Paris, Giverny, Avignon, Provence, Les-Baux-de-Provence, Pont du Gard, Eze, Saint Paul de Vence, Antibes, Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Spending time together in France will bring extraordinary small moments. From hot chocolate in a Parisian café to strolling through glamorous Cannes and Monaco before exploring Monet’s Garden or the Versailles chateau. Imagine macarons, perfumeries, cobbled streets, and flamboyant churches with your adventures customized just for you. Handcrafted as a dream mother and daughter vacation, this is a tour that works for all ages for a dream vacation to a dreamy country. Think Provence villages,...
Paris – World-Renowned Hot Chocolate Introduces You to Paris
As you land in Paris, it may feel like a moment that has been a very long time coming. This is a city that you feel, and most visitors have this sudden realization. It will not necessarily happen the moment you land, or even in your first couple of hours in the city. But that realization of being in Paris often comes from nowhere, and it is a wonderful feeling, especially if you dreamed of Paris for so long. The Champs Elysees is one place it could occur, but perhaps being there is a little too much bustle for your first day, especially after your long flight.
You may want to begin at a widely known café where the hot chocolate is world-famous, le chocolat chaud if you want to order in French. Your incredible cup of hot chocolate is accompanied by one of the café’s beautiful pastries, usually an eclair. Expect to sit awhile in an old-world cafe full of glamorous fittings and the most indulgent of smells. Move next to take a cruise along the River Seine for a relaxing two hours spent drifting through a city that is built around water. Just sit back and tick off the famous attractions while passing the strains of street musicians and riverside picnic chatter.
Paris – Saint-Germain and Highlights of Central Paris
The heart of Paris, the central arrondissements, literally translated as communes, stand on either side of the Seine, including Louvre, Bourse, Temple, Hotel-de-Ville, Pantheon, and Elysee. Within these arrondissements, you will find smaller neighborhoods, each with their own atmosphere and style. Saint-Germain is a classic example of this, and cafes line the mostly cobbled lanes, some enticing you in with chocolate and macarons, other with small outdoor terraces for watching the world scroll by. Take a walk through Saint Germain and stop to refuel at some of these cafes and bakeries, your local guide taking you on a walking tour of the neighborhood.
From this local experience, you will then head into something more famous. Paris is a city of legendary sights, and it is very hard to miss the Louvre. However, it is easy to miss most of the Louvre because the museum is so confusing to get around for first-time visitors. A guided tour takes you around the most valuable pieces, connecting the centuries of European art, with the Mona Lisa just one in a succession of works. Take a moment outside and grab lunch with some coffee, and then continue your Parisian exploration with your guide tailoring your afternoon to your energy levels. Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame are other timeless attractions, both far more beautiful and enormous than you may have imagined.
Paris – Versailles and Giverny Full Day Tour, Including Monet’s Garden
Light filters through the towering window and glistens against the crystal chandeliers. Above the chandeliers are frescoes, the corridors, and hallways painted in a fine old style. Gold shimmers everywhere, contrasting with the fine marble and archways. This is Chateau de Versailles, the royal residence of French kings. Despite only being in official use for 107 years, its wealth and opulence is beyond the imagination with 700 rooms, 60 staircases, 1,200 fireplaces, priceless art, evocatively tiled courtyards, and gardens dotted with sculpture. Versailles is old-world France in all its pomp and finery, and you will skip the queues, step beyond the red rope, and visit places within the chateau usually off bounds to visitors.
Giverny is entirely different from peace, solitude, and the soft beauty of the water lilies in the pond. If you recognize the landscapes, then you may know a little about Monet and the Impressionists. Softly blurring colors, landscapes partly amid a dream, and a sense of open space and unrivaled color are yours to enjoy. Eat lunch at a countryside restaurant on your route, and then step into Monet’s house and gardens. These stops in Giverny are completely different from the highly cultivated and manufactured world of Versailles, and it is the contrast that makes the experience as today showcases two distinct parts of France on one relaxed day trip.
