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Grand tour of Paris, Bordeaux & Saint- Émilion

9days from
£2,259*per person


9 Days - European Tour

We’ll start in the sand-coloured streets of Bordeaux. The city may be known as the gateway to France's most celebrated wine-producing region but there's still plenty to see here, including 362 historic monuments and some impressing architecture. Of course, we couldn't visit the region synonymous with wine without venturing out into the countryside to Saint-Émilion - the oldest wine-producing region in the area - for tastings of food and wine.   We'll also visit Paris to discover why the city is nicknamed La Ville-Lumière ('The City of Light') on a Paris by night tour. You’ll visit old Montmartre and the Palace of Versailles and have time to discover the incredible treasures of Paris for yourself with time at leisure.  This tour was created for the French enthusiast, whether you're a first-time visitor or a frequent visitor there's something for everyone. 


  • Arrival in Bordeaux Travelling by train, you'll get to enjoy the changing scenery as you travel from London to Bordeaux. When you start to see vineyards, you'll know you're only about an hour away. And you'll arrive in Bordeaux in style too, disembarking in the magnificent Saint-Jean train station - a beautifully restored, cathedral-like building designed by the legendary Gustave Eiffel (yes, that Eiffel). Free evening in Bordeaux Known as the "Pearl of the Aquitaine", Bordeaux is one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. It has a rich and varied history spanning 2,000 years. For 300 years it was ruled by England, creating an inextricable link between the city's history and our own. Most people know it for its wine-producing areas and the city is a gateway to some of the world's most famous vineyards - so you'd better believe that the wine on offer is some of the best around. However, you can't have the best wines in the world without food to match - and the gastronomy here is also top-notch. You almost can't go wrong on the hunt for dinner this evening. We recommend a local favourite, Entrecote Bordelaise - steak with shallots and red wine sauce - which pairs perfectly with a Bordeaux-style wine, of course.   After dinner at leisure, you could take a star-lit stroll to the Port of the Moon - a part of the city created during the Enlightenment, with so many preserved buildings it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. 
  • Bordeaux city tour An intoxicating mix of world-class wine, inventive gastronomy and relaxed river-side living, it's no wonder Queen Elizabeth II deemed Bordeaux 'the very essence of elegance' on a state visit in 1992. And the city has only grown more intriguing in the last 30 years, thanks to extensive restorations carried out in the mid-1990s and the city's UNESCO World Heritage status. The paved streets that weave through the city are lined with 18th-century, yellow-stone buildings. Yet, you'll notice there are no crumbling facades here - the buildings are pristine. And you won't find high-rises on the left bank of the Garonne (which splits the city in two) so we wouldn't blame you for wondering if you've accidentally stepped back in time. Just a stroll here is a pleasure in itself. You can enjoy the perfume of jasmine and orange blossom that settles over the city in the mornings as we start our Grand Tour in earnest this morning with a guided tour of Bordeaux. By foot and by coach, we'll explore the city, stopping at the riverside to admire the aristocratic grandeur of Place de la Bourse and the famous Miroir d'Eau, one of the city's main attractions. Adored by adults and children alike, this magical display rhythmically changes from a pool of water that reflects the 18th-century facades of the surrounding buildings to an eerie mist to a shallow pool - and back. As we continue on our tour, we'll stop to appreciate the colonnaded Opera House and the merchants’ houses that line the riverside. We’ll also see the quayside - it's considered one of the most magnificent waterfronts in the world thanks to the beautiful historic buildings that line the river. At the end of our guided tour, we’ll enjoy our signature experience at an organic winemaker before spending the evening at leisure. Included experience: Guided tour of Bordeaux. Signature experience: After our guided tour of Bordeaux, we'll enjoy a wine-tasting at an organic, biodynamic wine merchant. We'll taste wine at its purest - no chemical pesticides or herbicides - and learn more about the organic farming techniques that make this possible. Will this be the future of winemaking? You decide.
  • Saint-Émilion Wine enthusiasts need no introduction to Saint-Émilion (for those not in the know, it's famous for some of the most prestigious wines – using predominately merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes). This small village is also known as one of France's most beautiful villages – the village and surrounding area are UNESCO-protected as "an outstanding example of an historic vineyard landscape that has survived intact". Here, the rolling hills are covered in family-run vineyards and quaint little chateaux.  Today, we’ll visit a local chateau for a tour, tasting and our next Signature experience – a delicious lunch. Follow a guide as they tell us about the history of the chateau, the terroirs and the grape variety - everything that makes Saint-Émilion the best place to make merlot and cabernet franc. Finally, you'll be able to taste the final product for yourself and draw your own conclusions.  