Day 3 (Tuesday): Loire Valley
Spend the full day in the Loire Valley exploring the nearby sights. Travel to the magnificent Chateau de Chenonceau. Stretching across the river Cher, the chateau boasts a 197 foot gallery, built over a series of arches. Take some time to explore the extravagantly furnished rooms and formal gardens, added by a mistress of Henry II, Diane de Poitiers. Also visit the Royal Chateau d'Amboise for a guided tour. The castle is most closely associated with King Francois I who introduced the Renaissance to France, and brought Leonardo da Vinci to his court. The artist is buried in the chapel. Return to Tours in the early evening. Overnight: Tours.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Mont St. Michel - Normandy
Depart northwards today to the iconic Mont. St. Michel, rising from the sea on a mighty rock. Cross the causeway by shuttle and browse the narrow streets and admire the views of the surrounding bay, with time for lunch in this charming town. One of France's most recognizable landmarks, the fortified town is crowned by the mighty 10th century Abbey. This afternoon, continue to Bayeux. Overnight: Bayeux.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 (Thursday): Bayeux Tapestry - Normandy Landing Beaches
Spend the full day in Normandy exploring the sights and sandy beaches. Begin by stepping back in time to a historical battle, and see the intricate Tapestry, woven to commemorate the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. Then your attention turns to World War II and the D-Day invasion, a day that is remembered for true bravery and sacrifice and the beginning of the liberation of France. Visit St. Mere Eglise on Utah beach along the east coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, where the allied invasion began on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). Make a stop at the Ranger Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Continue east to visit Omaha beach and the site of the Normandy American Cemetery and memorial. The cemetery covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 American soldiers. Return to Bayeux in the early evening. Overnight: Bayeux.
Day 6 (Friday): Normandy - Giverny - Paris
This morning, depart for Paris. On the way, stop in Giverny and visit the former house of Claude Monet. Explore the famous gardens which inspired many of Monet's paintings. On arrival in Paris, join your fellow travellers for dinner in a French Bistro. Overnight: Paris.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 (Saturday): Paris City Tour
This morning, enjoy a guided city tour of Paris, the City of Light, including a drive along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. View the Eiffel Tower, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Napoleon's Tomb, the Latin Quarter, and the lively Opera district. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure or join the optional tour to magnificent Versailles to witness the grandeur of French classical architecture on the visit to the Palace and extravagant State Apartments. Optional: Versailles Apartments (PM). Overnight: Paris
Day 8 (Sunday): TGV train to Avignon - Pont du Gard
After breakfast, transfer to the Paris train station for your journey to Provence by the high speed TGV train. Enjoy vistas of Burgundy and the Rhone Valley during the comfortable ride. Upon arrival in Avignon, proceed to view the Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the most ancient Roman aqueduct in France. Next, drive to the Rhone vineyards and the lovely town of Chateauneuf du Pape, where you will enjoy a sampling of some of the wines for which Rhone is famous. Transfer to the hotel in Avignon. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Explore the streets, gardens and museums or perhaps shop for local specialties. Overnight: Avignon
Day 9 (Monday): Medieval Popes Palace
Today, enjoy an orientation tour of the town, including a view of the famous broken bridge, the lively Place d'Horloge and the Papal Palace, one of the largest and most significant medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the lively atmosphere of this charming city, or join the optional tour to St. Remy de Provence & Les Baux. Visit St. Remy-de-Provence to see the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, the asylum where Van Gogh spent some of his troubled last days. Then head for the heart of the Camargue to Arles, where you will see the Roman Arena and the 12th-century Cathedral of St. Trophime. From here, drive north along densely forested slopes to Les Baux - a gorgeous hilltop town in the French countryside. Often labeled "the most beautiful village in France”. Optional: St. Remy de Provence & Les Baux (PM). Overnight: Avignon.
Day 10 (Tuesday): Cannes - Nice
After breakfast this morning, depart for the French Riviera. Admire the scenery which inspired so many of the impressionist artists. You will pass by the Mont St. Victoire and the Abbey of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume en route to elegant Cannes. Drive along the Boulevard de la Croisette to see the Film Festival Center and the harbor. Pay a visit to a French perfumery in Grasse before arriving in Nice. Tonight, perhaps join the optional tour to Monte Carlo by night. Drive along the dazzling Corniche road to the Principality of Monaco to visit the world-famous Monte Carlo Casino, one of the Riviera's most frequented landmarks. Monte Carlo is the epitome of wealth and glamour; a prime destination for royalty and some of Hollywood's most famous actors and actresses. View the route of the Grand Prix, the luxury boats in the harbor and view the Prince's Palace, atop the famed "Rock". Enjoy the lights of the coastline as you return to Nice. Optional: Monte Carlo by Night (PM). Overnight: Nice.
Day 11 (Wednesday): Full Day at Leisure in Nice
A day at leisure to soak up the sun, swim in the Mediterranean, stroll the Promenade des Anglais or see the Old Town, and Place Massena. Perhaps take a mini-train up to the "Colline du Chateau" for panoramic views of the city and “Bay of the Angels” or visit one of the museums. This morning you may wish to join the optional tour to St. Paul de Vence. Drive into the pine scented hills above Nice to visit the hilltop St. Paul de Vence - a walled town which still retains its medieval character and is a haven for artists - a treasure trove of workshops and galleries. Wander the cobbled streets to the central fountain, and see the burial place of Marc Chagall.This evening, celebrate your final night in France together with a Farewell Dinner. Optional: St. Paul de Vence (AM). Overnight: Nice
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 (Thursday): Departure
After breakfast, transfer on your own to the Airport for your departure flight.
Escorted Package Includes:
- 11 nights accommodations
- 3 nights Paris
- 2 nights Tours
- 2 nights Bayeux
- 2 nights Avignon
- 2 nights Nice
- Hotel porterage
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- 15 meals: 11 breakfasts, 4 dinners with wine
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Services of local guides in Paris and Avignon
- Optional tours and gratuities
- Arrival and departure transfers
Hotels (or similar):
- Paris: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel 4+*
- Tours: Oceania L'Univers Tours 4*
- Bayeux: Novotel Bayeux 3*
- Avignon: Mercure Avignon Centre Palais des Papes 3* / Hotel Mercure Pont d'Avignon Centre 4*
- Nice: AC Hotel Nice 4* / Hotel Nice Riviera 4*
- Chartres Cathedral
- Chateau de Chenonceau
- Royal Chateau d'Amboise
- Mont. St. Michel
- Bayeux Tapestry
- Normandy American Cemetery
- Paris City Tour
- TGV Train
- Pont du Gard
- Avignon Papal Palace
- Chateauneuf du Papes wine tasting
- Visit a French Perfumery
- Wine & mineral water with all dinners
Tour Prices are per person twin share in Australian Dollars. Conditions apply and group tours are subject to change and availability. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations. (g1t)