A Connoisseur’s France

Together with author and lecturer Olivier Bernier, we invite our members to explore the artistic attractions and idyllic landscapes of France, the country where Olivier himself was raised. Along with behind-the-scenes site visits and fun group dining experiences, we will also enjoy access to Les Arts Florissants’ Spring Festival.

What to Expect

William Christie, an old friend and the celebrated leader of Les Arts Florissants, and Eleanor of Aquitaine are two names we seldom see together, but on this trip, their paths will cross. Beginning with Les Arts Florissants’ Spring Festival in the little-visited province of Vendée, just south of Brittany, we continue to the Abbey of Fontevraud, where Eleanor is buried in what was once part of her realm. From there we go to Saumur, on to the Loire, and we end in Versailles.

This trip is distinctive for its many highlights: great music in historic settings, William Christie’s amazing gardens and an 11th-century church; an equestrian demonstration by the famous Cadre Noir of Saumur; a private dinner at a ducal château; then visits to Chartres Cathedral and the private apartments of Louis XV at Versailles, which will be open for us alone.

As usual in France, the pleasures of gastronomy will be many and varied. There will be great seafood in the coastal area around Nantes, the famous Loire wines and a spectacular farewell lunch at the newest Alain Ducasse restaurant, Ore, in Versailles.

  • When
    April 5-14, 2018
  • Length
    10 days / 9 nights
  • Type of Traveler
    Art Lovers , Foodies , Intellectuals

This Journey's Host


Indagare is pleased to announce a new partnership with the renowned art historian Olivier Bernier. Opening Doors, a division of Insider Journeys, offers exclusive behind-the-scenes access and thrilling immersion in destinations where Olivier can share his unparalleled expertise, rich perspective and unique network through lectures, private receptions and more. Together, we will visit iconic monuments and museums, as well as private houses and collections open just for us.

Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Once-in-a-lifetime lectures by renowned art historian Olivier Bernier in his home country
  • Behind-the-scenes visits to lovely countryside towns like Thiré, Clisson, La Roche-sur-Yon and Saumur
  • Access to concerts at Les Arts Florissants' Spring Festival
  • A tour of William Christie's extraordinary gardens
  • An equestrian performance at the famed Cadre Noir
  • An overnight at the Abbey of Fontevraud, site of the tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • A pleasant cruise along the Loire in a small chartered barge
  • A private visit of the Louis XV and Louis XIV apartments at Versailles
  • Gourmet dining at some of France's most important and innovative restaurants, including the newest Alain Ducasse restaurant, Ore in Versailles

Trip Details

In preparation for the journey, members will also receive a comprehensive departure package that includes an itinerary, packing list, accommodations overview and other important information.

  • When
    April 5-14, 2018
  • Length
    10 days / 9 nights
  • Group Size
    Up to 25 travelers
  • Host
    Olivier Bernier
  • From


  • Lectures and on-site commentary by Olivier Bernier
  • All accommodations indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary: breakfasts, lunches and dinners (with wine) as noted
  • All activities indicated in the itinerary, including tickets
  • Private receptions and hospitality
  • Airport/hotel group flight transfers
  • Local taxes and gratuities


  • All airfare, airport taxes and personal transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Additional meals and alcohol
  • Liability for change in itinerary due to reasons beyond our control (change in flights, cancellations, political disturbances, natural phenomena)
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone calls, shopping, etc.)
  • Optional activities
Curious to receive the full itinerary and join the trip? Contact us and find out more.

What To Read

Indagare has selected the articles from our website and magazine to prepare you for your journey. Peruse inspiring slideshows, insider tips, reading lists and more.

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