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Top Trip Memories

  • Sailing down the Rhone on a river cruise ship sipping a glass of wine while watching the French countryside glide by.
  • Hitting the highlights at the massive Louvre museum in Paris followed by a stroll along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Taking a dip in the sea with the beautiful people at a resort town on the Riviera.
  • Visiting the beaches of Normandy stormed by Allied troops in World War II while on a cruise along the Seine.
  • Trekking through the Pyrenees to the Spanish border for incredible mountain views.
  • Relaxing at a sidewalk cafe in Provence leisurely sipping a cafe au lait in the sunshine.
  • Dining at a bistro where the waiter adds up your bill on the butcher paper spread across your table.
  • Marveling at the royal finery and expansive gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
  • Biking through Bordeaux or Burgundy and stopping to taste the vintages at a centuries old winery.
  • Enjoying the mix of French and German cultures in Alsace-Lorraine.
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Tour Tips

  • France is so rich in cultural opportunities and activities of all sorts that you can’t expect to see it all in one trip. Pick a tour that visits a region or two and get to know that area well, then return to other regions you want to visit on subsequent tours.
  • On a tour of France, you can choose anything from luxury on down to basic accommodations, dining, and transportation -- something to fit every budget.
  • Specialty tours are a good way to experience France: culinary, wine, art and architecture, walking, biking, World War II history, even religious pilgrimages are all available.
  • Don’t overlook river and barge cruises, which offer a convenient, leisurely way to see the country, stopping both at important ports such as Rouen and Lyon and small villages as well.
  • Don’t be put off from visiting France by the reputation of French people -- especially Parisians -- as rude to visitors. A simple greeting such as “bonjour, madame,” and a smile will almost always win you good service and a return
  • When planning your tour, keep in mind that almost all of France goes on vacation during the entire month of August, so for the full French experience you may want to pick a different month.
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France Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

98%

recommend

602 Reviews

  • Excellent 329
  • Great 87
  • Average 14
  • Disappointing 5
  • Terrible 4

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

Amazing Europe Trip

Mega European

5.0
February 2017
Topdeck
Recommend: Yes
There are so many great things to say about my European trip of a lifetime. The people that made it was my fellow topdeckers and of course the Fab Tour guide Matt Stewart. This is a trip that I will never forget, so many lovely memories I will cherish forever. We was very lucky with Matt because he really took time to talk to us and make us all feel relaxed with each other and asked us what we wanted to do. He was so knowledgable about all the places we went to, I remember thinking to myself this guy is pretty cool the fact he knows so well about the history and culture of each place especially the amount of cities we travelled to. Matt made the trip fun, interesting, exciting and I hope that if I was to ever do a top deck again one day he would be the tour guide or I think I would be disappointed. Have recommended top deck to so many people, memories I will have for a lifetime.

Georgina staines
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5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
This was a very well organised trip and the views through the whole trek were absolutely amazing. The walking was sustained and sometimes challenging, but super staff support, campsites, food and regular stops at refuges through the day means the days were never too tiring.
It was nice to have two rest days and to eat in restaurants a couple of nights - these 'special touches' were appreciated and I'm sure they added to the success and relaxed feel of the holiday.
Camping out every night made the trip really special.
Near the end of the trip, we reached 'the Trico challenge' -a stiff climb to a col, which our leader perfectly introduced to us as the toughest climb of the trip. He challenged us to challenge ourselves for the ascent, so as a group we stormed - at our own best speed - up the mountain. We all met the challenge and it was fantastic to sit up the top together with some mountain sheep, feeling triumphant in the sun with the most amazing views.

Our leader was extremely competent and had a very good approach to managing the group and leading us safely and happily so that everyone enjoyed the walks at their own pace.
He had a great way about him and really helped make the trip the success it was.
The support staff were also attentive, caring, efficient and provided for all our food needs, and more, perfectly.

Being a camping trek, you are up and off early so need to be quite organised and ready for a wee burst of activity first thing as you wrestle your pop up tent into its bag, get breakfast and packed lunch etc ready. The days themselves, though, are relaxed and although they can be long, are perfectly interspersed with regular stops along the way to refuel on local, homemade goodies at amazing mountain refuges along the route.
Walking poles were really useful and think about taking two camping towels in case it's raining and one gets wet -the warm shower at the end of the day was worth having a dry towel for!

I felt that it could be positive for the support staff and guides to have the opportunity to take part in an Exodus trip themselves as a participant, so that they have a wider experience to underpin their overall knowledge of Exodus for their clients.

