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Essential France: Provence to Paris

From $5,997
total price from Boston, New York
$5,395 air & land inclusive plus $602 airline taxes and fees
New for 2025
Tour Days
15 days
Tour Membership
12-24 guests
Post-Tour Extension

Physical Activity Level:

Overview

We explore regional gems and cosmopolitan cities alike in this essential – and alluring – discovery of La Belle France. As our small group travels from Provence to Lyon, Burgundy to Paris, we bask in the history and art, culture and cuisine that mark these cherished spots.

New for 2025
New for 2025

Tour Details

Essential France: Provence to Paris

From $5,997

total price from Boston, New York
$5,395 air & land inclusive plus $602 airline taxes and fees

Tour Days
15 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Optional Extension

Physical Activity Level:

Tour Days
15 days

Tour Membership
12-24 guests

Optional Extension

Physical Activity Level:

Overview

We explore regional gems and cosmopolitan cities alike in this essential – and alluring – discovery of La Belle France. As our small group travels from Provence to Lyon, Burgundy to Paris, we bask in the history and art, culture and cuisine that mark these cherished spots.

Small Group Highlights

  • Aix-en-Provence and Arles touring
  • Roman-influenced Nimes
  • Historic Avignon
  • Provençal cooking class and dinner
  • Carrières de Lumière multimedia art exhibit
  • Pont du Gard aqueduct
  • Lyon sightseeing
  • “Most Beautiful Villages” of Les-Baux-de-Provence and Pérouges
  • Alpine Annecy with lake cruise
  • Burgundy Route des Grands Crus wine route excursion
  • Historic and architecturally rich Dijon
  • Two-night Paris stay

Day-by-Day Itinerary

B
= Breakfast Included
L
= Lunch Included
D
= Dinner Included
1
Depart U.S. for Marseille, France
Depart U.S. for Marseille, France
2
Arrive Marseille/Aix-en-Provence
D
D
Arrive Marseille/Aix-en-Provence

We arrive in Marseille and transfer to Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”). This evening we meet our Odysseys Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel.

We arrive in Marseille and transfer to Aix-en-Provence (“Aix”). This evening we meet our Odysseys Tour Director and fellow travelers at a briefing about the journey ahead, followed by a welcome dinner at our hotel.

3
Aix-en-Provence
B
L
B
L
Aix-en-Provence

Today we discover this lovely “City of Fountains” on a walking tour, admiring Aix’s rich architectural heritage and the Vieille Ville (Old Town). After a guided visit to the Atelier Cézanne, where artist Paul Cézanne worked from 1902 to 1906, we have lunch at a local restaurant. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy Aix as we wish and for dinner on our own.

Today we discover this lovely “City of Fountains” on a walking tour, admiring Aix’s rich architectural heritage and the Vieille Ville (Old Town). After a guided visit to the Atelier Cézanne, where artist Paul Cézanne worked from 1902 to 1906, we have lunch at a local restaurant. The remainder of the day is free to enjoy Aix as we wish and for dinner on our own.

4
Aix-en-Provence/Les Baux/Saint-Rémy-de-Provence/Nîmes
B
L
D
B
L
D
Aix-en-Provence/Les Baux/Saint-Rémy-de-Provence/Nîmes

En route to Nîmes today, we first visit Les Baux, a gem of a medieval village perched atop a rock spur. Here we see the Carrières des Lumières immersive multimedia art and music exhibit set in a former stone quarry. Then we explore Les Baux itself, considered one of the country’s most beautiful villages, with its restored ancient houses, Renaissance-era façades, historic monuments, and stone citadel. We continue on to Saint Rémy, where we enjoy lunch together before visiting the Romanesque jewel of St-Paul de Mausole, the monastery where artist Vincent Van Gogh was confined after severing his ear. Late this afternoon we reach Nîmes, where we dine together tonight.

