PARLEZ-VOUS FRANÇAIS TOURS specializes in tours to French-speaking countries around the world.
PARLEZ-VOUS FRANÇAIS TOURS specializes in tours to French-speaking countries around the world.
 
« back to Itinerary HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TOUR!

St. Tropez

St TropezOne of the most fashionable resorts in France. St. Tropez's fame started in the early 20th century when
the British upper class started to come for their vacation due to its mild winter. St. Tropez was made famous by Coco Chanel who would often visit the area to get away from the cold areas and work on her tan in her beach hut in one of the many private and or public tanning areas.

St. Tropez is an international tourist Mecca. The local pastime is people watching. People spend hours on the beaches and in cafés hoping to see someone or be seen. There, one will see hosts of luxury yachts in the harbor, and lines of café’s and cruising sports cars. One can often see helicopters flying in guests for private parties to one of the several million dollar villas in the bay.

Some of St. Tropez’s beaches are very chic and offer fashion shows on the beach, while others are more remote and relaxing, featuring restaurants and cafés directly on the water's edge.

Each year, in early October, a regatta is held in the bay, drawing a multitude of classic yachts.

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Monaco-Monte Carlo

Spend you day among royalty with a day long visit to the beautiful city of Monaco, home to late Princess Grace of Monaco, and Princess Stephani and Prince Albert.

Monaco-Monte CarloThe Principality of Monaco more commonly known as Monaco, is a constitutional monarchy and city-state, located along the French Riviera between the Mediterranean Sea and France. Affluent Monaco is one of five European microstates. Monaco also boasts more millionaires per capita than any other country, and is the world's smallest French-speaking sovereignty, and is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after Vatican City. The famous Casino of Monte Carlo opened in 1863. Prince Albert is the son of the late actress turned princess, Grace Kelly.

Sites to see include a tour of the palatial, the Royal Palace, where one can see the changing of the guards at 12:00pm, the Cathédrale de Monaco, a Romanesque Byzantine church that contains the remains of many former princes and Princess Grace of Monaco. Or one can try their luck gambling at the world famous Casino in Monte Carlo.

Monaco Ville also boasts the world-famous Oceanographic Museum, which was established in 1910 by Prince Albert I, and was once under the direction of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. One of the oldest buildings in the principality. Citizens of Monaco are exempt from paying taxes.

Monaco-Monte Carlo

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Antibes

Antibes

Antibes is a resort town in the South of France located between Cannes and Nice. It is known for its medieval town (Old Town) still with its original stone masonry. The town hosts several mega-yachts in its huge marina and several very exclusive residential areas littered with a host of breath-taking castles. Marineland, an animal park is one of the biggest in the world and is the only French marine park featuring killer whales and dolphins. The Pablo Picasso museum (Musée Picasso) contains Pablo Picasso's works from the yearlong period he spent in Antibes. Juan les Pins is one of the most famous cities in Antibes. It is famous for its annual Jazz Festival in July, and has been paired to New Orleans. The city hosts carnival festivities in the streets, with down home jazz bands parading. The town is known for its casino, nightclubs and beaches of fine-grained sand.

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Cassis

Cassis is a popular tourist destination famous for its cliffs and calanques. Indeed, the stones from Cassis, which were exploited since antiquity made Cassis famous. The masonry for the quays of the large Mediterranean ports is from Cassis, as well as the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York came from Cassis.

Cassis

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Les Calanques

The CalanquesThe Calanques is a wild mountainous coastal area of oustanding natural beauty, accessable by boat trips from the Old Port. The islands of the Frioul archipelago in the Bay of Marseille, accessible by ferry from the Old Port is also a must see. The prison of Château d'If was the setting for the Count of Monte Cristo, the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

For those who enjoy nature, you will be intriqued by the vast parcs, various types of greenery, including olive trees in St. Cyr sur Mer. Stroll through the village of les Lecques, a port and beach resort. The town square of Saint-Cyr contains a replica of the Statue of Liberty donated by Frederic Bartholdi, sculptor of the original. Buy local wine in this town, where agriculture is the main industry. Other tourist sites include the coastal footpaths and the Musée de Tauroentum, a museum which displays artifacts from the Roman site of Tauroentum.

Likewise visit several different wine vineyards around Cassis for wine tasting. Red, White, and Blush varieties can be sampled. Buy local wines to drink during your stay in France or to take back with you to the States.

The Calanques

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Nice

Nice

Nice is one of the most beautiful cities in France, with its azure blue water from the Bay of Angels (La Baie des Anges) and sunny beaches. Sites to see in Nice include the Promenade des Anglais: the road running along the edge of the water, with strong nightlife and nice views, Old Town Nice, Monument aux morts, a monument facing the sea in honour of the deceased, and the Marché aux fleurs (flower market) that runs every day of the week selling the best produce of the area.

