Highlights of France Trip Notes

Highlights of France

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016
Highlights of France
Trip code: AMKF
Validity: 01 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017
Sensuous cuisine, movie-set monuments and more art and history than you can shake a stick at - France is the number one tourist destination in the world for a reason. Well, it’s actually a multitude of reasons – and they are damn good ones! But let us whisk you away from the hungry jaws of the tourist traps and discover a France that is beyond the pages of most guidebooks. A France where the countryside unfolds before you like brushstrokes on an emerald green canvas, where medieval towns still bustle with an air of old-world charm, and where tastebuds are privy to recipes that have remained unchanged for centuries. Spend a night in a traditional chateaux, wander hallowed cathedrals and find a slice of heaven in the French Riveria. This Highlights of France tour will have you experiencing what the French call ‘coup de foudre’ – or as we might say ‘love at first sight’.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- The primary means of transportation on this trip is by train. Train are a fast way to cross long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. They are comfortable and often include air-conditioning, toilets, a snack bar (or vending machine) and power points.
- Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.
- As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
- Summer temperatures can be very high in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
Why we love it
- Contrast the booming city of Paris with the rustic, laid-back countryside of the Burgundy and Provence regions
- Two nights in Paris affords you time to see the city’s world famous sights and also discover some of its hidden treasures at a relaxed pace
- Experience the elegance of a bygone era while staying in the stunning surrounds of a historic chateau in rural France
- Savour Michelin-starred French fare in Dijon and taste the local wine in a famous vineyard of Burgundy, a place where wine is so much more than just a drink
- Explore the atmospheric warren of corridors that make up Avignon’s Palais de Papes, the largest medieval Gothic palace in the world
- Relaxed train rides allow you to soak up French countryside that has inspired the brushes of countless Impressionist artists
- Wind up this adventure in the famous town of Aix-en-Provence, not far from the breath-taking French Riviera

Day 1 Paris
Bonjour. Welcome to Paris, France. Your 'Highlights of France' adventure begins with a welcome meeting, which is usually at around 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After the meeting, head out for dinner with your new travel companions for your first taste of renowned French cuisine in a local Parisian restaurant. If you arrive early into the city, Paris offers a wealth of major sights and things to do. Simply walking through the pretty little lanes of the Latin Quarter, lazing in the elegant shop-lined streets of St Germain, wandering down the opulent Champs-Elysee and meandering through the winding bohemian streets of Montmartre will also give you a wonderful overview of the city.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend the meeting. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Welcome dinner in Paris
    Optional Activities
    • Musee d'Orsay - EUR14
    • Napoleon's tomb - EUR10
    • Louvre Museum - EUR15
    • Eiffel Tower - EUR17
    • Fat Tires bike tour - EUR32
    • Notre Dame Towers - EUR8
    • Picasso Museum - EUR11
    • Rodin Museum - EUR10
    • Paradis Latin cabaret show - EUR65
    • Palace of Versailles - EUR15
    • Palace of Versailles gardens - Free
    • Da Vinci Code walking tour - EUR25
    • Catacombs - EUR10
    • Centre Pompidou - EUR14
    • Arc de Triomphe - EUR12
    • Sainte Chapelle & Conciergerie - EUR15
    • Fragonard Perfume Museum - Free
      Hotel (1 nt)
      1 dinner
      Day 2 Paris
      After breakfast this morning, the rest of your day is free to explore Paris. From incredible art galleries and imposing monuments, to world-renowned shopping, quaint cafes and hidden treasures, Paris is a wonderful city to explore. Discover the artistic treasure trove housed in the world-famous Louvre, where you can see the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Join the Thinker in his eternal contemplation at the Rodin Museum. Visit the Musee d'Orsay, home to some of the most famous Impressionist paintings. Climb the Eiffel Tower (or take the lift) for some impressive aerial views of Paris. Study the Notre Dame Cathedral with its vast rose window and menacing gargoyles. Take a trip out to the vast and opulent Palace of Versailles. Head underground to experience the atmospheric spider-web of catacombs. Hop on two-wheels to glide around the city or take a walking tour of the major sites. Maybe while away a few hours sitting with a baguette and cheese in the Luxembourg or Tuileries gardens and watch the French go about their daily life. Whatever you choose, today is sure to be packed full of memorable sights and attractions.

