This All-female Travel Company Wants to Show Tourists a Different Side of France on Its Latest Tour
Wild Terrains, a travel company curating trips for women that feature only female-owned businesses, is heading to France — and climbing the Eiffel Tower isn't on the itinerary.
"France felt like a travel destination that desperately needed a fresh perspective," the company's founder, Lauren Bates, exclusively told Travel + Leisure of Wild Terrains' newest offering. "We're recentering the story on the women who are making France such an interesting place to visit today."
And while an elevator ride up the famed monument and a day trip to Versailles may be staples of a French getaway, this 10-day itinerary will be putting a different spin on a typical tourist trip — made clear with its online description: "This is not your travel agent's trip to France." (And with Bates reiterating to T+L, "There's so much more to the country than the Eiffel Tower and croissants. It's not 'Emily in Paris.'")
Wild Terrains' trip will stop in Paris, Provence, and Côte d'Azur, and will include uplifting conversations with fashion and beauty entrepreneurs, private art tours, private dinners by female chefs, a jam-making class with entrepreneurs behind Paris' famed Confiture Parisienne, a day spent sailing along the French Riviera, and more.
Making a point to showcase the country's immigrant population, Bates curated the trip's itinerary to include partners from Cameroon, Iran, and India who now call France home. For instance, guests will meet Jacqueline Ngo Mpii, the founder of Little Africa Paris — an organization that promotes art and culture of Africa — and learn about how African textiles can be found in French fashion.
"It's going to be really fascinating to truly understand," Bates said.
All accomodations — the Hotel Le Ballu in Paris, Château Fonscolombe in Provence, and L'Escale du Ciel in Côte d'Azur — are also female-owned.
As for heading out in a world where travelers are still navigating the guidelines and protocols brought on by COVID-19, travelers to France are required to be fully vaccinated upon entry, which Bates referred to as an extra layer of safety.
"Obviously, everyone has their own risk tolerance and everyone has different factors that they have to think through for their own life, but I think this is going to be such an amazing space for women to feel reconnected to each other," Bates said. "We've all been so isolated the last year and a half, I think it's important to have the time to be together."