Paris – More Time With Parisian Sights and Shops
Your final day in Paris is left completely free, ideal for some more mother and daughter time in the City of Lights. Perhaps you will check out the shops, or at least the glamorous arcades and shopping streets. Maybe you will go up to the Eiffel Tower for that famous view. For more art, you could also consider Montmartre, the impressionists’ hangout, or Musee d’Orsay, where the best of that artistic period is on display. There is so much more, of course, and by now you will know your bearings and how to get around. If you are thinking about leaving the city on another day trip, then Champagne is a good option. Grand landscapes, royal experiences, subtle beauty, and a sense of celebration – enjoy the day however you would like.
Avignon – Train to Provence and Pre-Medieval Splendor
Traveling by train in France is a breeze. Paris to Avignon is a minimum of seven hours by road and something similar when you consider flights, transfers, and waiting times. It’s less than three hours on the world’s fastest train, as the TGV zooms all the way through France, and then along the French Riviera. Cross open valleys of sunflowers and wheat, past small villages, just a few stone houses, and a towering church spire. Watch the sun cross the sky as you drink the drinks that come around and eat the snacks, mother, and daughter on a train rushing through most of France. It really is quite amazing the impression this journey provides, making it feel as though you have seen so much of the country without hardly ever leaving your seat.
Arrive in Avignon, and the contrast to Paris is immense. Once home to the Catholic Church and a papal enclave up to the 18th century, Avignon is as timeless as medieval cities can be. There is the imposing 14th-century papal palace, filled with ornate frescoes and a sense of spirituality. The Cathedral and tombs are very impressive, a gilded statue of Virgin Mary resplendent as soon as you glimpse inside. Cafes line the water at Jardin des Doms, a good place for a coffee and a chat, giving you the energy to explore Musee du Petit Palais, an old bishop’s house now filled with early Renaissance masterpieces. There are other attractions here, but that is probably enough for one day, so grab a good place for Bruno Seillier’s spectacular Les Luminessences D’Avignon show, a fabulous shock of light and color inside the pope’s palace.
Avignon – Full Day Exploring Provence and Perfume
With Avignon as a base, you can easily get out and explore more of Provence. Stroll through the village of Les-Baux-de-Provence and delve into its little stalls overflowing with pungent cheeses, fresh croissants, cured hams, so many smells to find in this little piece of untouched Provence. Admire the ancient Roman aqueduct, three tiers of arches stretching across the river outside Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a remarkable feat of art and engineering. Visit a perfumery and test the sprays, perhaps even timing your visit to coincide with lavender blooms of late-June to early-August. Get a feel for all things Provence, on a private and flexible tour that is full of all those little moments this vacation is about.
Cannes to Nice – Exploring the French Riviera
The TGV does not travel quite as fast once it reaches the coast, taking just over three hours to reach Nice. But what a beautiful journey as you first travel out of the valleys and through a couple of Provence villages before the looming cityscape of Marseilles comes into view. Then travel out to the Mediterranean, the railway often running alongside beach and sea en route to Toulon. From here, you can crisscross through the small villages to the French Riviera, alighting in Cannes for a few hours in a splendid little city. Meet your guide at the platform, store your luggage securely, and then set off into a city that offers so much more than a red carpet and film festival.
Palatial townhouses rise above the waterfront while yachts of all shapes and sizes fill the harbor. Sandy beaches stretch below small cafes and upmarket restaurants, and upscale boutiques and shops line Rue d’Antibes, the buildings mostly from a grand 1950s era. A maze of winding streets takes you to a food market and Gothic church, and then your walking tour will conclude at Allee des Etoiles, the city’s walk of fame that’s complete with red carpet. As part of the private city tour, you will lunch with Mediterranean views. Grab your luggage and continue the train journey to Nice, barely 30 minutes on the TGV to the final stop on your mother and daughter tour.
