Normandy, Loire and Paris self-drive

Starting at PER PERSON for all of the below, based on 4 participants: $3,327.00

Day 1:  Honfleur for 2 nights

1st class train from Dijon to Paris with seat reservations

Departure at 7:25 am, arrival at 9:07 am

Pick up car at Paris gare de Lyon VW Sharan 7 Pax – Guaranteed Model Full Size Class – Automatic Transmission unlimited mileage CDW & theft included

Stop in Giverny, made famous by Claude Monet. The painter settled in the house with his lady-friend and their combined children of 8 until his death in 1926. You will enjoy your private tour guide’s introduction to the life and work of Claude Monet. You will tour Monet’s Flower Garden, the Water Lily Garden and the wisteria-covered Japanese bridge.

Then drive to Honfleur, a charming port town. At the heart of Honfleur, the old dock is full of character, from its old slate-fronted houses to the art galleries and cafes located in converted salt stores. Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet were among the famous impressionist painters who drew inspiration from Honfleur’s port.

Visit St. Catherine’s Church, which is the largest wooden church in France, built by the town’s shipbuilders in the late 15th century

The Eugene Boudin Museum, set in a 19th century chapel, is also of interest. Honfleur’s farmer and flea markets are also fun places to stroll and shop

2 superior twin rooms, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel La Ferme St Simeon*****

The Saint Simeon is located just outside Honfleur, 657 feet from the Normandy coast. It has an indoor swimming pool and a spa offering a hot tub, sauna, hammam.

La Ferme Saint Simeon has individually decorated guest rooms, each with a mini-bar, an LCD TV with a DVD player and free Wi-Fi access. The private bathrooms include a hairdryer and slippers.

The Saint Simeon’s spa offers various relaxation and beauty treatments. Guests can relax in the hotel’s floral garden and enjoy a drink or dinner on the terrace.

The Ferme Saint Simeon’s Michelin-star restaurant serves gourmet cuisine in the dining room or terrace. Guests can enjoy the breakfast in the comfort of their room or in the restaurant.

http://www.fermesaintsimeon.fr/

Day 2:

Day at leisure to explore the quaint villages of Normandy

Cabourg. You’ll be enchanted by Cabourg’s long sandy beach lined with striped umbrellas evoking the “Belle Epoque”. Author Marcel Proust was a frequent guest in the town’s Grand Hotel when it opened in the early 1900s. You’ll have a brief tour of the city center here.

Beuvron-en-Auge, a truly “picture perfect” village. Beuvron’s villagers take pride in keeping up their architectural heritage: multi-colored, half-timbered homes with window flower boxes.

Visit the 16th century Vieux Manoir in the village’s oval shaped square, and perhaps to stop for a glass of locally made calvados (apple brandy) while you’re here.

the twin seaside resort towns of Deauville and Trouville.

Trouville has been a favorite resort of artists and intellectuals since the reign of Louis-Philippe in the 1800s, its charms painted into perpetuity by painters like Eugène Boudin. You may stop to see Trouville’s old fishing harbor, still in use today.

Deauville.  This town was built up after Trouville, as aristocrats such as the Duc of Mornay, Napoleon III’s half brother, began constructing their villas on the other side of the river. The town today is still a favored haunt of movie stars and royalty, who flock to the town’s beach and its upscale shops and casino. Have a final stroll on Deauville’s boardwalk, Promenade des Planches — an elegant seafront boardwalk lined with bars, cabanas, hotels, and half-timber Norman-style villas.

Day 3:  Bayeux for 2 nights

Half day guided tour of Normandy Landing beaches (small group tour pm)

Departure from Bayeux

No doubt our best American tour ! We will cover a large area, stopping to visit all major sites in the U.S sector. We will discover the extraordinary actions of the paratroopers in Ste Mère-Eglise and the Airborne Museum. We will also go to Utah beach where landed the U.S 4th Division.

During the day we can discuss a lot of subjects about the war (from German occupation to French Resistance) and speak about so many different soldiers’ war stories. After a quick stop at the German Cemetery, we will visit Pointe du Hoc. This German battery attacked by the U.S Rangers will put you right in the atmosphere: the beach, the cliff, the bunkers, the bomb craters… The best-known Bloody Omaha deserves two stops, one at each end.

Four miles long, no picture or movie has yet made it a justice. A third stop for Omaha is the heart-breaking U.S cemetery, for yet another perspective of the beach from the high ground. Your guide will give you time on your own at the end, to either stay longer in the cemetery or save time for the Visitor Center.

2 superior twin rooms, breakfast & taxes included at Chateau de Sully****

Strolling through the grounds of this 17th-century property with a swimming pool and elegant restaurant, it’s easy to forget that you’re in a hotel and not your own private residence.

All the rooms feature a telephone with free international calls.

After a strenuous work-out in the fitness centre guests can enjoy a sauna, hot tub, and relaxing swim in the indoor swimming pool, whose sliding windows open onto a stunning garden.

Château de Sully’s restaurant serves beautifully presented regional cuisine. Chef Nicolas Fages uses only fresh local produce and his delicious seafood dishes are not to be missed.

