Art and Luxury of Paris & Nice Tour

A 9 day trip to France 
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Every second is another opportunity to experience the endless artistry of France. Bright colors decorate elaborate statues. Museums overflow with prehistoric pottery. Artists capture the spirit of Parisians and decorate the cityscape with their work. The turquoise Mediterranean meets the gold shores of Cote d’Azur. The gentle Seine River brushes against the banks of Paris. The pleasures of a simple flower market create a jovial atmosphere. Your custom tailored Paris and Nice Tour immerses you in passion, guiding you along medieval lanes, lavish halls built for nobility, and inspiring seaside villas that once inspired 20th-century masters. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Paris, Versailles, Cote d’Azur, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Monaco, Eze, Menton  

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Parisian Atmosphere

Paris is in a class all of its own, endowed with quintessential cafes, chic and historic bookshops, and Bohemian charm. Students represent the latest styles, taking fashionable inspiration from the Luxembourg Gardens. The historic architecture rises above the tree-shaded walkways lining the wide boulevards. The labyrinthine cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter eventually open up to a view of the Seine River. Your private transfer greets you at Charles de Gaulle International Airport upon your arrival and escorts you into the heart of the city.

Art and inspiration emanate from the Galerie Xippas in the Marais district to the pearl-white façade of the Sacre Coeur crowning the hill of Montmartre. The church has a mixture of Romanesque and Byzantine style. Its nickname, “Wedding Cake,” is fitting due to the structural layers and three distinctive domes. Over 300 steps lead from the base of the hillside to the foot of the church. The panoramic view of Paris’s rooftops from the Basilica terrace provides the perfect picture of the unforgettable city. Consider reading some of our travelers' France trip reviews to further refine and perfect your own France vacation. 

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: City of Light and Life

In the morning, the sunlight drapes over the city and highlights the beauty of the cafes. Parisians linger along the walkways and enjoy the cool air as they sip their fresh espresso. The Seine River splits into two, surrounding the base of the Ile de la Cite. You can see the dazzling display of light glinting off the water and washing over Notre Dame de Paris. After breakfast, your guide leads you on a private tour of the city, providing the best views of the landmarks of Paris. The Eiffel Tower is the image most often associated with Paris and was erected in the late 19th century and acted as a gateway into the World’s Fair.

Today it continues to create an entrance arch into the Champs du Mars. The tower reaches a height of 1,007 feet tall and consists of 15,000 steel sections crisscrossing with an elegant style similar to latticework. At Sainte-Chapelle, you discover the unique world of stained glass. The Gothic church was erected in the 13th century and maintains an extensive display of stained glass windows. The church contains a faint herbaceous aroma of myrrh. There are 15 large windows that fill the nave and apse, with bright hues dancing across the walls. The rose window has a flamboyant style that draws your attention to the western wall.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: The Artistic Pleasures of Paris

In the morning, you find the simple pleasures of the city to be among the finest artistic delights. Local artists capture the grace of the sun casting light over the cobblestone streets and lush Tuileries Garden. The aroma of fresh espressos and frothy cappuccinos emanates from the café doors. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel and whisks you into the lavish works of the Louvre Museum. You could spend days exploring the historical richness of Egyptian hieroglyphics and the pottery of empires in the Far East. Your guide leads you into the museum through the less crowded entrance at the Passage Richelieu off of Rue de Rivoli.

The Louvre displays more than 30,000 works of art spanning thousands of years, from prehistoric times to the 21st century, including masterpieces from famous European artists. The wide halls lead to exemplary galleries. In the Department of Decorative Arts, the French Crown Jewels glisten in the spotlight. The coronation crowns offer insight into the power of the French monarchy, containing 2,480 diamonds and 56 emeralds. You climb the stairs to the Denon Wing and gasp at the beauty of the statue Winged Victory, which was created in the 2nd century BC. The goddess Nike is portrayed with her wings held back and one leg positioned in front of the other, connoting movement.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Radiant Skills of Paris

The aroma of fresh brioche emanates from the local bakeries across the city. The sunlight captures the postures of the statues decorating the gardens in the Rodin Museum. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel once again to lead you through the endless array of museums in the city. With a full day to explore the wonderful art of the city, you can choose the museums you prefer to see and the works of art you wish to discover. At the turn of the 20th century, Petit Palais was erected in the grand style of the Belle Époque and contains the Musee de Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris.

Ionic columns adorn the façade supporting the central archway. Large windows provide the natural lighting for the expansive winged galleries. The museum houses an impressive display of 19th-century paintings and sculptures including Pissarro, Modigliani, and Cezanne. Gauguin’s painting, Old Man with Stick, was created in the 1880s during his visit with Van Gogh in the south of France. You can see the irregularities of the canvas through the thin layers of paint, adding texture to the image. The face, head, and hands have been reworked with thicker brushstrokes.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Portrait of Lavish Lifestyles

The meandering cobblestone streets of Montmartre create a nostalgic picture of life on the hill during the village’s early days of artistry. A collection dating back to the 1880s fills the Montmartre Museum, commemorating the contribution the quarter made to Paris and Bohemian idealism. After breakfast, your guide whisks you away to the remarkable gates of Versailles for a full day tour in the exquisite palace. The edifice was originally constructed as a hunting retreat for the king but became the permanent residence of King Louis XIV and subsequently, a symbol of nobility. The Hall of Mirrors is a reflection of the grandeur spreading across the estate.

