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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Secrets of France Summer 2018

Day 1 Arrive Paris

The bustling boulevards of Paris roll out the red carpet, welcoming you to an unforgettable Hidden Journey across the City of Light, your launchpad to an in-depth exploration of one of the world's most fascinating destinations. From delectable French cuisine to Roman and Medieval architecture, your trip delves into a host of secret regional delights and specialities. Amble through the city's leafy avenues and labyrinthine lanes to hidden squares and tiny bistros for a tasty café au lait or two before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation of the city's greatest sights including the Champs Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe.Welcome Reception

Day 2 Paris – TGV Train – Bordeaux (2 Nights)

We board the TGV high-speed train to Bordeaux a region famed for its centuries-old tradition of fine wines and gourmet culture. See the sights of this splendid historic city during an orientation tour, including views of the expansive Esplanade des Quinconces. Spend some time at leisure meandering through the Port of the Moon and admiring its age of Enlightenment charm. This evening, join your travel companions for a delicious Regional Meal at a local restaurant. Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal

Day 3 Excursion to Pilat and Arcachon

The sandy shores of Dune du Pilat, which span some 2.7km, provide a dramatic vista for our morning before we drive to the colour fishing village and oyster capital of Arcachon, where you'll have time to watch fresh oysters being shucked and perhaps enjoy them with picturesque views over the bay from one of the beachside cafés. We return to Bordeaux for an evening at leisure. Watch the glittering Palais de la Bourse shimmering in the Garonne as the sun sets, indulge in delectable wine tastings or join an Optional Experience to the nearby town of St. Emilion, a charming historical vineyard.Buffet Breakfast

Day 4 Bordeaux – Moissac – Albi

Meandering from the Garonne to the banks of the Tarn River, we visit the artistic town of Moissac, a stop on the way of St. James, the pilgrim walk to Galicia. Visit the medieval Saint-Pierre Abbey, with its tympanum that depicts the Apocalypse of the Book of Revelation. Enjoy an unforgettable Be My Guest lunch with the Guffroy family and learn about Garonne farm-life in a beautiful French setting. Later arrive in Albi, built around a fortified UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral dating back to the 13th century. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure exploring the quaint cobblestone lanes of this Episcopal City.Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining

Day 5 Albi – Villefranche de Rouergue – Rocamadour – Brive-la-Gaillarde (2 Nights)

Set against the foothills of Mont-Leuze with the natural harbour stretching as far as the eye can see, Villefranche de Rouergue is our first stop today where we will have time to meander through its narrow streets and quiet squares before travelling to the pilgrimage centre of Rocamadour, dramatically carved out of a cliff face. Join a Local Specialist to view the Shrine of the Black Madonna, celebrated for its healing powers. Then spend the rest of your afternoon and evening allowing the bold and buttery aromas and flavours of the Occitania region to infuse your every sense.Buffet Breakfast

Day 6 Sarlat-la-Canéda – Lascaux Caves Excursion

Our stop this morning is in beautiful Sarlat-la-Canéda where we wander through the medieval squares lined with honey-coloured façades and rub shoulders with the locals as they shop for their daily produce at the town's charming markets. We visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lascaux, famous for its cave paintings of animals that date back over 17,000 years. The caves are now protected, but an included visit to the replica cave will give you rare insights into the prehistoric cave art that reflects great hunting endeavours. Buffet Breakfast

Day 7 Brive-la-Gaillarde – Oradour-sur-Glane – Chateau D'Augerville

This morning, we visit the martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane where in 1944 a Nazi attack left hundreds of its inhabitants dead and razed the town to the ground. Learn about the attack and why French President Charles de Gaulle left the town intact, as a stark reminder of the horrors of war. This evening we stay in a national heritage site of France, at a historic chateau in Loiret, which has had a colourful history dating back to the early 13th century and once hosted Catherine de' Medici and King Charles IX.Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Day 8 Chateau D'Augerville – Versailles – Paris (2 Nights)

The opulence of Versailles is explored today as we visit the small town on the outskirts of Paris where King Louis XIV and his descendants once made their home. Delve into five centuries of history and join an Optional Experience for an in-depth visit of the Royal Palace with its gleaming Hall of Mirrors and The Battles Gallery. Meander through the exquisite gardens and admire the art of symmetry reflected around every turn. We arrive in Paris for an evening at leisure exploring the romance of a city that has as much verve at night as it does during the day. Perhaps consider embracing the pageantry of Paris at a colourful Parisian cabaret tonight.Buffet Breakfast

Day 9 Paris Sightseeing

Spectacular views from the second level of the Eiffel Tower are ours to enjoy this morning. See the Seine snaking its way through the city centre and the gleaming Louvre pyramid in the distance. Join your Local Specialist who will share a rare insight into the hidden squares and secret passages of Paris's oldest historical neighbourhoods. Your short insider walk concludes in one of the city's loveliest squares that remains off the beaten tourist track. This afternoon is yours to soak up the sophistication and flair of Paris. Amble along the cobblestone lanes of Montmartre admiring the works of street artists, visit Notre Dame or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the exquisite Gardens of Monet in Giverny. Tonight we join our Travel Director and fellow companions for a Farewell Dinner to celebrate an enchanting journey through France.Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day 10 Depart Paris

After breakfast we bid au revoir to Paris as our Hidden Journey through France comes to an end. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.Buffet Breakfast


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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