Les Cordeliers After our Signature lunch at a traditional chateau, we'll visit the old cloisters of Les Cordeliers. Maintaining much of its historic structures, you can imagine the religious order of the Franciscans strolling through the honey-coloured cloisters in their knotted robes and brown cloaks. As part of our guided tour, we'll venture underground to see the 3km of tunnels that run under much of Saint-Émilion citadel and the surrounding vineyards (don't worry, we won't make you walk all of it). At 20 metres underground, they are dark and have a near-constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius - the perfect conditions for ageing wine. And, in the magnificently restored 15th-century church, you can taste their bubbly crémant - and buy a bottle to sneak home in your suitcase. After a fascinating day in the heart of some of the world's most famous vineyards, we’ll return to Bordeaux this afternoon and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Included experience: A tour of Saint-Émilion winery with a wine-tasting and a visit to Les Cordeliers with a crémant tasting. Signature experience: In the beautiful surroundings of a typical Saint-Émilion chateau, enjoy a delicious lunch made with fresh, locally grown ingredients and seasonal produce - along with a glass of their famous wine, of course.
  • City of Wine As you'd expect from a region renowned for wine, Bordeaux has a fascinating wine museum - and everyone agrees it's not to be missed. Inspired by the movement of wine when it's swirling in a glass, the sight of La Cité du Vin is one that will stay with you long after you leave Bordeaux. If you love hands-on learning, you'll love this immersive interactive experience. You can explore the history of wine through the ages - in France and worldwide and (digitally) tour vineyards in far-flung destinations - including hard-to-reach croplands clinging to a South American cliff-side or basking in the Australian sunshine. If you want to understand more about wine bouquets, there are bell jars full of seemingly random items to teach you about the smells, tastes and textures of wine with hands-on (or rather nose-on) examples. You could begin a new career as a sommelier! After thoroughly exploring the exhibits, the visit ends at the top of the building where you can taste wine while looking out at stunning views of the Garonne River and Bordeaux. Choose one wine to try from a wide range of local and international options - is there a wine you've always wanted to try? Just ask. After visit to the City of Wine, we’ll enjoy a mesmerising Signature experience at Bassins des Lumières, and spend the rest of the day at leisure in Bordeaux. Included experience: Visit to the City of Wine Museum. Signature experience: Hidden in Bordeaux's former submarine base is Bassins des Lumières - a mesmerising digital art centre featuring high-quality visual and audio exhibitions. Projected onto the concrete wall - and reflected in the tranquil water of the wet dock - are some of art's most iconic pieces. It surrounds you. You'll really feel like you've stepped into the painting.
  • Journey to Paris This morning, we'll retrace our journey back to Paris, the City of Light, by high-speed train. From the train, you'll see the vineyards fade into the distance and a little over two hours after you board, we'll be back in one of the most romantic cities in the world. Free time in Paris Here, we'll check in to our hotel, where we’ll stay for four nights, and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure. The city is awash with inviting sidewalk cafes, elegant boutiques and world-class museums - there's an almost endless amount of things to do. We'll see the famous landmarks on our city tour tomorrow so today is perfect for seeking out the lesser-known spots that make Paris so beloved by travel fanatics. As always, your Tour Manager is on hand to help you decide what to do, and how to get around. For shopping, head away from the Champs-Elysées (we’ll head there together tomorrow) and look out for Paris's covered passages. Dating back to the 19th century, these were the city's first malls, and beneath their vaulted ceilings and wrought iron, you'll find a host of unusual wares: antique books stores, art galleries, quirky toy shops and more. Just north of the Palais Royal is the city's most elegant arcade, Galerie Vivienne.
  • Paris After breakfast, the coach will take you on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the romantic banks of the Seine, the bustling Champs Élysées and the world-famous Louvre, today we'll see almost every Parisian landmark you have ever heard of. Free time in Paris This afternoon is at leisure to explore as you wish. You could revisit some of the famous landmarks we’ll see on our city tour up close or head off in search of new sights.   As well as the iconic Louvre Museum, there are several other world-class museums in the city. Fans of Monet may want to visit the Musée de l'Orangerie, the only place you can stand in awe in front of his famous Water Lilly murals, or you could find a more varied selection of Impressionists at the Musée d’Orsay. Alternatively, visit the home of a Parisian art-collecting couple turned museum, Musée Jacquemart-André, which houses works by Rembrandt, Bellini, Botticelli, and more in an exquisite 19th-century mansion.   You could head to the beautiful open spaces of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont or Jardin Luxembourg. Or take the French word 'flâner' (to stroll) to heart, forgoing the Métro to walk the city and experience it properly. (Don’t worry, if you get too tired to walk back to the hotel, you're never more than 500 yards from the nearest Métro station!)  This evening, enjoy a gastronomic adventure. Paris is known as a hub for haute cuisine and laid-back bistros - a favourite with locals. The kaleidoscope of food experiences, influences, flavours and atmospheres on offer here make every night in Paris ripe with possibilities. From classic local dishes to delicious Thai, Korean and Japanese food, there's something to satisfy every craving. Included experience: Sightseeing guided coach tour of Paris.
