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A Week in France: Paris, Provence & the Riviera

9 days
Find your own inspiration amidst the history and artistry of France. Don your designer shades on the Côte d’Azur, longtime playground for the rich and famous. Explore the spectacular scenery and tempting cuisine of Provence, a favorite setting for painters like Vincent van Gogh and writers like Peter Mayle. Then push on to Paris, the City of Light, to relive the golden days of the Belle Époque.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

You should know: The Feb 27, 2015 departure visits Nice during Carnival, where you’ll have time to celebrate and watch the parades. All the tour’s included activities remain the same.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach and high-speed TGV train

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to France today.

Nice 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Nice

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to France! Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner this evening.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Nice

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover the many charms of the city of Nice on the French Riviera on a guided sightseeing tour.

• Take in sweeping views of sunny Mediterranean shorelines as you drive along the bustling Promenade des Anglais

• Explore the Roman Amphitheater

• Wander around the gardens of the Franciscan Monastery in Cimiez

• End the tour amongst the narrow streets and market stalls of the Old Town

Later, explore Nice on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Monaco by Night: Monte Carlo Casino & Dinner $99*pp Details

Spend an evening in Monaco, world-renowned for its luxuriousness. A tiny principality ruled by the Grimaldis, Europe’s oldest royal family, Monaco has retained its independence for more than 700 years. Your Tour Director introduces you to the Old Town with a stop outside the Royal Palace. After an included dinner, you may wish to try your luck at the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino. Please note: The trip to the casino requires moderate walking. This excursion is not available from May 9-26, 2015 during the Grand Prix.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Avignon 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Avignon via Cassis

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to the town of Cassis, where you’ll embark on a short cruise to take in the city’s famous calanques, or Mediterranean fjords. Then, continue on to Avignon.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Avignon

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover historic Avignon in Provence today on a sightseeing tour with a local guide.

• Stroll through the historic town center, which is surrounded by the city’s original medieval walls  

• Step inside the magnificent Papal Palace, built in the Gothic style

Spend the afternoon exploring Avignon on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Aix-en-Provence: Sights, Wines & Dinner $119*pp Details

On today's optional excursion, you'll get the quintessential Provençal experience. Start in Aix, located in the heart of the region, and enjoy a walking tour through the city’s beautiful wide boulevards and inside its medieval cathedral. Paul Cézanne is a local icon in Aix. During your tour, visit his studio for a glimpse into the Post-Impressionist painter's life. Then, travel to the picturesque surrounding countryside, stopping at a castle before settling in at a local winery for a tasting. End the day with a group dinner seasoned with local Provençal herbs.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Paris 3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Train ride to Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel through the picturesque landscapes that influenced the French masters aboard the high-speed TGV train.

Enjoy a free evening in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Evening in Paris: Dinner & River Cruise $115*pp Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the gloriously illuminated monuments of Paris glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending your restaurant. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements. 

• Drive down the Champs-Élysées to view the famed Arc de Triomphe 

• Pass the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River 

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square 

• Marvel at the eclectic and iconic architecture of the Louvre   

Enjoy a free afternoon in Paris or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - The Palace & Gardens of Versailles $109*pp Details

The reign of Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King,” set new standards for decadence among the crowned heads of Europe. It took 50 years and 35,000 workers to turn Versailles, once a small hunting lodge, into the most magnificent château in all of France and the envy of royalty worldwide. On this excursion, you will see the palace in all its glory. Tour the State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Then stroll through the lavish gardens with their fine statuary, splendid fountains and colorful flowerbeds.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Day 8: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Explore Paris on your own today or add an excursion.

Say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner this evening.

Optional Excursion - Monet & the Landscapes of Giverny $85*pp Details

The village of Giverny was home to Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. On a visit to Monet’s home and gardens, discover the subtle palette of colors that inspired his Water Lilies series and gave rise to a new way of seeing. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 9: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay to continue exploring Paris.

Add Paris $349 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Paris—the city of life, love and light. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the mysterious Mona Lisa, from the bustling Champs-Élysées to the winding streets of Montmartre, you'll find romance, history and beauty. Browse boutiques, stroll manicured parks, take a seat at a sidewalk café and watch the sun set over the Seine.

Paris 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day to explore the city on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Montmartre Dinner & Wine Tasting $125*pp Details

Start off your evening in Montmartre with a French wine tasting, led by a local expert, and a three-course dinner. Afterward, walk through Pigalle’s cabaret-lined streets, passing by Moulin Rouge on your way. Then, take a funicular ride to the top of Montmartre, the highest point of the city, and explore the lively area around the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)

Day 10: Free day in Paris

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend your final day in Paris exploring on your own.