There are 17 ornamental mirrors that are positioned across from windows, spanning the entirety of the nearly 240-foot long hall. Each mirror is segmented in 18 parts, creating an ensemble effect that captures the natural sunlight. Crystal chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. Gilded statues border the windows and mirrors. Everywhere you look, you can find an element of the décor refracting light to craft the stirring ambiance of the room. The Queen’s bedroom has elegant Rococo paintings depicting the four virtues of a queen. You can even see a jewelry cabinet gifted to Marie-Antoinette before the French Revolution began.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Colors of the Sea

Couples stroll alongside the banks of the Seine River. They sip espresso and watch the light flicker off the water’s surface. Riverboats gently sway with the movement of the Seine, tightly moored to the cobblestone walkways overtaking the shore. The graceful square of Place Vendome was erected in the 17th century, surrounded by stunning buildings once meant to house the royal library and royal academies. The mansions contain courtyards and gardens hidden from the public eye. A 144-foot bronze column is positioned at the center of the square, commemorating the brave deeds of the French army. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to the train station, where you board your first-class compartment for the ride south to Nice.

The moment you step onto the platform in Nice, you can see its appeal to early Impressionist painters and historical English aristocrats. Golden sand frames the edges of the cityscape. The azure water brushes against the beaches. The Maritime Alps encircle the city and protect Nice from the elements. On the hillside overlooking the coast is Castle Hill, settled by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago, and once an impregnable fortress. The setting now holds an oasis of greenery, filled with lush trees. Rushing waterfalls sprinkle the cobblestone pathways and splash into holding pools. From the summit, you can see sailboats gliding across the Mediterranean and the colorful facades of Old Town radiant against the water.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Artistry of Southern France

In the morning, locals stroll along the scenic seaside walkway of Promenade des Anglais. The azure Mediterranean Sea curves along the Baie des Anges beaches. The Palais de la Méditerranée was erected during the Belle Époque and now houses a luxurious hotel offering views of the shoreline. After breakfast, your guide leads you on an exquisite tour of the city and its surroundings. Narrow alleys intertwine to create a maze in Old Town. Grocers display their fresh produce in the market near Cours Saleya. The alluring fragrance from the flower market blends with the decadent aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The 17th-century façade of Palais Lasaris adorns the street and emanates Baroque beauty. On the hills of Cimiez, you find the Musee Matisse.

The small museum is located in a 17th-century Genoese villa surrounded by lavish Italianate gardens. The museum was established in the 1960s and contains 68 paintings and 57 sculptures, among various other types of artistry created by the master artist. A cool breeze flows along the pristine white walls and polished tile floors. Femme a l’Ombrelle was painted in 1905. Up close, the painting resembles a collection of large dots. From afar, the colors blend, forming an elaborate portrait of a woman on a beach holding a parasol. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Splendor of Cote d’Azur

Fontaine du Soleil sprouts water from underneath the mountainous figure of Apollo. Horses and bulls leap from the sun god’s imposing posture. The fountain stands inside the pine and palm trees of the open park of Jardin Albert I. The Musee Chagall opens its doors to the morning light and offers visitors the chance to enjoy the mosaics, stained glass, etchings, and paintings designed by the artist. The village of Saint-Paul de Vence is located on a hilltop facing the picturesque Provencal countryside. The landscape and charm of the town whisk you to a world away from the azure waters and palaces of the coast. A 14th-century Romanesque church crowns the hilltop. Roman catacombs burrow beneath the Chapel of Saint Clement.

The narrow cobblestone streets are indicative of the town’s growth during the Middle Ages. Fountains adorn small squares embellished with local art galleries. Many surrealist painters discovered the enchanting streets of the city during the 1920s. Half a mile outside of the historic walls is the Fondation Maeght, a private estate showcasing marvelous collections of French artists. La Vie, a Chagall painting made in 1964, is on display. The swirling composition blends real life events and dreams. Images of the painter’s rabbi grandfather hide behind trotting horses. The vivacious colors and soft details are mesmerizing.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Art Is Everywhere

In the morning, locals make their way to Beaulieu-Sur-Mar, a beach paved with tiny pebbles as fine as sand. The pastel colors of the buildings on the distant coastline rise out of the turquoise water. People stretch out their towels and soak in the sunlight. Fishing and sailboats drift over the horizon. At breakfast, you can sip your freshly brewed cappuccino and enjoy the soft hues of the flower market. The Mediterranean laps at the shoreline with a gentle rhythm. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer 

Price

Starting Price 

$2,470
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.