You’ll feel as though you’ve stumbled straight into a serene impressionist masterpiece as you stroll across the quaint footbridges and water lily ponds of the Normandy gardens that inspired the work of Claude Monet.
You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the renowned artist’s home and the nearby Chateau Gaillard on this intimate small-group tour. In Paris, take in all the famous landmarks of the city of light from the back seat of an iconic convertible Citroen 2CV, and explore the rich creative history of bohemian Montematre and the colorful neighborhoods of the Left Bank. Imagine life aboard the super yachts moored in prestigious Deauville harbor; visit the 12th-century castle home of Richard the Lionheart; pay your respects to the World War II heroes who fell at Normandy’s famous landing beaches; fill your camera at the fairytale castles of the verdant Loire Valley; and stand in awe at the intricate 13th-century stained glass murals of Chartres Cathedral.
Traveling with a maximum of 16 guests, this small-group tour paints an intimate portrait of some of the most beautiful regions in France. Taste local cheese in a medieval square, sample world-class wine at sprawling vineyards and sip fine coffee as you watch all walks of Parisian life pass your table. From elegant art nouveau hotels to charming 16th-century townhouses, your distinctive accommodation has been carefully selected to reflect an authentic sense of time and place.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Paris in a private vehicle with a professional driver.
A welcome package with your vouchers, and itinerary, city map(s) and train tickets (where relevant) and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Steeped in history and packed full of world famous landmarks, seeing the city by open air double-decker bus is by far the best ways to see the capital. With this ticket, enjoy great views from the open top deck hop on and off bus, and see Paris in your own time, at your own pace. The ticket offers you the flexibility of L' Open Tour, valid on 4 different routes. The Paris Grand Tour takes you to the all the main sights, while the other 3 routes concentrate on particular areas (Montparnasse/St Germain tour, Montmartre/Grands Boulevards tour and Bastille/Bercy tour). (Includes transportation by coach, commentary by headphones on L' Open Tour buses). Please note that shared tours can have up to approx. 50 people (depending on the number of people that have signed up for the tour on the particular day, and are carried out in a number of languages).
The Elysees Ceramic (3*) hotel is situated in one of the huge avenues branching out from the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs Elysees is a mere 5 minute stroll away, and all kinds of public transport is close-at-hand. It is an exceptional Parisian house, with a unique "art nouveau" facade, sculpted in painted ceramic blocks. The architecture is indeed impressive. It is large in size, and very tastefully decorated in an authentic Parisian style. Wooden panels on the walls, flowery draped curtains and quality furniture give a touch of elegance to a cosy atmosphere. This 3-star first-class property is in an excellent location, where guests can find comfort, with a touch of luxury, and good services.
Discover Paris in a truly original and personalised manner aboard your very own 2CV. The 2CV, the quintessential symbol of the “French touch”, thanks to its convertible, soft top roof offers a magnificent panoramic view. You will be driven by a knowledgeable, English speaking chauffeur, and discover the most famous, beautiful and elegant monuments of Paris. The capacity of the 2CV vehicles is 3. If there are more in your group additional cars will be arranged so you can travel in convoy. (Includes hotel pick up and drop off in central Paris).
Enjoy the many wonders of Paris. Consider taking a stroll down one of the many quays by the river Seine, or wandering around any of the fascinating neighbourhoods such as Montematre, the Marais or the Left bank. Of course there are a plethora of museums and galleries to choose from if you are so inclined. Consider getting a 2 Day Paris Pass that includes a Paris Transport Travel card for 2 days (zone 1-3) to see all of the sites that are of personal interest to you. The Paris Pass is a smartcard offering free access to 65 attractions in Paris such as the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Orsay museum, Musee Rodin, commented cruise with Bateaux Parisiens and Pompidou museum. With this pass, you have access to 22 museums, 24 historical monuments, 15 art galleries, 3 tourist attractions, 1 cruise and special offers in shops and restaurants. Please contact your Sales Advisor if you would like more details.
Paris takes on a different hue at night and, with many of the magnificent buildings aglow which make it is possibly the best time to admire the beauty of the city. There are plenty of options to choose from for evening entertainment including an early evening wine tasting in a beautiful, airy Parisian loft of a French sommelier located close to the lively Marais district, a dinner cruise, a cabaret show, dinner in the Eiffel tower followed by a night-time cruise, or an evening tour of the city with many of the historical buildings aglow.
Meet your small group and guide at the Hotel Elysees Ceramic and depart for your Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley tour.
Departing Paris, your first stop this morning is the pretty garden and home of French Impressionist, Claude Monet, at Giverny in Normandy. Monet lived here from 1883 until his death in 1929. The gardens inspired many of his paintings including the famous Water Lilies and the Japanese Footbridge series. Explore Monet’s gardens and home before you make your way to Chateau Gaillard, for a photo stop. This 12th century medieval castle, perched high above Les Andelys, was once home to Richard the Lionheart. Admire the wonderful views overlooking the River Seine from the Castle then travel to the picturesque harbour of Honfleur, one of the best-preserved old ports in Normandy. Enjoy dinner together before you take a stroll around the old centre.
