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Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley - Summer 2020

Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley - Summer 2020


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Overview

Dates & Prices

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Sat, Aug 08, 2020
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Itinerary

Countries Visited

France

Tour Itinerary

Investigate Normandy's role in the 1066 and 1944 invasions that changed the course of history. Explore the beautiful city of St-Malo, the châteaux of the Loire and gleaming Paris.

Day 1 - Welcome to Paris.
On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. After checking in, the capital’s grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at Rural, a local brasserie with a Mediterranean-inspired menu.(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville.
Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of the Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets beneath the Great Clock to the Old Market Square. Here, a superb modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc on this very spot in 1431. Continue to the charming fishing town of Honfleur and to your luxurious hotel located in the chic seaside resort of Deauville.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville, Normandy.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 - Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings.
Following the route of the Rangers and visiting the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Then with a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent near Omaha Beach before a visit to the D-Day Museum to see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay of Arromanches. There are poignant reminders of World War II as you travel past Juno and Gold beaches, which both played a part in the Normandy landings. This evening you are treated to a delightful dinner, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and delicious wines.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville, Normandy.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 4 - Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo.
Journey through Bocage country for an exploration of the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. The abbey stands on an island and is reached by a causeway across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defences huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes and hotels. Continue along the Emerald Coast to stunning Saint-Malo, situated on the Rance Estuary and one of the most charming places in France. A Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the City of the Corsairs. Walk through the maze of streets of Intra Muros, the walled city, to the cathedral, the burial place of Jacques Cartier and other celebrated voyagers. At your leisure, you can wander around the ramparts of the thick city walls, offering fantastic views over the old town and the bay. By night, the town’s medieval maze of winding streets is abuzz with quaint bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you may wish to join an Optional Experience to Cancale, known throughout France of its oyster beds, for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other Breton specialties?(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hôtel Le Nouveau Monde, Saint-Malo.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 - Villandry Experience.
Head south to follow the valley of the Loire, passing the moated Angers Castle. Cross the Loire to Saumur, where a local vintner will guide you through tastings of the region's delicious wines. Head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious gardens. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens – a stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Château de Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Scenic Drive Along the Loire Valley.
Journey to the fairy-tale Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restorations, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings. Return to your own superb chateau for relaxation and free time. At night, your Celebration Dinner starts with a glass of local sparkling wine and continues with excellent service and delicious Farm-to-Table dishes in the most wholesome setting, ensuring the memory of your meal will linger long after you've returned home.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Château de Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 7 - La Beauce and Chartres to Paris, City of Light.
Travelling through the vast wheat fields of Beauce region, Chartres Cathedral looms large on the horizon. Auguste Rodin called it the 'Acropolis of France,' and once inside you can marvel at the beautiful stained-glass rose window which floods the cathedral with colour and light. From here, return to the French capital, where your Travel Director introduces you to all the fabulous sights including the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the immense facades of the Louvre. Behold the vast Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood, then travel down the Champs Elysées to Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe. After dark, the City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to experience one of the world-famous cabaret shows.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Au revoir Paris.
Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Paris: Enjoy your Welcome Dinner at Le Sud, a local brasserie with a Mediterranean and similarly inspired menu.
  • Loire Valley: At Château de Rochecotte you will enjoy a delicious Celebration Farm-to-Table Dinner, prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Saumur: Fun and informative, discuss the grape varieties and local terroir while sampling wines of the Loire Valley.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Bastille Day: Celebrated across France on 14 July, Bastille Day commemorates the end of the French monarchy. Witness the remarkable display of fireworks lighting up the warm summer sky and perhaps join in one of the traditional balls.
  • Rouen: See the cathedral, the Great Clock, the Old Market square and Place du Vieux-Marché where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
  • Honfleur: See this charming fishing town.
  • Normandy Beaches: Join an emotive journey tracing the story of the D-Day landings. See the remains of the artificial Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and with a local war historian, visit the American Military Cemetery at St-Laurent-sur-Mer, the D-Day Museum and the bunkers at Pointe du Hoc.
  • Mont-Saint-Michel: Savour your first sight of the fortified island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Cross the causeway for a guided tour with your Local Expert through the maze of halls and vaults of the abbey.
  • Saint-Malo: Your Local Expert guides you trough the intertwined streets of the walled city to arrive at the cathedral. Later enjoy the chance to walk along the fortifications and explore the cities nightlife at your leisure.
  • Angers: Enjoy exploring the western gateway to the Loire Valley in the little town of Angers and see its imposing chateau.
  • Loire Valley: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is known as the Jardins de France thanks to a wide variety of beautifully-manicured gardens that decorate the grounds of elegant estates. Accompanied by your Local Expert, visit France’s finest formal gardens that surround Villandry Castle, standing beside the Cher River.
  • Château d'Ussé: During your visit to Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley.
  • Chartres: Inside magnificent Chartres Cathedral, marvel at the stained-glass windows, a riot of rich blues and reds, justly considered the finest medieval glass in France.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
  • Scenic Drives: Fall in love with the French countryside as you travel along the River Seine and through Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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Questions & Answers

Question: Were Canadian, can we visit the Canadian memorials??

You'll have to discuss and make plans with your travel director while on trip. They'll be able to help make arrangements for you.

Question: Does the price include airfare from Washington DC?

Prices on our website do not include airfare.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.1
Accommodations
3.9
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 9 reviews - currently showing 4 reviews with comments only

Tour Director Elisabeth was excellent. Professional and friendly. She really cared about her travelers and was ready to assist and help any needs. It was a great trip and would highly recommend it to anyone.

The only problem we encountered was the transfer service that was arranged for us in BCN took us to the wrong Hilton n would only come back to take us to the rite hotel for an additional $75. We had to take a taxi that cost us an additional $25.

Some of the accommodations were away from local restaurants and attractions. 

I thought the Insight itinerary could have been a little more complete--making it obvious what you would visit as opposed to just driving by. The tour did have a good mix of activities and free time.


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