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12 Days | PARIS, LOIRE VALLEY, AVIGNON, provence & nice

The Best of France

12 Days: Elegance unfolds from Paris to the Riviera's charm.
12 Days/11 Nights: 3 Nights in Paris, 3 Nights Loire Valley,
3 Nights Provence and 2 Nights in Nice on the Cote d'Azur/French Riviera

AUTHENTIC FRANCE IN OUR TRUE SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE

Handpicked Hotels. No Big Buses.
We Handle Everything.

A Perfect Blend of Sights,
Experiences and Leisure.  

 

Our Complete 12-Day Adventure: Explore the French Landscape on The Best of France Adventure—  

Experience the Essence of France: Paris, Loire Valley, Provence including Avignon, Les Baux, the Cote d'Azur, and Nice. Explore our pre-tour option in Normandy.

 

 

Now Journey's Deluxe Approach means we arrange everything for you, you just enjoy! Our amazing small group package to France is unique and features:

★ Included for both Deluxe and Classic:

 Meet & Greet Transfer whenever you arrive!
• Sightseeing Tours and Admissions, On-Tour Transfers
• 
Luggage Portage included for both Deluxe and Classic
• Paris, 3 Days/Nights: Go inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, the Louvre
• Loire Valley, 3 Days/Nights: Enjoy unique lodging with incredible Wines + Morsels
• Provence, 3 Days/Nights: Enjoy Avignon, Les Baux, Pont Neuf, Chateauneuf-du-Pape
• Nice, 2 Days/Nights: Cote d'Azur, St. Paul de Vence, Eze
• No annoying Up-Selling while on tour
• No Big Buses or Groups
• UNIQUE IN THE INDUSTRY DINING: Unlimited Premium Beverages.
• PRIVILEGED ACCESSSkip-the-Long-Line Admissions with special access
• Local English-Speaking Expert Guides and Now Journey Tour Captain
• Comfy micro-coach and/or Mercedes Vans, TGV Fast Train to Provence
• SMALL GROUP BENEFITS: Small group up to 16 guests of like-minded travelers
• No Hidden Costs: Fees, taxes and gratuities excluding the Tour Captain

★ Deluxe vs. Classic inclusions:

• Hand-Picked hotels: Deluxe 4+ to 5 Star Hotels featuring a full, hot breakfast with coffee, espresso coffees, juice as well as table service. Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure. See the itinerary below. Classic 3 Star Hotels on average which feature a light, continental breakfast at most properties.
•  UNIQUE IN THE INDUSTRY DINING: Unlimited Premium BeveragesDeluxe: 15 Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 4 Journey Style Dinners, 1 Apericena, 1 Special Lunch/Wine Experiences. Classic: 10 Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 1 Welcome Dinner in Paris (with option to upgrade to all 4), 1 Apericena, 1 Lunch/Wine Experiences


   

Our Complete Day-By-Day Deluxe Itinerary:

Your flight to Paris, France, should land on Day 1 of the itinerary — this means you should depart your home airport the day prior — your round-trip travel time on this Journey is 13 Days (12 Days, 11 Nights Land). The trip ends in Nice (NCE). Airfare is not included. Inquire about our Business Class and Premium Economy Airfare. Expand the Journey: Many of our travelers arrive a "full day early" to recover from their overnight flight — inquire with us about a pre-tour overnight hotel room in Nice, Monaco or the French Riviera (or two!). You can even stay longer with our Normandy and/or Loire

DAY 1: WELCOME TO AMAZING PARIS

Before we begin, consider the NORMANDY EXPERIENCE: Consider our 3 Days/3 Nights pre-tour experience to amazing Normandy. Includes 3 nights in our hotels in Bayeux with breakfast, Bayeux Welcome Dinner, sightseeing tour of the invasion beaches and memorials, sightseeing tour to Mont St. Michel, with roundtrip transfers from Paris. Deluxe $3219/person. Classic $2629/person.

★ YOUR ARRIVAL TRANSFER IS ALWAYS INCLUDED WITH NOW JOURNEY.

One of Now Journey's most popular small group adventures begins
 upon arrival to Paris' CDG Airport. Now Journey's approach to touring France is truly unique: we combine local expert Parisian Guides with our Now Journey Tour Captain serving as your host for the perfect balance of activity and leisure time so you can truly soak up all that is amazing France.

