France Paris, Champagne & Versailles WF Description: The history of Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, dates back to 4200 BC, and, in addition to its historical importance, the city remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion and cuisine. Situated along the Seine River in northern France, Paris is a labyrinth of narrow streets and halftimber houses, and boasts a unique charm and posh urbanity unlike any other European city. 2 3 4 DAY ONE Upon arrival in Paris you will transfer to your hotel in a reserved taxi. Depending on the hour of your arrival, check in to your hotel room, if available, or drop your luggage and have a walk around your neighborhood, soaking up the distinctive flavor of Parisian streets. Lunch nearby – the hotel concierge can direct you to a classic bistro – and then be ready for your half-day sightseeing tour with a small group of no more than 8 guests. You will be collected in an air-conditioned minibus by a multilingual driver/guide who will take you on a whirlwind tour of Paris to see the city’s highlights. You will begin at Place de la Concorde, pass the Louvre Museum, and continue along the Seine with its many lovely bridges, its impromptu markets set out along the banks, and the bateaux mouches at anchor. Pass the French Academy and Isle de la Cite with the Palace of Justice and Notre Dame Cathedral (stop here for a bit of free time). Continue on by the Hôtel de Ville and drive in to the bohemian Latin Quarter with its great university, The Sorbonne, and the Pantheon of famous French Men. Circle round to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées, and then stop at the Eiffel Tower for a close-up view of this iconic structure. You will end your tour in Montmartre where you will stop near the Sacré Coeur Basilica and the artists' square, Place du Tertre, before returning home to your hotel. We will provide you with restaurant suggestions this evening. Overnight at Hotel Francois Ier DAY TWO After a lovely, relaxed breakfast of café au lait and croissants this morning, get ready for a visit to one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre! Armed with a map we will provide you which will indicated the meeting point, please arrive at the Louvre at 10:30am to join a group visit run by a museum lecturer. The visit will begin at 11:15am promptly. You will be guided past the highlights of the collection: Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa. The Louvre, in its successive architectural metamorphoses, has dominated central Paris since the late 12th century. Built on the city's western edge, the original structure was gradually engulfed as the city grew. The dark fortress of the early days was transformed into the modernized dwelling for Kings of France till Louis. When the visit ends, you can stop for lunch at the Museum and then return, perhaps, to visit the recently opened Islamic Galleries at the Louvre or, if you are interested in Design, pop in to the Les Arts Decoratifs collection and shop. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at Hotel Francois Ier 5 DAY THREE 7:00am: Depart after a very early breakfast for Champagne with a small group of no more than 8 in a minibus and multilingual driver. The drive will be a 1.5 hours. Your first stop will be Reims where you will have a short visit of the lovely Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece which served as the venue for the crowning of the Kings of France. Continue on to Mutigny, where you will visit a number of small wineries. Depending on the time of year, you will see grapes being picked, pressed or blended, and then you will have your visit rounded off with a glass of the vineyard’s champagne. Lunch in a restaurant in the center of Epernay, which serves a traditional menu from the region. Your afternoon tour begins at Epernay with a visit of the world famous Moet et Chandon champagne house where an expert explains the method of champagne making from grape picking to bottling. (Tasting session: one glass of Champagne offered). Return to Paris following the Marne River for part of the way. We will provide you with restaurant suggestions for this evening. Overnight at Hotel Francois Ier DAY FOUR 8:00am: You will be collected this morning by your multilingual driver/guide in a minibus carrying no more than 8 guests and Known throughout the world for its Palace and accompanying gardens, the town of Versailles, situated 16 kilometers to the southwest of Paris, is of utmost importance in French history. Versailles was not only the city of Kings, from Louis XIII to Louis XVI, but it was also the birthplace of the French Revolution. In the 17th Century, King Louis XIII set out to build a hunting site in Versailles in a small village of which nothing is left today. The town was completely transformed by the Sun King, Louis XIV, who constructed one of Europe's biggest palaces: The Palace of Versailles. In the 18th Century Versailles was considered a highly modern city. The arrangement of its three main avenues, along with its gardens and lakes, inspired the construction of the city of Washington DC, in the US. The luxurious Palace of Versailles, with 2300 rooms, contains the famous Hall of Mirrors and magnificent huge apartments, and is surrounded by parks and French gardens filled with the most beautiful fountains and monumental lakes. Return to Paris for the remainder of the afternoon on your own. We will, of course, provide you with restaurant suggestions. You may wish to find a trendy night club for later or, perhaps, attend an evening concert. Overnight at Hotel Francois Ier 6 DAY FIVE After breakfast this morning, walk to the Musee d’Orsay on the Left Bank of the Seine, arriving just before 11am to join a group visit led by a lecturer of the museum. Formerly a train station, the Musee d’Orsay is one of the most exciting museums in Paris with a huge number of masterpieces – paintings, sculptures as well as furniture and decorative objects. In the afternoon, discover our Secret Paris by 2CV (Deux Chevaux). Paris is full of treasures. Embark this afternoon in the mythical 2CV car and let yourself be driven through the maze of Parisian streets. Your driver will reveal the city’s most hidden aspects all the while sharing their stories in fascinating anecdotes. Perfect for your last day, you will now feel as if you are a true insider in this most beautiful city. Overnight at Hotel Francois Ier DAY SIX You will be on your own today until your departure. Based on your ongoing travel plans, you will transfer to the airport or the train station in a reserved Taxi. 7 DETAIL PAGE *prices based on double occupancy To search if your client needs a Visa, click here Inclusions: Accommodations Days 2-6: Breakfast Tours: Day 1, Day 3, Day 5 minivan and multilingual driver/guide small group tours in Paris, Champagne and Versailles Day 2, Day 5, small group, maximum of 25, museum visits with museum lecturers. Day 5, 2CV private excursion afternoon Private taxi transfers Day 1 and Day 6 Exclusions: International Airfare Visa Trip Cancellation Insurance Alcoholic Beverages Items of a Personal Nature Gratuities Please Note: 8 We recommend that our clients consult their General Practitioner or Travel Clinic for advice on necessary vaccinations or medicines depending on the region to which they are traveling. All guests are strongly advised to take out comprehensive travel insurance covering them for all personal effects, personal accident, medical and emergency travel expenses, cancellation, and curtailment. Self-drive passengers renting a car are required to carry a valid international driver's license. For more information, visit Lisa Lindblad Travel Design and Willing Foot.