Escorted Tours Through France
Forever an epicentre of romance and refinement, France is a stunning country full of world-class art, iconic landmarks and breathtaking scenery that should be on every European tour itinerary. Whether you want to explore the romance of Paris or experience everyday life in the more rural regions, Albatross Tours has a France tour package that will delight you.
For the passionate foodies, our France tours have been crafted to show you the best in French cuisine. Farmers’ stalls in marketplaces, traditional patisseries, and gourmet Michelin-starred restaurants – there’s the opportunity to taste delights from every region.
La Grande France
Discover the glorious chateau of the Loire Valley, cruise the river Dordogne and Canal Du Midi, visit Carcassonne, explore Provence and the Cote d'Azur, plus more!
- Leisurely 3 night stays
- Small groups tours, maximum 28
- $1,600 included extras, no optionals
- Character hotels in superb locations
An Alpine Adventure
- Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
- Small group tours, maximum 28
- $1,700 included extras, no optionals
- Character hotels in superb locations
Celebrate Christmas in the heart of the Black Forest, visiting Christmas markets, the Alsace region in France, Hohenzollern Castle, Triberg, Freiburg, Gengenbach plus more!
- 6 nights in the Black Forest
- Visit festive Christmas Markets
- $800 included extras, no optionals
- All breakfasts and dinners included
Northern Spain & the Pyrenees
From the rich, rolling vineyards of the Rioja region, follow Spain’s Costa Verde to elegant San Sebastian. Explore the mighty French Pyrenees and stay in the walled city of Carcassonne.
- Leisurely 2 and 3 night stays
- Small groups just 10 to 28
- $1,700 included extras, no optionals
- Character hotels in superb...
Paris, Lyon &
the French Alps
Explore the Christmas Markets of France and Italy, visit Palace of Versailles, stay in the French Alpine village of Megeve and more!
- Stay 4 nights in the French Alps
- Visit festive Christmas Markets
- $1,100 included extras, no optionals!
- Breakfast daily and 6 dinners
Christmas in a French
Celebrate Christmas in the beautiful alpine village of Cordon, explore vibrant Paris, take a romantic horse drawn carriage ride and soar up in a cable car to the Aiguille du Midi!
- Leisurely 2 and 5 night stays
- Relax over Christmas in the French Alps
- $1,100 included extras, no optionals
- Breakfast daily and 7 dinners
Sardinia & Corsica, the Lands of Myths and Legends
- Leisurely 2 & 3 night stays
- Small group tours, maximum 28
- $1,400 included extras, no optionals
- Character hotels in superb locations ...
France Tour Destinations
- Amboise – A lovely market town on the banks of the Loire River, Amboise is an elegant location full of grand hotels and magnificent châteaux. There are a number of beautiful historic building to explore, including the former royal castle Château d'Amboise and Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci’s manor.
- Château de Chenonceau – Stretched elegantly across the River Cher, this château is one of France’s most adored buildings. With intricate interiors and gorgeous gardens, Chenonceau is an aesthetic delight inside and out.
- Chinon – Cobblestone roads and beautiful river views make Chinon the quintessential Loire Valley commune – an ideal place to include on any tour of France. A striking 10th-century castle stands guard over the charming town, which is famous for its wine.
- Château de Chambord – Created by King Francois I, this château in the Loire Valley is grand in every sense of the word. Easily recognised by its Renaissance architecture, Chambord is an awe-inspiring sight to behold and is listed as a World Heritage site.
- Fontevraud Abbey – Constructed almost a millennium ago, Fontevraud is Western Europe’s largest abbey. From its tombs to its cloister, the buildings have been restored immaculately and are now home to a fascinating museum.
- Château Villandry – This château’s most loved feature is its wide range of wonderful gardens. Many of the designs and layouts are inspired by bygone eras, granting Villandry a whimsically classic atmosphere. The massive kitchen garden is a particular highlight.
- Sarlat-la-Canéda – A medieval town that originated from a Benedictine abbey, Sarlat-la-Canéda is the jewel of the Dordogne in southwestern France. Well-preserved architecture, narrow alleyways, city squares and street-side markets are all perfect indicators of how life was in 14th-century France.