En route to Nîmes today, we first visit Les Baux, a gem of a medieval village perched atop a rock spur. Here we see the Carrières des Lumières immersive multimedia art and music exhibit set in a former stone quarry. Then we explore Les Baux itself, considered one of the country’s most beautiful villages, with its restored ancient houses, Renaissance-era façades, historic monuments, and stone citadel. We continue on to Saint Rémy, where we enjoy lunch together before visiting the Romanesque jewel of St-Paul de Mausole, the monastery where artist Vincent Van Gogh was confined after severing his ear. Late this afternoon we reach Nîmes, where we dine together tonight.

5
Nîmes/Arles
B
B
Nîmes/Arles

After a morning walking tour of this “most Roman city outside of Italy,” we visit Arles, once part of Roman Gaul and then a clarion of Christianity, and more recently, where Van Gogh and Cézanne painted. We encounter the city’s rich history on our walking tour, which includes a visit to the two-tiered Roman Amphitheater, a UNESCO site dating to 90 CE and preserved virtually intact; and Place du Forum, setting for Van Gogh’s painting Le Café du Nuit. Then we have free time for lunch on our own before we return to Nîmes. Dinner tonight is on our own.

After a morning walking tour of this “most Roman city outside of Italy,” we visit Arles, once part of Roman Gaul and then a clarion of Christianity, and more recently, where Van Gogh and Cézanne painted. We encounter the city’s rich history on our walking tour, which includes a visit to the two-tiered Roman Amphitheater, a UNESCO site dating to 90 CE and preserved virtually intact; and Place du Forum, setting for Van Gogh’s painting Le Café du Nuit. Then we have free time for lunch on our own before we return to Nîmes. Dinner tonight is on our own.

6
Nîmes/Avignon
B
D
B
D
Nîmes/Avignon

This morning is free for independent exploration in this city known for its monuments to its Roman heyday, including the 2,000-year-old Nîmes Arena; the perfectly preserved Maison Carrée, inspiration for La Madeleine in Paris; and the Tour Magne, the only remaining tower of the original city walls. This afternoon we depart for Avignon, capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages. Here we visit the historic city center with its 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral; the remains of the Saint-Bénézet Bridge; and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), one of the world’s most important Gothic structures and where the Avignon popes lived during the 14th century. Tonight: a small group highlight as we join a local chef for a Provençal cooking class followed by dinner.

This morning is free for independent exploration in this city known for its monuments to its Roman heyday, including the 2,000-year-old Nîmes Arena; the perfectly preserved Maison Carrée, inspiration for La Madeleine in Paris; and the Tour Magne, the only remaining tower of the original city walls. This afternoon we depart for Avignon, capital of Christendom in the Middle Ages. Here we visit the historic city center with its 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral; the remains of the Saint-Bénézet Bridge; and the Palais des Papes (Papal Palace), one of the world’s most important Gothic structures and where the Avignon popes lived during the 14th century. Tonight: a small group highlight as we join a local chef for a Provençal cooking class followed by dinner.

7
Nîmes/Pont du Gard/Lyon
B
D
B
D
Nîmes/Pont du Gard/Lyon

Heading north this morning, we stop at Pont du Gard, the 1st-century Roman aqueduct whose three graceful tiers of arches span the Gardon River. Then we travel on to Lyon, France’s third largest city set at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. We dine tonight at a local restaurant in this region famed for its gastronomy.

Heading north this morning, we stop at Pont du Gard, the 1st-century Roman aqueduct whose three graceful tiers of arches span the Gardon River. Then we travel on to Lyon, France’s third largest city set at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. We dine tonight at a local restaurant in this region famed for its gastronomy.

8
Lyon
B
D
B
D
Lyon

Today’s tour begins at the beloved Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, overlooking riverside Lyon from its hilltop perch. Next: the ruins of the Gallo-Roman theater, built in 15 BCE and still in use today. We then visit Vieux Lyon, the city’s well-preserved Renaissance district, followed by a look at some of Lyon’s jaw-dropping – and renowned – trompe l’oeil street art. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration before we dine tonight at a local restaurant.

