Explore your France

Duration

14 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Paris

Available

April 2020 / November 2020

Cities to visit: Paris; Rouen; Arromanches, Lower Normandy; Caen; Mont Saint Michel; Saint Malo; Dinan; Rennes; Angers; Tours; Villandry, Centre; Amboise, Centro Valle de Loira; Chenonceaux; Chambord; Limoges; Sarlat-La-Caneda; Beynac-Et-Cazenac, Nouvelle-Aquitaine; Rocamadour; Padirac, Midi-Pyrénées; Collonges-La-Rouge, Limousin; Saint Emilion; Bordeaux; Lourdes; ; Carcassonne; Marseille, Provenza Alpes Costa Azul; Avignon; Lyon, Ródano Alpes; Tournus; Beaune, Burgundy; Dijon, Burgundy; Abbey Of Fontenay; Semur-En-Auxois; Vezelay

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:  Arrival. Transfer to the hotel. 

Reception.  Transfer to hotel  and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon, or you can check the informative panels in the hotel reception area. 

IMPORTANT -  IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.  

NB:   The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.    

08.00hrs– Paris - we start a panoramic tour of Paris with a local guide. Lasting approximately 2 1/2 hours, you will see the: Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elisées, Madeleine, Place de la Concorde, Opera, the Louvre Museum, Tour St. Jacques, the City Hall, the Ile de la Cité with Notre Dame Cathedral, the Latin quarter, the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, the Luxembourg Gardens, Invalides, the Military School, the Champs de Mars-Eiffel Tower and the banks of the River Seine. We will make short stops by Invalides and the Champs de Mars.   

After the visit, transfer to the district of Montmartre . Time to stroll and have lunch in the bohemian district of Montmartre with its little restaurants and street artists.   

14.00hrs - After lunch, return to the hotel stopping by the Louvre Museum for those who want to stay in the city centre. We suggest a visit to the museum (our guide will give you the option of a guided tour of the inside of the museum).      

Afternoon free. In the evening there is the option of going to a show at the Moulin Rouge. 

08.00hrs Versailles  – Departure from the hotel and transfer to Versailles to visit the Palace and the gardens, with two and a half hours to do so from our arrival. Return to the city centre for lunch.  Afternoon free. Your guide will offer you the option of a boat trip on the river Seine and a visit to the Latin Quarter.

Total distance: 355 Km.   
Countryside:  Placid scenery, River Seine.   

07:30 hrs  Paris –departure. The departure time may vary depending on the hotels where the travellers have to be collected. We leave for Normandy, our route following the course of the river Seine. 
09:30 hrs - Giverny –Arrival-. We include tickets to the house of Monet with its very beautiful gardens, and where we will talk about French Impressionist art.    

11.00hrs - Giverny –Departure-.  
12.00 hrs Rouen – Arrival. Time to see the Gothic cathedral, to stroll around its mediaeval streets and have lunch    

14:30 hrs - Rouen –Departure-. We continue on our way through Normandy. Pleasant countryside. 
16:45 hrs -  Arromanches –Arrival-. We are on the beaches where the British troops landed in the Second World War.   

18:15 hrs - Arromanches –Departure-. 
19.00hrs – Caen – Arrival. Time for a stroll in the centre. 

Total distance: 270 km.
 
Countryside: Beautiful hilly countryside and a spectacular arrival at Mont. Saint Michel    

08.00hrs – Caen – departure. – We continue through Normandy.  
09:45 hrs – Mont St. Michel – We reach the “Marvel”, surrounded by the ocean. Don’t miss a stroll through its narrow streets and a visit to its Abbey, sometimes turned into an island surrounded by the ocean.    

NB: Bus traffic is regulated and parking is away from the town, with access to it on buses from the car park itself.   

12:30 hrs – Mont St. Michel – departure. We go on to French Brittany.  
13:15 hrs  – St. Malo. A seaside city surrounded by impressive walls and with an active and beautiful port. Time for a stroll and for lunch    

15:15hrs – St. Malo – departure. 
15:45 hrs – Dinan – Arrival, time in this pretty mediaeval village.     

