Sorry, this page is no longer available.
Please click below to return to our homepage
Back to homepage

12 Day France By Rail Including The French Riviera

On these packages you will travel from city to city on your own, exploring at your own pace. We have arranged transportation in most cases and day tours for you to see the destination. Enjoy the time and flexibility to linger longer or pick up the pace and see as much as possible. The choice is yours.

Escorted Type
Independent

This itinerary will be conducted at a relaxed pace. You will typically spend several nights at one location which means less time spent packing and unpacking, and more sightseeing. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and handling your own luggage.

Pace
Leisurely Pace

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
Independent Tour
586 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Independent touring – explore at your own pace with pre-booked trains, accommodation and some guided day tours. Enjoy time and flexibility to linger longer or pick up the pace and see as much as possible: the choice is yours.
✓ Second Class rail tickets and seat reservations as per itinerary (upgrade to First Class available)
✓ Incredible sightseeing and experiences from Paris to the French Riviera, including a guided organic food tour in Bordeaux, full day trip to Saint-Emilion including a picnic in a Chateau, gourmet food and wine tastings and experiences, guided tours in Toulouse & Provence, full day trip on the Riviera exploring glitzy celebrity hotspots and charming village
✓ 11 nights in central, 3 & 4 star accommodation
✓ Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 4 food experiences & tastings
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Hotel Elysées Ceramic Paris or Similar

Welcome to Paris, France! Rich in museums, art galleries, monuments, fashion and delicious food, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and things to do. On arrival into the city, make your way to your hotel located just a short stroll from the Arc de Triomphe and the prestigious Ave Champs-Elysées. Check in to the hotel and then explore at your leisure.

Hotel
Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before making your way to the train station for your two-hour rail journey to the famed wine-growing region of France, Bordeaux. On arrival, make your way to your hotel, located in the heart of the city and a short 10-minute taxi ride from the station. 

This afternoon, meet your local guide at your hotel to join a three-hour guided Bordeaux organic food tour; French Apero-style that includes both history and food. You will be visiting the most beautiful places in the old town of Bordeaux and deep diving into its history. Taste a wide range of dishes; all local, traditional and organic

Hotel
Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

Today, enjoy a full day trip to the charming medieval village of Saint-Emilion. Learn how the eight villages that belonged to the Jurisdiction of Saint-Émilion were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the grounds of their “cultural landscape”. UNESCO granted recognition to the exceptional character and the universal importance of Saint-Émilion’s vineyards. 

Enjoy a wine tasting of the famed regional drop Chateau Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, where the passionate staff will explain their story and introduce you to the art of wine production and tasting. Later, we enjoy a traditional picnic lunch in a Chateau accompanied with a tasting of three wines.

Return to Bordeaux this afternoon where the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Note: Tour will start and end at the Bordeaux Tourist Office, a 5 minute walk from your hotel.

Hotel
Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

This morning, make your way back to the train station for your two-hour train journey to Toulouse, capital of France’s southern Occitanie region and known as La Ville Rose (‘The Pink City’) due to the terracotta bricks used in many of its buildings.

On arrival, make your way to your hotel located in the heart of the pink city. Restaurants, shops, museums and transport are just a few steps away. This afternoon, you will be met at the hotel to join a 30-45 minute guided walk through the Toulouse city centre. Your guide will show you the city highlights and major monuments such as the UNESCO-listed Basilica of Saint Sernin, the Place du Capitole, and the Garonne River. You will then be taken to a local wine bar in the Toulouse city centre for a wine tasting with cheese pairing and charcuterie.

Hotel
Mercure Toulouse Centre Saint-Georges or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is free to explore the local sights at your own pace. Join a local e-bike tour, travel out to one of the charming nearby towns, or just spend the day in one of the city cafes. The choice is yours!

Hotel
Royal Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

In the morning, make your own way to Toulouse Train Station for your two-hour rail journey to Montpellier. Rich in art and history, this charming atmospheric old town oozes character, with lots of quiet streets to wander. On arrival, make your own way to your hotel located just 150 metres from Saint-Roch TGV station and a stone's throw from the Place de la Comédie, Montpellier's central square. 

