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 france paris

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 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

spring break in france cour des vosges paris

Cour des Vosges

This landmarked 17th-century mansion converted into a 5-star hotel is located in the district of Marais and overlooks the oldest square in Paris, Place des Vosges.

The hotel filled with history with a grand staircase, painted ceilings, Renaissance grandeur, and unique decor in shades of blue and pink pastels for an ethereal and mysterious feel. The style of the period has been updated and iconic pieces from the 70s blend into its exceptional decor.

The rooms, designed in an elegant decor, are beautifully furnished with ceramics, sculptures, and tapestries. Each of the 12 rooms offers magnificent view of the Place des Vosges.

The restaurant offers light gourmet afternoon tea and dinner. The patisserie corner also presents a selection of sweet treats concocted by an award winning pastry chef.

To relax and rejuvenate, the Roman Baths inspire tranquility and confidential serenity. Special skin and facial treatments, and back massages in a candlelit setting are also available.

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

La Villa Gallici

Located in Aix-en-Provence this beautiful 5-star hotel is just a few minutes by walk from the historic center. The elegant design with antique furniture, ornate woodwork, and rich fabrics are a reminder of antiquated days.

There are 23 rooms and suites. The rooms and suites are large, modernly equipped, and offer garden views. Some rooms have a terrace.

The hotel’s restaurant offers a gourmet experience. Enjoy seasonal Provençal cuisine under the shade of plane trees. Meticulously prepared by the chef and his team, the dishes are creatively combined with Mediterranean flavors. The discreet service ensures a unique experience for the guests.

Visit the spa and wellness area which offers in-room treatments, a sauna, Jacuzzi, cryotherapy, a tanning cabin, fitness, and a heated outdoor pool.


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!

French Side Travel’s Client Favorite Destinations in 2022

French Side Travel clients traveled to all corners of France in an exciting 2022. Visitors experienced the best of various styles and types of travel including history and culture, romance, adventure, and gastronomy to name a few. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s client favorite destinations in 2022.


French Side Travel’s Client Favorite Destinations in 2022

Paris

paris notre dame view at sunset

Paris, the French capital, is renowned for its historical sights and monumental beauty. Year after year, Paris tops French Side Travel’s client favorite destinations list. The superb Haussmann style townhouses, grand avenues and boulevards, legendary museums, churches, and parks offer endless opportunities for excursions and visits.

In 2022, clients enjoyed exhilarating summits to the Eiffel Tower to take in the legendary views as well as Seine River cruises for a unique vantage point of the city. The Musée du Louvre and Château de Versailles topped lists for extraordinary historical sights.

Montmartre was a favorite area to explore. In addition to offering a great view over the entire city, it also is home to hidden small vineyards, narrow cobblestone streets and numerous romantic places. Wandering about the lively side streets and picturesque narrow alleys, you’ll discover the authentic Parisian ambiance and art de vivre.

Normandy

normandy french side travel's client favorite destinations in 2022

Normandy is a perennial favorite destination thanks to its proximity to Paris along with its fascinating history, fabulous foods, and two major attractions: Mont Saint-Michel and the World War II D-Day landing beaches and memorials.

The island and abbey of Mont Saint-Michel are some of the most visited, most photographed, and most easily recognized landmarks in France. Mont Saint-Michel is on the border of Normandy and Brittany, and is one of the leading tourist destinations in France and an important pilgrimage destination, with more than two million visitors each year. The abbey, known as La Merveille (The Marvel), was built between the 10th and the 16th centuries. Both Romanesque and Gothic style elements of architecture are on display, as well as far-reaching views across the bay.

North of Bayeux rest the iconic World War II D-Day landing beaches and memorials, where thousands of brave allied troops gave their lives to liberate France, and eventually Europe. Clients particularly enjoyed private guided tours to explore the moving sites that hosted the pivotal battles. Two especially powerful places of remembrance include the moving and solemn American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe du Hoc, with largely untouched rugged cliffs and bomb craters, bunkers, and casements still visible.

Provence

les baux de provence

During the warmer months, the sun-drenched Provence tops many travelers’ lists of places to visit in France. This striking region located between sea and mountains continues to captivate with its striking history, connection to art, beauty, as well as unique regional foods and wines.

Clients especially enjoyed private guided tours of the Luberon Regional National Park. This UNESCO-listed 120,000-hectare nature reserve encompasses limestone mountains, rolling hills, serene valleys, orchards and farms. The picturesque villages of the Luberon are some of Provence’s most charming, unspoiled tourist destinations.

