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France

8 tours from £1,129pp

With a reputation as of one of the world’s most culturally identifiable countries, spectacular France boasts breathtaking architecture, sophisticated art, and glorious food. Its political and cultural history is as complex as it is impressive, whilst its stunning landscapes offer a blend of quaint, rural villages, huge cities, rolling vineyards and beautiful greenery. 

The capital city of Paris is one of the country’s highlights, with iconic, must-see landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. In contrast, the south of France is a playground for the rich and famous, with Monte Carlo – home to the renowned grand prix circuit – and the Cote d'AZur being hotspots for jet-setters from all over the world.  

France operates the second largest rail network in Europe, with a total of just under thirty thousand kilometres of railway spanning the country. There are some incredibly scenic rail journeys on offer, and one of the most stunning rides you can take is on the Mont Blanc Express. For those seeking cultural experiences, the province of Champagne is home to Gothic architecture, charming villages, and the Moët et Chandon Champagne House for a truly sparkling tour. 

Whatever you’re looking for, France offers a rich, rewarding experience for visitors, and a holiday with Arena Travel is a wonderful way to see and do as much as possible in this exciting country. 


James & Jane Tullett
NEW

Stroll the cobbled medieval streets of Cervo, admire the stunning coastal scenery, and visit Dolceacqua, Monaco and more during your holiday in Diano Marina, the perfect place to combine play and exploration.

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Nice (Flights from Manchester available at a supplement for October)
  • 7 nights’ accommodation at the boutique Hotel Palace on a half board basis
  • 7 course Ligurian candlelit dinner
  • Varied bridge sessions with Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • Services of our EBU qualified bridge director
  • Services of experts Barry and Maggie Watts in March
  • Services of experts James and Jane Tullett in October

Availability:

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Dr Sally Dormer
NEW

Travel to Champagne, France, to see glorious Gothic architecture and stained glass, combined with a taste of fine Moët & Chandon champagne on this Art Pursuits tour.

  • Return Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris
  • Connecting rail journeys with SNCF
  • 4 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Continental Reims
  • 2 evening meals and 1 lunch with wine tasting
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of your expert lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes

Availability:

  • 2023
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Paul Zimmerman
NEW

Following our highly successful English Rose tours, we now venture across the channel to investigate the story of the French Rose and to enjoy some truly wonderful gardens and rose collections from Paris to the Loire.

  • Private coach transfers and excursions.
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5-star Hotel Sofitel Paris le Faubourg and 4 nights’ bed, breakfast and evening meal in the 4-star Le Choiseul, Amboise.
  • 5 dinners and 6 lunches.
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of your Tour Host and Tour Manager.

Availability:

  • 2023
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Mark Hooper
NEW

Join First for Bridge at the ever-popular Chateau des Comtes de Challes in the Rhone Alps where a full programme of...

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Geneva (Manchester available at a supplement)
  • Airport transfers from Geneva airport on our arrival and departure dates
  • 9 nights' half-board accommodation
  • Full bridge programme directed by Mark Hooper with our friendly Bridge hosts, with seminars and varied bridge sessions
  • Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • Services of EBU qualified director

Availability:

  • 2023
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Kirsty Fergusson
NEW

Visit Provence with us on this European Boxwood tour, and discover fields of lavender amongst medieval hill towns, whilst seeking out the finest gardens in the region.

  • Return economy class flights from London Heathrow to Marseille.
  • Private coach transfers and excursions.
  • 3 dinners and 4 lunches.
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme.
  • Detailed programme and garden notes.
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters.
  • 3 nights’ dinner, bed, and breakfast in the 4-star Aquabella Hotel in Ain-en-Provence.

Availability:

  • 2023
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NEW

Join Art Pursuits over a bottle of the region’s finest and drink in the uplifting elegance of marvellous Bordeaux, famed for its elegant architecture, balmy climate, fine wines and fabulous gastronomy.

  • Eurostar to Bordeaux St Jean
  • Private coach transfers and excursions
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in the Hôtel de Sèze
  • 1 dinner, 2 lunches and wine tasting
  • Services of your Tour Lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters

Availability:

  • 2023
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Kirsty Fergusson
NEW

Let our expert host, Adam Wilkinson and Hortus contributor, Kirsty Fergusson, whisk you on a weekend away to the leafy village of Varengeville-sur-Mer to visit the region’s classical and contemporary gardens.

