2021 Mountain Ridge France Cultural Journey
|Travel Dates:||June 16, 2021 - June 28, 2021|
Airfare not included in program tuition
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $2,990
Pay in Full
Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:
All prices in United States Dollars.
France Cultural Journey
From the City of Lights, to beautiful Mediterranean towns, to small villages tucked between picturesque vineyards, to campgrounds in the rugged Pyrenees, France is a country with an enriching adventure for every kind of traveler. With one of the most influential, distinct, and celebrated cultures in the world – combined with a history richer than its famous food – France is a magnificent destination to consider. Our programs will immerse travelers in the French language and introduce them to wonders of France!
Cultural Journeys allow travelers to gain insights into the heritage, history and modern realities of their destination by offering a broad diversity of experience. We rely on the expertise of our local staff to plan itineraries which not only explore the prominent sites but also make time for the lesser-known local gems and are intentional about regular interaction with local people.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends
Marvel at the Palace of Versailles
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Jardin des Tuileries
Window shop on the Champs-Élysées
Visit Normandy's American cemetery
Visit the Eiffel Tower and other iconic sites
Visit the Arc de Triomphe, the Pantheon, the Louvre and more!
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|1||USA-Paris||Today we will fly to Paris and meet our program leader at the airport. We will check into our accommodations and get settled. We'll spend the remainder of the day exploring the Montmartre District, including the incredible Sacré Coeur.||Hotel in Paris|
|2||Paris||With so much to see in Paris, we'll spend most of the day visiting monuments and amazing sites. We'll start the day at the Orsay Museum followed by a quick trip to the beautiful Tuileries Garden where we will have a picnic. Next we'll continue on to the Place de la Concorde and the Place Vendome, a square dominated by a decorated column dedicated to the famous Napoleonic battle of Austerlitz. We'll move on to the home of the current French President - the Palais de Elysée, where we'll enjoy the beautiful view from outside. The afternoon will be an excellent chance to do some (window) shopping at one of the most exclusive shopping districts in the world, Champs Elysées.We'll finish up the day up at the Arc de Triomphe. Later on we'll have dinner at a restaurant and then head to the Palais du Tokyo, Paris' exciting contemporary art museum (open until midnight!). Here we'll see an exhibition and have an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower before heading back to our hotel for a good night's sleep.||Hotel in Paris|
|3||Paris||Today, we will have a wonderful walking tour of Paris. We'll start on the Left Bank, or Rive Gauche, where we will see the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pantheon, and the famous Latin Quarter, followed by the Holy Chapel and Notre Dame Cathedral. We'll stop for a picnic lunch in the nearby park and explore the Ile de St. Louis too. Then we will continue up to the Pompidou Center, where we will see an exhibition. After the museum we will walk over to the Les Halles area and explore Rue Montorgueil, the oldest market street in Paris, and the Church of St. Eustache. We will eat dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood and then head back to our accommodations for some rest.||Hotel in Paris|
|4||Paris||In the morning we'll visit the Louvre and we will have our chance to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and many other amazing works of art. After the Louvre we will walk to the gardens of the Palais Royal and eat our picnic lunches. From there, we will head on to our language exchange with a group of French students. We will likely visit them in their school or a local activity center for some language and cultural exchange activities. For the evening, we will stroll to the Place de Clichy and onwards to take pictures in front of the Moulin Rouge. We will have dinner in the area and then take the metro back to our accommodations.||Hotel in Paris|
|5||Paris||Today we will take the RER just outside of Paris to see the palace of Versailles, one of the most opulent palaces in the world, with gardens equally as beautiful. We'll enjoy a nice picnic in the gardens and you'll also get the chance to visit the historic Hall of Mirrors - the treaty of Versailles was signed here, ending World War I. We'll take the RER back into Paris and get out at the Champs de Mars to see the Eiffel Tower up close. If scheduling allows, we will go all the way to the top! When we get back down to ground level, we'll walk over to see Invalides. We'll walk along the Seine and then head back towards our accommodations to eat dinner.||Hotel in Paris|
|6||Normandy- Caen Bayeux||In the morning we'll depart by bus or train for Caen, Normandy, arriving at the Atlantic coast by early afternoon. Once on the beach, we will rent bikes and ride along the D-Day beaches, stopping at the American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, and Utah Beach to learn about the events that led to the Allied victory in World War II. We'll have a picnic along the way. At the end of the afternoon, we wiil return the bikes and head to the medieval city of Bayeux for the evening. We will have dinner and check into our lodging.||Hostel in Bayeux|
|7||Normandy (Bayeux -Mont St. Michael Bay)||After breakfast at the hostel, we will take a look at the famous Bayeux Tapestry from the 11th century, which depicts William the Conqueror's conquest of England. Then we'll hit the road, traveling southwest toward St. Malo. We'll take a guided tour of the Mont St. Michel, an enchanting island monastery. We'll stay in the Mont St. Michel bay for the evening, lodging in a renovated farmhouse. In evening, we will take a guided sunset hike on the bay.||Hostel in Mont St. Michel Bay|
