As far as location goes, France occupies the box seat of Europe. Neither protruding like Italy or cut off like Britain, it is central but not surrounded, protected by natural borders like the Pyrenees and the Alps. Perhaps that‘s why it’s been the force majeure of European history for centuries. Throw in the French penchant for art, architecture and gastronomy and you have one of the world’s top destinations.
From the WWI Battlefields of the north to the southern sun-baked landscapes of Provence, France never ceases to amaze. Scale the heights of the Eiffel Tower or rub shoulders with the jet-set on the Cote D’Azur. Sip red wine in Burgundy, white wine in Alsace or if you fancy the fizz, Champagne is the place for you! Art lovers seek out the masterpieces of the Louvre or follow the impressionist’s trail to Monet’s house at Giverny.
A grand adventure lies ahead with famous wines and excellent food, snow-capped mountains, sun-drenched beaches, magnificent châteaux, and learning about Roman remains and fascinating battlefield history.
Leafy vineyards, majestic mountains, Riviera sunshine, Roman remains and fortified towns, combined with great food and wine, make for an engaging ‘Tour de France.'
Leisurely paced with two-night stays in each destination and plenty of time to explore, this journey allows you to live your European Dream and come face-to-face with history through memorable local interactions. Meet a gondolier in Venice and learn how the tradition of gondola navigation is being passed on to future generations and marvel at the skills of an Italian chef during a cooking demonstration where you’ll learn how to make homemade pasta. Immerse yourself in European culture, stunning scenery and incredible food on this unforgettable journey.
History buffs can trace the embroidered story of William the Conqueror at the Bayeux Tapestry, Arles is littered with Roman ruins and nearby Avignon houses the former medieval palace of the Popes. If that’s not enough, the fortified town of Carcassonne is a fairy-tale vision of ramparts, turrets and drawbridges which appears to have miraculously survived untouched since the end of the Middle Ages. Whereas, for a touch of class, experience the splendours of Versailles and the Chateaux of the Loire Valley.
While strolling along the iconic streets of Paris, be sure to pause and rummage through the old books, drawings and prints of ‘les bouquinistes’ who have lined the Seine for over 300 years. Remember, a French Market is as much a social event as a shopping trip. It’s a window into the heart and soul of the country. Shopping done, a coffee (or something stronger) at a nearby café is de rigueur.
France is renowned for fashionable clothes, accessories and luggage, as evidenced by such labels as Hermès, Chanel, Cartier, Dior. Visit Paris’s Rue du Fauborg St Honoré for haute couture or head for the famous department stores along Boulevard Haussmann. Perfume can be purchased straight from the parfumeur on the Côte D’Azur, and for the gourmet shopper there is pate de foie gras, cheeses and other specialities.