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Tour De Mont Blanc - Camping Trek

Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Just back from a fantastic trek of the Mont Blanc region (Late August - Early September). The mountain guide (Kim) took us on a trip of a lifetime, and kept us all amused along the way. Andres our camp manager made sure that we where always looked after, fed & watered and welcomed us back into camp each day with a smile and great food. You couldn't ask for more and I would highly recommend this trip.
Seeing the Vallee Blanche, the cable car ride across it from Aiguille du Midi at 3842m and the icy blue crevasses which you see to and from the Helbronner cable car. Beautiful.

Kim Jackson was our group leader and looked after us all throughout the two week camping trek and kept a good pace, not too fast and not to slow. Great giggles along the way. Andres Urban our camp manager made us feel at home each day with great logistics support throughout the trek, and top class camping food.

Try and go when its not too hot! It was in the high 20's most days and a little too hot some days when it got steep. Be bold....start early and cold (as Kim would tell us, to avoid the mid day sun). Take a good sleeping mattress / inflatable....you will appreciate it after a few days camping.

Great trek and group of fellow walkers. Next trip.....Mont Blanc itself perhaps...?

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Phenomenal TMB experience

Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
We couldn't have asked for a better guide, group, campsite support or weather report!! An amazing 2 weeks spent circumnavigating Mont Blanc with vista after vista of stunning scenery; brilliant and challenging walking through valleys and up and over cols (minus Col de Tricot in the heat - bleurgh!); fabulous camping and camaraderie; a truly awe-inspiring day watching the UTMB; and too many superb cake stops to mention en-route. Jenny and Clare did a top-notch job in delivering our trip and we all enjoyed the journey due to their care, diligence and smiles. Simply unforgettable
Watching the the UTMB - hands down the most impressive and awe-inspiring day of the trip closely followed by the trip up in the cable car from Courmayer across to the Aiguille Du Midi and back again.

Jenny knew every facet of the trail and where we could deviate to get an even better viewpoint, challenge or piece of cake :) I have a serious addiction to tart aux myrtilles now. My waistline thanks you Jenny

This is a challenging walk. I have done Kili, Toubkal and EBC and this was the most challenging walking by far. True, it doesn't have the altitude of these other hikes, but with about 9,500 meters of ascent in total, it is not a walk in the park.

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Tour Du Mont Blanc Camping

Tour du Mont Blanc Camping Trek

5.0
February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
I Just have returned from an absolute fantastic holiday on the Tour du mont Blanc camping trek (6-20 August 2016) with it's breathtaking scenery and amazing walking!!! with some of the best views you will find any where in the world!!
The camping and walking experience is brilliant!!! and is a totally emersive experience with excellent and flawless organisation and in-depth knowledge on the areas and sites visited from our team leader / guide(s) Clare Appleby and John Briggs who made everyone feel included, welcomed at every stage of the holiday sharing their knowledge and passion for the outdoor life style and their love of the mountains in the regions covered on the tour.
Clare cooked some amazing food! and organised all the day to day camping and transporting logistics in a seamlessly flawless manor, whilst John did the same for the walking, providing excellent guiding and knowledge of the mountain scenery with it's flora and fawner! etc.
The group two was excellent!! - with a good range of ages and mix of backgrounds and was a truly international group where we shared good humour over camping and some hotel dinners and on the trails!
The communal camping experience is also fantastic which enabled us to gel even better as a group sharing life experiences and stories from the trek.
This holiday is exceptional value and is a great introduction to the beautiful scenery of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
It is very hard to say what the most inspirational moments were on the trip as there were so many magical moments, these included swimming in a beautiful fresh water lake even though the locals seemed to think we were barmy doing this. however it was great fun and a good way to relax after a longish day trekking.
The many varied views on the trek, the Helbruna cable car to the Aiguille du Midi and from the campsites watching and recording the sun rise and set on the Bosson glacier were truly stunning and inspirational.
The great humour shared by the whole group and leaders during the trek and the communal camping life style Particularly having to muck in with the cleaning and washing up brought everyone closer together and more integrated as a group.

