Our Small Group Tour and Conference to Paris and French Rivierawas held in August 2019 and saw us travel to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Although it may seem like you know Paris even before visiting in person, nothing compared to actually being there. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, walking along the Seine at dusk and sipping coffee at an elegant sidewalk café are quintessential Parisian experiences — and the wonder of it is that real life takes on an aura of magical make-believe.
Our French Escapades itinerary began with 5 nights’ accommodation at the Westin Paris-Vendôme. Located amid the shopping, theatre and banking districts, the hotel proved a wonderful base and was walking distance from attractions such as the Opéra Garnier, Place Vendôme and the Louvre Museum.
Our first night in Paris kicked off with a Welcome Networking Dinner in the beautiful Salon Aiglon where participants got to meet the other conference participants, presenters and the Amaco staff. Over the next few days the itinerary included a tour of the Islands of the Seine, including visits to Saint Chapelle, a jewel of Gothic construction as well as a tour among the historic 17th century houses on Ile St. Louis which were home many famous and notable people including French poet Charles Baudelaire, Andre Breton, the founder of surrealism and chemist and physicist Marie Curie.
A tour of the Palais du Louvre — or Louvre Museum as it is more commonly known was a highlight for many. Once the residence of French kings, the Louvre houses many of the greatest works of art from ancient times through the 19th century including three famous women: Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace and Leonardo da Vinci’s mysterious Mona Lisa.
Our immersion into the art culture of Paris continues with a guided walking tour of Montmartre, the 19th century mecca for artists, writers and poets. The itinerary also includes a visit to the Rodin Museum, housed in the Hotel Biron, a charming rococo mansion surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. The collection comprises more than 6,500 sculptures in marble, bronze, terracotta and plaster as well as over 10,000 of his drawings.
It goes without saying that the French are immensely proud of their cuisine and the French Escapades tour will allow you immerse yourself in this aspect of French culture. The itinerary included meals at some of the leading restaurants in Paris — including a Seine Dinner Cruise and a dinner high above the city at The Sky of Paris. As a bonus, participants also enjoy a private cooking class at the Alain Ducasse Cooking School. Ducasse is a member of French cooking royalty, coming to prominence as the first chef to have a three-Michelin star restaurant in three different cities at the same time.
The Parisian experience was nicely rounded out with dinner and a cabaret performance at Lido de Paris — one of the cities most exciting evening experiences. Our group had the best seats in the house!
From Paris we journied south by high speed train to The French Riviera. Offering a much more relaxed lifestyle, we enjoyed 4 nights’ at the JW Marriott Cannes. Located on La Croisette, the legendary oceanfront avenue, Cannes’ most popular beaches, attractions and restaurants are all walking distance from the hotel.
During our stay in Cannes we strolled along the elegant seaside promenade, (window) shopped at some the most luxurious shopping stores on the planet and took in local fresh food markets proudly showcasing the finest in regional produce. The weather was perfect for out ferry across to Saint Honorat Island — home to a community of monks since the 5th century where we can enjoyed an escorted tour of the monastery grounds and then had a delightful wine and honey tasting in the vineyard.
The French Escapades itinerary offered exceptional value for money — with all accommodation, tours, activities, meals and beverages covered in the package cost.