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LITTLE FRANCE
LE PETIT FRANÇAIS

26 June - 21 July 2025

Be captivated by the beauty of France, as we tour smaller towns, exquisite countryside, enjoy local food and flavours, wine in Burgundy, lavender in Provence, medieval and renaissance villages. We experience France at its best with its effortless style, impeccable taste and magical atmosphere on this 24-day small towns tour of Le Petit Français - the little France!

$24,890 per person twin share
Single Room Supplement Add $7245

Initial Deposit On Booking $3000
Second Deposit Due: 4 December 2024 $4000
Final Balance Due: 6 March 2025

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Days

24 Days

Highlights

Castles, lavender, perfume and porcelain tours, wine tasting, local food markets, churches, medieval towns, historic hotels

Group Size

20

Travellers

Travel of Note

Boutique Tour

Meals

All Breakfasts

Wine & Chocolate Tasting

9 Lunches

11 Dinners

Mobility

Active Tour

TOUR HOSTS

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SUSAN BOLAND

DIRECTOR/SOPRANO

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JOHN CAMERON

DIRECTOR/TENOR

MAP GUIDE:

1. PARIS (4 nights)

2. BURGUNDY (3 nights)

3. AVIGNON (3 nights)

4. CANNES (4 nights)

5. CARCASSONNE (2 nights)

6. SARLAT-LA-CANÉDA (3 nights)

7. LOIRE VALLEY (3 nights)

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SPECIAL FEATURES

• Be captivated by the beauty of France, with its effortless style and impeccable taste on this 24-day small towns tour of Le Petit Français - the little France!

As we wander through charming small towns and villages, (often voted the most beautiful in France) elegant chateaux and grand boulevards, fairy tale castles, thousand year old cathedrals and glorious countryside and gardens, we will be enthralled by it all. 

• We discover the romance of France, staying at 4 and 5-star exquisite châteaux and historic hotels, experience magnificent buildings, cafes and inspiring art galleries, and the charm and quaintness of beautiful historical villages in Burgundy or Provence. 

• We are enchanted by the sounds of France, the music, the opera including The Barber of Seville and the ballet Sleeping Beauty at Paris Opera, Opera at the Avignon Festival and opera or concert at a château in the Loire Valley, the beauty of the language and the excitement as people enjoy life.

• Then there’s the essence of France, visiting a perfume factory in Grasse, markets with garlic wafting from a street stall, the scent of flowers in one of our fairy tale castles in the Loire Valley, lavender in the wind, the smell of baked bread or the oils or chalk from a picture drawn by a street artist in Paris beside the Seine.

• Romantic, captivated, wondrous, spell-bound, breathless. France gave us the phrase Joie de Vivre. Best of all, we enjoy how France makes us feel.

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TRIP ITINERARY

Experience the Exceptional:

THURSDAY 26 JUNE 2025

Today we leave for our wonderful trip to the smaller towns of France. 

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FRIDAY 27 JUNE 2025 (D) PARIS

Maison Astor Hotel (4 nights)

Paris is the capital and largest city of France. The city is built on an arc of the River Seine, and is thus divided into two parts: the Right Bank to the north and the smaller Left Bank to the south. Paris is also famous for its tree-lined boulevards such as the Champs-Élysées, and for its many architectural gems.

Highlights Include: 

• On arrival, we enjoy a sightseeing tour by coach of the highlights of this magnificent city including Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomph, Invalides and the Eiffel Tower.

• We then transfer to our hotel for a light dinner before an early night.

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SATURDAY 28 JUNE 2025 (B, D) PARIS 

Highlights Include: 

• Tour of the newly opened Notre-Dame, due to reopen after the devastating fire, in December 2024, we get the chance to see this wonderful landmark.

• Tour of the Musee D’Orsay, one of the most renowned art galleries with a chance to see many of the most famous Impressionist paintings.

• Pre-opera dinner and opera at Bastille to see Rossini’s famous opera The Barber of Seville (subject to final confirmation).