Discovery WalkDiscovery Walk Paris
Our Discovery Walk is a hallmark of the Now Journey style of traveling when exploring new destinations —  an orientation walk with your Now Journey Tour Captain (not to be confused with our immersive Sightseeing Tour that occurs the next day with our licensed expert Parisian Guide).

After our Discovery Walk, enjoy some time at leisure before meeting tonight for a special 'Welcome to Paris' evening from one of our exclusive perspectives.

 Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Paris Dinner: A Special dining Event Tonight
We then make our way to our favorite restaurant in Paris where we will be delighted with cuisine from several regions throughout France (all paired with delicious wines and premium beverages - and all included with Now Journey).

Parisian cuisine is renowned for its elegance, diversity, and emphasis on high-quality ingredients. The city's culinary scene encompasses a wide range of traditional French dishes, including coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, and escargot, often prepared with meticulous attention to detail. Paris is also celebrated for its vibrant street food culture, artisanal pastries, and world-class patisseries, contributing to its status as a global gastronomic hub.

Journey Hotels IconOur Hotel Collection in Paris
Deluxe: Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain or Similar
, 3 Nights with breakfast
Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.
Classic: Hotel da Vinci & Spa or Similar

Staying in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood in Paris offers a unique and vibrant experience, characterized by a blend of history, art, and a lively atmosphere.


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DAY 2: DISCOVERING PARIS' TREASURES

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure:  Paris Sights Immersion
We meet our Local Expert Guide for our walking tour of Paris. The architectural wonders are many in Paris and we take in as many as possible without rushing. We will pay our respects with a visit to the boundaries of the Cathedral of Notre Dame and her rebuilding effort following the horrible fire. We will take in views of the Louvre (enjoy admission and tour of the Louvre tomorrow), admission to Sainte-Chapelle, the Seine River and the list goes on as we walk and explore the city of lights and love.

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Eiffel Tower

Our Tour of the Eiffel Tower - The architectural wonders are many in Paris but if you've never been then a visit to the Eiffel Tower is essential. Our tour includes skip-the-line access, 1.5 hour guided tour of the 2nd floor, after the tour you may continue to the summit on your own. As you approach the tower, skip the long waiting lines and proceed by elevator directly to the second level. Look around the second floor, which includes panoramic maps of of Paris and a 1/50th scale model of the tower's original architecture. Enjoy views of famous landmarks like Les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame as you listen to your guide's engaging commentary. Once your guided tour has concluded, you may continue to explore on your own. Ascend a second elevator for access to the Eiffel Tower's summit, where you can get fantastic views from 1,063 feet. Note: The Eiffel Tower Experience may operate on alternate days - see your final details prior to departure.

Tonight, your Journey Tour Captain will invite you to an optional dinner or they can help you with dining reservations if you choose to explore on your own. 

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DAY 3: TREASURES: MUSEE DU LOUVRE


Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Musé du Louvre 

The Musée du Louvre is renowned for its unparalleled collection of art spanning from ancient civilizations to the 19th century, housed in the historic Louvre Palace with its iconic glass pyramid entrance. As one of the world's largest and most visited museums, the Louvre is a cultural and artistic landmark that symbolizes the rich history and heritage of France.

Our Tour of the Musée du Louvre - Our Local Expert Guide walks you to the Louvre entrance (pyramid) to begin your tour of this amazing museum. After entering the museum with skip-the-line access, our guide shows the top pieces of art, including Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, and Nike of Samothrace, as well as other works such as paintings by Delacroix, sculptures by Michelangelo, and The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David. In addition to artwork, you'll also have the chance to see valuable artifacts like the French crown jewels. At the end of the tour, you may stay at the museum as long as you wish to continue exploring independently. You may make your way back to the hotel at leisure. This tour runs about 2.5 hours.

OPTIONS FOR THIS AFTERNOON IN PARIS:

•  Consider our morning getaway excursion to Monet's Gardens — absolutely stunning. $448 per person (2 guest minimum).
—  This is the consummate excursion to Monet's Farm where you'll have round-trip private driver, escorted tour of the premises (Gardens and House) — truly a spectacular experience.

•  Maybe shopping Paris is on your list? We have our special driver available to drop you and pick you up throughout the morning or afternoon. $190 per person (2 guest minimum up to 4 hours).

