6 of 16 spaces aavailable: HIGHLIGHTS: Roman Arles, The French Rivera, Monte Carlo, Nice, Bordeux wine country to name a few!


SOUTH OF FRANCE:

September 8th - 23rd 2022 (16 Days)

LAND TOUR: $6,150 Canadian/ per person (includes breakfasts + dinners or lunches)


2022 tour begins September 8th in Bordeaux and finishes September 23th in Nice. On our tour we only include a day each in the cities of Bordeaux and Nice. If you wish to explore these cities more thoroughly, you can choose to arrive in Bordeaux a day or more before the tour starts and stay on in Nice for a day or more after the tour finishes.

Limited to 16 travellers + Norman & Julie Bruce ( July 23/21 - we have 6 spaces available)

AIRFARE: Our flights specialist estimates the cost of the airfare to be approximately $1,500 Canadian departing Vancouver to Bordeaux (BOD) & returning from Nice (NCE.)

PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN ESTIMATE FROM VANCOUVER.

You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour.


France is justifiably the world's most popular travel destination. On our tour, we see a broad variety of the top attractions in the west and south of the country while getting off the beaten path to visit lesser-known villages and rural beauty spots. France is basically a rural country with very few large cities – outside of Paris, only greater Lyons and greater Marseilles have populations of more than 1 million. It is also a country built primarily of stone and each area (called a department) has its own architectural style. We travel by our own bus and are guided by local specialists in each area who inform us of the history, traditions and special products of their region. We drive up and down jaw-dropping mountain roads between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and along the French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur. Our small group (just 16 travellers maximum) allows us to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle and culture of the small towns and art centres of Provence. We learn about the rich history of the area – from the cave paintings of some of the earliest human settlements in the world through the ancient Romans and Popes of the 14th century to the “Belle Époque” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when European aristocrats flocked to enjoy the mild winters on the Mediterranean coast. One special focus of this tour is that we follow in the footsteps of many famous painters – especially the Impressionists – including Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. We sample some of France’s most famous wines and have a chance to try her delicious regional cuisines. We stay mainly in historic hotels that reflect the charm of the towns and small cities we stay in. Although we visit a wide variety of places on this tour, wherever possible, we stay 2 or more nights in a town. In many towns this allows you to join us for both our morning and afternoon excursions or, if you wish, enjoy some free time for half the day. When we are not driving from one town to another and changing hotels, we are very flexible with how much sightseeing you can join us for.



The Food in France!

Each full day of the tour we include breakfast and either dinner or lunch.

One of the great highlights of France is its food. The different areas on our tour are famous for their own dishes. Many of these regional cuisines are served at cozy little restaurants that have a wonderful local atmosphere. However, many of these unique restaurants are too small to accommodate groups. On most days we include dinner together as a group but on 3 days we include lunch together and give you the freedom to choose your own special restaurant for dinner. On these 3 evenings, Julie and Norman will make suggestions for restaurants close to our hotels.


(updated July 23 2021)

DETAILED ITINERARY for 2022 tour:

Thurs Sept 8
Arrival in Bordeaux

We arrive today in Bordeaux, France’s sixth-largest city and the centre of one of the premiere wine-producing regions of the world. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and/or explore this gorgeous town on your own.
First of 2 nights in Bordeaux city. Hotel Bordeaux Clemenceau or similar.
No meals.


Fri Sept 9
City of Wine and Architecture

Today we take a guided tour of Bordeaux city, half of which forms the world's largest urban UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Tree-shaded boulevards are lined with the 18th-Century mansions of the great wine merchants. We will see the Monument aux Girondins, the Grand Théâtre, Place de la Bourse and Place de la Comédie. We walk alongside the lazy Garonne River, stroll the buzzing pedestrian street of Rue Sainte-Catherine and generally admire some of France’s most beautiful architecture.
Second of 2 nights in Bordeaux city. Hotel Bordeaux Clemenceau or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
.


