This incredible 10-day French rail vacation showcases authentic, engaging experiences from Paris to Nice to Lyon. Enjoy scenic train rides and drives through some of the most beautiful countrysides on the planet.
- Avignon: See the Papal Palace and Broken bridge.
- Aix-en-Provence: See the Cours Mirabeau, Place du 4 Septembre and Place de la Rotonde.
- Les Baux-de-Provence: Visit this ‘perched’ town.
- Arles: See the Roman arena.
- Nice: Drive along the Promenade des Anglais and see the Place Massena. Drive along the French Riviera coastline.
- Monaco: Visit Monte Carlo and see the Casinos.
- Lyon: Visit the Church of Notre Dame de Fourvière, visit the old Town and see the Place Bellecour and the Part-Dieu district.
- Paris: Ascent by elevator to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. See the Opera and Champs Elysées.
- Scenic drives Paris to Avignon on the TGV via Burgundy and the Rhone Valley, Avignon to Aix by coach through the Alpilles, Aix to Nice by train through Provence to the Cote d’Azur, Nice to Lyon via Provence and the Rhone Valley, Lyon to Paris on the TGV via Burgundy and Auxerre.
- The services of a professional, multi-lingual Tour Directors.
- A qualified local city guide in Arles, Lyon and Paris.
- Chauffeur driven on luxury air-conditioned motorcoaches with reclining seats and washroom.
- 12 meals as specified in the itinerary
- High speed TGV trains between Paris/Avignon, Nice/Lyon and Lyon/Paris.
- Regular express train between Aix-en-Provence and Nice.
- Coach travel between Avignon and Aix-en-Provence including visits to the Pont du Gard, Les Baux de Provence and Arles.
- Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Transfers will be provided on Days 2 and 10.
- You'll stay in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities.
- All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
Day 1- Depart USA
Overnight flight to Paris
Day 2 - Arrive Paris
Your tour director welcomes you at Charles de Gaulle airport and transfers you to your hotel in Paris. Time to relax and unwind before perhaps taking a stroll along the tree-lined boulevards to sip a ‘citron pressé’ in a café. Early this evening you will enjoy a Welcome Drink at the hotel with the Tour Director and fellow travelling companions and learn more about this exciting tour.
Hotel: Novotel Gare de Lyon
Day 3 - Paris – High speed TGV train – Avignon
After a leisurely breakfast you are transferred to the Gare de Lyon where you board the sleek TGV train for the 2 hour 38 minute journey to Avignon. The train speeds smoothly through rolling countryside, through hills of terraced vineyards, past castles and manor houses to finally arrive in the valley of the river Rhone. As the train slows on its arrival you will see the Palace of the Popes in the old city of Avignon. On arrival you are transferred to your hotel. Then the Tour Director takes you on a walking tour of the old city which highlights the Papal Palace, the broken bridge over the river Rhone, the Place de l’Horloge and a Hidden Treasure is revealed en route. Later, free time to explore further and maybe visit one of the city’s museums or galleries or just soak up the atmosphere in one of the ‘al fresco’ cafes. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Hotel: Mercure Pont d’Avignon
Day 4 - Avignon – Pont du Gard – Les Baux – Arles – Aix-en-Provence
This morning, by coach, you will leave the capital of the Vaucluse to travel into the area known as the Alpilles – famous for its olive oil and stunning scenery. You’ll first drive through the town where Nostradamus was born, St Rémy de Provence, before continuing to the strange and eerie Les Baux de Provence, so-called because of the bauxite, which was once exploited here. Perched on a rocky plateau 245m high, you will be able to admire magnificent views of Arles, the Camargue and the Alpilles. This immense and superb stone fortress is without doubt one of the "must-sees" on the Provencal tourist trail! As is the next stop, the city of Arles – famed for its Roman arena, its beautifully sculpted Romanesque Cathedral and of course the famous ‘ Café Terrace’ painted by Vincent Van Gogh. Then through landscapes reminiscent of this poor artist’s paintings you travel to Aix-en-Provence for your overnight stay. This evening you'll enjoy dinner in your hotel. (Buffet Breakfast / Dinner)
Hotel: Novotel Beaumanoir
Day 5 - Aix-en-Provence – Nice (2 nights) Excursion to Monte Carlo
Morning orientation of this city that was originally a Roman spa-town highlights the Cours Mirabeau and the Place de la Rotonde. Time to perhaps visit the vegetable market, browse the elegant shops and boutiques or to take a walking tour ‘in the footsteps of Cezanne’. Later you board the train to Nice for a pleasant journey through russet landscapes to the Côte d’Azur. On arrival you will enjoy an orientation tour of the city, showing you the old town, the Promenade des Anglais, and the Place Massena. Then you check into your hotel before this evening enjoying a dinner of Provençal specialities in a seaside restaurant. Afterwards you'll drive to Monaco where you will visit Monte Carlo and its famous casinos! Time to break the bank before the return to Nice and your hotel. (Buffet Breakfast/ Highlight Dinner)
Hotel: Splendid (2 nights)
Day 6 - Nice at leisure
A free day to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of this lively city by the sea. Stroll along the Promenade, take a dip in the Mediterranean, shop in the chic boutiques in the traffic free shopping areas, explore the open-air market with its astonishing array of colourful Mediterranean vegetables, visit some nearby hilltop villages. Your Tour Director is there to help you decide how best to spend your time (Buffet Breakfast)
Day 7 - Nice – Lyon
Off to the train station this morning to board the train for Lyon. You arrive in the city of Concorde, gastronomy and silk manufacture in the early afternoon. On arrival you'll enjoy a sightseeing tour with a local guide, highlighting the Rhone and Saône rivers, the modern quarter of La Part-Dieu, the central Peninsula with its magnificent Place Bellecour – one of the largest squares in the country – and of course old Lyon nestling beneath the hill of la Fourvière. You'll admire commanding views over the city from La Fourvière hill where you will also visit the 19th century Church of Notre Dame. Later why not dine in one of the ‘bouchons’ and enjoy some of the local Beaujolais wines? (Buffet Breakfast)
Hotel: Novotel Gerland
Day 8 - Lyon – TGV – Paris (2 nights)
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the city or perhaps take a cruise along the Rhone before taking the high-speed train to Paris (2 hours). On arrival you will be treated to a sightseeing tour including the ascent of the Eiffel Tower by elevator to the second level for splendid views across the city. You’ll also see Notre Dame, the Palace of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysées and Arch of Triumph. This evening don’t hesitate to ask the Tour Director for advise on the best places to spend the evening. Why not, for example, visit Bohemian Montmartre and the Place du Tertre with its street artists or simply stroll along the Champs Elysées – full of cafés, restaurants and nightclubs! (Buffet Breakfast)
Hotel: Novotel Gare de Lyon (2 nights)
Day 9 - Paris at leisure
Today you have a day at leisure in the most romantic city in the world and a variety of activities to tempt you. You may wish to shop in one of the department stores on the Boulevard Haussman, to take an excursion to visit the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on the outskirts of the city or to spend time in the world’s largest Art Gallery and Museum – the Louvre. And this evening you'll all get together for a Farewell Dinner with drinks. (Buffet Breakfast/ Farewell Dinner)
Day 10 - Paris - USA
Trafalgar transfers you to the airport for your flight back home. (Buffet Breakfast)
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