17.00hrs – Dinan –departure. We travel through inland Brittany. 
18.00 hrs – Rennes. - Accommodation and time in the capital of Brittany. We suggest a stroll around its monumental historic centre. 

Distance covered: 335 km.
 
Countryside: Today we are on the course of the River Loire with its interesting villages and castles along the way.    

08.00hrs - Rennes –Departure-  
10.00 hrs - Angers. - Time in this city on the Loire. If you wish, you can visit the castle which has a very interesting tapestry of the Apocalypse.    

11:45 hrs – Angers – departure, we go on our way through pleasant fields. 
13:45 hrs - Tours –Arrival-. We are in the regional capital. You can stroll through its historic centre by the Loire. Time for lunch.   

15:30 hrs - Tours –Departure-.  
16.00hrs - Villandry . Tickets included to the gardens of this great palace . Considered some of the most beautiful gardens in France.   

17:30 hrs - Villandry –Departure-.  
18:15 hrs - Amboise –  Arrival in this picturesque town on the banks of the Loire Valley with a very interesting mediaeval quarter.  Dinner  and accommodation included.  

NB : Sometimes we may stay in Tours, as the hotel capacity in Amboise is highly limited.

Total distance: 310 km.
 
Countryside:  The River Loire scattered with beautiful villages and castles marks our route. Have your cameras ready, we will pass alongside the River Loire and see some castles along the way.   

We will see the Loire region in a little more depth. In the morning, a stroll in Amboise, to the castle of Clos Luce where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last 3 years before his death (entrance not included).  

10:30 hrs – Amboise. – Departure. 
10:45 hrs – Chenonceau –Arrival. Many believe this is the most beautiful castle on the Loire, in the form of a bridge over the river Cher, a tributary of the Loire. Its interior is also magnificently preserved. Tickets included.    

12:15 hrs – Chenonceau –departure. We continue along pretty local roads to Chambord. 
13:15 hrs – Chambord –Arrival. Time to see the park of this immense castle on the Loire and for lunch.    

15:30 hrs – Chambord. - Departure. We travel towards the centre of France, going through picturesque villages on our way.  
17:30 hrs- Argenton sur Creuse –Arrival-. A stroll in this charming mediaeval town on the banks of the river Creuse. 

18:30 hrs - Argenton –Departure-.  
19:45 hrs - Limoges –Arrival to a city known for its porcelain, where we recommend a stroll around the Cathedral district.

Distance travelled: 222 km.
 
Lanscape: Small roads, medieval towns, beautiful lands of the Dordogne Valley. 
Comfortable footwear highly suggested for this part of the trip. 

08:00 h - Limoges – We set off and continue towards the Dordogne river, one of the most historically important in central France. Few other regions count with having towns and landscapes as charming and unforgettable as here. 

09:15h - Lascaux- We arrive at this monumental cave complex where we can see Palaeolithic cave paintings and learn about this period in human history. Museum and cave entry fees included.


11:15 h - Lascaux –departure- We continue south through quaint villages and landscapes. 
13:00 h - Sarlat- considered among the most beautiful cities in France, its well preserved medieval and reinnaisance town centre has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site. Time to have lunch and experience its charm. 

15:15 h – Sarlat – departure- 
15:30 h –Beynac - Few minutes away from Sarlat we stop at another medieval town in the heart of the Dordgne Valley, Beynac. Perched high up on a cliff at breath-taking heights, its castle acts as a stone sentinel (entrance included) . We will take in the views of the Dordogne Valley and learn more about life in the Middle Ages. 

16:30 h - Beynac - Departure. 
18:00 h - Rocamadour - Arrival - This city, famous for its sanctuaries and castle, is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. We recommend to access the Via Crucis by lift then descend on foot and explore this charming town. Our guide will take you to the entrance to the medieval town before handing the hotel keys. Dinner included.

Distance travelled: 295 km  
Landscape: Breathtaking landscapes of the Dordogne and Bordeaux regions. 
Important: Comfortable footwear highly suggested for the cave visit. 