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SUNDAY 29 JUNE 2025 (B, L, D) PARIS

Highlights Include: 

• Tour of the Opera Garnier, one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world and the home of the ghost - Phantom of the Opera.

• Tour of the fabulous Louvre Museum with private guide and see amongst other famous art treasures, Mona Lisa.

• Lunch at Angelina’s, a quintessential Parisian cafe, filled with great cakes and the best hot chocolate in the world!

• A beautiful welcome dinner cruise on the Seine River to watch the beautiful sights of Paris, following which we drive home enjoying the lights of Paris tour. 

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MONDAY 30 JUNE 2025 (B) PARIS

Highlights Include: 

• A day free to enjoy your own tours, simply wander in this beautiful city or of course shop!

• This evening we enjoy an exceptional experience Sleeping Beauty presented by the Paris Opera Ballet. When Rudolf Nureyev came to Paris in 1961 on tour with the Kirov, shortly before he applied for political asylum, he captivated audiences at the Palais Garnier in the role of the Prince in The Sleeping Beauty. Thirty years later, he proposed a new choreography of what he considered to be “the ballet of ballets” for the Paris Opera Ballet. This is what we will see - the spectacular enchantment of the ballet and the sparkling charm of Tchaikovsky’s music.

TUESDAY 1 JULY 2025 (B, L) PARIS - BURGUNDY

Hotel Golf Chateau De Chailly, Burgundy (3 nights) 

Known as Bourgogne in French, Burgundy is the quintessential rural region stitched from pea-green fields, canals and vineyards in eastern France. It really does have it all: sensational food and wine, a million and one chateaux, handsome hilltop villages at every turn and plenty of Unesco World Heritage sights.

 

On route to Burgundy, highlights include:

• Visit Château de Fontainebleau, one of the largest and most completely furnished Château in France. Fontainebleau is not just one monarch’s palace, it belonged to them all, a “family home” for the kings of France, passed down from generation to generation from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. We allow time to explore and visit the Grand Apartments and Napoleon 1 museum plus visit the gardens or enjoy your own morning tea. 

• We enjoy our first chance to drive through the beautiful French countryside. 

• Stop in Vézelay, one of the best Burgundy villages for its history and heritage. Located on the top of a hill and surrounded by ramparts, Vézelay is well known for its Romanesque Basilica Sainte Marie Madeleine.

• Late lunch in a traditional restaurant and time to look around this pretty village. 

• Evening of leisure on arrival to settle into and explore this lovely hotel. 

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WEDNESDAY 2 JULY 2025 (B, L) DIJON AND BEAUNE

Highlights Include: 

• Today we spend the morning in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. Dijon has the perfect combination of history, culture, and cuisine. Its cobbled streets, medieval buildings, and beautiful cathedrals are a sight to behold. In fact, Dijon was a centre for arts and culture in the 15th century.

• Guided tour of the highlights of Dijon including the Liberation Square, the Palace of the Dukes, and the Museum of Decorative Arts. We stroll through the heart of the historic town centre on a guided walking tour.

• Dijon had exclusive mustard-making rights in France in the 17th century. So of course having some Dijon mustard at our lunch in Dijon is a must(ard).

• Visit to Beaune, with free time to enjoy this cobblestoned, walled town centered around its medieval hospital. 

• Then a special wine experience where we are welcomed by a sommelier, and walk through vaulted cavelike galleries dating back to the 13th century housing 2 million aging bottles. It is a place steeped in history, the former Convent of the Visitandines, and the cellars. Settled in a private cellar, you’ll take part in a commented tasting of 7 Burgundy wines. 

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THURSDAY 3 JULY 2025 (B, D) BURGUNDY SMALL VILLAGES

Highlights Include: 

• Today we visit a couple of the charming smaller villages in the Burgundy area where we will have free time to enjoy the local charm and colour. 

