Sojourner Tours

A boutique tour company specialized in gastronomic sojourns in France. Go beyond the typical tourist trip: immerse yourself in French culture and discover authentic places loved by the French.

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Book early. SPACE IS ALWAYS LIMITED.

Groups are kept to eight guests so you can visit authentic places, stay in charming boutique hotels and eat in the real restaurants where locals dine. 

   PARIS SOJOURN For Graduates

(9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS)

2018*PRICE $3321 *pay by cash or check and save $159

Dates June 30-July 8

 

*Prices are based on a single shared room: larger families will need to contact us for prices as rooms only accommodate up to four people. Price does not include airfare or transportation to the hotel, three dinners or "add-ons" noted in the itinerary below.

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Graduation is an incredibly exciting  rite of passage that deserves to be celebrated with an unforgettable trip. How many more trips will you get to take together? This one might be particularly precious: it calls for something truly epic.  A special trip that mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, grandparents, and special friends will treasure for the rest of their lives, something people dream of doing....

A sojourn in Paris makes for that lifetime of treasured memories.

In celebration of this monumental occasion, Sojourner Tours offers our longest Paris sojourn. You get two extra days in the "city of light" which makes the Graduates Sojourn one of our best values.

Paris Cafes

For parents who have been to Paris before, there is a whole new side to the city that you will discover while sojourning there with your graduates. This sojourn brings together some of the perennial favorites that are "must sees" including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre and Notre Dame Cathedral along with places that are currently hip with the locals  and some special Sojourner Tours "finds". Free time is available most afternoons so you'll also have the flexibility to personalize your adventure: the choice is yours, whether that means hitting the stores, visiting the museum of a favorite artist or simply strolling and taking in the famous cafe life. SPECIAL BONUS: In 2018 this tour includes the "First Sunday" of the month when many of Paris's museums are free to the public. 

Family tours like this one are also designed with economy in mind and include opportunities to splurge. You'll notice that there are several "add on" options over the course of the week and for dinner you choose exactly where and when you want to eat and if you want to treat yourselves to something special or get something simple.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE FULL ITINERARY

 

SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

Family Paris Tour: the Eiffel Tower

 

  • A Dinner Cruise on the Seine to see the city alight at night
  • A visit to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa
  • Rooftops views of Paris from atop Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur.
  •  Unusual museums 
  • Food Markets 
  • The famous Antique Market

YOUR GUIDE

You will be traveling with Lisa Gustavson (the owner, founder and CEO of Sojourner Tours).

 

CLICK HERE to read more about  the path that led Lisa to start Sojourner Tours.

CLICK HERE to learn more about your guide.

It is unbelievable to me now that I am so in love with the city but... I didn’t like Paris the first time I visited. I didn’t really like it the second time either. I was just another tourist doing touristy things.

Then I started spending every summer in the city with my children and the real Paris unveiled itself to me. I was immersed in the local culture, and I got in sync with the local rhythm. I was going where the locals go and eating where they do too. I was visiting little esoteric museums. I was shopping in specialty boutiques and outdoor markets. I found the grungier streets and neighborhoods where the hip locals and artists hang out. The city seduced me and I fell deeply and rapturously in love.

That is what Sojourner Tours is about: I want to open doors for you so you can go beyond the typical tourist trip, taste the local culture, and... I dare you to not fall in love with Paris too! 
— Lisa (Sojourner Tours Founder, Owner & Guide)

A FAMILY PARIS SOJOURN

Saturday:

Arrive in Paris, "The Center of the Universe"

Family Paris Tour

EVENING:  You can settle into your room in the centrally located hotel where you'll be staying with the other tour participants. While other guests are still arriving, you can start to explore Paris on your own or relax at the hotel. You'll want to get a good night's sleep: your tour begins in the morning!

 


"FIRST SUNDAY"

A Museum-Lover's Day

THE QUIRKY-SIDE OF THE CITY: THE UPPER MARAIS DISTRICT

 Light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking.

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

The first Sunday of the month is a wonderful day when many museums wave their entrance fees, so we've added it on to your sojourn as a bonus day. You can choose to explore on your own (we recommend the Musee d'Orsay or the Musee Quai Branly) or go on a guided tour of museums hand selected by your guide to include a collection of her favorite museums within walking distance of each other. 