Nestled in the Alpilles mountains, Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the “most beautiful villages in France,” is a typical Provençal fortified hilltop village and offers great views of the plains, the Mediterranean Sea and the stunning rocky landscape of the Alpilles. Narrow cobbled streets wind car-free past ancient houses, up to splendid castle ruins sitting on top of a rocky outcrop above the village.

For wine lovers, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a must. The ruins of the Pope’s formal summer residence dominate a typical medieval village. A sea of blonde pebbles cover the vineyards. The 13 varieties of grapes combined with the various soils create a large palette of complex red wines and elegant white wines.

Where to Stay in Provence
le mas des herbes blanches

Le Mas des Herbes Blanches

This five-star property is a jewel set in the exceptional Luberon landscapes. It’s a refined base from which to explore the villages of Gordes, Roussillon, Bonnieux, Lacost, Goult and Ménerbes.

Provençal charm and old stone meets modern amenities. The 47 luxurious rooms and suites with terraces offering splendid views. Treat yourself in the two onsite restaurants and the bar. The Sothys spa boasts a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness room, sauna, and more.

Côte d’Azur

cote d'azur french side travel's client favorite destinations in 2022

The glittering French Riviera, or Côte d’Azur, is a Mediterranean paradise. The Côte d’Azur blends glamour with a certain old-world charm only found in this area. Bask in the bright sun and soak in the superb turquoise waters along the sparkling coastline.

One of the most popular places to visit is the Medieval village of Èze, located on a rock 450 meters above sea level and surrounds the ruins of a 12th-century castle. This quaint little village has stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the labyrinth of cobble-stoned streets, lined with bougainvillea-wrapped houses, and with views down the steep hillside to the Mediterranean. Narrow, sloping streets and archways open out into hidden squares, fountains and quiet courtyards make this town idyllic.

Another gorgeous tour includes the Loup Valley perched villages. Villages are attached like balconies to the sides of the mountain, combining all the elements you would expect to find on a visit to the south of France: timeless beauty, local authenticity, French flavor, breathtaking panoramas, and the opportunity to forget about the modern world.

It would be impossible to mention the Côte d’Azur without mentioning Monaco. The Casino of Monte Carlo, the gardens, and the nearby Hotel de Paris are worth a visit where people flock to this mythical place. Explore its impressive architecture and grandiose rooms. Consider a pause at the Café de Paris’ terrace to watch the world pass by and indulge in a cold drink or an ice cream. Walk through the old city, by the cathedral and the palace. The changing of the guard at 11:55 am is a visitor favorite. Port Hercule gives off a James Bond feel with its resplendent yachts, the Grand Prix circuit, and the towering Oceanographic Museum.

Loire Valley

loire valley chateau

Known as the Garden of France, the Loire Valley is home to many of France’s most extraordinary châteaux and gardens. The region’s proximity to Paris makes it one of French Side Travel’s client favorite destinations in 2022. Visiting the Loire Valley can be done in a day trip from Paris. To fully enjoy all of the offerings it is recommended to spend a night or two in the region.

Along with seeing fabulous châteaux (you can find a list of French Side Travel favorites here), be sure to leave time for wine tasting and unique experiences like a hot air balloon ride over the châteaux, a cruise in a traditional boat down the Loire River and more.

Champagne

champagne french side travel's client favorite destinations in 2022

Just 45 minutes by train from Paris is the Champagne region, so it is of no surprise that it’s a French Side Travel client favorite destination in 2022. There are hundreds of Champagne producers in the region ranging from small family growers to prestigious houses like Dom Pérignon. Champagne is a perfect romantic escape for food and wine lovers looking to explore using all five senses. The charming villages, assortment of Champagne houses, as well as the fabulous ultra-luxurious accommodations in the region dazzle clients.

Where to Stay in Champagne
royal champagne hotel and spa

Royal Champagne Hôtel & Spa

In the heart of a vineyard, this former, recently refurbished coach house – one of Napoleon’s favorite stopovers – is the perfect base from which to explore the glorious Champagne wineries. All you need to do is visiting 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 favorite to create a sleek and graphic mise-en-scene.

Vegetables are grown by the staff. Meat is delivered daily by farmers. All of this makes fine dining in the Michelin starred restaurant contemporary and exciting. Multi-course tasting menus or a la carte meals are paired with wines carefully selected by an expert sommelier.

Burgundy

burgundy vineyards

Eastern France’s Burgundy is a prime wine-growing country. This area was once covered by a large sea, leaving today’s vineyards with unusual mineral-rich limestone and unique terroir. Combined with the vineyards’ privileged location and a favorable climate, the area produces some of the world’s great wines. For true wine aficionados, there is nothing more exciting than a trip to Burgundy. Get up close and personal with Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Beaune, Mâcon, and Nuits-Saint-Georges AOCs to name a few.

