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Walking the quiet beaches of Normandy, enjoying a romantic cruise on the Seine through Paris, climbing the Eiffel Tower for a bird’s eye view of the “City of Lights,” sipping famed wines by their vineyards, hiking through alpine meadows, shopping in the open markets of aix-de-Provence, exploring hilltop towns, strolling on the glittering promenades of the French Riviera, and the food, food and more food. We’ll put you in contact with the beauty and charms of France.
France, roughly the size of Texas, is an easy country to explore.
Independent Exploration: We’ll be happy to craft your independent travel through France with an itinerary designed to fit your interests and your own pace, including hotels, rental cars, rail tickets, private transfers, guides, daily excursions, culinary and viticulture experiences, villa rentals and more.
Escorted Tours: For a deeper connection consider an escorted tour. We can match you up with the best tour for your interests and budget so you can benefit from the perspective of professional guides, let someone else worry about the logistics of getting you from place to place, and share special moments and discoveries with others on your tour.
Adventure Tours: France is a mecca for bicycle tours and trekking across alpine meadows and passes.
River Cruises: The 7-day river cruise is becoming the most popular way to experience France close-up. All of the major river cruise lines offer French cruises on the Seine from Paris to Normandy and back, the Rhone as it snakes north from Avignon through spectacular scenery to Lyon, deep into the heart of gastronomic France, and roundtrip from Bordeaux through the leisurely Dordogne, Gironde and Garonne Rivers in the Bordeaux wine region. Most of our clients bookend a French river cruise with independent stays in Paris or Nice.
Mediterranean and Atlantic Cruises: Most western Mediterranean and a few Baltic/North Sea cruises call on French ports. Day excursions allow travelers to visit the “must-see” sights of the region and some offer enriching cultural experiences that connect their passengers with local artisans. Typical ports of call include: Atlantic: Cherbourg, Le Havre [Paris/Normandy], Bordeaux, Montoir de Bretagne [Nantes], St Malo, Le Palais; Mediterranean: Marseille, Toulon, Antibes, Cannes, Saint Tropez and Nice.
There is no way you can do it all. You’ll want to explore the highlights including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, Notre-Dame, Musee Rodin, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Versailles Palace and Paris’ famed districts.
Visiting the D-Day beaches and war cemeteries in Bayeux, Caen and Colleville-sur-Mer, especially the nearby Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial with its over 9,000 graves overlooking Omaha Beach, is a humbling experience. Overall there are 18 military cemeteries in Normandy. Beyond the war, be sure to see Mont Saint-Michel Abby, one of France’s most toured sites outside of Paris – just be sure you time the tides correctly so you don’t find yourself surrounded by the sea at high tide! Don’t miss Rouen – “city of a thousand sires” - and Giverny – home to Monet.
No visit to France is complete without a deep appreciation of French viticulture here on the mid-Atlantic coast. The historic Aquitaine region around Bordeuax on the mid-Atlantic coast is home to some of the world’s most highly rated wines. The renown Medoc wine route is a popular bicycle tour. Take time to enjoy the picturesque scenery, visit the cellars and meet the winemakers.
Chamonix is the gateway for high mountain adventures in the French alps in the shadow of 15,781 foot high Mont Blanc. Be sure to ride the Chamonix Luge Alpine Coaster or take a helicopter ride over the dramatic French alps.
Perhaps our favorite region in France. In this compact area visit Aix-en-Provence, a city north of the Mediterranean city of Toulon, Aix is great for people watching as you stroll the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau with its three fountains or indulge in café visits as well as the obligatory museums. The Le Grand Marche, the many outdoor markets that fill the squares, offers fresh food, treats, clothing, art-works, flea-market discoveries and more.
One of the surprises will be how mountainous the area is as the maritime mountains fall into the blue Mediterranean Sea. The coastal towns hug the shores, each with its own style. Stoll Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglais or head to the beach. Climb to the top of Castle Hill for a panoramic view of Nice. From Nice you can take the train east to Monaco or west through Antibe to Cannes. Off shore from Cannes, accessible by ferry, are the popular beachy islands of Ste Marguerite –where the you’ll find the Fort de I’lle where the real-life “Man in the Iron Mask” was imprisoned - and smaller St. Honorat.
Calling all AmaWaterways’ Fans…..Ama is expanding in France.
AmaWaterways is repositioning two ships to France: the 443-foot AmaKristina to the Rhone River and the smaller AmaDante to sail the Seine.
AmaKristina will take on the “Colors of Provence” itinerary between Lyon and Avignon allowing the AmaCello to sail an expanded “Essence of Burgundy & Provence” itinerary into the Burgundy region on the Saone River between Chalon-sur-Saone and Arles. This cruise will include a French cooking lesson at a culinary school in Valence.
On the Siene, AmaDante will share duties with AmaLyra between Paris and Le Harve on the “Impressions of Paris & the Seine.”.
Please call us for 2021/22 sailing dates and prices. Go Bucket List Travel is your AmaWaterways expert. 804-557-3006.
pic courtesy of AmaWaterways
We did dread coming home from Italy through Paris, having missed a flight connection in Paris once before due to long security delays, but our recent experience in transferring from the CDG Domestic Terminal 2E to the M Gates at International Terminal 2F went extremely well. The internal bus system kept us from having to make a long walk and we stayed within the security perimeter making it unnecessary to clear security review once again. On arrival at the International Terminal we were greeted by a friendly host and whisked into the Duty Free shops were we found ourselves happily sampling free champagne, foie gras and cheese.
Next to wheels on luggage, the “skip-the-line” tour maybe the most important breakthrough in Italian vacation travel. Our broad offering of wonderful day and half-day tours for Rome and Florence and elsewhere across Italy gain you special access to the most popular cultural, religious and historical sites and reserve seating for the weekly Papal Audience. Professional English-speaking guides will offer an expert’s perspective of Rome’s archaeological sites such as the Colosseum and the Forum, important religious sites including St. Peter’s Basilica and Sistine Chapel and the most important art collections in Italy such as the Vatican Museum, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Why waste your vacation waiting in long lines? Go Bucket List Travel will be delighted to design your sightseeing schedule to maximize your pleasure and satisfaction.
If you are traveling with friends, sharing the rental fees for a villa or urban apartment in Europe will save you money over traditional hotels. Go Bucket List Travel has access to many wonderful properties. Most rent by the week and sleep four to six but some are large enough to sleep up to 10. We can also arrange for a variety of extras including a cook, daily tours, cooking lessons and other cultural immersion activities.