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TEXTILES OF FRANCE 12-DAY TOUR
April 11-22, 2024 – 2 spots left!
Now booking for October 2024 and April 2025
Join a small group of fiber and textile enthusiasts for an inspirational and educational 12-day tour of Paris and Provence that traces the history of textiles in France. See the best of Paris, Avignon, and two of the Most Beautiful Villages of Provence in the Luberon region.
Day 1: Arrive in Paris. Settle in at your charming boutique 3-star Left Bank hotel. Wander the neighborhood. The day is yours until dinner. Group Welcome Dinner at a fabulous French restaurant with our textile guide, Pauline Geneteau, to preview the week.
Day 2: Private guided day trip to Bayeux – with our textile guide Pauline. Marvel at the 230-foot-long embroidered Bayeux Tapestry that documents the battle of Hastings, created in 1066. A UNESCO History of the World Heritage Treasure. Lunch in Bayeux. Also, see exhibits showing Bayeux lace and a demonstration of lace making. Take away dinner for the train provided. Return to Paris.
Day 3: A short walk from the hotel, with our textile guide Pauline to the Musèe de Cluny to experience the priceless treasure of the six panels of The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestry, considered a masterpiece of Western art. Lunch in a beautiful French Salon. Wander French gardens on your way back to the hotel. A French Cooking Class that includes dinner and wine will top the evening.
Day 4: A short walk from the hotel to the Louvre where our private licensed guide will show us the highlights of their collections and textiles. Afternoon on your own. (suggestions: Petit Palais, Hotel de la Marine, Musée d’Orsay, Galleries Lafayette) Group dinner.
Day 5: Morning: Boutis Demonstration and Workshop with an award-winning, master French boutis expert, followed after lunch with Pauline Geneteau’s Stitching Up Paris Walking Tour. Fabric, buttons, yarn, ribbon and stories of the thriving garment industry in Paris in centuries past. Group dinner.
Day 6: Morning: Private 3-hour Tour of Versailles Palace & Gardens. Then to the town of Versailles for lunch and shopping at the famous Sajou haberdashery. Spend a quiet afternoon at the Toile de Jouy Museum. Group dinner.
Day 7: Early TGV train to Nantes for the Salon Pour L’Amour du Fils International Quilt Show, classes optional – all day. Food trucks are available for lunch. Dinneron your own is with takeaway to eat on the train or when you return to Paris. (Note – On tours other than April, this day is substituted with a day in Lyon to learn about the French silk trade and history.)
Day 8: Morning to yourselves. Afternoon: Walking Tour of the Secret Places in Paris. Dinner cruise on the Seine.
Day 9: Check out of the Paris hotel. Early TGV train to Avignon. Lunch on the train. Our luxury van and private guide will take us to the famous Pont du Gard bridge built by the Romans. Then enjoy the ride to Nîmes, where denim (de Nîmes – “of Nîmes”) was invented. Visit a luxury store and factory that specializes in old-world luxury denim.
Wander Nîmes on your own. Consider the local museum that tells the history of denim, do some shopping, and have lunch. Then our driver guide will drive us to Avignon where we’ll check into our lovely 4-star boutique hotel. Wander Avignon until dinner. Dinner on your own.
Day 10: Our driver will take us to tour a French Provençal fabric factory that’s been in business since 1816, printing the cotton Indiennes fabrics Provence is known for. Finish the day at a French quilt store in Avignon. Dinner on your own.
Day 11: Private tour of the Luberon from Avignon with our private guide and driver in a large comfortable van. See the perched villages of Gordes and Roussillon – two of the Most Beautiful Villages of France – a coveted designation. Walk the Ochre Trail in Roussillon – where the ochre pigments form naturally in their hills – pigments are for sale in town. Tour the Senanque Abbey. Farewell group dinner in a beautifully decorated classic French restaurant in Avignon, where popes dined in the 13th century.
Day 12: Our driver will take us to the TGV station to catch the train to Paris to get you to your transportation for the following day. Lunch on the train. Transportation to the hotel by Charles de Gaulle Airport. Our services end here. There is a restaurant in the hotel for dinner.
If you want to add a tour before or after this tour, let us know. We can customize this for you. We have day tours from Paris that go to Monet’s Giverny, the castles (chateâux) of the Loire, the Normandy D-Day beaches, or a day in the wineries of Bordeaux.
Transportation: Transfers to and from the airport/Eurostar/trains to your hotels. first-class TGV and regional trains, 3-day metro pass, and luxury air-conditioned minivans with English-speaking drivers, where listed, are included.
Hotels: 8 nights in Paris at a charming 3-star hotel, 3 nights in Avignon at a 4-star boutique hotel, 1 night by the CDG airport. Based on double occupancy. Single supplement is $1225.
Tours: All listed tours are included.
Entry fees: Fees to scheduled museums are included, but not those you choose to do in your free time. Entry to the quilt show is included.
Meals: Breakfast is included in your hotel booking. Lunches are on your own. Nine dinners with one glass of wine are included. Cooking dinner class and the Dinner Cruise on the Seine are included.
Demonstrations: The Bayeux lace demonstration and the boutis workshop are included. Materials for the boutis workshop are included.
Gratuities/Tips: We have included these.
• Trip insurance (required)
• Alcoholic beverages other than 1 glass of wine at dinner
• Snacks, beverages, and food not listed
• Classes at the quilt show in Nantes
The number of guests is limited to 10
Guides: All guides or driver-guides are English-speaking
Mobility: This is a busy tour with moderate activity every day. This tour is not for mobility-challenged people. Walkers and wheelchairs cannot be accommodated.
Walking: Plan to walk 3+ miles daily (it just adds up!) and be on your feet at museums and venues. Wear comfortable walking shoes (aka sneakers – everyone in Paris is wearing them, for good reason – they walk everywhere!) We take into account the need for breaks and sitting time. Stairs: You must be able to walk up or down 25 stairs to and from the Metro.
Luggage: Our drivers will get your luggage in and out of the vehicles taking you to and from your hotel. You may be responsible for getting your luggage to and from your hotel room, with elevators. We highly suggest you pack light – a carry-on size suitcase will make your trip much easier than a larger one you have to check. Also note vehicles in Europe are smaller than in the US and trunks have smaller capacity. Purchasing a second suitcase and checking it on your way home if you want to buy fabric is possible or you may be able to ship fabric back to the US.
Laundry: There are laundry and dry cleaning services available at the hotel in Paris for a fee, not included in your tour price.
Phones: It is highly recommended you have a cell phone on which you have activated an international plan. Staying in touch with your fellow travelers and family back home will be important. Google Translate can be helpful on your phone. We found Apple Maps was better than Google Maps in Paris. Waze is used all over France. And those cell phone cameras will be indispensable.
Travel Safety: Consider how you will travel with your money and credit cards. It is highly recommended you have an RFID wallet or other protection for your passport, credit cards, etc. A travel pouch under your clothes can be helpful.