Aiguille du Midi

The dramatic and spindly Aiguille du Midi mountain looms over the Chamonix valley, in some ways even more impressive looking than the ominous Mont Blanc, which sits farther away. In 1955, a cable car was built to connect the center of Chamonix town with the mountain peak and the gondola journey continues to be hugely popular with both skiers and non-sportif visitors.

A platform at the summit includes a café, viewing points and Step Into the Void, a glass-floor nook that extends over the expanse. The experience—not for the feint of heart—is thrilling and there can be long lines. Skiers planning to conquer the 23 km (14.3 miles) Vallée Blanche begin just below the Aiguille du Midi peak. Mountain climbers aiming to summit Mont Blanc also begin at this point. The Step Into the Void is open until August 8, at which point it will close for some renovations.

Aerial view of Aix-en-Provence in Provence, France - Courtesy of Atout France


The birthplace of Paul Cézanne, Aix is a stroller’s paradise thanks to its ornate facades, carved stone fountains and lively cafés that are perfect for people-watching and leisurely coffee breaks under the plane trees. Art aficionados should not miss two very special museums: The Atelier Cézanne has preserved everything as the master artist left it; you can even see the familiar porcelain crockery found in his still-lifes. The Musée Granet, meanwhile, hosts top temporary exhibitions and has a permanent collection of works by mostly French painters, spanning the 16th-20th centuries. For a guided tour, contact the Indagare Bookings Team.

Unknown image


The sophisticated town of Amboise on the banks of the Loire is famous for its grand castle.
Aerial shot of Arles, Provence, France - Photo by Daniel Philippe


Once a destination associated with haystacks, sunflower fields and Vincent Van Gogh, it has become one of Provence’s most charming, exciting cities. During the ferias —a celebration of the seasonal bullfights that take place around Easter and in September—held in the spectacular Roman amphitheater, the entire city comes alive: giant pans of fresh paella, cooked outside in the streets, are served in makeshift cafés in the squares, and even the shops are transformed into bars after closing time. If you’re interested in bullfighting, be sure to have an aperitif in the retro hotel bar of Hotel Nord-Pinus, which is decorated with lots of memorabilia. There are also several museums not to be missed in Arles, including the Musée Réattu for works by Leger, Dufy and Gauguin; the Musée d’Arles et de la Provence Antique for regional history and folklore; and Museon for local fashion and rural objet. For a guided tour, contact the Indagare Bookings Team.

Bulls in farms of Arles and Camargue, Provence, France - Photo by Pascal Goboval

Arles and Camargue

Take a walking tour through Arles following the footsteps of Van Gogh, visiting the Roman Amphitheater and seeing sites painted by Gaugin and the St. Trophime Church. You can stop at a famous Provencal antiques dealer and have lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant before driving to the haunting landscapes of the Camargue and a nature preserve.

Beautiful Landscape at Arromanches, Normandy, France


A few miles north of Bayeux sits the once-sleepy seaside town of Arromanches that became a base for the Allied Force’s British units virtually overnight. There are two museums describing this time and stunning views of what’s left of Churchill’s amazing feat of engineering at Sword Beach. Ask a local or concierge about tide times so you can be sure to see the remains of Mulberry Harbor, as it is also known when the water is low.

The first of two great spots to take in the view is just outside of the Musée du Débarquement, which provides a survey of the remains of the pre-fabricated harbor. Depending on the weather, the area can be either bathed in sunlight or spotted with the clouds of a coming storm, a beautiful setting for locals to walk their dogs. Stand outside of the 360 Museum to see a sweeping vista including the surrounding dramatic cliffs, farmland and countryside, the beautiful chateaus on the hill below and the little town leading into the harbor.