Later tonight, join in on a special night of celebration and sights in Paris with your Now Journey Tour Captain.

Prosecco IconA Special Farewell to Paris

Tonight meet for our special Aperitif to celebrate our time together in amazing Paris with a couple of surprises built in! And then join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner or enjoy exploring at your leisure.


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Chapter 2: The Loire Valley

Chateaux, Wine & the Land of Fairy Tales: The Loire Valley enchants with its picturesque landscapes, where majestic châteaux are gracefully nestled amidst verdant vineyards, charming villages, and the meandering Loire River, creating a timeless tapestry of natural and architectural beauty. —  3 Days, 3 Nights


DAY 4: WELCOME TO THE LOIRE VALLEY

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: We embark on our journey to the picturesque Loire Valley.
Our first stop is the Château de Chambord. We will explore the iconic Château de Chambord, known for its stunning Renaissance architecture and extensive grounds. Take our guided tour to uncover the history and secrets of this grand castle. Later, upon reaching our lodging destination, we will savor free time until the evening welcome dinner.

Discovery WalkDiscovery Walk: Exploring our Home for the next 3 Days
We will enjoy a walking orientation via our Discovery Walk with your Journey Tour Captain.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to the Loire Valley Dinner
Join your Tour Captain for a delicious welcome dinner.

Journey Cuisine is authentically French: Family-owned restaurants farm to table Journey’s approach to dining is unique in the travel world (just like the regions of France). We include Premium Beverages (wine, soda and cocktails) and you choose your dinner from the menu. The French chefs and their staff are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which Journey travels. While in France we will enjoy locally grown produce where the concept is available.

Journey Hotels IconOur Hotel Collection in the Loire Valley
Deluxe: Chateau d'Artigny or Similar, 3 Nights with breakfast
Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.

Classic: Chateau d'Artigny (ugpraded)

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DAY 5: TO THE BEAUTIFUL LOIRE VALLEY

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Château de Villandry
During our visit, we will explore the exquisite Château de Villandry and its renowned Renaissance gardens, known for their timeless beauty. As we wander through the meticulously landscaped grounds, we'll be captivated by the intricate design of ornamental flower beds and the flourishing charm of vegetable gardens. The Château de Villandry offers a splendid journey through history and horticulture, providing a delightful experience for all who appreciate art and nature.

This afternoon we return to our lodging for the balance of the day at leisure.

Tonight, optionally join the Tour Captain for dinner or explore at your leisure.

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DAY 6: LOIRE VALLEY: OF CASTLES & FAIRY TALES

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Château de Chenonceau, Amboise
We will embark on a captivating sightseeing tour as we explore the enchanting Château de Chenonceau, gracefully spanning the picturesque River Cher. This architectural masterpiece invites us to marvel at its intricate design, adorned with both historical artistry and elegant gardens. Affectionately referred to as the "Ladies' Château," Chenonceau carries a rich narrative shaped by the remarkable women who played pivotal roles in its history, making our visit a fascinating blend of art, history, and natural beauty.

In the afternoon, our journey continues with a visit to Amboise and Clos Lucé, offering a unique glimpse into history and artistic brilliance. At the Royal Château of Amboise, we'll step into the past and explore the corridors that once hosted Leonardo da Vinci during the final years of his extraordinary life. Moving on to Clos Lucé, Da Vinci's residence, we'll immerse ourselves in the world of his inventions and artistic legacy, gaining a deeper appreciation for the genius that flourished within these historic walls.

We return to our hotel for the balance of the day at leisure. Consider joining the Tour Captain tonight for an optional dinner or explore at your leisure.

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DAY 7: TO PROVENCE

Embarking on our rail journey through the enchanting landscapes of France into Provence, our itinerary promises an immersive exploration of the rich cultural tapestry and scenic wonders that this picturesque region of southern France has to offer. As we step off the train in Avignon, we are greeted by the historical charm of this medieval city, adorned with its iconic Pont Saint-Bénézet and the imposing Palais des Papes. From there, our adventure unfolds, taking us through the sun-kissed vineyards, lavender fields, and charming villages that characterize the Provencal countryside. Our itinerary invites us to savor the unique blend of art, history, and natural beauty that defines Avignon and Provence, promising an unforgettable journey through the heart of French allure.

