About Us

About discover france

DISCOVER FRANCE ADVENTURES is the leader in self-guided bicycle tours to France. With our offices in both France and the USA, we are positioned to provide the best trips, itineraries, and value to customers.

In 2014 we celebrate 20 years in business!

Established - Since 1994 we have pioneered self guided travel for travelers to France. We are an award-winning leader and recognized by reputable associations like National Geographic and Maison de la France.

  • Professional- we are committed to giving our clients the best service and experience possible. We have the staff, professional and certified guides, systems, and know -how.
  • Knowledgeable - We are French, speak French, live/lived in France; our unparalleled insight into cycling and hiking and multisport travel and the little details that make a great vacation are essential.
  • Flexible and Responsive - we can adapt tours to your needs, and we offer enough tours to meet just about everyone's needs.
  • Superior equipment - We offer Scott P3 hybrids and Look carbon bikes with GPS in every region!
  • Responsive support - We offer bilinguial help, orientations, transfers, and other support services available 24/7.
  • Pre-travel Documentation - We design and send you extensive materials to help you finalize and anticipate your tour.
  • Price - Nobody beats our quality and affordability.

STAFF:

Personel based in both USA and FRANCE will ensure your satisfaction throughout your journey:

  • Thomas BOUTIN - CEO - A former Top 10 MTB French Pro cyclist, Thomas is in charge of all organization (offices, bike shop, business development, Tour de France liaison, Bike School, as well as corporate team building programs, incentives, youth camps, vehicles, and bike fleet). In 2010 he was awarded a top business honor for entrepreneurs of small business in France and holds a Masters in sports management!
  • Maggie BERARDINO - SALES CONSULTANT US - Maggie is part of the sales team in US and is ready to create a special itinerary just for you. Maggie earned a degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Ever the adventurer, she lived in Australia for two years and taught English in Japan for three. When she's not hitting the slopes in the winter, you can find her cycling the trails of the Rockies and training for triathlons.
  • Nat NOVAK - SALES COORDINATOR US - With a love for anything on two wheels, Nat has over 13 years of bike shop experience, competed in the 24 Hours of Moab and completed the 200 on 100 – a 200 mile, one-day ride that starts in Canada and runs the entire length of the state of Vermont. Nat lives with his wife and three young children in a small town in New Jersey, within view of the Manhattan skyline. He can often be seen leading his three kids to school on bikes instead of in the minivan!
  • Chris LUCAS - SALES CONSULTANT FRANCE - Ex-expert downhill mountain biker racer and certified bicycle mechanic. An American transplant in France, so not yet lost his accent! After he completed his diploma in marketing management he took several years to travel the world. Soccer fan and jumping out of an airplane are his hobbies, so if you keep your head up, maybe you'll see him!
  • David RENVOISE - PRODUCT LEADER - David is the Product Leader for both the US and France offices. He's in charge of training staff and creating new products as well as an updated reservation system. A professional cycling guide, he is bilingual French/English and has a Masters in Sports Management and Marketing. Even more impressive, he was a Top 40 finisher 2 times at Etape du Tour and finished 26th at the Leadville 100 in 2009.
  • Sebastien RAMBOUR- QA LEADER - Sébastien is responsible of the Quality Tools Process as well as all of the Loire Valley tours (support, route development, logistics and orientation). He speaks French, English and Spanish. With his engineering degree, he worked at French company Alstom, but he decided bicycle touring was much more interesting. An avid world traveler, he even once cooked his dinner on a geyser!
  • Francois BERNARD - TOURS LOGISTICS & TOUR DE FRANCE - Francois is in charge of all logistics including orientations, route book preparation, tour sales and support. As well, he is the Tour de France logistics coordinator and a professional touring guide. He is the busy bee of Discover France, making sure everything runs smoothly. Working from France, he is bilingual French/English and his key hobby includes knocking heads on the rugby field!
  • Thibaut BOUTIN - BIKE SHOP MANAGER - Thibaut oversees the essential facets of the bike shop: all the mechanics, equipment, seminars, team building, events, logistics as well as bike store sales. A certified professional guide, he is also a semi-pro mountain biker, road racer, and cross racer!
  • Aurelien BIANCIOT -EVENTS & SCHOOL ADVENTURES - Aurelien manages bikes, seminars, team-building, events, and logistics. And somehow he also manages to have time to be a Cat 1 road racer, downhill racer, mountain bike, and cross racer -- as well as a certified professional guide!
  • Jeremy GRIMAL- BIKE SHOP - Jeremy is in charge of the bike shop of Lunel. He likes pedals (fully invested with juniors for regional selections), surfing and jokes and is able to advice you on anything you need to wear or add to your bike. For the record, his specialty is cyclocross and was 3rd in the 2010 France championship, but would never say so himself. Shy is his nickname. He's also a certified professional guide (diplome d'etat).
  • David ERTEL- ORIENTATION GUIDE - David has been in the company since 2011. He specializes in welcoming customers, bike mechanics, logistics and everything that could meet our clients' needs. He is bilingual French/English, always striving for excellence in all sport activities.

Awards

Discover France is the pioneer in specialized self-guided bicycle tours, since 1996. We offer self-guided tours accross Europe and France so our clients can enjoy visiting places by bike, keeping their independence, still knowing we are available and will provide support when needed.

  • French Affairs in Vegas Winner 2014 Discover France picked up two awards at the French Affairs conference in Vegas in 2014: Best Regional Operator and Most Active Partner
  • French Affairs Award Winner 2013
  • In 2013, France Tourism Development Agency Atout France named Discover France Most Active Partner at the 2013 French Affairs Awards./li>
  • NGA Award 2009 National Geographic Adventure magazine : - named our Tour des Pyrenees one of the 25 Best New Trips for 2010 (read the article). - named our Provence Multisport Tour as one of the Best 25 New Trips for 2009. - selected Discover France as one of the Best Outfitters on Earth in 2007!
  • Men's Journal, Outpost, and SmarterTravel.com have all selected trips by Discover France and our brands as Best Trips!
  • Discover France has been recognized annually by the French Government Tourist Office for our extensive product offers and award winning websites.

References

  • We are a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
  • Discover France participates in a variety of French Government Tourist Office events.
  • In 2014, Discover France enters its 20th year of operations. Trade names are registered with the United States Patent Office. We work with various offices of tourism and employ destination specialists in the regions that we promote.