Sat Sept 10
Bordeaux – Wine Tasting – Dordogne Valley

This morning we drive out into this bucolic area of vine-covered hillsides and visit one of the wineries which make the Bordeaux region so famous among connoisseurs. We learn about the different wines of the area and enjoy a taste or two! Although the city of Bordeaux is bisected by the Garonne River, it is located just above the point where that river meets the Dordogne River and they flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The Dordogne and its watershed are a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. We drive east along this lovely valley with its charming little stone villages, riverside chateaux and prehistoric sites.
We spend our next 2 nights in a beautifully-preserved medieval town of golden-stone houses with Renaissance-style, wood-beamed windows. First of 2 nights in Sarlat-la-Caneda. Hotel Saint Albert or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Sun Sept 11
Prehistoric Wonders

The Vezere Region has particularly magnificent scenery honeycombed with deep gorges and caves filled with prehistoric paintings. Near the town of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil, we take an electric train down 8km into the earth to explore the 1km maze of tunnels in the massive three-level Grotte de Rouffignac cave. A frieze of 10 mammoths in procession is one of the largest cave paintings ever discovered. The “Great Ceiling” depicts more than 65 animals, many of them long since extinct in Europe.

The Musée National de Préhistoire is built partially into a huge semi-circular limestone cliff overlooking the Vézère Valley, named by UNESCO the “Valley of Man” for the richness of its Palaeolithic remains. This region was continuously occupied throughout Prehistory because it provided an ideal refuge zone for humans and animals during glacial periods. The museum houses more than 18,000 pieces that trace more than 400,000 years of human presence. We will see items associated with the Neanderthals’ first funerary acts from around 80,000 BC and monumental art created by modern man (Homo sapiens) over 35,000 years ago. Second of 2 nights in Sarlat-la-Caneda. Hotel Saint Albert or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Mon Sept 12
Dordogne Valley – Albi

Heading south, we stop at Cahors – at the western end of the Lot Valley. Surrounded on 3 sides by a sharp bend in the Lot River, the town’s most prominent feature is the medieval fortified Pont Valentre. This elegant bridge with tall towers has defied the river since 1360. We continue to Cordes-sur-Ciel, a fortified town built on a hilltop with a collection of more than 120 magnificent Gothic-style houses unique in France. The steep walk up transports us back to medieval times, passing the porches, battlements, sculpted facades of the Grand Ecuyer and the Grand Veneur and the splendid 18th-Century Gothic mansions that belonged to wealthy traders. Painters, writers, sculptors and jewellers are drawn to this inspiring place, so the narrow, winding alleyways feature many art galleries and craft shops. Our stay tonight is in the birthplace of the painter Toulouse-Lautrec.
Overnight in Albi. Grand Hotel d’Orleans or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Tues Sept 13
Albi – Toulouse – Carcassonne

We start our tour of Albi this morning at the impressive Cathedrale Ste-Cecile, one of the largest brick buildings in the world. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, its austere, defensive exterior contrasts with its sumptuous interior entirely covered with the most unusual geometric designs. Standing at the centre of Vieux Albi (Old Albi) on the south bank of the River Tarn, the cathedral is one of France's most monumental Gothic structures. The episcopal city, around the cathedral, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2010. Our tour also takes us along the banks of the river to admire the Old Bridge and the Saint-Salvi quarter with its church & cloister.

At the fantastic Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, we learn about the ground-breaking artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who was born in Albi in 1864. Set in what was once the Bishop’s Palace, we see some of the paintings of one of France's (and the World’s) most iconic artists. We also have time to enjoy the garden at the back of the museum by the river.

