may 19 - may 27, 2023
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welcome to paris
On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, you have one group transfer from the airport to your hotel. After checking in, the capital’s grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Rouen, Honﬂeur and Bayeux
Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets beneath the Great Clock to the Old Market Square. Here, a superb modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc on this very spot in 1431. Continue to the charming ﬁshing town of Honﬂeur and to your luxurious hotel, located in Bayeux.
Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings
Follow the route of the Rangers and visit the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Then with a Local Expert, spend a few reﬂective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent, near Omaha Beach. Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artiﬁcial port in the bay or alternatively. This evening you are treated to a delightful dinner at your hotel, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and delicious wines.
Journey through Bocage country and explore the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. The abbey stands on an island and is reached by a causeway across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defenses huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes and hotels. Continue along the Emerald Coast to stunning Saint-Malo, situated on the Rance Estuary and one of the most charming places in France. A Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the City of the Corsairs. Walk through the maze of streets of Intra Muros, the walled city, to the cathedral, the burial place of Jacques Cartier and other celebrated voyagers. Then head to your hotel in Dinard. This evening you may wish to join an Optional Experience to Cancale, known throughout France of its oyster beds, for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other Breton specialties?
Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings
Begin today with a stop at the Church of Sainte-Mere- Eglise, to learn about the paratrooper, John Steele, who is still suspended from the steeple and visit the nearby Airborne Museum. Then continue to the Utah Beach Landing Museum where you will see innovative equipment frozen in time and explore the surrounding monuments. Then return to Bayeux and visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. The rest of the day is yours at leisure.
Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo - Dinard
Journey to the fairy-tale Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restoration, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley.
Return to your own superb château for relaxation and free time. At night, your Celebration Dinner starts with a glass of local sparkling wine and continues with excellent service and delicious Farm-to-Table dishes in the most wholesome setting, ensuring the memory of your meal will linger long after you've returned home.
Villandry Experience - Loire Valley
Head south to follow the valley of the Loire, passing the moated Angers Castle. Cross the Loire to Saumur, where a local vintner will guide you through tastings of the region's delicious wines. Head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious gardens. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens – a stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings.
Scenic Drive Along the Loire Valley
La Beauce and Chartres to Paris, City of Light
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Traveling through the vast wheat ﬁelds of Beauce region, Chartres Cathedral looms large on the horizon. Auguste Rodin called it the 'Acropolis of France,' and once inside you can marvel at the beautiful stained-glass rose window, which ﬂoods the cathedral with color and light. From here, return to the French capital, where your Travel Director introduces you to all the fabulous sights, including the magniﬁcent Notre Dame Cathedral and the immense facades of the Louvre. Behold the vast Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood, then travel down the Champs Élysées to Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe. After dark, the City of Light really lives up to its name, when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour, don't miss the chance to experience one of the world-famous cabaret shows.
Au Revoir Paris
After breakfast you have one group transfer to the Charles de Gaulle Airport.