The dream trip to Paris and Provence has already received such a warm and enthusiastic response, that I’ve put together a more detailed itinerary to whet those appetites a little more. It’s designed for lovers of France, flowers and food – eleven nights in gorgeous own-room accommodation (sharing is possible – just ask) – everything is as organised or open as you’d like it to be, and because we’ll just be a small group of 9 or 10, there’s plenty of scope to build in sights you’ve always wanted to see and things you’ve always wanted to do.
Once I started jotting down the wonderfully fabulous things that are planned for each day, I realised I was creating a little novel, so I;ve broken the itinerary into two parts.
Here's the Paris bit, with Provence to come,,,
Saturday April 30
(the proposed departure date which may change according to flight schedules)
We’ll meet at Auckland International Airport and fly (economy - ask about business class options) with a good airline, arriving in Paris on Sunday morning. Check in to our own room in a lovely hotel in a nice part of the city – a perfect base to start exploring…
Sunday May 1
A relaxing day in Paris is planned – a delicious breakfast in a neighbourhood café, a wander around a local food market, a stroll to the Eiffel Tower (just minutes from our hotel) and a leisurely afternoon at the Luxembourg Gardens.
Monday May 2
PARIS - GIVERNY
A day trip to Monet’s Gardens – included is an optional floral workshop – for anyone who is interested. We’ll buy flowers from Sunday’s market and take them with us on the train to Giverny, where we’ll spend an hour or two playing with seasonal blooms and creating inspired bouquets, learning simple spiralling and hand-tying techniques and having lots of flowery fun. When we reach Vernon, there’s an option to take a bus to Giverny or cycle 7km on a designated bike trail. Once back to Paris we’ll visit Opera Garnier, where Phantom of the Opera was set. There’s a contemporary dance performance playing there – Maguy Marin. It’s probably possible to get tickets if anyone is interested?
The food part of the day includes a picnic lunch at Giverny and a fabulous restaurant meal that night back in Paris at Florimond, named after Monet’s gardener. Perfect!
Tuesday May 3
More exploring around Paris including a bit more Monet at the Musee d’Orsay and the Orangerie, the Arc de Triomphe, a stroll along the Champs Elysees, stunning stained glass at St Chappelle and the fabulous foodie paradise of Fauchon and Hediard.
Dinner in Rue Cler followed by a Son et Lumiere (sound and light) spectacle in the grounds of the Hotel des Invalides.
Wednesday May 2
PARIS - AMSTERDAM
An early morning start for those wanting to take an optional (+$250) day trip to Amsterdam, from where we’ll travel by bus to Keukenhopf to see the dazzling display of tulips. Two countries in one day!
Those who stay in Paris might like to take their own day trip to visit the Palace and Gardens of Versailles or just potter around – there’s so much to see and do within an easy walk from our hotel.
Thursday May 3
Exploring three fascinating parts of this beautiful city – the stylish Marais, Montmartre and the Place de Tertre, and the Quartier Latin where we’ll stay on for some fine food and fun.
It’s Ascension – a public holiday in France, so some of the museums and shops may be closed. Restaurants and cafés are of course open though – it’s France after all!
Friday May 4
Exploring Paris as you like – more art galleries, shopping, seeing more sights
Today there is also an option (+$280) to do a 4½ hour market tour and cooking class with a French chef, or a 3 hour cooking class only (+$200)
Topping off our wonderful week , we'll take a night-to-remember dinner cruise on La Calife, along the Seine, seeing the sights of Paris by night as we enjoy another delicious meal.