Every February Nice also hosts the Carnival and the Battle of Flowers, that takes place along the Promenade.

NiceThe Nice Jazz Festival in July is one of three major jazz events in Southern Europe, which draws more than 45,000 spectators for 8 days every summer with its 500 plus musicians, 75 concerts, and 120 hours of magic and music! Every night from 7 pm to midnight, 3 stages present a prestigious array of world-famous artists. The festival covers all aspects of jazz music, from African roots to avant-garde sounds, from gospel and blues to urban funk and fusion. The festival is held on the grounds of the Roman ruins in Cimiez. Close to the ruins is what is left of the once magnificent Hotel Régina where Queen Victoria spent part of her visits to the Riviera.

In Cimiez is the historic Monastère de Cimiez (Cimiez Monastery) and church that have been used by the Franciscan monks since the 16th century. On display in the church are more than 300 documents and works of art from the 15th to 18th centuries. Buried in the monastery's cemetery are the painters Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy plus the winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature, Roger Martin du Gard. The Roman Ruins feature an arena, amphitheatre, thermal baths, and paleochristian basilica.

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Cannes

Visit Cannes, home of the legendary Film Festival of Cannes. Check out the red carpet, fast sports cars rolling by, and famous French and American movie stars in the area. Beginning in the 1830s, foreign and French aristocrats built holiday homes in the area, gradually turning Cannes into a resort town. Cannes is host to the annual presentation of the Palme d'Or ( Golden Palm) the most prestigious award given for the best film, equivalent to the Oscar in the States. This event is better known to Americans as the Festival of Cannes, which attracts movie stars from around the world. The Cannes Film Festival, held annually in May, is a major event for the world film industry.

Cannes

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GrasseGrasse

Surrounded by hundreds of acres of fields of flowers, jasmine, and rose gardens, Grasse has been the center of the French perfume industry since the late 18th century.

Places to visit include an early Gothic cathedral (12th century); a town hall built partially in the Middle Ages; and a museum containing paintings by Jean Honoré Fragonard, who was born in Grasse. Grasse, the foremost city in the world for perfumes, hosts scores of perfume museums and perfume factories.

 

 

GrasseGrasse produces over two-thirds of France's natural aromas (for perfume and for food flavourings). Jasmine, is a key ingredient of many perfumes, Twenty-seven tonnes of jasmine are now harvested in Grasse every year.

There is an annual Fête du Jasmin or La Jasminade, at the beginning of August. Young women throw flowers into the crowd. This is known as the 'flower battle' and everyone gets soaked by the natural perfume of the flowers. There are also fireworks, free parties, folk music groups and street performers.

The old town ("vieille ville") is extremely interesting. Tiny streets wind forever between the 17th and 18th century buildings, up and down ancient steps, passing through arched tunnels and sometimes opening out onto large squares. The principal square near the top of the old town is the Place aux Aires. A pretty, three-tiered fountain splashes in the center and arcades line one long side.

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Marseille

MarseilleMarseille is the second largest city in France and is France’s’ largest commercial port. Today it is a regional center for culture and entertainment with its important opera house, its historical and maritime museums, its five art galleries and numerous cinemas, clubs, bars and restaurants. The small port of l'Estaque on the far end of the Bay of Marseille became a favourite home for artists, including Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne.

Marseille's main cultural attraction was, since its creation at the end of the 18th century and until the late 1970s, the Opéra. Located near the Old Port and the Canebière, at the very heart of the city, its architectural style was comparable to the classical trend found in other opera houses built at the same time in Lyon and Bordeaux. Currently the Marseille Opera stages 6 or 7 operas each year, covering the whole range of opera from baroque to newly commissioned works. The season, by subscription, lasts from September to June.

Other attractions include the nineteenth century Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde, an enormous Romano-Byzantine basilica in the hills (featured in the background of the picture to the right), was built by the architect Esperandieu. Accessible on foot, by bus, or by minitrain, the terrace offers spectacular panoramic views of Marseille and its surroundings.

The Stade Vélodrome is the home stadium of the Marseille football team "OM", Olympique de Marseille.

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Bandol/Sanary/Toulon/Six-Fours les Plages

Bandol/Sanary/Six-Fours Les Plages/ToulonBandol/Sanary/Six-Fours Les Plages/Toulon

Bandol, Sanary, and Six-Fours les Plages are true seaside resorts. They each feature many sandy beaches, cliffs, inlets and creeks, as well as many great boutiques along its palmed avenue for shopping. The ports feature yachts of all sizes. Its clear waters make this an ideal place for scuba diving. Likewise, the vineyards of Bandol are just as famous for its fruity blush/rosé wine. In the Provencal village of Sanary, one will be enchanted by the colorful houses, lively streets, and daily flower markets. With 280 days of sunny weather here, swimming in the beach is a daily activity here from October to May.