- Lascaux – This World Heritage site is home to astonishing caves filled with fascinating paintings. Though the original site is no longer open to visitors, the neighbouring Lascaux II museum presents a fantastic replica of the ancient cave-wall artworks.
- Domme – Picturesque panoramas await at this quaint village. Explore the streets and ramparts on the town’s Petite Train – an enjoyable journey that leads to Domme’s peaceful town square.
- La Roc Gageac – This lovely village on the banks of the Dordogne River is an ideal location to fit a leisurely game of Boules into your France tour. Whether you win or lose, treat yourself to some charming views of the surrounding scenery.
- Périgueux – The must-see attractions of this Dordogne town include the extraordinary Vesunna Museum and the majestic Saint Front Cathedral. Between sightseeing, explore the medieval alleys and many cafés that fill this charismatic commune.
- Strasbourg – Capital of the Alsace region in northeast France, Strasbourg is a stunning city that blends the French culture and ideals with those of the nearby Black Forest in Germany. A cruise is the best way to appreciate the city’s medieval-era beauty, as half-timbered houses, marvellous sandstone buildings and lush green parks line the canals.
- Paris – The capital of France is a delight by day and a dream by night. The city’s famous icons need no introduction, and there are countless venues waiting to serve up all the French dishes you crave. There is no destination on earth quite like the cultured, romantic city of Paris. Château de Fontainebleau – Throughout its various remodellings, this château has remained one of the grandest buildings in France for the past eight centuries. The royal apartments and expansive grounds offer a taste of old-fashioned French luxury, as well as an insight into the country’s history.
- Villers-Bretonneux – This commune stands as a touching testimony to Australia’s contributions to World War I. This battlefield is where the German advance was stopped by Australian forces in April, 1918.
- Fromelles – It was here, close to the Belgian border, that Australians first engaged in the long fight for the Western Front. Visitors can expect a moving experience at both the Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery and the Australian Memorial Park.
- Troyes – Take a trip into the past when you step foot in Troyes, a town draped in history and filled with 16th-century buildings. This architectural throwback to yesteryear is positioned on what was once the junction of multiple Roman roads.
- Couiza – Situated on the Pyrenees foothills and brushed by the Aude River, the commune of Couiza is a charming destination in southern France. Don’t miss the Château de Couiza, a monument of the 1500s that now operates as a restaurant and hotel.
- Castelnaudary – This charming market town is famous for its cassoulet, a slow-cooked casserole rich in flavour. Perhaps more importantly, though, Castelnaudary is a wonderful launching pad for cruises on the beautiful Canal du Midi. This waterway lined by gorgeous trees and old villages is a highlight of many France tours.
- Rennes-le-Château – This hilltop village (particularly its church) is best known for its connection to multiple conspiracy theories. Where is the Holy Grail? What happened to the Knights Templar treasures? You may not find answers in Rennes-le-Château, but it’s an enthralling place to ponder these mysteries.
- Nice – This resort town is home to several outstanding art museums, along with markets where you can discover some of France’s best fresh food and flowers. Be sure to tour the wonderful Villa Ephrussi and take in some magnificent views of the Azure Coast.
- Cannes – Though most known for its ties to the film industry, Cannes has much to offer visitors even when the Cannes Film Festival isn’t happening. In particular, save time for exploring the fabulous seafront promenade, where palm trees lead the way to fancy boutiques and delightful cafés.
- The Calanques – These narrow inlets with limestone cliffs make any cruise on the Cote d’Azur an unforgettable experience. With inviting azure waters below and enchanting plants and rock faces above, it’s hard to know where to look!
- Avignon – Set against the River Rhone, Avignon was a papal city until the late 1700s. Highlights for visitors include the magnificent central square circled by medieval ramparts, the Papal Palace, and the abandoned Saint-Bénézet Bridge.
- St Remy – The sensational restaurants of St Remy can provide you with one of the most satisfying dinners of your France tour. With your tummy full, take to the boulevards of St Remy to enjoy the real rural charms of the Provence countryside.
