Buckle up for a lively encounter with the highlights of France. On this 8-day love affair with the world's most visited country, you'll get your fill of centuries of French heritage and culture across the valleys and vineyards of northern France, from Joan of Arc's Rouen to its glittering capital, Paris. Amidst all that French joie de vivre, you'll encounter those iconic sights and landmarks you've always longed to see - the Eiffel Tower, Mont St. Michel, and the D-Day Landing beaches on the Normandy coast.
Honfleur Visit this picturesque port
Loire Valley Visit the magnificent Château de Chenonceau with your Local Specialist, see the Château d'Amboise and view the Château de Chambord
Mont St. Michel Visit the island town and view the abbey
Normandy Visit the D-Day Landing beaches of Omaha
Paris Sightseeing includes views of the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Élysées and the Eiffel Tower
Rouen View the cathedral
First Class Travel Highlights:
Audio Headsets provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences
Luxury air-conditioned coach
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
Variety of Optional Experiences
City orientation tours
An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes
Airport transfers are provided on the first and last travel day. Conditions apply
Arrive Paris (1 Night)
Ah Paris! Audrey Hepburn described it best when she said 'Paris is always a good idea'. We're sure you'll agree. After checking in, meet your Travel Director for a glimpse into what lies ahead then hit the streets and explore the city your way, perhaps seeking out delicious French flavours at a local café. This evening you may wish to discover why Paris is so deserving of its title, the 'City of Lights'. Join your fellow travellers for an optional evening tour through Montmartre's maze of streets which once nurtured the talents of great artists and writers.
Paris – Rouen – Honfleur – Deauville (1 Night)
Retrace the steps of one of France's beloved daughters, St. Joan of Arc, when you visit medieval Rouen today. Here you'll view the city's impressive cathedral whose towers, statues and pinnacles were favourite subjects in the paintings of French Impressionist, Claude Monet. There's time to stretch your legs along Honfleur's colourful 17th-century harbour before heading to Deauville. With its racecourse and high-profile international film festival, this handsome resort town has long been a playground for well-heeled Parisians.
Deauville – D-Day Landing Beaches – Mont St. Michel – Rennes (1 Night)
Begin your day with a moving visit to the D-Day Landing beaches and American cemetery at Omaha. Today the views may be serene, but you can't help thinking back to that summer day in 1944 when thousands of Allied soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice to reclaim Europe. After this incredibly humbling experience, you'll continue through the Loire Valley stopping at the UNESCO-listed Mont St. Michel, which rises almost magically up from the sea at high tide. The spire of the Abbey seems to touch the heavens, inhabited by a golden statue of the Archangel which legend has it ordered the construction of the chapel in this unusual island location in the first place. Arriving in Rennes later, you'll be free to explore the city as you wish.
Rennes – Saumur – Tours (2 Nights)
This is châteaux country, where elegant estates and manicured gardens dot the Loire River as it slices through the heart of France. You'll see why this scenic area has attracted French aristocracy for centuries. Discover Saumur, sitting elegantly astride the Loire and home to France's national equestrian school. Not only is the city of Tours the former capital of France and a beautiful gateway to the Loire Valley, it's also heaven for foodies as you'll have an opportunity to discover on your free evening. Raise a glass to good food and good friends as you join an Optional Experience dinner in the Loire Valley.
Loire Valley sightseeing
All that glitters really is gold which you'll come to discover as you explore the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley today. Your first stop is at Château d'Amboise whose art and architecture were both inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Join an optional guided tour delving into the life of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, including a visit to the Manor House and gardens where he spent his last years. The next jewel to admire is stylish Chenonceau, straddling the Cher River. Join your Local Specialist for a whimsical tour of this 16th-century château and its garden, a pleasure palace deserving of its nickname the "château of the ladies". Admire the priceless collections of Renaissance art and furniture and its extraordinary collection of 16th-century tapestries before returning to your hotel in Tours where you'll enjoy dinner tonight.
Tours – Chambord – Paris (2 Nights)
There's another château in store this morning as you begin your return journey to Paris. We've saved the biggest for last and you'll have an opportunity to view the grand Château de Chambord and its surrounding forest. Imagine royal hunting parties combing the woods for wild game as you wind your way north past orchards, vineyards, cathedrals and châteaux. You'll arrive in Paris just in time to enjoy a memorable Optional Experience featuring dinner and a dazzling cabaret show. You'll have two nights in the French capital to indulge in its legendary nightlife and make lasting memories with new friends.
Paris sightseeing and free time
All the main icons feature on your morning sightseeing tour of Paris with your Travel Director. From the Eiffel Tower and grand Champs Élysées to the iconic Arc de Triomphe, honouring those who fought and died for France over the centuries, you won't miss a thing. There's plenty of time this afternoon to discover Paris for yourself. Take a stroll through the medieval Latin Quarter with a Local Specialist during an Optional Experience. There's even time to people-watch at a sidewalk bistro.
Your whirlwind adventure through France has come to an end. You've seen medieval cities, walked in the footsteps of saints, soldiers and noblemen, and immersed yourself in the art, culture, history and cuisine of northern France - just enough to whet your appetite for another visit. Say a fond au revoir to your Travel Director and newfound friends. Find out more about your free airport transfer at costsavertour.com/freetransfers.