But Burgundy is more than just wine. The region is also incredibly well-known for its food. Don’t miss Beaune, the capital of Burgundy, with its fabulous Wednesday and Saturday markets. The Hospices de Beaune with its stunning tiled roof is located just alongside the market. A cooking class in Burgundy is an incredible option for discovering some of the regional specialty foods.


We hope this list of French Side Travel’s client favorite destinations in 2022 help inspire a future trip. Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you. Some of our favorite destinations include Paris, Bordeaux, Normandy, and Southern France.

Winter in France: What to See and Do

While it may come as a surprise, one of the best times to visit France is during the winter months. You can experience the country with less crowds while still taking advantage of all of the rich cultural offerings. In fact, there are numerous food and wine and outdoor and adventure excursions only available in the cooler months. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s picks for what to see and do during the winter in France.


Winter in France: What to See and Do

Provence: Private Truffle Hunting and Tasting Tour

winter in france provence truffle hunting

From November until April, you’ll have the chance to explore the world’s most secretive and exciting business. Visit a Provençal truffle plantation where you’ll take a tour, learn about the cultivation of truffles as well as the training of truffle dogs. Afterwards, accompany trained hunters to hunt for France’s elusive “black gold.” You’ll soon know the difference between a real Provençal tuber melanosporum and its inferior Chinese counterparts as well as the process of cleaning, storing, and cooking truffles.

Truffles aren’t the only thing you’ll discover on the exciting tour. Along the way you’ll see wild herbs, vineyards, olive groves, and beehives.

Following the hunt, enjoy different hors d’oeuvres including truffle ice cream and truffle honey, a tasting of the plantation’s own truffle oils, truffle salts, and organic extra-virgin olive oils paired with Champagne. A wonderful winter in France foodie experience!

Where to Stay in Provence
villa saint ange provence

Villa Saint Ange

This 5-star hotel is unique in Aix-en-Provence. Housed in an 18th-century villa with expansive grounds, it is nevertheless within walking distance of the historic city center.

Rooms and suites are large with modern amenities and sophisticated décor.

The onsite restaurant offers a take on Mediterranean and Italian classes. Lunch on the large terrace is divine in warm weather. The bar serves creative cocktails inspired by artists like Picasso and Vasarely.

Guests can enjoy access to the spa, gym, heated swimming pool, terrace, and large garden.

Loire Valley: Exceptional Vintage Wine Tasting

loire valley wine tasting

With the Loire River, north meets south. Thanks to the mild climate and all the different “terroirs,” there is a wonderful diversity of wines: 50 appellations and PDO for 70,000 hectares of vineyards.

You will find a large choice among the refreshing, fruity and delicate rosés, reds that are both complex and easy drinking, and whites ranging from dry to sweet reds. There are also wonderful sparkling wines produced using the same method as Champagnes. The wines are all perfect for specific food pairings because most are made with a single grape variety.

Visit a domaine with an astonishing 10th century cellar, excavated in limestone. It contains very rare wines from exceptional years which date back to 1874. You will have the chance to take a tour of the cellar, during which some of the secrets of the winemaking will be revealed. During the tasting you’ll enjoy a variety of wines, including five exceptional vintage wines, paired with local charcuterie.

French Alps: After Hours Skiing

winter in france after hours skiing in courchevel

Have you ever dreamed of having the iconic French Alps slopes to yourself? With this unique winter in France experience, it’s completely possible. You’ll have the opportunity to continue skiing after the slopes are closed for the day. You’ll meet your expert guide at the top of Courchevel to have a drink and enjoy the sunset.

Then, once the sky is dark and everyone is at home, you’ll have the entire slope to yourself and experience after hours skiing at night. This is an excellent opportunity to take in the unique view of the lights of Courchevel from above!

Burgundy: Private Mulled Wine and Gingerbread Experience

burgundy wine and gingerbread

The wintertime is the best time to enjoy hot mulled wine. The best, of course, come from Burgundy! Tour Philippe le Bon, which is over 150 feet tall, provides an exceptional panoramic view of the city of Dijon and its surroundings. It’s an ideal, yet unexpected, place to enjoy a hot beverage.

After a climb to the top, you’ll be able to sip mulled wine paired with gingerbread, which is another specialty of Burgundy. During this unique experience you’ll have the Tour Philippe le Bon completely to yourself. A unique and romantic winter moment in France indeed.

