11 Days Culinary Vacations in France

11 Days Culinary Vacations in France

  • Paris, France

France Food and Wine Tours

France is the world's most popular tourist destination and, if you decide to book this holiday, you would very soon find out why. Starting in the great city of lights and lovers, this 11-day adventure will take you all the way from Paris to Avignon and will delight you with the smell of freshly-baked pastry, the aroma of nicely-ground coffee, amazing vintage wines, and a small hint of magic, which, as you will soon see, is somehow always present in the air.

Highlights

  • Snorkeling in the Villefranche Bay
  • Outdoor cinema viewing in the French Riviera
  • Olive oil and wine tasting in Les Baux-de-Provence
  • A food and wine tour of the Marais neighbourhood in Paris
  • Spend a night in a luxurious chateaux overlooking gorgeous vineyards
  • Spend an evening in a charming old absinthe bar
  • Discover Paris in a vintage convertible
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 9 days with instruction
  • English
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During your visit, you will be staying in Paris, Villefranche Sur Mer, and Avignon. One night will be spent in a luxurious châteaux, overlooking gorgeous vineyards in the Rhône valley, and the rest will be spent in lovely, self-catering apartments, on a twin sharing basis.

Day 1 - Paris

  • Arrive in the magical city of Paris in the morning.
  • After settling into your hotel, you will have the first part of the day free to relax and take in the sights and sounds of this gorgeous city.
  • Later on, you can start your journey in Paris with an incredible food tour; begin with buttery croissants and crisp baguettes from an award-winning baker and visit a family-run fromagerie, where they age their own small-production cheeses.
  • Afterwards, you can stop at a quirky cave à vins to sample and taste a wide array of these cheeses with different wine pairings.
  • In addition to a few other surprises, the day will finish with a blow-out sweets tasting at one of the famous chocolateries in Paris.

Day 2 - Paris

  • In the first part of the day, you will have the opportunity to sign up for a photoshoot which will provide a lifetime of memories from your time in Paris. Look fabulous against the iconic Parisian landscapes and monuments while having a unique experience walking the historic streets of Paris.
  • Before your photo session, the photographers will collaborate with you and talk about what kind of experience you are hoping for. From fun and flirty to candid or romantic, your photos will represent your personality, your relationship, and how you want to remember your time in Paris.
  • In terms of locations, apart from several standard itineraries that include major landmarks, there are also lesser-known places, but if you have always wanted a photo by a Paris location, other than what is offered, that can be accommodated.
  • If you are looking for a little more adventure, you can follow the tour guide's directions to an old school absinthe bar, where you can choose from about a dozen different brands of absinthe, served in the traditional manner, with your straight absinthe in a glass, your special absinthe spoon and sugar cubes on the side, and a large absinthe fountain on the bar in front of you, with multiple spouts so you and your fellow travelers can simultaneously add water to the absinthe to suit your respective tastes.
  • During the Belle Époque, Absinthe, or the Green Fairy, nicknamed after its distinctive color, was the drink of choice for so many writers and artists in Paris that five o’clock became known as the Green Hour, a happy hour when cafés filled with drinkers sitting with glasses of the verdant liquor.

Day 3 - Paris, Villefranche Sur Mer

  • After breakfast, you will take an early morning train to Villefranche Sur Mer, on the French Riviera, via Nice.
  • Upon settling into your room, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the surroundings, or you may opt to rent an electric bike and explore the Old Town or head to Nice or Eze to discover these picture-postcard towns.

Day 4 - Villefranche Sur Mer

  • An amazing underwater experience awaits you on the fourth day; you will be snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea on the Riviera! Enter the crystal waters of the Villefranche bay to take a peek below the surface and start exploring. Some of the local marine inhabitants include sea urchins, octopus, jellyfish, ascidians, coral, sea anemone, sponges, red coral, sea slugs, cuttlefish, lobsters, plus a host of fish that you normally see on the plates.
  • On your adventure, you will see the striking contrast between the gentle sloping reef on one side and the sheer drop reef, where the adventurous divers can go deeper to view its fascinating marine life, on the other. The snorkeling and dive spots are also perfect for testing your underwater photography skills. as the water is calm and clear with great lighting in and around the reefs. If you have not tried it before, why not pick up a disposable underwater camera in town and try your hand at capturing your adventure on film. Whether you are a beginner or experienced snorkeler, this experience is open to everyone.