Our guides

What does it take to be a professional cycling guide in France?
Answer: A LOT!
A lot of dedication, experience, schooling, and a variety of skills including social skills, language skills, organizational skills and still more. We believe we have the best when it comes to offering our Custom Guided Cycling Tours. See the full details of what it takes to be a Professional Cycling Guide in France and what Discover France requires before our guides ever meet you on the tour! Here we present our lead guides with short bio:

  • Julien certified professional guide (diplome d'etat), bilingual French/English. Julien leads trips for our tour operator clients and is a specialist in all the area of Mont Ventoux where he has covered nearly all the terrain. Julien likes to do hand stands from the roof mounted bike carriers we have on our vans.
  • Patrick certified professional guide (diplome d'etat), bilingual French/English. Patrick is an accomplished ironman triathlete and professional ski guide in winter. Nicknamed Ninja by our clients for getting them up all the big mountains of the Tour de France!
  • Jade certified professional guide (diplome d'etat), bilingual French/English. She is actually an American transplant in France who studied in France and obtained all her diplomas. Also a very accomplished female racer and works our Tour de France tours.
  • Aurelien Manager Bike School and Guide Service, manages bikes, seminars, team building, events, logistics. Certified professional guide, cat 1 road racer, downhill racer, mountain bike, cross racing.
  • Francois Professional cycling guide, tour orientations, route book preparation, tour sales and support, Tour de France logistics coordinator. Bilingual French/English, Francois works in the France office. Key hobby includes knocking heads on the rugby field!
  • David - Masters degree in sports management and marketing, professional cycling guide, bilingual French/English, top 40 finisher 2 times at Etape du Tour. Best memory finishing 26th at the Leadville 100 in 2009.
  • Jean Francois - Professional cycling guide, speaks French, Spanish, Italian, and English; has worked in Australia, England, and the Canaries as well as throughout France. 5 years Directeur Sportif for road and track cycling teams.
  • Olivier - Professional cycling guide and high mountain guide for winter sports; Olivier is bilingual in French and English and is an accomplished road and mountain bike racer; contested world champion in MTB tandem.
  • Dominique Professional cycling guide (diplome d'état), tour orientations, favourite discipline: Mountain Biking. Bilingual French/English, when he is not biking, Dominique is an avid kitesurfer and kayaking instructor.
  • Other Guides- All certified professional guides (diplome d'etat - issued by the French Government), bilingual French/English; lead groups on private guided tours and for our tour operator clients. They also conduct orientations.

DISCOVER FRANCE GUIDES
At Discover France Adventures, we specialize in bicycle tours throughout France as well as multisport tours, custom tours, and specialty travel. We offer unique opportunities to discover the French culture and lifestyle. In addition to our pioneering self-guided tour offers, we operate a significant number of custom guided trips for groups of all sizes and abilities. Our guides are the most qualified and certified professionals available, and for us that makes them the best in the business. All of our guides go through intense training, unlike guides in other countries or 'trip leaders' that come to France to lead tours. Our guides and experience really stands out, and so we really want to brag about their knowledge and the in depth training they go through before we hire them!
First, all of our guides have their Brevet d'Etat, short for Brevet d'Etat d'Educateur Sportif Activité du Cyclisme, or BEESAC. In English it's called a Diploma (State Certificate) of Educator in Sport Specialized in Cycling Sports Activity. To achieve their Brevet d'Etat riders must take a two part course. First, they must complete 300 classroom hours during a six week time period to acquire knowledge in a variety of fields including biological sciences, psychology, pedagogy (teaching), communications, legal, nutrition, and organization. They must then prove their knowledge by taking a two hour written exam and two challenging oral tests.

The second part involves 380 hours of education specific to the sport of cycling. Students must first take a qualifying test to determine if they are eligible for entry into training. They then receive 60 hours of pre-training followed by an examination. Once that's complete, the final training is given in three units, as follows:

  • UF1 : Takes approximately 120 hours and involves initiation and perfection of various cycling activities
  • UF2 : Part 1 - Improving Practice; Part 2 - Teaching the practice of cycling (about 100 hours total)
  • UF3 : Takes approximately 100 hours and covers the cycling environment and safety topics
Students must then complete about 100 hours of hands-on training, at least 40 hours of which is in a federal structure.
To put it into perspective it typically takes about two years for a guide to complete the required coursework and graduate. Seems like a lot of work so far, doesn't it? But there's more. Cycling Guides as riders are also given a three day test which entails the following:
  • A discipline (road, MTB, BMX Track and Cyclo-Cross) cycling chosen for a performance and calibrated on a professional cyclist in the discipline
  • Randomly selected and calibrated for a performance on a professional cyclist in the discipline
  • Orientation in the outdoors with map and compass
  • Educational/teaching test in a situation with a group
  • Written teaching test on a subject drawn at random with 4 hours to write an essay
  • Oral test - technical knowledge
Riders must declare their diploma to the National Youth and Sport for the right to work in the industry as a licensed professional.

In addition to technical and formal training, guides must also know a great deal of practical information such as how to disassemble and reassemble a bike, how to problem solve and keep their group safe, nutrition and food to bring on rides, and each must also pass an exam with Firefighter Certificate of Training in First Aid (AFD).

Discover France is very selective when hiring guides – we only want the best for our clients! Our guides are all highly educated and have attended a university where they received degrees in various fields, from engineering to sports tourism management. We hire only those who have top level experience in the sport of cycling, have extensive knowledge of nature and heritage, exhibit great interpersonal skills (to make rides fun and exciting) and are multilingual. Most of all, we look for guides that are passionate about cycling and showing others how amazing it can be.

So what does all of this mean to our clients? With Discover France, you can be assured that you will receive an exceptional cycling experience with professional, knowledgeable and well-organized guides to show you the time of your life. Our guides are among the very best in the business and are eager to help you discover France as you never imagined you could and give you an unforgettable experience you'll treasure for a lifetime.

  • Casual: Beginners and occasional cyclists. Easiest tours we provide. Typically flatter terrain, no notable hills or anything of a steep gradient.
  • Hobby: Weekend riders. People with some cycling experience, rolling countryside, possible short climbs.
  • Active: Cyclists with experience on longer rides. Hilly terrain with reasonable amount of climbs and difficulty
  • Pro: Avid cyclists, ride every week and love long and challenging rides. Dream on riding the Tour de France cols.
Other conditions Surface conditions - road/trails; all assumed to be in good condition; no technical experience is needed and not an added difficulty factor.

More challenging options : Ask us to design you a custom tour or simply take our maps and add miles to your route. Feel free to improvise, but know your limits and know what the symbols on the maps mean!

Weather: heat, rain, and wind will all have an effect on your ride/walk and extremes of each will make it more difficult. Load: carrying excessive weight obviously makes more work for you. We always transfer luggage, so this refers only to what you take in a day pack or in panniers.