After checking in to our hotel, we freshen up and then enjoy an afternoon walking tour of Avignon.

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Avignon in Provence
Avignon is the "Prefecture" or Capital city of the Vaucluse département in Provence. Our experience in Avignon begins with a walking tour through its heart on the way to the Palace of the Popes or Palais des Papes. Our Local Expert Guide will provide commentary as we tour the historical palace that was home to the Popes during the 14th century. The Palais des Papes is one of the most important medieval Gothic buildings in all of Europe. Our guide will describe the fascinating story of its life here in the heart of Avignon. Following the tour of the palace, we'll continue our walk through the historic center of town.

We return to the hotel for the balance of the day at leisure until our welcome dinner.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Avignon Dinner
Journey dinners are more like dining "events" featuring all inclusive premium beverages and ordering from the menu.

The cuisine of Provence is characterized by its emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, reflecting the region's abundant agricultural bounty. Olive oil, herbs like rosemary and thyme, and a variety of aromatic spices play a central role in enhancing the flavors of dishes. Provencal cuisine often features dishes such as ratatouille, bouillabaisse (a traditional fish stew), and aioli, showcasing the region's Mediterranean influence and culinary traditions. 

Journey Hotels IconOur Hotel Collection in Avignon
Deluxe: Hotel d'Europe,
Hotel La Mirande, Villa or Similar, 3 Nights with breakfast  
Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.

Classic: Kyriad Avignon - Palais Des Papes or Similar

Our hotels are in the heart of Avignon's Old Town: Avignon's old town is a maze of narrow streets, squares, and charming cafes. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, explore hidden courtyards, and take in the medieval architecture that gives the city its unique character.


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DAY 8: PROVENCAL TREASURES

Our day in the Provencal countryside, visiting the famed Pont du Gard and the amazing wine region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, promises a delightful blend of ancient Roman history, stunning natural landscapes, and world-renowned wine.

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Pont-du-Gard and Chateauneuf-du-Pape
PONT-DU-GARD
Today we join our Local Expert Guide and make our way to one of the most well-preserved Roman aqueducts in the entire world. Pont du Gard, crosses the Gardon River near the village of Vers-Pont-du-Gard. It is part of the 31 mile Nimes aqueduct which was constructed during the first century AD to carry water from a spring near Uzes to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nimes). After the collapse of the Roman Empire the aqueduct fell into disuse but remained largely intact due to its important location serving as a toll bridge. This true treasure of France is a picturesque and enduring symbol of the strength the Roman Empire had throughout the world.

CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
We continue with our journey into Chateauneuf-du-Pape located just north of Avignon for an exploration of this beautiful region. It is located in the Vaucluse "department" in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is both a village and an area of land that features a ruined medieval castle set atop the village. The castle was built in the 14th century for Pope John XXII, the second of the popes who resided in Avignon. The commune is famous for the production of red wine and almost all the cultivable land is planted with grapevines.

Merci Baron Le Roy!
The recognition of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is often attributed to Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarie. In the early 20th century, Baron Le Roy played a significant role in advocating for the quality and unique characteristics of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, ultimately contributing to the region's official recognition.


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DAY 9: EXPLORING THE HEART OF PROVENCE

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Les Baux
The village of Les Baux de Provence is the epitome of spectacular scenery. We will embark on a captivating day tour to Les Baux in Provence, where time seems to stand still amid the medieval charm and breathtaking landscapes. Nestled atop a rocky outcrop, the historic village of Les Baux invites you to explore its cobbled streets, ancient ruins, and panoramic viewpoints that offer sweeping vistas of the surrounding Provençal countryside. Wander through the narrow alleys lined with stone houses adorned with colorful shutters, and discover the rich history of this once mighty fortress. Explore the impressive Château des Baux, a fortress that dates back to the 10th century, and marvel at its well-preserved architecture. As you stroll through the village, visit artisan shops showcasing local crafts and sample exquisite Provencal cuisine at quaint cafes. Les Baux is not only a visual feast for history enthusiasts but also a sensory delight, with the fragrant lavender fields and olive groves dotting the landscape. This day tour promises an immersive experience, allowing you to absorb the enchanting beauty and cultural richness of Les Baux in the heart of Provence.

