All the flavours of France come to life on this unforgettable journey, which kicks off in Paris, the City of Lights. Spend your day strolling past its iconic landmarks in search of hidden treasures, before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive through the city to see some of its most magnificent sights lit up at night.
We travel south to Burgundy, past the Côte d'Or vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits St. Georges. The colourful geometric roof tiles of the 15th-century Hospices are a sight to behold as we arrive in the medieval town of Beaune before continuing to Lyon, the gourmet capital of France. Consider spending your evening delving into the epicurean delights for which Lyon is justifiably famous. Why not wander up the city's narrow lanes lined with pastel pink and yellow façades in search of a cosy bouchon for a tasty dinner with newfound friends?
We stop in the heart of Provence and the city of Avignon, once the Papal Seat in the 13th century and today an important place of pilgrimage. See the Papal Palace and the bridge made famous in the song - Sur le pont d'Avignon. Journeying through the fields of Provence, immortalised in the great works of such artists as Van Gogh and Cézanne, we arrive in the sophisticated Principality of Monaco, where we will view the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace were married. This evening, we enjoy a Regional Meal in Monaco before arriving at our hotel.
The sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera are yours to explore today. Amble along Nice's elegant Promenade des Anglais, treading in the footsteps of the aristocrats of yesteryear or relax on the beach with your fellow sun-worshippers. Consider a visit to the hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a popular haunt for actors seeking a relaxing retreat. In your free time, soak up the fresh sea air and perhaps indulge in delicious Salade Niçoise overlooking the beautiful Bay of Angels.
Visit Arles with its honey-coloured façades, Roman ruins and Camargue culture, and enjoy some time at leisure to explore this beautiful city. Alternatively, choose an Optional Experience to gain a deeper understanding of Vincent Van Gogh and local history with our resident expert before winding your way to the fortified city of Carcassonne. Join a Local Specialist to explore this exquisite ancient town, view the Cité, and see the double ring of ramparts and 52 towers.
We drive toward the Pyrenees this morning and arrive in Lourdes, the global centre of the Marian pilgrimage. You will have an opportunity to see the Basilica, perched atop St. Bernadette's Grotto, where the young girl turned saint is said to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary. Then, travel west to the Basque Coast, where we spend the night.
Journeying through Les Landes, we arrive in the wine capital of Bordeaux, whose stunning Garonne riverfront and age of Enlightenment history and architecture have made it one of France's most visited cities. Bordeaux wine has been produced in the region since the 8th century and the bi-annual wine fair attracts buyers from all over the world. Spend some time seeing the sights during your orientation of the city.
The lush green valleys and hills of the Dordogne take centre stage today during a scenic half-day included excursion. We drive to Saint-Émilion, whose wine heritage dates back to Roman times and return to Bordeaux this evening for some free time to explore the city. Maybe, tease your taste-buds with delicious Bordelaise cuisine or stroll through the city's historical centre admiring its beautiful architecture by night.
We journey through the Garden of France, before we 'Connect With Locals' for a delicious Be My Guest lunch. Carry on to visit the remarkable gardens at Château Villandry before we arrive at our special hotel for the night - one of Trafalgar's 'Stays With Stories'.
We travel through the patchwork landscapes of Brittany to the island settlement of Mont St. Michel on the Normandy coast, which features an impressive Norman Benedictine Abbey. Follow the Liberty Highway to St. Lô and on to Omaha Beach. Reflect on the bravery of the young men who sacrificed their lives for freedom and visit the D-Day Landing Zone to learn how the operation was planned and executed. Arrive later at your hotel where you dine tonight.
We travel west towards Paris, stopping at Giverny to see the house and gardens that once inspired Claude Monet's exquisite Impressionist works of art. This evening, consider a trip to one of the city's renowned cabarets.
Join your Local Specialist on a journey through the historic neighbourhoods of Paris to see where the locals live and shop. Visit Notre Dame Cathedral and hear about the lives of the day-to-day local Parisian. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the sights on your terms. See the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo at the Louvre, enjoy a leisurely café au lait in quiet surrounds or consider an Optional Experience to the opulent Palace of Versailles. This evening, we celebrate an epic adventure with your Travel Director and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
For now it's time to bid a fond au revoir to the Best of France and your fellow travellers at the end of a magical and memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
14 July 2019 is Bastille Day in France. Celebrations will be taking place throughout Paris.
Special Rate Solo Rooming: Departures 31 March, 14 April, 25 August and 20 October 2019 include 20-100% discount on our standard single supplement.