Dress: layering, using appropriate and lightweight clothing, protection from the sun, and good footwear make it easier for you.

Equipment: primarily relates to bikes; but knowing how to shift, when to shift, and maintain your bike will make it easier for you as well. How long will it take to cover the rides/walks/hikes at these levels? There is no specific answer because everyone travels at his or her own speed. However, when we indicate a time, such as in the hikes, we generalize with an average of 5 km/hour on flat surfaces and 3.5 km/hr on grade. In the bike rides, we generalize an average of 13-18 km/h on flat surfaces and 10-13 km/h on grade. Those times do include bathroom breaks, but not time for lunch and visits. Everyone should allow time to stop and explore, visit sites, and check directions.

If you can ride a bike at 20 mph; you cannot take a trip and expect to finish a ride in 2 hours. First, you need to allow time to check directions as you go, and then stop to visit. No less than 4 hours should be allowed to do any of the hikes and rides we have in our programs on any day. Longer days will last as much as 8 hours with stops and visits included.

Star tours - aka loop trips! These are days where you return to the same hotel where you start the day. This means that people who are less strong can do shorter days than stronger persons. It also allows a day off, non-active participants to come along, and is a great way for families and groups of varying abilities/interests to do the same trip together. These tours offer everything from easy to challenging rides, (Levels 1 - 3) but are usually rated as easy because it accommodate easy.

AGREEMENT

The terms and conditions set forth below (the Terms or Agreement) constitute the entire understanding and agreement between you, the tour participant (individually or collectively you or the Participant) and Active France Adventures Sarl, Discover France, its owners, employees, shareholders, affiliated entities, agents, representatives, officers, directors, associates, successors and assigns (individually or collectively Discover France, DF, we, or us) with respect to any and all bookings, trips or transactions made with Discover France.

By completing the tour booking form (the Tour Booking Form) and agreeing to these Terms either by handwriting or electronic signature, you accept all Terms herein and direct us to perform services on your behalf. All persons named in the Tour Booking Form (Participants) are subject to this Agreement. By signing these Terms, you affirm that you have made all other Participants listed in the Tour Booking Form aware of these Terms regardless of how final payment is made and that all Participants accept these Terms.

RESERVATIONS, DEPOSITS & PAYMENTS

Reservations: Reservations can be made by phone, fax or on-line by providing your credit card info, however no booking is final until you receive a written confirmation from us.

Deposits: An advance deposit of 250 Euros per person is required at the time of booking via credit card. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the tour departure date. The tour price is per person based on double occupancy and includes those items mentioned in the itinerary plus any prepaid optional items selected by you. Single room requests are subject to additional charges and must be requested at time of booking. Group sizes may have a maximum and a minimum number of participants, which may vary for each tour.

If the requested tour is not available, you will not be charged a deposit, but offered an alternate trip with Discover France, which you are free to accept or decline. If you wish to pay your deposit by wire or check, your reservation cannot be confirmed until we receive your deposit and it has been cleared by the bank.

The deposit of 250 Euros will be applied to the final amount due which will be determined and payable at the latest 60 days prior to the tour's departure date.

Final Payment: Final payment is due at the latest 60 days prior to the tour's departure date. Final payment shall be made in Euros by credit card or by wire transfer. We will remind you of your final payment date in advance and provide you the information on payment options. NO debit card shall be accepted. We will give you the wire transfer instructions and the amount due in Euros. If you find a more favorable exchange rate any time prior to your payment due date, you are free to pay your final amount in advance to save more money.

If we do not receive payment by the 60th day prior to the tour departure date, your reservation will be automatically cancelled and subject to the cancellation terms and conditions below.

Last-Minute Bookings: If you are booking a tour within 14 days of a tour departure date, you must submit a Tour Booking Form to us via fax with your handwritten signature. We will not accept any on-line Tour Booking Forms for last-minute bookings. Full payment is due within 24 hours of our written confirmation by either wire transfer or credit card. If we do not receive payment within 24 hours, then the credit card submitted with the booking will be charged for the full tour amount which shall not be refundable.

PROMOTIONS AND DISCOUNTS


Discounts offered are non-retroactive. Offers cannot be combined with other offers and are not available for Tour de France Tours, and tours booked by travel agents and local operators. Discount are only applicable to clients that book their tour directly via Discover France.

CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS


Changes: If you wish to make a change to your tour itinerary, you must submit your request to us in writing by email at contact@discoverfrance.com or postal mail at: Discover France, 427 rue Hélène Boucher Espace Commercial Fréjorgues Ouest 34130 Mauguio, France. Once a booking request is received and confirmed by us in writing, any modification of dates or alteration of itineraries by you will incur change fees. Fees vary according to the type and scope of the change. Our vendors, which include hotels, often impose additional fees or penalties for changes and cancellations. These are included in the change fees and can be substantial. A minimum change fee of 200 Euros per person applies to any change within 60 days of travel.

Cancellations: If you wish to cancel your tour, you must submit your request to us in writing by email at: contact@discoverfrance.com or postal mail at: Discover France, 427 rue Hélène Boucher Espace Commercial Fréjorgues Ouest 34130 Mauguio, France. If a cancellation is made after receipt of the deposit but before the 60-day final payment due date, deposits shall be refunded by wire transfer minus a 125 Euros cancellation fee per person. For Cancellation within 60 days, but more than 45 days after reservation confirmation, the entire deposit is non-refundable, and within 45 days additional cancellation penalties may apply, up to 100% of tour costs. No refunds shall be made once the tour starts. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this cancellation policy, including but not limited to reasons related to force majeure (see paragraph below), weather conditions, family or medical emergencies or any circumstances beyond our control.

Pre-Departure Cancellations or Changes by Discover France: We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason. In the event of such cancellation, a full refund will be issued to you via check, which shall constitute a full settlement. If the tour is cancelled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip with Discover Franceor one of its affiliates in addition to the full refund. In the event that, prior to departure, we make any significant changes because of a problem with a supplier, for example a hotel bankruptcy, we will, as soon as reasonably possible, notify you of available alternatives. Such changes may generate a supplemental payment from you or possibly a refund. No refunds under this paragraph will be issued due to cancellations or changes due to Force Majeure.

No Reimbursements due to Changes or Cancellations: We will not reimburse Participants for any personal expenses such as airline tickets, other travel or hotel expenses due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.