  • Versailles This morning, we'll leave Paris, taking a short drive to Versailles. The majestic palace of the 'Sun King' Louis XIV is a must-see, and we’ve arranged timed tickets so you can skip the queues and explore the palace and gardens at your own pace. An audio guide is included which will bring the five centuries of the palace’s history to life.   You'll discover the magnificent Royal Apartments with their sweeping ceilings, view some of the 60,000 remarkable works of art and stroll through the glittering Hall of Mirrors - the historic spot where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending the First World War. It is also a pleasure to wander around the manicured Versailles Gardens where you can admire the numerous ornate fountains, exquisite sculptures and splendid baroque garden designs.  Free time in Paris Returning from Versailles in the afternoon, you can choose whether to be dropped off in Paris and make your own way back to the hotel at leisure or continue to the hotel. Paris by night Paris is nicknamed ‘City of Light’ and, tonight, we’ll find out why. Our coach will take us on a tour of Paris ‘By Night’. The whole city’s a work of art with monuments and buildings elegantly illuminated, their reflections dancing on the River Seine with the majestic Eiffel Tower dominating the skyline: it looks so delicate it could almost be made of lace. The tour won't take up the whole evening, so you'll also have time to sample some of the famous Parisian nightlife, should you wish. Included experience: Tour of Paris by night. Signature experience: Discover the magnificent Palace of Versailles and the outstanding Versailles Gardens. Your timed entrance ticket ensures you’ll avoid the queues and also includes an audio guide to bring your visit to life. Please note although entry is timed please please be aware that there will still be a queue to clear security before entering the Chateau and Gardens.
  • Montmartre After breakfast in our hotel, we'll board a coach and make the short trip to Montmartre. With cobbled streets, grand basilicas, artists and bistros, Montmartre is perhaps one of the most atmospheric quarters of Paris. The skyline is dominated by the white dome of Sacré-Cœur. Built on the Butte Montmartre, the view from in front of the doors is breathtaking with all of Paris before you. Its ostentatious Romano-Byzantine style makes it distinct from the quaint - sometimes crooked - buildings and windmills that make up Montmartre and, inside, you'll find the largest mosaic in France. In the 'Artists Quarter' you can follow in the footsteps of Picasso, Renoir, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh, who stayed and lived there. Even now, you'll spot modern-day artists setting up their easels, inspired by the picturesque, seemingly rural neighbourhood in the heart of a thriving modern city. You could see sights such as the Moulin Rouge, where Toulouse-Lautrec found most of his models; the famous club of the Lapin Agile; the oldest vineyard in Paris to name just a few of our favourite spots. Free time in Paris We'll return to the centre of Paris this afternoon to continue to explore at leisure or you could make your way back to the hotel for a well-earned rest. If you want to see Paris from a new perspective, you could choose to join our optional boat trip along the Seine. Seeing the city from the river, allows you to take in the historic heart of the French capital in a new way. You’ll want to keep your camera on hand as we pass must-see sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Notre Dame, the Conciergerie and the Musée de l'Orangerie. This evening is your last in the City of Lights,   why not take in another facet of Paris's history and culture? Personalise your holiday with a visit to experience glamorous 17th-century Paris at the world’s oldest cabaret and enjoy the Paradis Latin Show entitled L’Oiseau Paradis with a three-course dinner. Included experience: Visit to Montmartre.
  • Return home After a leisurely start to the day, the coach will return you to the Gare du Nord station to take an early afternoon Eurostar service, arriving back in the UK at London St Pancras International just 2 hours 15 minutes later.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Highlights:
  • Journey around the world, throughout the ages and across countless civilisations to discover more about wine at Bordeaux’s City of Wine Museum
  • Tour a quintessential chateau and winery in world-renowned Saint-Émilion for a tour and tasting
  • Venture underground in Les Cordeliers in Saint-Émilion to see the impressive tunnels where their sparkling wine has been aged for centuries and taste their crémant wine
  • Explore Paris and Bordeaux on guided tours of their most popular sights and experience Paris ‘By Night’ seeing some of the world’s most tastefully illuminated buildings
  • Visit picturesque Montmartre in Paris, home of the artists’ quarter and the beautiful Sacré-Coeur with its stunning views of the city
  • Signature Highlights:
  • After our guided tour of Bordeaux, we'll enjoy a wine-tasting at an organic, biodynamic wine merchant
  • In the beautiful surroundings of a typical Saint-Émilion chateau, enjoy a delicious lunch made with fresh, locally grown ingredients and seasonal produce - along with a glass of their famous wine
  • Hidden in Bordeaux's former submarine base is Bassins des Lumières - a mesmerising digital art centre featuring high-quality visual and audio exhibitions
  • Visit Versailles, the majestic palace of the 'Sun King' Louis XIV with timed tickets so you can skip the queues and explore the palace and gardens at your own pace
  • Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group with an average of 22 guests