John Briggs was and is an exceptional tour leader!! very dedicated and well organised!! John guided us all safely and brilliantly!! throughout each day of the trek. There were 14 of us on the trek and John set the pace brilliantly allowing for the people like me to have time to take photographs and to record the scenery through painting and drawing.
John paced and managed each trekking day extremely well giving a detailed briefing each evening of what to expect on the days trails. John also shared his in-depth expertise on the mountain scenery and its flora a Forna. Whilst on the rest days he gave equally good briefings with options and directions of what's available to do in the region(s) where the rest days were spent.
I have undertaken a number of treks in Nepal and some in south America and I have never had explained by any previous guide(s) how to be able to walk properly to use your boots and to be able to trust them to avoid potential walking hazards etc. John did this at key intervals in the trek which was extremely useful and made walking
easier and safer.
Clare Appleby who also had an equally difficult job of organising all the camping logistics including setting up each campsite, shopping and then cooking great three course dinners as well as transporting the luggage between each campsite. Clare made everyone feel extremely welcome and her cooking was amazing!
If you are lucky enough to have John Briggs and Clare Appleby as your team leader(s) then you will get a truly well managed, organised and emersive camping trek that you will remember for the rest of your life.

You need to have a good level of fitness to do this trek with some experience of mountain trekking as some of the days have continuous fairly steep ascents and descents. It is important that you have a undertaken some training / walking in preparation for this trip before you go and to have the right equipment including good well broken in boots. I also find that trekking poles help a great deal whilst on the trails.
The tents that exodus use are spacious and comfortable but I would recommend a good self inflating camping mattress and I also took a four season sleeping bag even though it was only cold a few nights during camping.
You may need some extra Euros than outlined on the trip notes as some of the refuge drinks can be expensive.
If it is clear and good weather it is well worth paying the 80 euros (approx). to do the return cable car trip from Helbrunna on the Italian side to the Aguille Du Midi on one of the rest days for some of the most breathtaking scenery of mountains you will see any where!!
You can pay in Euros in Switzerland - so there is no need to take or change money into Swiss francs.
Bring some swim ware / shorts - for swimming in rivers etc..

The campsites that exodus use are very good the majority of them have fantastic mountain views of glaciers and mountains.
The majority of campsites have good hot showers all of which are free - Switzerland was the best equipped campsites. Most campsites particularly the ones on the rest days have washing and drying machines so there are some opportunities to be able to do washing for a modest price.
If you are looking for a totally immersive and exceptional holiday which will bring you closer to the mountains and the natural world I would definitely recommend this holiday!!
Neil Pittaway August 2016

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Highlights of France in 1 Week

Day 1-2, Paris: Visit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, stroll the Champs Elysees, and enjoy the bustle of one of the world’s most popular and picturesque cities.

Day 3, Normandy: Take a day to visit the historic Normandy beaches and learn about the pivotal WWII events that took place there.

Day 4-5, Dijon: Absorb the art culture, visit a country chateau, and marvel at the incredible architecture.

Day 6-7, Provence: Scenic drives, wine tasting, picnics, and rustic country French cuisine.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Paris & Normandy with Uniworld - 8 Days, premium trip

Highlights of France with Intrepid - 9 Days, premium trip

Jewels of France with Globus - 8 Days, value trip

Or see All One Week France Itineraries

Highlights of France in 2 Weeks

Day 1-2, Paris: Visit the Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, stroll the Champs Elysees, and enjoy the bustle of one of the world’s most popular and picturesque cities.

Day 3, Normandy: On the way to Normandy, stop in Giverny to visit the Monet House and Gardens. Rouen, Notre Dame cathedral.

Day 4, Mont St. Michel: Spend a day at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, exploring the Abbey.

Day 5, Normandy Beaches: Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Bayeux Tapestry.

Day 6-7, Loire Valley: Villandry, wine tasting at Chateau de Chambord and Saumur.

Day 8-9, Paris: Return to Paris for a few days. Take a day trip to tour Versailles.

Day 10, Avignon: Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Provence. Admire the gothic architecture of Avignon, visit the Palais des Papes and Pont d’Avignon.

Day 11, Provence: Saint-Remy-de-Provence, Les Baux-de-Provence, Church of St. Vincent.

Day 12, Marseille to Cassis: Enjoy a walking tour of Marseille, a vibrant city and the second largest in France. Continue onto the cliffside fishing town of Cassis.

Day 13-14, Nice: Spend your last two days in Nice. Enjoy the beauty of the Cote D’Azur, Promenade des Anglais with its Baroque architecture. See Colline du Chateau and visit the Picasso museum in Antibes.

Tours that follow this itinerary:

Unforgettable France with Smartours - 14 Days, value trip

La France with Globus - 15 Days, premium trip

Frances Finest with Viking River Cruises - 15 Days, luxury trip

Or see All France in Two Weeks Itineraries

1 Week Cycling Tour in Provence

France is one of the most popular cycling destinations in the world, with it’s gorgeous views and country roads. Just be careful not to drink too much wine along the way!

