France Country Information
Like a carefully stocked wine cellar, France has something to offer every palate. Diversity is a French forte. From its Swiss-like Alps to its Italian Riviera, and from the Spanish Pyrenees to das German Alsace, you can stay in France and feel like you've sampled most of Europe. While Paris, with its cornucopia of fashion, art, music and food is the glittering centre piece of most French travel itineraries, France has so much more to offer. So whether you desire Flemish comfort food in French Flanders, seek affordable opera options in Nice, want to create your own Normandy invasion, trace the art of Van Gogh in Arles, refresh history by traipsing through the streets of Calais, sip your way from Saumur to Muscadet as you explore the wines of Loire Valley, Prathvi will show you the inside track. Let Prathviintroduce you to the country of France and tell you her myriad stories. As you engage with her tales of absinthe, floodlit Paris taxi tours, open air markets, and idiosyncrasies of the Left Bank, her seductive couture, and gluttony inducing foods, the seraphic wines, the labyrinthine tombs and lusty castles, the hill towns of Provence, the glamour of her Riviera to the mysterious code of Da Vinci, you will have scratched just the surface. Let Prathvi launch you into a journey that will become a lifelong love story as France envelops you in her multi-diaphanous veils of perfumed enchantment.
The culture of France has profoundly influenced that of the entire Western world, particularly in the areas of art and letters, and Paris has long been regarded as the fountainhead of French culture. France first attained cultural preeminence in Europe during the Middle Ages; later, the wealth of the French crown in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries provided a subsidization of art on a scale comparable to that of the papacy in Rome, attracting to Paris many of Europe's most talented artists and artisans.
Wealth also created a leisure class, which had both the time and the means for developing elegance in dress, manners, furnishings, and architecture. French styles still pervade much of Western culture.
Archeological remains indicate that humans have lived in what is now France for at least 100,000 years. From about 50,000 to 8000 BC, Paleolithic cultures lived in the area, leaving extraordinary paintings on cave walls. The famous caves at Lascaux and elsewhere in southwest France date from this period. Neolithic cultures that populated France from 4000 to 2000 BC left behind thousands of stone monuments; the coastal regions of Brittany are especially rich in these prehistoric remains. More sophisticated cultures began to develop by about 2000 BC, and by about 800 BC a semi-agricultural Iron Age culture was dominant in much of France. After this, the Celts began to dominate; between 500 BC and AD 500 they migrated from central Europe to form most of the population of central and western France.
France was one of the founding fathers of European integration as the continent sought to rebuild after the devastation of World War II. In the 1990s Franco-German cooperation was central to European economic integration. The bond between the two countries was again to the fore in the new millennium when their leaders voiced strong opposition as the US-led campaign in Iraq began. But France sent shockwaves through European Union capitals when its voters rejected the proposed EU constitution in a referendum in May 2005. France's colonial past is a major contributing factor in the presence of a richly diverse multicultural population. It is home to more than five million people of Arab and African descent. It has a number of territories overseas which, together with mainland France and Corsica, go to make up the 26 regions which the country comprises. It is further divided into 100 departments, four of which - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion - are geographically distant from Europe. Government in France is known for its high degree of centralization but in March 2003 parliament approved amendments to the constitution allowing for the devolution of quite wide-ranging powers to the regions and departments. In the light of low election turnout, the move was widely seen as a bid to re-engage in the political process French people disillusioned by the ubiquitous influence of what is often perceived as the Paris elite. France has produced some of the continent's most influential writers and thinkers from Descartes and Pascal in the 17th century, through Rousseau and Voltaire in the 18th, Baudelaire and Flaubert in the 19th to Sartre and Camus in the 20th. In the last two centuries it has given the art world the works of Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Braque, to name but a few. It is also famous for its strong culinary tradition. France produces more than 250 cheeses and some of the world's best-loved wines.
Disneyland Resort Paris - 1 Day Pass - By Coach
This is a one day day pass to Disneyland Resort Paris that gives a full day in one of the two parks. This includes transfer and return on board a luxury motor coach from the centre of Paris to Disneyland Paris and admission ticket for Walt Disney Studios Park or the Disneyland Park. If you decide to step through the Walt Disney Studios Gates, let your imagination soar and immerse yourself in the never-ending, always fascinating world of movies and television. Yet by choosing the Disneyland Park Themes, an enchanting kingdom filled with fun, fantasy and discovery will form before your eyes, a world of make-believe characters, shows and attractions. Whichever park you visit, you will discover the most magical place on earth inspired by the most magical dream of all: yours
Paris Seinorama by Coach & Cruise
The first part of this tour will be a stop at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, where we will catch the famous Eiffel Tower lift as far as the 2nd floor to have an unforgettable panoramic view of Paris city. We then continue the tour with our second stop at the Quai de la Bourdonnais and board a "Bateau Parisien" boat for a cruise along the River Seine with multilingual commentaries recorded. The cruise will last 1 hour. After the cruise, we board our coach for a city tour of Paris where we will admire the outstanding buildings and monuments of this swissvery beautiful city. After that we return to the departure meeting point where the tour terminates.