Where to Stay in Burgundy
relais bernard loiseau

Le Relais Bernard Loiseau

This 5-star hotel is located in the Morvan regional natural park in the heart of Dijon. The 33 rooms and suites are organized on four levels, served by the emblematic oak stair tower. The rooms of the hotel are authentically furnished and have a heritage look blended with modern amenities and comforts.

The restaurant embodies the excellence and attachment to the land of Burgundy. The chef seeks to bring nature, specifically the Morvan, into the plate.

The spa has been multi-distinguished for the unique experience it offers to customers. It is composed of a multi-sensory space for an intense and diverse stimulation of the five senses along with another space conducive to relaxation and well-being.

Versailles: VIP Experience at the Château de Versailles

versailles vip experience

Experience one of the most popular landmarks in France without all of the crowds. During this unique private tour, a guide of the Palace will take you to discover the lesser-known gems of the amazing Château.

The Palace of Versailles holds genuine treasures that are unknown to most visitors – think secret passages, rooms, private apartments, bathrooms and other hidden places. Apartments belonging to kings, queens, mistresses and courtiers in this royal residence, a symbol of French absolutism and artistic and cultural influence, reveal everyday life in the Court and key events in the history of France.

After your tour, it’s only fitting to relive the sumptuous evenings of the King. From the menu to the waiters’ attire, from the setting to the tableware, everything comes together to make a dinner in the Ducasse salons at the Château de Versailles an experience. For this 12-course dinner, Alain Ducasse carried out careful research and took his inspiration from 18th century menus. Yet behind the ancient names you’ll discover a contemporary interpretation of the cuisine. Beyond dinner, it is a genuine experience.


Ready to see and do all of the fabulous offerings this winter in France? There’s still time to make it happen! Our travel designers are standing by and can help you book any of these activities and create the perfect fall itinerary in France. Some of our most popular fall destinations include Normandy, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Southern France.

Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

The holiday season in France is something that every traveller should experience at least once. Starting in mid-November there is an unrivaled festive atmosphere that overtakes the country. Whether you’re coming to get some shopping done in Paris, visit the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg, or to see the Loire Valley châteaux decorated, there’s truly something extraordinary almost anywhere you go. We’re breaking down the Christmas in France must-see highlights down by region.


Christmas in France: Must-See Highlights by Region

Lyon: Fête des Lumières

lyon fete des lumieres 2022
Photo Courtesy of the City of Lyon

For four nights in December, a variety of different artists take over Lyon for the Fête des Lumières. You’ll be able to discover illuminations on buildings, streets, squares and parks throughout the city. The 2022 Fête des Lumieres runs from December 8th to 11th. You can find more information here.

Paris: Christmas Shopping

galeries lafayette paris christmas

There’s so much to do in the French capital during the holidays that we have an entire post about visiting Paris in the winter. One activity that brings a lot of seasonal highlights together is Christmas shopping. Whether you’re visiting the Grand Magasin department stores or one of the Christmas markets you’ll be sure to take in the festive decorations and lights, and you’ll be able to bring back gifts from Paris!

Île de France: Vaux-le-Vicomte

christmas in france vaux le vicomte
Photo by Yann Pirioux

While the Château de Versailles doesn’t decorate for Christmas, one stunning castle in the Paris region that does is Vaux-le-Vicomte. Visitors will discover illuminations in both the gardens and the château. Inside, decorations have a gourmet theme this year. Rooms will be scented with gingerbread and cinnamon. To complete the cozy atmosphere, fireplaces will be lit and carriage rides will be offered. This year the festivities go from November 19th until December 31st (closed on December 25th). Reservations are required.

vaux le vicomte christmas
Photo Courtesy of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Private Guided Christmas Tour of Vaux-le-Vicomte with Afternoon Tea or Cocktail in a Private Room

After the castle is closed to the public, discover the State Rooms and the private apartments in peace. Your private guide will recount the tales from the heyday of the estate; from its creation by Nicolas Fouquet, through its operation in the 18th and 19th century, until its opening to visitors in 1968 thanks to the current owners, the De Vogüe family.

Afterwards, enjoy an extraordinary moment of relaxation in the Salon Le Brun. There will be a monumental projection specially set up for you! An evening fit for a King and Queen!

Strasbourg: Christmas Market

strasbourg christmas market 2022

The Christmas Markets in and around Strasbourg are without a doubt a holiday must-see. With more than 300 market stalls, miles of garlands of light, the majestic Big Tree, and dazzling shows and concerts there is nothing quite like the Strasbourg Christmas Market. This year the market is open from November 25th until December 24th at 6:00 pm. The After-Christmas Village at Louise Weiss Square will be open until January 1st 2023.