As well as the endless opportunities for outdoor activities, Château de Sully’s location is ideal for discovering Normandy’s historical sites. The World War 2 landing beaches and the town of Bayeux, home of the famous tapestry, are nearby.

http://www.chateau-de-sully.com/en/

Day 4:

Day at leisure to go to Mt St Michel

The abbey of Mont Saint Michel, otherwise known as the Marvel, is famous worldwide. There are many things to see and to do; the main street with its shops and museums; the walk around the ramparts, with views out over the sands of the bay, as well as the spectacle of the sea rushing in to surround the Mount at each high tide.

Day 5:  Loire Valley for 1 night

Lunch at leisure in ChinonWalk in the old streets of Chinon in the steps of Joan of Arc and Richard the Lion Heart.

You will also have a wine tasting in Bourgueil

A few minutes drive from Chinon, the next domain welcomes us for a tour of its vineyard in the Chinon appellation. All red Chinon and Bourgueil wines are made from the same grape: Cabernet Franc. In this cave, we will taste a series of rosé and red wines including matured wines. The family has been making wine in this Chateau for three generations.
The Chinon terroir is made of two different soils in two different zones: the Vienne Valley or hills. You’ll be amazed to see the differences in the taste of the wines according to the sandy valley soil or limestone on the hills.

To end the day, we go to Restigné, for a tour of the Bourgueil Appellation.

Established in 1640, this Domain is always in the possession of the same family. This 14th generation of wine maker, on 32 hectares, elaborates fantastic red wines made of cabernet franc. Their best vintage is made of 70 years old vines. You will be struck by the passion of our host who will make you try a very wide span of wines, from the fruitiest thirst quencher to the most complex old vintage.

You will stop at Chateau de Villandry, known for its garden, divided in three terraces OR Chateau of Azay le Rideau, one of the most romantic, reflecting its beauty in its surrounding lake

2 superior twin rooms, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Domaine de Beauvois*****

This former 17th-century mansion, now a stunning 4-star hotel, is situated in the Loire Valley, near Tours, and sits in a 40-hectare park with and outdoor swimming pool.

The Domaine De Beauvois features elegant guestrooms, classic in both style and décor. They present comfortable living spaces with cosy interiors. All rooms are equipped with modern en suite facilities and free Wi-Fi internet access.

Enjoy Lunch and dinner in a spacious dining room with an impressive fireplace, or 2 smaller dining rooms, each decorated in a Louis XIII and Louis XV style. During summer meals can be served on the terrace.  The combination of its vibrant surroundings and a host of facilities, the Domaine De Beauvois is the perfect choice for a romantic or luxurious break from the everyday hustle and bustle.

http://www.grandesetapes.com/chateau-hotel-beauvois-loire

Day 6:  Paris for 2 nights

Drop off car in Paris any time during the day

2 executive twin rooms, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Keppler****

Set in a 19th-century Haussmannian building, the luxurious Hotel Keppler is just 1,313 feet from the Champs Elysées. It offers a fitness centre, sauna and hammam and the reception is open 24 hours a day.

An iPod docking station, flat-screen TV and minibar are included in all of the air-conditioned guest rooms and suites. Some rooms offer a terrace with views of the Eiffel Tower and others overlook the glass roof of the winter garden.

The bar at Hotel Keppler features a winter garden. A continental breakfast is served every morning in the dining room and guests can enjoy afternoon tea in the lounge.

Metro Station George V is located 1,477 feet away.

http://www.keppler.fr/

Day 7:

Half day private guided tour of Paris

Discuss your wishes for your Tour with your “in-house” Driver-Guide, or simply let him drive you around, enjoying Paris’s magic in all simplicity. You will pass by The Opéra Garnier, the most famous Opera House in the world, and then the Place Vendôme (our most luxurious square) epitomized by its Jewelers, Fashion Houses & Hotels, and the Place de la Bastille; dominated by the Tour of July erected on the original site of the Bastille Fortress; stormed and destroyed during the French Revolution. Afterwards, you will arrive in the historical and religious heart of Paris: Notre-Dame Cathedral, famous worldwide for its gothic architecture and of course the backdrop for Victor Hugo’s most famous novel. You will then pass by The Louvre Museum, the world’s most famous museum thanks to its art collections, and Place de la Concorde (the place where Marie-Antoinette lost her head!). Then on to the Madeleine Church, before heading onwards and upwards to the quintessentially-Parisian Quarter of Montmartre, where you can visit the Sacré Coeur, notable for its eastern Byzantine architecture; unique for a church in Paris. Once you’ve experienced all of these places, you will be driven through The Champs Elysées, the world famous Parisian Avenue, considered by many as the ’most beautiful in the world’. Your “in-house” Driver-Guide will naturally have in mind your desire to take pictures and will schedule regular photo stops; however, feel free to ask him when you wish to take pictures, he will gladly stop (depending on traffic) for your souvenirs!

Enchanted, you will then head off to The Trocadéro, where you will enjoy a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower (maybe take a picture of yourself holding it up with your fingertips!) And, last but not least, your driver will take you to The Eiffel Tower herself (The Iron Lady is one of her nicknames).You could then ask your “in-house” Driver-Guide to show you some other lesser-known, but nevertheless fascinating places; which, with your driver’s vast knowledge, will help you live a truly unforgettable experience of Paris.

 

Day 8

Private transfer from hotel to airport for 4 people

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