|8||Britanny (St Malo)||We'll depart the Mont St. Michel Bay in the morning and continue toward St. Malo. On the way, we will stop at a dairy farm or marine farm and learn about the importance of those industries in northwest France. We will arrive in the walled port city of St. Malo by the late morning/early afternoon, and will have free time to have lunch and check out the inner city. We'll explore the oceanfront. Then we will drive to Nantes late this afternoon and check into our accommodations there. We'll have dinner and discuss the plans for the next two days.||Hostel in Nantes|
|9||Nantes||After breakfast, we will head east into the Loire Valley. After 130 km, we'll stop at Rochemenier and visit the Village Troglodytique, a strange 13th-century town built into stone. Just a few more kilometers and we'll stop in Saumur for lunch. Then we will drive a bit further along the Loire River to Chênehutte- Trèves -Cunault and to a place called La Cave aux Moines. There we'll learn about how mushrooms and snails are raised (and perhaps taste some). We will get back on the bus and head further east towards Chateaux territory, stopping at Amboise to see the castle there. Finally we'll drive to our accommodations, check in, and have dinner.||Hotell near Amboise|
|10||Loire Valley||After this morning's breakfast, we'll check out, head back on the bus and tour some more of chateau country (by bus and also by bike if time allows). We'll see the beautiful castle of Chambord. After a picnic lunch, we will get back on the bus and return to Paris where we'll check in to our final hotel. This evening, we will have dinner in an Indian restaurant in the Passage Brady. We'll head back to the hotel together and have a quick meeting before bed.||Hotel in Paris|
|11||Paris||On our last full day in Paris, we will head over to the Jardin des Plantes after breakfast. We'll take in the beautiful gardens and greenhouses and then break for a picnic lunch. After the gardens, we will have the opportunity to visit the Grand Mosquée of Paris, built in the 1920s, and have tea on the tiled terrace. We'll walk over to the bustling Rue Mouffetard, stopping to see the Arenes de Lutece (Roman ruins) on the way. We'll have a festive final dinner where you will get to try traditional French cuisine: Frog legs, Escargot and Steak Frites. We'll head back to our accommodations early enough so that we can pack and rest up for the journey home.||Hotel in Paris|
|12||Paris-USA||Today we will head to the airport for the flight home. Bon Voyage!||Home|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.
Gîtes des Baous
The beautiful rustic cottages in gîtes des Baous provide an escape from the bustle of city living. Facing the Mediterranean Sea, this village welcomes our student groups with genuine hospitality and kindness. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Auberge de Jeunesse les Camélias
The Nice Youth Hostel Les Camélias is a beautiful traditional villa located in the heart of the city, with a patio, terrace and veranda, it is very close to the Promenade des Anglais and the beaches of Nice. Inside, the beautiful fresco made by a local painter makes the place warm and welcoming. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
The mission of CISL Lyon is to have locals provide hospitality and accommodation for young people visiting Nice. The facilities actively contribute to reducing their impact on the environment by promoting the use of renewable energy sources, saving energy and water, and reducing waste. Free Wi-Fi access is available in the common areas. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Gîtes les tropes
Located on the edge of the great Bercé forest, famous for its century-old oaks, lies the village de gîtes les tropes, a collection of unique shelters. Designed by local architects, the cottages are surrounded by green walls of vegetation to blend in with the environment. Modern amenities and great service ensure a comfortable stay for our students. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Les Gîtes de la Barbotine
Les Gîtes de la Barbotine is a welcoming little village comprised of spacious cottages between Angers and Nantes. A wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature and the vegetation of the French countryside. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the premises keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Auberge de Jeunesse Hi Nantes
Housed in the premises of an old tobacco factory, the Hi Nantes Youth Hostel is conveniently located near the train station, city center, history museum, and the Jardin des Plants. In a quiet area of town, it offers original accommodations from which to explore the Nantes’ history. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
La ferme des épis
La ferme des épis is a family company dedicated to providing hospitable accommodations in a beautiful countryside space. Consisting of dorms, lodges, and yurts, la ferme’s modern amenities in its quaint environment combine to make this an unforgettable stay. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the premises keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their accommodations according to gender and availability.
A locally owned and operated welcoming countryside accommodation with modern amenities. We have chosen to work with Ferme Auberge de la Maison Nueve for its warm atmosphere, home cooked meals, and genuine French hospitality. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
FIAP Jean Monnet
More than just a hotel, this international youth accommodation also functions as a conference center, a cultural venue, and a space to meet up with friends from all over the world. A truly unique experience for students in Paris. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This was our daughter’s 2nd trip with Walking Tree. In 2016, she took her school’s first trip with Walking Tree to Ecuador, and absolutely loved it. Once again, the Walking Tree representative was excellent. My daughter said Ben really made the trip, and worked hard to keep the group happy. Other positives: communication before the trip, website outline, daily blogs and trip photos. Very professional organization. We feel very secure sending our student out into the world with Walking Tree.
Parent of Olivia, traveler on California Cultural Journey
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
Program Tuition Excludes: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
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Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.