Nice – The Best of Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo
A day on the French Riviera is the way to conclude your French vacation. Travel up into the hills and Eze, a medieval village perched high above the sea with its castle and church spire dominant for many miles around. Descend into Monaco, following the Grand Prix circuit through streets of glamorous architecture and arcades. Delve down into the next little enclave, Monte Carlo a wonderful place for a swanky last French lunch. Check out Picasso’s art collection in Antibes and take a walk through Saint-Paul de Vence, one of those medieval towns where everything is so well preserved it is hard to know where to look. It will be a full day French Riviera tour, and it will end at a small vineyard where you can taste and toast to the last eight days.
Spend your second night in Nice, and the next day is at your leisure. This waterside town offers a little of both old and new with everything revolving around the water. Countless cafes and restaurants line the boulevard, and that is the place to be, especially in the evenings when locals head out on their own family walks. While Nice does not quite have the fame of nearby Cannes or Monaco, it is a far more livable space and is ideal when you seek an experience just for two. So you get to spend your two days amid French Riviera pomp, and your evenings in one of Europe’s most charming new destinations.
Nice – Departure
Nice has an international airport, so after a relaxed morning, your private transfer will take you to the airport as you head home together after a fantastic vacation.
- Explore Provence, stopping in tiny villages, perfumeries, and vineyards
- Feel the calm of Monet’s Garden on a tour to impressionist Giverny
- Feast your eyes on the icons of Paris, with four days in the City of Lights bringing plenty of time for the Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Champs Elysees and the rest
- Explore the French Riviera to visit Cannes, Monaco, and Monte Carlo
- Immerse yourself in the medieval wonder of Avignon, spending two nights in the old papal center
- Taste famous Parisian hot chocolate and macarons
- Relax in Nice, a glorious little city on the Mediterranean
- Discover Versailles, where a fabulous chateau speaks of an opulent time
- Travel the length of France by train, two three-hour journeys that provide stunning views onto the countryside
It is usually the small moments you remember most from a vacation, and this itinerary will give you both plenty to remember. Be it tasting macarons at a renowned 19th-century bakery, dining on a medieval square, or watching the stained-glass church windows glisten in the late-afternoon light. It may be your first glimpse of Chateau de Versailles or that final glance at Monet’s Garden in Giverny that stays with you. It might also be that the small moments are not anywhere specific, but are feelings that developed over an hour or a day. It could be that feeling of comfort and connection when you were walking in Avignon, or the sense of togetherness felt while relaxing at a waterfront cafe in Cannes.
This tour has been handcrafted to maximize these moments with a relaxed nine-day journey through the heart of France. There will be four nights in the capital city, and then two in Avignon and two in Nice, each stop showcasing another part of the country. You can slow down your pace and feast your eyes on the icons. Sink your senses into French experiences, and celebrate the connection. This is a dreamy mother and daughter trip to the country that seems most fitting for such an experience. You really cannot go wrong with the City of Lights, and the landscapes of Provence or the French Riviera. They seem like destinations from a dream, complete with all those quintessential quirks. Eight days is comfortable to get around all three, with two three-hour rail journey piecing them together.
With four days in Paris, you can really pack it all in without going at too fast a pace. Sip hot chocolate at a famous cafe terrace, cruise down the River Seine, walk the old cobbles and perhaps more than one or two shops. Split your time between icons like the Louvre, and the neighborhoods like Saint-Germain, just one of those you can explore in depth. Spend the next day on a guided tour, traveling first to Versailles and then across the impressionist landscapes to Giverny, where Monet’s Garden and waterlilies look as splendid as the paintings. You have a very centrally located hotel, and there will be lots of time to explore the Paris of your imagination, be that Sacre Coeur, Laduree, Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower.
Zoom to Avignon on the world’s fastest train to spend a day in the old papal enclave with historical remains all around, and an atmosphere that comes from the Middle Ages. Avignon is a quiet and a surreal little city, seemingly frozen in time. The next day will take you around Provence, stopping in delightful villages and small perfumeries, and then it will be onto the train to Nice. Explore the French Riviera with destinations like Eze, Monaco, Cannes, and Antibes all featuring over your two days, but Nice seems to sum up the style of the experience. There are so many things to do and places to be, but the moments you will most remember most are those made just for two. For more ideas, consider browsing our travel reviews as you create your dream vacation.
$2,470 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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