Magnificent France

Duration

9 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Paris

Available

April 2020 / November 2020

Cities to visit: Paris; Blois; 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

Distance travelled: 335 km.
 

08:00 h - Paris –departure- (exact departure time depends on hotel pick-ups). 
10:30 h - Blois - arrival - hill side city with a castle in the heart of the Loire Valley. We recommend taking a walk at its lively town centre. 

11:45 h - Blois –departure- 
12:15 h - Tours –arrival- Capital of the region. You can visit its historic city centre right by the Loire. Time to have lunch. 

15:30 h - Tours –departure- 
16:00 h - Villandry. Entrance included to the grounds of its grand palace. The gardens are considered among the most beautiful in the whole of France. 

17:30 h - Villandry –departure- 
18:15 h - Amboise – We arrive in this quaint town on the Loire river. Dinner included.  

Important: Due to limited hotel availability in Amboise, at times we will sleep in Tours instead. Note: In the event we count with very few English speaking passengers on board, the guide assigned to the portion of the journey between Paris and Tours may not be fluent in English.

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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From: AUD 1,979