Lido and champagne -
1st show Enjoy an unforgettable evening at the world renowned Lido de Paris. You will be served half a bottle of champagne during the show and will be seized by the unique Parisian spirit.
Paris City Tour and Louvre Museum Audioguide. By Coach
The first part of this tour begins with a sightseeing of the city by coach including recorded commentaries. Highlights of the city sightseeing include Place Vendome, Opera, Bastille, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pantheon Church, Luxembourg Gardens, Orsay Museum, Concorde Square, Champs Elysees Avenue, Arch de Triumph, Eiffel Tower and Invalides. Then you return to the pick up point, where the coach drops off you and then begin the tour on foot to the Louvre Museum which is few minutes away from the drop off point. On the guided walking tour to the Louvre, you will go pass the Carrousel and Tuileries gardens. Upon arrival at the Louvre, you will be given audio phones to listen to the recorded commentary about the Louvre Museum. Highlights at the Louvre include, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Audio guide languages for Louvre museum are English. Italian. Spanish. German. French. Portuguese. Russian. Japanese. Mandarin Chinese only.
Skip the line. The Louvre Museum with audio guide.
When arriving at departure point you will be given a fast pass entry ticket and audio guide which will enable you to listen to recorded commentaries about the museum's greatest works. You will also be given a route map suggesting various possible ways of organizing your free tour. Some highlights of the Louvre museum tour include the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Then you depart from the meeting point on foot and walk to the Louvre museum which is few minutes away. While on the walking tour, you will pass by the Caroussel and Tuileries gardens, which are "real open air museums" in their own way!
Skip the line. Versailles Palace with Audio guide
Enjoy a full day to visit on your own the gardens, the State Apartments, the King's and Queen's bedrooms and the famous Hall of Mirrors. Your will also be able to enjoy a fully audioguided visit available in 10 languages with individual headphones.
French Riviera Tour
During this beautiful day, you'll have the chance to visit all the following places; The incredible medieval village of Eze with paved streets overlooking the French Riviera, and learn how to make perfume in an old factory. La Turbie where you'll have the chance to see the nicest Panorama of Monaco and the Trophy of the Alps (Roman monument from 6 and 7 BC). Then reach the luxurious principality of Monaco where we'll be pleased to be the only one to drop you by the Prince palace. Visit the Cathedral, the Monte Carlo Casino, the gardens, and the Formula 1 grand prix circuit. St Paul de Vence made famous by actors and artists living there, Its cabled stone streets, many galleries and nice view overlooking the sea make it a unique place. Antibes with a stop on the 13th century remparts by the sea, and Cannes with the Croisette boulevard and the Film Festival palace to feel as a star walking up the famous steps.
Half day Tour to Monaco, Monte-Carlo and Eze
We depart for the medieval village of Eze, perched high on a cliff above the Mediterranean Sea. Whilst there you will have the chance to visit a traditional perfume making factory. After a wander around the village where every street is full of charm and history, our tour then takes us to Monaco, for a visit to the Cathedral where Princess Grace is buried, the Palace and for a drive along the Formula One race circuit. Of course any Monaco tour would not be complete without a stroll around Monte-Carlo with its Casino, superb hotels and beautiful gardens.
Half Day Tour to Antibes, Cannes and Grasse
This tour departs from your hotel in Nice and our first stop is in the beautiful town of Antibes before we continue along the coastal road to Cannes. Our tour of Cannes will include the famous Croisette and the Palace of Film where the International Film Festival is held. The 'Croisette' is fringed by fine sandy beaches, much of them taken over as private beaches by the large hotels, and it is there that the prestigious receptions and parties take place during the Cannes Festival. The tour finishes with a visit of a perfume factory in Grasse, home of perfume making.
Monaco and Monte Carlo by Night
We begin the tour with a drive on the spectacular 'Moyenne Corniche' road to Monaco. First discover the quiet atmosphere of the Prince's Palace area. Then experience the glamorous extravagance of Monte-Carlo by night. The Casino, the 'Hotel de Paris' & the Hermitage form an incomparable ensemble. You will enjoy free time to stroll in the streets of Monte-Carlo, have a drink or dine in one of the famous restaurants. And why not trying your luck in the Casino. You can take advantage of the many opportunities to savour the splendid atmosphere of Monaco's night life. This night of magic will end up by a return to Nice via the 'Basse Corniche' road where more illuminated seaside will pass before your eyes.
Nice City Tour
Your city tour of Nice begins with a visit to Castle Hill where the Greeks first arrived and where you can admire a breathtaking view of the old town and the port. Then it's onto Cimiez where you will have the possibility to visit either the Chagall or Matisse Museum (entrances not included), as well as the Franciscan monastery, Queen Victoria's Winter Palace and the roman ruins located within a beautiful Mediterranean garden. The Russian Church will be our next stop and is indeed very surprising, as this is the biggest Russian Church built outside Russia under the last Tsar Nicolas II. After passing by 'La Promenade des Anglais', the tour will end in the beautiful old town of Nice with its restaurants, cafes and the famous flower market.
I personally thank Mr Rajesh for helping us to finalise our Europe Trip this Chritmas. We thank the complete team of Prathvi for all the support and making our vacation a memorable holiday.
- Rita Ghai