Loire Valley: Christmas Châteaux

loire valley christmas 2022

The Loire Valley châteaux are marvelous year round (we’ve identified our ten favorites here). During the holidays, many of the châteaux are decorated both inside and out. From Saturday December 3rd through Monday January 2nd, seven of the largest châteaux in the Loire region are celebrating the spirit of the end-of-year festivities through exceptional tours and events. You’ll see Christmas trees, festive wreaths, and holiday tables dressed to the nines. It’s truly a wonderful time of the year in the Loire Valley and especially fun for families.

Normandy: Christmas Markets and Light Shows

christmas in normandy rouen christmas market
Photo Courtesy of Normandy Tourism

In a region known for gourmet specialties including hearty ciders and cheeses, it’s not difficult to imagine that Christmas is a lively time of year. You’ll find Christmas Markets in the most picturesque of places: at the foot of Mont Saint-Michel (dates to be announced), along the port of Honfleur (dates to be announced), and at the base of the Rouen Cathedral (from November 23rd to December 25th) to name a few.

Provence: Unique Traditions

christmas in provence
Photo Courtesy of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Tourisme

In Provence, there is a unique Christmas tradition to eat 13 desserts following the Christmas dinner: one for each Christ and his twelve apostles. Each of the desserts served varies a bit based on the region and particular family. Some common items include fougasse, the four beggars (almonds, raisins, dried figs and nuts), Cachat piquant, white and black nougat, calissons, pain d’épice, and of course, the Bûche de Noël.

You’ll also find Santons, little clay figurines in nativity scenes. The literal translation of Santon is ‘little saint.’ There’s an entire Foire aux Santons dedicated to these collectables in Marseille, this year from November 19th through December 31st.

Bordeaux: Christmas Markets in Wine Country

christmas in bordeaux
© Facebook / Marché de Noël de Bordeaux

In the heart of Bordeaux you’ll find the Christmas market back again this year from November 25th to December 25th. It’s a wonderful place to admire the decorations and also get some shopping done. For a more artisanal market, this year there is a special Christmas market in the heart of Saint-Émilion on December 10th and 11th.

Pas de Calais: Fête de la Dinde de Licques

fete de liques 2022

France can be known for being quirky. Perhaps one of the quirkiest Christmas festivals is the Licques Turkey Festival in the north of France. It’s named for the turkey, which is a popular item served on Christmas day in France, but you’ll also find all sorts of gourmet regional products. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your Christmas menu and stock up on wine, cheese, chocolate, Champagne, and of course turkey! This year the festival will be held on December 10th and 11th.

French Alps: Snow, Skiing, and Merriment

christmas in france megeve

The snowy alps make them the perfect setting to celebrate a memorable Christmas. Whether you’re in Courchevel or Val d’Isère, you’ll be enchanted by the special Christmas magic including parades throughout town, Santa hitting the slopes and more.

Winter in Courchevel: The Last Track After Hours Ski

You’ll have the opportunity to continue skiing after the slopes are closed for the end of the day. You’ll meet at the top of Courchevel to have a drink while you enjoy the sunset.

Then, once the sky is dark and everyone is at home, you’ll enjoy the entire slope for yourself and experience what skiing at night is like. An excellent opportunity to take in the view on the lights of Courchevel from the top!

Are you ready to spend the holidays in France? Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you. They can help to identify the perfect region for you to experience the must-see Christmas highlights in France.

A Fall Getaway to the Loire Valley

The so-called “Garden of France” is arguably at its best in the fall when it is blanketed in hues of yellow, gold, and deep oranges. From aboard a boat to on a bike and even from a hot air balloon, there are many ways to take in the stunning autumn scenery. Read on to discover French Side Travel’s top recommendations for a fall getaway to the Loire Valley.


A Fall Getaway to the Loire Valley

Experience Fall in the Chinon Vineyards with a Picnic and Boat Cruise

a fall getaway to the loire valley chinon vineyards

When you arrive at the winery in Chinon you’ll be greeted by a stunning display of golden vines. This will be a wonderful day for you to get to know this wine-producing region of the Loire Valley, to discover the banks of the Vienne River with its fabulous, colorful views, to taste local products, and most importantly to meet with the passionate producers.

Start your visit to the wine estate with a carriage ride in the vineyards. Afterwards, you’ll sit down to enjoy a chef-prepared gastronomic picnic on the banks of the Vienne River. If the weather is too chilly, there’s an option to enjoy the picnic in a troglodytic cellar. The day will finish with a ride in a traditional Loire Valley gabare boat along the Vienne River. The perfect opportunity to capture the Loire Valley in all its fall glory!

