France from the Water: Cruises in Every Region

For a unique perspective of France, one of the best things to do is take in the scenery from the water. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of fabulous cruises in every region.


France from the Water: Cruises in Every Region

Full-Day Cruise Along the Côte d’Azur

cote d'azur cruise france from the water

Embark in Cannes for a fabulous full-day cruise along the Côte d’Azur. Here you will truly see the best of France from the water! Travel to Monaco where you’ll disembark and have time to enjoy. Discover the city, do some shopping, and enjoy a fabulous lunch in the port. After lunch, head towards Mala Bay for a relaxing afternoon swim in the crystal clear waters. Pass by the stunning Villefranche-sur-Mer bay with views of the port and colorful village. The special cruise will culminate with a view of the sun setting over Cannes.

Traditional Pinasse Boat Tour from Arcachon

arcachon cruise

Enjoy the highlights of the breathtaking Arcachon Bay on a traditional pinasse boat. Sail through the small channels, past oyster beds, picture-perfect beaches, l’Île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island), and Lège-Cap Ferret’s charming villages. While on board you’ll be able to sip champagne and enjoy a fabulous picnic of local dishes. It is sure to be a memorable day!

Where to Stay in Bordeaux
les sources de caudalie
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Les Sources de Caudalie

Located between vineyards and forests, just 20 minutes from Bordeaux’s city center, this 5-star hotel was designed using recycled local materials to create a collection of state-of-the-art buildings that are perfectly in tune with the idyllic surroundings.

Each of the rooms boasts a unique decor, featuring antiques, collectible furniture, and fine draperies. Most of them have a terrace or a balcony with a beautiful view on the vineyards or on the lake.

Set in a former orangery, modeled on an ornamental, 18th-century glasshouse, the two Michelin-star restaurant invites you to savor the chef’s brilliant cuisine. On nice days, enjoy lunch or dinner in the sunshine, on the terrace overlooking the lake and the vine-covered slopes.

The spa offers unique treatments combining the virtues of natural hot spring water with the most recent scientific discoveries of the benefits of grapes and grapevines.

Private Champagne Cruise along the Marne River

champagne cruise france from the water

Experience the Champagne region differently: while sipping Champagne and cruising in a lovely wooden boat from the 1920s. Your local, knowledgeable skipper will take you along one of the great French rivers to meet France’s most celebrated wine. Travel from one village to the next as you discover a serene and peaceful way to see the vineyards from a different angle. There will of course be plenty of Champagne included with the cruise, but you will also get to enjoy a picnic with regional specialties.

Discover Cassis and the Calanques on a Luxury Boat with a Skipper  

calanques

Enjoy full-day aboard a luxury boat as your skipper takes you to see the fabulous Calanques National Park and Cassis. The Calanques are white limestone cliffs interspersed with secluded coves and beaches. The National Park stretches between Marseille and Cassis’s coastline and offers a playground for hiking, snorkeling, sunbathing, and, of course, sailing. Afterwards, discover the gorgeous Cassis port. Stop for lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant with a breathtaking view over Cap Canaille. During the afternoon your skipper will show you the best places to snorkel and swim in the area!

Experience the Loire Valley’s Domaine de Noiré Vineyards with A Picnic and Boat Cruise

gabare cruise loire valley

This unique experience will truly immerse you in the best of the Loire Valley with fabulous scenery, an up-close look at a vineyard, a picnic with local products, and a cruise on a traditional boat. Start with a visit of Chinon before arriving at the Domaine de Noiré to get to know all of the work that goes into producing wine. You’ll take a carriage ride through the vineyards to reach a gastronomic, chef-prepared picnic along the banks of the Vienne River. After lunch, cruise the Vienne River and take in the unusual views from a traditional gabare boat.

Cruise on an a Traditional Sailboat from Cancale

france from the water cancale saint malo

Your expert local guide is a dyed-in-the-wool Breton passionate about sailing. He will take you aboard on his traditional Breton sail boat. The boat is one of the first copies of the legendary regional fishing boats that date back to the 18th century. Your captain is not only a skilled and certified sailing instructor, but is also passionate about Breton history. On this authentic and quite atypical cruise, discover an unusual look at France from the water. Take in the the regional heritage, listen to historical anecdotes, relive the 18th-century lives of fishermen, and observe the flora and fauna from the unique perspective off this magnificent bay. Cancale is the self-proclaimed oyster capital of France. You should not miss the occasion to treat yourself to a tasting paired with a fine glass of white at one of the many stalls on the harbor!

Where to Stay in Brittany
villa tri men

Villa Tri Men
This lovely 4-star property is surrounded by magnificent grounds, overlooking the estuary of the Odet river, next to Sainte-Marine port.

An elegant bourgeois house originally built in 1913 and transformed into a hotel in 2003, this villa offers decor to perfectly match its history. The villa was renovated in 2018, adding more charm and comfort to a place with so much character and history. There are 16 rooms and three cottages and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Les Trois Rochers.

Sainte-Marine is a small welcoming port between wild nature, magnificent beaches and local culture. It possesses a unique atmosphere that will make you come and come back.

The Ultimate Dinner Cruise in Paris

ducasse sur seine paris

Enjoy a unique six-course meal experience aboard the most prestigious boat on the Seine River, beloved chef Alain Ducasse’s Ducasse Sur Seine. Your table is reserved with the most beautiful view on the entire boat. Arrive early and enjoy a glass of Champagne on the deck of the boat overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Soon you’ll be off, quietly cruising along the Seine River in a 100% electric boat. Throughout the entire cruise you’ll delight in spectacular views over the most beautiful landmarks of the capital along the journey.

In-between courses take a moment to step outside on the deck of the boat and enjoy the amazing scenery as you pass by. You’ll see it all from the Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, and Notre Dame to the famous bridges of Paris, and of course the Eiffel Tower. True Parisian romance at its best, this exceptional cruise and experience is sure to be one you’ll never forget.


We hope we’ve inspired you see France from the water. Fabulous cruises await you in each region! French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

France by Bike

In the past, discovering France by bike used to be reserved only for the adventurous. Now, with the rising popularity of e-bikes, it’s possible for almost anyone to enjoy biking in France, families included. Read on to discover the best ways to experience the gorgeous scenery and culture in France by bike.


France by Bike

Discover Nice’s Fabulous Panoramic Views from an E-Bike

france by bike nice
Paul Foulonneau | 3SO L’Agence

This bike tour will bring you to Nice’s most beautiful viewpoints. It’s usually a place that’s difficult to reach, but thanks to your electric bike you’ll be able to easily climb to one of the most magnificent panoramic views along the Côte d’Azur.

The ride is not only filled with scenery, but will give you a wonderful overview of the city of Nice. Start the tour at the Port of Nice. You’ll then ride uphill on the “Castle Hill,” from where you can admire the beautiful views of the City and the Italian Alps. Next, pass by the lovely Place Masséna located just at the gates of the old town. Finish with Place Garibaldi before heading back to the port.

Provençal Charm Bike Tour with Wine and Olive Oil Tastings

provence bike

The day begins in the fabled town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The town is renowned for its most famous visitor: Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh spent the last year of his life in Saint-Rémy, tirelessly painting the countryside and completing some of his most important works.

After discovering Saint-Rémy, cycle along the base of the Alpilles mountains where the chiseled limestone cliffs meet vast olive groves. Stop for a tasting of some of the region’s most coveted olive oils. Rounding the mountains, you’ll pass the sleepy villages of Saint-Étienne and Fontvieille. The charming square in Fontvieille practically begs for a pause café. Afterwards, take seldom-used roads to climb through the heart of the Alpilles.

You’ll then reach the perched medieval village of Les Baux-de-Provence, listed among the most beautiful villages in France. Take the time to visit the village and enjoy a leisurely lunch before the real fun begins: enjoy a wine tasting at a small, family-run estate before cycling back to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Where to Stay in Provence
villa gallici provence hotel

Villa Gallici

This intimate 5-star hotel in Aix-en-Provence is just a few minutes walk to the historic center. The elegant design is evocative of a bygone era with antique furniture, ornate woodwork, and fine textiles.

Rooms and suites are large, feature modern amenities, and offer a view over the garden. Some also include a terrace.

Guests can enjoy access to a spa and wellness area, a large garden, and an outdoor heated pool. There is also a gourmet restaurant onsite, which combines Provençal classics with modern cuisine.

Private Guided Bike Tour Along the Banks of the Seine River in Paris

france by bike paris

Take in the most iconic sights of the French capital while cruising along the banks of the Seine River, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting on the Rive Droite (Right Bank) of the Seine. Cross the Pont Notre-Dame to kick off this adventure and discover Paris’ winding history. From Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower and from the Palais de Chaillot to the Musée du Louvre – you will enjoy the most beautiful perspectives that the city has to offer.