Toulouse is the fourth-largest city in France, with nearly 500,000 inhabitants. Located on the banks of the River Garonne 150 kilometres from the Mediterranean, Toulouse is called the 'Pink City' (“Ville Rose”) due to the colour of its stonework. On our tour of the city, we see the magnificent Saint Sernin Basilica, built in the 11th century in brick and stone – which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We also see the docks of the Daurade on the banks of the river, the Pont Saint Pierre bridge with its breathtaking view of the dome of the hospital La Grave and the opening into the Brienne Canal. The Convent of the Jacobins was built in the 13th century. We also see the Capitol Square and the town hall with its superb Hall of the Illustrious.

On our way further south, we stop at Castelnaudary to see the Canal du Midi “Grand Bassin” and its St Roche lock, a UNESCO World Heritage site. First of 2 nights in Carcassonne. Hotel Le Donjon or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Wed Sept 14
Carcassonne + Castles

This morning we explore the UNESCO-designated World Heritage city of Carcassonne. This medieval fortified town, built on a hill overlooking the lush green valley of the River Aude, has been described as 'the greatest sandcastle ever built.' We visit the castle and museum and walk along the defensive walls and ramparts that surround the old city. The earliest sections of the city wall were built by the Romans in the 13th century BC. It was later enlarged into a true fortress and strengthened by Louis IX in the 13th century AD, to give it its present appearance. Restaurants and shops are scattered among a wealth of winding cobbled streets, turrets and towers. We also learn about the tragic history of the Cathar people.

This afternoon you may wish to join our included excursion to Lastours, located 12 km outside Carcassonne in the valley of the River Orbiel, where 4 small castles perch on a 300-metre-high rocky ridge. The castles were built to control the access to Montagne Noire and the Cabardes region. These are some of the few original Cathar castles left. We'll drive through the village and then stop at a scenic overlook across from the Lastours castle formation. If you don’t wish to join our included excursion to Lastours, you can enjoy a relaxing free afternoon exploring charming Carcassonne.
Today we include lunch together.
This evening you might like to enjoy your dinner (at your own expense) at a small, specialist restaurant. Julie and Norman will suggest restaurants for this evening.
Second of 2 nights in Carcassonne. Hotel Le Donjon or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.


Thurs Sept 15
Carcassonne – Mediterranean Coast – Montpellier – Arles

This morning we reach the Mediterranean not far from the Spanish border and turn northeast to Sète where we stroll the streets along the canals of the “Venice of France.” We walk in the picturesque Pointe-Courte district, discover the covered market of Les Halles, see the chapel of Notre-Dame de la Salette, walk on the seafront Corniche and admire the beautiful beach.

From Mont Saint-Clair hill we enjoy the 360° panorama of the canals as they cross the town, linking the Canal du Midi to the Thau Lagoon strewn with its vineyards, olive groves and former salt pans and on to the open Mediterranean Sea. Spreading out below us is the Languedoc wine region, which produces the typical crisp white wine: Picpoul de Pinet.

Further north and a little inland we explore the elegant small city of Montpellier. Europe’s oldest medical school was founded here in the 12th century and today nearly one-third of the city’s population is students at its 3 universities and other higher education institutions. We take a tour of the city, including the Jardin des Plantes which was laid out in 1593 – making it France’s oldest botanical gardens. We also visit the glorious Fabre Méditerranée Métropole art museum and the lavish mansion of L’Hôtel de Cabrières-Sabatier d’Espeyran, which attests to Montpellier’s great wealth in the late 19th century. We also see the main square Place de la Comedie, Porte du Peyrou, new city hall including the Esplanade, the Corum, St Pierre Cathedral and the Opera Comedie.
First of 4 nights in Arles. Best Western Hotel Atrium or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Fri Sept 16
Arles + Camargue

This morning we explore the UNESCO-listed town of Arles, once a major port to rival Marseilles. The first inhabitants were Greek, but the Romans left a greater mark in that Arles competes with Nîmes for the title 'Rome of France' with its magnificent 2nd century Roman Arena, Roman theatre, the Alyscamps, a huge Roman necropolis, Roman baths and the Church of St. Trophime. Begun as a place for gladiator duels, the Arena was turned into a fortress, a medieval housing area and back to an amphitheatre which today holds up to 20,000 spectators for bullfights, concerts and a myriad of other performances each summer. We also explore the Old Town of Arles along the Cours de la République with its rich architecture and charming cafés. We stroll in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, visiting the places which inspired his art. The distinctive yellow-fronted Café Van Gogh in Forum Square is said to be the building in his acclaimed The Café Terrace painting.

