Intimate France Tours e-News

Issue 2, December 2011

 

www.intimatefrance.com

 

info@intimatefrance.com

 

 

At Intimate France, we specialize in small groups - usually eight travelers or fewer, never more than 16. Read more about how we are different.

 

OUR TOURS IN 2012

Provence, France - April 29-May 11

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Marseille Airport.

(more information)

 

Normandy-Loire Valley, France -

May 13-25

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Charles de Gaulle Airport., Paris

(more information)

 

Dordogne, France - Sept. 2-14

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Bordeaux Airport.

(more information)

 

Austria: Alps, Abbeys & Vienna - Sept. 16-28

Your priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins at Munich Airport, ends at Vienna Airport.

(more information)

 

 

 

INTIMATE FRANCE BLOG

George Nevin

owner/founder

intimate France Tours

 

 

I founded Intimate France in 1994 with a simple goal - to introduce more Americans to the delights of Europe.

 

Oh, and I wanted to travel to Europe a lot more, too.

 

Boy, has that worked! Sometimes too well ... almost.

 

One year (2002) I spent almost as much time in Europe as I did in the States. Looking back, I don't have a clue how I managed.

 

In early April 2002, I took six Californians to Southern and Central France. They were friends - three couples - who were interested in cheesemaking, wineries and farming (the industries that the couples worked in).

 

Around mid-April, I flew home to California. Two weeks later I was back on the plane to France. This time I escorted groups in Central France, in the Ile de France (the region around Paris), in Normandy-Brittany and finally in Alsace. There were breaks in there to travel with family members and friends.

 

In one stretch that spring, I was in Europe from May 11 to July 9.

 

In the fall, I slowed down – only four tours (covering some two months) in Languedoc and Dordogne, France, and in Tuscany.

 

I've learned since then that there is such a thing as too much – too much food, too much wine, too much living out of a suitcase.

 

Today I personally escort most tours. Thus I have learned to limit myself to two tours in the spring and two in the fall, sometimes with a few days tossed in before or after. Remember, it's still my goal to see a lot of Europe.

 

INTIMATE FRANCE:

HOW WE ARE DIFFERENT

 

    After 25 years of travel and research, we founded Intimate France in 1994 to share our accumulated wisdom and exciting discoveries with you. In the  years since then, we’ve taken hundreds of Americans to France, Italy, Spain, Croatia and the Alps.

 

    Our small groups (never more than 16) assure the utmost in personal service, attention to detail and flexibility.

    Our small group size allows us to take care of you and your needs the way you deserve. Our long familiarity with Europe has taught us the hidden, authentic visits and sights not in any guidebook.

 

    Our cheerful, experienced, bilingual guides love Europe with a passion and want to share this feeling with you. Our carefully planned itineraries feature a multitude of enriching visits – all included in the tour price. Optional excursions at additional expense are virtually non-existent.  

 

At Intimate France, we believe that cookie-cutter hotels, tourist-oriented restaurants and fast-paced sightseeing are barriers to enjoying the real Europe.   

 

      Over time we have discovered small, family-run hotels, local bistros and insider sights. You’ll visit the top attractions in each town while also having experiences that are more typically European.

KEEP IN TOUCH

 

 

QUALIFY FOR OUR EARLY-SIGNUP DISCOUNT

Signups received by Dec. 31, 2011, earn a discount of $100 per person for tours in 2012. More information on How to Book.

 

DORDOGNE ON SALE

Enroll in our tour of gorgeous Dordogne by Dec. 31, 2011, and claim a special discount of $100 per person in addition to our regular $100 discount for early signup. On your signup form, mention the code 'Dordogne on Sale.'

 

Dordogne is our most popular tour for a good reason – the villages, landscape, food and wine are the best France has to offer. More information.

Green Beans at the End of the Earth

 

 

La Rochepot, the nearest town to the End of the Earth.

 

    A few years ago, my friend Jean and I were in Burgundy, scouting for a future tour. West of Beaune, we came upon the pretty village of la Rochepot near the end of the day. Why not spend the night here?