  • Return Eurostar from London St Pancras to Gare de Calais-Fréthun
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 4-star Mercure Dieppe la Presidence, Dieppe
  • 2 evening meals with wine at the hotel plus 3 lunches
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of the Tour Leader and Hosts
  • Detailed programme and garden notes

Availability:

  • 2023
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Kathryn Bradley-Hole & more
NEW

Join COUNTRY LIFE contributors Kathryn Bradley-Hole and Kirsty Fergusson on this spellbinding tour of the French Riviera’s finest gardens.

  • Return flights from London to Nice Côte d’Azur
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5-star Hotel Maybourne Riviera, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in the 5-star Chateau Saint-Martin, Vence
  • 4 evening meals with wine at the hotel plus 4 lunches
  • Services of the Tour Leader and Hosts
  • Detailed programme and garden notes

Availability:

  • 2023
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France Highlights


Renowned the world over for its culture and its cuisine, few countries inspire travellers quite like France. Not surprisingly it is the world’s most visited country and with some of the most famous rivers in Europe flowing through France, a river cruise is a great way to discover why it’s such a popular holiday destination.


 Winding through the heart of Paris, the River Seine captures the essence of the romantic French capital with many of the city’s most famous monuments and buildings, including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde, sitting on its banks. Around eighty percent of France is beautiful countryside with stunning chateaux, churches and precariously-perched hilltop villages decorating the landscape. Under magnificent Mediterranean skies, Provence is perhaps the most colourful canvas strewn with sun-kissed lavender fields, dazzling sunflowers and emerald rivers. In contrast there are many moods to the stunning Ardeche, whilst the Carmargue, Western Europe’s largest river delta, is a wild landscape of red salt lagoons teeming with flamingos. Rivers spurred the establishment and growth of important cities along their banks. Avignon was once the seat of Catholic popes, Arles is known for its Roman treasures and commanding the most strategic spot at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, Lyon is a city of culture intimately associated with good food and fine-dining.


 Whether its chic cities, iconic architecture, world-class art or wine-tasting through Burgundy, French rivers certainly create a landscape that’s easy on the eye.


Experiences just for you

Browse key sights and the popular tours you can see them on.

  • Visit the Moët et Chandon Champagne HouseView Tour
  • Explore the Princes Palace of MonacoView Tour
  • Visit the old town of Chambery on market dayView Tour
  • Discover Annecy - Venice of the NorthView Tour

Local Information

  • Capital Paris
  • Language French
  • Currency Euro 
  • Tip 15% service charge auto added.
  • Time Zone GMT +1 
  • Electricity Type C & E Two Pin (230V)

Must See

Visit the stunning Cathedral of Notre-Dame

View Tour

Key Destinations

France by rail

France currently operates the second largest rail network in Europe, with a total of just under thirty thousand kilometres of railway spanning the country. Not only is it home of the Eurostar, transporting travellers from the UK via the English Channel, it also operates the highspeed TGV which connects all the major cities in the country. As well as its impressive highspeed network. France also offers some incredibly scenic rail journeys. One of the most stunning rides you can take is on the Mont Blanc Express. 

Fantastic cities

The highlight of France is no doubt Paris, its capital city. Here you can see iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The south of France is the playgroup for the rich and famous with Monte Carlo, home to the renowned grand prix circuit and St Tropez being the hotspots for jet-setters from all over the world. If sightseeing doesn’t take your fancy, you can disappear into one of the hundreds of dainty cafés located throughout the cities and sample the local delicacies.

French Food Food and drink

France’s wine is world famous. The French are known for their attention to detail in wine making, where every flavour or element is heavily calculated, ensuring a complex and nuanced taste, regardless of the grape or vintage. French food is just as sophisticated: the nation’s breads, cheeses, and meats are among the world’s finest, and its restaurants are arguably the most sophisticated in the entire world. The food, wine and fine dining in France make it the ultimate holiday destination for any foodie or oenophile.  

Rich cultural history

In France the culture lives and breathes in its cities and is remembered in its museums and art galleries. Priceless works of art and spectacular sights are dotted all around the country, from the Louvre in Paris, to Monet’s Garden in Giverny; and on top of all of that, France’s assortment of opera, street performers, dance and music make it one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. France’s cultural offering provides a rich, rewarding experience for visitors, and a rail holiday is a wonderful way to see and do as much as possible in this exciting country.