FORCE MAJEURE
We will not be liable for any changes, cancellation, effect on your booking, loss or damage suffered by you or for any failure by your accommodation provider and/or us to perform or properly perform any of our respective obligations to you if the failure to perform or the improper performance is due to any event(s) or circumstance(s) caused by force majeure. By way of example force majeure includes, but is not limited to, war, revolution, terrorist act, closure of borders, epidemic, natural catastrophe or other causes that seriously affect both parties and in particular the place where the accommodation provider is located as well as our country of origin and other unforeseeable causes beyond our control.

INSURANCE
The price of the tour does not include travel insurance.We strongly recommends purchasing travel insurance that protects you and your investment in the event of a sudden emergency before or during your trip and coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, illness, injury, and damage, loss or theft of baggage, as well as emergency assistance.We assume that you are coveredby any insurance company of your choosing.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Pre-departure Documentation: Upon receipt of your final payment, documentation we will email you various information and documentation, including suggestions for preparing your trip (clothing, , packing and money.)as well as your confirmations, travel information, a release form and an outline of what to expect on the tour. Please read these documents carefully as soon as you receive them and contact us or your travel agent if any information seems to be incorrect. We cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified of any inaccuracy in any document within 10 days of its receiptby you or your Travel Agent.

Passports and Visas: All Participants must be in possession of a valid passport; its validity must be for six (6) months beyond the re-entry date into the Participant's home country. A visa or visas may be required for some or all of the countries visited on the tour selected. Please check your visa requirements at time of booking. It is the Participant's responsibility to ensure that all his or her visa and passport requirements are met.

TOURS AND EXCLUDED ITEMS
Self-guided and guided trip contentmay Our tours do not include all other trip costs such as airfare, trip and/or medical insurance, excess baggage charges, or any personal items. Meals apart from those mentioned in the itinerary are excluded, as well as any unpaid optional tour or sightseeing event. Drinks are typically excluded.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS
The physical demands of our tour may vary depending on the specific itinerary selected. For instance, our walking tours require only moderate activity while some of our bicycling tours can be physically very challenging. Good physical and mental conditionsare essential for the enjoyment and safety of our tours. By agreeing to these Terms, you certify that you do not have any physical or mental health condition that would create a hazard for you or other Participants or affect other people's enjoyment of the tour.

HOTELS, MEALS AND TRANSPORTATION


Hotels: Prices are based on double occupancy rooms that include private bath or shower. Single rooms are limited and are subject to supplemental charges. Single individuals who are not requesting single rooms will be booked into a double with another traveler of the same gender, whenever possible. If a share arrangement is unavailable, the supplement will be assessed prior to departure when we have confirmation that there will be no additional travelers. If alternative hotels of the same category/standing are fully booked, there will be no change to the tour price. If the lack of room availability requires that we book you to an inferior/superior category hotel or room, you will be notified in advance and given the option to accept or decline the change as well as any change in the tour price. We are not responsible for the quality or location of alternative accommodations.

Meals: Meals are included and vary upon the tour selected. Check the individual tour description for meal information. If you have a special diet, are a vegetarian, or are allergic to certain foods, please make a note of this on the Tour Booking Form.

Transportation: Longer trips and guided trips may include transfers. Each tour description explains the types of transportation that are included in the trip and the availability of transfers. If you wish to arrange for separate transportation, we can assist you with your needs. Separate transportation and extra transfers will incur additional fees.

Sightseeing: Sightseeing and side touring are included only when paid in advance or noted on the itinerary. Tips, taxes and service charges are included for items that are specifically included in the tour such as hotels, restaurants, governmental, and guides. Most attractions such as chateau entrance fees are not included.

Limitation of responsibility: Discover Franceacts only as an agent or intermediary for the various independent suppliers that provide accommodations, meals, transportation, sightseeing, activities or other goods and services connected with your tour (Supplier or Suppliers). As a result, we assume no responsibility for and cannot be held liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any Supplier, their agents, employees or of any other person or entity. A Supplier's services are subject to the Supplier's own terms and conditions and the local laws and regulations of the relevant country. We will not provide any refund for a Supplier's delay, cancellation, overbooking, strike or force majeure, or for elements of the tour that you do not use.

BICYCLE RENTALS
Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours, and are available for an additional charge. Bicycles are hybrids, electric bikes or road bikes of very high quality. The brand may change from year to year, so you are responsible for inquiring about what type of bike and added gear is provided with your bicycle rental at the time you reserve it. Any participant who chooses to bring his own bicycle is responsible for all mechanical issues and all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. (See our recommendations for traveling with your own bicycle in your travel documents as we shall not be responsible for any problem you encounter while travelling with your own bike by train).
The bike you received is your responsibility once you are on the road. When the bike is at the hotel (inside or in the hotel's storage) the bike is under the hotel's responsibility. If you do not return the bike, break it or lose it your credit card will be charged for 400 euros per Hybrid/Mountain bike or 1200 euros per Road bike or E-bike. Each time, you have to check with the reception to know where to leave your bike.

Items included with bike rental :
  • Front Handlebar bag
  • Plastic Map Holder
  • Tire levers
  • Lock
  • Repair tool kit (multi-tool for male frame only)
  • Extra tube
  • Odometer
  • Water bottle (you can keep it after the trip!)
  • Pump
  • rear Pannier
  • Helmet
  • GPS
PLease check that all items listed are provided with your bike. You are responsible for your bike and the items listed above. Any items (except water bottle) that are not returned from the bicycles at the end of the tour will be billed to you at cost plus 15%.

GPS RENTALS


At the beginning of your tour have been given a GPS. This GPS, on which all your itineraries are entered, is a complement to your paper roadbook. A notice on how to use the GPS has been given to you as well with the roadbook.The GPS you received is your responsibility. In case you lose, break it or do not return it, your credit card will be charged for 300 euros.

EMERGENCY SERVICE


Each self-guided tour includes an Emergency Service, i.e. a local contact available by telephone with an English speaking staff. Examples of Emergency Service calls include broken equipment (other than a flat tire), minor injury/illness that hampers or prevents continued cycling or walking. Please note that serious injuries must first be reported to emergency medical responders –(numbers to be provided), missed trains/connections that would change your services, or the need to schedule additional services such as transfers. This service is only available during daylight cycling/walking hours. Hotel staff is available for other non-emergency related matters outside of your cycling/walking activities.

CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS
If you encounter any issue during your tour, you must promptly notify the Emergency Service (for self-guided tours) or tour leader (for guided tours) and they will do their best to assist you resolve the matter. Failure to notify us immediately may forfeit or reduce your ability to claim any future compensation or refund from us.Further, if you make any changes on your own without notifying us, as described above, you shall assume sole responsibility for any added costs you may incur and forfeiting any potential refunds.If we cannot resolve your complaint at the time of occurrence, you should make a written record of your complaint and it to us within 30 days of the end of the tour via email at: contact@discoverfrance.com or via postal mail at: Discover France, 427 rue Hélène Boucher Espace Commercial Fréjorgues Ouest 34130 Mauguio, France.. Discover France will not accept any claims received beyond this period.