• Flavigny sur Ozerain is “one of the prettiest villages” in France with architectural history from the 13th century. The Abbey was turned into an Aniseed sweets factory and the movie Chocolat was made there in 2001. We enjoy our tour here. 

• We visit the red-roofed medieval town of Semur-en-Auxois. The picturesque town centre, the capital of the Auxois region, is virtually as it was in medieval times, with its four towers overlooking a river. Time here to enjoy and soak in the atmosphere. 

• Then it’s back to the hotel for an afternoon free. Any one for golf?

• Dinner this evening and a light concert from our hosts.

FRIDAY 4 JULY 2025 (B, L) BURGUNDY - BEAUJOLAIS - LYON - AVIGNON, PROVENCE

Hotel Europe, Avignon (3 nights)

Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region, is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes, and remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791.

Highlights Include: 

• We travel to Avignon today with a stop in Beaujolais wine region at the Chateau de Corcelle for lunch and enjoy wine tasting. 

• Then it’s on to Lyon, France’s second-largest urban area after Paris and the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The city is a primary tourist site with its historic town (Vieux-Lyon, Presqu’île) and a World Heritage site by Unesco. We have time to visit the old town at your leisure. 

• Then we travel onto Avignon, our home for the next three nights. 

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SATURDAY 5 JULY 2025 (B, D) AVIGNON TOURING

Highlights Include: 

• Enjoy the Saturday markets, with local and Provençal products: fruit, vegetables, crafts.

• Sightseeing tour of Avignon, including a visit to the Papal Palace and the Place de l’Horloge.

• Visit the Pont du Gard, an almost perfectly preserved aqueduct built by the Romans in the 1st century and regarded as one of the wonders of the ancient world.

• Pre-opera dinner in a local restaurant, before we attend the Festival d’Avignon. We have included a performance either at the festival or the Avignon Grand Opera, (subject to availability).

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SUNDAY 6 JULY 2025 (B) IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF VAN GOGH IN PROVENCE

Highlights Include: 

• Today we walk in the footsteps of Van Gogh in Provence as our guide leads us through beautiful villages of Provence and we learn about Van Gogh.

• Explore the picturesque town of Arles, where he lived and painted. Marvel at the Roman and Romanesque architecture of Arles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

• Visit to the breathtaking perched village of Les Baux de Provence, offering stunning panoramic views of the Alpilles mountain range.

• Visit the Carrières de Lumières with an incredible multi-media sound and light show presented within an old quarry.

• Visit the lovely town of St Rémy-de-Provence. Nostradamus was born here in 1503 and for one very productive year Vincent Van Gogh lived among its tree-lined boulevards, narrow streets and bubbling fountains. 

• Visit Saint Paul-de-Mausole (Van Gogh – Starry Night) and learn about Van Gogh’s final days here.

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MONDAY 7 JULY 2025 (B, L) AVIGNON - LAVENDER FARM - CANNES

Hotel Le Canberra, Cannes (4 nights)

Cannes is the “star” of the French Riviera, famous for the International Film Festival and the glitzy hotels, cars, beaches and visitors attracted here.

Highlights Include: 

• Excursion to the famous lavender farms of Luberon. We see the lavender in full bloom. 

• Stop to admire and visit the Senanque Abbey surrounded by lavender fields. 

• Lunch in the hill top village of Gordes.

• Leisurely drive to Cannes this afternoon with free time for dinner on arrival. 

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TUESDAY 8 JULY 2025 (B, D) GRASSE PERFUME TOUR 

Highlights Include: 

• Enjoy an excursion to the town of Grasse. The town sits in the hills above the more famous French Riviera city of Cannes, and it doesn’t have the Mediterranean Sea at its doorstep. What it does have is fields of flowers — jasmine, May rose, tuberose, lavender. It is known as the perfume capital of the world.

• Tour of a perfume factory and a mini perfume workshop with free time to enjoy Grasse and have lunch. 

