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whygoguidedfrance blog

Going Guided in France

Alex Shaked
by Alex Shaked

August 30, 2022

4 minute read

There are several universal reasons to go guided. As someone who is admittedly a strong type A perfectionist, being told that the details are out of my hands is the biggest relief.

I don’t have to figure out how we’re getting from place to place? I don’t have to spend hours researching hotels? I am not the person responsible for making sure that we are seeing the must-sees? I don’t have to scour the internet and hope I found the coolest hidden gems? I can focus on having fun instead of staying in constant planning mode? Sign. Me. Up.    

Collette’s Product Design Team is comprised of experts around the world to make sure that you have the time of your life seeing the places you’ve always dreamt of. After writing a lot about France for the last few weeks (and after a stressful experience exploring Paris solo in my youth), I can’t wait for my chance to go guided in La République Française.

Our incredible Senior Product Design Manager Shannon Levi is responsible for tours in France, and you’re in great hands thanks to her and her team. (Also, you should check out her episode of Collette Talks all about traveling to France with us here if you missed it!)

Here are some magical experiences you can expect when you travel to France with us:

Enjoy Exclusive Experiences at the Must-See Sites

On our France Magnifique tour, go beyond a stroll down the Hall of Mirrors and spend a full day experiencing the Palace of Versailles. A guide will lead you through the Private Apartments of King Louis XIV, the Sun King, who transformed his father’s hunting lodge into the resplendent seat of the Royal Court. These apartments are not available for an unaccompanied tour, so many will miss out on this special area of the palace without going guided.

With more time at the palace, you’ll also get your fill of the jaw-dropping gardens. You’ll get to see these meticulously kept grounds year-round, but travelers from early April to mid-June and from late September to the end of October will get to experience Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, when Baroque fountains regularly spout water to the tune of classical music. Travelers from mid-June to late September will get to see the garden light up at night during a twilight promenade complete with fireworks.

Travelers on this tour will also get the chance to experience the Eiffel Tower in a different way: over dinner. You’ll get the chance to savor an exclusive meal at a restaurant in the tower, featuring French cuisine and panoramic views of the City of Light.

Get to Know the Spirit of France

Imagine: You begin with a truffle hunting adventure led by a local chef and trained, truffle-sniffing dogs. Then, visit a goat farm nestled among rich landscapes that inspired van Gogh, Picasso, and Renoir to learn secrets of regional cheese production and sample the delicious, light fromage. Next, learn about French hospitality and l’art de la table over a lovely meal alongside that same local chef. 

This all happens in the morning and early afternoon on one day of our Essence of France tour. Shannon and team made sure that this tour captures the spirit of the country, with 3 nights in Paris, 4 nights in Provence, and 3 nights in the French Riviera.  

In my opinion, the coolest part of this tour happens on your way to the French Riviera, where you’ll stop and meet an expert perfumer (Nez, French for nose) who will teach you how to craft your own fragrance in a hands-on workshop! 

Finding Your Adventure

One of the many beautiful parts about going guided is having the support of a Tour Manager, but then having plenty of free time to explore how you choose. And there is time built in on our Spotlight on Paris tour to find your own adventure after you learn the ropes of the city.  Do you want to find a café and watch as people pass by? Do you want to step into the shoes of a local and navigate Le Métro? (We’ll show you how!) Do you want to step into a local boutique and find the perfect souvenir to bring home? These are all exciting ways to spend your time, and when you’re on tour, you don’t have to worry about any of these activities taking away from the action, because the action is already set in place for you. 

So, allons-y! I’d say it’s time to book your next voyage. 

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