Hotel des Loges is a charming hotel situated in the heart of the town. The hotel offers 14 rooms in 3 typical fishermen houses dated from the 16th century. Enjoy a buffet breakfast made from local produces. All rooms are equipped with private bathroom with shower or bathtub, desk, telephone, LCD screen TV set with French and Foreign channels, hairdryer, minibar, free wireless.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
The day begins with a splendid scenic drive along the ‘Normandy Corniche’, offering spectacular views over the Normandy coastline. Renowned for its luxury resorts and attractive seafront towns you pass through Trouville and then the prestigious yachting harbour of Deauville, where you may wish to walk along the seaside boardwalk and visit the bustling port and market.
After lunch, you will pass through the charming harbour of Dives-sur-Mer, where William the Conqueror built the first part of his fleet in his attempt to invade England, before heading to Cabourg. In the 19th century Cabourg attracted the rich and famous seeking exquisite sandy beaches and an exciting atmosphere. Then drive inland to visit a manor house and estate, home to a local producer of cider and calvados, a popular local apple brandy. After a tour and an opportunity to sample these iconic Normandy products, return to Honfleur for an evening at leisure.
Depart for Bayeux and enjoy the coastal road of the Normandy Beaches, forever associated in our minds with World War II’s D-Day Landings. These beaches tell a remarkable story and it is here that you see first-hand where events of World War II unfolded. Cross Pegasus Bridge, a major tactical objective in the hours following Allied landings in Normandy, before heading to the Musée du Débarquement at Arromanches. Next is a cruise around the famous landing beaches of the area, including Omaha Beach. In the afternoon you will have time to visit the famous American War Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Your historic day concludes with a leisurely drive to Bayeux.
Discover this elegant 18th century townhouse in the city center with its spacious classic lounges, its guest rooms adorned with antique furniture and its lovely garden and friendly service. In this harmonious and enchanting setting, enjoy the good life and set out on foot to experience Normany and conquer Bayeux.
Today you have the opportunity to explore Bayeux at your leisure. This medieval town with its cobbled streets, many restaurants and museums is also home to the world famous Bayeux Tapestry which has been listed by UNESCO World Heritage. The old town has retained its Middle Age character, with the cathedral at its very heart, and the narrow streets invite the visitor to browse in the shops or to linger in the town’s many bistros. Imagine yourself sitting at one of the many sidewalk cafes with a glass of wine and a platter of regional cheese as you watch life go by.
This morning you travel across the Normandy countryside to Brittany. Today’s highlight is Mont St-Michel. Perched on a rocky islet this gothic style abbey was built between the 11th and 16th centuries and appears to rise from the surrounding waters. Continue on to Dinan, an attractive medieval town with fine old buildings, some dating back to the 13th century. You will spend this evening in Brittany where you will enjoy dinner together with your fellow travellers.
A unique site at the gate of the City Rennes. Situated on a small island on the river Vilaine, this old family mill became the hotel-restaurant "Le Germinal", a charming, quiet and stylish place mixing old-time and contemporary furnitures. The sophisticate cooking enhance the sea and local products and evolves with the seasons.
Today you travel to the verdant Loire Valley, renowned for its fairy-tale castles, historic villages and splendid food and wine. The first port of call is Angers, capital of the ancient province of Anjou, a pretty and friendly town with a lively and welcoming atmosphere. It is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France and foremost among its many notable attractions are the magnificent Cathedral and the imposing castle with its moat and soaring towers. And this afternoon you will call in at a vineyard to sample the local wines as you make your way to delightful Chinon.
The two star Hotel Diderot is like arriving at a friend’s house with the charm of an authentic dwelling-place built in the fifteenth century and modified in the eighteenth century. It's just a few hundred metres from the town centre, the medieval quarter and the chateau. Rest, and have sweet dreams in the soft light of the Val de Loire. And in the morning, try the home made jams for a delicious start to the day. In winter, breakfast is served in front of a roaring log fire. And on warm sunny days, it is served on the terrace in the shade of the banana and olive trees.
Today you travel to the imposing Chateau de Villandry, the last of the great chateaux of the Loire. Built during the Renaissance, the chateau’s glorious landscaped gardens are some of the finest in France, occupying over six hectares. Next you make your way to Chateau d’Usse which reputedly inspired the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ story. On your return to Chinon you will have plenty of time to further explore this lovely town and sample local delicacies.
Departing from Chinon you have the choice of two wonderful chateaux to visit this morning, the Chateau de Chenonceau with its exceptional museum and magnificent gardens; or the Chateau de Cheverny, owned by the same family for more than six centuries and surrounded by an English-style park consisting of magnificent giant redwoods and lime trees which planted between 1820 and 1860. Then on to your overnight stop, where you will enjoy a final dinner together with your group.
The hostellery of Bois Guibert is located in Bonneval, 10 kms of Châteaudun, in the heart of the department of the Eure and Loir. The hotel has 20 comfortable rooms, a gourmet restaurant and a privileged 18th century setting.
A fitting climax to your last day on tour is the celebrated cathedral of Chartres, incomparable anywhere in the world for its stained glass dating from the 13th century. Old Chartres’s picturesque streets evoke the bustling activity of a medieval town of merchants and craftsmen. Return to Paris this afternoon where your tour ends.
Your Small Group Tour ends this afternoon upon arrival at Hotel Elysees Ceramic at approximately 5.30pm. Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of France for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/france.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Paris. Government: Republic since 1792. Language: French is the official language. Many people speak at least some English. Religion: Approximately 83% Roman Catholic; Protestant 2%; Muslim 5% Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used. Telephone: Country code +33. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is excellent. Internet: Public access is available at Internet cafes in most cities.
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