Arromanches-les-Bains 360 Museum

Inside nine buildings atop a hill overlooking Arromanches sits a circular theater with nine high definition movie screens. Visitors stand in the middle of the room and for 19 minutes are bombarded with the sounds and images of the 100-day long battle of Normandy. The name of the museum refers to both the 360-degree experience within the theater and to the fact that the footage came from every country involved in the Battle of Normandy, Germany included. The film is not narrated; instead the dramatic, sometimes startling sounds of battle and recordings of Hitler, President Eisenhower and other leaders do the talking. Seeing the presentation of these images this way gives an entirely new meaning to the photographs of troops landing at D-Day, and many of the other familiar images associated with WWII. The effect of this approach is powerful, to say the least, but potentially disturbing as well; it is not recommended for young children.

Enterior View-Atelier Cézanne , Provence, France

Atelier Cézanne

Paul Cézanne’s Lauves atelier is impeccably preserved and feels as though Cézanne might have just gone downstairs for stroll. There are all the familiar sights from his still-lifes: chairs, tables and palettes dabbed with vermillion, yellow ochre, emerald and ultramarine, plus a few overcoats hung on a peg. On the wooden shelf, you find an array of all the familiar porcelain crockery: everything from the ginger jar, blue carafe and the plaster cupid to the three skulls and Persian rug found in his still-lifes.

Editors' Picks
Aerial View-Avignon ,Provence, France-Photo by Daniel Phillipe


This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its magnificent Gothic Palace of the Popes (you can visit more than two dozen of the rooms) and its gorgeous mansions. Contact the Indagare Bookings Team for a guided tour.

looking up at sacre coeur white church in paris from green hill

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur

This triple-domed, snow-white Romano-Byzantine style church on a hilltop in Montmartre was commissioned as an act of contrition after the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). Construction began in 1875, and the basilica was completed in 1914, just in time for another dustup with the Germans. The rich mosaics inside are impressive, but the main reason to come here is for the views from the dome. Open daily. 

Editors' Picks
River in Paris with a bridge and an open boat

Bateaux les Vedettes du Pont-Neuf

Whether it’s your first or 40th visit to Paris, a cruise on the Seine is a delightful way to see the city with minimal effort. My favorite cruise line is the Vedettes du Pont-Neuf; it uses smaller boats and departs from a convenient mooring on the Île de la Cité.

Tip: Don’t bother with a dinner cruise; the food’s lousy and the service is rushed to squeeze the meal into the time allotted. If you really want a dinner cruise, contact our bookings team about a private boat to rent. 

Editors' Picks
Bayeux Notre Dame - Normandy, France

Bayeux Notre-Dame Cathedral

Bayeux boasts a grand cathedral for such a small city thanks to the Bishop of Bayeux, William the Conqueror’s brother, who had the budget and permission to put this town on the map. The cathedral sits in the heart of the city and feels a bit like a smaller version of Paris's Notre Dame. Visit in the early afternoon on a sunny day to see colorful shadows from the stained glass windows cast on the stone floor. The crypt underground is haunting and beautiful. As you approach the cathedral with your back to MAHB, look for the little school house that is precariously perched on the edge of one of the towers thousands of feet in the air.

Exterior veiw -  Beach Clubs  , r St. Tropez, France

Beach Clubs

The best way to pass a day in St. Tropez is at the private beach clubs, which line pretty Pampelonne beach, a short drive from town. While there are plenty to choose from, these are the ones to know on a first trip.

Classic: Club 55 When Roger Vadim shot And God Created Woman, he used Club 55 as a snack shack between takes. Though a genuine landmark presiding over a stretch of Pampelonne, it has remained a family business. The ever-gracious Patrice de Colmont keeps track of every reservation and knows his glittery clients’ favorite tables.

Party Scene: Nikki Beach It’s not for everyone, but those in search of endless Champagne and bass-thumping DJs should spend an afternoon lounging at Nikki.

Sophisticated: Club Les Palmiers Ramatuelle This beach club has a great, somewhat serene vibe, fostered by all-white parasols and lounge chairs, from which patrons can enjoy Niçoise salads, fish carpaccio and pasta.

Editors' Picks
Unknown image

Best Bike Tours

Île de Ré has more than 60 miles of bike paths crisscrossing the island, which is itself flat as a crêpe, making for ideal biking conditions.

