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La Belle France: Back Roads Experience: Paris to Paris

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,973

Explore the intriguing provinces of Normandy and Brittany while enjoying splendid medieval towns and cities, magnificent chateaux, ancient monasteries and abbeys; sample excellent wines and local cider and appreciate fine food. Also experience major highlights – Mont St. Michel, The Normandy Beaches and the Bayeux Tapestries.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader.

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Travel from Paris to Honfleur through the Normandy countryside stopping en route first at Giverny, the former home of the impressionist painter Monet with its attractive garden and where his “Water Lilies” were painted and after, at the Abbey of St. Wandrille de Fontenelle constructed in the 7th Century. Honfleur is very well preserved picturesque port and where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

The next morning, travel along the coast visiting the sophisticated resorts of Trouville and Deauville after which head inland along the Route du Cidre. This road traverses through narrow lanes where the apples are grown to produce cider. Arrive at the village of Beuvron-en-Auge, one of the prettiest in France with its medieval houses. You will have the opportunity today to sample the local cider and Calvados, Brittany’s “brandy”. Return later to Honfleur.

The following day brings you to the iconic Normandy Beaches made famous during World War Two with the D-Day landings in 1944. The beaches to be visited include Utah, Omaha, Gold and Juno Beaches. There will also be a visit to the American War Cemetery at Colleville-sur.Mer. Continue to the city of Bayeux for 2 nights’ accommodation.

The next day brings you the famous Bayeux Tapestries which depict the Norman Conquest of England. The amazing tapestry is 68 metres/220 feet in length with 58 action-packed scenes of pageantry and mayhem. Included is a depiction of the Battle of Hastings. There is also time to browse the medieval cobblestone streets of Bayeux.

The following day you enter Brittany with first, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont St. Michel perched high on a rocky promontory reached by crossing a sandbank. On the island is a gothic styled Benedictine abbey dating back to the 11th Century. Next is a visit to the extraordinarily attractive medieval town of Dinan with its ramparts, cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. Take time to wander the narrow streets complete with art galleries and craft shops. Also make sure to visit the beautiful Place des Merciers in the heart of Dinan. Overnight in Dinan.

The Loire Valley is the next stop with its fairy-tale castles and excellent food and wine. Arrive in Angers considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in France with its moated castle and other treasures. Continue to Chinon, a delightful medieval town on the Vienne River. It boasts many vineyards plus a majestic fortress. Spend 2 nights here.

Now is the time to explore the heart of the Loire Valley visiting Chateau de Villandry, a very large and imposing chateau with attractive landscaped gardens. which was built during the Renaissance period. Returning to Chinon, there will be the opportunity to sample some of the Loire Valley wines.

The following morning brings a visit to Chateau de Chenonceau, one of the most famous chateaux with its museum and exceptional gardens. Tonight you will experience a stay at a chateau, probably Chateau de la Bourdaisiere where you will not only have dinner prepared by the chateau’s chef but will help to prepare it.

Your final day is devoted to a visit to the city of Chartres, home of the renowned cathedral with its famous stained glass windows dating back to the 13th Century. Later, return to Paris.

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Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,973

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Paris - Honfleur

Your first impressions of France will be formed in Giverny, Normandy, at the home of Claude Monet, one of the world's most celebrated artists. The vivid colours in every room paint a picture of his life and the gardens outside are brimming with flowers in every shade. Your home for the next two nights is the charming port town of Honfleur, which you may recognise as the subject of a fair few Impressionist paintings.

Meal Plan Dinner
Day 2

Honfleur - Normandy - Honfleur

Today you'll take a wander past Honfleur's historic buildings and 17th-century harbour on a walking tour before tracking the Route du Cidre towards Beuvron-en-Auge, voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. Here, you'll pause to taste the fruits of the region's orchards -- from cool, crisp ciders to heady, amber-hued calvados -- making for a delicious end to your day.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Honfleur - Normandy Beaches - Bayeux

Today you turn your attention to the windswept shoreline of the Normandy beaches, where you'll visit the sites of the D-Day landings of 1944. Afterwards, there's the opportunity to pay a poignant visit to the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. This afternoon you'll move on to charming Bayeux, where a walking tour awaits.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Bayeux - Le Mont Saint Michel - Dinan

This morning you'll drive on to the enchanting Mont Saint-Michel, crossing the tidal causeway to wander the buzzing island village. On the way to Dinan, you'll stop off for photos at Dol-de-Bretagne, where you'll see the famous Menhir de Champ-Dolent.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Dinan

With a whole day to yourself in Dinan, you can really get under the skin of this quaint medievil town.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Dinan - Angers - Chinon

You're deep in fairytale territory as you travel towards the Loire Valley today. Here, the landscape's skyline is peppered with the turrets of castles. The first port of call is Angers which was once the medieval stronghold of the Plantagenet kings. Later, you'll move on to Chinon, where dinner at a local restaurant awaits.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7

Chinon - Chateau De Villandry - Chinon

Your first château of the tour is the Château de Villandry, which is especially famous for its impeccable gardens. Taking in so much beauty is thirsty work, so on the way back to Chinon you'll enjoy a detour at a regional winery and linger over a glass or two.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Chinon - Chateau De Chenonceau - Chartres

Today, a stop at Château de Chenonceau gives you the opportunity to stroll through manicured gardens and explore a fascinating museum. Afterwards, you'll make your way to Chartres, where you'll enjoy one last dinner together.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9

Chartres and Paris

A fitting finale to the tour is a visit to the celebrated Chartres Cathedral. Believed to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France, it's a beautiful image to take with you back to Paris, where you'll say 'au revoir'.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2019: Mar 26; Apr 9, 23; May 7, 14, 21; Jun 11, 18, 25; Jul 2, 9, 16, 23; Aug 13, 27;
Sep 3, 10, 15, 17, 24; Oct 1, 8, 15

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 8 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver/tour guide
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 evening meals
  • Cooking demonstration & dinner
  • Cider & calvados tasting
  • Wine tasting
  • Included Entrance Fees: Monet’s House and Garden at Giverny, Angers Castle, Bayeux Tapestry, Bayeux Museum of the Battle of Normandy, Chateau de Villandry and Chateau de Chenonceau.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Itiems of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Arrival and departure transfers

OTHER INFORMATION:

Mobility: The tour involves walking and requires guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Trip Highlights:

  • Travel at a leisurely pace along the back roads of Normandy, Brittany and the Loire valley.
  • Taste locally produced wine, cider and calvados.
  • Relax in a street-side cafe in the picturesque harbour of Honfleur.
  • Experience a French cooking class with a renowned specialist of Renaissance and medieval cuisine.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB BACKROAPAR19SGCAD: FRA
15 Oct 2019
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