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Tailor Made Paris, Normandy & the Loire Valley (2016)
Days: 10 | From: $10,495
Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Day 1: Arrive Paris, France
Upon arrival in Paris, you are met by your Guardian Angel and transferred to your hotel, where you are assisted with check-in. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
Days 2-3: Paris | “City of Light”
Explore Paris alongside your private guide, seeing the impressive Arc de Triomphe and — at its base — the grave of the Unknown Soldier. From this Etoile (Star) stretches the fabled Champs-Élysées. See, too, the iconic Eiffel Tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel. The tower was constructed in such a way that its weight exerts no more pressure on the ground per inch than a man seated in a four-legged chair. Proceed to the Ile de la Cité, an island in the Seine River, to visit the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral. The following day, drive to Versailles, seeing the huge palace that was constructed in the 17th century for Louis XIV, the “Sun King.” Discover the opulent State Apartments, which culminate in the magnificent Gallery of Mirrors. You may also stroll through the impressive, formal ornamental gardens, which are embellished with fountains and sculptures. Return to your hotel, spending the remainder of the day at leisure.
Hôtel Pont Royal | Meals: B
Days 4-6: Normandy | An Introspective Experience
Meet your guide and privately transfer to Port en Bessin in Normandy, pausing en route at the house and gardens at Giverny, which inspired the work of Claude Monet. You may also stop in Rouen, a city rich in medieval buildings, where you visit Notre-Dame Cathedral and the giant Renaissance clock, Gros Horloge. Spend the next day exploring the American Sector of the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy. Travel to the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, the landing site of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Continue along the coast to Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Rangers scaled the steep slopes and cliffs. Then, see several sites along Omaha Beach from both German and American perspectives. At Colleville-sur-Mer, visit the U.S. Military Cemetery and Interpretation Center. The next day, discover Mont Saint-Michel, a tidal island village located in the mouth of the River Couesnon. Surrounded by water and sand flats, the granite outcrop is crowned by an abbey that took more than 500 years to construct. Legend has it that Archangel Michael appeared to the Bishop of Avranches in AD 708, inspiring him to build the structure here. You may also wish to spend time exploring the picturesque village, wandering its narrow walkways past charming, historic houses. If time allows, you may visit another town in the area, such as St-Lô, Bayeux, Avranches or Villedieu-Les-Poêles.
Château La Chenèviere | Meals: B
Days 7-8: Loire Valley | Chateaux Country
Drive to the Loire Valley, passing La Suisse Normande ("Swiss Normandy") — an area of hills and cliffs — en route. Arriving in Falaise, see its medieval churches. This was the birthplace of William the Conqueror; the castle named after him towers above town. Continue on to Alençon — famous for its lace — before checking in to your hotel in Onzain. The ivy-covered property features a wooded park, serene lake and forested paths. Spend the following day exploring the region’s stunning chateaux, starting at Château de Chenonceau, a masterpiece of 16th-century architecture. Returning to the River Loire, visit the Château Royal d'Amboise, a UNESCO World Heritage Site above town with panoramic valley views. Also, see Clos Lucé, a Renaissance manor where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last four years of his life. Wander through its on-site museum, which contains working models of some of da Vinci's inventions.
Domaine des Hauts de Loire | Meals: B
Day 9: Paris | Time to Unwind
Return to Paris by train in first class seats. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Hôtel Pont Royal | Meals: B
Day 10: Depart Paris
Transfer to the airport and board your homebound flight.