We make our way back to Avignon for the balance of the day at leisure.

Prosecco IconOur Special Farewell to Avignon

We hop you have indulged in the day, savoring moments of leisure and exploration. Tonight, we come together to elevate our experience with a special Aperitif hosted by the Tour Captain. Immerse yourself in the convivial atmosphere as you share stories of the trip thus far, all while enjoying the unique charm and flavors of Avignon.

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DAY 10: FRENCH RIVIERA: COTE D'AZUR

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Arriving Nice and the Cote d'Azur
Welcome to the enchanting French Riviera, where azure skies meet the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Our journey begins with the arrival in Nice, a city that effortlessly combines the sophistication of a bustling metropolis with the charm of a picturesque coastal town. As we step into this sun-kissed destination, renowned for its vibrant markets, historic architecture, and a promenade that offers breathtaking views of the sea, we embark on a captivating exploration of the Côte d'Azur. From the glamorous allure of seaside villages like Cannes to the artistic spirit of Saint-Tropez, our itinerary is a tapestry of culture, luxury, and natural beauty, promising an unforgettable experience along the glamorous and sun-drenched coastline of the French Riviera.

Discovery WalkDiscovery Walk: Nice
We will enjoy a walking orientation via our Discovery Walk with your Journey Tour Captain. We embark on an enchanting orientation walk in Nice beginning along the iconic Promenade des Anglais, where the azure Mediterranean Sea graces the bustling cityscape. Traverse the charming Old Town's narrow lanes, discovering vibrant markets in Cours Saleya, and ascend Castle Hill for a panoramic vista of Nice's historic beauty. We will enjoy the Place Masséna, the heart of the city, surrounded by striking architecture and the lively pulse of French Riviera life.

Journey Dinners IconWelcome to Nice
Join your Tour Captain for a delicious welcome dinner.

Journey Cuisine is authentically French: Family-owned restaurants farm to table Journey’s approach to dining is unique in the travel world (just like the regions of France). We include Premium Beverages (wine, soda and cocktails) and you choose your dinner from the menu. The French chefs and their staff are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which Journey travels. While in France we will enjoy locally grown produce where the concept is available.

The cuisine of Nice, located on the French Riviera, is deeply influenced by both French and Mediterranean flavors. Known as Niçoise cuisine, it features fresh and locally sourced ingredients such as olives, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil. Popular dishes include Salade Niçoise, featuring tuna, anchovies, and vegetables, as well as socca, a savory pancake made from chickpea flour, showcasing the region's rich culinary heritage.

Journey Hotels IconOur Hotel Collection in Nice
Deluxe: Hotel Le Negresco or Similar, 2 Nights with breakfast
Our Deluxe Package includes these 4 Star and 5 Star properties with most hotels featuring a Standard or similar category room —  inquire if you'd like to upgrade for a larger room and/or category with a specific view (where available). Hotel room assignments are made closer to tour departure.

Classic: Hotel Cronstadt or Similar

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DAY 11: FRENCH RIVIERA: COTE D'AZUR

Sightseeing IconToday's Adventure: Walking Tour of Nice
Now Journey's morning walking tour of Nice begins with a leisurely stroll along the vibrant Promenade des Anglais, where participants are greeted by the azure hues of the Mediterranean Sea. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour winds through the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, revealing hidden gems like the bustling Cours Saleya market, where fragrant blooms and local delicacies tantalize the senses.

As we meander past pastel-hued buildings adorned with intricate wrought-iron balconies, they delve into the rich history and culture of Nice, stopping to admire landmarks such as the majestic Place Masséna and the charming Chapelle de la Miséricorde. Along the way, participants are regaled with fascinating anecdotes and insider tips, offering a deeper understanding of this enchanting city on the French Riviera.

Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure before our traditional farewell 'apericena' tonight.

Prosecco IconOur Special Journey Finalé

Enjoy today at leisure and then meet for our special Aperitif to celebrate our time together. It has been a Journey of Adventure and Discovery, along with making new friends! Until our next Journey — Au Revoir!

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DAY 12: DEPARTURE DAY

We say Au Revoir to the Best of France Tour this morning. Inquire about our departure transfer service to the Nice Airport (Airport Code: NCE for $69 per person, minimum two (2) guests, or possibly expanding your adventure.