      Notes: To avoid queuing at the ticket windows of the Louvre you can buy your ticket in advance, but pre-sold tickets can't be collected at the Louvre. The ticket is valid every day except Tuesday (when the museum is closed) and certain bank holidays. Book your tickets at: louvre.fr
      Hotel (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Chateau Stay
      Today you'll be transported back to the elegance of a bygone era when you travel to an idyllic French chateau, spending the night amid spectacular scenery. Firstly, board the train to Dijon, and then change to a private minibus that takes you to the chateau. The journey shouldn’t take longer than 4 hours in total. Your home for today is atmospheric Chateau Saint-Sabine. Built on the foundations of a 9th century monastery, the land and village have passed through the hands of various Lords and prominent members of the House of France. In 17th century, the chateau as it looks today started to gain shape thanks to de Messey family, who bought up the property and its surrounds when they decided they would rule as lords over the local area. Later, the chateau served as a private house until the 2011, when its current hosts took charge, renovated, and opened it to the public in today’s magnificent shape. The chateau sits in 8 hectares of lovely park, home to many free ranging animals such as deer, mallard ducks, hares and many other woodland creatures, and overlooks the medieval village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois. You can relax and enjoy the period feature-filled rooms of the house and the beautiful surrounds, indulging in some of the delicious local cuisine, taking walks in the garden and gazing across the beautiful French countryside.
      Chateau (1 nt)
      1 breakfast, 1 dinner
      Day 4 Dijon/Beaune
      Leave the beautiful chateau behind and travel back to Dijon today (approximately 45 minutes). From your base in Dijon, discover one of France’s wealthiest provinces in the region of Burgundy. Dijon was once one of the greatest centres of art, learning, and science in Europe, with rulers that rivalled the King of France and monasteries that threatened the supremacy of the Pope. Today it retains a dynamic and elegant air. Perhaps visit the Mustard Museum in your spare time to learn about the history and gastronomy behind this world famous condiment. At first it may not sound like the most exciting activity, but this is in fact a great attraction! In the afternoon you can take a walk around the city on a route called the ‘Owl’s Trail’, finding medieval and Renaissance architecture dotted on every street. A handy little booklet takes your to 22 of Dijon’s historic monuments. Alternatively, visit the distinguished 1787 Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in the vast Palace of the Dukes; it holds a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, crafts and antiquities. Just absorbing the medieval heart of the city, like at the café-lined Place de la Libération, is a great way to spend time here. Be sure to try some local cuisine in the evening, as this region is famed for culinary delights such as beef bourguignon and coq au vin.
      Optional Activities
      • Mustard Museum - EUR10
      • Owl Trail - Self Guided Walk - EUR4
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast
        Day 5 Dijon/Beaune
        After breakfast this morning, you'll have some free time in Dijon. Maybe climb to the top of the 48 metre high Tour Philippe le Bon, look out across the roofs and spy the medieval heart of the city. Or perhaps explore the palace of the former rulers of the region. or stroll along the Burgundy canal. Later you’ll visit one of the region’s most famed wineries in Beaune, the walled town in the centre of Burgundy (approximately 40 minutes). On arrival in this ‘wine capital of France’, enjoy lunch at the Michelin-recommended restaurant of Le Caveau des Arches. Hidden in the vaults beneath a 16th-century fortified bridge, you'll enjoy impeccable service, a lively, buzzing atmosphere, and have the opportunity to try exquisitely prepared dishes such as roasted veal filet mignon or scallop risotto. After the hearty feast, enjoy a wine-tasting session in one of Beaune's local cellar doors. Learn about the importance of ‘terroir’ in Burgundy, and discover how wine is the heart and soul of the region. More than just a drink, it’s a philosophy, a religion, a love. Continue this gourmet indulgence when you return to Dijon, perhaps choosing to take another chance to feast on Burgundy’s classy cuisine.
        Included Activities
        • Wine tasting
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 6 Avignon
