This is Alpine living at its best
Your journey begins high in the Alps, in the city of Briançon, where a walled Old Town looks out toward snowy and jagged peaks and breathtaking scenery in every direction. Experience what living off the land truly means as you commune with authentic, beret-wearing sheep herders. Spend your days hiking remote trails, marveling at waterfalls and whitewater rafting down Alpine rivers before relaxing into your cozy French gîte, or chalet. As you prepare for the next chapter of your adventure, join local residents in a hands-on agricultural workshop and learn about the many specialties this beautiful region is known for.
Get a taste of authentic French life
Next it's on to the south of France and the ancient Roman city of Beziers, founded in 36 B.C. Intensive language instruction is brought to life during your many adventures here, including a homestay with a local family, a visit to the famed church of Ste. Madeline and a bike trip to the grand Canal du Midi, where the movie Chocolat was filmed. Hands-on cooking workshops will focus on the relationship between French cuisine and culture, and provide welcome opportunities to sample the region's delicious charcuterie, cheeses and desserts. Before saying goodbye to this wonderful community that has given you so much, take time to give back by volunteering with local schools and charitable organizations.
Journey to the Mediterranean
Spend a couple of days on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France. As you settle into the former home of famous French singer and poet Georges Brassens, it's easy to see why the idyllic village of Sète is often referred to as the Venice of the Languedoc region. There will be plenty of opportunity to practice your French as you enjoy the beautiful scenery with a sailing adventure up the coast and sample the city’s prized seafood delicacies including oysters, mussels and more.
Practice. Prepare. Enjoy.
Head back to central France and the rolling green countryside to begin formal culinary instruction under a professional French chef. For 3 days, you'll stay in a small French country manor and participate in daily lessons that will challenge both your cooking and and language skills. Practice an entirely new vocabulary as you learn the art of French baking. Best of all, sample a bounty of rich chocolate éclairs, buttery croissants and delicate macarons, all created by you.
Savor the City of Lights
Before bidding adieu to your new friends, take on one more adventure in the City of Lights. No cultural trip to France would be complete without climbing the Eiffel Tower, cruising the Seine, marveling at Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre and visiting the Paris Opera — all of which you do. But you've also come for the culinary scene and gastronomic delights. Explore the world of haute cuisine, tour the kitchens of the Cordon Bleu and savor new tastes in the patisseries and chocolatiers of Paris, including the famed Patisserie Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, which dates back to 1862.