Day 1: Paris
Arrival in Paris, reception and private transfer to your hotel, The Ritz, a fabulously opulent deluxe 5 star hotel widely regarded as the best hotel in Europe. Accommodation in a deluxe room.
Day 2: Paris (B & L)
After breakfast, a walking and private car tour visiting some of the highlights of Paris. Split by the River Seine, the tour will include passing across Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris dating back over 400 years, followed by Notre Dame Cathedral, a 12 century Gothic masterpiece. Dating back to 1163, Notre Dame is the cathedral of Paris and the seat of the Archbishop of the city.
After a guided tour, we shall visit the ubiquitous Eiffel Tower, the icon of Paris and France which was completed in 1889. A trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. (We shall endeavour to accommodate this when first arriving but there may be a queue or the tower may even be closed due to weather and other factors). Lunch at the Carre des Feuillants restaurant.
After lunch, we shall visit the basilica of Sacre Coeur in the hilltop quarter of Montmartre. Once, one of the world's most influential artistic centres, today it is a splendid place to walk around sampling a coffee or for a little shopping. Some free time will be provided for you at leisure.
Return to your hotel along the imposing Champs Elysees, past the majestic Arc de Triomphe to the Place de Concorde with more breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower.
Day 3: Paris (B )
After breakfast, a full day visit to the Louvre, the great Parisian Museum and also the most visited museum in the world. The museum opened its doors on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings and today houses over 35,000 objets d'art with such famous works as the Mona Lisa by da Vinci, the Wedding feast of Cana by Veronese and Liberty Guiding the People by Delacroix; in addition to great sculptures such as Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace to name but a few. Return to your hotel. Dinner at the excellent Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant, one of the best in Paris.
Day 4: Paris - Versailles (B & L)
Today we will leave Paris and head to the magnificent Palace of Versailles, lying just outside the Paris. A royal chateau which was embellished by the Sun King Louis IV in the 17 century, this magnificent chateau with its vast grounds is an incredible testimony to the heights of royal extravagance. Lunch at Les Trois Marches before returning to Paris.
Tonight, a wonderful opportunity to enjoy an opera/ballet production in Paris like no other with VIP seats at the Palais Garnier, also known as the Paris Opera house. Once the haunt of the famous Phantom, this opulent opera house houses the famous Grand Staircase, one of the grandest features of the Palais Garnier. Built in marble of various colours, the double stairway leads to the foyers and the different levels of the auditorium. With productions of both Opera and Ballet, you will be invited to enjoy a production in VIP seats. Return to your hotel.
Day 5: Paris (B)
After breakfast, free day to go shopping along the famous Champs Elysees or perhaps along the Seine to the bouquinistes, second-hand dealers in rare books, prints and postcards. Car and driver will be at your disposal.
Day 6: Paris - Loire Valley (B, L)
After breakfast, we leave behind Paris and head south in a private car with driver to the wonderful Loire Valley, some 100 miles southwest of Paris. The Loire Valley is known as the Garden of France and the Cradle of the French Language and as the whole region was a playground for 16th century royalty it resulted in the building of the greatest number of chateaux in the whole of France. It is also noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage in its historic towns and excellent wine.
Lunch at the excellent Bernard Robin's Relais de Bracieux, famous for his exquisite truffles dishes and game when in season. Continue the journey after lunch to your hotel for the one night, the magnificent hunting lodge of Domaine des Hauts de Loire. Accommodation and dinner.
Day 7: Loire Valley (B, L )
After breakfast, we continue our trip south east towards the most famous vineyards of Loire, the wines of Pouilly-Fumé. We shall enjoy a tour of the vineyards followed by some wine tasting. We then continue west towards the small town of Chinon where you will have time to explore the cobblestone streets and visit Chinon castle. Sample some local wines and enjoy local Gallipettes (stuffed mushrooms) before continuing on to your hotel for lunch at the wonderful XV century Château de Marcay. Lunch before you visit the Château of Chenonceau. Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to women; it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more beautiful by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin. Famous for Renaissance furniture, a vast ensemble of XVI and XVII century tapestries and a great number of masterpieces with Le Primatice, Rubens and Le Tintoret being the most noteworthy. After the tour, continue to Saumur and its imposing Château overlooking the town and the Loire River. Built during the XIV century for the Ducs d'Anjou, it became the house of the governors of the town, and then a prison before being bought by the town in 1906. The work of rebuilding the Château does not allow access to the inner rooms of the building; however you can visit the site from April to September. Return to your hotel for accommodation and dinner.
Day 8: Loire Valley (B)
Today a free day to enjoy the magnificent location of the Château or embark on a variety of trip options from fishing to horseback riding, hunting to walking.
Day 9: Loire Valley - Lyon (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the train station at St Pierre de Corps for the TGV train journey to Lyon in first class. After the 3 hour train journey, arrival to Lyon, and transfer to your hotel, the Hotel Coeur de Loges for dinner and accommodation.
Day 10: Lyon (B )
Free day to wander around the town and explore the Roman ruins or the largest Renaissance quarter in France. Dinner will be at the legendary L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges, Paul Bocuse's main restaurant.
Day 11: Lyon - Marseille - St Tropez (B )
After breakfast, transfer to the train station for the TGV train journey to Marseille in first class.
Reception and private transfer along the beautiful Cote d'azur to St Tropez, arriving to your hotel, the Hotel Residence de la Pinede. Accommodation in a superior sea view room. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 12: St Tropez (B)
Free day at leisure. Enjoy a stroll along the Rue Gambetta or the Rus Allard. Visit Jacqueline Thienot for great antiques and finish the day with a night time stroll by the chichi yachts on Nouveau Port.
Day 13: St Tropez (B)
Free day at leisure.
Day 14: St Tropez (B)
After breakfast, private transfer to Nice international airport for your flight home.
Our price Includes:
The price includes accommodation in 5 star deluxe hotels, deluxe chateaux and luxury country hotels in superior/deluxe rooms, all tours in private with English speaking guides, some meals as per the itinerary at exemplary gourmet restaurants (no alcoholic drinks), first class TGV train tickets and all taxes.
Our price does not include:
Flight to Paris, meals not specified and travel insurance are not included.