A Perfect France Tour for First Timers: Paris, Avignon & Nice

A 12 day trip to France 
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Romance often feels like a dream, accompanied by castles and knights, enchanting boat rides down a river strung with light, surrounded by fields of flowers and secluded garden kisses. Savor a panoramic view of the French Riviera and hold your partner close in the opulent halls of a grand palace. On your custom tailored France tour to Paris, Avignon and Nice, romance will become reality on your honeymoon-styled vacation. You and your loved one will enjoy the timeless wonders of Paris and the captivating charm of France.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Paris, Giverny, Auvers sur Oise, the Loire Valley, Versailles, Fontainebleau, Avignon, Nice

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: True Parisian Beauty

There is nothing like stepping into Paris for the first time. The scent of rich chocolate and sweet macaroons emanates from cafes. You can see the outline of the Eiffel Tower upon your descent into the airport. Charming gardens offer a touch of the countryside to the elegant architecture radiating around the gentle current of the River Seine.

One of our France travel companies will arrange for a private transfer to meet you at the airport. You and your partner will be escorted into the heart of the most romantic city on earth. A passionate atmosphere radiates from the graceful wide avenues and historic mansions. Couples stroll along the cobblestone streets lining the river. Although the love locks along the Pont des Arts Bridge have been taken down, street artists have decorated the bridge with a passionate plea to passersby stating, “Love is the Key.” The classic city has captivated your imagination before you even entered its embrace, but now it is sure to capture your heart.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Sensational Sights

In the morning, you notice all the Parisians sitting at tables on the sidewalk overlooking the city streets. They sip their rich espressos and nibble fresh chocolate croissants. The sun peeks over the cityscape shining on the crown molding of the historic buildings. After breakfast, you and your partner venture into the city for your half-day tour of the stunning sites along the cobblestone streets. The spires of Notre-Dame tower over the sunken levels of the riverside walkways. The Arc de Triomphe stands proudly at the center of the large roundabout crowning the Champs Elysee.

When you reach the Eiffel Tower, you squeeze your partner’s hand acknowledging that you made it. The edifice was erected as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair in the late 19th century. The tower rises dramatically from base to tip at 1,063 feet tall and casts a shadow over the Champs de Mars Park. Locals picnic on the long grassy area, sipping small glasses of wine they brought with them, and enjoying a selection of cheese. The ironwork crisscrossing upwards around the entire tower is exceptional. From the top, you can look out over the entire city in one sweeping panorama.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Radiant Gardens

The wonders of Paris stem not only from the legacy of cuisine and architecture but also in the traditions of artists looking for inspiration. In the name of Monet, your guide meets you in the morning and leads you outside of Paris to the charming town of Giverny. The scenery alone is enough to draw you and your partner closer together. You see a historic building draped in ivy with blossoming hyacinths in the forecourt before you have even stepped into the gardens.

After touring through Monet’s old studio, you come to the Impressionist’s dreamscape draped across the pond. The Japanese Bridge arches over the water. Lily pads float across the placid pond. Willows dangle their branches and leaves, brushing the surface of the water. The floral aromas emanate from the radiating colors around you, from daisies to daffodils, the image of Monet’s paintings come to life for a private moment with you and your partner in the majesty of the gardens. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Enlightened Valley

Today you step out of the dreamy architecture of Paris that inspires artists and writers, chefs and lovers, and you journey into the fairytale landscape of the Loire Valley, home to stunning castles decorating the exquisite countryside. Amboise is a town situated on the left bank of the Loire River. The quiet current sweeps underneath the tall grass. The village looks as though it stepped straight out of a storybook. Conical roofs top stone buildings. A wall separates the town from the lower roadway along the riverbank. The towering spires of the Amboise Royal Chateau overlook the water. Massive buttresses and an ironwork balcony accompany the impressive round towers. The castle was constructed in the 15th century and maintains numerous elements from its original construction. A long, multiple-arched stone bridge crosses the river and connects the town to the countryside. The herbaceous aroma of the nearby prairie lingers around the edges of the chateau. 

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Your Own Paris

The River Seine ripples in the morning light, brushing against the romantic walkways of Paris. You and your partner sit enjoying the light foam of a perfectly cared for cappuccino. The day is yours to enjoy the city at your desire, whether that entails roaming through the masterworks of the d’Orsay or watching the locals play petanque.

The regal architecture of the Palais-Royal emanates grace near the Louvre Museum. The most romantic spot in Paris is often the most overlooked by visitors; stroll to the unique Bois de Boulogne for the charm of the countryside with a view of the Eiffel Tower popping through the trees. The area was once the hunting ground for French kings but now holds a relaxing ambiance bursting with lushness. It remains one of the largest parks in the city, filled with pathways to explore and easy access to small boats that can take you out on the lake. The aroma of blossoming flowers remains in the air. Once on the water, you can picnic on the dinghy, delighting in the comforts of the company, a delectable sandwich, and an unparalleled view of a different side of the most romantic city.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 6: In the Presence of Royalty

Today, your guide meets you in the hotel lobby and takes you to the outreaches of the city and into the opulent history of the French monarchs, beginning with Versailles. The palace was originally a hunting chateau until the 17th century when it became the center of the country’s political power. The gravel-paved forecourt introduces you to the extravagant palace encompassing 721,182 square feet. The palace represents an absolute monarchy in its pure opulence.

