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Tour Itinerary

Expect only the best on one of our favourite France trips, beginning and ending in Paris. Spend the night as a French lord or lady in an elegant Loire Valley château, be as inspired as Cézanne was by the beauty of Provence and visit the playground of Monaco.

Countries Visited

France , Monaco

  1. Day 1
    Bonjour Paris
    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 an orientation drive through the city.Accommodation: Mercure 17 Batignolles
  2. Day 2
    Journey through Burgundy to Lyon
    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?Accommodation: Mercure Centre Saxe Lafayette
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Onwards to Avignon, Monaco and the French Riviera
    We stop in the heart of Provence and the city of Avignon, once the Papal Seat in the 14th century. 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 Dinner in Monaco before arriving at our hotel.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Nice
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    The French Riviera Your Way
    The sun-kissed shores of the French Riviera are yours to explore today. Consider relaxing on the beach with your fellow sun-worshippers or an Optional Experience could see you visit 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 a delicious Salade Niçoise.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    Admire Arles and Continue to Carcassonne
    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.Accommodation: Mercure La Cité
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Pilgrimage to Lourdes and on to Biarritz
    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.Accommodation: Radisson Blu
    Meals:   Breakfast
  7. Day 7
    Venture to Bordeaux
    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 biannual wine fair attracts buyers from all over the world. Spend some time seeing the sights during your orientation of the city.Accommodation: Mercure Centre Ville
    Meals:   Breakfast
  8. Day 8
    Discover Scenic Dordogne
    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. Perhaps, tease your taste buds with delicious Bordelaise cuisine or stroll through the city's historical centre admiring its beautiful architecture by night.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    Explore a Château in the Loire Valley
    We journey through the 'Garden of France', before we Connect With Locals for a delicious lunch and Be My Guest experience. Dive Into Culture and visit the remarkable gardens at Château Villandry before arriving at our special hotel for the night - one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories.Accommodation: Château de Beauvois
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Off to Mont-Saint-Michel and the Normandy Beaches
    We travel through the patchwork landscapes of Brittany, to the island settlement of Mont-Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast, where we visit the island town and view the 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.Accommodation: Mercure Omaha Beach
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Journey to Paris
    We travel east towards Paris, stopping at Giverny to visit 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.Accommodation: Mercure 17 Batignolles
    Meals:   Breakfast
  12. Day 12
    Discover the Delights of Paris
    Join your Local Specialist on a journey through the historic neighbourhoods of Paris to see where the locals live and shop. Visit the remarkable church of Saint-Sulpice. 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.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  13. Day 13
    Farewell Paris
    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. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Sightseeing Highlights

  • Explore Carcassonne and Paris with a Local Specialist
  • Discover Beaune, Lyon, Avignon, Monaco, Nice, Arles, Lourdes and Bordeaux
  • Visit the Hospices de Beaune, Château Villandry, the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, Claude Monet's home at Giverny and the Saint-Sulpice Church in Paris
  • View the Papal Palace in Avignon, the Royal Palace and Cathedral in Monaco, Promenade des Anglais and Place Massena in Nice, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Esplanade des Quinconces in Bordeaux, the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, the D-Day Beach of Omaha in Normandy and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
  • See the Roman Amphitheatre and the Cathedral in Arles
  • Scenic Drive through the Dordogne and the Loire Valley
  • Connect With Locals Return to 17th-century France and join the de Montferrier family on their farm near the famous Château de Villandry for a delightful Be My Guest lunch.
  • Stays With Stories Step back in time with a stay in the regal 16th and 17th-century Chateâu de Beauvois.
  • Dive into Culture Visit Château Villandry in the Loire Valley and admire the exquisite Renaissance gardens that surround the elegant estate.

Dining Highlights

  • 1 Be My Guest
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
  • 1 Regional Dinner
  • 1 Welcome Reception
  • 12 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Optional Experiences and free time

Health and Safety Protocols for Trafalgar Tours

Trafalgar has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.

You can travel with Trafalgar and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.

In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Trafalgar is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.

Expertly Trained Travel Directors

Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Trafalgar will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.

Stringent On-the-Road Protocols

The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Trafalgar have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.

A Full Team of Support 24/7

It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Physical Distancing

Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards

Trafalgar is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Trafalgar does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Trafalgar only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.

Always in the Know

As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Trafalgar is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many people are on each tour?