AIR, CAR & TRAIN RESERVATIONS
You or your travel agent are solely responsible for making flight reservations. Car and train reservations/tickets can be arranged by us, in advance. If we should make any such reservation or ticket purchase on your behalf, you agree and understand that we do so in an agency capacity and are onlyproviding a reservation service.Additional fees for this service may apply. You further agree that you are subject to all terms and conditions of the car/rail/service provider. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with those terms and conditions and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the car/rail/service provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, and disputes or other regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf.
PARTICIPANTS RESPONSABILITIES
Tour Start Date: It is your responsibility to be ready to go at the departure city at the specific tour departure date and time. We are not responsible for any losses due to cancelled or missed flights, changed flight itineraries, late arrivals, or early departures.

Compliance with Local Laws and Tour Etiquette: Your additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, strictly complying with all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your physical abilities, respecting other trip members' privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide.You will be responsible for you own conduct as well as the conduct of all participants of your party and you will indemnify us against any liability for damage caused by you or any members of your party. We reserve the right to terminate the tour in the event of behavior deemed to be unreasonable by our staff. On guided tours, the decision of the local guide or local supplier is final on all matters that may threaten the safety or interfere with the well-being of the group or individual travelers. During the tour, we have the right to remove anyone who we determine is a) incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the tour activities; or b) interferes with other Participants' enjoyment of the tour.

IMAGES AND MARKETING


You agree that we may use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection or approval, for promotion and publicity purposes worldwide and in perpetuity.

PRIVACY
All information you provide to us in Tour Booking Form will be kept in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed or sold to other any third parties for any purpose beyond what is needed to secure your travel arrangements with our suppliers or as required by law. Credit card information will be destroyed or deleted from our files, but mailing information and past travel information will be retained by us. You may receive mailings from us periodically unless you explicitly ask to be removed from our mailing list.

LIABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS: RESPONSIBILITY–LIMITATION OF LIABILITY


Discover Franceand all its owners, act only in the capacity as an agent for the hotels, airlines, bus companies, railroads, ship lines, and/or any Supplier providing accommodations, transportation or other services to the Participant. The Participant is advised that Discover France purchases such transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, sightseeing excursions and other services from various Suppliers who are not affiliated with Discover France makes every effort to select the best suppliers of the aforementioned services, however, Discover France does not control the operations of these agents and as a result, CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE OR OTHER CLAIM which may occur as the result of any and/or all of the following: (1) the wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts, errors or omissions on the part of the independent Supplier, its agents, its employees or others who are not under the direct control or supervision of Discover France; (2) defects or failures of any vessel, aircraft, vehicle or other instrumentality which is under the control of an independent Supplier; or (3) loss, injury or damage to person, property or otherwise, resulting directly or indirectly from any Acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown in machinery or equipment, or wars (whether declared or not), hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, medical epidemics, quarantines, or customs regulation, defaults, delays or cancellations or alterations in itinerary due to schedule changes, or from any causes beyondDiscover France's control.

Further, Discover Franceis not liable for any loss or damage resulting from insufficient or improperly issued passports, visas or other legal documents.

All coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts and tickets issued by Discover France are issued subject to any and all tariffs, terms, and conditions under which any services are provided by such hotels, airlines, bus companies, railroads, ship lines or owners or contractors or by any person in their employ Discover France in no way guarantees the quality, authenticity, or value of any good(s) purchased by the Participant during any tour. Discover France shall in no event be responsible or liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, special or punitive damages arising from Participant's interaction with any retailer/vendor/contractor, and Discover France expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for any resulting loss or damage.

You agree that the sole remedy for any default by Discover France arising under these Terms shall only be the return of the paid tour cost. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Discover France shall not be liable for any special, consequential, indirect, incidental or other damages arising out of these Terms, including lost profits, whether such damages arise in contract, negligence, tort, under statute, in equity, at law, or otherwise, even if Discover Francehas been advised of the possibility of such damages. You expressly waive any right it may have to recover such damages. The foregoing shall not apply to Discover France' gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Severability: In the event that a court finds any provision of this Agreement invalid and/or unenforceable, the parties agree that all the remaining provisions shall remain valid and in force, and such unenforceable provisions will be replaced with one that is enforceable and reflect the intentions of the parties hereof.

Successors and Assigns: These Terms shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon Discover France and the Participant and their respective heirs, legal personal representatives, successors and assigns.

Updating of Terms and Conditions: We reserve the right to update and/or alter these terms and conditions at any time, and it is your responsibility to be familiar with them. The latest Terms and Conditions can be found on the Discover France' website at: www.discoverfrance.com

Merger: This Agreement is the final, complete and exclusive statement of the parties' agreement on the matters contained in this Agreement. It supersedes all previous negotiations and agreements.

Applicable Law and Choice of Forum: This Agreement is governed by the laws of France. You agree that any dispute concerning, relating, or referring to this Agreement, tour brochures, or any other materials that concern my tour, or the tour itself -- whether such dispute arises in contract or in tort or otherwise -- shall be litigated and determined, if at all, exclusively before a court of competent jurisdiction in Nîmes , France.

AGREEMENT


The terms and conditions set forth below (the Terms or Agreement) constitute the entire understanding and agreement between you, the tour participant (individually or collectively you or the Participant) and Active France Adventures Sarl,Discover France, its owners, employees, shareholders, affiliated entities, agents, representatives, officers, directors, associates, successors and assigns (individually or collectively Discover France, DF, we, or us) with respect to any and all bookings, trips or transactions made with Discover France.

By completing the tour booking form (the Tour Booking Form) and agreeing to these Terms either by handwriting or electronic signature, you accept all Terms herein and direct us to perform services on your behalf. All persons named in the Tour Booking Form (Participants) are subject to this Agreement. By signing these Terms, you affirm that you have made all other Participants listed in the Tour Booking Form aware of these Terms – regardless of how final payment is made – and that all Participants accept these Terms.

RESERVATIONS, DEPOSITS & PAYMENTS


Reservations: You may make a reservation tentatively by phone, or provide a credit card number by phone, but bookings must be made through our online system or by fax form in writing. This is to ensure that you understand and agree to these Terms. A booking is not final until you receive a final confirmation from us.