Private Guided Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Châteaux

fall in the loire valley hot air balloon

What better way to discover the magnificent Loire Valley châteaux than with a hot air balloon ride over them? This experience is sure to be an unforgettable one, and a wonderful addition to a fall getaway in the Loire Valley. Your guide will lead the way from the moment you are picked up at your hotel and will be sure to transmit his passion for the region. Admire the absolutely breathtaking views of the châteaux and the splendid fall colors during the one-hour ride. A highlight is sure to be the aperitif from up above with great local products.

After the ride is concluded, your guide will take your for a visit to either the Château de Chenonceau or the Chateau d’Amboise.

Where to Stay in the Loire Valley
fall getaway in the loire valley relais de chambord

Relais de Chambord

Located in Chambord, a 4 minute walk from the château, this small and refined 4-star boutique hotel was designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte and is situated in an unrivaled location. With captivating views around almost every turn, you will get to know each turret and spire of the castle’s famous rooftop skyline from your hotel.

The stylish rooms, full of natural light, are equipped with a high-end comfort combining velvet, wood, ceramics, and lamps. Every room is unique, and each one slightly different in a charming and individual way. Some rooms offer a view of the Château de Chambord, while others overlook the Cosson River, Place Saint-Louis, or the forest.

A buffet breakfast is served every morning. The restaurant prepares modern French cuisine. You can also have lunch at the bar, with its menu of snacks.

The hotel’s wellness area is open every day and has a hammam, sauna, outdoor jacuzzi, and tea room.

Visit the Château de Villandry, Château de L’Islette, and the Vouvray Wine Region

chateau de villandry fall

Enjoy a comprehensive day of discovering the best of the Loire Valley in just one day. You’ll have the opportunity to visit two fabulous châteaux and two Vouvray wine estates.

Start your day with the stunning Château de Villandry, a Renaissance jewel of a château with plenty of French heritage. During the tour, you will travel in time from the Renaissance to 18th-century France. One of the highlights of your day will surely be the exploration of Villandry’s gorgeous formal gardens. This beautiful and delicately-manicured landscape masterpiece will be especially decked out for the fall for a unique perspective.

Afterwards, you’ll be off to the private Château de L’Islette. As you drive up, you’ll be amazed by the sight unfolding in front of you. The French family that inherited this historical château still lives there today.

Finally, you will head to Vouvray to discover the beautiful wine area filled with passionate winegrowers. Vouvray is well-known for its sparkling and white wines. You’ll meet a genuine French winemaker in a charming family-run estate. During this visit, you will improve your knowledge of winemaking. And before saying au revoir, you will share an aperitif à la française made up of local products like cheese, rillettes, and fresh baguette, paired with local wine of course!

Discover the Loire Valley by Bike

loire valley fall

Before the biking begins, you’ll begin your day with a visit to one of the last châteaux built during the Renaissance period. The gardens are absolutely wonderful and not to be missed while in the region.

You’ll then bike along the banks of the Loire River to an old fisherman’s village, where you’ll will stop for a picnic lunch on the riverside, complete with local delicacies and some wine. You’ll want to bring a camera along to capture the beautiful fall reflections on the Loire River.

Afterwards, ride to 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 River is quite simply stunning, especially when the trees are yellow. At the end of the day, stop at a vineyard in Vouvray to visit a cellar and taste the region’s delicious local sparkling wine. It’ll be an excellent way to cap off a memorable fall day in the Loire Valley.

Where to Stay 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, the 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. The 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 the beautiful lawns and gardens are waiting to be explored. The historic building offers rooms with a classic “château” feeling, whereas the cottages nearby offer a more modern decor.

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 of mouth-watering menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

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


We hope these recommendations for a fall getaway to the Loire Valley help inspire a future trip. We would love to help you plan a dream vacation to France with a custom, completely tailor-made itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Paris, the South of France, and Normandy. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Fall in France 2022: What to See and Do

Fall in France brings out some of the best of the country from the crisp weather and stunning fall colors to special seasonal foods and more. It truly is a wonderful time to visit and you can’t go wrong with almost any region. We’ve identified some of our top picks for what to see and do during fall in France in 2022.


Fall in France 2022: What to See and Do

Normandy: Authentic Cider and Cheese Tour

normandy cider cheese tour

Fall is a great time to discover Normandy with fewer crowds compared to the summertime. No trip to the region would be complete without at least a day spent tasting some of the gourmet regional specialties, namely ciders and cheeses.

The morning is dedicated to learning about Norman cheeses, in particular the famous Camembert de Normandie. Meet the last Camembert farmer in the village that gave it its name. You will taste the best products and see the cows and the production in detail. You will also discover the making of two other Normandy PDO cheeses: Pont l’Évêque and Livarot.