• Rest of the day is free to wander around Cannes before our dinner on the terrace of our hotel. 

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WEDNESDAY 9 JULY 2025 (B, D) COASTAL DRIVE TO MONACO 

Highlights Include: 

• Cannes at leisure to explore and shop this morning. 

• A coastal drive along the famed ‘corniches’ of the French Riviera towards Nice and Monaco. 

• Visit Monaco, former home of Princess Grace and current home of her son, Prince Albert II. Most well-known is Monte Carlo, a neighbourhood soaked in sun, money, and expensive champagne, and home to the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte Carlo Rally. 

• Guided tour to explore Monte Carlo including entry to the Royal Palace, before an early dinner included this evening. 

THURSDAY 10 JULY 2025 (B) ANTIBES AND ST PAUL DE VENCE

Highlights Include: 

• Excursion to Antibes market. Thursday is the main market day at Antibes, it runs down both sides of Boulevard Albert Premier. You can find anything and everything there, from bikinis to shoes, kitchenware and carpets!

• Visit St Paul de Vence, one of the most beautiful villages in France perched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps.

FRIDAY 11 JULY 2025 (B, L) CANNES - AIX DE PROVENCE - CARCASSONNE

Hotel de la Cité, Carcassonne (2 nights)

It is hard to believe that places as magical as this exist in the modern world. Carcassonne is a UNESCO-listed town with a charming castle and fortifications. It is a walking town with no traffic, filled with small shops and alleys.

Highlights Include: 

• Drive from Cannes to Carcassonne with a stop in Aix de Provence, the birthplace of Cezanne. 

• We lunch and look at an art gallery here before driving onto Carcassonne.

• Free time this evening to wander this gorgeous town at leisure.

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SATURDAY 12 JULY 2025 (B, D) CARCASSONNE 

Highlights Include: 

• Carcassonne sightseeing with a private guide and time to look at the local Saturday markets. We take a step back in time when we enter the fascinating citadel of Carcassonne and see the medieval ramparts, the Basilique St-Nazaire and the Chateau Comtal.

• Dinner this evening at our lovely hotel.

SUNDAY 13 JULY 2025 (B) CARCASSONNE - SARLAT-LA-CANEDA 

Plaza Madeleine, Sarlat-la-Canéda (3 nights)

Sarlat-la-Canéda is an old town, dating from both medieval and renaissance times. It is the most famous town in the region and one of the most renowned and visited in France. It is also one of the most attractive.

Highlights Include: 

• This morning we drive from Carcassonne to Sarlat-la-Canéda arriving in time for lunch (own cost) before our walking tour of Sarlat with a private guide.

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MONDAY 14 JULY 2025 (B, D) HAPPY BASTILLE DAY!

Highlights Include: 

• Today we have given you the full day off to enjoy the local Bastille Day celebrations. 

• Every town and city in France marks this day with a party, street parade and often fire works in the evening. We have the day to enjoy these festivities and also rest and wander this gorgeous town. 

• Meet this evening for dinner in a local restaurant to carry on the celebrations before fireworks (depending on what is planned that evening from the town).

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TUESDAY 15 JULY 2025 (B)

EXCURSION OF THE DORDOGNE REGION 

Highlights Include: 

• Scenic drive of the Dordogne region today with our first stop this morning at Lascaux 11 - Stone Age cave drawings. The Lascaux Cave houses some of the most famous prehistoric cave paintings, dating to approximately 15,000 BC. The cave contains nearly 1,500 engravings, and around 600 representations of animals, such as deer, bison, and even some felines. 

• Visit Rocamadour with time to lunch on your own and explore. Rocamadour is an important pilgrimage destination, and has been for 1000 years. Built on the site of a shrine to a Madonna, the shrine became famous for its healing powers, and soon became a stop for many pilgrims. The second reason is because of the beautiful and dramatic setting of the village, climbing up a cliff side.

• Free evening on return to choose one of the delightful restaurants nearby our central location. 