This afternoon we visit the marshland area of the Rhône Delta, known as “the Carmargue.” Lying between the Petit Rhône and Grand Rhône rivers, most of the Camargue wetlands fall within the 850-sq-km Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue. This protected area of salt flats and marshes is a haven for wildlife, especially black bulls, pink flamingoes and the iconic wild white horses which roam free.

We walk in the completely-square, medieval walled town of Aigues-Mortes, founded by Louis IX in the 13th century as a Mediterranean port. The cobbled streets are completely surrounded by massive ramparts and towers. We see the Constance Tower, the Ramparts, St Louis Square and the Statue of the King.

The village of Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, located at the very edge of the delta where it meets the sea, is known as “the gipsy village” because this is still a significant place of pilgrimage for the Roma people. At the town’s impressive 9th-century church, Église des Saintes Maries, we hear about Ste Sarah – the town’s much-revered patron saint.
Second of 4 nights in Arles. Best Western Hotel Atrium or similar. Breakfast & Dinner
.


Sat Sept 17
Provence Villages

Exploring the countryside of the gorgeous Provence region, we visit Les Baux de Provence, a tiny village wedged on the side of an enormous 245-metre-high granite rock in the Alpilles Mountains. You have free time to explore the narrow streets of the medieval village and the ruins of the 10th-century castle at the top of the hill, from which there are wonderful postcard-perfect views of the valley full of olive groves. We make a photo stop on the 'Plateau des Antiques', overlooking the Roman monuments. In Gordes, a medieval village listed by UNESCO and considered as one of the most beautiful in France, we enjoy free time to explore the church, cobbled stone streets and castle. We drive through the Luberon Regional Park with its amazing landscape and stop in the ochre village of Roussillon. We walk for 30 minutes along the Ochre Path through the “Colorado of Provence”, an ancient ochre quarry. We continue our drive through the prettiest villages of the southern edge of the Luberon Valley via hilltop Bonnieux and the Pont Julien Roman bridge to Lourmarin where Peter Mayle lived and wrote 'A Year in Provence.' Lourmarin, nestled in the middle of vineyards, olive groves and almond trees with its 18th-century castle, is also listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. The rugged mountains of the Luberon, at the southern end of the Vaucluse Plateau, with its lovely valley full of vineyards, form the classic Provençal landscape which so captivated such painters as Van Gogh, Cézanne and Picasso – and continues to enthrall writers and painters from all over the world.

We return to Arles via the charming market town of St. Remy de Provence, which was once a walled Roman town and which inspired Van Gogh to create some of his most famous paintings, including La Nuit Etoilée (Starry Night.) The nearby Romanesque Saint-Paul de Mausole monastery was formerly a psychiatric hospital which treated Van Gogh for one year in 1889 -1890 after he infamously cut off his ear.

Today we include lunch together. This evening you might like to enjoy your dinner (at your own expense) at a small, specialist restaurant. Julie and Norman will suggest restaurants for this evening.
Third of 4 nights in Arles. Best Western Hotel Atrium or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.


Sun Sept 18
Pont du Gard + Nimes + Avignon

This morning we depart for the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard aqueduct, an amazing three-tiered structure with its magnificent arches and stones weighing up to 6 tons each. In 19 BC this 161-ft-high bridge was built by the Romans, using no mortar, over the deep Gordon Valley to transfer fresh water from a spring in the hills to the people of Nîmes 20 km away.