After stopping for a fabulous picnic lunch, you’ll be learning all about ciders: apple, pear, pommeau, and Calvados. You will see all the steps of the production in remarkable places. Learn about the traditional raw cider, the 50-year-aged Calvados, and more. This delicious day ends in one of the most beautiful villages in France with colorful half-timbered buildings and great shopping.

Where to Stay in Normandy
chateau d'audrieu

Château d’Audrieu

Gaiety and elegance are the two words that automatically spring to mind to describe this magnificent 5-star 18th-century château-hotel, a listed building set among exquisite French gardens and parkland.

Ever since becoming a hotel in 1976, Audrieu has been a fine example of good taste and the symbol of the French art of living. Period fireplaces and furniture give a personal touch to this ancestral home. Stay in one of its suites and rooms, some of them with original wainscoting, and enjoy a combination of luxury, space, and comfort.

Treat yourself to superb, innovative cuisine in the gastronomic restaurant. For your utmost pleasure, the hotel also features a design bar serving light dishes as well as salted or sweet “Croque en Bouches” to go with your drink, served inside or on the terrace.

Unwind in the hotel’s charming gardens or take a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool. A charging station for electric cars is available at this property.

Paris: Colorful Modern Art Museums

fall in paris

While the trees in Paris are filled with beautiful colored leaves in the fall, rain can be common, especially further into the season. A great way to escape the rainy weather is with a museum visit. Classics like the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are always wonderful options and are always ever-changing thanks to temporary exhibits. However, if you’ve had enough of the gray skies, consider the Centre Pompidou for colorful modern and contemporary art or the intimate and beautiful Musée Picasso in the heart of the Marais.

Burgundy: Fall Along The Wine Trails

fall in burgundy

For wine lovers, the Burgundy wine trails are a highlight no matter what time of year. The visits are especially spectacular drenched in the gorgeous fall colors. Our local wine expert guides will lead you through the renowned estates and surrounding scenery. A wonderful day can be spent exploring the Côte de Nuits vineyards.

The Côte de Nuits is known as the Champs-Élysées of Burgundy – the best of the best. For lovers of Pinot Noir, this is truly a paradise. While it is a small area, there are plenty of terroirs and an incredible variation of parcels and vines that make it renowned around the world. Along the Route des Grands Crus you will discover Morey-Saint-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, and Nuit Saint Georges. During this incredible day, you will taste 20 wines in total including 14 Premiers and Grands Crus – red and white wines and young and old vintages.

Loire Valley: A Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

loire valley hot air balloon

For a unique perspective of the majestic Loire Valley châteaux, we recommend taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Imagine floating above on a misty fall morning with gorgeous golden light touching the vineyards, forest, rivers, and châteaux below. The region is especially stunning with fall coloring. This fabulous experience ends with breakfast and you’ll have the rest of the day to continue exploring!

Bordeaux: Market Visit, Cooking Class, and Lunch

fall market foods france

Southwest France is a region known for fabulous fall foods including foie gras, truffles, and walnuts. During a private market visit, cooking class, and lunch in Bordeaux, you’ll have the opportunity to learn even more about and taste these delicious fall specialties. A chef will lead you on this experience that is both gourmet and a unique look into life in France.

Provence: Visit Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a Local Wine Expert

chateauneuf de pape

During the fall, you can take in the mesmerizing beauty of the historic Châteauneuf-du-Pape village and vineyards dressed in a layer of gold. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is famous for powerful, full-bodied red wines, made from the southern Rhône grape trio of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Besides the golden leaves, you’ll find distinct lightly colored stones amongst the vines: a spectacular fall combination. Throughout the day your local wine expert guide will take you to meet with three winemakers. You’ll stop for lunch in a charming Provençal restaurant. Afterward, you will get the chance to make local confectioneries in copper cauldrons!

Where to Stay in Provence
hotel villa gallici

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 include a terrace.

Guests enjoy access to a spa and wellness area, a large garden, and an outdoor heated pool.

There is a gourmet restaurant onsite that combines Provençal classics with modern cuisine.


Ready to experience fall in France? There’s still time to make it this year! Our travel designers are standing by and can help you book any of these activities and create the perfect fall itinerary in France. Some of our most popular fall destinations include Normandy, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Southern France.

A Weekend Getaway to the Loire Valley

The lush Loire Valley is known as the “Garden of France.” The region is filled with seemingly endless châteaux. This is no surprise as the area was a retreat for French royalty in the 15th and 16th centuries. With a prime location just a couple of hours from Paris it’s easy to enjoy a weekend getaway to the Loire Valley.