Today’s tour begins at the beloved Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, overlooking riverside Lyon from its hilltop perch. Next: the ruins of the Gallo-Roman theater, built in 15 BCE and still in use today. We then visit Vieux Lyon, the city’s well-preserved Renaissance district, followed by a look at some of Lyon’s jaw-dropping – and renowned – trompe l’oeil street art. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration before we dine tonight at a local restaurant.

9
Lyon/Annecy
B
B
Lyon/Annecy

We set out today for the French Alpine town of Annecy on the shores of its namesake lake. Streetside canals and the Thiou River run through the picturesque Old Town, which we discover on a walking tour along the narrow lanes flanked by pastel-colored houses. We visit the town's vibrant market then enjoy a cruise on Lake Annecy, fed by the pristine waters of the surrounding Alps.

We set out today for the French Alpine town of Annecy on the shores of its namesake lake. Streetside canals and the Thiou River run through the picturesque Old Town, which we discover on a walking tour along the narrow lanes flanked by pastel-colored houses. We visit the town's vibrant market then enjoy a cruise on Lake Annecy, fed by the pristine waters of the surrounding Alps.

10
Lyon/Pérouges/Dole/Dijon
B
D
B
D
Lyon/Pérouges/Dole/Dijon

Our first stop today is in medieval hilltop Pérouges, another of France’s most beautiful villages with its cobblestone streets and byways lined with half-timbered houses. Next, we visit untouristed Dole, boasting a well-preserved historic center and where we enjoy a walking tour. After time for lunch on our own, we tour the one-time home of scientist Louis Pasteur. Then we continue on to Dijon and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.

Our first stop today is in medieval hilltop Pérouges, another of France’s most beautiful villages with its cobblestone streets and byways lined with half-timbered houses. Next, we visit untouristed Dole, boasting a well-preserved historic center and where we enjoy a walking tour. After time for lunch on our own, we tour the one-time home of scientist Louis Pasteur. Then we continue on to Dijon and our hotel, where we dine together tonight.

11
Dijon/Beaune/Route des Grands Crus
B
L
B
L
Dijon/Beaune/Route des Grands Crus

This morning we travel to Beaune, gateway to the Burgundy wine region. We take a leisurely walking tour of this walled town then visit the renowned Hôtel Dieu Museum, part of the Hospices de Beaune complex. One of the finest surviving Renaissance buildings in France, the museum is home to the Beaune Altarpiece (often called The Last Judgement). We then embark on a tour highlight: the journey along the Route des Grands Crus, Burgundy’s fabled trail through the vineyards and villages comprising one of France’s most treasured wine regions. We have the opportunity to sample some area vintages as we stop for lunch and at a local winery before we return to Dijon late this afternoon.

This morning we travel to Beaune, gateway to the Burgundy wine region. We take a leisurely walking tour of this walled town then visit the renowned Hôtel Dieu Museum, part of the Hospices de Beaune complex. One of the finest surviving Renaissance buildings in France, the museum is home to the Beaune Altarpiece (often called The Last Judgement). We then embark on a tour highlight: the journey along the Route des Grands Crus, Burgundy’s fabled trail through the vineyards and villages comprising one of France’s most treasured wine regions. We have the opportunity to sample some area vintages as we stop for lunch and at a local winery before we return to Dijon late this afternoon.

12
Dijon
B
D
B
D
Dijon

Known for its rich history and culture – and of course, its wine and namesake mustard – Dijon boasts a prized architectural heritage ranging from Gothic to Art Deco, which we see on today’s tour of the Burgundian capital. Following our tour, we’re free to explore as we wish. Tonight, we visit a local restaurant for dinner together.

