues of Genoa’s golden age
Florence

Florence

Florence's museums, palaces, and churches house some of the greatest artistic treasures in the world. The most popular and important sites in Florence include the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Accademia. The churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are veritable art galleries, and the library of San Lorenzo is a magnificent exhibition of Michelangelo's architectural genius. Wander some of the oldest streets in the city until you reach the Arno River, cross the Ponte Vecchio, and experience the "newest" area of Florence, the Oltrarno. Florence and its magnificent treasures await your visit!
Portofino

Portofino

Portofino is a small Italian fishing village and tourist resort at the Mediterranean Sea, located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. It is said that Portofino was founded by the Romans who first named the place “Portus Delphini” (“Port of the Dolphin”), because of the dolphins that inhabited the area.
Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

Strung along 18km of serrated cliffs between Levanto and La Spezia, the Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s treasures. These five higgledy-piggledy villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – are cut off by mountains choked with olive groves and dry-stone-walled vineyards, where farmers have eked out a living over the centuries.
Pisa

Pisa

Once a maritime power to rival Genoa and Venice, Pisa now draws its fame from an architectural project gone terribly wrong. But the world-famous Leaning Tower is just one of many noteworthy sights in this compact and compelling city. Education has fuelled the local economy since the 1400s, and students from across Italy still compete for places in its elite university and research schools. This endows the centre of town with a vibrant and affordable cafe and bar scene, and balances what is an enviable portfolio of well-maintained Romanesque buildings, Gothic churches and Renaissance piazzas with a lively street life dominated by locals rather than tourists – a charm you will definitely not discover if you restrict your visit to Piazza dei Miracoli.
Lucca

Lucca

Lovely Lucca is a precious pearl of a city that endears itself to everyone who visits. Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls, its cobbled streets, handsome piazzas and shady promenades make it a perfect destination to explore by foot – as a day trip from Florence or in its own right. At the day's end, historic cafes and restaurants tempt visitors to relax over a glass or two of Lucchesi wine and a slow progression of rustic dishes prepared with fresh produce from the nearby Garfagnana.
San Gimignano

San Gimignano

As you crest the hill coming from the east, the 15 towers of this walled hill town look like a medieval Manhattan. Originally an Etruscan village, the town was named after the bishop of Modena, San Gimignano, who is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun. It became a comune (local government) in 1199 and was very prosperous due in part to its location on the Via Francigena – building a tower taller than that of one's neighbour (there were originally 72) became a popular way for the town's prominent families to flaunt their power and wealth. In 1348 plague wiped out much of the population and weakened the local economy, leading to the town's submission to Florence in 1353. Today, not even the plague would deter the swarms of summer day-trippers, who are lured by the town's palpable sense of history, intact medieval streetscapes and enchanting rural setting.
Assisi

Assisi

The small town of Assisi is one of the Christian world’s most important pilgrimage sites as it is home of the Basilica di San Francesco. This small town has been an important place of pilgrimage for over 700 years and today now attracts an estimated 5 million visitors each year. Perched high above the flat valley floor next to Monte Subasio, the cobbled streets of Assisi wind across the hill with spectacular views of the valley below.
Spoleto

Spoleto

Spoleto is an ancient town located in the Umbria region of Italy, in the province of Perugia. The town is located at the foot of the Apennine hills and is a perfect stop for people visiting nearby Trevi, Terni and Perugia. The earliest mention of Spoleto on record is the establishment of a colony in the area in 241 BC. In ancient times Spoleto was considered a strategic geographical location since it is surrounded by mountains and located in a large valley. The ancient city walls, some of which can still be seen today, were built in the 5th century BC around the small Umbrian settlements to protect the inhabitants
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

$7589

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Optional

Single Supplement AUD$1,849

Terms and Conditions
1. Price are in AUD, subject to the availabilities and per person twin-share price.
2. Valid for sale & departure until 24 September 2018
3. Deposit of 50% of total tour is required within 5 days of confirmation, with final balance due at least 60 days prior to departure.     
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”.