During the tour, your professional guide will point out the prestigious monuments and multiple treasures of Paris. Discover fascinating facts and trivia about the beautiful old streets, monuments, and people. There will be plenty of opportunities to take photographs along the way.

Full-Day of History and Wine in Saint-Émilion

saint emilion bike tour

The day begins with a guided walking tour through the charming UNESCO World Heritage classified village of Saint-Émilion, which dates from the Middle Ages. You’ll discover much of its fascinating history. Then, it’ll be time to start pedaling to the first château: a beautiful and charming family-run estate located in the heart of Saint-Émilion vineyards.

After a delightful lunch, visit the vat house and cellar where you will discover the traditional way of making wine. Afterwards, you’ll take an easy ride through the beautiful vineyards and see prestigious properties such as Château Pétrus or Château Cheval Blanc – regarded among the best wineries in Bordeaux. Stop for a visit and tasting at a Classified Growth château on the edge of Saint-Émilion to learn more about the winemaking process from grape to bottle. Enjoy a final tasting to finish off the day.

Discover the Châteaux, Wine, and Scenery of the Loire Valley by Bike

loire valley bike tour

Discover some of the most incredible châteaux in France by bike. Visit the Château de Villandry, one of the last châteaux built during the Renaissance period, where you will see one of the finest examples of Renaissance garden design in all of France. Afterwards, bike along the banks of the Loire River to an old fisherman’s village. Stop for a picnic lunch on the riverside, complete with local delicacies and wine.

Next, play amateur photographer in Rigny-Ussé where you can admire the exceptional exterior architecture of the Renaissance castle. The view of the château from the bridge over the Indre is quite simply stunning. At the end of the day, stop in one of the vineyards in Vouvray to visit a cellar and taste the delicious local sparkling wine of the Loire terroir.

Biking and Kayaking in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue

isle sur la sorgue

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antique capital of Provence, is also known as the Provençal Venice. Its quays are lined with ancient waterwheels, and the whole village is set on a tiny island surrounded by the emerald waters of the Sorgue River. After taking in the town’s picturesque streets, ride into the heart of the countryside. Quickly the town gives way to farmland: ancient farmhouses are surrounded by apple and pear orchards. You’ll be completely off the beaten-path. The guide will lead you through small and flat country roads with very little traffic.

Stop for lunch at a restaurant in Fontaine de Vaucluse, a pretty village centered around a beautiful greenish-blue pool water from the Sorgue River. After lunch, ride to Lagnes where you’ll descend the clear emerald colored Sorgue River by canoe before returning back at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. 

Where to Stay in Burgundy
hotel le cep burgundy

Hôtel Le Cep

Ideally situated in the heart of medieval Beaune, just minutes away from the famous Hospices de Beaune and the Notre-Dame Basilica, this 5-star hotel is a genuine institution. The hotel owes its charm to the merging of two private mansions and their historical 16th century courtyards.

The 62 rooms, of which 32 are suites, are all decorated with antiques collected throughout the years and each room is named after a Burgundian village or Grand Cru wine.

The restaurant proposes a cuisine that is mainly influenced by the region as well as traditional dishes from Burgundy that are revisited by the Chef. The setting is heartwarming, refined and the decor contemporary.

At the end of the day, guests can settle down to enjoy a drink or regional Cru. In the winter, enjoy the comfortable atmosphere whilst sipping a glass of wine in front of the fireplace, and in the summer relax in the sun-bathed 16th century courtyard. The hotel’s luxurious spa offers a wide range of treatments and massages.

Full-Day Private Wine and Bike Tour in Burgundy

burgundy biking

Discover the terroir and vineyards of the Côte de Beaune in Burgundy by bike. You’ll pedal through the vineyards and experience the wine and terroir of the region. Cycle through some of the most prestigious vineyards in the world while admiring the authentic and traditional landscapes. Between châteaux, estates, and vineyards you’ll absorb plenty of history and culture thanks to your wine and cycling professional guide.

Start the day with a visit and tasting at Château de Chassagne-Montrachet. Next, bike to Puligny-Montrachet for lunch at a traditional restaurant, or enjoy a picnic outside weather permitting. Afterwards, continue your journey back to Beaune with a stop at Pommard for another tasting. Throughout the day you’ll see some of the most beautiful landscapes and villages in Burgundy such as Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and more.


We hope we’ve inspired you to discover France by bike. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

The Ultimate Foodie Experiences in France: Part One

A wonderful way to get a look into life in France is by visiting local food markets. French Side Travel has a fabulous network of expert guides and professional chefs to show you the best of the each market along with regional and seasonal specialties. Read on to discover part one of the ultimate foodie experiences in France.


The Ultimate Foodie Experiences in France: Part One

Aix-en-Provence: Private Market Tour and Cooking Class

provence market olives

Immerse yourself into the Provençal way of life and spend a half a day shopping, cooking, and eating like a real Aixois. Aix-en-Provence has a rich history filled with numerous traditional foods. You’ll start your day learning more about this history. Then, you’ll head to the market held in a 700-year-old square where you’ll meet local producers and sample their varied specialties. 

Learn how to choose the best produce before heading to a cooking school in the old town. With the assistance of the head chef, you’ll transform fresh, seasonal ingredients into a tasty three-course meal. You’ll learn about traditional Provençal recipes and infuse them with a modern flair. Simplicity, flavor, and fresh ingredients are the keys to family-style cooking in France. After the cooking is done, you’ll gather around the table with local wines to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Avignon: Private Market Tour, Cooking Class, and Wine Tour

goat cheeses in provence

Start the morning by meeting your local chef in front of Marché Les Halles, a covered market filled with fresh and colorful foods. It’s a favorite place to shop for both locals and chefs alike. Together, you’ll choose the best products to use during your cooking lesson with a focus on local and seasonal foods. Since you and the chef will design the meal together, you’ll also create recipe cards during the cooking lesson.

When the cooking is finished, enjoy an apéritif. You’ll learn interesting tricks and tidbits on food and wine pairings. You’ll sit down and enjoy lunch with the chef where you’ll have interesting and informal discussions about your experience and culture in France. After lunch, you’ll depart for an afternoon wine tour. In each cellar you visit you’ll discover the history of the estate. The owners will welcome you personally and lead you on a visit of the winery with explanations about the harvest.

Where to Stay in Bordeaux
yndo hotel bordeaux

Yndo Hotel

The beautiful 5-star hotel was formerly a private 19th-century mansion. The decor expertly blends late 19th-century sophistication think moldings, ceiling rosettes, and ceiling heights – with modern flourishes. Located in the heart of historic Bordeaux, by the Place Gambetta and Cours de l’Intendance, the hotel is a perfect base from which to explore.

Each room has its own identity with customized decoration. However, two constant characteristics should be highlighted – an element of understatement to create a calming atmosphere and specially crafted furniture. Everything has been thought out down to the last detail.

The inner courtyard is a relaxing place to enjoy breakfast or an aperitif under a splendid magnolia. Hotel guests will have exclusive access to the restaurant. Discover a selection of top-quality seasonal products to delight your taste buds. Everything served is made in-house.

Bordeaux: Gourmet Walk and Cooking Class with a Professional Chef

the ultimate market experiences in france bordeaux

The city of Bordeaux is best explored on foot, and our favorite tours always include food and wine. A professional chef will be your guide for this gourmet experience. You’ll start with a walk around Bordeaux where the chef will lead you to his favorite market. Discover an abundance of local specialties from Southwest France.

Take your pick among the fabulous foods to select your ingredients. You’ll then return to the cooking school for a class with lunch to follow. The chef will help you learn and master both simple and more complex French cooking techniques. Throughout the preparation of your starter, main course, and dessert you’ll get a fabulous overview of French cuisine. After enjoying an apéritif you’ll sit down to enjoy your meal, paired with local Bordeaux wines of course.

Burgundy: Gourmet Food and Wine Tour

burgundy wine tasting

Spend a full day discovering the various specialties of Burgundian cuisine and wines during the ultimate gourmet tour. You’ll taste it all including charcuterie, cheeses, macarons, chocolates, breads, pastries, and more. Depending on the season and on which day you visit, your expert guide will select a market to visit. It could be a local market in a village next to the vineyards, in Beaune, or the famous Halles de Dijon. In each place you’ll be sure to meet local producers and farmers.

Throughout the day, sample fabulous regional products including truffles, jambon persillé, gingerbread, cassis from Dijon, anise candies, chocolates, pastries, and, bien sûr, the famous Dijon mustard. The afternoon will be spent traveling through the legendary Côte de Nuits or Côte de Beaune vineyards. You’ll also see châteaux, former abbeys, Romanesque churches, and charming villages on the Grands Crus Road.