Deposits: A deposit of 500 Euros per person is required at the time of booking to guarantee your reservation confirm space. Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure. The tour price is per person based on double occupancy and includes those items mentioned in the itinerary plus any prepaid optional items. Single room requests are subject to supplemental charges, and must be requested at time of booking. Group sizes are limited to a maximum and a minimum, which varies by tour. You must pay the deposit by credit card at the time of booking to guarantee your reservation. Your credit card will be charged 500 Euros per person once the entire tour itinerary is confirmed, usually within 1-3 days for standard tours. If the requested tour is not available, you will not be charged, but offered an alternate trip with Discover France Adventures, which you can choose to accept or decline. If you wish to pay your deposit by wire or check, your reservation cannot be confirmed until we receive your deposit and it has cleared the bank. The deposit of 500 Euros will be deducted from the final amount due which will be determined on the day of final payment 60 days prior to the tour's start date in case any services are added or changed.

Final Payment: Final payment is due 60 days prior to the tour's departure. Final payment can be made by credit card, or by wire transfers in Euros. We will remind you of your final payment date in advance and give you the option to pay using any of these methods. Please note that debit cards are NOT accepted. If your home currency is not the Euros, then you may wish to pay by wire transfer. We will give you the wire transfer instructions and the amount due in Euros. If you find a favorable exchange rate any time prior to your payment due date, you may pay your final amount in advance to save more money. If we do not receive payment or hear from you about your intentions to pay by 60 days prior to the tour's departure, your reservation will be cancelled and you will be subject to the cancellation terms below.

Last-Minute Bookings: If you are booking a tour within 14 days of departure, you must submit a booking form to by fax with your handwritten signature. We will not accept any booking forms online for last-minute bookings. Full payment is due within 24 hours of confirmation by either wire or credit card. If we do not receive payment within 24 hours, then the credit card submitted with the booking will be charged for the full tour amount.

PROMOTIONS AND DISCOUNTS
Discounts offered are non-retroactive. Offers cannot be combined with other offers and are not available for Tour de France Tours, and tours booked by travel agents and local operators. Discount are only applicable to clients that book their tour directly via Discover France.

CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS
Changes: If you wish to make a change to your tour itinerary, you must submit your request to us in writing by or postal mail. Once a booking request is received and confirmed, any modification of dates or alteration of itineraries by you will incur a change fee. Fees vary according to the type and scope of the change. Our vendors, which include hotels, often impose additional fees or penalties for changes and cancellations. These are included in the change fee and can be substantial. A minimum change fee of 20 Euros per person applies to any change within 60 days of travel.

Cancellations: Once your deposit is received, a reservation confirmation is made and final payment is due 60 days prior to tour departure. If you wish to cancel your tour, you must submit your request to us in writing by email or postal mail. If a cancellation is made after receipt of the deposit but before January 31, 50% of all deposits will be returned by check. After January 31, the entire deposit becomes non-refundable. Cancellations within 60 days of travel are 100% non-refundable unless replaced by another person willing to travel in your place. No refunds are available once the trip commences. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS to this cancellation policy, including for reasons related to weather, terrorism, civil strife, personal, family or medical emergencies or any other circumstances beyond our control. For this reason, we strongly encourage Participants to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Pre-Departure Cancellations or Changes by Discover France: We reserve the right to cancel any prior to departure for any reason. While it is rare, in the event of cancellation, a check for a full refund will be issued to you, which constitutes full settlement. If the tour is cancelled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip with Discover France Adventures or one of its affiliates in addition to the full refund. In the event that, prior to departure, we make any significant changes because of a problem with a supplier, for example a hotel bankruptcy, we will, as soon as reasonably possible, notify you of available alternatives. Such changes may require a supplemental payment from you or possibly a refund. No refunds under this paragraph will be provided due to cancellations or changes due to Force Majeure.

No Reimbursements due to Changes or Cancellations: We will not reimburse Participants for any personal such as airline tickets, other travel or hotel expenses due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.

FORCE MAJEURE


We will not be liable for any changes, cancellation, effect on your booking, loss or damage suffered by you or for any failure by your accommodation provider and/or us to perform or properly perform any of our respective obligations to you if the failure to perform or the improper performance is due to any event(s) or circumstance(s) caused by force majeure. By way of example force majeure includes, but is not limited to, war, revolution, terrorist act, closure of borders, epidemic, natural catastrophe or other causes that seriously affect both parties and in particular the place where the accommodation provider is located as well as our country of origin and other unforeseeable causes beyond our control.

INSURANCE


The price of the tour does not include travel insurance.We strongly recommends purchasing travel insurance that protects you and your investment in the event of a sudden emergency before or during your trip and coverage for trip cancellation or interruption, illness, injury, and damage, loss or theft of baggage, as well as emergency assistance.We assume that you are coveredby any insurance company of your choosing.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS


Pre-departure Documentation: Upon receipt of your final payment, documentation we will email you various information and documentation, including suggestions for preparing your trip (clothing, , packing and money.)as well as your confirmations, travel information, a release form and an outline of what to expect on the tour. Please read these documents carefully as soon as you receive them and contact us or your travel agent if any information seems to be incorrect. We cannot be held responsible if we have not been notified of any inaccuracy in any document within 10 days of its receiptby you or your Travel Agent.

Passports and Visas: All Participants must be in possession of a valid passport; its validity must be for six (6) months beyond the re-entry date into the Participant's home country. A visa or visas may be required for some or all of the countries visited on the tour selected. Please check your visa requirements at time of booking. It is the Participant's responsibility to ensure that all his or her visa and passport requirements are met.

TOURS AND EXCLUDED ITEMS


Self-guided and guided trip contentmay Our tours do not include all other trip costs such as airfare, trip and/or medical insurance, excess baggage charges, or any personal items. Meals apart from those mentioned in the itinerary are excluded, as well as any unpaid optional tour or sightseeing event. Drinks are typically excluded.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS


The physical demands of our tour may vary depending on the specific itinerary selected. For instance, our walking tours require only moderate activity while some of our bicycling tours can be physically very challenging. Good physical and mental conditionsare essential for the enjoyment and safety of our tours. By agreeing to these Terms, you certify that you do not have any physical or mental health condition that would create a hazard for you or other Participants or affect other people's enjoyment of the tour.