- Les Baux – In Les Baux, crumbling castle ruins stand side by side with craft stores and quaint cafés, providing an exquisite experience for visitors. Ancient yet refreshed, Les Baux mixes fascinating history with the luxuries of contemporary tourism.
- Beaune – Burgundy’s wine capital has much more than delicious drinks to offer travellers on a tour of France. Amongst the town’s half-timbered buildings and cobblestone streets, you’ll discover wonders such as the Hospices de Beaune, Hotel Dieu, and the Burgundy Wine Museum.
- Dijon – Dijon’s past as Burgundy’s ancient capital lends the city a sense of elegance that is most obviously embodied by its architecture. The Palace of the Dukes is exquisite, and the city’s historical centre was recently registered as a World Heritage site in 2015.
- Nuit-Saint-Georges – No wine connoisseur should bypass this beautiful part of Burgundy. With world-class vineyards aplenty, Nuit-Saint-Georges promises to be memorable for any wine aficionado.
- Bonifacio - At the southernmost tip of Corsica lies Bonifacio, a town known for its lively marina and medieval clifftop citadel. Get your cameras ready, because this place will take your breath away. Bonifacio has a sophisticated Italian feel, being just 12 km from Sardinia and the elegant palm-tree lined quay and expensive restaurants makes this a special place to visit.
- Ajaccio - Corsica’s capital, Ajaccio, was the birthplace of French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte. His ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is now a museum displaying family heirlooms. A handsome city, Ajaccio commands a spectacular view of the bay below and is forever abuzz with life, be it on the beach, along the trendy waterfront promenade or in the old-town lanes.
- Monte Rotondo - Is considered to be Corsica’s finest lookout mountain with the exception of Monte d’Oro. On a clear day, the views can be simply stunning with the Cinto Massif to the north and the lengthy curve of Haute Corse’s mountains to the south. Blessed with a stunning natural setting, the mountain frames the home of Corte, a historic commune as forbidding as it is spectacular.
- Scandola Nature Reserve - Located on the western coast of Corsica, Scandola Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site covering approximately 900 hectares of land and 1000 hectares of sea. An exceptional site, it’s one of the many wonders you must see on a visit to Corsica. Your boat trip will leave Calvi and take you through strange rock formations, crystal clear waters and past jagged inlets and caves. Along the way you’ll spot a wide range of sea birds, including cormorants and giant gulls.
Touring France via Coach
France is one of the world’s most celebrated countries for tourism – and anyone who has holidayed here can testify as to why that is! While a self-guided French vacation is sure to be full of fun and fantastic experiences, the stress of organising your own adventure can see you returning home feeling like you haven’t had a break at all! For a getaway in this beautiful country that will actually leave you refreshed and fulfilled, you can’t go past our France tours.
With longer city stays, smaller tour groups, and our more intimate approach, Albatross Tours will enable you to experience France as it should be experienced – at leisure and in detail. With more time and less fellow travellers, you can truly immerse yourself in all the culture, cuisine, history and scenery France has to offer.
Even when you’re not exploring the amazing sites planned out in our comprehensive itinerary, the expert advice of our tour guides will enable you to discover the very best spots in every city, town and village. Travelling with Albatross also saves you from awkward situations caused by the language barrier; you can enjoy every minute of the adventure, even if you don’t speak a word of French.
Your time with us is also sure to involve forming friendships with the other people who join us on the tour. Our customers regularly find themselves creating bonds with each other and staying in touch long after their shared travel experiences.
When to Visit France
Generally, France’s best weather can be enjoyed from May to September – just before, during, and just after the country’s summer. With that said, the climate varies significantly between different regions; don’t be surprised if temperatures rise and fall noticeably as you progress through your France tour!
To couple the country’s nicest weather conditions with more manageable tourist numbers, try to avoid visiting in July – the peak of the peak season.
