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The best shore excursions for France ports

View of the port of Villefranche-sur-Mer in southern France

Taking a shore excursion with your cruise line is a great way to explore France. On port days, you’ll have plenty of time to explore and a shore excursion means you’ll not only be able to discover some of France’s most scenic towns, historic cities including Paris, castles and vineyards, but these excursions offer a more detailed, in-depth look into the history and culture of France.

Ophorus, a family run, France based company, are experts in shore excursions in France. They’ve been operating from all major ports for nearly twenty years and their ethos is all about revealing the France they know – authentic, colourful and friendly. Their shore excursions include pick up and drop off services from your cruise ship. Group tours are generally up to 7 people (but can be more on request) and their local guides, all fluent English speakers, really know their areas, which means you’ll get to see and discover much more of France but with the safety of knowing they’ll get you back to your ship in good time.

You’ll be transported by premium vehicles to enjoy half day and full day excursions so you explore the very best sites and attractions that France has to offer.

Shore Excursions French Riviera

Colourful houses with bright shutters and vibrant flowers St Paul-de-Vence

For those whose ships call in at the French Riviera Ports of Nice, Cannes, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes and swanky Saint-Tropez, a feast of shore excursions will carry you to the most exquisite parts of the French Riviera.

Visit exquisite Eze, magnificent Monaco and Monte Carlo. People watch in Port Grimaud and Saint Tropez. Visit a market with a chef in Nice and take a cookery class. Relax in your comfy vehicle and take a wine tour, walk in the footsteps of Matisse and Picasso in St Paul de Vence,  explore the breath-taking cities of Cannes and Antibes or discover picturesque villages in the hills above the French Riviera. Find out more at: ophorus.com/FrenchRivieraShoreExursions

Shore Excursions : Normandy

Cobbled street in Honfleur, Normandy

In Normandy, Ophorus shore excursions run from the ports of Honfleur, Le Havre, Rouen and Cherbourg to the very best of Normandy:

Tours take in Mont-Saint-Michel, a breath-taking medieval town on an island topped by an ancient abbey that is one of the wonders of the world. Visit the emotive D-Day landing beaches. Explore Claude Monet’s house and gorgeous garden at Giverny. And discover the postcard-perfect village of Honfleur. Plus tours of Paris and the magnificent palace of Versailles are available from all ports (excluding Cherbourg).

Find out more at ophorus.com/NormandyShoreExcursions

Shore Excursions Atlantic Coast

View of the city of Bordeaux with its turreted medieval gate

Ophorus shore excursions run from several ports on the Atlantic coast.

From Bordeaux a whopping 52 tours are available including walking tours of this elegant  city which thanks to its stunning architecture has the most extensive urban environment in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Tour Saint-Emilion world famous for its wines, enjoy a picnic at a chateau winery, visit captivating Cognac, get a taste of Dordogne, dip your toes in the sand at Arcachon Bay and be wowed by Europe’s tallest dunes at Pilat or  go cheese and wine tasting.

Vineyards surrounding the hill top village of Saint Emilion, Bordeaux

Also on the menu for trips from the Atlantic Coast ports are tours of the famous wine producing Medoc area. Don’t miss medieval Dinan which looks pretty enough to go on the lid of a chocolate box. Plus you can also visit the majestic chateaux of the Loire Valley. From La Rochelle take an oyster tasting of visit the Green Venice of southwest France. From Brest visit the picturesque port of Concarneau, pottery producing Quimper and Locronan one of the prettiest villages in France. Or take a crepe workshop and go home with new skills! And from Saint Malo, you can also visit Brittany, the Normandy D-Day Beaches and Mont-Sain-Michel. Find out more at ophorus.comAtlanticCoastShoreExcursions

Shore excursions from Mediterranean Ports

Palace of the Popes, Avignon

From the popular ports on the Mediterranean Sea, Ophorus will transport you to Provence’s finest destinations. Explore Aix-en-Provence, Avignon the City of the Popes and follow in Van Gogh’s footsteps in Arles. Fall head over heels for St-Remy-de-Provence and Les Baux-de-Provence. Head to the gorgeous Luberon villages and take a wine tour. Or visit the market at Sanary-sur-Mer, voted favourite market of the French. There are also tours to Cassis, Le Castellet, Marseille city and wine tours.

From Sète and Port-Vendres you can also explore Languedoc. Known as the ‘other’ south of France there are wonderful vineyards and glorious countryside. Tour must sees include the incredible citadel of Carcassonne and pretty Collioure which has lured artists for centuries, drawn to its seaside beauty. There are many more exquisite destinations on these tours – find out more at ophorus.com/MediterraneanShoreExcursions

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