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WEDNESDAY 16 JULY 2025 (B, D) SARLAT-LA-CANEDA TO THE LOIRE VALLEY 

Chateau Domaine de la Tortiniere, Veigné (3 nights)

The Loire River is in the region of Saumur, famous for its fairytale castles, sparkling wine and mushrooms.

Highlights Include: 

• First stop this morning is at the Limoges Factory, famous for its manufacture of bone china since the 18th century with time for lunch and an explore of the town of Limoges. 

• Following lunch we drive to the magical Loire Valley and our stay at a Chateau!  

• Dinner in our lovely hotel this evening. 

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THURSDAY 17 JULY 2025 (B, L) CASTLE AND DA VINCI

Highlights Include: 

• Visit ‘The Chateau of Six Women’ at Chenonceau with guide plus its gardens. Chateau de Chenonceau, a masterpiece of French Renaissance architecture is known as Wonder of the Loire Valley and Ladies’ Château as it was only owned and managed by women.

• Lunch in the small town of Chenonceau. 

• Tour of the Château du Clos Lucé which was Leonardo da Vinci’s last home. In 1516, the Italian Renaissance genius accepted an invitation from King Francis I and settled here. We learn about his life and see many models and replicas of his genius. 

• Free time to visit the quaint little town of Amboise and its charming streets with time for shopping. 

• Free time for dinner this evening before we check out any music events in the area with a possible concert in Amboise, site of the French Kings and tomb of Leonardo di Vinci. There are many operas and concerts within the châteaux of the region, making this a magical event (subject to availability).

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FRIDAY 18 JULY 2025 (B, L, D)

CASTLE AND WINE TASTING 

Highlights Include: 

• Visit the Chateau Villandry, and enjoy a tour of the Chateau and its famous 16th century gardens.

• Wine tasting and lunch at Chateau Gaudrelle to discover this old area with wine cellars cut into the rock. 

• Rest of the afternoon off to enjoy our hotel before our special final night dinner this evening. 

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SATURDAY 19 JULY 2025 (B, L)

LOIRE VALLEY - VERSAILLES - AIRPORT FOR FLIGHT HOME 

Highlights Include: 

• We travel to Paris from the Loire Valley via Versailles to visit the palace and gardens followed by lunch. 

• The Palace of Versailles, whose origins date back to the seventeenth century, was successively a hunting lodge, a seat of power and, from the nineteenth century, a museum. It includes many famous features including its famous Hall of Mirrors. With the gardens and the Palaces of Trianon, the park of the Château de Versailles spreads over 800 hectares.

• Today we also enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the Château de Versailles gardens, with the fountains playing to the sound of the music that once brought them to life. The 55 fountains and pools and their 600 water features, set in motion with the help of a lyre key by the Château de Versailles fountain specialists, will delight us. The greatest baroque composers, from Lully to Handel, will accompany us on our royal stroll in music.

• We allow plenty of time to get to the airport for our check in and flight home. 

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SUNDAY 20 JULY 2025 IN FLIGHT

MONDAY 21 JULY 2025

We arrive home, filled with the joy of seeing the Le Petit Français - the little France, exquisite villages and towns, local experiences and surely one of the most beautiful and historic countries in the world. 

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PLACES WE STAY

Maison Astor Hotel, Paris (4 nights) 

Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton this 4-star elegant hotel is located in the heart of Paris, a 10-minute walk from the Champs Elysées and the Opera House on a quiet street.

Hotel Golf Chateau De Chailly, Burgundy

(3 nights)

is located in the charming village of Chailly-sur-Armancon in the heart of Bourgogne. This magnificent castle dates from the 16th century and offers a tranquil and luxurious retreat as well as an 18 hole golf course. 

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Hotel d’Europe, Avignon (3 nights)

is a 5-star hotel, set in a 16th-century building in the heart of Avignon, just a 5-minute walk from both the Palais des Papes and Avignon Bridge.