Known for its rich history and culture – and of course, its wine and namesake mustard – Dijon boasts a prized architectural heritage ranging from Gothic to Art Deco, which we see on today’s tour of the Burgundian capital. Following our tour, we’re free to explore as we wish. Tonight, we visit a local restaurant for dinner together.

13
Dijon/Chablis/Paris
B
B
Dijon/Chablis/Paris

En route to Paris today, we stop in Chablis, renowned for its signature dry white wines. We enjoy a walking tour of the medieval village and visit the 13th-century Collégiale Saint-Martin church. Then we have time on our own for lunch and to explore as we wish, maybe by visiting one of the wineries in the town center. Mid-afternoon we travel on to Paris, where an orientation tour takes us past many of the city’s highlights. Dinner tonight is on our own in this city of fine cuisine.

En route to Paris today, we stop in Chablis, renowned for its signature dry white wines. We enjoy a walking tour of the medieval village and visit the 13th-century Collégiale Saint-Martin church. Then we have time on our own for lunch and to explore as we wish, maybe by visiting one of the wineries in the town center. Mid-afternoon we travel on to Paris, where an orientation tour takes us past many of the city’s highlights. Dinner tonight is on our own in this city of fine cuisine.

14
Paris
B
D
B
D
Paris

This morning we visit the Opéra Garnier, the opulent theater that stands as a symbol of the city (and as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera). If Opéra Garnier is not available, we’ll tour the Musée Rodin, dedicated to the works of sculptor Auguste Rodin. Our afternoon is free for independent exploration; tonight we celebrate our Gallic sojourn over a farewell dinner.

This morning we visit the Opéra Garnier, the opulent theater that stands as a symbol of the city (and as the setting for The Phantom of the Opera). If Opéra Garnier is not available, we’ll tour the Musée Rodin, dedicated to the works of sculptor Auguste Rodin. Our afternoon is free for independent exploration; tonight we celebrate our Gallic sojourn over a farewell dinner.

15
Depart for U.S.
B
B
Depart for U.S.

We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flight to the U.S.

We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flight to the U.S.

Tour Price Includes

  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Superior First Class hotels
  • 24 meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)

Average Daily High by Month (°F )

  Apr May Jun Sep Oct Nov
Aix-en-Provence 65 73 81 78 69 57
Lyon 61 69 76 73 63 51
Paris 60 67 73 70 61 51

Average Temperature (°F )

  Apr May Jun Sep Oct Nov
Aix-en-Provence 65 73 81 78 69 57
Lyon 61 69 76 73 63 51
Paris 60 67 73 70 61 51

Dates & Prices

Please wait while we retrieve this information.

Post-Tour Extension

Paris – On Your Own

3 days, 2 nights
From
$495
+$395 Single Supplement

Paris – On Your Own

3 days, 2 nights
From
$495
+$395 Single Supplement

Enjoy this splendid city as you wish.

Post-Tour Extension Price Includes

  • 2 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Edouard VII (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Accommodations

Tour Directors

Thibault Heinkens

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Valérie Leclercq-Gueye

"We could not choose a better tour guide than Valérie. She is easygoing [and] tried to accommodate everyone as much as possible. She did an outstanding job."

Michele & Emmanuel Milord
Silver Spring, MD

Catherine Chamoux

“Catherine is an excellent tour guide! Her knowledge, organization, friendliness, and sense of humor are wonderful assets…It’s very clear that she loves showing guests her France.”

Christine Walker & Janet Jourdain
Belchertown, MA

Fanny Poirier

“‘Fabulous’ Fanny – fun, friendly, informative, superior knowledge of all of France. A 5-star guide!”

Karen & Gary Wilson
Sperryville, VA

Caroline Buizza

“Caroline was the total package… She had great people skills and shared personal experiences that made the trip come to life.”

Courtney & Allan Astley
Richmond, TX

Christophe Léger

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Martin Pénicaud

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Balwinder Probhakar de Bois-Juzan

“Balwinder was outstanding. She was so knowledgeable of every site we visited plus added a touch of humor to her stories. Couldn’t have asked for a better tour director.”

