Scenic France Tour
Paris! What’s not to love? But there’s more to France than just the City of Lights. If you want to experience both the excitement of Paris AND the beauty and history of the southeastern portion of the country, the Scenic France Tour is the perfect choice for you and your traveling companions. It allows you plenty of free time to explore the capital city as well as the much smaller commune of Avignon and its surrounding areas, providing you with two vastly different – but equally enticing – experiences.
Begin your tour by arriving in Paris and then departing via rail for lovely, historic Avignon, known as “The City of Popes” because it was the seat of the papacy during most of the 14thcentury. Today, it’s one of the few cities in France that has preserved its ramparts and properly tended its historic city centre, prompting UNESCO to declare it a World Heritage site. In the city, you can use your free time to visit the Cathedral of Notre Dames des Doms, the magnificent papal palace, the 14th century ramparts, the famous Pont d’Avignon Bridge, numerous civic buildings, and a few small art museums.
Continue your trip with a tour of the best of Provence, an area extending from the left bank of the Rhone River to the border with Italy. In Provence, travelers will be treated to views of the famous Pont du Gard – the remains of a first century Roman aqueduct, as well as visits to the medieval Roi Rene castle, the canal of Vallabregues, and the small villages of Les Baux de Provence, Gordes, and Roussillon. You might even be enticed by a guided tour of the Rhone Valley and an introduction to the wines produced there, including tours and tastings.
Following addition leisure time in Avignon, head to Paris where you’ll start your visit with a wonderful city tour followed by a cruise on the River Seine. Enjoy a photo stop at the iconic Eiffel Tower and a chance to view other Paris landmarks including Notre Dames, the Arc de Triumph, the Champs-Elysees, Bastille Square, the new Paris Opera House, and Luxembourg Gardens. During your leisure time, enjoy the use of a Paris Museum Pass, which provides entrance to more than 60 museums including The Louvre, Chateau de Versailles, Picasso Museum, Rodin Museum, and many others. Take time to enjoy the city’s food scene as well, including its many charming cafes and specialty shops where you can sample top-notch cheeses, chocolates, bread, and pastries. Explore Paris’s eclectic neighborhoods during your free time, including artsy Montparnasse, the historic Latin Quarter, and edgy Pigalle or Montmarte.
Continue with an insightful trip to Normandy, the site of the infamous D-Day battle, where you can visit the Caen Peace Center and the American Cemetery as well as World War II landing sites such as Omaha Beach, Point du Hoc, and Arromanches.
Day1 – depart from home, arrive in Paris
Day 2 – depart Paris via rail for Avignon
Days 3 to 7 – free time to explore Avignon with side trips to Provence and the Rhone Valley
Day 8 – depart for Paris
Days 9-12 – explore Paris including a city tour, river cruise, museum pass, and side trip to Normandy
Day 13 – depart for home