Explore Normandy, Brittany And The Loire Valley
9 Days / 8 Nights From Paris to Paris
Ile-de-France, Loire, Brittany, Normandy, Chartres, Paris, Amboise, Angers, La Baule, Nantes, Orleans, Tours, Dinard, Rennes, St. Malo, Bayeux, Deauville, Honfleur, Rouen
Upto 5 Pax: Citroen C4 or Similar
6-7 Pax: Renault Espace or similar
8-9 Pax: Renault Traffic or similar
Welcome to Paris – one of the world’s most beautiful cities and the capital of France. A city of world-class restaurants, art galleries, shops and natural masterpieces, beautiful parks and gardens. See the Mona Lisa at the world famous Louvre Museum and the amazing Musee d’Orsay. Wander through the narrow lanes of Bohemian Montmartre, the artists’ community where you can watch them sketch as you sit at one of the many outdoor cafes. Take a romantic boat cruise on the River Seine. See the Arc de Triumph, one of Paris’ principal focal points and the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in France. The gothic Notre-Dame is the most famous of all cathedrals and is located in the heart of Paris on a small island, the Ile de la Cite.
Tourist Class Hotel Charlemagne or similar (2 nights)
Wonder through the city’s Left Bank (Rive Gauch) and see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Here you will come across colorful markets, lively cafes and the passionate Latin Quarter. Admire the dazzling window-displays and covered shopping malls of the Champs-Elysees, and the opulence of the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore where haute couture is displayed alongside ready-to-wear. This evening after a fabulous dinner visit one of Paris’ famous music hall shows at the Folies Bergere or the Moulin Rouge.
Drive across the Ile de France into Picardy and to the ancient city of Rouen, which in Norman times was the home of William the Conquerer before he invaded England. It was in Rouen that Joan of Arc was tried and burned at the stake in 1431. The old town’s narrow streets, many pedestrianised, are lined with picturesque timber-framed houses. Then cross the Seine into Normandy and arrive at Honfleur, one of the most picturesque fishing ports in France. Bathed in the soft light of the northern sea it has long been an attraction for famous artists and writers – plaques throughout the town attest to this. Honfleur retains its timeless character. The lively old streets are lined with timber and stone houses and the old harbor (Vieux Basinn) shelters a fishing fleet as well as yachts. Continue on to the glamorous haven for the rich and famous, the resort of Deauville, for your overnight stay. Appreciate its famous seafront boardwalk and casino – Dine and Dance in Deauville.
Tourist Class Du Yacht Club or similar
This morning drive to Bayeux to see one of the oldest surviving complete tapestries in the world, the Bayeux Tapestry. This extraordinary masterpiece tells the story of William the Conqueror and his battle with the English King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Continue to the D-Day Landing Beaches. Despite Steven Spielberg’s endeavors it’s difficult to picture the dawn scene on D-Day, June 6th 1944, when the Allied troops landed along the coast of Normandy. Now, more than 60 years later, the Normandy coast is peaceful with lovely picturesque beaches and seaside towns with a background of old-fashioned farming landscapes of grazing cattle, hedges and farmhouses. However, memories of D-Day are everywhere. One feels compelled to stop along the way at one of the beautiful cemeteries and reflect on the human cost of war. From here to Mont St. Michel, one of the Wonders of the Western World. A dramatic island off the coast of Normandy linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway, it is an extraordinary site rich in history with one of the most splendid abbeys of France dating back to the 11th century. On to St. Malo, a unique walled town for your overnight stay. St. Malo has some of the best seafood restaurants in Europe.
Tourist Class Hotel De La Regate or similar
From St. Malo your journey takes you to the city of Rennes, the capital of Brittany since 1532. The city now consists of grand 18th century public squares interspersed with intimate little alleys of 15th and 16th centuries half-timbered houses. Today’s journey takes you to the port of St. Nazaire then on to Nantes for your overnight stay.
Tourist Class Hotel De La Regate or similar
This morning take a walk through the old quarters of Nantes and visit Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. From here to Angers, the capital of the historic province of Anjou, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in France. It traces its roots to early Roman times and occupies both banks of the Maine. Foremost among its many notable structures is the Castle of Angers with its moat and soaring towers. At Castle Angers see the wonderful Tenture de l’Apocalypse, 140 meters long, the oldest and most important tapestry to have been preserved, and has been called “one of the greatest works of Western art”. Drive through the Loire Valley known for its wines and chateaux, to the city of Tours where we have arranged your overnight accommodation. Visit the Place Plumereau – a busy square bordered by fine 15th century residences built of stone and timber.
Tourist Class Hotel Mercure Tours Sud or similar (2 nights)
Visit the beautiful chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. Built in the early 1500s and one of the earliest Renaissance chateaux it is surrounded by imposing landscaped gardens and was purchased by the French government and restored; its interior completely refurbished with Renaissance pieces and is now open to public visits. Drive on to the royal castle of Blois which dominates the Loire River and is one of the most presigious monuments in France. Another amazing Castle is Chateaux Cheverny, which is said to have invented the French Style in 1630. Filled with original furnishings, tapestries and objects d’art, it is still inhabited by the descentants of the original family. Next visit the jewel of Renaissance architecture, the Chateau de Chenonceau. Set in the perfect setting of river, forests and gardens in the Loire Valley, the beautiful castle in its present form was built in 1513, though its history dates back to 11th century. It has a large collection of Renaissance furniture and art masterpieces, such as Rubens and Le Tintoret. The chateau of Villandry, the last of the great Loire valley castles built in the Renaissance, owes its fame not only to its Spanish-inspired interiors but to the magnificence of its gardens. Set in 17 acres are its beautiful ornamental gardens, water gardens, herb and kitchen gardens. While touring France’s Loire Valley why not pick up a bottle of its famous Sancerre or Muscadet wine.
Drive between the rich cornfields of the Beauce to the north and the heaths and forests of the Sologne to the south, and arrive at Orleans, the capital of the Loire Valley. Here the Musee des Beaux-Arts houses some of the richest collections in France. Continue today’s journey and arrive in Chartres where the medieval streets of the Old City evoke the bustling activities of the merchants and craftsmen of that time. Chartres attracted pilgrims at an early date. Be sure to visit the magnificent Cathedral Nortre-Dame. From here drive to Versailles, created at the time of the French monarchy’s greatest splendor. When Louis XIV moved there from Paris in 1682 it became the center of political power until the Royal Family was forced to return to Paris in 1789 during the French Revolution. With its ornately decorated rooms, chandeliers, marble, bronze and large paintings, Versailles remains the finest jewel of the French Crown. The gardens, created for perfection in their symmetry and harmony, were designed for walking, while the flower beds designed to highlight the castle, with many statues and fountains decorating its paths. Your day ends in Paris for your overnight stay.
Tourist Class Hotel Charlemagne or similar
Drop-off Rental Car, Depart Paris.