The best of the day will be saved for last. You’ll stop in a traditional cellar for a comparative Burgundy wine tasting including white and red wines and Premier Crus and Grand Crus. Your guide will show you how to pair the local products selected during the day with the wines.

Paris: Aligre Market and Montmartre Gourmet Walking Tour

paris market

You will have the opportunity to discover two of the most famous places for food in the City of Light. Your local expert guide will take you to the bustling and vibrant Aligre market, which has both indoor and outdoor components. You’ll experience an absolute explosion of colors and flavors. You’ll quickly see why it’s regarded as a foodie paradise. Take a moment to recharge with a coffee break à la française before continuing your visit to all the best food shops in the area, where you’ll of course enjoy tastings!

Your next stop will be Montmartre to discover more incredible food shops. You’ll visit the best boulangeries, pâtisseries, and specialty shops. Your guide will also point out historic and delicious restaurants, the famous Montmartre vineyards, and two mills. You’ll finish the tour at the base of Sacré Coeur, where you’ll be in a prime position to continue exploring Montmartre. Your guide will be happy to give you some more tips to make the most out of the rest of your day!

Where to Stay in Paris
relais christine paris

Relais Christine

This 5-star hotel was a former 16th century home in the heart of the Left Bank, built on the remains of a 13th century abbey. This delightful and discreetly luxurious boutique hotel has managed to preserve the intimacy of the private residence it once was.

Between its flowered courtyard and private garden, it is a haven of peace. It’s perfectly located in Saint-Germain next to many restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

On one or two levels, each of the 48 rooms and suites offers a unique atmosphere and is decorated with rich fabrics, some with original wooden beams, some with a more contemporary touch. Two rooms and two suites share a unique private garden.
Many options for families with various connecting options and single units for four people.

Each morning, the stunning vaulted breakfast room offers a rich buffet. To have a drink and unwind in front of the fireplace, try the lounge and its honor bar. Room service is available 24/7. Let the hotel pamper you in the Spa offering sauna, jacuzzi, treatments by Carita or keep in shape in the one of-its-kind vaulted fitness room.


We hope part one of the list of ultimate market experiences in France helps to inspire future travel. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Favorite Family-Friendly Tours in France

When planning a vacation that will be special for the entire family, it’s important to keep in mind specific activities that will be engaging for both young and old. French Side Travel has put together a list of some of our favorite family-friendly tours in France that are sure to make your vacation unforgettable.


Favorite Family-Friendly Tours in France

Walk in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel with A Private Guide

private walking tour mont saint michel

Take the opportunity to discover the other side of Mont Saint-Michel during a walk along the shore. Step into the water and sand, dance on the quicksand, and admire the landscapes and natural beauty of the Bay. Your private guided walk departs from Mont Saint-Michel, so it is the perfect activity to combine with a visit to the abbey. You’ll walk towards the Rocher de Tombelaine and back to Mont Saint-Michel. It’s also possible to include a seaside treasure hunt to discover the local sea creatures.

Discover the Beauty, History, and Culture of Provence in a Day

provence favorite family-friendly tours in france

You will depart for Lourmarin, ideally on a Friday, which is market day, and have free time to discover one of the most beautiful villages of the Luberon. Don’t miss the Renaissance castle, beautiful vineyards (which you can visit and have a tasting organized), or the quaint galleries and artisanal shops. Stop for lunch in an exceptionally charming village like Lauris, Oppède-le-Vieux, Ménerbes, Goult or Gordes. Afterwards, you will continue the day by taking the Combe, a winding road, to discover from near or far the perched villages of Bonnieux, Lacoste, Ménerbes, Oppède-le-Vieux, Roussillon and Gordes. From the Marquis de Sade to Vasarely, they all have a unique story to tell, and by the end of the day you will know many of them!

Family-Friendly Stays in Provence
Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa

Le Vallon de Valrugues & Spa

Located 600 meters from the center of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, this luxurious and refined 5 star hotel offers exceptional villas, a gourmet restaurant, a bistro, a bar, an outdoor swimming pool and a 500 m² spa. The village of Les Baux-de-Provence is 10 km away.

Rooms, suites and villas have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi connection, as well as flat-screen satellite television. Offering a view of the surroundings and the Alpilles National Park, some rooms also have a terrace. Some suite and villas also have a private pool.

The gourmet restaurant prepares menus with a Provençal theme, created by the using local seasonal products. The bistro is open for lunch in high season. In summer, you can enjoy a poolside bar with smoothies, ice cream and milkshakes. A shuttle service drive you to the center of the village and back. The spa offers individual or duo massage room, perfect for a relaxing time with your loved one!

Scenic Horseback Ride in Camargue Followed by a Picnic on the Beach

favorite family-friendly tours in france camargue

Accompanied by Laurent, an expert gardian nicknamed “Peù Blanc,” you will ride across over 1,235 acres of land. Discover the natural beauty of Camargue with its terrain divided between rice paddies and pastures. The famous white horses will take you for a ride off the beaten path and bring you close to the Camargue bulls. Experienced riders will even be able to accompany the gardians in the sorting of the bulls. No matter your age or level of experience, the Camargue cowboys will be happy to share their work and passion with you! This special ride will end in Piemenson with a picnic on the natural beach.

Private Guided Chocolate Tour in Bordeaux

chocolate tour in bordeaux

Feel the charm of the city like a real resident, while tasting the best products of Bordeaux in a unique atelier that will share all of its fabrication secrets with you. Enjoy delicious samples of incredibly refined chocolates in this completely chocolate food tour. From the origin of coco beans to the tasty finished product, you’ll discover the history of chocolate in the moon harbor of Bordeaux. This tour is a great option for foodies as well as those who would just like to experience a unique experience and walking tour in Bordeaux.

A Day On the Water: Private Boat Tour of Cassis and the Calanques National Park

cassis private boat ride

Cassis and the Calanques are two spots that are absolutely not to be missed in Provence. You’ll depart from Marseille’s picturesque Vieux Port for a day on the water and see this stretch of spectacular coastline on a private boat. Explore the forgotten coves, tiny ports, and soaring cliffs of the Calanques National Park. Snorkelers will enjoy the turquoise waters and marine life. You’ll stop for lunch in Cassis where you can dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant with a breathtaking view of Cape Canaille, France’s highest marine cliff.

Pedal Through Paris during a Private Guided E-Bike Tour of the City of Light

bike tour of paris

See the real Paris during this fabulous guided e-bike tour. You might come across a hidden game of pétanque at the oldest Parisian monument as you discover all the twists and turns of the Marais. Marvel at the Jardins des Plantes and effortlessly climb the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. Get a look at the student life of the Latin Quarter and then the artists’ cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Next, follow the grandeur of the Obelisk in Place de la Concorde and travel in time on your way to Les Champs-Élysées. Amidst all the bustle and excitement of this legendary city, your guide will reveal the relaxing calm of the quiet refuges of Paris. This is a perfect opportunity to take beautiful snapshots and unforgettable memories back home!

Family Friendly Stays in the Loire Valley
les sources de cheverny

Les Sources de Cheverny

Tucked away in its own private estate, this 5-star hotel is the quintessential French château. Exuding 18th-century elegance, this striking hotel balances bygone grandeur with a homely charm.

Soft light from tall, gothic windows creates a restful space. An open fire welcomes guests into the dramatic lobby. While 26 rooms and 23 suites pair sumptuous fabrics with stripped wood panelling to create a sense of contemporary luxury. Beyond the twists and turrets of the building, beautiful lawns and gardens are waiting to be explored. The historic building offers room with classic Chateau feeling, whereas the cottages nearby offer more modern decoration.

As the sun starts to go down, it’s time for a cocktail in the courtyard. Then, you can head into one of the two restaurants and take your pick from mouth-watering menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

Days are made for relaxing by the pool, or indulging at the spa Caudalie. Private coaching and yoga classes are available on request.

Private Kid-Friendly Cultural Driving Tour in the Loire Valley

favorite family friendly tours in france loire valley

Your licensed driver-guide will pick up you at your hotel for a unique day experiencing the best of the Loire Valley. Discover a private château and stroll through its splendid gardens. Children will be invited to dress up in medieval costumes and enjoy a treasure hunt or a workshop. For lunch, you’ll enjoy a farm-to-table meal made entirely with products from the castle’s garden in the magnificent setting of the park. To finish the day, you’ll stop in Chinon to trace Joan of Arc’s footsteps.

Full-Day Tour of Provence’s Lavender Fields

provence lavender

Visit the high plateau to experience one of Provence’s emblematic sites: the blooming, fragrant lavender fields. From mid-June to August, the high plateau blooms in breathtaking purple. Enjoy scenic routes away from the crowds. Get ready to take beautiful photos!

