La France

Feature Image

This is the ideal vacation for an in-depth exploration of France! Begin with a 2-night stay in Paris that includes guided sightseeing of all the famous landmarks and a bird’s-eye view of the city from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Via Rouen—where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431—visit Caen, the Normandy landing beaches, Bayeux to admire Queen Matilda’s tapestry, and monumental Mont St. Michel. Pass through Châteaubriant and in the Loire Valley, visit Chambord and Chenonceau Castles. In picturesque St. Emilion, attend a wine tasting before continuing to Bordeaux, the walled town of Carcassonne, and Nîmes. On to Pont du Gard, Avignon, and the film festival town of Cannes to Nice. Head north through the French Alps to Grenoble. In Lyon, enjoy a panoramic view from Fourvière Hill and enter Burgundy for an overnight in pretty Dijon. Board the high-speed TGV train back to Paris for the end of your tour.

Highlights Guided sightseeing
Notre Dame Cathedral
Eiffel Tower
Memorial Museum for Peace
Wine tasting

Transatlantic flight

images Day 1: Board your overnight transatlantic flight.

Arrive in Paris, France

images Day 2: The day is free to rest or to start exploring the splendid French capital. At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and leave the hotel for a welcome dinner with wine at one of Paris’ lively restaurants. After dinner you may wish to join an optional outing to get a first impression of the “City of Light.”

Paris

images Day 3: Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Louvre, and Champs-Elysées. Visit magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral and for a panoramic view, take the elevator to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Balance of the day at leisure and lots to do. An optional afternoon excursion to the Palace of Versailles and evening excursions are available.

Paris – Rouen – Caen

images Day 4: A pleasant drive through the rural area west of Paris takes you to historic Rouen in the lower valley of the River Seine. Time here for a leisurely stroll along the lovely cobbled Rue du Gros-Horloge leading from the cathedral to the square where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431. Then, continue to Caen and look forward to the highlight of the day: a visit to the fascinating MEMORIAL MUSEUM FOR PEACE. Its great exhibits and audiovisual show focus on the Battle of Normandy.

Caen – Normandy Beaches – Bayeux - Mont St. Michel

images Day 5: Drive by the Normandy Beaches on the way to Bayeux. Here, admire QUEEN MATILDA’S TAPESTRY, depicting in extraordinary detail William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. In the afternoon, visit the famous ABBEY OF MONT ST. MICHEL, perched on a rocky isle in the Gulf of Saint Malo. Overnight on the coast near Mont St. Michel.

Mont St. Michel – Tours

images Day 6: Enjoy a scenic ride right across Brittany via Châteaubriant to Angers. Stop here for pictures of an impressive 13th-century castle overlooking the River Maine. Then, continue your journey to Tours in the Loire Valley. Tonight is your chance to sample French cuisine at one of the area’s excellent bistros.

Tours. Loire Valley Excursion

images Day 7: A rich day of sightseeing. Visit the jewel of the French Renaissance, Château CHAMBORD, and the 16th-century château of Catherine de Medici, lovely CHENONCEAU. Time to explore on your own. Return to Tours in the late afternoon.

Tours – St. Emilion – Bordeaux

images Day 8: First stop this morning is in St. Emilion, world famous for its wines. Enjoy a WINE TASTING before continuing to Bordeaux, and join your Tour Director for a walking tour through this pretty city.

Bordeaux – Carcassonne – Nîmes

images Day 9: From Bordeaux to the beautifully preserved, medieval, walled town of Carcassonne for a leisurely walk on the ancient BATTLEMENTS and time to explore the town on your own. Overnight in Nîmes.

Nîmes – Pont du Gard – Avignon – Cannes – Nice

images Day 10: Drive through the splendid vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon. At Pont du Gard, admire the Roman Aqueduct, a monumental feat of engineering completed in the year 19 BC. Stop in Avignon for pictures of the magnificent Palace of the Popes and the bridge of the popular song. Next, drive through Cannes, opulent resort of film festivals, on your way to Nice, the sophisticated “Queen of the Riviera.” Later, why not join an exciting optional outing to Monte Carlo?

At Leisure in Nice

images Day 11: Enjoy this enchanting resort on the Côte d’Azur at your own pace. Browse through the elegant shops or stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Join your Tour Director for a walk through the OLD TOWN and its colorful flower market, and you may wish to join an optional excursion to the famous artist town of St. Paul de Vence.

Nice – Grenoble

images Day 12: This morning, a scenic drive along the famous Route Napoleon through the French Alps past medieval towns to Grenoble.

Grenoble – Lyon – Dijon

images Day 13: Your orientation of Lyon includes a panoramic view from FOURVIÈRE HILL with its basilica to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the city and its Roman ruins. Then, drive north into Burgundy, where road signs read like the wine list of an expensive restaurant, to Dijon, which was the capital of Burgundy from the 11th to the 15th centuries. During your orientation, hear about the various dukes who ruled over the area, then have the rest of the afternoon to browse the shops and enjoy this charming city.

Dijon – Paris

images Day 14: Enjoy a ride on the highspeed TGV train to Paris. In the afternoon, an optional excursion to the Louvre Museum is available, as well as exciting possibilities for an unforgettable night out on the town!

Homebound flight

images Day 15: Your homebound flight arrives the same day.

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