Normandy - Brittany – Loire valley and Chartres
Luxury round trip
8 days - 7 nights
Paris / Giverny / Rouen / Honfleur / Deauville
En route to Normandy, Visit in Giverny the extraordinary gardens and the house with its colorful and intimate decor where Claude Monet, leader of the Impressionist School lived from 1883 to 1926. See the painter's precious collection of Japanese prints and the famous Water-Lily pond.
Walking tour in the old town of Rouen, Capital of Upper Normandy with its gothic churches and half timbered houses and the old market square where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.
Afternoon visit of the charming port in Honfleur, birthplace of impressionism, from where Samuel de Champlain and Cavelier de la Salle, founders of Quebec and Louisiana set sail.
Dinner and accommodation in Deauville or Honfleur.
- Hotel Normandy Deauville
Deauville / Landing beaches / Bayeux
Today we will take you for a guided tour of the Landing Beaches including Arromanche where you will see how the artificial port built there allowed to unload the necessary equipment to win the war, the German 'pill boxes' in Longues-sur-mer, Omaha beach and the American cemetery and Pointe du Hoc where the battalions of Rangers under the command of colonel James Earl Rudder climbed the cliff to destroy a German battery, key action for the success of D.Day and therefore victory in World war II!
See the Tapestry of Queen Mathilda in Bayeux, actually a 70 meters long work of embroidery retracing the epic of William the Conqueror's expedition to England in 1066.
Dinner and accommodation in Bayeux.
- Hotel château de Sully
Bayeux / Mont-Saint-Michel / Cancale / Rothéneuf / Saint-Malo / Dinan / Cancale
The granite island, 80 meters high in the middle of a bay forms a monumental and picturesque sight with its village houses huddled close together and encircled by walls and on top, the old abbey founded in 708 with its gothic "Marvel". During equinoxes, watch the highest tides in Europe rising with the speed of a running horse.
The port of Cancale derived its gastronomic reputation for centuries from the oysters which flourish in the beds in the bay.
Before Saint-Malo, take a look at the unusual Rochers sculptés de Rothéneuf: some rocks along the coast where patiently sculpted by a strange priest who spent from 1850 onward, 25 years of his life on the task.
Saint Malo Destroyed in 1944 the town has been completely rebuilt in its original style. Admire the breathtaking view of the bay of as you walk the 2 kilometres (1.5 miles) of ramparts and discover the picturesque streets and the corsair dwellings inside the walled town.
Dinard is a smart resort with a magnificent setting on the estuary of the Rance, launched around 1850 by the British and Americans
Still encircled by ramparts, Dinan possesses a unique architectural heritage with Its belfry, churches, convents, preserved half-timbered houses and narrow streets.
Dinner and accommodation in Cancale.
- Hotel Les maison de Bricourt – Château Richeux
Cancale / Guimiliau (parish closes) / Locronan
On our way into the heart of Brittany, see the remarkable 'Parish closes' in the village of Saint Thegonnec and Guimiliau, including a church, a cemetery, an ossuary and a Calvary with over 200 figures, dating from the 1580's.
Locronan the little town with its fine granite houses built during the Renaissance prospered in the past from the manufacturing of sailcloth.
Dinner and accommodation in Sainte-Anne-la-Palud or Quimper
- Hotel de la Plage à Sainte-Anne-la-Palud
Pointe du Raz / Quimper / Concarneau / Carnac (site des mégalithes) / Vannes
Pointe du raz is a rocky promontory at the tip of Cornouaille, jutting out into the Atlantic, a magnificent site now protected as part of France's national heritage.
Visit the old district of Quimper, the former capital of Cornouaille, stretching in front of the cathedral Saint Corentin.
Concarneau is a bustling fishing port with the picturesque charm of an old town enclosed in granite ramparts and forming an island.
The Carnac alignments are one of the most intriguing and spectacular megalithic ensemble in the world. Erected some 6000 years ago, the monoliths have been part of Brittany's landscape since prehistory and were subject to fascinating myths and legends.
Vannes is a pleasant city on the Golf du Morbihan, The old town between the port and the cathedral forms a pedestrian zone with elegant shops.
Dinner and accommodation near Vannes.
- Hotel Auberge bretonne in La Roche Bernard
Nantes / Angers / Saumur
Historical capital of the dukes of Brittany, Nantes has become the capital of the region called Pays de la Loire and the sixth most important French town. Nantes was the town where science fiction writer Jules Verne grew up and the cradle of the Surrealism.
The fortress of Angers built around 1230, in dark schist, houses the extraordinary Apocalypse tapestry, woven around 1380, it was originally over 133m/436ft long, some 76 scenes have survived and can be admired in a gallery especially designed for them.
Discover a wine estate in Saumur where the 'tuffeau' stone cellars where carved by an artist to look like the ruins of an old abbey.
Wine tasting including a delicious sparkling wine.
- Hotel le Prieuré in Chênehuttes (or Fontevraud abbey hotel) near de Saumur
Ussé / Villandry / Langeais / Azay-le-Rideau
Azay-le Rideau, gem of the Renaissance set on the banks of the Indres. Ussé, the castle which inspired Charles Perrault for his 'Sleeping beauty' seems actually to come out from a fairy tale. Fontevraud, the largest group of monastic buildings in France with intriguing Romanesque kitchen of Byzantine influence. Recumbent figures of the Plantagenêts representing henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine and their son Richard the Lionheart. Langeais, very nice middle-age castle with a draw-bridge, a sentry walk and inside, apartments with beautiful period furnishings and colorful tapestries that exude a genuine medieval atmosphere.
The gardens of Villandry are among the most fascinating in France: an ornamental kitchen garden and the romantic 'Love gardens', designed in 4 parterres (Tender love, Passionate love, Inconstant love and Tragical love…) that can be admired from the terraces to the rear of the château.
- Hotel château d'Artigny in Montbazon
Chenonceau / Chaumont / Chambord / Chartres
Chenonceau, castle-bridge built over the river Cher, where the unique beauty of its architecture reflects in the water, nicknamed "le Château des Dames", it owes a large part of its charm to women.
Chaumont, former medieval fortress transformed in the Renaissance, exceptional setting for the International Festival of Parks and Gardens (from mid-June to September).
Chambord, the Château is the largest in the Loire Valley, allegedly built to a design created by Leonardo da Vinci. Extravagant structure with massive tours and terraces holding 360 chimneys where the court and the women used to attend the king coming back from hunting.
Of all the architectural wonders of Chambord, the most famous is the double-spiral staircase, core of the building.
Of all the great gothic cathedrals, Chartres has survived into the 21st century almost intact, not only architecturally but with its vast and extraordinary iconographic program in 12th-and 13th-century stained glass and sculpture. It was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites in 1979.
Return to Paris, end of our services.