Your guide leads you through the interior apartments, paying close attention to the captivating Hall of Mirrors. The large glass mirrors are arranged in such a way that the light in the room seems to reflect endlessly amongst the hardwood floors, dangling chandeliers, and open windows. In the gardens, you and your partner can stroll across the grounds of the palace in seclusion, taking in the lakes, shaped trees, and geometrically manicured grass. Shrubberies turn into charming fences encircling lavish fountains. You feel at home in the lushness of the gardens with the one you love, reveling in the 57 acres of splendid landscape. In the distance, there is even an Austrian village that was built to help rid Marie Antoinette of her homesickness.  

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Papal Grandeur

You notice how comfortable you feel taking pleasure in the small details of the day. You and your partner have settled into the Parisian lifestyle, watching the locals pass by from umbrella-clad tables as you sip your espressos. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to the station at Gare de Lyon where you will wave goodbye to Paris. You board the first-class luxuries of your cabin and travel alongside the verdant hills, noticing the mountains in the eastern distance.

You arrive in the historic magnificence of Avignon, a city of medieval charm and papal majesty. The papal palace has maintained its grandeur for over 800 years, most noticeable in the stone ramparts encircling the castle. Ancient cobblestone streets create the walkways of the city leading to shady plazas filled with quaint cafes. You find the storybook atmosphere radiant in the afternoon when the sunlight fades behind the spiked turrets of the Palais des Papes.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 8: Touching Provencal

The 13th century edifice of the Petit Palais once housed Episcopal Bishops. The grand structure now holds a lavish art museum to create a unique ambiance around chosen works. The river brushes against the banks in the quiet morning. You and your partner savor breakfast near the heart of town where the café culture is as vibrant as Paris with more smiles than you can count.

After your meal, your guide meets you at the hotel and leads you out into the Provencal countryside, home to a sea of lavender coloring the landscape purple. The aroma is intoxication filtering over stone farmhouses. When you come to Pont du Gard, you find an exceptional Roman aqueduct standing 160 feet tall and stretching 902 feet long. The stone structure was erected in the 1st century AD with three tiers of arches. You view the structure where it crosses the Gardon River. The water rushes against the stone cross section pillars and rugged bordering landscape. The aqueduct has maintained its integrity for two millennia and reveals the wonderment of the region, both antique and beautiful, and full of surprises. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Fabulous French Riviera

In the morning, the golden fields outside of Avignon rustle in the soft breeze. After breakfast, your private transfer takes you to the train station for your ride through the mountains and on to Nice. The azure waters sweep across the shores. Blue and white umbrellas shade beachgoers. The historic buildings of Old Town border cobbled streets edging the promenade des Anglais.

Your guide meets you at the train station and leads you out into the charm of the French Riviera. The Matisse Museum is housed in an elegant 17th century Mediterranean villa atop the hill of Cimiez. The rosy exterior glows against the backdrop of jade trees and molded emerald shrubberies. The Italianate Garden reminds visitors of the former power of the Genoese Empire and its rule of the region.

The museum holds 68 paintings and 57 sculptures of the master’s artwork, including numerous prints, drawings, and photos. The herbaceous aroma of the garden blends with the scent of the sea air. The main gallery is sparse white, with an arched ceiling helping make an aerated space. The Woman with an Umbrella was painted in 1905. The pastel colors burst from the wall. The paint looks to color the canvas with tiles, contrasting one another in a graceful design to form a woman on a beach holding an umbrella.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 10: Romancing the Waterfront

The Ligurian Sea brushes against the coastline in the morning and fishing boats venture out of the marina with the tide. The timelessness of Nice is unquestionable, displaying a classic artistry in the buildings and along the shore. Your private guide meets you in the lobby of your luxurious hotel and escorts you along the French Riviera.

Your guide leads you northbound to the city of Cannes where chic shops line the walkways underneath the shadows of palaces of La Croisette. Glamor emanates from the beaches and the storefronts. Yachts weigh anchor in the harbor. The bay arches around a collection of islands in view from the old quarter. The Palais des Festivals et des Congrès has 22 steps leading to the main entrance. The tiered staircase is emblematic of flashing cameras and elaborate gowns even outside of festival season overtaking 269,097 square meters. This is where the Hollywood and international cinema stars come to watch movies and be seen during the Cannes Film Festival. The palace overlooks the calm cobalt waters that lap at promenade.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Nice to See Nice

The view overlooking the bay at Castle Hill stands 300 feet over the water at the top of the staircase providing you with an unfettered look at the iridescent coastline. The day is yours to enjoy Nice with your guide, and to take pleasure in the delightful city. Umbrellas open on the seaside balcony of the Beau Rivage. Locals skate along the bending Promenade des Anglais. The architecture commemorates the charm of the Belle Epoque.

You stroll hand in hand with your partner through the aromas of simmering butter and warm chocolate combining to make irresistible crepes. The Old Town has red-brick rooftops baking in the sun. Historic church steeples tower over the cityscape. Your guide leads you along the cobblestone paths through the elegant traces of the past, near the bustling morning flower market where you catch the scent of daffodils between the Italianate buildings. You take your time to appreciate the moment and find that the romance in Nice is unlike anywhere you have ever been.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 12: Elegant Encounters

When you wake up in the morning, you want to explore the snaking narrow cobblestone paths of Old Town once more. A quaint café opens its doors with space for two tables opening out to the street. You and your partner sip on the best cappuccino you have ever tasted, almost chocolaty in taste and velvety in texture. The morning light meanders through the streets. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee blends into the buttery scent of your warm croissant.

Soon your private transfer will meet you at your hotel ready to take you to the Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport, but for now you savor the view, the company, and the timelessness of a simple but unforgettable moment.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized France vacation packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $400 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $350 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $300 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within France, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

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