French Vogue

French Vogue (Summer 2019)

Duration: 10 days Visiting: France

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Uncover the glamour and rich heritage of France, as you journey from iconic Paris to the heart of romantic Provence and on to the dazzling French Riviera. Along the way, you’ll travel in VIP comfort, stay in luxurious hotels and be introduced to passionate foodies and historians. Taste local specialities on a gourmet culinary walk in Paris, follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh in Arles and visit the timeless Chȃteau de Vaux-Le-Vicomte and Villa Rothschild.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Paris.

    Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. On arrival at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, you’re welcomed by your personal chauffeur and transferred to your five-star hotel situated in the heart of Paris. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure, perhaps indulging in a spa treatment or venturing out to explore the nearby Le Marais district with its aristocratic atmosphere and historic architecture. At 17:30, meet your Travelling Concierge and fellow travellers for a spectacular Welcome Dinner hosted at the iconic Le Petit Prince de Paris, a local restaurant that dates back to 1450. Raise a glass of French wine and toast to your adventure, as you savour traditional French cuisine prepared with the freshest ingredients.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Gourmet Foodie Walk and the Eiffel Tower.

    Enjoy a relaxed start to the day, before embarking on the most quintessential of French experiences: a small-group gourmet foodie walk through the streets of Paris. Join your Local Expert and food connoisseur and visit a variety of boutique shops, including pâtisseries, boulangeries, chocolatiers, baguette cafes and tiny cheese shops. Discover why Paris is so famous for its cuisine and meet passionate foodies along the way. In the afternoon, join your Local Expert for a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. As a guest of Luxury Gold, enjoy special VIP entry, allowing you to skip the line. From the 115-metre-high second story, marvel at vistas of Paris in all its glory. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is on hand to assist you with booking tickets to museums and recommending the best local activities. Perhaps you’d like tickets arranged to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum?

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    VIP Visit to Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte.

    Step into the 17th century during an exclusive VIP visit to the largest privately-owned château in France, Vaux-Le-Vicomte, with its magnificent formal gardens. Designed in 1653 by the King’s principle architect, Louis Le Vau, the chateau is the embodiment of revolutionary design and set the tone for the classical era of French architecture. The estate’s gardens are equally impressive, comprising of 40 hectares of treasures, including decorated fountains, patterned flower beds and timeless statues. Experience Château Vaux-Le-Vicomte Your Way as you’re invited to join the estate’s lead gardener for a guided walk through the gardens, or alternatively, learn about the subtleties of high society during a dining etiquette class hosted by a professional butler. Return to Paris to enjoy a privately-hosted dinner at a local Parisian’s home and savour home-cooked French fare at its best. Your EatWith host will give you a real flavour of what local life is really like.

    Chairman's Collection

    If you are travelling on a Chairman's Collection departure, when you return to Paris you are invited to join Count Remy de Scitivaux for a dazzling dinner at Le Procope, the oldest Parisian restaurant in continuous operation. This will replace the dinner with an EatWith host.

  4. Day 4

    The Heart of Provence - Avignon and Arles.

    Travel first-class onboard the TGV train to Avignon, once the centre of Catholicism. On arrival, join your Travelling Concierge for an orientation of the city, seeing its medieval fortified walls and immense Gothic Papal Palace. Enjoy lunch at your leisure in one of the city’s lovely restaurants before joining your Local Expert and following in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh on a guided walk through Arles. Inspired by the wild beauty and sunbaked houses of Provence, Van Gogh painted over 200 masterpieces in and around the town. Stroll along the Rhône River, which cuts through the city, and visit the famous Arles Amphitheatre, dating back to A.D. 90. During Roman occupation, this prominent structure drew crowds of up to 20,000 spectators who came to revel in the excitement of chariot races and bloody battles. Today the amphitheatre hosts plays, concerts and bullfights. By night, Arles is a Van Gogh painting come to life. In the evening, gather for dinner served in your hotel’s acclaimed Lou Marqués gourmet restaurant for a feast of seasonal dishes and fine wines.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Pont du Gard and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

    Start the day by visiting one of the city’s famed food markets before travelling to Pont du Gard, one of the world’s best-preserved ancient Roman aqueducts and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Journey to the medieval village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a renowned winegrowing region and the former summer residence of the Avignon popes. Take in 360-degree views of the Rhône Valley and enjoy a wine tasting at a renowned winery. Hosted by the estate’s vintner, sample a selection of delicious blends and learn why some of the world’s best-loved wines come from this region. Return to Arles to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. So captivating is the beauty of this historic city that you’ll feel as if you’re walking through a Van Gogh painting. Perhaps admire modern art inspired by Van Gogh’s legacy at the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation or dine at one of many lovely restaurants and maybe seal the evening with a wander along the river? Your Travelling Concierge is there to assist you with restaurant reservations.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Olive Oil Tasting in Provence and Michelin-starred Lunch.