The tour includes the Albion plateau, and the villages of Sault and Banon. The wild nature surrounds Sault, perched on a rocky promontory. It dominates a plain dedicated to agriculture where lavender predominates offering in summer a unique palette of colors. Leaning against the Albion plateau, between the mountains of Lure and Ventoux, Banon has an authentic and natural character. Surrounded by fields of lavender, plains, and hills delicately perfumed by aromatic plants, a checkerboard of striking colors is drawn around the village.

Private Scavenger Hunt to Discover the World’s Most Famous Museum from a Different Angle

family friendly louvre scavenger hunt

One of our ultimate favorite family-friendly tours in France is a private scavenger hunt at the Musée du Louvre. While adults take in the highlights of the historic museum with its many treasures, children will get their own specially-designed booklets and a pencil. They’ll look for clues and answer questions as they walk through the different wings of the museum. At the end of the scavenger hunt, the children will be rewarded with a surprise gift.

Private Walking Tour of Old Lyon with a Storyteller

lyon walking tour

Follow the guide-storyteller in the secret covered passageways of Old Lyon. You’ll learn about the incredible adventure of Petit Pierre, and his thirst for science. This adventure allows you to discover the Lyon of the Renaissance, the great Lyonnais figures of the 16th century and the magic of this district.

“Our story begins in the time of King François I. Petit Pierre was an orphan who knew the constellations by heart. One day, he heard the young Louise Labbé talking about Copernicus’ discoveries. He decided that he had to go further, to know more. To do so, he was helped by a mysterious magic book. But first, he had to reckon with the wiles of the evil master Nicolas”.

Guaranteed emotion and thrills! The story is fictional, but based on real historical elements, and includes historical characters. We recommend this visit for children from 6 to 12 years old, as well as for their parents!


We hope this list of our favorite family-friendly tours in France is helpful when choosing a vacation that will be memorable for your children. French Side Travel would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part Two

With summer travel planning in full-swing, we’re excited to share part two of our list of five unique summer experiences in France. Read on to discover more about this year’s Tour de France and Tour des Femmes, Fête Nationale, and more.


Five Unique Summer Experiences in France: Part Two

Via Ferrata – Hiking and Rock Climbing with a View of Mont Blanc

via ferrata chamonix unique summer expriences in france

Beginners and experienced climbers, adults and children alike can enjoy the fun of the vertical world of via ferrata. This activity is a cross between hiking and rock climbing. Go along routes equipped with cables, ladders, and rope bridges and across rock faces and crags. This particular via ferrata route looks directly at the stunning Mont Blanc. The Chamonix Valley is a wonderful place to experience this unique activity, and the Evettes via ferrata guarantees enormous fun and adventure. You’ll safely push your limits on a varied route with a professional guide.

Celebrate La Fête Nationale – Bastille Day

fête nationale fireworks paris
Photo Courtesy of Groupe F


The French Fête Nationale marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, 1789, a turning point in the French revolution. It also marks the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrates the unity of the French people on July 14th, 1790. Since 1880, July 14th has officially been the Fête Nationale. It symbolizes the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French Republic. Celebrations are held throughout France. In major cities like Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, you’ll find military parades, games, shows and entertainment for the whole family. There are spectacular fireworks shows as well, especially in Paris at the Eiffel Tower.

Where to Stay in Paris
hotel la reserve paris

Hôtel La Réserve

This palace hotel is housed in a mansion dating from 1854, once owned by couturier Pierre Cardin.

Behind its ruby-red doors, it offers guests a world of Haussmann charm and rooms with stunning views of Paris’s finest landmarks. The elegant and stylish decoration was designed by Jacques Garcia.

Practical and aesthetically pleasing, the 26 suites and 14 rooms seamlessly combine tradition with modern technology. It is also worth noting that La Réserve Paris is the first palace hotel to offer a personal butler service for every room. There is special attention to make guests feel as though they are staying in a private home.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the world’s most beautiful avenue, this discrete and spacious establishment also has a private library and a smoking room.

Chef Jérôme Banctel oversees the kitchens at both Le Gabriel restaurant and La Pagode de Cos brasserie. The restaurant serves contemporary French cuisine with Asian influences.

Tour de France and Tour des Femmes

tour de france unique summer experiences in france
REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

The 109th edition of the Tour de France is back again this year from July 1st to July 24th. The race is set to depart in Denmark and also includes stops in Belgium and Switzerland. This year’s race will cover 2,067 miles of cycling and span four mountain ranges. If you happen to be in Paris on July 24th, don’t miss the final stage of the Tour de France. The finish line is on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Spectators can cheer on the riders around Place de la Concorde and the Quai des Tuileries. The end of the Tour de France in Paris marks the beginning of the Tour des Femmes, the first women’s cycle stage race around France. The Tour des Femmes takes place from July 24th to July 31st.

Kayaking or Canoeing in the Dordogne

kayaking in the dordogne unique summer experiences in france

Begin your journey in either a kayak or canoe at Saint Vincent de Cosse, just next to Beynac-et-Cazenac, which many consider to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. Nestled between the Dordogne River and an immense rocky promontory, the village is not to be missed. With stone-paved streets, houses in light-colored stones, and a château, you’ll be in for a total immersion in medieval times. A shuttle will take you to your preferred starting point on the Dordogne River. From there, you’ll start discovering the amazing villages and châteaux on both sides of the river. You’ll have your pick between three different tours: a half day tour, a 4-5 hour tour, and a full day tour. A perfectly unique summer experience in France indeed!

Where to Stay in the Dordogne
chateau de la treyne

Château de la Treyne

The exceptionally located 4-star hotel is set on a rocky bluff and mirrored in the Dordogne, beneath a wooded hillside covered with boxwood and truffle oaks.

The hotel’s combination of authenticity and refinement is a perfect expression of contemporary luxury, in a sublime and relaxing setting. It offers guests the opportunity to step back in time with all of the comforts and amenities of modern life.

All Suites and deluxe rooms are equipped to the highest standard. A tempting menu of seasonal dishes, using only the best locally sourced ingredients, is served daily at their Michelin-starred restaurant.

Loire Valley Bike, Wine, and Châteaux Tour

loire valley cycling wine and biking

Join a licensed guide for an incredible private tour and day experiencing the best of the Loire Valley’s biking, wine, and châteaux. Stop at the Château de Villandry, one of the last châteaux built during the Renaissance period. There you’ll discover perhaps the most breathtaking example of Renaissance garden design in all of France. Afterwards, bike along the banks of the Loire River to an old fisherman’s village. You’ll stop for a picnic lunch on the riverside with local delicacies and wine.

Play amateur photographer in Rigny-Ussé where you can admire the exceptional exterior architecture of the Renaissance château. The view of the château from the bridge over the Indre is quite simply stunning. To finish the day, stop in the Vouvray vineyards to visit a cellar and taste the delicious local sparkling wine. A simply wonderful way to have a unique summer experience and experience some of the best of France all in a day!


We hope part two of five unique summer experiences in France helps inspire a trip later this year. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Summer Highlights in the Bordeaux Region

Now that spring break is over, it’s the perfect moment to start solidifying summer travel plans. While Bordeaux is especially known for world-class wine, there’s much more to the region. Its medieval castles, expansive coastline, and food fabulous make Bordeaux one of France’s most seductive regions. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of summer highlights in the Bordeaux region.


Summer Highlights in the Bordeaux Region

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Classified Saint-Émilion

summer highlights in the bordeaux region saint emilion

Whether you’re a wine fanatic or not, the UNESCO World Heritage classified village of Saint-Émilion is worth a visit. Go for a stroll through its medieval streets. A grotto in the heart of town was the former home of an 8th century monk for whom the village was named. Saint-Émilion has a long history as a prosperous trading center. It was also a popular pilgrimage site, as evidenced by the impressive underground monolithic church. Between its cloisters, churches, half-timbered houses, old mills, and châteaux the village is packed with things to see. Step outside of the town center and you’re in the vineyards.

Visit a Château recognized for Grands Crus for lunch. You will be offered a picnic basket filled with fresh products prepared with care and accompanied by a bottle of wine. Enjoy it under the shade of the oak trees, with a breathtaking view of the Saint-Emilion hillsides.

Spend your afternoon wineries. A favorite is Château Beau-Sejour Becot, a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé producer. The château is located on a privileged position on a clay and limestone plateau. The Becot family has run this outstanding vineyard for six generations. Their Grand Cru wines rank among the very best in the world, earning the Premier Grand Cru Classé B label.

Where to Stay Amongst the Vines
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey

Enjoy a 5-star experience in a historic property. Originally a fortified keep dating to the 13th century, today it has been renovated with a refined and modern style.

Rooms and suites boast sensational views on the property’s vineyards. The 37 hectares of vines produce prestigious AOC Sauternes premier grand cru whites.

