Small group holiday in France, Paris to Aix-en-Provence

“A nine day journey through France, a country that is hard to capture in such a short time. But this itinerary does so brilliantly. A veritable voyage of Francophile fantasies come true.”

Highlights

Paris | Chateau Saint-Sabine | Dijon | Beaune | Avignon | Aix en Provence

Description of Small group holiday in France, Paris to Aix-en-Provence

This nine day France cultural holiday is the perfect way to discover some of France’s most exquisite sites, from chateaux and cathedrals to the world famous French cultural and city chic. Travelling between Paris in the north to Aix en Provence in the south, and using French high speed trains to cover the vast and often idyllic interior in between, this is a journey that could well be described by many as a ‘coup de foudre’ , or love at first sight. It is also one that will show you the true meaning of ‘joie de vivre’.

Starting in Paris (where else?), which you can discover at your own pace, we will provide plenty of information at our welcome dinner on the first night, to help you make the most of your time in one of the world’s most celebrated cities.

We journey south and spend a day and a night at the glorious Chateau Saint-Sabine, between Dijon and Beaune followed by a couple of days at both of these medieval cities. Both in Burgundy, they have a history that is aristocratic and artistic, as well as gastronomic of course. A visit to a winery in Burgundy is practically the law in France.

Much further south, in Avignon, more medieval magnificence awaits, in a town that is also an historian’s heaven. Home to French popes for centuries, you can visit the the Palais des Papes, the medieval ramparts as well as its plethora of divine cafes, parks and riverside walks. Last but not least is Aix en Provence, an affluent and extremely elegant Provencal town and one where you can eat, drink or just people watch in a terrace café. Because this is a place that captures everything that people mean when they talk about French chic. And one of the finest places to raise a glass to that all important ‘joie de vivre’.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates

2017: 15 Sep, 29 Sep
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group adventure - Comfort trips

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Comfort trips, designed for travellers looking for more inclusions in their itinerary, a higher standard of accommodation and more focus on private vehicles over public transport.

Comfort trips are aimed at the adventure traveller who wants to discover the world up close, but with some creature comforts along the way. Dependent on the itinerary, there may still be a night multi-share accommodation (at a homestay for example), but this will be to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic experience. Camping trips will usually stay in permanent, tented camps or some of the safari options may be lodge based.

You'll stay in predominantly 3 ½ star and above tourist class hotels with private, en suite facilities, although some itineraries will still include the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend a night on an overnight train or camp out somewhere amazing (without the hassle of putting up your own tent!).

You'll find a number of the meals are included (as per your itinerary) and when eating together we'll focus on smaller, often family run restaurants, often eating where the locals eat and ensuring that you are still getting an authentic travel experience.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Small group holiday in France, Paris to Aix-en-Provence

As a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.

We travel in small groups – on this trip the maximum group size is 12 passengers – which means we can stay in small, locally-owned or family-run hotels, and we also spend one night experiencing local hospitality when we stay in a traditional chateaux south of Dijon. Wherever possible we use public transport, to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. As you journey from Paris to Aix-en-Provence you will travel by train, bus and metro and make some short journeys by minibus and taxi. There’s no greener mode of transport than bicycle, and in Avignon there’s an opportunity to hire bikes to explore nearby Provencal towns and villages.

Simple breakfasts are provided at each of the hotels, but most other meals are not included in the tour so that you have maximum flexibility over where you eat. Your tour leader will encourage you to make the most of each region’s local produce, by recommending authentic local bistros, markets and other eating places. For example, weather permitting we may enjoy a picnic by visiting a fromagerie for cheese, boulangerie for bread, charcuterie for cold meats, and so on – which means we can enjoy some local interaction with shopkeepers, shop in the way that locals do, and support a number of small businesses. We also enjoy a local wine-tasting in Beaune, which is famed for its vineyards.
After a three-year process, we were proud to become a carbon neutral company in 2010 and we operate this tour on a carbon neutral basis. We offset 300kg of CO2 emissions per passenger, by making contributions to a range of internationally accredited renewable energy projects in destinations where we travel. As well as an ongoing programme to measure, reduce and offset the carbon emissions from our offices, stores and trips, we also offer passengers who book their flight through us the option to offset those emissions. To date, we have offset more than 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

We have a Responsible Travel Code of Conduct which we adhere to as a company, and we expect our staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel too. We provide a number of responsible travel tips to facilitate this, for example advice on what clothing is appropriate and respectful. While there are few dress restrictions in Europe we request that our passengers dress modestly and cover their shoulders when visiting churches or religious sites.

As a tour company, our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. In 2002, we established a charitable foundation so that our passengers and staff could support grassroots community projects around the world. To date, it has raised over £5million for over 75 projects involved with health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development, and environmental and wildlife protection. We match every donation made by passengers and pay the administration costs, so every penny that is donated goes to a good cause.

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