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France is a county of culture, history and sophistication; with beautiful countryside, Alpine villages, Mediterranean beaches and cosmopolitan cities. France is much-loved for its fashion, art, food and wine but to discover the very best of these, the luxury traveller is advised to seek a little guidance! Enter the exclusive assistance of Rachel Kaplan, President of French Links Tours and author of the ‘Best Buys to French Chic: The Insider’s Shopping Guide to Paris.’

Rachel has been organising unique, customised shopping tours, food and wine experiences and historical and cultural excursions for the discerning customer since 2002. This year sees the addition of other destinations including Italy and the United Kingdom so you don’t even have to be limited to France. Read on for an insight into some examples of our favourite French Links Tours…

Made in France

There’s nothing in the world quite like Paris when it comes to shopping. This unique tour is a tailored shopping program that starts by taking the time to discover your taste and lifestyle so the end result is perfectly you. You then have the opportunity to be introduced to an exclusive tailor who will design and create custom-made clothing for you. Choose from over 150 fine French and Italian fabrics, as well as linens and leathers, to create your own personal piece that you can guarantee will be a one-off. This is perfect for an event or occasion when you need to make sure that no one else will be wearing the same item as you, or just because your wardrobe needs a seasonal refresh and you’re tired of mass-produced designs and poor craftsmanship. You can add accessories and other clothing items to your order too. Enter an altogether more chic and stylish version of yourself; it’s the Parisian way of course!

Behind the Scenes at the Eiffel Tower

Every first-time visitor to Paris falls a little bit in love with the Eiffel Tower. For regular visitors or even Parisians, it’s really special to get that feeling of your first visit all over again. This is the experience you get on this tour; visit parts of the Eiffel Tower which are traditionally closed to the general public – discover the underground bunker used in the war, visit the machinery room that operates the Tower’s elevators and stand on the roof of the Jules Verne restaurant for a view that you just don’t get on those usual Eiffel Tower visits. This tour is run by a trained actor who makes it extra-entertaining; it’s a tour you’ll never forget.

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Secrets of Paris Tour

Throw away those guidebooks and get the insider’s view of Paris. Meander covered passages, admire rooftop vegetable gardens and discover hidden vineyards. The tour takes you to some real gems including the food district where the top Parisian chefs buy their supplies, the Gallo-Roman arena where the gladiators once fought in mock naval battles and the largest cinema museum in the world with stunning costumes from the glory days of Hollywood. You’ll never see Paris in quite the same light and will really feel that you’ve been given a special behind-the-scenes glimpse of the magic of the city.

A Food and Wine Lovers Tour

One of my favourite things about visiting France has to be the cuisine and, of course, the ultimate accompaniment to any meal; wine. These tours are a must for food and wine lovers and highlight the very best French food and French wine; select different opportunities depending on which region of France you are visiting. Shop for your meal in a Parisian market and then prepare the food for your very first French home-cooked meal. There’s a fabulous class which gives you the chance to pair wines and cheese of five different regions of France. Take a daytrip to Bordeaux on the TGV to discover the wine museum at Cité du Vin and France’s wine town; the World Heritage site of St. Emilion. A discovery tour in Provence lets you discover how olive oil and goats cheese are produced, or taste the remarkable grand crus and table wines at Châteauneuf du Pape. Just make sure you bring your appetite!

Having Versailles All To Yourself

It has to be the absolute dream time to visit a popular tourist location; when it’s closed! You get the entire place to yourself, there are no lines, no waiting around and the space to fully appreciate the beauty. Versailles is closed on Mondays and in the evening and so this is when this tour takes place! Experience the château estate in a way that even Louis XIV would have envied. All the classic highlights are included; Hall of Mirrors, the State Apartments, the Domain of Marie Antoinette and the Petit Trianon. You can even visit the private apartments of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI in the main château for a truly intimate view of their lives.

French Links Tours

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