Day 5 - Villefranche Sur Mer

  • Villefranche is the perfect place for romantic walks. There are many very well-maintained, well-signposted footpaths and walks all over the entire country of France; this is something that the French people are quite keen about. Many of the paths in this area are preserved from Roman times, later taken up by hunters and traders, and today are maintained for hiking and walking activities.
  • Whatever the reason, take advantage of the opportunity to wander the area by foot. There are two circular routes that begin and end in Villefranche.
  • Later in the evening, you can watch the sun go down over the Rade de Villefranche. A good spot is the bar in Versaille, situated just on the edge of Villefranche, on the Basse Corniche towards Nice; the elevated terrace provides a perfect viewing point, where you can relax and watch the boats return to port in the evening, but there are plenty of other vantage points to discover too.
  • The highlight of the evening will include watching a movie in an atmospheric setting and, although this might seem like an activity more aligned to rainy nights at home, the summer cinemas, or Cinema d'Ete, along the French Riviera are an experience to behold.
  • Held outside during the summer months, they are usually staged in incredibly scenic or historical settings. In Villefranche, from June to September, there is an open-air cinema in the grounds of the citadel, showing original version movies mostly in English.

Day 6 - Villefranche Sur Mer to Avignon

  • Upon arriving in the beautiful city of Avignon, you will settle into your new hotel before enjoying the rest of the day, which will be free to spend at your own leisure, exploring the many beautiful attractions of the area.

Day 7 - Avignon

  • Today, you will sample the local wine and olive oil in Les Baux-de-Provence, a beautiful medieval village in France.
  • On this 5-hour tour from Avignon, you will visit an olive mill and a wine estate near the Alpilles mountain range and taste some of the best produce from the region.

Day 8 - Avignon

  • It is no secret that the French are expert chefs, and Provence is one of its most acclaimed culinary regions. With signature flavorings, such as lavender and Herbes de Provence, and access to fresh, sun-kissed produce, Avignon is home to some excellent dining.
  • If your budget is more flexible, Cuisine de Dimanche boasts a creative chef who crafts her menu each morning based off ingredients purchased at the local market, an eclectic décor, and a vibrant ambience.
  • There are, of course, other dining options available, such as L’Epice and Love, where you can expect excellent, hearty home-style dishes in a funky, dimly lit bistro.
  • Avignon has excellent train service to surrounding villages, perfect for day trips around Provence. You may decide to visit Arles, known for being Van Gogh’s home in the late 19th century, where he produced over 300 paintings, and famously cut off his ear. Once there, you may take the Van Gogh walk, which posts pictures of Van Gogh’s paintings next to the scenes that inspired them.

Day 9 - Avignon, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  • Every Tuesday through Sunday, Les Halles, the biggest covered market in Avignon, boasts 40 merchants selling Provincial food, from cheese and meat to fish, jarred sauces, and tapenades.
  • On Saturday morning, there are free cooking lessons demonstrated by Avignon chefs. Audience members get to eat the final product along with local wine.
  • After visiting Les Halles, you can take a taxi to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is only 10 miles from Avignon. This medieval village on the side of a hill is guarded by the ruins of an ancient château towering above.
  • From the château hill, you have an outstanding view in all directions, mostly of vineyards. Off to the east and south, the Rhône winds across the fields and the afternoon sun turns it silver.
  • This will also be your new home for the night, as you will be staying in a luxurious, 19th century, and former marquis' château, which overlooks the Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards.

Day 10 - Back to Paris

  • At noon, you will head back to Paris, arriving in the city by early evening.
  • After settling into your hotel room, you will make your last night in Paris memorable by driving down the Champs-Elysees on a private tour by Deux Chevaux, a vintage convertible 2CV car.

