United Kingdom & Europe
ABOUT THIS TRIP
Let yourself be seduced by the sophistication and elegance of a festive sojourn through France. Medieval chateaux, historic city centres and sumptuous French flavours of roasted chestnuts, fresh oysters and effervescent champagne are the order of the day as you travel from Paris to Burgundy, Strasbourg to Dijon.
Savour the good life in la belle France on this sophisticated sojourn that will see you visit charming towns, elegant country chateaux and one of Europe's oldest Christmas markets. This evening we kickstart our festive foray through France, joining our fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation drive past the glittering icons of Paris, from the Champs Élysées to the Eiffel Tower.
Paris Sightseeing – Chateau De Beauvois (2 Nights)
Delve behind the grand boulevards of Paris, joining a Local Specialist on their discovery of the hidden squares and secret lanes of a Paris that few outsiders have had an opportunity to explore. Your short insider walk will culminate in a visit to one of the city's loveliest squares, where you'll encounter the authentic flavours of and day-to-day life in Paris. Stroll through charming historic neighbourhoods before ascending to the second level of the iconic Eiffel Tower for spectacular panoramic views of the city - the grand boulevards, manicured gardens and iconic Seine stretch as far as the eye can see. This afternoon, we leave Paris behind and journey to a magnificent chateau in the Loire Valley, our home for the next two nights.
Tread in the footsteps of French nobility, admiring the beautiful chateaux of the Loire Valley. Join your Local Specialist for a visit to the exquisite Amboise Royal Château, where King François I once hosted Leonardo da Vinci, whose tomb now lies in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert adjoining the château. Next stop is the fairy-tale Chenonceau Château which straddles the River Cher. Admire its beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture, reflected in the waters of the river, and exquisite masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto, before rambling through its magnificent landscaped gardens. This evening, we feed our soul and stomach during an unforgettable Be My Guest Experience with bon amis.
Chateau De Beauvois – Dijon
The lively city of Dijon and its imperial heritage take centre stage today as we explore the capital of Burgundy, whose historic centre has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a Local Specialist who'll regale you with fascinating insights into the lives of the dynamic Burgundian Dukes and their link to the House of Habsburg. Admire the city's well-preserved monuments and see the Gothic masterpiece that is the Church of Notre Dame and grand Ducal Palace, overlooked by the Philippe le Bon tower. The rest of the day is yours to explore this medieval city. Saunter down the splendid Rue des Forges for a journey back to medieval times or consider a visit to the superb Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Dijon – Strasbourg (2 Nights)
The smell of roasted chestnuts on a chilly day makes our visit to the capital of Christmas even more special. We visit Strasbourg's Christkindelsmärik today, one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and certainly one of the best, with 300 wooden chalets spread out over 11 sites. Browse the beautifully decorated Christmas stalls heaving with handmade decorations, local delicacies and Alsatian fare, then pay a visit to the giant Christmas tree on Place Kléber, waiting for night to fall to witness it towering over the square in all its illuminated glory.
Strasbourg Christmas Markets
See Strasbourg's sights from the water this morning as you board your included river cruise that will take you past some of the important buildings of the European Union institutions such as the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. See the colourful half-timbered houses of Petite France that line the river banks and travel through one of the lock systems on the river. Spend the rest of the day exploring this beautiful medieval city, including its UNESCO World Heritage historic city centre.
Strasbourg – Reims – Paris (2 Nights)
We journey back north to Paris today via the ancient Roman city of Reims. Pop the cork on France's capital of champagne and uncover the imperial heritage of a city that for over a century crowned France's kings. After a brief orientation, set off to explore the ornate Gothic architecture of the 14th century Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims or join an optional experience to sample the fruity flavours of the region's fine champagnes. We continue to Paris where we spend the next two nights seduced by the glitz and glamour of the City of Light. Kick-start your love affair with Paris and consider joining an optional experience to one of the city's famous cabaret shows to sample Montmatre's nightlife.
Paris Free Day or La ValléE Shopping Outlet Village Excursion
Spend a full day exploring Paris on your terms. Stroll along the Seine, popping in to a patisserie for a tasty treat and some people watching, or get your art fix at the Louvre, Pompidou Centre and even Le Marais. Alternatively travel to the outskirts of Paris to La Vallée Shopping Outlet Village and engage in some retail therapy at one of the best outlet shopping villages in Europe with over 110 designer shops to chose from. This evening, we revel in the city's intoxicating spirit of bonhomie as we dine in one of the city's fine brasseries to toast to new friendships.
For now, it's time to bid a festive farewell to France at the end of a memorable trip.
Subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices above are per person, based on double occupancy and are in Australian Dollars for above departure dates only. Deals are not combinable with Early Payment Discounts or any other promotional offers. Full payment due at time of booking. These deals are only available to travellers departing from Australia.