          Take the train to Avignon today, which takes around three hours in total. This charming city is located on the left bank of the Rhone River in the south-east of France. The journey is idyllic, so make sure you have a camera at the ready. On arrival into Avignon, check in to your hotel and then take a walk around this walled city that was once home to French popes for more than a century. Go on an included visit to the grand and imposing Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace), a 14th century Gothic palace that was built for Pope Clement V when he moved here to escape the chaos of Rome. The vast palace is a mix of twisting corridors, large stone halls, and ornate frescoed apartments. You’ll also walk along the iconic remains of the broken bridge of Pont St-Benezet, famous as the subject of the French song ‘Sur le Pont d'Avignon’. Afterwards, you can take a riverside walk through apple orchards, or relax with a café au lait and croissant on one of many squares overflowing with cafés and small restaurants. Unsurprisingly the city is brimming with wonderful food choices, so on this free evening, perhaps head out for dinner with your fellow travellers.
          Included Activities
          • Palais des Papes
            Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast, 1 lunch
            Day 7 Avignon
            Today is free for you to enjoy as you please. Taking the train to Arles is a popular option, as the city has an abundance of Roman monuments and a strong association with the arts. If you stay within Avignon, comb the city's own impressive collection of art – even outside there’s artwork to be found, with 50 trompe-l’œil frescoes that celebrate past Festival d’Avignon dotted around the city. Perhaps hire a bike to see more of this picturesque valley and head to one of the city's amazing bakeries. You can even go as far as putting a baguette in your basket! There are a number of interesting museums and galleries to explore, including the recently opened Collection Lambert, a contemporary art space in an 18th-century townhouse and courtyard. You could also stroll the footpaths of the verdant river island of Île de la Barthelasse after hopping on a ferry service from the bridge, with views back across to the city. In the evenings, there are many small French bistros that serve up the great cuisine that's native to the region.
            Optional Activities
            • Bike hire - EUR15
            • Museum Calvet - EUR6
            • Museum Lapidaire - EUR2
            • Museum of the Petit Palace - EUR6
            • Roure Palace - EUR5
            • Musee de Arles Antique - EUR8
            • Arlaten Ethnographic Museum - EUR6
            • Reattu Museum - EUR8
            • Pont d`Avignon (Bridge of Avignon) - EUR5
              Hotel (1 nt)
              1 breakfast
              Day 8 Aix-en-Provence
              Leave Avignon this morning and continue your French journey, through heartland scenery that has long attracted the brushes of Impressionist painters, to the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) town of Aix-en-Provence. Boasting a rustic French appearance, high-end shopping and a pure Provencal climate, Aix is the ideal place to finish your French adventure. Enjoy a walk in the heart of this most ‘Parisian’ of cities – wander around Roman ruins to soak in some of the region’s stormy history and get lost in the medieval tangle of streets with old mansions dating back as far as 16th century. Aix-en-Provence (‘Aquae Sextiae’ in Latin) was founded in 122 BC and was named for its healing thermal springs. It’s also often referred to as the ‘city of a thousand fountains’. If you're an artistic soul, don't miss out on the Centre d`Art Caumont – and then maybe follow in the footsteps of the likes of Paul Cézanne, Ernest Hemingway, and Emile Zola with a drink in the famous café of Les Deux Garçons. Perhaps visit the Musee des Calissons and learn how the special sweets of Provence earned their fame, or just sit back next to one of town's fountains and watch the world go by. On your last night, feast on fine French fare in the birthplace of painter Paul Cezanne with your travel companions.
              Included Activities
              • Farewell dinner in Aix-en-Provence
                Optional Activities
                • Centre d`Art Caumont - EUR11
                • Confiserie du Roy Rene visit and tasting - EUR5
                • L`Atelier des Chefs - EUR20
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 9 Aix-en-Provence
                  Your 'Highlights of France' adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There are no more activities planned and you're able to leave the accommodation at any time.
                  1 breakfast
                  Itinerary disclaimer
                  ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

