November 2018


About Intimate France — We travel every spring and fall to Europe's most beautiful destinations. Our small groups (usually eight travelers, never more than 16) guarantee you the utmost in personal service and attention to detail. Learn more about us or contact Intimate France.




We'll save a complete photo album of our just-concluded (September 2018) tour of French & Spanish Basque for our next newsletter, but we just had to share a few choice photos right away.


Dining well is a top priority on all Intimate France tours, and our Basque adventure (repeating in 2019, April 28-May 10) is no exception.


And here's a hint about those Basque words with the consonant combination "tx" pronounce it just like "ch" and you can't go wrong.



Pantxineta, a typical Basque dessert at Portaletas.

This fine San Sebastián restaurant-pintxos bar specializes in pantxineta, puff pastry filled with thick custard cream and topped with almonds.



A jillion-calorie way to end any meal.

This gooey, gloppy mixture of meringue, ice cream, raspberry sauce and shortbread morsels was a big hit at Hôtel Restaurant du Chêne, in the adorable French Basque village of Itxassou.


Oh, OK, lest anyone think that eating is all we care about at Intimate France:

Arnaga, villa of Cyrano author Edmond Rostand.

Rostand came to the French Basque country in 1901 and fell in love with the villages, the landscapes and the people. Our guided visit to the home he built gave us an insight into this prolific writer, whose Cyrano de Bergerac made him both rich and famous.




At Intimate France we've finalized our 2019 tour lineup, and you can see details below or here. 2019 is only a few months away, and enrollments are rolling in. Travelers who act soon will be able to claim the last available seats.


No, really ... advising you to "act now" is not just marketing-speak. It's serious advice. In 2019 we will have exactly 40 openings on four tours. As of the end of October 2018, 34 seats have been claimed.


Because of the popularity of our 2018 offerings, we are repeating three of its four tours: Italian Lakes & Alps, French & Spanish Basque, and Dordogne, France. Our fourth 2019 offering, Dalmatian Coast & Croatia, is a repeat of a tour last operated in 2009.


So ... check out what's in store for next year. If you want to join one of our small groups, early action is advised — both of our fall 2018 tours (Basque and Dordogne) filled in November 2017, roughly 10 months out. See our site for details of 2019 tours:


Exterior, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain.


French & Spanish Basque,
April 28-May 10, 2019



      Pilgrimage village of Rocamadour, France.


Dordogne, France,

May 12-24, 2019



High peaks, Dolomite Alps, Italy.


Italian Lakes & Alps, Sept. 1-13, 2019


We at Intimate France are thrilled to be returning to Northern Italy in fall 2019, beginning at Milan's Malpensa Airport, and ending 12 days later at Venice Marco Polo Airport.



Harbor and village, Rovinj, Croatia.


Dalmatian Coast & Croatia,

Sept. 15-27, 2019



Wikimedia Commons 

Plitvička Lakes National Park, Croatia.





New for 2018: use Visa-MasterCard-Discover to make tour deposits and final payments. Go to this page for complete signup options. If you would rather just ask us about using a card, please call us at (800 676-1247) or email



Intimate France Tours has a presence on TripAdvisor. See us here.


Our listing is still quite new, but we already have several positive and upbeat reviews. 


Read what they're saying about us, and add your own review. Many thanks.





By George Nevin

Founder-owner, Intimate France


Ah, the World Wide Web. A great source of information about ... well, nearly anything. But over time the Web has become clogged with "facts" that are decidedly nonfactual, and "information" that is more misinformation.


That's why it's a pleasure to find helpful, authoritative content online. We're talking about travel information here, something that there is always a crying need for.


Today let me direct you to Cook Travel, a company that specializes in (relatively) affordable first-class and business-class air łravel. I regularly scan Cook's site, which contains much more than information on air fares, and I commend the blog to you.


Case in point — a recent Cook item that deals with an air traveler's frequent question: just who is entitled to a shared armrest in flight? The answer is not as open-and-shut as you might imagine. You can read all about it here.


Wikimedia Commons  

What does etiquette say about who gets the armrest?


The Cook site and blog are a refreshing take on the increasingly complicated process of hurling yourself through space and time zones to get to those places that satisfy our hunger for experiencing the world.


Through a traveler's eyes




© Evangeline Brown

View over Lago di Como from our Hotel Bellagio. 


By George Nevin

Founder-owner, Intimate France


Once more I am pleased to share with you some stunning images from our extraordinary tour of the Italian Lakes & Alps in May 2018.


The photos by traveler Evangeline Brown, lovely though they are, can't fully match the beauty of Northern Italy as experienced in person.



Some years ago I sat at a lakeside cafe in Bellagio, enjoying the sunset across the water. A nearby American, having heard me converse with my group, walked over and introduced himself. After we chatted for a while, and just as the lights came on in the villages rimming the lake, he asked me, "Have you ever been to the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas?"


I allowed as how I had not.


"You've gotta go there!" he enthused. "It's so beautiful!"


Well, I happen to prefer the real thing. Herewith some of Evangeline's work. And remember — we're repeating our Italian Lakes & Alps tour in 2019 (September 1-13), and the tour still has vacancies


© Evangeline Brown

The dramatic Dolomite Alps, with fresh snow in May.


© Evangeline Brown

Rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, Villa d'Este.


© Evangeline Brown

Poolside at Villa d'Este, where we enjoyed a drink.


© Evangeline Brown

Spiral staircase, Palazzo Borromeo, Isola Bella.


© Evangeline Brown

This lovely fellow makes his home on Isola Bella.


© Evangeline Brown

The opulent interior and altar, cathedral, Como.



© Evangeline Brown

Ötzi the Iceman, South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.


Ötzi, a Copper Age mummy discovered in the Alps of Northern Italy in 1991, is displayed along with his extensive kit, dating from around 5,300 years ago. Our Italian Lakes & Alps tour visits the museum in Bolzano/Bozen. Evangeline's photo above shows not the actual mummy but a mannequin depicting how Ötzi might have looked.