Paris & Avignon
Discover the main highlights of Paris, enjoy a cruise on the Seine and visit lavish Versailles before heading to Avignon, the ‘City of Popes’. Enjoy small-group excursions through the beautiful countryside of Provence, visit medieval cliff-perched towns & a typical Provencal market and taste world-renowned wines of the Rhône Valley. Perfect for the independent traveller, this tour has it all with plenty of free time to enjoy & explore on your own!
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Sabino, Royal City Travel
Discover the main highlights of Paris, enjoy a cruise on the Seine and visit lavish Versailles before heading to Avignon, the ‘City of Popes’. Enjoy small-group excursions through the beautiful countryside of Provence travelling along scenic country roads past olive groves, vineyards & lavender fields, visit medieval cliff-perched towns & a typical Provencal market and enjoy wine tastings at two world-renowned wine estates of the Rhône Valley. Perfect for the independent traveller, this tour has it all with plenty of free time to enjoy & explore on your own!
Day 1: Paris
Welcome to Paris! After arriving at Paris airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax or start exploring your new surroundings.
Day 2: Paris City Tour & Cruise
Today enjoy a stunning and complete half day sightseeing tour of Paris in a deluxe air-conditioned minibus including all the major sites and 3 stops* plus Seine cruise. You will see the Place de la Concorde with its Egyptian obelisk, fountains & statues, the Madeleine Church, the gorgeous 19th-century Opera Garnier, Rue le Paix with its luxurious jewellery stores and Place Vendome with the column dedicated to Napoleon. We drive along Rivoli street and the elegant Champs Elysées Avenue toward the Arc de Triomphe, before proceeding to see the Eiffel Tower* built for the Universal Exhibition in 1889. After a short photo stop, you will follow the Seine river bank where most Paris’ major historical buildings are located - Le GrandLend le Petit Palais, the Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid, the Tuileries gardens, the Place des Vosges in the Marais district with its narrow medieval streets, the Bastille square and its columns celebrating the French revolution. Crossing over to Ile de la Cité, we reach the famous Notre Dame Cathedral* where we stop for 20-minutes, before continuing on the left bank of the Seine to see the Latin Quarter, Le Pantheon, the Luxembourg Gardens, St Germain & St Sulpice Churches and Les Invalides, crossing some of the city’s famous bridges - Alexandre III, Pont Neuf - along the way. Finally, we visit the "village" of Montmartre* where you will have another 20 minutes to stroll around the Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Place du Tertre where local artists & painters display their works. All along this tour, our professional guide will tell you about the 2000 years history of Paris. Following the city tour, enjoy a one-hour cruise with audio-guide on the Seine River to discover the 32 bridges & viaducts and the main monuments of Paris for a different perspective. No return to the hotel; tour ends at the cruise location which is close to the Eiffel Tower and walking distance to Champ Elysées. This tour has a duration of approximately 4 & 1/2 hours with a maximum of 8 participants during the city tour. The remainder of today is free to continue exploring on your own.
Day 3: Versailles
Following breakfast, you will be picked up for a guided excursion to one of France's most iconic attractions.Discover the lavish estate of Versailles. Travelling by deluxe mini-van, our guide will tell you about the history of this famous palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, while en route. You will then tour the splendid State Apartments including the Hall of Mirrors, King and Queen’s bedrooms with an audio-guide (provided in multiple languages). This self-guided tour will take approx 1 hour 15 minutes. Afterwards, your guide will go with you to admire the gorgeous gardens designed by Le Nôtre. Return to Paris and afternoon at leisure.
Day 4: Paris | Avignon
This morning you'll make your way to the railway station where you will board a first-class train to Avignon. On arrival, transfer independently to your centrally located Avignon hotel and check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to start exploring this beautiful historic city on your own. Also known as 'The City of Popes' for having been the retreat of Popes during the 14th century, Avignon it is one of Europe's oldest towns which can trace its history to pre-historic times and still today monuments & buildings of all ages abound. Overnight accommodation at the selected hotel.
Day 5: Provence in One Day
Today you'll discover the most beautiful monuments and spots in Provence starting with a sightseeing tour of Avignon including the Walls & St Benezet Bridge. At Pont du Gard visit the most preserved aqueduct of the Roman period, dating from the 1st century and classified by UNESCO. We continue to Les Baux de Provence to visit this medieval village on a rocky spur in the Alpilles mountains, located upon a rock at 245 meters high, with its historical centre, beautiful house of the 16th century, the St Vincent Church and pretty Romanesque buildings. Next, we stop at the Antiques in Saint Rémy de Provence (Triumphal Arch and mausoleum) located in a field of olive trees, a landscape painted several times by Van Gogh. We journey along picturesque roads through olive groves, vineyards and fields to see some of the most beautiful villages in Luberon. Visit Roussillon, famous for its red & yellow ochre cliffs; take in a panoramic view of Gordes, a perched village in Luberon completely made with dry stones and considered one of the most beautiful villages in France; visit of the Lavender Museum (closed in January) to discover the flower symbol of Provence and a perhaps demonstration of distillation during the harvest (from July to August). Free time for lunch (not included) on your own during the day. Depending on the weekday we will visit a typical Provençal market: in Gordes on Tuesday, in Saint Rémy de Provence on Wednesday, in Roussillon on Thursday. The order of visits will then change accordingly. Return to Avignon for overnight accommodation.
After a morning to enjoy as you choose, this afternoon a tour from Avignon begins in Orange, with a panoramic tour of the city and its Roman monuments, the Triumphal Arch and Antique Theatre, one of the best-preserved theatres from the Roman period, with entrance ticket and audioguide included. We then proceed to Châteauneuf du Pape for a scenic drive and sightseeing in the vineyards followed by a wine-tasting in a cellar. This tour offers a good introduction to the wines of the Rhône Valley and you'll learn about "terroir", grape varieties, vinification and ageing cellars. This tour has a duration of approximately 4 hours 30 minutes
Day 7: Depart Avignon
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way to Avignon train station or the airport to begin your journey back home. Au revoir! (B)
Please note some sightseeing tours do not operate daily and itinerary will be modified to suit.