Day 11: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Nice, France
  • Avignon, France
  • Paris, France
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & Visa

In order to enter France (and Monaco, if you take our optional excursion), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to France. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Throughout France, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For a snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, pâtés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crêpes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouth-watering pastries and hot cafe au lait beckon from the cafes. For restaurants, the prix fixe option is popular, offering a three- or four-course set menu for a good price. Nearly all restaurants post a menu outside. Although lunch is generally served from noon until 2 p.m., dinner is served from 7:30 p.m. onward. Those wishing to eat earlier may want to stop at a cafe, where light entrées and sandwiches are often served throughout the afternoon and evening.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in Nice and depart from Paris. Included transportation is by TGV and private motor coach. Most of the destinations on tour are best explored on foot, but in Paris, you may want to take advantage of the excellent transportation systems. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which one might work best. Often the daily passes are not actually the best deal.

Baggage Handling

Please note that porter service is not always available on your train from Aix to Paris. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage.

Clothing and Packing Tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in France, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Nicolas is an excellent Tour Director for France. He made sure we got to our destinations on time and that we enjoyed our journey along the way. He was most helpful in navigating the different cultures and customs of France and made sure we all had an enjoyable travel experience. I will definitely travel with Go Ahead Tour in the future.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

tour director is excellent

He gave us walking tours in his own time to orient us to the place

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/1/2010

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fantastic experience

Thinking about traveling solo? You should do it, don't be afraid. This was a great trip and definitely gave a nice taste of different parts and cultures of France. It was also a nice balance of free time and structured tour time. The tours of each area gave me the confidence and familiarity to explore on my own. The tour director was also very good about giving directions to anywhere specific you wanted to go see or do. This trip was definitely an unforgettable experience.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/16/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great tour but with issues

This tour was certainly a "bucket list" trip. France is beautiful. The majority of people were very nice to American.s Hotels in both Nice and Paris were very good. The hotel in Provence was within walking distance of the town but next to a Auto Sales. Our tour director Nichlos was great. Please take the optional tours of Monaco, Provence dinner, and Paris at night tour. You will not be disappointed. We had a small group and it was a wonderful experience. On the negative side. I did have my luggage delayed and had great difficulty reaching and having go ahead return my emails. It took 4 days to receive an email for help. Disappointed in customer service. Also my credit card information was also stolen in France. Yet, I still enjoyed the trip

 

Hi Janice, Thank you for taking the time to review your recent tour of France. We can certainly sympathize with the inconveniences of luggage delays and we’re sorry that your tour started off that way. Unfortunately, as my colleague has explained to you via email, we don’t seem to have received the emails you have mentioned but responded promptly once we did receive an email from you. We’re glad that after this initial confusion you were still able to enjoy your trip and have a fantastic time in France!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 05, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/8/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous

What a fabulous tour! It far exceeded our expectations. The sites, food, tour director, and group were simply wonderful. This really is a tour that we will highly recommend.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A Wonderful slice of France!

We had a great tour! Although the group was very large, we got along quite well. The pace of the tour was good, and the accomodations were lovely. Our hotel in Paris was awesome! Great location, efficient and friendly staff, beautiful rooms. The local guides were knowledgeable, and I learned a lot, even though I have been to France many times. The wine tasting and Provencal dinner was very fun; the food was delicious - it was a lovely evening. Adoram, our tour director, was fantastic! He kept a very large group going; he never raised his voice, and was the model of patience even when we asked a lot of questions! I would definitely travel with him again! I am planning my 2015 tour right now!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/26/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a Lifetime!

This was the best vacation my husband and I have ever been on! The south of France is somewhere we had never been and the sites and excursions we took were magnificent. The food and all the scenery cannot even be described. We had been to Paris many years ago but this time we saw The City of Lights in a whole new light. Our wonderful guide JJ took us through areas and took us to restaurants that only the French locals go to so we got the full Paris experience. I also have to mention the wonderful people that made up our tour group. The trip would not have been the same without them! We are already planning our next Go-Ahead tour!

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/30/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

2013 France Tour

Excellent tour, good accommodations, very good bus and train transportation, Outstanding Tour Director - Lisa, informative and fun extra tours, good native cusine and loved southern France and the Camargue Region Running of the Bulls in Mouries.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/30/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful!

Excellent value for the money! The hotels were average, but were adequate considering that this tour is not advertised as a luxury tour. There were only 20 people on our tour, and everyone enjoyed each other's company. Our tour director, Lisa, was fantastic; she got to know each of us personally and tried to customize our itinerary to cater to our individual interests. Every place we visited - from Nice and Monaco to Avignon, Giverny, and Paris more than fulfilled our expectations and left us with wonderful memories. This was our 2nd GoAhead tour, and we will definitely travel with GoAhead again in the future.

2 / 5

2 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: OR

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Great hotel locations, beautiful cities

While the hotels and destinatons were great.......the tour was too fast paced (we would be on day tour all day and come home with only 30-45 to bathe and change for dinner). Other tour companies do this tour in 13-14 days. Also the groups are too large which made it chaotic and noisy at dinners. Most of the restaurants were ill prepared to deal with 42 people. Chez Clement Restaurant in Paris was a nightmare...understaffed, ran out of food, no one to take drink orders and the manager was down right rude to the tour director.

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