11 days

La Belle France small group short tour with Amelia Farrugia.

To celebrate 35 years of educational based touring, Amelia Farrugia is joining the 2018 La Belle France small group tour  to give unique and private performances  of favourite arias and songs in selected unique settings to this group of Odyssey Travellers. La Belle  is a small group escorted history tours for mature and senior travellers. This tour explores some of the greatest regions of this country, from the Loire Valley, to Provence, Southern France  to Normandy & Brittany.

 This  short, small group tour of France takes 11 days to travel east and down into the south of France. We enjoy four stays in key cities and towns. You stay in each location from 1 to 3 nights.

Amelia Farrugia Opera Singer

Amelia Farrugia is one of the best known and most beloved opera singers in Australia. A soprano, she has appeared in numerous leading roles in Opera Australia productions. After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Amelia won a number of singing competitions and awards, including NSW Young Achiever of the Year in 1996. Since then, she has become known for her performances in operas such as La Boheme, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, and Verdi’s Falstaff, among many more. In 2012, she joined the roster of solo artists for the prestigious Metropolitan Opera in New York, performing in Manon (2012) and The Merry Widow (2015).

In Australia, Amelia has been featured on ABC News, The Today Show, Good Morning Australia, and Carols in the Domain, along with being selected for ABC Classic FM’s CD of the week and 2MBS FM’s CD of the month.  Last year, Farrugia starred in the world premiere of DIVA in Sydney’s City Recital Hall, a production celebrating the lives of renowned Australian divas June Bronhill and Dame Joan Sutherland.

Amelia Farrugia on the 2018 small group tour of France will present three short concerts in 3 unique regions that have been important to the Farrugia family and their connections to this country.

La Belle France Small Group Tour

A large part of French life is lived outdoors, especially in its cities and villages. On this small group tour, we experience the pavement life of French cities, and see locals congregate in the village square to play petanque, or chat, or simply drink wine as the evening approaches, instead of retreating inside their homes. Our educational tour includes visits to several culturally significant and extraordinarily picturesque regions, include Provence and Chateuneuf du Pape. Our tour of France also takes in wine-making regions, where we sample wine and learn more about the tradition of wine-making. Other highlights include a guided tour of Avignon.

This small group short tour of France is one of some 10 educational tours offered by Odyssey to  France each year. The tour is suitable for the mature traveller, over 50, 60, or 70 as a couple or solo traveller.

The itinerary is indicative, though representative of the places that will be visited on this tour. The final itinerary will be posted as soon as the final details of the concerts and the day by day itinerary are finalised. Amelia Farrugia's performance details are to be advised. 

This small group tour of France is one of some 12 programs offered as a learning program to study France and its cultural heritage. You can view Odyssey's other tours of France here!

If you're keen to learn more about France before embarking on the tour, check out our list of 10 of the best France travel books!

If you're researching a trip to France, check out Odyssey's list of essential French places to visit!

A longer version of this tour is available here!

Get in Touch to discover France with Odyssey.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Tour Notes
  • Itineraries may change if flight schedules, site availability, and other inclusions have to be amended prior to departure.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Visit St Rémy de Provence, where Van Gogh painted some of his last works.
Explore one of the great canals of France aboard a modern canal boat.
Visit Provence and Chateuneuf du Pape.
See famous Roman sites such as the Arena and the Amphitheatre.
Explore the Champagne and Burgundy regions.

Overview: Upon arrival in Paris we will come to the hotel individually. Tour begins with our welcome dinner.


Accommodation: 1 night at Relais Monceau or similar.

Overview: Today we board our coach for the Champagne Region and visit one of the local champagne cellars in Épernay. After free time for lunch, we travel to the city of Reims.

Dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant.


Accommodation: 2 nights at BW Hotel de la Paix or similar.

Overview: Reims, the centre of the Champagne Region, was the site of the coronation of the majority of the French kings. This morning we meet our local guide for a walking tour of the city, including a visit to the magnificent Cathedral and the Surrender Museum.

After a free afternoon to explore the city, we attend a special champagne dinner.


Accommodation: BW Hotel de la Paix or similar.