Nimes is famous for its large collection of Roman monuments includes the Tour Magne, the Temple of Diana, the best-preserved coliseum in the world and the extremely well-preserved Roman temple – the Maison Carrée. The famous Arena of Nîmes is a Roman amphitheatre where the Féria de Nîmes takes place today. Apart from its Roman antiquities, Nimes has attractive gardens and outstanding modern architecture by Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Philippe Stark. We have time to walk through the charming streets of the medieval city centre with their cute local boutiques and shops specialising in local products.

Avignon is nestled in the fertile Rhône Valley in Provence, with a rich history dating from its period as the capital of Christendom. Due to violence in Italy in 1309, French-born Pope Clement moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon, and thus the magnificent Palais des Papes was created to serve as the papal residence until 1377 when the seventh pope, Gregory XI returned to Rome. During that time, nine popes held court here. Today Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed walled town widely considered among southern France’s top attractions. Our guided walking tour of the medieval town includes the Old Town with its narrow streets and Town Hall Square, the Papal Palace, Saint Peter’s Church and the banks of the Rhône River. The bridge, Pont St.-Benezet, famed from the song 'Sur le Pont d'Avignon,' was the first to span the river Rhône. You have time to walk up to the Rock of the Doms and gardens to enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Fourth of 4 nights in Arles. Best Western Hotel Atrium or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Mon Sept 19
Arles – Aix – Marseille – St Tropez
Aix-en-Provence
is known for its elegant architecture and luxurious fountains which grace every square. We follow in the footsteps of painter Paul Cézanne seeing where he lived and created some of his most famous masterpieces. After visiting the Atelier Paul Cezanne we have a guided walking tour of the beautiful Old Town with our local expert. From Aix we head south to Marseille - the oldest city in France, having been founded by the Phoenicians (from today’s Lebanon) long before the Romans arrived. From the highest point in Marseille, the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica, we admire the 360° panoramic view over France’s second-largest city. The interior of the neo-Byzantine church is covered in mosaics and marble. We descend to the old port to reach the oldest area of Marseille, Le Panier and enjoy a guided walking tour to see the Cathedral of Sainte-Marie-Majeure, Fort Saint-Jean and MuCEM, the national museum of Marseille.

We drive up the famously-twisting La Gineste road which was used for stunts in the movie The Transporter past 618m/2,027ft Mount Carpiagne and down to the small fishing village of Cassis. The many Calanques (inlets) here are listed by UNESCO for their turquoise water and white cliffs. We leave the seashore and climb the twisting Route des Crêtes, dotted with viewpoints, up into the Calanques National Park to admire panoramic views of the bays from on top of the highest sea cliff in France (third highest in Europe), the 394m/1,293ft Cape Canaille.

We continue east along jaw-dropping mountain roads with the Provence Alps to our north and ever-changing views of the Mediterranean Sea to our south to reach Saint-Tropez, the beginning of the French Riviera.
Overnight near St Tropez. Hotel La Romarine or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Tues Sept 20
St Tropez – French Riviera – Nice

Now one of the best-known luxury resorts in the world, the small port of Saint-Tropez was a spa town which became popular with numerous artists as part of their summer tours around Europe. The resort was originally made famous at the end of the 19th century by painters, following in the footsteps of Paul Signac, and then film stars. Today this crossroads where writers, artists and celebrities meet, is famous for its luxury yachts, fashion boutiques and beautiful terrace cafés climbing up the hillside from the harbour. We explore the town by mounting the steps to the pretty medieval village, set around its Citadel. You may wish to visit the Annonciade Museum (at your own expense), housed in a former 16th-century chapel, which exhibits collections of first-class paintings from the Fauvist, Nabis and Pointillist movements including those by Signac and Matisse. Just beyond Saint-Tropez, we stop at Port Grimaud, a seaside village nicknamed “Little Venice”, to admire its canals, bridges, boutiques and charming houses. We continue driving along the stunning French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, as we snake our way along the winding road, sometimes hugging the Mediterranean coast with its many fishing villages and at other times climbing into the dry hills. Cannes is one of the most glamorous resorts on the French Riviera. The red Cliffs of Esterel rise steeply to the west, while the Lérins Islands loom offshore. Since 1834 many famous personalities have established the town's reputation. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the aristocracy would spend their winters here. Nowadays celebrities and the paparazzi flock here during the film festival, which is one of the most important events in the movie world. We drive along the world-famous Boulevard de la Croisette and stop at the 'Walk of Fame' with its celebrity hand-prints fronting the Red Carpet at the entrance to the Film Festival Palace. In the background, the sparkling blue sea shines, dotted with white yachts.
First of 3 nights in Nice. Hotel Vacances Bleues Le Royal or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Wed Sept 21
Nice + Perfume Capital of the World