HOTELS, MEALS AND TRANSPORTATION
Hotels: Prices are based on double occupancy rooms that include private bath or shower. Single rooms are limited and are subject to supplemental charges. Single individuals who are not requesting single rooms will be booked into a double with another traveler of the same gender, whenever possible. If a share arrangement is unavailable, the supplement will be assessed prior to departure when we have confirmation that there will be no additional travelers. If alternative hotels of the same category/standing are fully booked, there will be no change to the tour price. If the lack of room availability requires that we book you to an inferior/superior category hotel or room, you will be notified in advance and given the option to accept or decline the change as well as any change in the tour price. We are not responsible for the quality or location of alternative accommodations.

Meals: Meals are included and vary upon the tour selected. Check the individual tour description for meal information. If you have a special diet, are a vegetarian, or are allergic to certain foods, please make a note of this on the Tour Booking Form.

Transportation: Longer trips and guided trips may include transfers. Each tour description explains the types of transportation that are included in the trip and the availability of transfers. If you wish to arrange for separate transportation, we can assist you with your needs. Separate transportation and extra transfers will incur additional fees.

Sightseeing: Sightseeing and side touring are included only when paid in advance or noted on the itinerary. Tips, taxes and service charges are included for items that are specifically included in the tour such as hotels, restaurants, governmental, and guides. Most attractions such as chateau entrance fees are not included.

Limitation of responsibility: Discover Franceacts only as an agent or intermediary for the various independent suppliers that provide accommodations, meals, transportation, sightseeing, activities or other goods and services connected with your tour (Supplier or Suppliers). As a result, we assume no responsibility for and cannot be held liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any Supplier, their agents, employees or of any other person or entity. A Supplier's services are subject to the Supplier's own terms and conditions and the local laws and regulations of the relevant country. We will not provide any refund for a Supplier's delay, cancellation, overbooking, strike or force majeure, or for elements of the tour that you do not use.

BICYCLE RENTALS


Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours, and are available for an additional charge. Bicycles arehybrids, electric bikes or road bikes of very high quality. The brand may change from year to year, so you are responsible for inquiring about what type of bike and added gear is provided with your bicycle rental at the time you reserve it. Any Participant who chooses to bring his own bicycle is responsible for all mechanical issues and all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. (See our recommendations for traveling with your own bicycle in your travel documents as we shall not be responsible for any problem you encounter while travelling with your own bike by train). For more information, please check our separate bike rental terms and conditions.

EMERGENCY SERVICE
Each self-guided tour includes an Emergency Service, i.e. a local contact available by telephone with an English speaking staff. Examples of Emergency Service calls include broken equipment (other than a flat tire), minor injury/illness that hampers or prevents continued cycling or walking. Please note that serious injuries must first be reported to emergency medical responders –(numbers to be provided), missed trains/connections that would change your services, or the need to schedule additional services such as transfers. This service is only available during daylight cycling/walking hours. Hotel staff is available for other non-emergency related matters outside of your cycling/walking activities.

CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS


If you encounter any issue during your tour, you must promptly notify the Emergency Service (for self-guided tours) or tour leader (for guided tours) and they will do their best to assist you resolve the matter. Failure to notify us immediately may forfeit or reduce your ability to claim any future compensation or refund from us.Further, if you make any changes on your own without notifying us, as described above, you shall assume sole responsibility for any added costs you may incur and forfeiting any potential refunds.If we cannot resolve your complaint at the time of occurrence, you should make a written record of your complaint and it to us within 30 days of the end of the tour via email at: contact@discoverfrance.com or via postal mail at: Discover France, 427 rue Hélène Boucher Espace Commercial Fréjorgues Ouest 34130 Mauguio, France.. Discover France will not accept any claims received beyond this period.

AIR, CAR & TRAIN RESERVATIONS


You or your travel agent are solely responsible for making flight reservations. Car and train reservations/tickets can be arranged by us, in advance. If we should make any such reservation or ticket purchase on your behalf, you agree and understand that we do so in an agency capacity and are onlyproviding a reservation service.Additional fees for this service may apply. You further agree that you are subject to all terms and conditions of the car/rail/service provider. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with those terms and conditions and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the car/rail/service provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, and disputes or other regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf.

PARTICIPANTS RESPONSABILITIES


Tour Start Date: It is your responsibility to be ready to go at the departure city at the specific tour departure date and time. We are not responsible for any losses due to cancelled or missed flights, changed flight itineraries, late arrivals, or early departures.

Compliance with Local Laws and Tour Etiquette: Your additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, strictly complying with all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your physical abilities, respecting other trip members' privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide.You will be responsible for you own conduct as well as the conduct of all participants of your party and you will indemnify us against any liability for damage caused by you or any members of your party. We reserve the right to terminate the tour in the event of behavior deemed to be unreasonable by our staff. On guided tours, the decision of the local guide or local supplier is final on all matters that may threaten the safety or interfere with the well-being of the group or individual travelers. During the tour, we have the right to remove anyone who we determine is a) incapable of meeting the rigors and requirements of participating in the tour activities; or b) interferes with other Participants' enjoyment of the tour.

IMAGES AND MARKETING


You agree that we may use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection or approval, for promotion and publicity purposes worldwide and in perpetuity.

PRIVACY
All information you provide to us in Tour Booking Form will be kept in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed or sold to other any third parties for any purpose beyond what is needed to secure your travel arrangements with our suppliers or as required by law. Credit card information will be destroyed or deleted from our files, but mailing information and past travel information will be retained by us. You may receive mailings from us periodically unless you explicitly ask to be removed from our mailing list.

LIABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS: RESPONSIBILITY–LIMITATION OF LIABILITY


Discover France and all its owners, act only in the capacity as an agent for the hotels, airlines, bus companies, railroads, ship lines, and/or any Supplier providing accommodations, transportation or other services to the Participant. The Participant is advised that Discover France purchases such transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, sightseeing excursions and other services from various Suppliers who are not affiliated with Discover France makes every effort to select the best suppliers of the aforementioned services, however, Discover France does not control the operations of these agents and as a result, CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE OR OTHER CLAIM which may occur as the result of any and/or all of the following: (1) the wrongful, negligent or arbitrary acts, errors or omissions on the part of the independent Supplier, its agents, its employees or others who are not under the direct control or supervision of Discover France; (2) defects or failures of any vessel, aircraft, vehicle or other instrumentality which is under the control of an independent Supplier; or (3) loss, injury or damage to person, property or otherwise, resulting directly or indirectly from any Acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown in machinery or equipment, or wars (whether declared or not), hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, medical epidemics, quarantines, or customs regulation, defaults, delays or cancellations or alterations in itinerary due to schedule changes, or from any causes beyondDiscover France's control.

Further, Discover Franceis not liable for any loss or damage resulting from insufficient or improperly issued passports, visas or other legal documents.

