France Getaway Vacation with Mom: Charming Villages to Vineyards

A 9 day trip to France 
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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, parfumeries, 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, the French Riviera and the best of Paris, all experienced alongside each other.

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General Information

Photos
A path in Monaco.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Paris, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Louvre Museum, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, River Seine, Versailles, Chateau de Versailles, Giverny, Monet’s House, Monet’s Garden, Avignon, Provence, Les-Baux-de-Provence, Pont du Gard, French Riviera, Eze, Saint Paul de Vence, Antibes, Cannes, nice, Monaco, Monte Carlo 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: 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, lechocolat chaudif 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 a while 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.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: 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 with 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: 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, pass 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 18thcentury, 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 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: 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 parfumerie 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: 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 on 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. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: 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.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: 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.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.