Nice is really two distinct towns – the narrow cobbled streets and Baroque churches of Old Nice (Vieux Nice) sheltering below towering Castle Hill, from where we enjoy wide-open panoramic views of the turquoise blue Mediterranean along the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais. Between them, we visit the wonderful Flower Market. The main, inland area of the “capital of the French Riviera” is laid out around two large squares, Place Masséna and Place Garibaldi, named after two historic figures who symbolise the city's dual French and Italian identity. You will notice that the streets in the Old Town have 2 names – one French and the other in the old Provencal language which is heavily influenced by nearby Italy. Nice was ruled from Turin for nearly 300 years, only becoming permanently part of France in 1860. Nice and the French Riviera became popular with European aristocrats, particularly British and Russian, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of its mild winter climate and healthy “sea airs.” On our tour of the city, we will see many elegant Belle Époque mansions whose Art Deco architecture reminds us of that old-world opulence. We admire the magnificent façades of the Hotel Negresco and the Palais de la Méditerranée with their sweeping views of the blue Bay of Angels. Because it was favoured by so many Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters, the museums of Nice house some of the richest collections of modern and contemporary French art outside Paris. We visit the Marc Chagall National Museum, the only major museum in the world devoted to this influential 20th-century artist (1887-1985) and the most visited museum in Nice. His Biblical Message cycle consists of 17 large paintings depicting scenes such as The Creation, Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise, The Flood and Song of Songs.

This afternoon you may wish to join our included excursion to Grasse, located on the slopes of the limestone hills along the coast from Nice. Grasse was the centre of the area which historically grew most of the flowers for the famous Parisian perfumes. At the International Perfumery Museum, we learn about the history of the French perfume industry and learn about the flower essences needed. The museum has a 50,000-strong exhibition of items associated with perfumes, including Marie-Antoinette's “travel essentials.” We also have free time to explore the narrow streets of Grasse old town which, with their ochre facades, lack of uniformity, arcades and staircases, are very Italian in style. If you don’t wish to join our included excursion to Grasse, you can enjoy a relaxing free afternoon exploring more of Nice.

Today we include lunch together. This evening you might like to enjoy your dinner (at your own expense) at a small, specialist restaurant. Julie and Norman will suggest restaurants for this evening.
Second of 3 nights in Nice. Hotel Vacances Bleues Le Royal or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.


Thurs Sept 22
Monte Carlo

Today we travel by the local train to nearby Monaco, which is technically the second-smallest country in the world, after the Vatican. The Principality of Monaco, independent since 1861, has reclaimed 25% of its territory from the sea. On our guided tour of the medieval village of Monaco-Ville (also known as “Le Rocher” or “The Rock” because it is perched on top of a rocky outcrop), we see the Prince’s Palace (Palais Princier) and enjoy a panoramic view over Monte Carlo and Monaco Port, filled with multi-million-dollar yachts. We also see the Casino of Monte Carlo, which is the most famous casino in the world and has featured in 2 James Bond movies. Part-designed by Charles Garnier in 1878, its seafacing façade is an excellent example of Napoleon III architecture and its first halls were decorated by several fashionable 19th-century artists. Facing the casino are the famous Hotel de Paris, Café de Paris and the opera-theatre, which was famous for the Russian Ballets which were performed there until 1962 under the aegis of Diaghilev. In the lower town, we see the Circuit de Monaco, the street circuit used as the racetrack for the Formula One Grand Prix – the second-most-watched sporting event in the world! You have free time to wander and see the luxury hotels, gardens, museums and deluxe boutiques before we hop on the train back to France. Third of 3 nights in Nice. Hotel Vacances Bleues Le Royal or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