Family Paris Tour The Pompidou Center
Sojourner Tours Visit to the Museum of Hunting and Nature, Paris
Sojourner Tours Visit to Picasso Museum
Paris Family Tour the Marais

Guided Tour: Beaubourg & Montorgueil

You’ll start the morning in the upper Marais visiting some of the city’s quirkier museums.  You’ll be able to choose to visit the Picasso Museum at your own pace or visit the surprisingly delightful Museum of Hunting and Nature with your guide and then meet back up with the group to head to a covered market for lunch. After lunch you’ll take a quick peek in a Church that houses an exhibit of early 20th century airplanes and automobiles. Then you’ll stroll along a lively permanent market street where you’ll pop in Paris’s oldest pastry boutique that is still making desserts using recipes once served at the Versailles Palace.  Next, it’s over to one of the most controversial modern architectural constructions in Paris, the Centre Georges Pompidou which houses an extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art.  You’ll explore the museum at your own pace because you have the rest of the afternoon free.

OPTION (OPPORTUNITY TO SPLURGE): Let us know in advance if you'd like to add on dinner in the fancy museum restaurant "George" with it's panoramic views over the city. We'll make reservations for you to dine on your own. It is a bit pricey but the view is worth it. The museum is open exceptionally late on Sundays so you can enjoy the exhibits late and have a leisurely dinner, lingering to see the sun set over the rooftops (which happens around 10pm in Paris in July).

 

 

 


MONDAY:

Discovering "The Center of the Universe"

NOTRE DAME & THE LOWER MARAIS  

 Light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking.

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

Notre Dame & the Lower Marais

This outing combines some of the most famous sights of the capital with charming walks and sweeping views along the two islands of Ile de la Cité and Ile Saint-Louis that form the historical and geographical epicenter of Paris.

Long before there was a nation called France, and well before the Roman invasion, there was Gaul. Gaul was populated by various Celtic tribes, including the city’s namesake: the Parisii who inhabited the Ile de la Cité.

In this vicinity it is possible to take a whirlwind tour of more than twelve centuries of early French history starting from one of Paris’ most famous attractions: the Notre Dame Cathedral where visitors will also gain insight into one of the most popular French jokes, that “Paris is the center of the universe” when they compete to see who is the first to find the Point Zéro from which all distances in France are measured.

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Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours
Visiting Notre Dame iwth Sojourner Tours in Paris
Visiting Notre Dame with Sojourner Tours in Paris

Then you'll visit the lower part of the "Bohemian Bourgeois"district where you were the previous day. Built on reclaimed swampland (hence the name “marais”, French for swamp), this eclectic area bustling with sightseers, shoppers and locals is the best place to experience what a refined area of Paris would have felt like before the French Revolution. Here you will find delightful narrow streets lined with beautifully preserved 17th-Century aristocratic palaces, elegant boutiques, and exquisite little museums. Your guide will share some of the neighborhood secrets with you that most tourists never see including some medieval wood-frame buildings which are the oldest structures in the city, ducking though overlooked doorways and alleys into secluded courtyards and squares, as well as visits to museums including Victor Hugo's home.  After a laid back late lunch of street food that captures the ethnic spirit of the neighborhood, you will have the afternoon free to continue exploring on your own.


TUESDAY:

THE LOUVRE & CHIC SHOPPING 

 Light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking.

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

You’ll spend the morning taking in the Mona-Lisa and other highlights of the world-famous Louvre. Later you will  stroll along some nearby local secret spots. The owners of Sojourner Tours rented an apartment here one year and your guide is eager to show you her favorite places which are the early 19th century predecessor to department stores and shopping malls called the Passages Couverts. The inconspicuous entrances to these shopping arcades often go overlooked by tourists (and Parisians!), so you’ll feel like you are slipping into a network of secret passages. From refined mosaic floored paths protected by elegant glass canopies to an unpretentious corridors bursting with shops, each passage has its own unique character.

Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours
Paris Family Tour Printemps
Family Paris Tour The Louvre: Mona Lisa
Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours

The rest of your day will be devoted to the 19th and 20th century, and particularly the luxury industry, which helped France forge its reputation for refinement. One of the highlights of the day is a stunning example of architecture from the period of Napoleon III’s Second Empire: the Opéra Garnier, an opera house so sumptuous that the French refer to it as a palace. You’ll enjoy the spectacular Art Nouveau architectural features and sweeping rooftop views in two of the oldest and finest French department stores. Then you’ll have some free time to shop there or explore the shops around the Neo-classical Madeleine Church, including some of France’s most legendary luxury food boutiques. 