In the afternoon, explore the city at your own pace, or you can opt for a Food Walking Tour.

Optional Tour - Montpellier Food Walking Tour

Join a small group experience with a specialty guide to uncover the main sites of the charming medieval city centre of Montpellier. Enjoy the scents and flavours of regional specialties as we stop at specialty eateries along the way. Meet provedores and local artisans as you explore local specialities and learn of their origins. Enjoy tastings such as olive tapenade, regional cheeses, and oysters.

Note: This tour requires a minimum of 4 people to depart and will be confirmed approximately 60 days prior to your departure. If you tour does not reach minimum numbers, your optional tour will be refunded in full prior to departure.

Hotel
Royal Hotel or Similar

After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel and embark on a half-day tour of the beautiful countryside. Start by visiting a family-owned olive farm and its 16th century mill, where the owners have passed down their savoir faire from generation to generation. Treat your taste buds by savouring delicious products such as olive oils, olive lucques and tapenade, brimming with the flavours of the South of France! You will then participate in a wine blending experience in which you will learn about the grape varieties and the general principles of blending from a wine expert so that you can have fun making your own wine.

Return to Montpellier where the rest of the day is at leisure.

Hotel
Best Western Plus Hôtel Brice Garden Nice or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, make your way to the train station for your five-hour journey to Nice. Enjoy the ever-changing landscapes from your window as you travel through picturesque regions of Southern France to the glamorous French Riviera. 

Arrive late this afternoon and make your own way to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day free to explore the capital of the Riviera, so you can relax at your hotel or perhaps take a stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais.

Note: 18 June 2023 departures will instead stay at Hôtel Albert 1er and 24 September 2023 & 8 October 2023 departures will stay at Hôtel Locarno. 

Hotel
Best Western Plus Hôtel Brice Garden Nice or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is a free day to explore the French Riviera, either at your own pace or there is an optional full day tour to Saint-Tropez and Port Grimaud.

Note: 18 June 2023 departures will instead stay at Hôtel Albert 1er and 24 September 2023 & 8 October 2023 departures will stay at Hôtel Locarno. 

Optional Tour - Saint-Tropez & Port Grimaud by Boat

On this tour, you will discover lovely Saint-Tropez by boat, once a medieval fishing village and now a glitzy coastal enclave that is a firm celebrity favourite. You will have some free time to explore at your own pace and have lunch. Then, visit Port Grimaud, a seaside village built in the 1960s by architect François Spoerry around the marshes of the river Giscle on the bay of Saint Tropez. This village was built in the Venetian style, but with French "Fisherman’s" style houses similar to those in Saint Tropez. During the cruise, discover the Citadel, the Marine Cemetery, famous film locations, sumptuous celebrity villas such as Brigitte Bardot's "Madrague" refuge, and much more.

Hotel
Best Western Plus Hôtel Brice Garden Nice or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today, join a full day trip uncovering the beauty of the French Riviera. After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to visit Cannes, the Beverly Hills of France, renowned for its film festival, major designers, prestigious hotels and sandy beaches. Admire Antibes, the gorgeous French Riviera marina and enjoy the view of the Bay of Angels from its fortification wall. Explore the medieval village of Eze with breathtaking views overthe Mediterranean Sea. You will also visit Monaco’s Old Town, the Cathedral, the Formula One Grand Prix race track and the Casino with Monte-Carlo’s XVIII century-old fashionable hotels and luxury boutiques.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon where the rest of the evening is at leisure. 

Note: 18 June 2023 departure will instead stay at Hôtel Albert 1er and 24 September 2023 & 8 October 2023 departures will stay at Hôtel Locarno. 

