Experience what makes southern France unforgettable: an adventure walk on the Pont du Gard, a chef's dinner with a wine pairing in Avignon, and exploring chic Nice, Monte-Carlo, Provence, and Paris.
Some of them first came to the south of France at the invitation of innkeepers, wise men all, who asked artists like Matisse, Chagall and Picasso to spend the weekend as their guest and leave behind a painting or sculpture in exchange for a good meal and bed. Many, like Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh, stayed on, leaving a legacy of painted memories that forever illuminate places like Nice, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Aix and St-Rémy-de-Provence... Thankfully for us, much of their work is available to us in museums from Provence to Paris to destinations the world over, where moments in time are immortalized, landscapes are honored for eternity and a week filled with culturally rich discoveries and artful treasures lingers long after you return home... For one week, savor the bounty of Provençal life at tastings in wineries and olive orchards alive with local flavor... in architectural icons inspired by Romans, poets and popes... and in joie de vivre of Paris, aglow with glamour, past and present. Begin in delightful Nice; explore glittering Monte-Carlo, historic Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, and see firsthand what inspired van Gogh in St-Rémy. Enjoy an adventurous walk on the Pont du Gard; a locally guided visit inside Avignon's fortress-like Palais des Papes; and a high-speed rail journey to Paris for a three-night stay highlighted by a guided tour of Musée du Louvre and more in the storied French capital.
Tour begins: 3:30 PM, Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. A transfer is included from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport to Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée. Join us this afternoon for a walking tour of Old Town Nice. Later, all gather for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner this evening at your five-star luxury hotel, occupying a former Art Deco casino located on Nice’s legendary Promenade des Anglais.
A marvelous day in southern France begins with a panoramic tour of seaside Nice, whose "Old Town" recalls the days when aristocrats and royals spent their winters here; see the Port and the Promenade des Anglais, Place Garibaldi and the Cimiez District, a leafy, upscale neighborhood in the north of the city known for its historic, elegant apartment buildings, expansive gardens and Roman ruins. Here, you'll enjoy a visit to Musée Marc Chagall, a national museum spotlighting religious-inspired works by the Russian-born painter who made France his home. Next, head for Monaco to get a taste of life in glamorous Monte-Carlo, including lunch on the terrace of the elegant Fairmont Monte Carlo. Then spend some free time in Monaco-Ville, the oldest part of the city (also known as Le Rocher, or “The Rock”), where you can visit either the Prince's Palace, home of Monaco's ruling Grimaldi family since the 13th century, or the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate (Monaco Cathedral), completed early in the 20th century. Return to your hotel in Nice for an evening spent as you please.
From Nice, begin the day with a visit to the picturesque walled town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a Provençal hilltop town that was built in the 13th century, for an orientation tour and a walking tour led by your Tauck Director; you'll be taken with its medieval look and easily understand why it became an artists' enclave. After some free time to explore Saint-Paul-de-Vence on your own, continue on for an afternoon spent among the fountains, squares and medieval center of lovely Aix-en-Provence; imagine great artists like Paul Cézanne and others at work amidst the spectrum of colors found in "Aix" as you explore and enjoy lunch as you please in town, and join your local guide for a walking tour. Arrive late afternoon in St-Rémy-de-Provence to spend the next two nights at charming Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa, where you'll enjoy dinner this evening.
No journey in Provence is complete without exploring the landscapes that inspired Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, where olive groves, cypress trees, and flowers the colors of the rainbow greet you. You'll do just that when you join your Tauck Director for a morning market visit and a walking tour of St-Rémy-de-Provence, where van Gogh spent a year of his life at a monastery that served as an asylum – a period of creativity that produced 150 of his most beloved paintings, including Starry Night, Wheat Field with Cypresses and Irises. After a free afternoon for lunch as you please and time spent as you wish in St-Rémy, head to Avignon, which has reigned as one of Europe's most beautiful medieval cities since the 14th century, when it was briefly the capital of Christendom and the home of the Roman Catholic popes. Following an orientation tour of this well-preserved riverside city, a visit inside the four-towered, fortress-like Palais des Papes with a local guide reveals the treasures and lifestyles of the pontiffs who reigned here for almost 70 years. Join us this evening for a memorable private chef's dinner in Avignon including a wine tasting and cooking demonstration, before returning to your hotel in St-Rémy.
Depart St-Rémy this morning and travel to the Pont du Gard – a three-level, 164-ft.-high “bridge” built by the Romans to carry fresh water over the River Gardon nearly 2,000 years ago – for an adventurous guided walk over the famous aqueduct and a visit to its museum. After a boxed lunch, board the high-speed TGV train in Avignon for a rapid rail journey in first class to inimitable Paris and a three-night stay at the newly renovated Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opéra; enjoy dinner at a local Parisian restaurant tonight.
A guided orientation tour today gives you a great overview of Paris and includes the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower and more. Then, combine two Parisian pleasures as you feast on a sumptuous lunch from the kitchen of Chef Alain Ducasse while gliding along the River Seine aboard Ducasse sur Seine, a floating restaurant created by the famous chef. As the soul of Parisian cuisine comes to life on your plate, the city’s landmarks float by, each one a unique confection. Explore more of the amazing French capital as you wish for the rest of the day and evening.
Join our local guide this morning for a visit inside the legendary Musée du Louvre, where you'll view some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Spend the afternoon at leisure, then join us for our farewell dinner tonight at a venue affording memorable views of this remarkable city – and bid adieu to Paris in true Tauck style!
Tour ends: Paris. Fly home anytime. Your transfer is included from Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opéra to Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Orly Airport or a Paris train station. You should allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Tauck has been a family run business since its first tour through New England in 1925. Spanning three generations and currently run by six family members, their 90 years of experience is clearly seen in more than 140 unique travel experiences.
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