Don’t miss the restaurant featuring gourmet cuisine by Jérôme Schilling – the former executive chef of Villa René Lalique with two Michelin stars. The restaurant‘s location is spectacularly nestled among the vineyards. It serves seasonal products with an emphasis on local and environmentally-friendly ingredients. The wine cellar contains more than 350,000 bottles of the finest Bordeaux wines classified as Grand Cru Classé.

Marvel at the Beauty of the Périgord Noir

summer highlights of the bordeaux region dordogne

A definite summer highlight in the Bordeaux region is seeing and exploring Périgord Noir. It is impossible to run out of things to see here with its famous castles and villages set in spectacular locations. Sarlat-la-Canéda was the medieval capital of Dordogne and is one of France’s loveliest towns.

Three of the villages here are classified among France’s most beautiful. The setting along the river, ancient village streets, and castle make Beynac-et-Cazenac a real highlight. La Roque-Gageac is a delight with its ancient riverside stone houses. The hilltop village Domme offers fabulous views of Dordogne.

The Château de Montfort is a fairy-tale castle just a few kilometers from Sarlat. With its close attention to historical detail, the Château de Beynac makes for another worthwhile visit. Château de Castelnaud is both a medieval castle and an extensive museum of medieval warfare – a favorite for kids! The nearby 15th-century Château des Milandes is a charming visit too. It is well-known because Josephine Baker made it her home in the 1940s.

Take a Gourmet Walking Tour of Bordeaux

bordeaux gourmet walking tour

When in Bordeaux, perhaps one of the best ways to discover the city is through a gourmet walking tour. You’ll not only see the fabulous highlights of the city, but you’ll also get to taste some of the foods and wines that make the region a renowned gastronomic destination.

Taste delicious foods and wines while walking through the Place de Quinconces, the Chartrons district, the Place Pey Berland, the Place de la Bourse and reflection pool, and the docks. Learn about the origin of coco beans and discover the history of chocolate in the moon harbor of Bordeaux. You can also sample some of Bordeaux’s most-loved pastries, cheeses, and chocolates in a mixed food tour. Wine lovers can meet with a sommelier and learn how to pair cheese with wine. Taste wines that could include a dry white Entre-Deux-Mers, an elegant red Saint-Emilion, a full-bodied red Médoc, and a sweet and fruity Sauternes.

After your walking tour you’ll be an expert of Bordeaux and its delicacies.

Bordeaux Summer Event
bordeaux wine festival 2022

Bordeaux Wine Festival – June 23rd to 26th

This year, the Bordeaux Wine Festival returns and reinvents itself. From June 23rd to 26th, the iconic wine route will be on the quayside, winding its way through the various villages of the appellations. During four days, taste wines from Bordeaux and Nouvelle Aquitaine along with winegrowers and merchants.

There will be an emphasis on local products and organic, environmentally certified viticulture. Beautiful sailboats will also be a part of the festival, since the history of wine is inseparable from Bordeaux’s nautical activity. Themes for this edition of the festival are conviviality, sharing, and respect for the environment.

Get to Know the Arcachon Bassin

summer highlights in bordeaux arcachon

Situated along the Atlantic coast, just about an hour away from the city of Bordeaux, lies the Arcachon Bay. Spend some time getting to know Arcachon and its two parts: the Ville d’Eté (summer town) with its seaside promenade, casino, and shops, and the Ville d’Hiver (winter town), which is much quieter, with sumptuous villas hidden away from the public by pine trees.

Rent bikes and ride through typical fishing villages where the relaxed and quiet atmosphere invites you to slow down your pace. Stopping to taste local oysters with a glass of dry white wine at one of the many log cabins is a must. Set out to climb the highest sand dune in Western Europe, La Dune du Pilat. From the top you’ll enjoy the best panoramic views of the Arcachon Bay.

And of course, be sure to enjoy the ocean. Popular activities on the water include sailing, snorkeling and diving. A French Side Travel favorite is embarking on a private Pinasse boat, a traditional boat from the area. The captain will take you for a ride to discover the villages of the Cap-Ferret Peninsula, Bird Island, and the oyster beds. You can stop for an oyster tasting with a local producer by the water’s edge, or just stop for a swim and a walk.

There’s so much to see, do, and explore on this beautiful and wild coast. It’s an absolute summer highlight in the Bordeaux region.

Where to Stay in the Arcachon Bassin
haaitza hotel pyla sur mer

Haaitza Hotel

This 5-star hotel constructed in a neo-Basque style is situated at a fashionable address in Pyla-sur-Mer. Celebrity French designer Philippe Starck was appointed in 2016 to wave his magic wand over the interiors to create a sharp contemporary décor, perfectly in harmony with the building’s eclectic history and heritage:

There are 38 chic white and pale-wood rooms overlooking the pine-shaded street or pool. Lightwood, white tones with a touch of steel: the rooms with contemporary design abide by Starck’s best codes, for a refined and unpretentious style.

All Suites and rooms are equipped to the highest standard: bathroom with bathtub or walk-in shower, free WIFI, AC, TV with satellite channels, complimentary Nespresso coffee machine, and minibar.

The hotel’s small and chic, gastronomic restaurant with its seasonal market produce creates contemporary French cuisine. An unforgettable experience for the guests while dining beneath a trio of polished rowing skulls in the vaulted, yacht club-style space.

Visit Craft Distilleries in Cognac

summer highlights in the bordeaux region cognac

Cognac is a must for those who enjoy brandy styles wines. Located between the cities of Angoulème and Saintes, the town of Cognac overlooks the Charente River. Mainly built on the river’s left bank, the town is on one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and is birthplace of the iconic Renaissance King Francis I. Take a walking tour of the historic center. You’ll discover the charm of the old houses as well as the relationship between the city and Francis I.

Enjoy a private visit and tasting at one of the world-renowned houses like Hennessy, Remy Martin or Martell. Contrast your visit with one at a smaller, but just as talented, local producer. The winemaker will explain the history of this unique double-distilled spirit which has to be made in specific areas to be granted the name Cognac.

There will also be the possibility to become a Maître Assembleur during a workshop. You can create your own special Cognac XO and take the bottle with you as a souvenir. What better way to savor the unique taste of Cognac than by making it your own?

Where to Stay in Cognac
hotel chais monnet cognac

Hôtel Chais Monnet

This ancestral cellar built in 1838 was converted into this newly renovated 5-star hotel. It is located at the heart of Cognac, a town rich in history and heritage.

The architecture is mysterious, to say the least, with a series of buildings, luminosity and a unique latticework in the background that hints at the craft of the area. Inside, things only get better with the main lobby and its sand-colored oak floor, beige furniture and a glass-walled elevator in a clear tube, making for hotel that matches the standards of the local tipples. This light design also extends to the rooms and suites, carved out of former warehouses with oak beams and more light furniture

To slow down the time, stress or tiredness, come and enjoy a total relaxing break at the spa which offers personalized body and facial cares according to your specific needs, desires or goals.

When booking with French Side Travel you will enjoy the following amenities: room upgrade upon booking, early check-in and late check out upon availability, and a drink voucher per person for a cocktail or a glass of Champagne at the hotel bar.


We hope this list of summer highlights in the Bordeaux region inspires you. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Spring Break in France: Our Top Destinations

Spring Break is a popular time to visit France. Mild temperatures, blooming flowers, and fewer crowds than during the summer are just a few of the reasons why it’s a great time to travel. French Side Travel is sharing our top destinations for spending a Spring Break in France that will be a hit with the entire family.


Spring Break in France: Our Top Destinations

Paris

spring break in pariis

Visiting Paris in the spring really is as wonderful as it sounds. To see the city covered with blooming flowers in various shades of pinks will make you feel like you are living la vie en rose. A spring break trip to Paris will please the whole family thanks to the large number of different museums, tours, and activities.

Please the history buff with private guided tours to museums. French Side Travel can arrange an exclusive visit to the Louvre where you will be welcomed by the head of a department in the museum and accompanied by a security guard throughout your visit to facilitate access.

We can also arrange a special VIP tour at the Château de Versailles. You will discover the classic Versailles experience covering the most famous parts of the Palace: the Chapel, the Hall of Mirrors, the Queen’s apartment and the gardens. You will also have private and VIP access to places that are not accessible to regular visitors, including the Louis XV and Louis XVI’s apartments.

For an authentic look into the French art de vivre, don’t miss a market visit, cooking class, and lunch or dinner. You’ll get to go to a local Parisian market and shop for the ingredients to prepare your meal. You’ll learn about the specific Parisian market culture, seasonal produce, and food in France. Afterwards, you’ll return to the cooking school to practice both basic and advanced French cooking techniques while creating a three-course meal. Finally, you’ll sit around the table to savor your creations with wine, and hear stories all about French culture and gastronomy. It’s truly a unique experience!

