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Best of France

13 Days 2 Countries 13 Cities

Discover the best of France on an exploration of Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Monaco, Bordeaux, Arles and more.

"Another great trip with Trafalgar"

Ka Pang, Singapore

About this trip

Châteaux, chic beach resorts, cheese and wine – all you want to see and taste in France. But this in-depth experience also peels back the layers to reveal the soul of this great country.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… learning the strategic importance of Carcassonne's double ring of ramparts with its 52 towers from our local historian, and why the fortified town made such a good backdrop for the film 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'.


Trip type: Country Explorer i

Trip code: FBOF

12 Nights

accommodation

18 Meals
  • 12 hot buffet breakfasts.

  • 6 dinners (including Be My Guest).

On-trip Transport

All transport shown. All transfers shown.

Best of France

Your Itinerary

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Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Day 1

Arrive Paris

Lyon, France

Day 2

Paris – Beaune – Lyon

Monaco Cathedral, France

Day 3

Lyon – Avignon – Monaco – French Riviera (2 Nights)

Day 4

French Riviera Free Time

Carcassone, France

Day 5

French Riviera – Arles – Carcassonne

Bernadettes Grotto, Lourdes, France

Day 6

Carcassonne – Lourdes – Biarrtiz

Bordeaux Vinyards, France

Day 7

Biarritz – Bordeaux (2 Nights)

Saint Emilion Vinyard, Dordogne, France

Day 8

Dordogne Excursion

Loire Valley, France

Day 9

Bordeaux – Loire Valley

Omaha Beach, France

Day 10

Loire Valley – Mont St. Michel – Omaha Beach

Paris, France

Day 11

Omaha Beach – Giverny – Paris (2 Nights)

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Day 12

Paris Sightseeing and Free Time

Paris, France

Day 13

Depart Paris

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. This evening meet for a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers and Travel Director and enjoy an orientation drive through the city to take in some of the breathtaking sights including the Champs Élysées and the Arc d'Triomphe.

Hotel

Novotel Centre Tour Eiffel

Meals

  • Welcome Reception
Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

Day 1

Day 2

Paris – Beaune – Lyon

Drive south into Burgundy wine country, once home to the powerful Dukes of Burgundy, past the Côte d'Or vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits St. Georges. Arrive in the medieval town of Beaune to discover the treasures in the 15th century Hospice de Beaune. Tonight in Lyon why not try out some local sights and specialities for which the city is justifiably famous?

Hotel

Novotel Gerland

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Optional Experiences

Beaujolais Gourmet Dinner And Old Town Discovery

Enjoy an evening drive along the beautiful Saône River and taste the most acclaimed French cuisine. You’ll discover Lyon's secrets, from the Gauls to the medieval old town. A UNESCO World Heritage city, Lyon is also the gastronomic capital of France and our chef will prepare a mouth-watering three course dinner, with local wines included.

Adult Price: €69.00

Lyon, France

Day 2

Day 3

Lyon – Avignon – Monaco – French Riviera (2 Nights)

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 the rich and famous. View the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were married. Later enjoy a Regional Meal in Monaco before arriving at your hotel.

Hotel

Ellington / Holiday Inn / Garden Beach Hotel

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Regional Meal
Monaco Cathedral, France

Day 3

Day 4

French Riviera Free Time

Spend today as you wish. 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?

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Optional Experiences

St Paul, Corniche Drive, Perfumery and Meal

Discover the medieval hill top town of St. Paul, known as an artists’ paradise. You’ll travel along the Riviera on the spectacular corniche, stopping off at a local perfumery. Finally, join us for a delicious meal and drinks at a local restaurant.

Adult Price: €83.00

Day 4

Day 5

French Riviera – Arles – Carcassonne

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 52 towers during your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves' was filmed on location in and around Carcassonne.

Hotel

Best Western Le Donjon Authentic Accommodation/Mercure Porte De La Cite

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Dinner with wine

Optional Experiences

On the trail of Vincent Van Gogh

Discover the secret stories and life of Vincent Van Gogh, as you stroll through the ancient streets and squares of this enchanting provincial town with our resident Local Specialist.

Adult Price: €23.00

Carcassone, France

Day 5

Day 6

Carcassonne – Lourdes – Biarrtiz

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.

Hotel

Radisson Blu Biarritz

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Dinner with Wine
Bernadettes Grotto, Lourdes, France

Day 6

Day 7

Biarritz – Bordeaux (2 Nights)

Head 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 bi-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.

Hotel

Mercure Centre/Novotel Centre Meriadeck

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Optional Experiences

Highlights Of The Pyrénées

Join us on a beautiful drive up into the Pyrénées, where we’ll catch a funicular train to ascend through mountain pastures to the top of these magnificent mountains, finding ourselves in Spain. You’ll have time to enjoy some Basque hospitality before our descent, with a drink included. Weather permitting.

Adult Price: €40.00

St Jean De Luz, Jewel Of The Basque Country

With your Local Specialist you’ll discover the Maison Louis XIV and the Maison Rose where Louis XIV met his bride, Spanish princess Maria Theresa. You’ll also see the church where they married in 1660 (complete with hanging sailing ships inside) and have time to explore this unique seaside town’s 400 year history and beautiful beach.

Adult Price: €38.00

Bordeaux Vinyards, France

Day 7

Day 8

Dordogne Excursion

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, possibly one of the most famous towns with ties to wine production. Later return to Bordeaux where you will have free time to explore the city.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Optional Experiences

Secrets Of The Bordelaise With Lunch Or Dinner

We’ll journey through the rolling vineyards of the Bordeaux region to our favourite French Chateau Estate. Here you’ll visit the vineyards and cellars with the owners and taste their wine as they share the secrets of the French wine-making process. Later, discover a hidden gem from the World Heritage list before dining in traditional Bordelaise style, with drinks included. May be operated without dining for €49.

