Discover France

StudentUniverse  »  Discover France

Discover France

from £1,117
Duration: 14 days
Countries: France
Join us on this most wonderful of holidays to France, as a small group of us endeavour to leave no grand Parisian boulevard un-strolled and no rustic rural chateau unvisited.

Discover France

We'll also try and make sure no gorgeous part of the French countryside is unexplored; no fabulous wines left unopened; and no delectable French dish uneaten. And at the end of all your memorable experiences, at the very least you can be sure you won’t have left the best of France undiscovered!


Day 1: Paris, France

All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, dump your bags and Instagram your first selfie at the hotel. Then pinch yourself over dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided night tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader (aka living guide book). Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. And you're about to find out why.

Included today:
-Welcome dinner in a local restaurant
-City lights tour of Paris

Meals: Dinner.

Did you know:
-When the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris in 1974, he had to be issued with a passport stating his occupation as “King (deceased)”.
-The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US from France. She's totally French.
-The Paris municipal government has banned Tom Cruise from ever becoming an honorary citizen of the city. #staystrong.

Day 2: Paris

This morning: get royal on an optional visit to the Palace of Versailles. Cue groomed gardens and over-the-top decor #letthemeatcake. Not feeling it? Stick around town and explore before catching up with your besties on a gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower. End your day with an optional #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

Included today:
-Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Versailles visit
-Traditional cabaret show in the Latin Quarter
-Seine river cruise

Did you know:
-In French, the Eiffel Tower is also called “La Dame de Fer” which translates to “The Iron Lady” just like Meryl Streep.
-If you want to buy the Eiffel Tower, just fork in 434 billion Euros. At the time of a massive renovation, people were able to buy fractions of the stairs (in 2013, 3,5 metres of it (19 of the original steps) were bought for 220,000 Euros.

Day 3: Paris

This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay to the l'Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you'll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Paris bike tour

Day 4: Paris to Bayeux

Travel Day: Paris to Bayeux (via Camembert).

Gulp down that cafe au lait, we're off to Camembert to see if we can find anything to put on our baguettes. Arromanches next for a history lesson on D-Day. Keen to learn? Hit up the Musée du Débarquement on the seafront. Refuel with a crepe or grab some souvenirs before we head off to roam the medieval streets of Bayeux. Tonight's all yours.

Included today:
-Camembert visit

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Musée du Débarquement

Did you know:
-On a sunny day, a melting camembert inspired Salvatore Dali to paint his melting clocks in his famous painting “The Persistence of Memory”.
-In French, pie charts and Trivial Pursuit pie pieces are both called Camemberts.
-Bayeux is home to a 70 metre long cloth known as the Bayeux Tapestry recording the Norman conquest of England up to the Battle of Hastings. But get this, it's not actually a tapestry. It's an embroidery, stitched in woollen yarns on linen. #lifeisalie

Day 5: Bayeux to Loire Valley

Travel Day: Bayeux to Loire Valley (via Mont Saint Michele).

Drop your jaw at the World Heritage-listed Mont Saint Michele commune, dating back all the way to 800AD. Talk about #throwback. Then: more castle vibes in Loire Valley-we're overnighting in a chateau. But before you hit the sheets, a local feast in Montrichard. En route: snap up some Instagram photos of the famed countryside and architecture. Your followers will thank you.

Included today:
-Mont Saint Michele visit (entrance to the Abbey at additional cost)
-Overnight stay at a Chateau
-Dinner in a local Montrichard restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-There are more than 300 castles scattered all around the Loire Valley. It's not too late to find your prince charming.

Day 6: Loire Valley to Bordeaux

Travel Day: Loire Valley to Bordeaux.

Kick off the day at the #epic Château de Chambord. Pit stop for a mid-afternoon nightcap on a distillery tour and tasting in the Cognac region. Bordeaux next. Endless vineyards, world-famous wine and a feast at Le Bistrot d'Edouard.

Included today:
-Dinner in a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional Activities:
-Château de Chambord visit
-Cognac tour and tasting

Day 7: Bordeaux

This morning: tour Saint Emilion winery and discover why the region is world famous for its fermented grapes. If that's not a reason to get out of bed, what is? Taste the range and pick up some bottles to send home. Your future self will thank you. Explore the surrounding medieval town before we return to Bordeaux. Over to you. We've cleared your schedule.