Where to Stay in Paris

hotel monsieur george paris

Monsieur George Hotel and Spa

This 5-star hotel has 46 rooms and suites distributed throughout six floors. Each floor has its own ambience and decor, with adjoining rooms available for families. Suites on the upper floors have views that capture all of Paris with merely a glance. Closer to earth is the Garden Suite, a lush duplex sanctuary.

The restaurant and bar invites guests to enjoy special moments with refreshing breakfasts, lunches, snacks, aperitifs, dinners and night-caps. The menus are constantly updated by a young, enthusiastic head chef, with a focus on freshness, creativity, and tradition.

The hotel also has a spa and a famous yoga club, hailed as the ultimate benchmark for health and well-being. It offers custom services including special in-room yoga courses, fitness and massage sessions, and a wide variety of aesthetic services.

Normandy

honfleur spring break in france

Whether you have several days to dedicate to the region or just want to take a day trip, Normandy is a fabulous Spring Break option. Visit the charming coastal towns like Honfleur, Deauville, and Trouville and indulge in the delicious local seafood. The half-timbered architecture is picturesque.

Take a full day to see the profound and impactful World War II D-Day landing beaches and memorials. There are both private and shared tour options that depart from Paris daily, or you could spend the night in an authentic château just outside of Bayeux.

Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most popular places in France to visit. It seemingly rises out of the surrounding bay. Climb to the top for a tour of the Abbey and incredible views. You can even spend the night on Mont-Saint-Michel to experience the magic without crowds.

Bordeaux

arcachon

In just two and a half hours via a high speed train from Paris, you can be worlds away in beautiful Bordeaux. Explore the lovely city with its rich history and allure. We recommend discovering Bordeaux with a gourmet walking tour – you’ll see all of the fabulous highlights as well as sample some of the region’s specialty foods and of course taste wines.

The city of Bordeaux is also a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside. Take day trips to renowned wine regions like the Médoc or Saint-Émilion. Or head west towards the Atlantic to discover the picturesque beaches of Arcachon. Visit the Dune de Pilat, which is the tallest sand dune in Europe. You can spend a lovely Spring Break day on a boat exploring the Arcachon Bay, and even visiting with an oyster farmer for a tasting.

Provence

saint remy

For art, wine, and culture lovers, Provence is a must. Spring Break is a wonderful time to visit before the crowds set in – the area truly feels untouched. Enjoy the relaxing place with great weather, incredible history, and a fantastic art legacy.

Nestled between the sea and mountains, Van Gogh and Cézanne immortalized Provence’s beauty on canvas. Throughout the year you’ll find striking colors: azure skies, bright pastel facades, and deep purple lavender fields and vibrant yellow sunflowers in the summer.

Wine fanatics can’t miss the powerful Côte-du-Rhône reds and the refreshing Aix-en-Provence rosés. History buffs should explore the exceptional Roman ruins in Arles and Saint-Remy, and the Gothic Palais des Papes in Avignon. You’ll want to spend as much time outdoors as possible during your stay!

Where to Stay in Provence

hotel villa la coste

Villa La Coste

Situated halfway between the historic town of Aix en Provence, home of Cézanne, and the famous Luberon Nature Park, this 5-star hotel is set in the heart of a biodynamic vineyard. It’s an international destination for art, architecture and natural beauty.

The property features 28 Villa Suites, surrounded by gardens, herbs, and flowers. Each opens onto a spacious terrace offering expansive views over vines and valley. The hotel’s contemporary architecture is emphasized by local materials and embraces the natural setting.

The close-to-nature philosophy runs through in each of the four contrasting restaurants, all of which feature organic produce.

The spa conveys contemporary elegance, keeping with the spirit of the property. Treatments are 100% natural and feature regional ingredients. Think oils from Provençal plants and flowers, mineral salts, clays, and more. The perfect destination for a Spring Break and retreat in France!


We hope this list of French Side Travel’s top Spring Break destinations to visit will help inspire a future trip. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite regions in France include Bordeaux, the South of France, Normandy, and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

The Five Most Romantic Things to Do in France

In honor of the upcoming Saint-Valentin (Valentine’s Day) we’ve put together a list of the five most romantic things to do in France. Paris specifically is known as the City of Love, but there are plenty of other dreamy corners of France to discover as well. Whether a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply a special trip with someone you love, France is filled with romance.


The Five Most Romantic Things to Do in France

Check in to A Secluded Hotel

One of our five most romantic things to do in France is heading to the French countryside and checking in to a superb hotel away from it all. The options are plenty from just outside Paris to Champagne, Provence and beyond. A few of our favorites to add to your list include:

Les Maisons de Bricourt

les maisons de bricourt

Two of the boutique hotels form Les Maisons de Bricourt in Brittany have sweeping panoramic views of the sea.

Château Richeux, built in the 1920s, faces Mont-Saint-Michel. The endless hues of blue, green and grey of the sea, sky, and earth merge into one. The restaurant features products from local small-scale fishermen and farmers. The bread served is made with local organic flour and is kneaded and baked in-house. This culinary commitment earned the chef two Michelin stars in 2019. Take a walk in the park, which runs downhill towards the beach and enjoy the magic of the Mont-Saint-Michel bay.

Les Rimains is a haven located on the cliffs of Cancale. Four romantic rooms bask in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay magical light. Simple and elegant, each room faces the sea. There is a coastal path known as the Lovers’ Trail. It offers the most beautiful views over the bay and the oyster beds, which are clearly visible in the translucent water. Bordered by yellow flowers, pines, and fragrant eucalyptus, the path offers a look into local life.

Les Sources de Cheverny

les sources de cheverny

Tucked away in its own private estate, this 5-star hotel in the Loire Valley is the quintessential French château. Exuding 18th-century elegance, this striking hotel balances bygone grandeur with a homely charm. An open fire welcomes guests into the dramatic lobby filled with soft light from tall, gothic windows. Beyond the twists and turrets of the building, beautiful lawns and gardens are waiting to be explored.

Spend your days touring the surrounding Loire Valley châteaux. Or simply enjoy relaxing by the pool and indulging in treatments at the Caudalie spa. When the sun starts to go down, head for a cocktail in the courtyard. Then finish your evening at one of the two restaurants featuring menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

Les Sources de Caudalie

les sources de caudalie

Just 20 minutes from Bordeaux’s city center, Les Sources de Caudalie is located between Grand Cru vineyards and forests. This 5-star hotel features a special Vinothérapie Spa, a two Michelin starred restaurant, a casual restaurant in the old washing house, a wine bar, a lounge and more.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Les Sources de Caudalie. Enjoy the spa with unique treatments using water from the natural hot spring. Take a cooking class with a two star Michelin chef. Enjoy a wine tasting with the head sommelier at the wine bar or take a mixology class at the bar. And of course, use the hotel as a base to explore the fabulous Bordeaux region.

hotel de paris monte carlo
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Valentine’s Day in Monaco
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a romantic dinner in Monaco? Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is rolling out the red carpet, ready for your very own love story.

Picture your intimate dinner: a celebratory atmosphere, maybe? Or perhaps a cozy alcove or a luxury dining experience? When it comes to bringing you joy, the creativity shown by Monaco’s top restaurants knows no bounds.

Whether you prefer an intimate in-room dining experience, a mix of gourmet food and gaming, or perhaps a gastronomic experience, there is something to delight surely every couple.

Take a Private Champagne Cruise Down the Seine River

seine river cruise five most romantic things to do in france

Another of our five most romantic things to do in France is take a Seine River cruise. Not many people can say they’ve had the opportunity to see the Seine River from a beautiful Venetian water taxi. The cruise offers you a unique, tailor-made look at one of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Enjoy the unforgettable views of Paris including the Musée du Louvre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and bridges from aboard your private boat.

Step inside the private salon, with tinted windows to respect your privacy, and pop a bottle of Cristal or Dom Pérignon champagne to mark this special occasion. Private breakfast cruises are also available if you’d like to have your morning croissant, coffee, and fresh-squeezed orange juice aboard.

Take a Drive Along the Côte d’Azur Coast in a Classic Car

rent a classic car on the riviera: one of the five most romantic things to do in france
Copyright Christian Horan Photography

Enjoy your time in the French Riviera as it was in years past with an exciting sightseeing tour in a vintage convertible car. Your drive can be chauffeured or you can be the pilot. We suggest a drive from Nice to Monaco with stops along the way in Villefranche-sur-Mer, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Èze to name a few.

You’ll see beautiful seaside resorts, towns with Belle Époque charm, medieval villages filled with quaint shops and restaurants, and pure Côte d’Azur luxury. French Side Travel can arrange for a professional photographer to meet you along the way for a special photoshoot to document the old-world French Riviera magic.

Spend a Weekend in Champagne

wekeend trip to champagne five most romantic things to do in france

The perfect romantic excursion from Paris is a weekend trip to Champagne. Taste world-class Champagnes, soak in the unique history and culture of the region, and relax and unwind at a fabulous hotel. It has all the makings of a wonderful, intimate getaway.

