the very best of france

French Kiss

13-DAY jaunt OF southern france

paris | avignon | nice | marseille
toulouse | bordeaux | paris 

 

Beaches, idyllic villages, vineyards and medieval gems. No wonder the south of France has attracted everyone from Popes to the mob, and you'll visit both their haunts on this eventful tour. Getting here from Paris is a breeze on iconic TGV high-speed trains, but once in the south, you should take your sweet time and enjoy the pleasures around you.

Book this journey 

What's included

your first-class private journey

Travel 200 mph in first-class 
on France's finest trains

Carefully curated and centrally located
four-star hotels with breakfast

Private walks in each city
with a local insider

Switch the walk for a free car
and go for an all-day drive

Private transfers in. all cities
to and from the train station
 

Total cost per person
at $300/day

$3,900

 

 

Book now

paris  |  DAY 1 AND 2

Get lost in Paris

So, you'll probably want to see that tower and that painting with the lady with the crooked smile. As you should. But when we're here, we tend to follow in the footsteps of the late Anthony Bourdain.

The great chef had this to say about experiencing the real Paris, not just queuing together with all the other tourists: "Please, make the most of it by doing as little as possible. Walk a little. Get lost a bit. Eat. Catch a breakfast buzz. Have a nap. Try and have sex if you can.”  

 

avignon

avignon  |  DAY 3 AND 4

Fit for a Pope

We are men of simple pleasures: If it's good enough for a Pope, it's good enough for us. This medieval town in scenic Provence was for a few precious years the centre of the universe: The Vatican-on-the-Rhône when a 14th-century Pope moved his entire court from Rome to here. His fortress-like palace with its imposing stone halls still stands, and it’s surrounded by an enchantingly beautiful town with ancient ramparts and leafy squares. 

nice  |  DAY 5 AND 6

King of the beach 

The French tend to do things with style, and in Nice, that includes going to the beach. You pick a good-looking beach club, enjoy a few cocktails served to your beach chair, and then retire to the club’s outdoor restaurant for some local cuisine and a bottle of Chablis. 

But there’s much more to Nice. This is one of the liveliest cities on the French Riviera, with palm-lined boulevards, beautiful architecture, and world-class art museums. Don't miss the picturesque villages in the hills behind Nice, especially   the exceptionally beautiful St-Paul-de-Vence. 

marseille  |  DAY 7 AND 8

French Connection

Remember the French Connection? The movie was awfully close to the truth when it portrayed Marseille as gritty and dangerous. But Marseille has cleaned up its act since then, and today this is a vibrant, exotic and exciting city. Best of all: Few tourists have noticed yet.

There are many great sights in Marseille, not least the magnificent Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde with its crow’s nest view of the entire city. But the key attraction is the city itself: The vibrant Old Port, guarded by two forts and now invaded by yachts, and all the very diverse and exciting neighbourhoods that just wait to be explored by intrepid visitors.  

toulouse |  DAY 9 AND 10

Go Medieval 

Toulouse is probably one of the most beautiful cities in France. So, it’s really awfully unfair that our main purpose here is to get you out of town. But the thing is, barely an hour away by car (remember: Included on your second day when you travel First or Luxury) awaits extraordinary Carcassonne, an entire city formed as a castle with its massive fortifications dominating the countryside just as they did a millennium ago. It looks like something out of a fairy-tale and is even more impressive inside. 

And there’s more! Just north of Toulouse awaits the medieval maze of narrow lanes in the town of Albi. Everything here is built of handmade brick, including the formidable 13thcentury cathedral. You could spend all your time here, but do save a few hours for enchanting Toulouse. She deserves it.

bordeaux  |  DAY 11 AND 12

Grandiose city. Elegant wine 

The capital of wine does offer plenty of temptations to lovers of wine: Legendary vineyards and beautiful old wine towns dot the landscape around Bordeaux, and the city itself offers the world’s best wine museum. But teetotallers will also love Bordeaux. The old centre is grandiose and elegant in an 18th-century kind of way that no other city in Europe can match. The graceful streets, noble facades, and fine squares make for a sublime city. 

In recent years the city has restored the centre to its old glory, and the most stunning transformation is the riverbank that has now become an enchanting riverscape with charming old warehouses that are teeming with trendy shops, bars, and cafés.

bordeaux