Hotel le Canberra, Cannes (4 nights)

is a luxury 4-star hotel, located in the very heart of the city. We can act like a star and stroll down La Croisette or Rue d’Antibes with their luxury boutiques or take a five minute walk to Palais des Festivals.

Hotel de la Cité, Carcassonne (2 nights)

MGallery Collection is a luxurious 5-star property set in a prime location in the centre of Carcassonne.

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Plaza Madeleine, Sarlat-la-Canéda (3 nights)

is a 4-star hotel, set on the edge of the historic heart of Sarlat. Its prime location offers easy access to the town’s many sights, atmospheric alleyways and shops. 

Chateau Domaine de la Tortiniere, Veigné

(3 nights)

(10 minutes out of Tours), situated in the Loire Valley, is a 19th-century chateau, located in a large park with an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts.

This Trip Includes:

• Return direct economy Emirates flights Auckland - Paris via Dubai return including all taxes.

• Fully escorted 24-day small towns tour staying in beautiful historic hotels and chateaux: Paris (4 nights) Burgundy (3 nights), Avignon (3 nights), Cannes (4 nights), Carcassonne (2 nights), Sarlat-la-Canéda (3 nights) and Loire Valley ( 3 nights). 

• 5 music performances including Bastille Paris Opera The Barber of Seville and ballet - Sleeping Beauty, Avignon Music Festival, opera or concert at a château in the Loire Valley, plus local concerts in small towns (All awaiting final confirmation).

• Explore smaller charming towns, some with guides, others with free time to explore on your own including  Vézelay, Dijon, Beaune, Flavigny sur Ozerain, Semur-en-Auxois, Rocamadour, Carcassonne, Sarlat-la-Canéda, St Paul de Vence, Monte Carlo, Antibes, Aix de Provence, St Rémy-de-Provence, Arles, Les Baux de Provence and Avignon. 

• Art and architecture tours to famous museums, houses and gardens including  the 16th century chateaux and gardens of Chateau Villandry, The Chateau of Six Women, Louvres, Musee D’Orsay, In the footsteps of Van Gogh, Château du Clos Lucé (Leonardo da Vinci’s last home), abbeys, cathedrals, historic towns both medieval and renaissance and Versailles. 

• Special flavours like lavender farms in Luberon, Bastille Day celebrations, Burgundy and Beaujolais wine regions with wine tastings, markets, sweets tour in an old Abbey, stone-age cave drawings, sound and light show in an old quarry, Grasse perfume tour, Limoges Porcelain tour, Carcassonne citadel.

• All tours listed in brochure, all tips, porterage and taxes included.

• All breakfasts, wine and chocolate tastings, gourmet food experiences, 9 lunches and 11 dinners.

• Escorted by Sue and John, this tour is part of our Operatunity Travel of Note series of boutique tours limited to 20 travellers. 

Important Information

• All itinerary details are subject to change, but changes will be replaced with a comparable or better option. 

• Initial & Second deposits are fully refundable up until final balance due date, minus an administration fee of up to $500 plus any non-recoverable costs. 

• All monies are non-refundable at final balance due date. This becomes an insurance claim. 

• Bank transfer payments incur no surcharge. Credit card payments incur surcharge of 1.5%.

• Travellers need to be independently mobile and fit to travel. 

• Bookings will only be accepted with initial deposit & booking form. 

• All travellers must obtain comprehensive travel insurance for international travel and insurance for domestic travel is recommended. 

• Please refer to our terms and conditions on booking form.

Mobility - Active Tour

All our trips are specifically designed for our core market, but this trip does contain travel challenges, either because of the region visited or the walking distances or uneven surfaces that arise at some sites. We do advise that you evaluate your level of fitness with your doctor before you consider booking this tour. This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and ancient ruins and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace. You also need to be able to climb up to three flights of stairs at a leisurely pace. If you are unsure, please ring the office to discuss your suitability for our tours. 

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