Paris and the surrounding region

A History and Culture itinerary

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History and Culture

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A 6-day History and Culture trip in Paris

Day 1

Arrival in Paris

Day 2

History in the making

Day 3

Luxury & Royalty

Day 4

Art & Cathedrals

Day 5

Medieval France

Day 6

Modern times

Day 1: Arrival in Paris

• Meet & greet at the airport or location of your choice around Paris

• Transfer to your boutique hotel in the center of Paris (such as the Hôtel Keppler or the Hôtel de l’Abbaye.

Day 2: History in the making

Morning: Paris Walking Tour

Our tour begins in Paris, or Lutèce as it was known at the founding of the city in the 3rd century AD. With your guide, choose a walking tour that best suits your interests. Along the way, meet local Parisians passionate about their work and their city (artisans, designers, bakers, cheesemakers – subject to availability). 

• Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of this iconic Parisian district and admire the architecture and medieval feel of some of Paris’s most impressive landmarks : the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, the expansive Jardin des Plantes, Paris’s famous market street rue Mouffetard

• Visit the ruins of the Gallo-Roman amphitheater Arènes de Lutèce (yes, right in the middle of Paris!) where gladiator battles and theatrical shows were held in the 2nd century AD.   

• Meet local Parisians passionate about their work and their city (artisans, designers, bakers, cheesemakers – subject to availability).

• One of the only Parisian districts that escaped massive rebuilding by Baron Haussmann, the historic Le Marais district is both quaint and trendy. Once the preferred place for promenade by the nobility, and then central to the Jewish population in Paris, Le Marais offers a unique view into Parisian life and history. 

• Admire the architecture of several private 17th and 18th-century mansions and then relax in the oldest square in Paris – the Place des Vosges, a masterpiece of elegance and harmony.

• Set apart on the highest point in Paris, Montmartre (the “Mount of Martyrs”) is like its own little village within the city limits. Enjoy some of the best views of Paris from above and meander through the beautiful winding (and hilly!) streets as you discover the history of this emblematic quartier with your local guide. 

• We will take time to visit the impressive byzantine-style Sacré Coeur Basilica which sits atop the hill of Montmartre. Finished just before WWI, the Basilica houses one of the largest mosaics in the world and is a pilgrimage site for the faithful.

• A quartier known for its artists, our next stop in Montmartre is the Place du Tertre where we will have the chance to meet local painters and see their work.

Afternoon : Wine-making class under the Louvre

• Discover the secrets of one of France’s most famous products and cultural icons – wine! Create your own personal bottle of wine in an 18th century wine cellar, right under the Louvre Museum…and learn the history of wine along the way.

• An expert winemaker will take you through the process of creating your special blend of wine. You will start by sampling different varietals, choosing what will make your wine unique, and finally learning to compose your blend. 

• You will even have the opportunity to design the label for your wine (and of course bring your creation home with you). 

• Night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris.

Day 3: Luxury & Royalty

Morning: French luxury and craftsmanship

French craftsmanship, techniques, and designers are known throughout the world. Discover the intriguing culture of luxury, precision, and beauty.

  • Meet Eleonore, an artisan jewelry designer in her workshop who works with the most famous luxury houses of the Place Vendôme. For her, pieces of jewelry are true “guardians of emotions” that become vectors through time.
  • Admire the architecture of the great French luxury houses in and around the famous Place Vendôme: LOUIS-VUITTON, DIOR, CHANEL…
  • VIP tour of the Gobelins Manufacture and its exclusive tapestry workshops (the tapestries for the historical buildings of the Republic’s highest government offices are produced here!)
  • Luxury leather work experience: visit a workshop that produces top-of-the-line items and learn leatherworking techniques (handbag, belt, wallet, keyring).

Afternoon: Versailles

From a small hunting lodge constructed by King Louis the 13th, to the spectacular palace and gardens during the reign of his son, Louis the 14th, the Palace at Versailles is truly a feast for the senses.  

