Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Road to France Pt. IV - Adventuring with Viator

73 days until France!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably already know how excited I am to be going to France this year with my mom. I’ve been planning the trip, more or less, since I got back from Italy last September, but now we’re coming down the home stretch! The flights have been booked and the hotel reservations have been made, so now it’s just a matter of planning my various excursions in Paris and Nice.

I rely heavily on for my tour and daytrip needs. I’m not necessarily the type to like large tour groups in museums (I much rather aimlessly wander on my own time), but Viator provides some lovely advantages. For one thing, many of the “tours” for major tourist attractions include a skip-the-line option, meaning you get to skip those crazy waits for things like the Eiffel Tower. And, for people like me, you can usually find some independent tour options where your guides leave you to your own devices after a brief spiel.

Viator is also great for its more unique tours and daytrip options. Are you a foodie? Well, check out their food, wine, and nightlife options! Want to explore other areas of the country? There are plenty of daytrip options that provide transportation and friendly tour guides. Viator has something for everyone, trust me.

I’ve already begun booking some of my excursions, but here are my top 5 for my upcoming trip.

Versailles Independent Day Trip from Paris ($55-60) – This is one of the independent tours that I was talking about earlier. We’ll be picked up by coach from a central Parisian location and taken to and from Versailles, avoiding public transportation. We’ll then be allowed to roam Versailles for 4 uninterrupted hours with access to the gardens, Versailles Palace, and the Grand Royal Apartments.  Admission is included!

Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends Night Walking Tour of Paris ($25-30) – I did a similar tour to this one in Rome and had a fantastic time! Your guide leads a small group of people around the city after dark and tells all sorts of ghost stories and legends. It’s a fun way to learn the history of your destination, and who doesn’t like a good scare from time to time? If you like off-the-beaten-path adventures, definitely look into this option.

Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip ($95-100) – Since I’m usually trying to cover as much ground as possible on my trips, day trips allow me to explore without fretting over transportation. The small group day trip is limited to 8 people, and you’re driven to various locations where you’re allowed to wander, eat, shop, and sight-see to your heart’s content. On this Provence excursion, we’ll drive along the French Riviera coastline to Cannes and see the old port, famous La Croisette Boulevard, the Cannes Film Festival Palace. We’ll move onto Grasse and have a guided tour of a perfumery before continuing on to Gourdon, Loup Gorges, and Saint Paul de Vence. The drive itself will include gorgeous views of the Alps and coastline. At $95-100 per person, this is a real steal! I’m more than a bit excited.

Monaco Small-Group Night Tour from Nice ($65-70) – I really can’t get enough of the small-group tours… This one will take us to Monaco in the evening where we’ll get to take a lap around Monaco’s Grand Prix racetrack, explore the glitzy principality, and even see if Lady Luck is on our side at a casino before heading back to Nice.

French Riviera Sightseeing Cruise from Nice ($20-25) – I love the water, and so does my mom, so a sight-seeing cruise along the coast seemed like an ideal way to spend an hour. I’m hoping that I’ll get some great photo-ops along the way!

So which of these trips appeals most to you?  Have any of you ever used

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