Included today:
-Winery tour and wine tasting

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-88% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red.
-Frederic Brochet of the University of Bordeaux conducted a cheeky experiment and asked over 50 wine experts to rate a mid-range Bordeaux wine that he presented in two different bottles - one labelled as a cheap table wine and the other an expensive grand cru etiquette. The tasters described the grand cru as “agreeable, woody and round” and the cheap wine as “weak, flat and faulty”.

Day 8: Bordeaux to Carcassonne

Travel Day: Bordeaux to Carcassonne.

Head off to the historic walled city for a real-life game of Carcassonne (the tile-based German-inspired game, keep up) and to see why it is famed for its restored medieval fortress and the poetic sonnets written about it.

Included today:
-Dinner in a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-You can witness some real medieval style jousting in Carcassone. Bring a squire.

Day 9: Carcassonne to French Riveira

Travel Day: Carcassonne to French Riviera (via Pont du Gard and Grasse).

Check out the 2000-year-old Roman engineered aqueduct Pont du Gard this morning. Then get that selfie stick out as we roll along the coast to rub shoulders with the rich and famous on the French Riviera. Chow down at a local restaurant before prowling the streets for celebrities.

Included today:
-Pont du Gard visit
-Dinner in a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Famous French singer Edith Piaf died in Grasse. However, for reasons beyond us, her dead body was driven overnight in an ambulance to Paris to create the impression that she died there.
-In 2013 a cat holidaying with his owners in Grasse went missing, only to return to his home 700 miles away 18 months later (somewhat dishevelled from the long adventure, but still in good spirit).

Day 10: French Riviera

Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. This afternoon, we'll hit up Eze for a first-hand look into the world of French scent making on a guided tour of a 16th century factory.

Later: Roll with the jet set as we hit up the Monaco for a guided tour and the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves lots of fur and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Take to the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).

Included today:
-Eze perfume factory visit
-Monaco visit and guided tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Monte Carlo Casino

Did you know:
-The Monte Carlo casino was originally called a health spa to avoid criticism from the church. Now that's a world class euphemism.
-The citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble, let alone step inside the famous Monte Carlo casino.
-According to artifacts discovered in Nice, its earliest tourists were travelling cave-dwellers that passed through hunting woolly mammoths almost 400,000 years ago.

Day 11: French Riviera to Annecy

Travel Day: French Riviera to Annecy.

Start off your day in Avignon, the former home of hte popes. Then more OMG scenery as we head to the epic lakeside village Annecy on the edge of hte French Alps. Tick off Palais de l'Ile, Chateau d'Annecy and all the local hotpsots this afternoon.

Included today:
-Avignon visit and walking tour
-Annecy walking tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Avignon used to be the home of the Catholic Church and saw the reign of seven popes before it was moved to Italy.

Day 12: Annecy

You'll want to spend your free day outdoors - at least that's what the locals do. Lake Annecy is the purest lake in Europe, rocking the same turquoise waters you thought you left at the French Riviera. See it for yourself on an optional cruise this afternoon. Also home to some of the heartiest and hautest French cuisine (think fondue), let's just say you won't go hungry.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Lake Annecy cruise
-Cheese fondue-induced coma

Day 13: Annecy to Lyon

Travel Day: Annecy to Lyon.

You'll want your camera charged for today's drive through the French Alps. This afternoon: get acquainted with the city famed as the culinary capital of France. You're looking out for Rosette de Lyon, quenelle and marron glace.

Included today:
-Lyon walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Cinema was invented in Lyon by the Lumiere Brothers in 1895.
-The NYPD operates in 11 foreign cities including Lyon.

Day 14: Lyon to Paris

Travel Day: Lyon to Paris.

Like all good things, your trip has come to an end. Though your waistline will thank you. Stick around for one last selfie. Teary goodbyes optional.

Meals: Breakfast.

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Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,117


Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book


Paris ‘City Lights’ Tour
Paris gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel Tower
French Riviera perfumery experience
Camembert Museum and tasting
Wine tasting in Bordeaux
Stay a night in a French chateau
Visit the Pont du Gard
Welcome dinner in Paris
Visit UNESCO Heritage Site Mont St Michel

More Inclusions

13 breakfasts, 7 dinners
12 nights hotel accommodation (twin or double) & 1 night in a Chateau
Smaller group size
Modern air-conditioned coach
Awesome Trip Leader + Driver

Group Size

Average 12, maximum 20


Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.
During peak season, some coaches will not have Wi-Fi


This tour is suitable for people aged 18-39

About StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse has been supplying the best flight, hotel and tours deals to students around the world for years now and we’re delighted to be the preferred travel partner of and to make your travel experience even more amazing.

We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

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