Take a full-day private guided tour of Champagne. Enjoy a commented drive along the Champagne scenic roads and discover the villages that are part of the Champagne appellation area. Stop at the charming UNESCO-listed small town of Hautvillers, where you can visit the church where the famous monk Dom Pierre Pérignon is buried. You’ll then visit a family-run boutique Premier Cru winery to learn about how the well-known beverage is made and enjoy tastings. Next, uncover the secrets behind the signature taste of Dom Pérignon in an exclusive visit. You will taste some of their finest Champagnes in a private salon. Finally, visit the oldest producer of Champagne: Ruinart to learn about the fascinating history.

royal champagne hotel and spa
Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa

Where to Stay in Champagne: Royal Champagne Hotel and Spa
In the heart of a vineyard, this former coach house (one of Napoleon’s favorite stopovers) is the perfect base from which to explore the glorious Champagne wineries. Be sure to visit the wine cellar, which boasts no fewer than 220 exceptional brut and rosé vintages and crus. The best place to taste them is on the terrace overlooking the vines, which extend as far as the eye can see.

All the 47 luxurious rooms have magical Champagne views. The interiors take inspiration from the natural and cultural heritage of the region. Traditional materials are favored to create a sleek and graphic mise-en-scene.

Vegetables are grown in the gardens and meat is delivered daily by local farmers. This commitment makes fine dining in the Michelin-starred contemporary restaurant exciting. Be sure to take time to indulge in the spa, which overlooks the vines.

Indulge with a Private Seaside Cabana on the French Riviera

private cabana club dauphin

With a guestbook signed by everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Winston Churchill, and an enviable perch overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the palatial spread of the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat has been the epitome of Côte d’Azur chic for more than a century. Make the most of the hotel’s luxurious grounds and fully experience all the beauty of Cap-Ferrat, a wooded peninsula that juts out into the glistening blue waters of the Mediterranean.

A highlight of the property is the Club Dauphin, one of the world’s most beautiful swimming pools. The infinity pool overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean Sea just below. For an extra special experience, treat yourself to a private seaside cabana to enjoy a moment of solitude amongst the tranquil setting. You can also reserve the Dauphin Lounge to enjoy the service of a dedicated butler who will prepare cocktails and serve lunch in your own private outdoor dining room.

fireworks in cannes
Dinner and Fireworks Cruise from Cannes

Summer Catamaran Cruise with Dinner and Fireworks from Cannes
Spend an incredible evening on a three-hour catamaran dinner cruise departing from Cannes. Imagine sipping on a glass of wine and taking in coastal views as you sail across the Bay of Cannes at twilight. Take in views of the Lérins Islands archipelago and the Riviera coastline as the color fades from the sky and lights sparkle along the shore. 

You’ll then enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner on board. For a dazzling finale to the evening, watch a firework display from the deck with the twinkling lights of the Riviera coastline as a backdrop. This is surely an unforgettable addition to a romantic Côte d’Azur trip.


Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, anniversary trip, birthday trip, or simply a special trip with someone you love, we hope this list of the five most romantic things to do in France inspires you. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Normandy, Bordeaux, the South of France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

What to Do in Bordeaux in 2022

Bordeaux is known worldwide for producing fabulous wines. The city of Bordeaux is the largest in Southwest France, yet it is filled with charm thanks to its architecture. Visitors would be remiss not to partake in some of the incredible wine tasting and education experiences as well as gourmet tours. One should also not miss out on the opportunity venture towards the coast to climb to the top of the Dune du Pilat. The climb is best followed by a delicious fresh seafood meal in the picturesque coastal town of Arcachon. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s list of what to do in Bordeaux in 2022.


What to Do in Bordeaux in 2022

Visit the Region’s Renowned Wine Appellations

bordeaux vineyards

One of the preeminent wine regions in the world, Bordeaux boasts approximately 285,000 acres of vineyards. The thousands of small wine producers produce a diverse array of wines from deep reds to sparkling whites. The particularly noteworthy subregions include Saint-Émilion, Médoc, Sauterne, Entre-deux-Mers, and Graves.

Saint-Émilion, surrounded by prestigious Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon vines, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The winding cobblestone streets and Medieval architecture undoubtedly impress. Multiple of the town’s châteaux have achieved the prestigious status of Grand Cru.

Coastal Médoc’s Route des Châteaux is sublime. Brimming with Grand Cru wineries and decadent châteaux, it features eight appellations of controlled origin wines and some of France’s elite wine producers.

wine tasting: what to do in bordeaux in 2022

Private Picnic, Visit and Wine Tasting at a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Château

Enjoy a personalized tour of a beautiful estate owned by the same family for eight generations.

Learn about organic viticulture and the year-round work of growing grapes. You’ll visit the cellars and vat room to learn about winemaking and barrel aging. The visit includes a tasting of Saint-Émilion Grands Crus.

At the end of the tour, you will enjoy a picnic including local products and a bottle of wine from the domain.

Stay in Fabulous Hotels

Whether you’d like to make your home-base the city of Bordeaux or stay in the countryside, there are incredible hotel options in this region.

Intercontinental Bordeaux
intercontinental bordeaux rooftop

This 5-star hotel faces the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux in an 18th-century neoclassical-inspired building. The location simply could not be better: it is in the city’s historic center with the Place de Quinconces and the Saint André Cathedral just a short stroll away.

Chic rooms feature ornate furnishings and rich palettes, all with top-notch modern touches.

Within the hotel you’ll find two restaurants, including Le Pressoir d’Argent by Gordon Ramsay with two Michelin stars, two bars including a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city, and an indoor courtyard serving afternoon tea. After a full day exploring, guests can unwind at the indoor pool, the fitness center, the spa, or the outdoor hot tub.

By booking a stay at the Intercontinental Bordeaux with French Side Travel, guests will receive a guaranteed late check-out, daily breakfast for two, a $100 hotel amenity credit, an upgrade to the next room category (subject to availability on arrival), in-room snacks and beverages upon arrival, as well as VIP service. Contact us today to learn more.

Yndo Hotel
yndo hotel

The beautiful 5-star boutique hotel was formerly a private mansion built in the 19th century. The decor expertly blends late 19th-century sophistication in the ceiling moldings, rosettes, and heights with modern flourishes. Each of the 12 rooms and suites are completely unique. The inner courtyard is a relaxing place to enjoy breakfast or an aperitif under a splendid magnolia tree. Everything is homemade from jams and yogurts to hot chocolate and fresh-squeezed juices.

The service at Yndo Hotel truly sets it apart. The friendly staff is at your entire disposal to make your stay unforgettable. The property is in the heart of historic Bordeaux by the Place Gambetta and Cours de l’Intendance, making it a perfect base from which to explore on the hotel’s complimentary bicycles.

Hotel de Pavie
hotel de pavie

A favorite stay in wine country is at the magnificent 5-star Hotel de Pavie, located on the right bank of the Garonne River, in the center of medieval Saint-Émilion. The hotel boasts 14 rooms and three modern suites. Each is designed with tranquility in mind. You will feel transported back in time surrounded by Saint-Émillion’s cobblestone streets and vineyards.

For dinner, sample fine local wines with elegant modern and local cuisine in Chef Yannick Alléno’s in-house 2-Michelin Star restaurant, La Table de Pavie.

Visit Arcachon

what to do in bordeaux in 2022: visit arcachon

The tranquil Arcachon Bay emerged as a luxury retreat for Bordeaux’s upper class in the 19th century. The elegant Belle Époque villas, rejuvenating spas, and expansive golden sandy beaches make it a favorite of the French, although it is still very under the radar for foreigners.

The main attractions in Arcachon are the miles of sandy beaches, the vibrant town center and its markets, and the architecture of the Ville d’Hiver that boasts rows of Belle Époque mansions. There’s an eccentric mix of Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic, Colonial, and Swiss Chalet styles of architecture.

Arcachon’s beaches are inside the Arcachon Bay, which shelters them from the violent Atlantic waves. This makes it a wonderful area for families with children. Rent a bike and head south through beaches and seaside towns towards Biscarrosse for waves, surfing, and body-boarding. Just behind the beach is the Landes des Gascogne Regional Natural Park, an expansive pine tree forest and wetland area.

The seafood restaurants in Arcachon are of course particularly popular. You’ll find everything from classic bistrot fare like moules frites (mussels with fries) along the beach to fine dining restaurants a few blocks into town. Don’t miss the oysters, they’re regarded among the best in the world.

What to Do in Bordeaux in 2022: A Unique Experience in Arcachon

Traditional Pinasse Boat Tour of Bird Island and the Lège-Cap Ferret

Enjoy the highlights of the breathtaking Arcachon Bay on a traditional pinasse boat. Your captain will sail through the small channels past oyster beds, picture-perfect beaches, l’Île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island), and Lège-Cap Ferret’s charming villages.