A Weekend Getaway to the Loire Valley

How to Get to the Loire Valley

a weekend getaway to the loire valley

The Loire Valley is easily accessible from Paris, making it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway. A train ride from central Paris to Tours is just over an hour long. By car, the drive is about two and a half hours from Paris. Relax and let a private driver take you and enjoy the scenery on the way. Having access to a private driver or car while in the Loire Valley is also beneficial, as the various châteaux, gardens, and wineries are a bit spread out.

Begin the weekend with a special vineyard tour, wine tasting, and candlelit dinner inside a troglodyte cave. Set alongside the banks of the Vienne River, you’ll have the opportunity to soak in the fascinating views. You’ll meet a team of passionate wine producers and enjoy a tasting with local products. Then, sit down and enjoy a gourmet candlelit meal prepared by a gastronomic chef inside a troglodyte cave.

Day One: Private Guided Visit to Three Fabulous Châteaux with a Wine Tasting

château de chenonceau

Your private driver and licensed guide will pick you up from your hotel for a wonderful day of châteaux, stunning gardens, and wine tastings.

Begin your day at Château de Chenonceau, the prestigious castle surrounded by water. Known as the “Château des Dames,” it was mainly women who decided the château’s destiny and history. Built by Kathrine Briçonnet in 1513, it was later enriched and transformed by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, to name but a few. Revisit the period between the Renaissance and the 17th century on your promenade through the royal domain. You’ll cover it all from the ancient keep and the remains of the medieval fortified mill to Diane de Poitiers’ Renaissance gardens.

Lunch will be in the picturesque medieval town of Amboise before a walk around the Royal Château d’Amboise. The château is an architectural wonder that transitions from Gothic to Renaissance styles and was the residence of Charles VIII and Francois I. See Saint Hubert Chapel, the final resting place of the great Leonardo da Vinci and Château du Clos Lucé, da Vinci’s last residence.

In the afternoon, visit the Château de Villandry. The very extensive gardens are sure to be a highlight of the visit. Although the château is best known for its French formal garden, you’ll also see the vegetable garden, the ornamental garden, the water garden, the “Jardin du Soleil” and the herb garden.

The day will finish with a relaxing stop at a vineyard to sample a few delightful local wines. 

Where to Stay in the Loire Valley
relais de chambord hotel

Relais de Chambord

Just a four minute walk from the Château de Chambord, this small and refined 4-star boutique hotel was designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It is set in a truly unrivaled location. With captivating views around almost every turn, you will get to know each turret and spire of the castle’s famous rooftop skyline from your hotel.

The stylish rooms beam with natural light. Every room is unique and offers a slightly different charm thanks to the velvets, woods, ceramics and lighting used. Some rooms offer a view of the Château de Chambord, while others overlook the Cosson River, Place Saint-Louis or the forest.

Enjoy the daily buffet breakfast. The restaurant prepares modern French cuisine. You can also have lunch at the bar.

The hotel’s wellness area is open every day and has a hammam, sauna, outdoor jacuzzi, and tea room.

Day Two: Full Day Private Wine Tour of Clos Roussely, Caves Plou and Vouvray

a weekend getaway to the loire valley vineyards

With the Loire River, the north meets the south in this part of France. Wines in this region have both a freshness and roundness and are produced using both traditional and modern methods. Thanks to the mild climate and all of the different “terroirs,” there is a wonderful diversity of wines: 11 grape varieties and 50 appellations and PDO for 70,000 hectares of vineyards.

There is a large choice among the fruity and delicate rosés, reds ranging from easy-drinking to complex, and whites ranging from dry to sweet. Also, don’t miss the Crémants, wonderful sparkling wines produced in the same way as Champagne. Most Loire Valley wines use a single grape variety, making them ideal for food pairings.

The Loire Valley winemakers will be happy and proud to welcome you to share their passion. Your private guide will lead you through this unique day in the heart of outstanding landscapes or in spectacular troglodyte cellars.

Where to Stay in the Loire Valley
les sources de cheverny hotel

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. The 26 rooms and 23 suites pair sumptuous fabrics with stripped wood paneling to create a sense of contemporary luxury. Beyond the twists and turrets of the building, beautiful lawns and gardens await exploration. The historic building offers rooms with a classic “château” feeling, whereas the cottages nearby are more modern.

As the sun starts to go down, enjoy a cocktail in the courtyard. Then, you can head into one of the two restaurants and choose between the menus inspired by the season’s finest local produce.

Spend a day relaxing by the pool or indulging at the Caudalie spa. Private trainers and yoga classes are available on request.


Take advantage of the Loire Valley’s central location in France and enjoy a weekend getaway. 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 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
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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!

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!

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