Hotel
Best Western Plus Hôtel Brice Garden Nice or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today, join a half-day tour to visit Saint-Paul de Vence, the jewel of Provence, where magical light and colours helped prestigious painters and artists find the inspirational moods needed to create world-renowned masterpieces. Take some pictures in Tourettes-sur-Loup, also known as the "City of Violets," a charming medieval perched village surrounded by aloe and fig trees. Marvel at breathtaking panoramic views from the Alps to the coast from Gourdon, a village perched like an eagle's nest on a mountaintop. You will also spend some time in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, where you can choose to visit the Fragonard Perfume Factory or the Old Town.

Return to your hotel for a free afternoon and evening. 

Note: 18 June 2023 departures will instead stay at Hôtel Albert 1er and 24 September 2023 & 8 October 2023 departures will stay at Hôtel Locarno. 

Meals
Breakfast

Enjoy one last delicious breakfast this morning, before your French adventure comes to an end.

Make your own way to the airport. We hope you’ve enjoyed this inspiring journey.

Inclusions

  • Independent touring
  • Second Class rail tickets and seat reservations as per itinerary 
  • Guided organic food tour in Bordeaux
  • Full day trip to Saint-Emilion including a picnic in a Chateau with wine tasting
  • Guided walk in Toulouse followed by wine, cheese & charcuterie tasting
  • Half-day olive oil tasting and wine blending experience in Montpellier 
  • 11 nights in central 3 & 4 star accommodation
  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 4 food experiences & tastings 
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary 
  • Entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

  • Paris – Stay just 150m from the famous Arc de Triomphe and the prestigious Avenue des Champs-Elysées
  • Bordeaux – Guided Bordeaux organic food tour (French Apéro style), Full day trip to Saint-Emilion including: visit of the village of Saint-Emilion, picnic in a Chateau with tasting, olfactory experience, visit and wine tasting at Chateau Saint Emilion Grand Cru
  • Toulouse – Guided walk in Toulouse followed by wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting & free day to explore at your own pace
  • Montpellier – Half-day olive oil tasting and wine blending experience & optional afternoon food tour 
  • Nice – Full day trip to explore the French Riviera, half-day trip to Provence and optional full day trip to glamorous Saint-Tropez and Port Grimaud with boat tour

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $550.00 per person within 28 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $1,100.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades ,  you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”

By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can assist with flying the airline of your choice to turn your booking into a flight inclusive package.

We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the following requests:

  • Airline Preferences - You may wish to fly with a particular airline
  • Cabin Preferences - These include upgrading to premium economy or business class
  • Extensions (start and end cities must remain the same) - You may request to extend your stay pre or post tour.
  • Meal Requests - You may request a specific meal for dietary requirements.
  • Seat Requests - If you would like to request particular seating. However please note, not all airlines allow the selection of pre-purchased seat arrangements.

We are currently unable to provide a quote for the following requests:

  • Stopovers - Is where you might want to stop in transit for a certain amount of days prior to your tour or after your tour.
  • One way flights
  • Different start or end city to the tour - you may not amend the arrival or departure city of your itinerary. 
  • Around the world tickets  - Is when a ticket includes multiple stops in different continents.
  • Return home to a different city from the one you departed.
  • Frequent Flyer point redemption - Is when an airline allows you to redeem points to pay for your flights or upgrade your ticket.  

Online check-in 

Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a”2”

Leisurely Paced Tour: This itinerary will be conducted at a relaxed pace. You will typically spend several nights at one location which means less time spent packing and unpacking, and more sightseeing. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and handling your own luggage.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. While tipping is not customary, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

You may also consider tipping your tour leader and driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $2,406.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.

Visas may be required.

Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://www.safetravel.govt.nz for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.

Group Size
1-2 people

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Independent - On these packages you will travel from city to city on your own, exploring at your own pace. We have arranged transportation in most cases and day tours for you to see the destination. Enjoy the time and flexibility to linger longer or pick up the pace and see as much as possible.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Montpellier Food Walking Tour (Day 6) - $182 per person
  • Saint-Tropez & Port Grimaud by Boat (Day 9) - $329 per person

Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $0.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $0.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $0.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $0.00 per room, per night for solo travellers


Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Airport Transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
Why book with us
award badges 0 award badges 1 award badges 2
Processing...