Harold & Elizabeth Shoemaker
Colorado Springs, CO

Muriel Gosselin

“Muriel is wonderful – her knowledge of French history, culture and food/wine is amazing. Traveling with her was a pleasure!”

Tacy Trippe & John Bryer
Wiscasset, ME

Aurélie Fourteau

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Laurent Pesneaud

“‘Excellent’ does not begin to describe Laurent’s gift of sharing France’s culture and history. His gentle humor and generosity made this tour very special.”

Duane & Glenna Meneely
Albuquerque, NM

Elsa Maréchal

“Elsa was wonderful! Very kind and caring about each of us…A very special lady!”

Janet & Gary Rosmarin
Jupiter, FL

Martine Rey

“Martine is a well-qualified and experienced tour director. She did a fantastic job in handling all the many details. We enjoyed our time with her.”

Kenneth & Martha Wilkinson
Alexandria, VA

Sylvie Royer

“Sylvie was friendly, insightful, and extremely knowledgeable about each area. Very generous with her time and helpfulness. One of the best tour directors!”

Dolores Hagen
Alameda, CA

Florence Hebert

“Florence Hebert was fantastic! Knowledgeable, energetic, great sense of humor – in short, a true ambassador for France. I cannot praise her more highly.”

Robert Delis
Oceanside, CA

Tour Directors

Valérie Leclercq-Gueye

"We could not choose a better tour guide than Valérie. She is easygoing [and] tried to accommodate everyone as much as possible. She did an outstanding job."

Michele & Emmanuel Milord
Silver Spring, MD

Florence Hebert

“Florence Hebert was fantastic! Knowledgeable, energetic, great sense of humor – in short, a true ambassador for France. I cannot praise her more highly.”

Robert Delis
Oceanside, CA

Sylvie Royer

“Sylvie was friendly, insightful, and extremely knowledgeable about each area. Very generous with her time and helpfulness. One of the best tour directors!”

Dolores Hagen
Alameda, CA

Fanny Poirier

“‘Fabulous’ Fanny – fun, friendly, informative, superior knowledge of all of France. A 5-star guide!”

Karen & Gary Wilson
Sperryville, VA

Balwinder Probhakar de Bois-Juzan

“Balwinder was outstanding. She was so knowledgeable of every site we visited plus added a touch of humor to her stories. Couldn’t have asked for a better tour director.”

Harold & Elizabeth Shoemaker
Colorado Springs, CO

Aurélie Fourteau

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Martine Rey

“Martine is a well-qualified and experienced tour director. She did a fantastic job in handling all the many details. We enjoyed our time with her.”

Kenneth & Martha Wilkinson
Alexandria, VA

Elsa Maréchal

“Elsa was wonderful! Very kind and caring about each of us…A very special lady!”

Janet & Gary Rosmarin
Jupiter, FL

Muriel Gosselin

“Muriel is wonderful – her knowledge of French history, culture and food/wine is amazing. Traveling with her was a pleasure!”

Tacy Trippe & John Bryer
Wiscasset, ME

Christophe Léger

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Catherine Chamoux

“Catherine is an excellent tour guide! Her knowledge, organization, friendliness, and sense of humor are wonderful assets…It’s very clear that she loves showing guests her France.”

Christine Walker & Janet Jourdain
Belchertown, MA

Caroline Buizza

“Caroline was the total package… She had great people skills and shared personal experiences that made the trip come to life.”

Courtney & Allan Astley
Richmond, TX

Laurent Pesneaud

“‘Excellent’ does not begin to describe Laurent’s gift of sharing France’s culture and history. His gentle humor and generosity made this tour very special.”

Duane & Glenna Meneely
Albuquerque, NM

Martin Pénicaud

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Thibault Heinkens

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

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