                  BOOKING MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS IN ADVANCE: To avoid disappointment we have outlined (where applicable) some important information on some of the major museums and attractions in Europe. Some of our groups have experienced long lines of up to four hours to visit some of the major sights, while some sights are so popular they are booked out completely months in advance, making it impossible for you or your leader to arrange a visit while you are on the trip. Please note that many museums and attractions in Europe are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays. We recommend you carefully consider which sites and museums you are going to want to visit and that you do some research and make your reservations in advance where possible. If applicable we've given you information in the day-to-day itinerary which outlines which day of the trip is a suitable time to make your reservations, as well as any other information that may help with planning your visit.
                  Physical rating

                  This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.
                  Included activities
                  Welcome dinner in Paris
                  Wine tasting
                  Palais des Papes
                  Farewell dinner in Aix-en-Provence
                  Important notes
                  A single supplement is available on this trip, with exception of Day 3 Chateau Sainte Sabine.

                  Group size
                  Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                  Your fellow travellers
                  GROUP TRAVEL
                  As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                  SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                  Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                  Chateau (1 night), Hotel (7 nights)
                  We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Europe may be different to the standards you are used to. Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges and in particular destinations, rooms may be rather small.

                  The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                  TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                  Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite (even when you book single room supplement!) and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                  CHECK-IN TIME
                  Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                  If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
                  Meals introduction
                  While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                  Food in Europe is varied and differs significantly between countries and regions. Expect to sample delicious local meals in almost every location you’ll visit on this trip. However, if you do not feel like having a local delicacy, world type food is also widely available, especially in bigger cities. European diet is mostly meat based; vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

                  European breakfasts are often basic and may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar.)
                  8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
                  Bus, Metro, Minibus, Taxi, Train

                  TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
                  Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a train in Spain, cycling past a historic chateau in France, or encountering the world's most extravagant public transport system on the Moscow Metro. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.
                  Money matters
                  The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. The safest option is to bring cash in either Euro or US dollars. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.

                  You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%. Taking all that in to account, we do not advise bringing traveller’s cheques to Europe.

                  For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.

                  SPENDING MONEY
                  When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).
                  If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: In local markets and basic restaurants and cafes - round your bill up to the nearest €1. In more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides. You may also have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers. You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
                  EMERGENCY FUNDS
                  We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                  BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 270.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
                  Group leader
                  All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                  Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                  Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
                  We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
                  Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
                  For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                  Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.

                  FIRE PRECAUTIONS
                  Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                  Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
                  Joining point
                  Hotel Meridional
                  14 rue du Docteur Heulin
                  Phone: 0033 01 46 27 56 86
                  Joining point description
                  Hotel Meridional is situated in the district if Batignolles, within walking distance from the legendary Moulin Rouge. Bright, compact rooms with relaxed decor feature en suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. A breakfast buffet is served in a modern, glass-roofed dining room.
                  Joining point instructions
                  Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name at the arrivals hall.
                  In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: + 33 (0)6 15 035 427
                  Finish point
                  Hotel Artéa Aix la Rotonde
                  4 Boulevard de la République
                  Phone: 0033 442273600
                  Fax: 0033 442272876
                  Finish point description
                  Set in the former home of composer Darius Milhaud, this relaxed hotel is a 4-minute walk from the Grand Théâtre de Provence. Casual rooms with modern furnishings and tile floors feature free WiFi, satellite TV and minibars. There's a cozy lounge/bar and a meeting room.
                  Finishing point instructions
                  If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Marseille Airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 2.5 hours before your flight departure time.

                  If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Nice Airport: You will be collected at the hotel reception 4.5 hours before your flight departure time.

                  Please reconfirm your departure flight details with your tour leader.

                  In case of flight cancellation, changes or you're not able to find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number: +33 4 90 14 70 00

                  Emergency contact
                  While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                  We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                  You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
                  For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                  In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

                  PEAK Marrakech: +49 867 791 866 57
                  Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                  Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and British citizens currently do not require a visa to enter countries visited on this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy or consulate in their home country for up to date visa information.

                  Passports have to be carried, but normally you do not need to show them. Stamps are no longer issued at border crossings.
                  What to take
                  On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

                  It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas inside the bus or your cabin. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
                  LUGGAGE STORAGE
                  Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage during included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
                  WATER BOTTLE
                  Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
                  On some of our trips in Europe it is possible to purchase responsibly sourced reusable water bottles. Thirty per cent of the cost of each bottle is donated to the Intrepid Foundation, specifically to the Support to Life project, which offers humanitarian assistance to Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Please ask your leader for further information regarding this initiative and the availability of the bottles.
                  Climate and seasonal information
                  Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
                  All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                  You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. Pharmacies are well equipped in Europe and widely available, however, we recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained in some of the rural locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
                  Travel insurance
                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                  When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                  A couple of rules
                  Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                  Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                  Responsible Travel
                  We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                  DRESS CODE
                  In general, there are few dress restrictions in Europe. Note when visiting churches, monasteries or other religious sites modest dress is required - shorts or skimpy tops may not be permitted, for both men and women.

                  The Intrepid Foundation
                  Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. Below link will take you to the feedback site: