A Taste of France – 10 Days

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Focusing on French cuisine and village life, A 10 days of Taste of France features a 7-night Rhône River cruise aboard ms Swiss Emerald through vineyard country that’s home to some of the world’s most exceptional wines. Tauck’s epicurean delights begin in Paris with a reception and dinner at Fouquet’s, the celebrity hotspot on the Champs Élysées, a chocolate demonstration, and a pastry class designed especially for Tauck guests at École Lenôtre. Ride the high-speed TGV through the French countryside to Lyon to taste your way through Les Halles, Lyon’s famed covered food market with its eye-popping vertical garden, and enjoy dinner at L’Abbaye de Collonges, created by the legendary chef Paul Bocuse. Cruise in search of culinary adventures along the Rhône, sipping Beaujolais in Beaujolais, sampling Provençal specialties for lunch at a private ranch in La Camargue and learning secrets at a cooking demonstration at an award-winning cooking school in Valence. It’s the ultimate Rhône River cruise to the soul of French haute cuisine!

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Culture, Family, Guided Tours
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the A Taste of France – 10 Days.

Discover France through its acclaimed gastronomy…or should we say gastronomies! The food and wine tours across France and its remarkable regions are as diverse and rich as the country is. Every French region brings its own tastes and sensations, reflecting its unique history and terroirs; its climate and landscape. Not only will your senses be roused by the food and wines, but each region provides dramatic settings for your gastronomic adventures. During your unique, entirely private culinary tours around France, you will explore this marvellous world of gastronomy with you, initiating you to its many wonders. Not only will you embark on a delicious adventure: you’ll take some of the secrets and “savoir-faire” of French cuisine home with you.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

  1. Daywise Itinerary

    Day 1 – Bonjour, Paris

    Your tour begins 6:00 PM, InterContinental Paris Le Grand or similar. A transfer is included from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or the Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord or Charles de Gaulle station to InterContinental Paris Le Grand, located in the heart of the city. Join us tonight for a welcome reception and dinner at Fouquet’s, since 1908 a Paris icon; the brasserie has long been known as a favorite of celebrities. After dinner, the pleasures continue with an ”Illuminations Tour” of Paris, providing glittery views of the city’s nighttime lights and a beguiling ending to your first day in Paris.

    Day 2 – A day of pleasures in Paris… a city filled with stories

    From the grand boulevards and manicured gardens of the Right Bank to the artsy Left Bank, favorite haunt of writers, dreamers and musicians, Parisian neighborhoods reflect the true essence of the city. Choose between a city orientation tour or a walking tour of Le Marais, with its stately mansions, half-timbered houses, covered passageways, and narrow cobbled streets, including Victor Hugo’s home, the Place des Vosges, Village Saint-Paul and la rue des Roisers, Paris’ medieval Jewish quarter. Then, Paris is yours to experience in whatever way pleases you for the rest of the day and evening. Perhaps you’ll visit one of the city’s lesser-known museums… a little jewel of a church tucked away on a quiet side street… or an agreeable sidewalk café for some Parisian-watching.

    Day 3 – Take the fast train to Lyon & embark your riverboat

    After a morning at leisure in Paris, travel first class to Lyon on the high-speed TGV train. With a 2,000-year-old history, Lyon grew up at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers; today it is France’s third largest city with a heritage of Roman ruins and Renaissance-era architecture. Known historically for its prominent silk industry, the city’s reputation today is as the gastronomic capital of France, a center of youthful design and futuristic architecture. You’ll board your floating hotel ms Swiss Emerald in Lyon, then join us for a Captain’s welcome reception and dinner to celebrate the start of your cruise in festive fashion.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 4 – Lyon, old and new… a tasting lunch and a Beaujolais wine tasting

    Lyon is considered the ”culinary capital of France” – quite a compliment in a country famed for its cuisine and fine vintages. Today includes a tasting at the Les Halles de Lyon, the celebrated indoor food market that’s been a fixture in Lyon since 1850 and offers an unbelievable array of breads, cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, sausages, wines, chocolates and more. Everything is fresh and delicious, and it’s said that the best chefs in Lyon shop here; you’ll enjoy tastings of various goodies paired with appropriate wines! But Lyon is also a city with a venerable history and considerable charm, as you’ll discover when you visit Vieux Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first protected historic district in France. Sightseeing also includes the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière, built atop the ruins of an ancient Roman forum. Then it’s off to the celebrated wine-growing region of Beaujolais for a tasting in the countryside before continuing your cruise to Viviers.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 5 – An afternoon in ancient Viviers and an introduction to pétanque

    The riverboat cruises this morning to Viviers, a walled city with origins in the 5th century on the right bank of the Rhône. Navigate its narrow streets on a walking tour with your local guide, viewing the 12th-century Cathedral of Notre Dame de Rhône and the richly detailed façade of the Maison des Chevaliers, home to an upwardly mobile salt merchant in the 1500s. Then learn to play the popular outdoor game of pétanque; akin to playing a game of horseshoes, it’s a pastime meant to be shared with friends. Spend the evening cruising as ms Swiss Emerald continues on to Arles in Provence.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 6 – Provençal ”impressions” in Arles and on to Avignon

    It may seem that the Romans were everywhere along the Rhône, and Arles is no exception, as is witnessed by the triumphal arch, circus and baths they left behind – and an arena in which gladiators fought and is still a venue for performances and bullfights today – as you explore the city on a sightseeing tour and time on your own. Look beyond the city walls at the incredible quality of the light here that so enraptured Vincent van Gogh – and the landscapes of yellow rocks, red soil and lilac mountains that inspired in the Dutch artist a newfound creativity, and led to one of the most productive periods of his short life. This afternoon, ms Swiss Emerald heads for Avignon; upon arrival this evening, you’ll have a chance to take a stroll through this well-preserved medieval city.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 7 – The many charms of Avignon and a visit to Pont du Gard

    Although the fortified city of Avignon was undoubtedly a pleasant place before they arrived, the 13th-century popes, who spent less than a century here when Rome became ”tedious” for them, really put it on the map, and cultivated the local wine industry (Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Sightseeing today includes the Palais des Papes, the vast, fortress-like palace that they built for themselves during that time. After discovering more of Avignon on your own during leisure time this afternoon, visit the Pont du Gard – a famous Roman aqueduct over the River Gardon that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ms Swiss Emerald is docked in Avignon for the evening.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 8 – Discover the amazing colors of Roussillon plus a wine tasting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    This most extraordinary of France cruises takes you into the Luberon region of Provence, welcomed by trees sculpted by the mistral wind, ancient vines, narrow winding roads and tidy stone structures. Here, the village of Roussillon, with its lovely central square, seems to have evaded time itself. Surrounded by richly colored cliffs and quarries blazing against the azure sky, the town sits in the middle of one of the world’s largest deposits of ochre… reflected in the façades of its buildings, their subtle colors offset with brightly painted shutters. Follow a walking path to the old quarry for insights on why the town’s livelihood was once intertwined with this colorful natural pigment. After lunch on board, head to the hillside village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – once encircled by a wall that included the château built by the popes of Avignon as a summer palace, and home to flourishing vineyards as early as the 13th century – known for growing and producing wine of the same appellation; enjoy a tasting before returning to the riverboat.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 9 – Savory delights in Tournon-sur-Rhône & a cooking presentation in Valence

    Tournon-sur-Rhône is a perfect spot to start the final day of your Rhône cruise with a guided walking tour; wind your way up to high ground and admire the views of lush Côtes du Rhône vineyards and dramatic river vistas of this medieval town. Across the river, visit the home of Valhrona Chocolates (subject to Monday closings), respected for quality around the world. Then journey to Valence – a major hub for fresh Rhône Valley produce and home to some of France’s finest culinary artists – for an education in epicurean delights. Attend a presentation and wine and cheese tasting at a cooking school in town associated with an award-winning restaurant; learn how seasonal ingredients, contrasting flavors and time-tested techniques can combine to create mouth-watering local specialties. Celebrate one of Tauck’s most remarkable France cruises with the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner aboard ship.

    Lodging- ms Swiss Emerald

    Day 10 – Our Rhone River cruise concludes

    Your Rhone River cruise Ends: Lyon. Disembark ms Swiss Emerald in Lyon by 9:00 AM, then fly home anytime. A transfer from the riverboat to Lyon Airport or Perrache or Part Dieu train station is included; please allow 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

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