A day of shopping at the gigantic department stores and clothing boutiques of Gallery Lafeyette and Center Mayol are a definite when visiting Toulon. While strolling down the crowded streets of Toulon, you’ll find great bargains and buys at the local market and with side street vendors.

Visit the provencal villages of Six-Fours les Plages and travel up the windy road to the military fort of Mont Faron situated hundreds of feet above Toulon. This is a great location for taking panoramic pictures of the villages below.

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Le Brusc & Iles des Embiez

Visit the provencal town of the Brusc right on the seaside and its adjoining private island Iles des Embiez. This is the home of the creator of Century 21 Real Estate and the home of Paul Ricard and the licorice flavored drink he made famous throughout the south of France “Ricard”. Paul Ricard also distributes Clan Campbell, Chivas Regal, and Jameson.

While on the island, visit the aquarium, local caves, Musee de Peinture (local museum), Chapelle St. Cecile, the tomb of Paul Ricard, as well as see the wild horses on the island.

Le Brusc and Iles des Embiez

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Gorges de Verdon

Gorges de VerdonGorges de Verdon

Visit the Gorges of Verdon (Verdon Canyon), with stops in neighboring villages along the way. The gorges aqua blue water is breathtaking. Verdon Canyon is a spectacular canyon that forms a border between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var. Up to 700 m deep, the 21-km-long canyon varies in width between 6 and 100 m at the bottom and 200 to 1500 m at its rim.

Although it's much smaller than Arizona's Grand Canyon, the Gorges du Verdon is deep, compact, wild and beautiful. From Castellane to the village of Rougons, the Verdon river flows clear and swift, and the road follows along the banks. Visitors enjoy taking a boat trip along the Canyon…great for photo opportunities.

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Iles des Porquerolles

Iles des Porquerolles

Iles des Porquerolles is one of three islands off of Hyères in the Var département, in the south-east of France. The other two islands are named, Port-Cros, and Île du Levant. Together, they make up an area of 26 km².This tiny island features great activities for those that love the water.

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Aix en Provence

Aix en ProvenceThe Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with double rows of plane-trees, bordered by fine houses and decorated by fountains. It follows the line of the old city wall and divides the town into two sections. The new town extends to the south and west; the old town, with its wide but irregular streets and its old mansions dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, lies to the north. Along this avenue, which is lined on one side with banks and on the other with cafés, is the Deux Garçons (featured in the picture on the left), the most famous brasserie in Aix. Built in 1792, it has been frequented by the likes of Cézanne, Zola and Hemingway.

The Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Cathédrale Saint Sauveur) is situated to the north in the medieval part of Aix. Built on the site of a Roman temple, it dates from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. The interior contains tapestries from the 16th century, other works of art and a baptismal pool dating from the fourth century.

The hôtel de ville, a building in the classical style of the middle of the 17th century, looks onto a picturesque square (Place de l'Hôtel de Ville). It contains fine woodwork and a large library, which includes many valuable manuscripts. It also features a clock-tower erected in 1505.

Aix en ProvenceAix is often referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. Among the most notable are the seventeeth century Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins (Fountain of the Four Dolphins) in the Quartier Mazarin, designed by Jean-Claude Rambot, and three of the fountains down the central Cours Mirabeau:

Aix has long been a university town: Louis II of Anjou granted a royal charter for a university in 1409. Today Aix remains an important educational centre, with many teaching and research institutes:

Make sure you try the famous Claissons

Make sure while you are there you try the famous Claissons…a speciality of Aix

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Fréjus & St. Raphaël

Fréjus is a coastal town on the French Riviera. It neighbours Saint-Raphaël, Var, effectively forming one town. The north of the commune forms part of the Estérel Massif.

Frejus and St. RaphaelFrejus contains a medieval city as well as a popular seaside resort. Created by the Romans, Frejus attracts many tourists because of its history, cultural and artistic qualities, its well kept beaches, and its sea and sporting facilities.

During World War II, on August 15, 1944, St. Raphael was one of the sites of a beach landing in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France. The church of St. Maximinus, begun towards the end of the thirteenth century by Charles II of Sicily and completed by the end of the fifteenth century, are examples of architecture found in the town. The head of St. Mary Magdalen is honoured in the town, and the crypt contains tombs which date from the first centuries of the Christian Era. There's the Roman Amphitheatre, arcades of the Oree Gate, and remains of the Aqueduct arches, and the Cathedrale, Chapel Jean Cocteau.

The towns are very conscience of its natural heritage, in the background there is the massif de l'Esterel, the (Esterel hills) and it 'Nature' base situated on the sea edge. The towns host the annual 'Roc Azur' mountain bike event, which is open to everyone French or otherwise, all ages. There are plenty of walks to enjoy, the most recommended walk is to see the famous 'Malpasset' dam, which in 1959 burst and partly destroyed the town uprooting everything in its passage, only the ancient monuments withstood the torrential floodwaters.

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