    Set atop a rocky outcrop in the Alpilles Mountains and crowed with a ruined castle, Les-Baux-de-Provence has a reputation as one of the most picturesque villages in France. Start the day with an exploration of the village’s winding streets and take in panoramic views, before continuing to Maison de Bournissac, a small family-owned olive mill situated on the plains below. Meet the owner, see the fruit and mechanised press, and learn about the production process, a fine tradition passed down through the generations. Gather in the shade of a nearby fig tree for a sample of the award-winning olive oil. Then onto the beautiful old Mas, a traditional farmhouse of Provence, and prepare yourself for a spectacular feast at a Michelin-starred restaurant, Maison de Bournissac. Enjoy the finest flavours of Provence, as each Michelin-starred restaurant around the world is meticulously selected based on outstanding food quality. There is time in the afternoon to shop or explore in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, the wonderful old home-town of Nostradamus, before returning to Arles to spend the evening at your leisure.

  7. Day 7

    Provencal Highlights and on to Monaco.

    Journey to Aix-en-Provence, known as 'the most beautiful town in France after Paris', and see the elegant mansions and bustling cafes of the Cours Mirabeau. Then continue to the hilltop village of St-Paul-de-Vence, where contemporary painters celebrate art as a living tradition. Walk through its winding streets and marvel at elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls, and views of mountains and sea. Today’s travels end in the Principality of Monaco, ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century and famous for being the seaside playground of the rich and famous. Settle into your centrally located hotel and enjoy dinner at your leisure.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    The Glitz and Glamour of Monaco.

    Join your Travelling Concierge for sightseeing of glamourous Monaco. See the Grand Prix circuit - famous for hosting the annual Formula One Monaco Grand Prix - explore the old town and admire the Royal Palace where the Grimaldi family lives. Wander along the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, which houses the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, exploring this fashionable resort town or perhaps venturing further afield to seaside Nice.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Corniche Roads and Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

    Embark on a dazzling drive along the Corniche roads of the Riviera and take in breathtaking views along Europe's most beautiful coast. Travel the Moyenne Corniche road, clinging to rocks between sea and sky, for spectacular views. Stop en route to appreciate sweeping panoramas of the sparkling Mediterranean and lavish villas. Join a Local Expert for a visit to the luxurious Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, one of the finest listed buildings on the French Riviera. The Baroness Ephrussi de Rothschild collected art works from all over the world, transforming the Villa at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat into an art lover’s paradise. Explore its nine wonderful gardens, complete with musical fountains, and enjoy stunning views over the Riviera. In the evening, raise a glass to new adventures and friendships at your Celebration Dinner with champagne, hosted at a local restaurant.

  10. Day 10

    Farewell Monaco.

    After breakfast, bid farewell to your travel companions and enjoy a private transfer to Nice airport for your onward journey. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.

Highlights

 