Overview: En route to Beaune we will make 2 stops. The first, at Troyes, offers the opportunity to explore a delightful town with many well-preserved, half-timbered houses and 10 churches all remarkable for their stained-glass windows and exquisite sculptures. We continue with an afternoon visit to the hilltop town of Vézelay and its Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene – one of the largest Romanesque churches in France and only just shorter than Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Basilica is said to guard the remains of the “Sinner Saint” and was one of the departure points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Dinner tonight will be in the hotel.


Accommodation: 4 nights at Hotel Henry II or similar.

Overview: After breakfast today we travel through the picturesque countryside to the village of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. A guided tour of the castle will be followed by a regional lunch in a local restaurant.

In the afternoon we explore one of the great canals of France aboard a modern canal boat. The Burgundy Canal, opened in 1833, was the first navigable connection between Burgundy and the Paris basin. It leads from St. Jean de Losne on the river Saône, past the city of Dijon to Migennes on the river Yonne and then on to the Seine. Our cruise will take us from Vandenesse to Pouilly, through several locks and the summit pound tunnel. Dinner tonight will be at own arrangements.

The grape plays an important role in this city and the surrounding regions. In fact, the annual wine auction at the Hospices de Beaune (Hôtel-Dieu) is considered by many wine experts to be the primary wine auction in France. The town is surrounded by an incredible collection of celebrated wine villages.

Burgundy is noted as the home of some classic French dishes such as coq au vin, oeufs meurette (eggs poached in red wine), and boeuf bourgignon. It is also famous for its escargots (snails).


Accommodation: Hotel Henry II or similar.

Overview: This morning our local guide will take us on a walking tour of Beaune including a visit to the magnificent Hôtel Dieu with its multi-coloured tiled roofs. The afternoon is free for our own exploration of the town.

Historically Beaune is intimately connected with the Dukes of Burgundy who endowed the city with many treasures. On a plain near the hills of the Côte d’Or, Beaune is a walled city, with about half the original battlements, with ramparts and moat still in excellent state of preservation.

Dinner will be in a local restaurant.


Accommodation: Hotel Henry II or similar.

Overview: The city of Dijon is famed for mustard and gingerbread. The conundrum is that the gingerbread has no ginger. It is known as pain d’épice, or spice bread!

On our guided walking tour of Dijon, we will have the chance to taste both these products and to explore the historical monuments of the city. Lunch will be in a local restaurant and will feature some of the local popular dishes.

During the afternoon we will drive through some of the prestigious wine-producing villages and will enjoy a tutored wine-tasting experience. Dinner will be at own arrangements tonight.


Accommodation: Hotel Henry II or similar.

Overview: Our drive south takes us via the Saône and Rhône Valleys to Avignon. On arrival we will have a guided walking tour of the city including a visit to the Palais des Papes. Our hotel, inside the city walls, will be the venue for our dinner tonight.

Avignon is considered amongst the greatest of Europe’s walled cities. Always powerful, it reached its zenith during the time of the Babylonian captivity of the Popes (1309-1377).


Accommodation: Hotel Cloître St Louis or similar.

Overview: During our next 2 days we have all-day excursions in Provence – a region where there are some of the best-preserved Roman remains in Europe.

On our first day our guide will take us to Orange to visit the 1st-century Triumphal Arch and Roman Theatre. Regarded as one of the finest and best-preserved in the entire Roman world, the theatre is the only one to have preserved a statue of the Emperor Augustus. We continue with a guided walk in the excavated town of Vaison-la-Romaine. A visit and tasting at one of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape cellars will complete our day. Dinner will be at the hotel tonight.


Accommodation: Hotel Cloître St Louis or similar.

Overview: On Day 10 we continue our Roman theme with another all-day excursion – this time to Arles, the city situated on a low hill at the point where the Rhône River branches into 2. Here the famous Roman sites such as the Arena and the Amphitheatre are the focus for us. We will also see the famous Cathedral of St. Trophime with its magnificently carved 12th century doorway. Arles also has associations with Vincent Van Gogh, who spent about 15 months here during 1888-89. We continue the Van Gogh theme with an afternoon visit to St Rémy de Provence, where he was to paint some of his last works. We also visit the ancient site of Glanum.

Dinner will be at our hotel with more regional dishes.


Accommodation: Hotel Cloître St Louis or similar.

Overview: Our tour ends after breakfast.


What’s included in our Tour

  • 10 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 8 dinners.
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Transport in comfortable and modern coaches.
  • All excursions, entrance fees, and local guides.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Porterage
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