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Sole occupancy rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes:  
  • 8 nights in three to four-star accommodation 
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch 
  • Return standard class reserved seat on Eurostar and all transfers 
  • All local accommodation taxes 
  • All excursions as stated 
  • The services of a Riviera Travel Tour Manager 
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Dates and Prices

May 2025
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Train Station:
St Pancras

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Price from:£2,259
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Mercure Bordeaux Château Chartrons Hotel -


Located in the historic Chartrons area of Bordeaux, the hotel has easy access to the tram system – perfect for exploring the city on your own during time at leisure. Just a short walk away is the Quai des Chartrons with a waterside promenade leading to some of the city’s most popular meeting spots and attractions. And with a selection of local bars and restaurants just a stroll away, you’re never far from a fantastic spot for dinner. At just 40 minutes from Saint-Emilion, we think it’s the perfect base from which to explore the city and surrounding countryside.  The Mercure Bordeaux Château Chartrons Hotel has been completely renovated to ensure you have everything you need to recharge your batteries after a day exploring the region. You can enjoy contemporary cuisine based on fresh and seasonal produce in the restaurant, followed by an après-dinner drink in the hotel bar – or, if the weather cooperates, out on the terrace - before retreating to your spacious, air-conditioned room. With stylish modern décor your room features a double bed and ensuite bathroom as well as a safe and flat screen TV. And for those energetic few, the hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Novotel Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean -


The Novotel Bordeaux Centre Gare Saint Jean is located in the Saint-Jean district – part of the Port of Moon UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses half of the city. It has excellent transport links. It’s just a few hundred meters away from the beautifully restored Gare St Jean Station and right outside is a tram stop. You’re just 3 stops away from the heart of Bordeaux – perfect for exploring the city during time at leisure. In the evenings, it’ll be easy to find bars and restaurants for dinner. There are many in the nearby train station and in the neighbouring St Michel and St Croix districts. This hotel is just 40 minutes from Saint-Emilion – it's the perfect base from which to explore the city and surrounding countryside. The hotel is recently refurbished with a modern comfortable style. You can enjoy a drink in the hotel’s laid-back bar which looks out over the restaurant’s patio. Your rooms are comfortable - with an understated elegance – featuring a double bed and ensuite bathroom. You room also includes tea & coffee making facilities, a desk, phone, fat screen TV with satellite channels and complimentary Wi-Fi.

4* Mercure Paris Boulogne - Paris -


Mercure Paris Boulogne is four-star rated and is a member of one of the most prestigious hotel chains in Europe.  Fully refurbished in 2016, It is modern and comfortable with a spacious bar and restaurant  (The Restaurant is open every day) Between May and October Guests are welcome to use the rooftop pool. As you would expect of a hotel of this quality, all rooms have direct-dial telephone, Wi-Fi ,mini bar, and flat screen TV. All bathrooms have walk in showers. For your additional comfort, all rooms are fully air conditioned. The hotel itself is beautifully designed and is well situated, approximately two miles from the Eiffel Tower to the west of central Paris, near the river Seine. Located in a quiet residential/business area and yet only 5 minutes from the nearest metro station which is on a direct line to the Champs-Élysées enabling you to explore the city with ease.

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BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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