Best Markets

During the summer months, all of Ré’s major villages have daily markets. Two of the most charming to visit are La Flotte and Le Bois Plage.
Aerial View-Boat Charters ,  France

Boat Charters

There’s no better way to see the South of France than from the water. Indagare works with a variety of boats, ranging from Fun Yaks (small boats that don’t require a permit) to skippered Riva Operas, majestic sailing vessels and luxury yachts for day use as well as longer charters. In addition to cruising to outlying islands and buzzing beach clubs, there is also excellent whale and dolphin watching. Boats are also a great way to avoid the legendary summer traffic; water taxis run between ports, both on a private as well as a “bateau bus” basis. Members can contact the Bookings Team for assistance with arrangements.

Editors' Picks
The garden at the Bourdelle Museum in Paris

Bourdelle Museum

Any visitors who love the Musée Rodin should also be aware that one of the master’s students, the amazing Antoine Bourdelle, has an atelier museum on the Left Bank as well. The location is more afield (in the shadow of the horrid Tour Montparnasse) but Musée Bourdelle occupies the sculptor’s former home and workshop, and his large-scale works in the gardens are incredible. Plus, there’s a vegetable-forward restaurant named after Bourdelle’s daughter Rhodia, with a terrace. It’s a perfect little find.

Unknown image

Bourgueil Vineyards

Just a few miles north of Chinon, the intimate Bourgueil vineyards boasts peaceful country roads and gorgeous vine-covered hills.
Exterior View-Caen ,Normandy, France


As home to one of France’s oldest universities, the poet François de Malherbe and the resting place of William the Conqueror, Caen is a Norman city with strong, fascinating roots. Its location relative to Paris and to many of the must-see sights in this part of Normandy makes it a great base for visitors. Seeing Caen’s historical buildings and churches, some dating back to the 14th century, makes their destruction in the 1944 Allied bombings all the more tragic. At the same time, however, it highlights the incredible sense of integration and continuity that ruled the reconstruction of Caen after the conclusion of WWII.

Exterior View - Caen Normandy Memorial Center for History and Peace,Normandy, France

Caen Normandy Memorial Center for History and Peace

The scope and breadth covered in this museum's permanent display, which explains the causes of WWII, are extremely thorough. The walk-through timeline includes first-hand interviews with survivors, newspaper clippings and other primary source materials that provide a thoughtful overview, some context and a good primer for visits to the nearby landing beaches and memorials.


Located on the outskirts of town, the Calvaire is the only religious trail in France to be listed as a European Sacred Mount and Historic Monument. Built between 1840 and 1878, the site consists of 15 chapels, 40 religious sculptures and 80 painted frescoes. Make it to the top of the trail for gorgeous view of the upper Arly Valley and the Mont-Blanc. Guided tours are available.

Cap Ferrat Diving

This diving school in Cap Ferrat offers group and private dives from a wooden fishing boat.

Exterior View  - Cap Moderne , French Riviera, France

Cap Moderne

Irish designer Eileen Gray’s restored Villa E.1027, a white concrete house on stilts, opened to the public for the first time in 2015. The structure, built in 1929, is furnished with one-off replicas of the designer’s most iconic furniture and some original features that evoke Gray’s visionary lifestyle.

Also on display are four newly restored murals plus a copy of an outdoor black-and-white fresco, all by Le Corbusier in 1938. The Swiss architect painted the works six years after Gray had split up with her lover, Badovici, and moved out to build a new house in Menton.

The two-hour guided tours (by advance reservation only) take visitors through the villa as well as two adjacent landmark buildings: Le Corbusier’s tiny vacation beach hut, Le Cabanon, as well as L’Etoile de Mer, a terrace café lined with Corbusier-painted walls. Future plans for the site include a visitor center, a library and a bookshop in an empty villa next door.

Getting There: Drive down the coast past Monaco, or take the local train to Roquebrune Cap-Martin (Cabbé), where you will find a ticket booth at the SCNF station. A guide can lead you down the narrow seaside custom’s footpath to this remarkable modernist architectural site overlooking the sea.

CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain

Bordeaux’s Contemporary Art Museum occupies a vaulted old warehouse, the Entrepot Laine. The massive stone rooms are a wonderful backdrop for the art, which includes pieces by Christian Boltanski, Daniel Buren, Gilbert & George, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelley, Richard Serra and Wolfgang Tillmans

The museum has several pieces by British artist Richard Long, including the long White Rock Line, recently restored, that runs through the courtyard and a series of photographs that preside over the Andrée Putman–designed Café at the top of the museum, a great spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch pre- or after a visit. Closed Monday.

Editors' Picks
Aerial View-Cassis ,Provence, France-Photo by Michel Angot


Drive to Cassis, a lovely seaside town eighteen miles east of Marseille (and about a forty-minute drive from Aix-en-Provence). Having miraculously resisted the cutesy-cum-chic gentrification of Provençal villages, Cassis has remained a friendly, unspoiled spot with crystalline coves, pebble beaches and windswept umbrella pines. The miniature port, a curve of pink, yellow-ochre and eggshell-blue houses and wooden fishing boats once attracted the likes of artists Matisse, Dufy, Derain and Vlaminck, and later Winston Churchill, who began to paint in Cassis.

Start the visit by having a dip at the Plage du Bestouan, a pretty cove with a pebble beach, or hop aboard one of the glass-bottomed boats at the port for a tour. No snooty private beaches with lounge chairs here—just flat smooth rocks for sunbathing, and the deafening thrum of cicadas in the pines overhead. Don’t miss a stroll down to the port, where fishermen haul in their fresh catches of the day—spiny crabs, baby squid, clams, prawns and sea urchins, sold on the quay. If you’re in the mood for a longer walk, Cassis is a hiker’s paradise thanks to its dazzling white coastal limestone cliffs (locally known as les calanques). Grab a map that details trails at the Tourist Office on Quai des Moulins. Contact the Indagare Bookings Team for a guided tour.

looking up at gothic towers of notre dame on gray sky day in paris

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Commissioned in 1160 by Bishop Maurice de Sully, Notre-Dame is one of the world’s most profoundly moving Christian cathedrals. After the restoration that was completed in 2002, the soft biscuit-color of the stone of the facade is visible again (it had been blackened by centuries of pollution), providing a chance to see it as people in medieval times did. The cathedral was built on holy ground—the site of a Gallo-Roman temple to Jupiter—and has evolved through the centuries. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, it received a heavy-handed restoration in the 1800s, giving the interior the look it has today (nearly all the stained glass dates to this overhaul with the notable exception of two of the famous Rose windows, which date back to the 13th century).

The exterior better expresses the cathedral’s original vocation, since the delicate stone filigree of its twin towers and above its doors could only have been accomplished in a trance of Christian piety. You may wonder if climbing the 422 steps in the north tower for a view of Paris (not to mention the long lines) is worth it…it is for the views and coming face-to-face with the church’s enormous bells en route. Indagare members can contact our Bookings Team to arrange visits with one of our preferred guides, including historians who specialize in education and are specially trained to engage children. Open daily. 

Please note that, following the fire in April 2019, the interiors of Notre-Dame are temporarily closed for renovations.

Editors' Picks
Lounge at Caumont Centre d’Art, Provence, France - Courtesy Sophie Lloyd

Caumont Centre d’Art

Set back in the Mazarine quarter, one block from the Cours Mirabeau, this new art museum is housed in a magnificently restored 18th-century hôtel particulier and garden. The institution features seasonal exhibits devoted to both ancient and modern art. Plans for the museum include two major annual shows, plus a year-round cultural program of lectures and films. After visiting the collection, visitors can linger for lunch, tea or cocktails at the garden terrace Café Caumont (33-04-42-20-70-01)


Indagare employees walking up stiars

Enjoy 30 Days On Us!

Start your Self Planner
membership trial today.

Unlock access to 2,000+ first-hand hotel reviews, 300+ Destination Guides and the most up-to-date travel news and inspiration.

Already a member?

Welcome back,
log in to Indagare

Not a member?

Forgot Password

Enter your email and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Type the first 3 letters to begin