All coupons, exchange orders, receipts, contracts and tickets issued by Discover France are issued subject to any and all tariffs, terms, and conditions under which any services are provided by such hotels, airlines, bus companies, railroads, ship lines or owners or contractors or by any person in their employ Discover France in no way guarantees the quality, authenticity, or value of any good(s) purchased by the Participant during any tour. Discover France shall in no event be responsible or liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, special or punitive damages arising from Participant's interaction with any retailer/vendor/contractor, and Discover France expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for any resulting loss or damage.

You agree that the sole remedy for any default by Discover France arising under these Terms shall only be the return of the paid tour cost. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Discover France shall not be liable for any special, consequential, indirect, incidental or other damages arising out of these Terms, including lost profits, whether such damages arise in contract, negligence, tort, under statute, in equity, at law, or otherwise, even if Discover Francehas been advised of the possibility of such damages. You expressly waive any right it may have to recover such damages. The foregoing shall not apply to Discover France' gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

Severability: In the event that a court finds any provision of this Agreement invalid and/or unenforceable, the parties agree that all the remaining provisions shall remain valid and in force, and such unenforceable provisions will be replaced with one that is enforceable and reflect the intentions of the parties hereof.

Successors and Assigns: These Terms shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon Discover France and the Participant and their respective heirs, legal personal representatives, successors and assigns.

Updating of Terms and Conditions: We reserve the right to update and/or alter these terms and conditions at any time, and it is your responsibility to be familiar with them. The latest Terms and Conditions can be found on the Discover France' website at: www.discoverfrance.com

Merger: This Agreement is the final, complete and exclusive statement of the parties' agreement on the matters contained in this Agreement. It supersedes all previous negotiations and agreements.

Applicable Law and Choice of Forum: This Agreement is governed by the laws of France. You agree that any dispute concerning, relating, or referring to this Agreement, tour brochures, or any other materials that concern my tour, or the tour itself -- whether such dispute arises in contract or in tort or otherwise -- shall be litigated and determined, if at all, exclusively before a court of competent jurisdiction in Nîmes , France.

  • An American driver's license is valid for Americans driving in France. Have another ID document with you like your passport.
  • Insurance is highly recommended, be sure you are set before you leave home.
  • The legal age to drive in France is 18.
  • Trucks – except with special authorization – are not allowed to drive on Sunday.
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times – children under 12 must sit in the backseat
  • Park your car only where it is authorized, fines arrive quickly! And cars are often towed away.
Car rental
The legal age to rent a car is 21– but most companies require being 25 years old.
See our links page for companies, and insurance options.

Gas
Taxes on gas are very high in France, which explains the price of the liter:
On the petrol pump Sans Plomb means unleaded petrol. Gas stations along highways are open 24 h / 7 days. French usually get gas at large stores like Carrefour, Leclerc, Casino, etc… You can go at any time, help yourself and use your credit card.

Types of roads
Interstate toll way / Motorway = A + the number of the road / 130km/h is the speed limit. This is also a toll road, you can pay tolls with a credit card; this is the fast way to travel, but is not cheap! Every 20 km you have restaurants, gas station, sometimes shops, restrooms… National road = N + number of the road / 90km/h. If you are not traveling too far or if you have plenty of time, then the more scenic and free way to go is on the National roads. A famous road in France is the National 7 / N7. There is even a song ? about that road sung by Charles TRENET! Department road = D + number of the road / 50km/h. Great for seeing the back country of France; very slow going. TOURIST OFFICES

There are many convenient locations within Paris:
  • Carrousel du Louvre: 99 Rue de Rivoli, 75001. Metro: Palais Royal / Louvre (1,7)
  • Montmartre: 21 Place du Tertre, 75018. Metro: Abbesses (12)
  • Gare du Nord: Metro / RER (B,D,4,5)
  • Tour Eiffel: Metro / RER: Champs de Mars / Tour Eiffel (C), Bir-Hakeim (6)
  • Gare de Lyon: Metro / RER (A,D,1,14)
  • Opera – Grands Magasins: 11 rue Scribe, 75009/ Metro: Opera (3,7,8) / RER: Auber (A)
Train Stations in Paris:
  • Gare du Nord: North of France, Belgium, Eurostar to London, UK
  • Gare de L'Est: Champagne, Alsace / Germany
  • Gare de Lyon: Southeast, Provence – Cote d'Azur / Italy
  • Gare Austerlitz: Loire Valley, Southwest France
  • Gare Montparnasse: Brittany, TGV to Loire and Southwest
  • Gare Saint Lazare: Normandy, western coast
More detailed travel information is available at the French Governement Tourist Office Website at www.franceguide.com
Tips to buy your train tickets in France:

We suggest that people either buy in advance or in country! What other choice is there? The way to think about it is like this:
If you have a very popular route on the TGV; we recommend advance purchases. Usually TGV tickets with specific seats cannot be purchased more than 60 days in advance. A TGV ticket is almost pointless without the actual seat. They are 2 different things! A ticket between Paris and Avignon, for example, might be valid on any train in a certain time frame, but doesn't entitle you to a seat on any train. You have to also buy a seat reservation.

We recommend advance tickets with seats for the city pairs:
  • Paris-Avignon/Aix/Marseille
  • Paris-Bordeaux/Tours/St Pierre des Corps
  • Paris Lyon
Rail Passes: usually a good deal when you travel on the TGV at least 3 times, but often still a good deal if you even use it only 2 times. See the France Rail Pass at Rail Europe. A new pass/ticket option being offered by Rail Europe is the Anywhere Anytime France program of E-tickets. This also looks to be a very useful option, depending your travel plans.

Buying in country, or if you are very confident, then buy online direct from SNCF, the French national railroad: www.voyages-sncf.com They have English language available, but you may have to go through the French language only site to make certain purchases. If a rail pass isn't the best deal for you , then perhaps you can get a 'PREMS' deal on SNCF directly.

Other tickets: TER and regional trains for 1 way or simple/short round trips. We believe it is almost always best to buy them through SNCF, usually by walking into any station or at a kiosk when in France. Unless you travel with a rail pass, then your pass is good on these trains too. But, we don't recommend buying point to point tickets on regional trains through Rail Europe. Shipping fees and even seat assignments add up to too much. NOTE: Regional trains do not require seat reservations, so don't pay for them. Just sit in any open seat in your ticket class of service.

First of Second Class? Look at the prices! Sometimes there is little difference. On the train, there are no added privileges like larger seats or massages , etc in 1st class. What you usually have is a wagon that tends to be a bit quieter with business travelers or adults without children.