VIP EXPERIENCES

  • Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte: Experience Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte Your Way during your exclusive visit to France’s largest privately-owned chateau, and its magnificent formal gardens. Choose to walk through the gardens guided by the estate’s lead gardener or learn about the subtleties of high society during a dining etiquette class hosted by the owner’s professional butler.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Paris: As a guest of Luxury Gold, skip the line and gain fast-tracked, VIP access to the Eiffel Tower, the classic icon of France. With your Local Expert, ascend to its second story and take in spectacular views of Paris.
  • Paris: Experience first-class comfort as your travel aboard the TGV train to Avignon, passing through the French countryside.
  • Avignon: Join your Travelling Concierge for an exploration of the City of Popes, Avignon. See the medieval fortified city walls and the immense Gothic Papal Palace.
  • Arles: Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh as your Local Expert walks you through the city that inspired many of the artist’s paintings.
  • Arles: Visit the famous Arles Amphitheatre and a collection of structures dating back to when the city was a capital during Roman rule.
  • Provence: Appreciate the engineering genius of the Ancient Romans, during a visit to Pont du Gard, the world’s best-preserved aqueduct and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
  • Les-Baux-de-Provence: Explore the village's winding streets and take in panoramic views from one of the most picturesque villages in France, set atop an outcrop in the Alpilles Mountains and crowed with a ruined castle.
  • St Rémy-de-Provence: Join your Travelling Concierge for an exploration of the village of St-Rémy-de-Provence.
  • Aix-en-Provence: In Aix-en-Provence, stroll through elegant mansions and maybe relax at one of the bustling cafes of the Cours Mirabeau.
  • St-Paul-de-Vence: St-Paul-de-Vence is a hilltop village where contemporary painters celebrate art as a living tradition. Walk through winding streets and marvel at elegant fountains, vinecovered stone walls, and views of mountains and sea.
  • Monaco: Join your Travelling Concierge for guided sightseeing of glamourous Monaco. See the Grand Prix circuit – famous for hosting the annual Formula One Monaco Grand Prix – explore the old town, and admire the Royal Palace where the Grimaldi family lives. Wander along the yacht-filled harbour and visit the cathedral, which houses the tombs of the late Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
  • Corniche Roads: Admire the stunning views along Europe's most beautiful coast as you travel the 'Moyenne Corniche', clinging to rocks between sea and sky.
  • French Riviera: Join a Local Expert for a visit to the luxurious Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild along the French Riviera and marvel at its extensive art collection, wonderful gardens and panoramic vistas.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Rouen: During your gourmet walking discovery tour with your Local Expert, experience delights of this historic town as you visit a selection of shops to try regional specialities like delicious cider or the chocolate confection unique to Rouen known as the 'Tears of Joan of Arc.'
  • Paris: A typically French bistro, the iconic Le Petit Prince de Paris has been a haven of warm hospitality since 1450 when it served as a lively tavern. Today it’s an atmospheric French restaurant famous for its old-world charm and farm-to-table fare.
  • Paris: Join a passionate food connoisseur for a small-group gourmet foodie walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers, taste delicious specialities and meet passionate foodies along the way.
  • Paris: Enjoy a privately-hosted dinner at a local Parisian’s home and savour home-cooked French fare at its best. Your EatWith host will give you a real flavour of what local life is really like.
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Explore the medieval hillside village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and savour some of the world’s best wines during a wine tasting hosted at a renowned vineyard.
  • Provence: Visit Maison de Bournissac, a family-owned olive oil mill in the heart of Provence, to learn about the traditional production process and savour a taste of award-winning olive oil served beneath a fig tree. Set within the traditional farmhouse, the Michelin-starred La Maison Domaine de Bournissac is a celebration of Provençal culinary specialities and delights. Chef and owner, Christian Peyre, uses local produce that he frequently sources from his own garden.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Paris: Situated in the heart of the aristocratic district of Le Marais, this modern hotel places you moments away from iconic attractions such as Canal Saint-Martin and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Its elegant guest bedrooms, luxury spa, traditional restaurant, bar and lounges are complimented by magnificent views of the Le Marais skyline.
  • Arles: The five-star Jules Cesar Hotel has beautifully blended 18th century character with contemporary art. Curated by master of fashion, Christian Lacroix, the hotel places you in the heart of Arles and offers everything from a luxury spa to a gourmet restaurant.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to included train travel to boutique river cruising and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Complimentary, private train station transfers are included when train travel is included within the itinerary. Transfers to train stations or alternate hotels, in the same start or end city of the itinerary, may be requested but are not guaranteed.

Accommodation

 

Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel

Paris (Contemporary) - France

Hotel Jules César, Arles.

Arles (Contemporary) - France

The recently-renovated five-star Jules Cesar Hotel has beautifully blended 18th century character with contemporary art. Curated by master of fashion, Christian Lacroix, the refurbished hotel places you in the heart of Arles and offers everything from a luxury spa to a gourmet restaurant.

Fairmont Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo (Historic) - Principality of Monaco

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, this prestigious hotel is a destination in its own right, boasting a stunning rooftop pool, an in-house casino and a luxury spa.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.4 out of 5 based on
1026 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 18 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Five Star................

    Service: Five Star

  • 11 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Our traveling concierge, Laura Spiers, was exceptional! She provided great information on many of the sights we saw and places we visited that really enhanced the total experience. We hope to be able to travel with Laura on future Insight tours. We really enjoyed the lunch at the Michelin starred restaurant and visiting the charming villages, Les-Baux-De-Provence and St-Paul-de-Vence, while we were in Provence.

    Service: While my wife and I thought the trip was very good there are some things Insight can work on to do a better job. We felt there are some improvements that can be made regarding better communication explaining the itinerary and alerting travelers to last minute changes that are made.

