Normandy - Castles of the Loire valley
This well balanced and comprehensive tour proposes an overview of Normandy including Monet's house in Giverny, the city of Rouen, the charming port of Honfleur, a tour of the WW II landing beaches, a visit to the Mont-Saint-Michel and a discovery of the major and the loveliest Loire castles (six castles) and the Fontevraud abbey, with wonderful accommodation and gourmet dinners, the most enchanting and refined France has to offer!
(2 nights in Normandy - 2 nights in the Loire)
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 on the Seine estuary, from where the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain and the founder of Louisiana, cavalier de la Salle set sail. It has inspired many famous painters such as Monet and his master Boudin and is considered as a cradle of the impressionism movement.
Drive along the coastal road to discover Trouville and Deauville, smart seaside resorts for the wealthy Parisians.
Dinner and accommodation near Bayeux.
Deauville / Landing beaches / Bayeux
Today we will take you for a guided tour of the Landing Beaches including Arromanche where can be seen the remains of a Mulberry harbor.
Built thanks to Churchill's vision within a few days after D.Day. This "temporary" port was used to disembark an army with all the men and supplies necessary to liberate Europe. It is one of the most extraordinary industrial and maritime achievement of the war.
On the way to Omaha beach, visit the site of the powerful German battery at Longues-sur-mer. In spite of the heavy bombing on the night before, the German 'pill boxes' and their 150 mm guns were still operational on the morning of 6 June and they began firing at the allied battleships.
Continue with Omaha Beach and the moving Normandy American cemetery where 9385 Carrara marble crosses stand aligned. A memorial, inscribed with a map of the operations stands in the central alley. The name 'Omaha Beach' which until 6 June 1944 existed only as an operational code name, has continued to jointly designate the beaches of three villages, Colleville, Saint-Laurent and Vierville, in memory of the soldiers of the 1st American division who landed there and suffered the heaviest casualties on 'D.Day'. Drive and stop along the beach where your guide will show you some of the German bunkers and machine-gun nests.
One of the most impressive site in Normandy, is perhaps Pointe du Hoc where the 2nd battalions of specially trained Rangers under the command of colonel James Earl Rudder captured the position by assault at dawn on 6 June, scaling the cliffs with ropes and extendible ladders but not without heavy losses – 135 rangers out of 225 – but key action for the success of 'D.Day'.
Option: 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 near Bayeux.
Mont-Saint-Michel / Saumur
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.
Visit the abbey. from Mont-Saint-Michel, drive through the border regions of 'Maine' (capital town : Le Mans) to the Anjou (capital town Angers) into the river Loire Valley.
Dinner and accommodation near Saumur.
Fontevraud / Ussé/ Villandry / Azay-le-Rideau / Langeais
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.
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.
Ussé, the castle which inspired Charles Perrault for his 'Sleeping beauty' seems actually to come out from a fairy tale.
Azay-le Rideau, gem of the Renaissance set on the banks of the Indres.
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.
Dinner and accommodation near Tours.
Villandry / Chenonceau / Amboise / Chambord / Paris
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.
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.
Amboise (outside visit) Royal castle and gardens overlooking the river and the blue-slate roofs of the town. The Saint Hubert chapel houses the tomb of Leonardo who died in Amboise.
The Château de Chambord is the largest in the Loire Valley. Extravagant structure with massive tours and terraces holding hundreds of 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.
Return to Paris, end of our services.
|Car / size||2 pers.||3 pers.||4 pers.||5 pers.||6 pers.||7 pers.||8 pers.|
|Sedan||€ 3055||€ 2295|
|Minibus||€ 1915||€ 1745||€ 1585||€ 1470||€ 1380|
Single room supplement : € 165.
The price per person includes:
- Transportation from and back to Paris by car or van up to 8 passengers,
- The services of a Licensed guide or interpreter in English,
- 2 overnight stays in luxury 4-star castle-hotels in the Loire,
- 2 overnight stays in charming 3-star hotel in Normandy,
- 4 gourmet dinners (except beverages),
- 4 breakfasts buffet,
- The entrance fees to the monuments and museums mentioned in the program.
Lunches, dinner on the 3rd night, personal expenses.