08:30 h - Rocamadour – departure- Beautiful landscapes of Dordogne. 
09:00 h - Padirac Cave - Considered one of the most important caves in France, we will explore it by boa t thanks to the 3 lifts that take us to its underground river. Entrance fee and visit included.  
Important: At times, the caves may be closed to the public for safety and weather-related reasons. 

11:15 h - Padirac –departure- 
12:00 h – Collonge la Rouge - We have time to visit and eat lunch at this pleasant red stone village on the Way of St. James. 

14:30 h - Collonge la Rouge –departure- 
17:00 h - Saint Emilion – Heart of the vinemaking region of Bordeaux. This lovely medieval town owes its wealth on more than 2000 years of winemaking tradition. Time to explore. 

18:30 h – Saint Emilion- departure- We travel towards Bordeaux along pleasant landscapes and vineyards. 
19:30 h – Bordeaux – arrival - Accommodation. We recommend to visit the town centre of this city on the banks of the Garonne River.

Distance travelled: 270 km 
Landscape: Vineyards. We explore Bordeaux whose town centre has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site. You may be captivated by the “water mirror” and can have a walk along the old town’s pedestrian streets and its XI century cathedral . Then we visit La Cité du Vin , an interactive museum dedicated to the local history and production of wine (entrance included- self-guided visit with audio guide in Spanish, French or English). Wine tasting included. at the lookout overlooking the city. Free time to visit and have lunch at one of the small restaurants in the area along of the Garonne river. 

13:30 h - Bordeaux departure - We get back on route to the Pyrenees. 
17.30 hrs - Lourdes –Arrival-. Time to visit the Sanctuary. We recommend you attend the candle procession, which normally takes place at 21.00 hrs from the end of March to late October. Dinner included.

today´s highlights: medieval villages of s. bertrand or carcassonne.

following the pyrenees, we stop at saint bertrand, a medieval town hung on the mountainside, dominated by its great cathedral. time for a stroll before continuing to carcassonne, a city surrounded by the most beautiful walls in europe. time to stroll and have lunch. in the afternoon, we continue to marseilles, france’s second city, to see its vibrant “vieux port” (old port). 

note: if the group is small, the section from carcassonne to marseilles may be done by train (our guide will give you the tickets and inform you, and another different guide will be waiting for you upon your arrival in marseilles).

today’s highlights:  provence region. carrieres de lumiere in les beaux. 

villages, landscapes, history, today we see some of the most beautiful places in provence. arles, a world heritage city, shows us its legacy of the roman and medieval times and reminds us of van gogh. in les beaux, we have the chance to visit this small medieval village and we will include admission to the carrieres de lumiere, an impressive show of art, image and sound underground, in some former quarries. time for lunch and stroll in avignon, with its immense palais des papes. we continue to lyon, where we can walk through the world heritage site old town and we will include the cable car to climb notre dame de fourviere, a huge basilica from where we have a great view over the city.

today’s highlights:  burgundy region. rochepot castle.  

we will leave lyon for burgundy. we stop at tournus, a nice little town with its huge stone door and large abbey. after this, on small roads we travel through beautiful vineyards and countryside to la rochepot, we include admission to its powerful medieval castle. beaune, time for lunch and stroll in the wine capital of burgundy; you can visit the wine museum or see the historic hospice. in the early afternoon, arrival in dijon, the capital of burgundy, with its lively streets, magnificent urban complex and many medieval and renaissance buildings, particularly the ducal palace.

today’s highlights:  burgundy region. admission to fontenay abbey.  

we leave dijon for fontenay abbey, a world heritage site, where we include admission to this cistercian centre. after this, a stop in semur en auxois, a medieval city surrounded by impressive walls. still in burgundy, we will have time for lunch and a stroll in vezelay, one of france’s most beautiful villages, where its immense basilica was one of the starting points of the way of st james. in the afternoon we continue our route to paris. arrival mid-afternoon.

End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night. 


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