12 Days France Wine Country and Riviera

DAY 1: NORTH AMERICA / EUROPE. Depart North America aboard our trans-Atlantic jet for Paris.  Dinner and breakfast are served aloft.

DAY 2: PARIS.  Arrival at Paris airport where we will have a panoramic tour of the city before getting to the hotel.  Dinner followed by an evening cruise on La Seine.

DAY 3 – PARIS.  Today we begin our tour of the historical city of Paris: Place de la Bastille, dominated by the Colonne de Juillet. It marks the site of the prison known as the Bastille which was stormed by the Mob in 1789 at the start of the French Revolution. Continue to the Palais de Justice, the Cathedrale de Notre-Dame, the Quartier Latin, the Panthéon, situated on the Montagne St-Genèvieve, it has a commanding view of the city. Today that monument is considered the temple to the great men of France. Our tour ends with a visit to the Palais and the Jardin du Luxembourg. In the afternoon time to have shopping at the Lavalle Outlet. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 4 – PARIS.  In the morning, after breakfast, we will tour the Monmartre section of Paris.  Lose yourself in the steep and cobbled streets of one of the most historic and interesting neighborhoods in Paris. At the bottom of the hill is the Boulevard de Clichy which is lined with bars and kebab shops.  In the afternoon we will tour the opulent and breathtaking Palace of Versailles built in the 17th century by the “Sun King”, Louis XIV and which took 50 years to complete. We will have plenty of time in Versailles to wander the magnificent grounds and gardens. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5 – PARIS / LOUVRE / REIMS.   Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the modern Paris: Tour Eiffel Tower (2nd floor), built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. View the Champs-Elysées, the Arc du Triomphe, built between 1806 and 1808 by Napoleon I following the model of the Arc of Constantine in Rome. Drive through the Rue de Rivoli, the Madeleine, the Trocadero, Les Invalides, where you will have the opportunity to see Napoleon’s tomb. After lunch on your own, you will spend some time touring the Louvre. The Louvre Museum or simply The Louvre, is one of the world’s largest museums, and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, France, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement (district). Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited over an area of 60,600 square metres (652,300 square feet). With more than 8 million visitors each year, the Louvre is the world’s most visited museum.  Depart Paris and drive to Reims for dinner and overnight.

DAY 6 – REIMS.  After breakfast we take a guided tour ofReims. France Champagne Tours opens the doors to the Grande Maison de Champagne with a guided tour and tasting at world famous Mumm. This Maison de Champagne was founded in 1827, however the Mumm dynasty dates back to the 12th century. They were German and in the 18th century they were already wine producers and merchants. Recognizing the quality and the potential of the sparkling wines produced in the nearby Champagne region, in 1927 they decided to establish a branch of their wine company there. “Only the Best” being their motto, they soon seduced illustrious European royal families. The creation of the “Cordon Rouge” definitely established their fame: they became the official supplier of the British Royalty – which they still are – and they attracted artists such as Utrillo and Foujita.  Lunch is at your convenience and dinner on your own tonight. Overnight at your hotel.

DAY 7 – REIMS / HAUTVILLERS / MARSEILLE   Today after breakfast, tour of the exquisite village of Hautvillers, overlooking Epernay and all the vineyards. You will see the grave of the Monk Dom Perignon in the village church. We’ll walk to the edge of the hill and enjoy the view on the whole Marne Valley and all the vineyards owned by the most famous Champagne producers around Epernay.  Enjoy a Champagne lunchwith drinks.  Drive to Epernay, the Capital of Champagne for some Champagne tasting. Tour of the world famous Moet and Chandon, producer of the Dom Perignon. Grand Vintage tour: after a guided tour of the caves, you will taste a set of vintage champagnes in a private salon. Depart to Marseille in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 8 – MARSEILLE – CRUISE AT THE CALANQUES.  This morning we depart for Calanques for a morning cruise.  The picturesque port of Cassis – well worth a visit in its own right – is an excellent starting point to visit the three easternmost calanques along the coast in the direction of Marseille: Port Miou, Port Pin and En Vau.  Return to Marseille for sightseeing of the city.  Dinner and overnight.

DAY 9 – MARSEILLE / GRASSE / NICE.  After breakfast we will drive to Nice, but first we will stop at Grasse, a town eight miles from Cannes, is the centre of the perfume industry. Perfume manufacture developed in the 18th century from the former tanning industry which specialised in making perfumed gloves.   Two key names today are Molinard and Fragonard where visitors can view the production and even make their own personalised perfume. Then we continue to Nice for dinner and overnight.

DAY 10 – NICE / MONACO / NICE.  After breakfast we will have our tour to Monaco.The second smallest country in the world, Monaco offers endless entertainment. From the Monaco Grand Prix to gambling at the famous Monte Carlo casino, this is a jewel of the French Riviera. If all the million-dollar yachts and sleek sports cars go to your head, seek respite in the tranquil attractions of either the Jardin Exotique (Exotic Gardens), or the Japanese Garden designed by Yasuo Beppu. There is also plenty of relaxed strolling for tourists to enjoy in Monte Carlo, especially along Avenue Saint Martin, home to the famous Monaco Cathedral where the once glamorous Princess Grace is buried. We can visit to the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, the splendors of this palace can indeed be admired, such as its Italian-style gallery and its 15th century frescoes; its Louis XVth lounge all in yellow and gold, its Blue room,  the Palatine Chapel built in the 17th century; St-Mary’s Tower, built from the white stones of nearby La Turbie and the Main Courtyard and its 17th century Carrara marble double staircase.  We return to our hotel in Nice for dinner and overnight.

Day 11 -  DAY AT LEISURE:  Relax on the beach or travel back to the Riviera for shopping opportunities and dinner on your own.

Day 12:  NICE / USA.   This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight—the end of a memorable journey.