Day 1, Avignon: Picturesque classic French countryside, wine tasting.

Day 2-3, Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Experience a more forested landscape, biking on beautiful country roads, before reaching the Rhone wine country. Enjoy the classic wines of the region, and French country cuisine.

Day 4-5, St. Remy: Visit the idyllic French village of Les Baux, enjoy farm style picnics, and beautiful art galleries.

Day 6, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: Cycle along the seashore all day, have dinner in Arles before departing the tour.

Tours that follow this itinerary:

Provence Biking Private with Butterfield & Robinson - 6 Days, luxury trip

Cycle Provence with Intrepid - 8 Days, value trip

Provence Bike Tour with Duvine Cycling - 6 Days, luxury tour

Or see All Cycling Tours in France

France Trips & Tour Advice

France is by far the most visited country in the world. And that’s no surprise -- when you have Paris, the Riviera, Provence, Burgundy, the Loire Valley, Normandy, the Pyrenees, the Seine, the Rhone, and some of the world’s best food and wine, you’re going to draw crowds. Whether you tour France by river cruise, culinary tour, or bike tour you’re sure to agree: Viva La France!

With more than 80 million visitors annually from around the world, France draws far more foreign tourists than any other country.

tour to Paris, of course, is on most everyone’s itinerary, with sights like the Louvre (so huge it could easily take a month to cover beyond the Mona Lisa), Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the Latin Quarter, the Marais, and the Seine with its Bateaux Mouches boats and dozens of bridges offering a walkway or river ride through the center of it all. 

Beyond Paris

But as wonderful as it is, Paris is just a start. Not far away stands the splendid Palace of Versailles, where the Sun KIng, Louis XIV, and Marie Antoinette held court in the days preceding the French Revolution. Also nearby is Chartres Cathedral, featuring some of the finest stained-glass windows in Europe.

A bit farther takes you southwest of Paris to the Loire Valley, site of a number of wineries and chateaux. And northwest lies a series of towns and cities along the Seine that inspired artists like Van Gogh and Monet and where Joan of Arc died at the stake in the 14th century.

The Seine leads to Normandy, on the English Channel, site of distinctive architecture, lovely seaside villages, Mont-St-Michel (the remarkable fortress surrounded by water and reachable only at low tide) and beaches that were crucial to the Allied invasion of then-Nazi-occupied France in World War II some 60 years ago.

River Cruises

Paris to Normandy is one of the major river cruising routes in France. Other popular river cruise routes include Lyon -- one of France’s gastronomic capitals -- south to the Mediterranean, which goes along the Rhone River through Burgundy wine country; and routes that travel through the Bordeaux wine regions on France’s west coast.

All offer a relaxed but informative way to tour France, since all the river cruises feature numerous port stops, many with guided tours included.

The Riviera and Provence

A visit to France may include a tour along the Mediterranean Sea. The glamorous and sometimes ostentatious French Riviera beach resorts include Cannes (site of the film festival), Nice (the largest city), Cap Ferrat, and St. Tropez. The Riviera is just part of sunny Provence in southeastern France, which is tucked between the Rhone River, Italy, the Alps and the Mediterranean. It’s a land where sea air, mountain gorges, vineyards, medieval villages, Roman ruins, olive groves and lavender fields combine to create a sensuous medley of sights, scents and tastes.

The light in Provence is so striking that painters such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, and Picasso were all drawn here, immortalizing the landscapes, architecture, and people. Provence is home as well to France’s second largest city and major port, Marseilles, which displays North African influences and is known for bouillabaisse, the local fish stew. All this has helped make Provence France’s number one tourist destination beyond Paris.

And Much More

France also has mountain playgrounds in the Alps bordering Switzerland and the Pyrenees bordering Spain; the French-German influenced province of Alsace-Lorraine centered in Strasbourg, and other magnificent cities such as Avignon, Toulouse, Dijon, Nantes, and Lille.

In fact, every corner of the country contains picturesque villages, inviting bistros and cafes, the aromas of fresh-baked baguettes and croissants, the clink of wine glasses, and roadways and paths just waiting to be explored on foot, by bike, or by motor. With such a wealth of attractions to choose from, you can rely on Stride to help you find the right tour for your upcoming voyage touristique. 

Related Guides

Continent:

Europe

Local Attractions: 

Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Mont Saint-Michel, Gorge du Verdon, St Tropez and Many More

Top Activities:

Historic Sightseeing, River Cruises, Cycling & Biking and Culinary & Wine Tasting

Similar Destinations:      

Italy, Germany, Spain & Ireland

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