Enjoy a seafood platter while aboard. It includes six local oysters, langoustines, bulots, shellfish and prawns, accompanied by bread, butter, lemon, and mayonnaise.

Guests can also partake in an oyster-picking experience with an oyster farmer. The oyster farmer will welcome you and show you how the oysters are bred. You will then have the opportunity to bring back some oysters to shore for an exciting tasting experience with the farmer.

Climb the Dune du Pilat

what to do in bordeaux in 2022 climb the dune du pilat

The Dune du Pilat is the largest sand dune in Europe. Once you climb roughly 360 feet and reach the top, you’ll be treated to a fabulous look at the sea. The 360 degree panorama includes the Bay of Arcachon and the Cap Ferret Peninsula, with the Banc d’Arguin to the west and the Landes des Gascogne Regional Natural Park to the east. The sunset is particularly spectacular.

Take a Gourmet City Tour of Bordeaux

bordeaux gourmet tour

What better way to see the highlights of Bordeaux than with food and wine? One of French Side Travel’s favorite experiences is a private three-hour tour of Bordeaux’s highlights and vineyards with an oenology expert. 

This tour serves as an introduction to wine tasting while taking you through the Place de Quinconces, the Chartrons District, the Place Pey Berland, the Place de la Bourse and its massive reflection pool, and the docks. You’ll taste four wines at traditional wine shops. Before the tour ends, you’ll get an opportunity to try the canelé, a local favorite pastry.


We hope this list of what to do in Bordeaux in 2022 will help inspire future travel to both the city and region. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our other favorite destinations in France include Normandy, Paris, the South of France, and the Loire Valley. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Romantic Trips to Take This Winter in France

France is one of the most romantic destinations in the world to visit year-round. The distinct cultures, cuisines, wines and more mean that there’s something for virtually every traveler. Winter is an often overlooked time to visit France, but offers wonderful benefits, namely far less crowds. We’ve put together a list of ideas of romantic trips to France to take this winter. Each would be perfect for an upcoming proposal, honeymoon, anniversary or more!


Romantic Trips to Take this Winter in France

Paris: Classic Winter Romance in the City of Light

romantic winter trips to france paris

There is perhaps no city in the world more romantic than Paris, City of Light and love. From the moment you arrive the beauty of the city will sweep you off your feet. During the wintertime Paris is much less crowded. It’s a great time to visit always popular museums and monuments like the Musée du Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Château de Versailles.

A Romantic Winter Day in Paris

Start your morning with a delightful French breakfast at your hotel including croissants, breads, delicious jams, butter, fresh-squeezed fruit juices and more. Afterwards, your chauffeur will meet you in the lobby to take you to a private Christmas food and decoration walking tour.

You’ll see the fabulous Christmas displays in the most-celebrated department stores in Paris. You’ll taste traditional French foods served over Christmas: oysters, foie gras, and sweet treats like éclairs and macarons. Next, you’ll be off to take in the best decorations in the city. The last stop is a Champagne tasting in a charming covered passageway. What could be more romantic?

After your tour, stop for lunch at the casually elegant Bistrot des Victories with its beautiful Christmas tree. You could also try one of the best classic French restaurants in Paris (and a Julia Child favorite) Chez Georges.

Following lunch, you’ll be off for a unique wine tasting experience to discover France in six glasses. You’ll taste five wines and one Champagne and the sommelier will teach you interesting anecdotes about each wine and region. It’s like a mini Tour de France!

After such a special day, go back to your hotel to relax by the fireplace or enjoy a spa treatment.

romantic hotel pavillion de la reine paris
Where to Stay in Paris

Le Pavillon de la Reine

This 5-star hotel is a deeply romantic hideaway in the heart of Le Marais. Built in 1612 by King Henry IV, this former 17th century residence is tucked away from the galleries and shops of the Place des Vosges, often referred to as the most beautiful square in the world.

Privately owned and family-run, it offers the understated sophistication of a private home with all the service, charm, and elegance of a grand palace.

The fine dining menu from the Michelin starred restaurant celebrates seasonal ingredients from carefully selected producers and takes guests on a voyage from land to sea.

The lounges have the feeling of a private library, with intimate seating, antique furniture, and open fireplaces – a cozy hideaway where guests can relax and unwind.

Chamonix: Unique Experiences on Mont Blanc for Adventure-Loving Couples

chamonix romantic winter trips france

Chamonix is the perfect destination to explore during a long weekend for an adventurous couple. The stunning scenery and views of Mont-Blanc draped in white will blow you away. You can spend the entire time skiing, but for our romantic stay we’ve selected several unforgettable activities that don’t require skis. Don’t miss our full winter ski guide to Chamonix here.

A Romantic Long Weekend in Chamonix

Start your trip on the right foot with a fun morning of snowshoeing. During this private guided tour you’ll experience the tranquility of snowy forests, summits, alpine bowls and ridges. It’ll be a special moment to share with your partner.

Afterwards, stop for lunch at Le 3842, which is one of the highest restaurants above Chamonix. You’ll enjoy fabulous views and local Savoyard cuisine made from the freshest regional produce. Be sure to reserve in advance as there are only 30 seats!

In the afternoon more breathtaking views are in store with a private panoramic Aiguille du Midi tour. This journey across the glaciers in the highest cable car in France is truly a once in a lifetime experience. It’s hard to think of more romantic winter views!

Be sure to take advantage of the spa at your hotel before the second day of your trip where you’ll partake in a full day private ice climbing tour. Chamonix has two climbing sites in the heart of the valley, and you’ll have everything you need to enjoy a day of fun discovering the magical crystalline universe.

hotel des grands alpes chamonix
Where to Stay in Chamonix

Grand Hôtel des Alpes

Built in 1840, this beautiful, welcoming, and cozy 5-star hotel is a part of Chamonix’s history and has always been a symbol of Savoyard hospitality. At the foot of Mont Blanc, it offers the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the city center while being located near the lifts, the Aiguille du Midi and the Mer de Glace.

All rooms have a view, either over the mountains, the hotel gardens and mountain stream or the pedestrian area, so you can’t go wrong for a romantic stay.

In the evening, relax at the bar with its beautiful fireplace or in the comfortable lounge area overlooking Mont Blanc. There’s also a relaxation center, on the garden with a view on the Mont Blanc range.

Bordeaux: An Intimate Gourmet Destination

romantic winter trip to bordeaux

The city of Bordeaux is romantic by nature with its charming streets, gorgeous architecture, and delicious foods and wines. Its location in southwest France makes it an ideal winter destination with milder temperatures. Thanks to the high-speed train it’s an easy addition to a Paris trip. Once you’ve experienced Bordeaux you’ll see how easy it is to fall in love!

A Romantic Day Discovering Bordeaux’s Food and Wine

To start the day you’ll be off on a private luxury gourmet walking tour. Not only will you discover the charm of the city like a real resident, but you’ll also taste the best of the best of Bordeaux’s regional specialties. You’ll have the opportunity to try rare products and visit a unique and historic atelier that will show you all of the secrets of their fabrication process.

Since the day is truly about food and wines, lunch will be a delightful wine and cheese pairing at Château Pape Clément. The sommelier at this Grands Crus Classés estate in Pessac will lead you through a pairing of eight great wines, each paired with an exceptional cheese.

Your last tour of the day will be a a private guided chocolate tour. During this full-chocolate experience you’ll get to sample the most refined chocolates in the city. You’ll discover the history of chocolate in Bordeaux and understand the chocolate making process from the origin of coco beans to the finished product. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy some chocolates to bring home and remember the romantic day in Bordeaux.

Dinner will be aboard the restaurant boat Sicambre for a dinner and cruise to discover Bordeaux’s beautiful UNESCO-recognized waterfront and architecture. The menu is inspired by traditional southwestern French cuisine and is all prepared onboard using local, seasonal ingredients. It’s the perfect ending to your day in perhaps France’s best area for foodies.

hotel des quinconces bordeaux. romantic winter trips in france
Where to Stay in Bordeaux

Hotel des Quinconces

What could be more romantic than staying in the heart of Bordeaux in a charming mansion built in 1834?

With just nine rooms and the outdoor garden, you’re ensured an intimate experience at this 5-star hotel. The comfortable and relaxing rooms are a luxurious haven after a day exploring the city. Each room is decorated with care and according to a specific theme including the Oak, Laurel, and Chestnut rooms.


We hope these destinations will help inspire one or more romantic winter trips to France. Whether it’s during the holidays or after the New Year, don’t hesitate to contact French Side Travel to create your custom itinerary. Be sure to check out our favorite tours in Paris, the French Alps, and Bordeaux.

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