Fri Sept 23
Nice – Home

Today we transfer to Nice Côte d’Azur airport and fly home, arriving the same day. Breakfast if not leaving too early.


On our tour we only include a day each in the cities of Bordeaux and Nice. If you wish to explore these cities more thoroughly, you can choose to arrive in Bordeaux a day or more before the tour starts and stay on in Nice for a day or more after the tour finishes.


TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Accommodation mainly in 4-Star and good 3-Star hotels. All our hotels have en-suite bathrooms and heating/cooling.
  • Land transport by our own coach.
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tipping for Driver & Guides
  • Breakfast daily.
  • Dinner daily (except on Wed Sept 15th, Sat Sept 18th and Wed Sept 22nd, when we include lunches instead of dinners.)
  • Guiding by Royal Heights tour leaders Julie and Norman Bruce with the assistance of our expert French local guides in each area.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Visa fees. Canadian passport holders do NOT require a visa for France. Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the date you leave the Schengen Area (i.e. until at least Dec 24th 2022, if you are returning to Canada straight after finishing our France tour.)
  • Lunches (except on Wed Sept 14th, Sat Sept 17th and Wed Sept 21st, when we include lunches instead of dinners.).
  • We do NOT include porterage. Porters MAY be available to help you with your suitcase and you should be prepared to tip them if you use their services. Please only bring one piece of luggage per person and make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move your own luggage when necessary.
  • Trip Cancellation / Interruption and Medical Insurance. This insurance is strongly recommended. We can put you in touch with our insurance expert for a quote.
  • Single Supplement charge, if requested ($1,450 Canadian)
  • Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, drinks not included at meals
  • Arrival & departure transfers. We can arrange individual or group transfers when you have confirmed the arrival & departure times of your flights. Please contact us for a quote.


FLIGHTS:

Our flight specialist suggests flights from Vancouver with Air Canada into Bordeaux (BOD) via Ottawa & returning from Nice (NCE) with Lufthansa via Munich. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour. You are welcome to book your own flights or we can put you in touch with our flights specialist who can book flights for you from any city. Please let us know.


SINGLE TRAVELERS:

Our published price is based on 2 people sharing a room. If you would like to share, we will do our best to find you a roommate. The EARLIER you pay your deposit, the more likely we are to be able to find you a roommate. If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge of $1,450 Canadian. Those people traveling alone but wishing to share will be informed 3 months prior to departure if a roommate is not currently available. At that point you will be invoiced for the Single Supplement. If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documentation.


PAYMENT:

The Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights Tours. You can secure your place on the tour with a $400/ person non-refundable deposit. We take payment by cheque, Visa or Mastercard for the $400 /person deposit. Your invoice for your 2021 Land tour will be e-mailed to you in early June. Payment will be due by July 8th. Price quoted is for FINAL PAYMENT by cheque. Should you wish to pay the outstanding amount for the LAND tour by credit card there will be an administration fee of 2.5% on the outstanding amount.

SPECIAL NOTES:

  • Our office staff are not medically qualified to advise you on which immunizations you require. Please consult your local travel health clinic
  • Please make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move it easily.
  • This tour is not suitable if you need walking assistance in the form of walking sticks or canes. You must be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this tour – there is a lot of walking and exploring through the back streets of old historic towns where our bus cannot enter. We spend a lot of our time exploring by walking over cobbled streets and around archaeological sites. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes as some of our walking tours can take up to 3 hours.



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Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.