Adult Price: €80.00

Saint Emilion Vinyard, Dordogne, France

Day 8

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. One of the most remarkable castles ever built, Chenonceau features stunning landscaped gardens and priceless collections of Renaissance furniture, tapestries and art. Today join your fellow travellers for a special Be My Guest dining experience where you enjoy typical French hospitality.

Hotel

Mercure Tours Nord/Alliance Tours Centre

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Be My Guest Dining
Loire Valley, France

Day 9

Day 10

Loire Valley – Mont St. Michel – Omaha Beach

Travel through Brittany to visit the island-town of Mont St. Michel on the Normandy coast, 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 Landing Zone and learn in detail about how the operation was planned and executed.

Hotel

Mercure Omaha Beach

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Dinner with wine
Omaha Beach, France

Day 10

Day 11

Omaha Beach – Giverny – Paris (2 Nights)

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.

Hotel

Novotel Centre Tour Eiffel/Renaissance Paris La Defense

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast

Optional Experiences

Moulin Rouge Cabaret And Dinner

Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!

Adult Price: €162.00

Nouvelle Eve Cabaret And Dinner

Join us for dinner with wine included at one of the most prestigious cabaret shows in town, where you’ll watch an evening of exciting acts, stunning tableaux and wonderful entertainment – including the world famous Can-Can. A Parisian night you’ll never forget.

Adult Price: €139.00

Paris, France

Day 11

Day 12

Paris Sightseeing and Free Time

This morning your Local Specialist reveals not just where, but how real Parisians live and shop, showing you the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris' oldest historical neighbourhoods. This short insider walk finishes at one of Paris's loveliest squares, little known to outsiders, but a real favourite of the locals. 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. This evening celebrate with your Travel Director and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
  • Farewell Dinner

Optional Experiences

Notre Dame And Latin Quarter

A guided drive through Paris' bohemian Left Bank with our Local Specialist brings us to amazing Notre Dame to discover one of the world's most famous Cathedrals and exemplar of Gothic architecture. Afterward, take a stroll through the delightful Latin Quarter, a medieval maze of winding cobblestone alleyways where you'll have free time to enjoy the sidewalk bistros, boutiques and hidden squares.

Adult Price: €32.00

Seine Cruise And Paris Illuminations

Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb 'city of light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.

Adult Price: €36.00

Versailles Palace And Gardens

Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler. Your Local Specialist will take you through the State apartments and famous Hall of Mirrors, with free time to stroll the symmetrical tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability.

Adult Price: €65.00

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Day 12

Day 13

Depart Paris

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

Meals

  • Buffet Breakfast
Paris, France

Day 13

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Local Specialists
    For included sightseeing in Carcassonne and Paris.

  • Be My Guest
    dinner in the atmosphere of a 17th century traditional farmhouse.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Best Western Le Donjon: Situated in the heart of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this four star Authentic Accommodation is formed of three renovated properties, and combines ancient architecture and features with modern luxury and comfort.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.


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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • Insider walking tour in Paris

    • City tour in Carcassonne

    • Orientation of Paris, Beaune, Lyon, Avignon, Monaco, Nice, Arles, Lourdes and Bordeaux

    • Visit the Hospice de Beaune, Chateau Chenonceau, D-Day Museum, Claude Monet's home at Giverny and the Eiffel Tower

    • View the Papal Palace in Avignon, The Royal Palace, Cathedral while in Monaco, Promenade des Anglais and Place Massena in Nice, St Bernadette's Grotto in Lourdes, Esplanade des Quinconces in Bordeaux, the Abbey of Mont St. Michel and the D-Day Beach of Omaha while in Normandy

    • See the Roman Ampitheatre and the Cathedral in Arles

    • Scenic drive through Dordogne and Loire Valley


What's Included

Dining

    • 12 hot buffet breakfasts.

    • 6 dinners
      (including Be My Guest).


What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • VIP entry to many sights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing


    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page


Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

enjoy infinity pool

Enjoy

Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.


sunset heart

Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet

Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Taste

Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Unwind

Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.


Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 120 Reviews

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Big pat on the back to Trafalgar for providing us with Chantelle as our Tour Director for our Best of France 13 day experience. She was professional, organised, experienced, a delightful, happy personality who did everything to make our holiday a memorable one. Great itinerary, accommodation,

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : The France tour was very good but felt the Prague tour wasn't quite as goodProduct : Great group supported by a lovely director

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : The service received was top quality, the attention given by the tour director Chantal Boutet was excellent in every way.Product : The tour itinerary was just the right pace, with several two night stays and the rest one night stays. The itinerary was just the right mix of

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Very disappointed they cancelled one of my tours due to lack of numbers. Trafalgar held my money for 7 months then it cost me $600 to change my flights. My new tour provided excellent value for money thought not as professional as Trafalgar. The main reason I would use Trafalgar

  • Trip:

    Service:

    Service rating : Service from hotels was very satisfactory and consists t throughout our trip. The Travel Director Sarah was exceptional in relation to knowledge of areas and history. She was also very perceptive to our needs, ability and wellbeing. The Driver Francis was clearly a very

Best of France

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13 Days, 2 Countries, 13 Cities

Best of France

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Paris, France

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  • Twin-share option
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  • Flights available

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

iNotes
    • Special Rate Solo Rooming: Departures 02 April, 16 April, 27 August, 15 October and 22 October 2017 include 25-100% discount on our standard single supplement.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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