    But there was no room at the inn. The B&B we wanted was full, so we asked the landlady for a suggestion.
    “Go to the end of the earth,” she said.
    “The end of the earth” sounded better in French: “le Bout du Monde.” It’s an actual place, and it was only 20 minutes away.
    When we arrived, we saw how apt the name was. The road struggled down into a steep canyon and ended at a tiny settlement huddled at the base of an immense cliff.
    We found the B&B and its leather-faced owner. Yes, she had a room. Would we like dinner too?
    A country dinner at a French farmhouse? Sure, why not?
    At 7:30 we descended the creaky stairs and took our place at the table, joining a couple from the former East Germany.
    The gentleman told us he could eat only soft food because of his bad teeth. “Dental care not so good in East Germany,” he said.
    Madame busied herself in the kitchen, while Monsieur poured the wine, a throat-scratching red.
    The first course: an enormous bowl of green beans, home-canned in the summer. They were delicious. We gobbled them up.
    The main course was chicken, but we noticed that Monsieur and Madame only ate the green beans – lots and lots of green beans.
    Then it hit us: Jean and I, as unexpected guests, had claimed the landlords’ dinner.
    For one night, at least, the innkeepers at the end of the earth were vegetarians.

Nothing But the Best - Dordogne

 

 

The limestone cliffs towering over Les Eyzies, France

 

If you're looking for the best France has to offer, consider Dordogne. Here you will find a gorgeous landscape (forests, hills, cliffs, rivers), some of the country's most beautiful stone villages, and a delicious cuisine that the French themselves consider their nation's best. To claim a special discount of $100 per person, in addition to our regular early-signup discount (also $100), mention the code "Dordogne on Sale" when you book. Intimate France's 2012 Dordogne tour.

OUR TOURS IN 2012


Provence, France - April 29-May 11

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Marseille Airport.t.

  • Boat ride on the sparkling Mediterranean from the fishing port of Cassis
  • Stately Aix-en-Provence, one of France's loveliest towns
  • Perched villages - among the most beautiful in Europe
  • Exciting, colorful outdoor markets
  • Many meals include wine at no extra cost
  • The ancient Abbey of Senanque
  • The wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape
  • The ocher-colored village of Roussillon
  • Lodging in a comfortable inn in the vineyards
  • Avignon, with possible visit to the Palace of the Popes
  • The stunning, ruined fortress of les Baux-de-Provence

Normandy-Loire Valley, France - May 13-25

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris.

  • Comfortable hotels and charming inns - all with private bath
  • The gardens, studio and home of Claude Monet in Giverny
  • Old Bayeux, and its most famous sight, the Bayeux Tapestry
  • Outstanding cuisine, including meals at renowned restaurants
  • D-Day beaches & monuments, including the American Cemetery
  • Magnificent Chartres Cathedral, with world-class stained glass and statues
  • Old Rouen, capital of Normandy, including a monument to the martyrdom of Joan of Arc
  • Belle Epoque resorts of Deauville and Trouville
  • Outdoor markets
  • Fresh seafood - some of the best in France
  • Stunning coastal scenery
  • Abbey of Mont St. Michel
  • Local cheeses, cider & calvados
  • Cathedrals, castles, markets, cafés, art, fine dining, exceptional wines

Dordogne, France - Sept. 2-14

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins and ends at Bordeaux Airport.

  • The village of Brantôme, folded in a bend of the Drônne River
  • Ancient Périgueux, already a center of commerce and learning in Celtic times
  • Lunch at the gorgeous Moulin du Roc, a restaurant holding the coveted Michelin star
  • St. Jean-de-Cole, one of France’s most beautiful villages
  • Historic Sarlat, containing a remarkable ensemble of renaissance buildings
  • Hilltop Domme, looking over a vista of rivers, cliffs and fields
  • The riverside villages of la Roque Gageac and Beynac
  • Dordogne River cruise
  • Lascaux II, replicating the cave paintings called the “Sistine Chapel of antiquity”
  • The stone village of St. Emilion, source of exceptional wines
  • Art, villages, castles, fine dining, gorgeous scenery

Austria: Alps, Abbeys & Vienna - Sept. 16-28

Detailed itinerary

 

Tour priced at $3,895 per person sharing accommodation. Singles $550 extra.Tour begins at Munich Airport and ends at Vienna Airport.

  • Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all with private bath
  • Magnificent Vienna - palaces and monuments of a faded empire
  • Stately Innsbruck, capital of the vast Alpine wonderland of Tirol
  • Outstanding frescoes of Klosterneuberg
  • Soaring Alps, thundering waterfalls, deep valleys, icy glaciers
  • Medieval villages on the Danube - Durnstein, Melk
  • Outdoor markets
  • Picture-perfect Hallstatt, beside its mountain lake
  • Explore a salt mine
  • The baroque abbey of Melk
  • Medieval Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart
  • Cathedrals, castles, markets, cafes, art, fine dining, exceptional wines

 

 

Make an Intimate France tour your best trip ever.