Central to the French monarchy up until the French Revolution (its final royal inhabitants were Marie-Antoinette and King Louis the 16th) and hosted dignitaries, diplomates, artistes, and musicians from all over the world. 

  • With your local guide, you will enjoy a private tour of the Palace including the apartments of Louis the 14th (the “Sun King”), the famous Hall of Mirrors, Marie-Antoinette’s bedroom, and King Louis Philippe’s painting gallery.
  • We will then promenade through the Versailles gardens (which you will have seen from above from the Hall of Mirrors), as imagined and renovated by André le Nôtre, the royal gardener of Louis the 14th. We will admire the fountains, the grand canal, and plants from all over the world. 
  • Summer option: Experience the amazing night show at the Palace of Versailles 
  • Night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris

Day 4: Art & Cathedrals

Morning: Giverny

  • On our way to Giverny, we will cross the picturesque Norman countryside and villages. We will pass through one of the most beautiful villages of France – La Roche-Guyon (and make a stop in front of its castle and 12th century tower).
  • With your guide, peek into the life of Claude Monet, the French painter at the heart of Impressionism. We will make a stop in front of his house in the small village of Vetheuil where he lived with his first wife Camille Doncieux (before he was famous). 
  • Visit Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny with rare flower gardens and a certain famous pond… water lilies included!

Afternoon: Chartres

  • Near the Chartres cathedral, meet a Master glassworker and stained-glass artist in his workshop and discover the timeless craftsmanship that goes into making stained glass windows.
  • Amble through historic Chartres downtown, with its amazing cathedral and crypt – the largest in France – that date back to the 12th century.
  • In the evening after dinner, we will go back to the Chartres cathedral, where lighting and sound effects paint poetic patterns on the façade and tell the story of this historical and spiritual monument (candlelight tour of the cathedral at night, upon request and depending on availability)
  • Night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris

Day 5: Medieval France

Morning: Cluny

  • With your local guide, visit the former Cluny Priory (founded in 910 AD by Duke William of Aquitaine) with intriguing catacombs dug by hand by Benedictine monks in medieval times. Visit the site which was the center of the European monastic empire between the 10th and 12th centuries.
  • Savor a glass of champagne in a 12th century Cluny cloister with a breathtaking view of the medieval roman-gothic style abbey.

Afternoon: Chantilly

  • Essential to many French pastries, desserts, and sauces for savory dishes, cream holds a particular place in the heart of the French. With a private chef, we will learn to make the famous Chantilly cream at the chateau of Chantilly, the chateau that belonged to the Duke of Aumale, son of the last king of France.
  • Enjoy a private guided tour of Senlis, a medieval city. Visit the 12th century gothic cathedral, built at the same time as Notre Dame in Paris.

Day 6: Modern times

Morning & Lunch : The Eiffel Tower / Champ de Mars

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized and visited landmarks in the world – and initially was only intended to last for 20 years! Built in two years for the World’s Fair in 1889, it was an object of great discord at the time. What “saved” the Eiffel Tower from deconstruction?  Scientific experiments that Gustave Eiffel encouraged such as radio transmissions and telecommunications! 

• Your private, local guide will regale you with the history of the Tower’s construction, its unique architecture, as well as numerous anecdotes about Gustave Eiffel – an entrepreneur specializing in metal structures (who even had his office installed at the very top of the Tower!).

• Our tickets will allow us to jump the line and will give us elevator access to the summit of the Eiffel Tower*. 

• Weather permitting, we will enjoy an elegant and relaxing picnic on the expansive Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

*subject to meteorological conditions

Afternoon: Paris by Seine

• Enjoy visiting the heart of historic Paris with your local guide – from the vantage point of the Seine River, either in a private boat or with others on board the popular Bateaux Mouches. Pass under centuries-old bridges, admire famous monuments like Notre de Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Ile St-Louis, and…the Statue of Liberty!

• Afterwards, stroll along the pedestrian quais as you enjoy “insider stories” about Paris from your guide.

• Final night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris

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