Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the French capital. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2: Paris.
One full day to explore the city that’s known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert starts with an inside visit to Notre Dame Cathedral. Then, many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. Optional excursions are also available. (B)
Day 3: Paris–Giverny–Rouen–Honfleur–Deauville.
Start the day with a visit to Giverny, home of painter Claude Monet. The famous water garden at Giverny was the inspiration behind some of Monet's finest work (gardens open from April onwards). Continue to Rouen to visit its great cathedral. Next, enjoy a stop in lovely Honfleur and then continue to the seaside resort of Deauville for an overnight. (B,D)
Day 4: Deauville–Normandy Landing Beaches–Bayeux–Mont St. Michel.
This morning, visit the nearby legendary beaches of Normandy, where the Allied troops landed more than 60 years ago. The highlights are Arromanches and the American Cemetery at Omaha. Next, to Bayeux, famed for its lace-making and the world-renowned Bayeux Tapestry (included visit). Then, southwards to visit Mont St. Michel, which stands on an island reached by a causeway. (B)
Day 5: Mont St. Michel–St. Malo–Rennes–Loire Valley.
Drive along the coast to the fortified seaside resort of St. Malo to admire its cathedral and ancient walls. Continue to Rennes with its traditional colorful timber-framed houses. Later, reach Amboise for two overnights. (B)
Day 6: Loire Valley.
A whole day to take advantage of a fascinating optional excursion and visit the Châteaux of Chenonceaux, now privately owned and the most visited castle of the Loire Valley, and Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. (B,D)
Day 7: Loire Valley–Blois–Chartres–Paris.
Start the day with a visit to picturesque Blois, with its renaissance castle located in the town center and once occupied by Louis XII. Later, another highlight is the visit of Chartres, home of the famous gothic cathedral. Reach Paris well in time to enjoy an optional excursion. (B)
Day 8: Paris.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)