Motor Coaches are standard size and carry on average 38 to 44 guests.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
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Value for Money

Ratings based off 69 reviews - currently showing 19 reviews with comments only

Great itinerary, saw France extensively. Hotels are all centrally located, close to restaurants tour director was knowledgeable, funny and professional

Good trip. We did not like some of the hotels were far out of town with no Metro near. The wine was mostly terrible. The Tour Director could have provided more information about things to do and see at the hotel stops!

I felt there were too many optional tours, especially on the last two days. Several of these such as the tour of Monmart would have been better as part of the tour and prices adjusted accordingly. The welcome dinner was also marginal at best and the location too loud for any real conversations. All other dines including the optional ones were very good.

Three was too much rushing to get to places, often we didn't get to see the sight but for a short time or in 2 stops, not at all. The accommodations were below my expectations in 2 hotels. My suggestions for this tour are less stops , and advise seniors that this is tough, steep terrain.

Taking any tour, there are destinations you definitely want to visit and others, not so much. One part of the tour that disappointed me was the minimum time spent at Omaha Beach. I stood on that beach and reflected the best I could on what happened there 75 ago. It was a short visit there and the American Cemetery. We were then back on the bus. I would have like to visit Utah Beach but not possible. I think this year especially, more time should have been spent there.

We have gone on 7 Trafalgar tours. All have been excellent.

Most of the rooms included with the tour were below average. We expected better.

I researched several companies and decided on a particular trip/operator. Then I discovered Affordable Tours which pleasantly surprised me with a huge monetary discount that I would not have received had I booked with the company of the tour. The agent, Mason, that I dealt with was absolutely wonderful!! He made me feel that I was a priority even though I know I was just one of his many clients. Thank you so much!!

We are very thorough when it comes to booking tours - we need to know that we're getting the best value for our money while still experiencing all that we want to experience. We look at every tour out there and narrow it down by price and places visited. This is the 2nd bus tour that we have taken with Trafalgar - both have been exceptional.The Best of France truly was the best of France!!!

Trafalgar offered a very good tour. The tour director was excellent, organized and courteous . The tour met my expectations.

Great trip. Active and packed itinerary which is what we wanted. Saw so many things. Recommend the optional experiences as they make the trip more robust.

I highly recommend the Best of France tour with Trafalgar. The trip ran so smoothly with seeing so many places all over the country. The hotel rooms were clean and comfortable. The food was delicious. Our bus driver was excellent. The tour guide was good. She was helpful but not high energy like other tour guides we have had in the past. We had a wonderful trip. I think going on the last tour of the season was a great idea. We had a total of 30 in the group. The weather was cooler and the places we visited were not crowded as they are in the summer months.

Always difficult to figure out what "look, see, and visit" means on a tour. On the downside this tour, Best of France 2015 came down to long days due to travel distances, and lack of available free time to explore cities we spent the night at. Arrived at Normandy and Omaha Beach late in the day and only had 1 3/4 hrs to try and see it all. This memorial deserves better than that. The attractions as a whole, were all worth seeing. I this this trip would be better severed by adding two extra time off or free time days to rest and relax. The booking agency itself was very good and no problems with booking nor payment. Would have to experience Trafalgar one more time to determine if this trip was the exception or the norm. We drove 4000 Km or 2400 miles on this trip.

After adding in the cost of the optional excursions, the cost of the trip is high. All the extras should be included in the trip.

The tour was exhaustive because of very early wake-up call followed by long hour bus ride. Frequently,the bed time was no earlier than 11:00 pm because of late dinner. Most of the sites visited provided no local tour guides. We were given a bunch of verbal instructions on the spot prior to setting us loose. The sites that had local guides were equally disappointing because of their strong accent and difficult to understand.

Our agent set up our first tour with Trafalger, so we were really glad to be working with her again. Our trip through France with Trafalger was wonderful. Our tour director and our driver were the best. I'm excited to plan another trip through Affordable.

The trip was good, however two tours were not. the river cruise in Paris was wall to wall guests with no seats available but they still poured more in. Versailles was over crowded with as many as three tour trips in the same room all being addressed by the their tour directors at the same time while crowds were passing thru in both directions. No consideration given to capacity at these two events. I would not recommend either in spite of the great items to be seen in Versailles.

I wished that the hotels were closer to the towns so that we could do some exploring on our own. The hotel in Nice was perfect. The one in Paris was a little out of the way. Our last time there the hotel was in a perfect location. Our tour director and driver were excellent.

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