  • 08 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Paris and Arles were wonderful. Monte Carlo was interesting to see but is best suited as a side trip while staying elsewhere (Nice, for example). It was simply too extreme, confining and expensive. Most of the other guests in our group felt the same way and would have preferred to skip it altogether.

    Service: Our tour director Laura was absolutely fantastic.

  • 02 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Everything we did on the trip was well managed and the villages we saw in Provence and the Riviera were beautiful and charming, definitely a highlight of the trip. The dinner with the count in Paris was uncomfortable because we were literally jammed elbow to elbow in a crowded room not conducive to serving 30 people. It was also very hot and there was no breeze that night. In spite of that the food was excellent. One suggestion is that at the group dinners it should be made clear that the meal is limited to 2 glasses of wine per person. This got to be awkward when certain people were notified that they either couldn't have more or were asked to pay extra at the end of a meal.

    Service: I'm not sure what customer service includes. Is that the traveling concierge? Is that the behind the scenes group? I would like to rate this excellent because the traveling concierge, Laura Spiers, and the local tour leaders and drivers were all excellent. But there were a few issues from the Insight organization regarding what I would consider customer service. At the beginning of our trip we didn't get an alert about the last minute change in hotels in Paris to the Bowman. Fortunately my husband compared itineraries and noticed a change in the latest one so he called for clarification but we never received an alert of any kind which is a big miss since we could easily have gone to the original hotel referenced in the earlier itinerary. At the end of our trip we wanted to change the location (from Monte Carlo to Nice) of the extra night stay that we had extended onto our trip. Once we realized how far Monte Carlo was from the Nice airport we determined we wanted to be closer since we had a very early morning flight. We wanted to switch hotels from Monte Carlo to Nice and initiated this request a week ahead which normally is plenty of time to cancel a hotel without penalty. We worked through Pavlus (travel agency) and were told Insight wouldn't allow it. In the end, Laura arranged for it. The other miss in our opinion is that we never received a personalized itinerary that reflected the extra day we booked at the beginning of our trip in Paris and the extra night booked at the end of the trip. As a result, we had no paper evidence of our first night at the Bowman and the desk clerk couldn't find the information initially. Fortunately, she finally located it, but proof of booking would have been helpful. A detailed and personalized itinerary would seen like a reasonable customer service component given the amount of money these trips cost and the fact that it's a gold service. Finally, while we were advised that our gold package included transportation from our home to the airport and back again, we were not given any instructions that we needed to initiate that service. We anticipated getting a call from the transportation company a couple days prior to let us know the pick up time. Fortunately we called Insight to confirm the service a couple days ahead and it was only then that we were advised that it was our responsibility to initiate contact. Fortunately, the transportation service was still available and not booked. The logistics of the actual trip were generally well managed. the local tour directors were effective and, again, Laura and the bus drivers were outstanding in keeping us motivated and moving along our itinerary.

  • 01 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary covered so many things and was very good.

    Service: The Tour Concierge was perfection. Laura was so kind to listen to all the travelers who had experiences they wanted to share with her. She was wonderfully wise and found the right balance between giving us background information that was interesting and not too much. Laura made the trip five stars.

  • 01 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I liked the being able to combine a trip to Paris and Provence and Monaco in one trip plus being able to take a high speed train.

    Service: I liked the ride to the airport at my point of departure and the pick up and delivery to and from the airport during the Luxury Gold travel. I also like the automatic check in and the transfer of the bags.

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: It was a perfect fit for what I was wanting for this trip

    Service: I didn't have to worry about anything . You took care of everything.

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Paris and Monaco were excellent, but would have rather spent the time in a location other than Arles.

    Service: As always, the staff, guides, and driver were excellent. However, categorizing the tour as "Luxury Gold" is not deserving. Our first hotel and welcome dinner where not up to par. Hotel location was not in a central location and the meal was mediocre. I would have expected a little better considering it was supposed to be "luxury". The rest of the tour, hotel and restaurants were very good, but honestly the additional cost was not justified. Regular insight tours are just as good.

  • 29 May, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We loved all of our destinations. We spent just the right amount of time at each location and every step along the way was very well planned.

    Service: My wife and I are very happy we choose the French Vogue tour for our vacation. Our concierge Elisabeth, was the consummate host. She went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our experience was top notch.

  • 28 May, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Get to see all the places I wanted to see

    Service: Everything was excellent except the renaissance hotel . They charged me for mini bar snack which I didn't consume . They held 150 euro on my credit card which they have not released . Although accommodation was excellent but to do this to me is unacceptable. I stayed at Monte Carlo Fairmont and also gave my credit card when I checked in . Upon check out no issue with my credit card .

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