OPTION (OPPORTUNITY TO SPLURGE): If you'd like to take a guided tour of the opera house during your free time, let us know in advance and we'll make the arrangements.


WEDNESDAY:

A DAY AT THE EIFFEL TOWER

 Light physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking.

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours: the Eiffel Tower
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Eiffel Tower

You’ll begin your morning shopping for the day’s picnic lunch and souvenirs at a weekly traditional open air market located near the Eiffel Tower, the presence of which the vast majority of its visitors ignore. You’ll have lunch at the foot of Eiffel’s masterpiece to really enjoy the monument. Then you'll be free in the afternoon to either ascend the tower or  enjoying it from various attractions, much like turn of the 20th century World Fair visitors would have done. The World Fair exhibits have been replaced by some excellent museums and a large antique market.


THURSDAY:

MONTMARTRE

Physical challenge: 2-3 miles of city walking

Recommended clothing: “dressy casual”

Once known for its long gone windmills, today Montmartre is mainly famous for the artists who worked or lived here from the late 19th through early 20th century (including Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Matisse, Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Modigliani…). Unfortunately, Montmartre is a victim of its own success. Now fully integrated into Paris, the cobblestoned streets of this old hilltop village are swarming with tourists and dotted with souvenir shops that virtually spoil its charm. However, you will visit the main sights during slow hours and slip away from the crowds to the secluded spots where Parisian families enjoy the pleasure of the area’s authentic original atmosphere. You’ll zigzag in and out of the tourist areas to discover the knoll’s finest spots while avoiding the biggest tourist traps.Fans of the film Amélie will be enchanted by the steep cobblestone labyrinth of narrow café-laden streets. Your day will include shopping at some specialty boutiques including one of France’s finest pastry shops for tomorrow night's picnic dinner. The owners of Sojourner Tours once lived here, so you’ll get a real peek at the Parisian life in this area. You'll have free time in the afternoon to continue to explore Montmartre and its shops or wind your way down to Pigalle, the red light district where you will see the famous Moulin Rouge.  

 
Paris Family Tour Sacre Coeur
Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours: Sacre Coeur, Montmartre

FRIDAY:

TRENDY URBAN HIP-HOP OASIS

Oberkampf & Canal Saint -Martin: 19e

Heavy physical challenge: 3-6 miles of city walking on  steep hilly terrain.

Recommended clothing: “hip hop”

Today you will discover a side of Paris that  few tourists get to experience. You'll have the morning free and start the tour after lunch today. Paris’s contemporary art scene is nestled in the former industrial neighborhoods of the city’s north east corner. This is a gritty part of the city that your guide positively loves and her affection for this lower class part of town is contagious. You'll discover the bar and restaurant lined street of Oberkampf that Paris's hipsters frequent. You’ll be enthralled by the hip-hop art scene and the edgy urban revival that is unique to the area. You’ll stroll through the rolling emerald hills of the Romantic “English” garden Buttes-Chaumont Park, a favorite picnic spot for locals thanks to its lush scenery and unusual views of the city. You’ll visit the top artist venues where you might get a peek at some spontaneous local music, graffiti and break dancing in renovated former factories and slaughterhouses. You’ll also stroll around the cobblestone banks of the canal and take in the relaxed summer atmosphere. Your evening will end by the canal where you may choose to stay and picnic or eat in on a local bar terrace to take in the local night life. You might also opt to hop in the metro to go one stop back to the Oberkampf district to take in the night life there.

Hip Paris with Sojourner Tours
Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours
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Visiting Paris with Sojourner Tours

SATURDAY:

ANTIQUE & FLEA MARKETS

St Ouen-Clignancourt

As another bonus on this sojourn, you have a special Saturday treat. Every week-end, a collection of fifteen markets with about 3,000 venders comes to life on the northern outskirts of Paris in St. Ouen.  The stalls range from vintage shops to refined antique boutiques. After a guided introduction to the area, you’ll have free time to explore, shop or enjoy a coffee at your own pace. You’ll enjoy lunch in a hipster-design restaurant.  In the afternoon, you can continue to browse in the markets on your own or take a stroll through the city of St. Ouen.

You will end the day with an elegant evening dinner cruise on the Seine a truly celebratory meal to mark the end of this commemorative sojourn with style. 

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SUNDAY:

Family Paris Tour

Breakfast at the hotel.

Departure.   “Bon Voyage!”

SOJOURNERS: AT HOME IN THE WORLD