There are a couple of specific occasions that warrant a trip to France outside of these popular months. For example, those interested in the history of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front in World War I would get the most satisfaction from a tour around ANZAC Day in April. Meanwhile, anyone who has dreamt of bringing in the New Year with a festive celebration in Paris will obviously want to choose a December tour.
The Foods You’ll Eat in France
France has no shortage of delicious and unique dishes to treat travellers. Its cuisine is amongst the most renowned in Europe, if not the world. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner during your tour in France will be a fantastic opportunity to take your tastebuds to paradise. Here are just five of the scrumptious items you can look forward to eating:
- Baguettes – Anyone who loves baked goods, breads, and pastries will find plenty of joy in France. The country’s plethora of bakeries serve sweets and savouries to delight any appetite – and baguettes are one of the staples. The golden brown crust, the natural holes in the bread, the satisfying texture and taste… there’s a lot to love about this deceptively simple food.
- Ratatouille – The combination of tomatoes, onions, eggplant, garlic, basil, thyme, and several other carefully chosen ingredients makes this dish a favourite for visitors and locals alike. Whether you enjoy it best as a side, as a whole, or as a stuffing in your omelettes, one thing’s for sure: it’s delicious.
- Wine – Particularly in the regions of Burgundy, Champagne, and Bordeaux, France is home to some of the world’s leading vineyards. Unsurprisingly, this means you are sure to have plenty of chances to enjoy tantalising wines of every variety.
- Macarons – This tasty meringue-based treat has been growing in popularity all over the world. If you’re a fan of these sweet confections, you can’t miss the chance to sample some from their country of origin. Several towns and regions throughout the country have their own variations, so why not try one at each opportunity and discover which French area your macaron heart belongs to?
- Soupe à L’oignon – With a lovely gooey texture and rich flavours, this soup is typically made with a meat broth, some grated cheese, onions, and croutons. The crispy crust tops everything off, making this dish all the more scrumptious and satisfying.
From art to food, and from museums to historical sites, French has plenty of culture. It also has a few cultural quirks travellers should keep in mind as they explore the cities and countryside during a France tour. Here are three of the key things to know:
- National Pride – People in France typically have a lot of pride in their country – to a greater extent than you may have experienced in other destinations. Avoid making any offensive statements about France when in the company of locals (indeed, this makes for good advice when visiting any foreign place).
- The Country of Love – French culture is very open in regards to romance and sexuality. It’s not uncommon for attractive women to be unabashedly ogled, for example. It’s fairly common for outsiders to be initially uncomfortable by this upfront attitude, but keeping an open mind will allow you to simply enjoy the passionate and romantic atmosphere that permeates the country.
- Fashion Central – As you likely already know, France – particularly Paris – is well known for its trendiness. Most locals care a good deal about looking stylish and presentable whenever in public. While not necessary, you may wish to opt for smart casual attire during your tour in order to blend in.
The Money You’ll Use in France
France is a member of the European Union, so the currency you’ll use during any of our France tours is the euro (€). When paying for items in cash, expect to see 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2 coins, as well as €5, €10, €50, €100, €200 and €500 notes. Be aware that some stores will not accept payments using notes larger than the €50. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand just in case. There are plenty of ATMs in all French cities and towns where you will be able to withdraw some euros.
Blog Posts About France
Frankly so French
Paris may be regarded as the jewel in France’s crown, and justifiably so. But venturing beyond the city limits to the storied countryside is an experience not to be missed. I’d heard and read about the many regions renowned for their own culture and scenery, and wanted to experience a trip that encompassed the best of what regional France has to offer. So last summer my friend and I embarked on Albatross Tours’ La Francaise tour – we haven’t stopped talking about it since! Read more
Experiencing an Alpine Adventure
Incredible Zermatt sights, delicious authentic cuisine and friends to last a lifetime; my experience on the Alpine Adventure Tour was one I’ll never forget. It’s not often you can say you’ve travelled up the Aiguille du Midi or taken photos in front of the Jet d'Eau fountain. This tour is perfect for those wanting to experience a new culture while taking in incredible natural scenery and amazing hospitality. With longer stays at each destination, you’ll feel refreshed as you explore the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Read more