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Explore centuries of French heritage as you cross the valleys and vineyards of the north in search of beauty and to mourn the tragedy of war. Visit Joan of Arc’s Rouen, the D-Day landing beach at Omaha and marvel at the architecture and masterpieces of France’s most famous fairytale châteaux before visiting vibrant Paris and the exquisite Palace of Versailles.
Welcome to France. Relax and unwind after your journey or take some time to explore the City of Light. This evening meet for a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers and Travel Director. Later enjoy an orientation drive which will introduce some of the sights of this magical city to you, including the Champs Élysées and the Arc d’Triomphe. (WR)
This morning visit Rouen where Joan of Arc was tragically burnt at the stake. Then travel to Honfleur, a picturesque port immortalised by many artists. Later in Bayeux visit the Tapestry Museum and see the Bayeux Tapestry depicting events before and during the Battle of Hastings in 1066. (BB)
Your Travel Director provides excellent historical commentary during your visit to the D-Day Landing beach at Omaha and the military cemetery. Stop for lunch in Arromanches, a town at the heart of the Normandy landings. You might like to finish your day with an Optional Experience to the historic walled port town of Saint Malo, former home of French explorer, Jacques Cartier. (BB, DW)
Visit the Benedictine Abbey at Mont St. Michel with a Local Specialist. Legend has it that the Archangel Michael appeared to the Bishop of Avranches, inspiring him to build an oratory on this rocky island jutting into the English Channel. Travel through scenic countryside and later stop for a memorable Be My Guest experience at a picturesque château, including wine tasting and a light meal. Travel to your hotel in Blois where you dine tonight. (BB, BG, DW)
Your Local Specialist takes you on a visit to the Amboise Royal Château, where King François I spent much of his childhood with his mother, Louise of Savoy. During the first few years of his reign the château reached the pinnacle of its glory. As a guest of the King, Leonardo da Vinci came to château Amboise in December 1515 and lived and worked in the nearby Clos Lucé, connected to the Château by an underground passage. Leonardo is buried in the Chapel of Saint-Hubert adjoining the château. Continue with a fascinating visit to Chenonceau, a fairytale château built on the River Cher. The beautiful architecture – reflected in the waters of the river – is complemented by magnificent landscaped gardens. The Château is often referred to as the Ladies Castle, as a number of women influenced its construction and development. It contains priceless collections including Renaissance furniture, tapestries and numerous masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto. (BB)
Visit Chambord, one of the most remarkable and recognisable châteaux in the world. Influenced by Italian Renaissance architecture, the château resembles a medieval stronghold incorporating classical Italian ornamental flourishes. The château was constructed by King François I as a royal hunting lodge, however, he didn’t live to see it completed. Visit Chartres Cathedral, an important place of pilgrimage and marvel at the original stained glass windows. Tonight in Paris consider going to see a spectacular cabaret show, for which the city is internationally renowned. (BB)
This morning your Local Specialist reveals not just where, but how real Parisians live and shop, showing you the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris’ oldest historical neighbourhoods. This short insider walk finishes at one of Paris’s loveliest squares, little known to outsiders, but a real favourite of the locals. During your free time you may want to explore a world class museum or gallery, or even join an Optional Experience to Versailles. The finale to this great trip starts with a visit to the second level of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views across this wonderful city. Then celebrate with your Travel Director and newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner with wine at a Parisian bistro. (BB, FD)
Say ‘au revoir’ to France and your fellow travellers at the end of a wonderful trip. Transfers are available. Conditions apply. (BB)
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