Day 1 Arrive in Paris, France.
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. In the included sightseeing with a local expert are 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 to October; departures March 17 & 24 visit D-day Museum in Arromanches instead). Continue to Rouen to visit its great CATHEDRAL. Next, enjoy a stop in lovely Honfleur situated on the Seine estuary, and then continue to the seaside resort of Deauville. (B,D)
Day 4 Deauville–Normandy Landing Beaches–Bayeux–Mont St. Michel.
Visit the legendary beaches of Normandy, where Allied troops landed more than 70 years ago. The highlights are Arromanches and the AMERICAN CEMETERY at Omaha. On to Bayeux, famed for its lace-making and the world-renowned BAYEUX TAPESTRY depicting the story of William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, the men who led the Norman and Saxon armies in 1066 to conquer England. Then, discover spectacular Mont St. Michel, which stands on an island reached by a causeway. (B)
Day 5 Mont St. Michel–St. Malo–Rennes–Châteaux Country.
Drive along the Brittany coast to the fortified seaside resort of St. Malo to admire its CATHEDRAL and ancient walls. Later, visit Rennes with its traditional, colorful, timberframed houses, then reach the enchanting Châteaux Country. (B)
Day 6 Châteaux Country.
A whole day at leisure or to take advantage of a fascinating optional excursion and visit the Château of Chenonceau, 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 Châteaux Country–Blois–Chartres–Paris.
Visit picturesque Blois with its renaissance castle, once occupied by Louis XII. Later, another highlight is the visit of Chartres, home of the famous gothic cathedral. Reach Paris to enjoy an optional evening excursion. (B)
Day 8 Paris.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)