Day 11 - Departure

  • After breakfast, you will say au revoir to Paris, as you make your way back home with a bag full of memories and a heart full of adventure.
  • Explore Avignon
  • Food tour in Paris
  • Snorkel in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Travel to Villefranche Sur Mer
  • Visit an olive oil mill and wine state in Avignon
  • Visit Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Visit Les Baux-de-Provence
  • Visit Paris
  • Visit the biggest covered market in Avignon
  • Visit to an absinthe bar

Avignon

The city of Avignon, France, is known for its importance to the Roman Catholic papacy. A charming locale with multiple bridges over tranquil rivers and an art museum boasting classic works, Avignon lures visitors from all over the world on a yearly basis. Here you may visit the Palais des Papes, which was built to accommodate Avignon’s new, very important residents, and, in 1995, was recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the biggest Gothic palace in Europe, and though the rooms may appear harsh and stark today, they were once very luxuriously decorated. Beside the Palais des Papes, is the Romanesque Notre Dame des Doms, with its gilded Virgin Mary watching over Avignon. The small cathedral also contains several works of art and is also the resting place of Pope John XXII. Next door, you will find a park with plenty of paths to walk and foliage whose shade provide excellent refuge from the sun. Walk out to the many viewpoints, providing sweeping landscapes of Provence.

Paris

The city of lights and lovers, Paris is a very charming and incredibly mysterious city. As a first stop, Paris will surely not disappoint. Filled with romantic views, vibrant street art, and numerous chic boutiques and cafés, Paris is also home to some of the most famous museums, such as the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, and popular landmarks, like the Notre Dame de Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. This city will surely provide no limit to the wonders and beautiful sights waiting for you to uncover. Explore the lovely Latin Quarter, taste your way around the city with an exciting food tour, see great works of art, and walk hand in hand through beautiful streets, perhaps even take a ride in a vintage convertible down the Champs Elysees, you will definitely find something amazing to do.

Villefranche Sur Mer

In Villefranche Sur Mer, the Bay of Villefranche, reputed as one of the five most beautiful bays in the world, is embraced by the Cap of Nice on the right and Cap Ferrat on the left. The charming Old Town of Villefranche cascades down the hillside to the sea, and the sandy kilometer-long beach offers great recreation throughout the year.

During your trip, you will discover the authentic flavors of French cuisine. You will enjoy buttery croissants, crisp baguettes and visits to a local producers and a family-run fromagerie, where they age their own small-production cheeses. This holiday will allow you to taste a little bit of everything, providing you with a delicious introduction to this region's fine culinary tradition.

  • Attend local events
  • Day trip to Arles
  • Explore the Riviera on e-bikes
  • Explore the surrounding villages and cities
  • Go hiking or walking
  • Relax at the beach
  • Sample the local cuisine
  • Shopping
  • Take a photo tour of Paris
  • Take the Van Gogh Walk
  • Visit churches and museums
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • 1 food tour in Paris with tastings
  • 1 night at a charming old absinthe bar
  • 1 snorkeling experience in the Mediterranean sea
  • 1 outdoor movie night in the French Riviera
  • 1 olive oil and wine tasting in Les Baux-de-Provence
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast on all days except day 1
  • Internal travel by train
  • Paris tour in a vintage convertible with a private guide
  • Visit to the market of Les Halles
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Any costs arising from flight delays, change in weather conditions, strikes, or others
  • Beverages
  • Entrance fees at local monuments and museums
  • Local transport within the city
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa charges and processing

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport is Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG).

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.

Mumbai, India

Founded in 2010, The Blueberry Trails is an experiential travel company based out of Mumbai that provides travelers with thrilling, exhilarating, and offbeat trips.

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10 days / 9 nights

Availability

This vacation is available all year round, please select an arrival date below:

 

Low season
  • September 16 - May 30

 

High season
  • May 31 - September 15

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