GET TO KNOW FRANCE

  • Duration:9 NIGHTS/10 DAYS
  • Countries Visited: France
  • Highlights:
    10 days exploring the highlights of France.
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare NYC/Madrid/NYC
    • Accommodations in first class hotels
    • Buffet breakfast daily and dinner as noted
    • Comprehensive sightseeing as per the itinerary
    • English speaking tour escort thought
    • Transfers by deluxe private motorcoach
    •  Baggage handling
    • Select International travel bag and portfolio

DAY 1: DEPART ON AN OVERNIGHT FLIGHT TO NICE

Today you board the  scheduled international flight from your home town to Nice, France.

DAY 2: NICE

Welcome to France! You are greeted at the airport by our English speaking tour escort and board  our own private bus and transfer into Nice on the French Riviera. This afternoon we will begin our sightseeing with a stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. We also visit Le Chateau, to see the ruins of the earliest settlements in the Nice area, and then on to the Old Town for a Walking Tour. Overnight Nice. (B.D.)

DAY 3: MONACO & EZE

Our morning begins with a scenic drive along the spectacular Grande Corniche to La Turbie, for a view of Italy. After viewing La Trophée, a temple and monument constructed by the Romans in 6 BC, we continue to the Principality of Monaco, a sovereign state covering less than one square mile. We begin with a visit to the Cathedral, a Neo-Romanesque church containing a number of early paintings of the Nice School, including a St. Nicholas altarpiece by Louis Brea. Our afternoon will conclude with a visit to the Palais du Prince, the sight of Monaco’s government. (Visit is subject to season and the absence of the Prince) After seeing the luxurious Grand Casino which made Monaco famous, we continue the beautiful perched village of Eze.Here we have time to shop and explore before our next stop the Fragonard Perfume Factory, where we will take a guided tour which will reveal some of the secrets of perfume making. Overnight Nice. (B.D.)

DAY 4: NICE – CANNES – AIX-EN-PROVENCE – AVIGNON

This morning we journey to Cannes, the elegant playground of the rich and famous on the French Riviera, and home of the most famous movie festival in Europe. In Cannes, we will have a bit of free time to explore, shop or relax on the beach, before continuing to Aix-en-Provence. The ancient capital of Provence is the former watering place for the Roman legions and the home of the Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne. Before entering the city, we will stop at nearby Montagne Ste-Victoire, the mountain peak outside of Aix, which inspired many of Cezanne’s most famous works. We continue into Aix, where we visit Cezanne studio and home , and see the 1860 landmark fountain on Place de la Libération. We then continue to  Avignon, to see  the 14th century Papal Palace, a huge feudal fortress and palace, which was home to the Papacy from 1309 – 1377. Overnight Avignon. (B.D.)

DAY 5: PROVENCE HIGHLIGHTS-PONT-DU-GARD, ARLES & LES BAUX

Today we will explore Provence, beginning with a visit to Pont-du-Gard, a 2000 year old,  three-tiered Roman aqueduct, which is almost entirely intact. We continue to  Arles, where we will visit the Roman Amphitheater. Arles is also famous as the home of Vincent Van Gogh. We visit the artist studio and have time to explore before stopping at  Chateau des Baux, whose grounds encompass a complex of evocative, mostly ruined buildings, which were carved out of the rocky mountain peak. Overnight Avignon. (B.D.)

DAY 6: AVIGNON – PARIS

Today we travel  through central France to Paris, “The City of Lights.” We settle into our hotel before taking a Seine River Cruise, which will take us under many of Paris’ graceful bridges, and past many important landmarks and monuments along both banks – a perfect introduction to the beauty of Paris. Overnight Paris. (B.D.)

DAY 7: HISTORIC PARIS

We start with a visit to the  Arc de Triomphe, a massive triumphal arch commissioned by Napoleon, which today is a symbol of Paris and home to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We walk along the Champs Elysees, Paris’ most spectacular thoroughfare, which offers a beautiful look at Parisian life and architecture. We return to the Place de la Concorde, before strolling through the Jardin des Tuileries, the beautiful Neo-Classical gardens, which lead to the entrance of the Louvre. We will enjoy a specialist-guided tour through the museum, which will include: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and many of the finest paintings and sculpture from Western Civilization. This afternoon we visit the cathedral of Notre Dame, begun in 1163 on a spot that had already been a religious shrine since Roman times. Over the centuries, the cathedral has been the scene of some of France’s most momentous occasions, including the coronation of Napoleon. This evening we will dine in and stroll through the Latin Quarter, a section of the city that dates back to the Roman times, and which is generally associated with artists, intellectuals and political unrest. During our walk we will view the Sorbonne, Paris’ oldest university. Overnight Paris. (B.D.)

DAY 8:  DAY TRIP TO CHARTRES & VERSAILLES

This morning we travel to  Chartres, where we will visit Chartres Cathedral, the jewel in the crown of medieval churches in Europe. Chartres Cathedral boasts an unrivaled expanse of sculpture, as well as one of Europe’s most impressive collections of stained glass windows. Our afternoon will include a visit to Versailles, a palace commissioned by Louis XIV around Louis XIII’s hunting lodge. We visit the  ornate State, and explore the magnificent Gardens and fountains at Versailles. Tonight we visit  Montmartre, the bohemian section of  Paris.  We explore the Place du Tertre, a square known for its local artwork, before visiting the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, a huge white church which dominates the Parisian skyline. Overnight Paris. (B.D.) Apartments

Overnight Paris. (B.D.)

DAY 9: ARTISTIC PARIS -GIVERNY

This morning we will visit the Musee D’Orsay, home of the Impressionists featuring masterpieces by: Delacroix, Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin and Lautrec. We then depart for Giverny, home of artist Monet, where we see the artist house and studio and the famous inspiration for his Water Lillies masterpieces. We visit the American Museum nearby before returning to Paris for dinner and overnight. (B.D.)

DAY 10: DEPART PARIS FOR USA

After breakfast this morning we are transferred to the airport and our flight home. (B)
Additional programs to France are available upon request

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