NOVEMBER 2017

 

 
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.
 

 

Coming in December's eNews — More 'Just Back' Photos,
This Time from French & Spanish Basque

 

Meson Portaletas pintxo (tapas) bar, San Sebastián, Spain

 

In our December eNews, come along for the ride as we visit the exceptionally beautiful (and tasty!) Basque country of France and Spain. Our September 2017 tour there was a feast for all the senses.

 

 

 

TOURS IN 2018 ARE SELLING OUT FAST

CONTACT US FOR AVAILABILITY

 

 

Perched village of Eze (Riviera tour).

 

French Riviera for Art Lovers,
April 29-May 11, 2018

• Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all rooms with private bath
• Transportation in nine-passenger van
• Chic Cannes and Antibes
• The stunning perched villages of the Côte d'Azur – Eze, Gourdon
• Perfume factory visit, shopping opportunities
• Château visits • Fine wines
• Principality of Monaco • Colorful outdoor markets 
• Modern art – Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Renoir, Cocteau
• Outstanding cuisine • Charming, walled St. Paul de Vence
• Swank Villa Ephrussi-Rothschild, with seaview gardens and manor home
• Museums known the world over – Fondation Maeght, Nice Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
• The atmospheric alleys of Old Nice
• Cathedrals, castles, markets, cafés, art, fine dining, exceptional wines

 

 


Impossibly steep Dolomites (Italian tour).

 

Italian Lakes & Alps, May 13-25, 2018

• The splendor of the Italian lakes – Orta, Maggiore, Como, Garda
• Outstanding cuisine and fine wines
• Splendid Palladian architecture —  Villa Pisani, on the Brenta Canal
• The magnificent villas and gardens of the lake country
• Beautiful villages with stairstep streets and bubbling fountains
• Dramatic Dolomite Alps
• Ancient, German-speaking Bolzano, Italy
• The lakeside resort of Riva del Garda, on beautiful Lago di Garda
• Soaring Alpine scenery – some of Europe's most dramatic mountains
• Aperitivi, gelato, formaggio, salume
• Lovely Padova and historic Trento
Giotto's magnificent Scrovegni Chapel, a cycle of 39 14th-century frescoes

 


Guggenheim Museum with Jeff Koons Puppy (Basque tour).

 

French & Spanish Basque,
September 2-14, 2018

• Three nights in the beautiful fishing port of St. Jean-de-Luz
• Glittering Biarritz, a Belle Epoque seaside resort
• Pristine villages in the French Pyrénées – Ainhoa, Espelette, St. Etienne-de Baïgorry
San Sebastián, with its curving bay and lively promenade
• The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
Pamplona, famed for running of the bull

• Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all with private bath
• Local wines, outstanding cuisine, including ultra-fresh fish
• Lunch in a sidreria, specializing in Basque cuisine and ciders
• Beaches, coastal scenery, mountains
Gernika, Spain, immortalized in the Picasso painting

• Outdoor markets
Michelin-starred meal
• Mountain village of St. Jean Pied-de-Port
• Cathedrals, cafés, art, museums, natural wonders • Basque tapas

 

 


Cliff-hugging Rocamadour (Dordogne tour)

 

Dordogne, France,

September 16-28, 2018

• The village of Brantôme, folded into a bend of the Drônne River

• Historic Sarlat, containing a remarkable ensemble of renaissance buildings
• Hilltop Domme, looking over a vista of rivers, cliffs and fields
• The riverside villages of la Roque Gageac and BeynacDordogne River cruise
Lascaux IV, replicating the cave paintings called the "Sistine Chapel of antiquity"

• Comfortable hotels and charming inns – all with en-suite bath
• Transportation in comfortable van 

• Dramatic cliff fortress of Roque St. Christophe
• Château visits • Picnic with local produce 
• The fine wines of the Bordeaux region
• Numerous shopping opportunities
• Some of France's loveliest villages – Domme, Beynac, la Roque-Gageac
• Cave paintings and artifacts from 500,000 years of human habitation
• The outstanding market at Sarlat – among the finest in France
• Lunches at two Michelin-starred restaurants
• Fabulous outdoor markets
• The bastide ("new" town of the 13th century) of Monpazier on market day

• Art, villages, castles, gorgeous scenery

 

 

 

USE CREDIT CARDS
FOR INTIMATE FRANCE TOURS

 

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 us at intimatefrance@gmail.com.

 

NOW LISTED ON TRIPADVISOR

Intimate France Tours now 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.

 

                                                                                

 

DISSING THE DREADED
U-SHAPED NECK PILLOW

 

 

An example of a classic, U-shaped travel neck pillow

 

Cook Travel, an online travel agent specializing in selling business class and first class plane tickets, also publishes a useful and often amusing online newsletter about travel. 

 

Among recent news posts: 

 

Help! They Took My Laptop, Huffington Post

 

Also recently, Cook published a mock-angry tirade against the neck pillows you see on every flight. The (anonymous) author writes, in part:

 

"This half-ovate, toilet-seat cover-esque object reigns as King of Travel Accessories, while failing miserably at its intended sole use."

 

The essay is an amusing take on an accessory we've all seen, and perhaps used. See the full text here:

https://t.e2ma.net/message/fqluw/vaoiap

 

 

Trip report, fall 2017

JUST BACK FROM ... DORDOGNE

 

Château des Milandes, owned by Josephine Baker.

 

By George Nevin

Founder-owner, Intimate France

 

Since Intimate France first began offering tours to southwestern France's Dordogne region (1996), this tour has been our most popular, bar none.

 

There are excellent reasons for this:

• The scenery is gorgeous — rolling hills, forests, rivers, cliffs.

• The villages are outstandingly beautiful — Dordogne has more included on the Most Beautiful Villages of France list than does any other part of the country.

• The food is second to none. French diners consistently rate Périgord (the old name for the area we call Dordogne today) as the best cuisine in the country.

• The roads are uncrowded, the large towns unintimidating and the pace of life sanely leisurely.

 

In September 2017, we returned to Dordogne for an outstanding tour, which we will repeat in fall 2018 (see tour lineup, left column). New this year — a visit to the newly opened Lascaux IV interpretation center for cave art. Virtually the entirety of the original Lascaux cave, containing prehistoric paintings 17,000 years old, is reproduced at Lascaux IV — a stunning achievement.

 

Today, feast your eyes on these images of one of France's most beautiful regions.

 

Outstanding topiary at the Château of Marqueyssac.

 

Demonstration, birds of prey, Château des Milandes.

 

Original 'abri' (rock shelter) of Cro-Magnon, where the discovery of five skeletons in 1868 provided the first widely accepted proof that ancient humans existed on earth.

 

Pretty village of Carennac was a group favorite.

 

We loved the 'petit train' into St. Emilion's vineyards.

 

As usual we saw our share of amusing signage. This one, in St. Jean de Côle, is a "weather forecast stone." It says, in part: "Rock wet — rain. Rock dry —no rain. You can't see the rock — fog. Rock jumping around — earthquake. Rock gone — I've been robbed!"

 

This sign warns of a "stressed-out cat."