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10 Day Luxury Small Group Normandy Brittany and The Loire Valley

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10 Day Luxury Small Group Normandy Brittany and The Loire Valley

Step into a land of renowned artists and royal crusaders, hilltop monasteries and valley castles. This tour takes us from France’s dramatic northern shores to châteaux-sprinkled countryside, breaking off to see WWII sites, explore centuries-old villages and sample home-grown delicacies.

Our adventure map

Map of La Belle France | 2017

Day by day

First day welcome to Paris

Arrive into Paris and enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Second Day we travel from Paris to Honfleur

Our first impressions of France are formed in Giverny, Normandy, at the home of one of the world’s most celebrated artists – Claude Monet. The vivid colours in every room paint a picture of his life and the gardens outside are brimming with every shade of flower. We carry that image with us all the way to Honfleur. With a harbour lined with a parade of tall, brightly painted merchant’s houses, it’s one of the most beautifully preserved old ports in Normandy – and our home for the next two nights. Bustling cafes and restaurants line the pavements. So what better way to celebrate the start of our trip than with a welcome dinner together. (D)

Hotel:    Hotel des Loges 

Third Day we sample Normandy and return to Honfleur

On the menu today is Normandy’s ‘back country’. We take the road less travelled to Livarot where a renowned dairy produces wonderful cheeses –and invites us to sample them. Of course, cheese is made even better when followed up with drinks. So we track the Routedu Cidre towards Beuvron-en-Auge, voted one of the most beautiful villages in all of France. From cool, crisp ciders to heady, amber-hued Calvados, it’s here that we pause to taste the fruits of the region’s orchards – a delicious end to our day. (B)

Hotel:    Hotel des Loges 

Fourth Day we see the historic Normandy Beaches then head to Calvados 

We turn our attentions to the windswept shoreline, where history has left an enduring mark not just on the landscape, but the lives of countless people around the world. At the Normandy Beaches, we stand at the sites of the D-Day Landings of 1944. Afterwards, there’s the opportunity to pay a poignant visit to the American War Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, which is in a peaceful spot overlooking Omaha beach.When bed beckons, we find ourselves in a countryside hotel not far from the coast. (B, D)

Hotel:    Ferme de la Ranconniere 

Fifth Day we visit bayeux and Mont St Michel then dine in Dinan

Time to unfold another layer of Normandy history this morning with a trip to see the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry. The town of Bayeux is a find in itself, which we enjoy exploring afterwards. That afternoon, we drive onto enchanting Mont St Michel, crossing the tidal causeway to wander the buzzing island village. There’s even time to visit the medieval monastery, which crowns the hilltop and gazes imperiously back to the mainland. To top off a charm filled day, we spend this evening in Dinan – and it’s yours to enjoy.(B)

Hotel:    Hotel le D'Avaugour 

Sixth Day Dinan at your leisure

With a whole day to yourself in Dinan, you can really get under the skin of this Gallicgem. Picture ancient ramparts, timbered houses, a postcard-pretty quay and 13th century castle. You’ll get a sense of its arts and crafts heritage in the quirky shops and galleries that line the cobbled streets, with talented craftspeople ranging from bookbinders to glassblowers plying their trade here. And it has little bars and restaurants to suit every taste.(B)

Hotel:    Hotel le D'Avaugour 

Seventh Day sample Angers then go onto Chinon 

We’re deep into fairy-tale territory when we travel towards the Loire Valley, a landscape whose skyline is peppered with the turrets of castles. Our first port of call is Angers, once the medieval stronghold of the Plantagenet kings. It gives us a chance to get up close to a moat-encircled castle and admire a beautiful tapestry. Then we move on to Chinon where dinner at a local restaurant awaits. (B, D)

Hotel:    Hotel Diderot 

Eighth Day see majestic Château De Villandry  and return to Chinon

Our first Château of the tour is the last of Loire’s greats: Château de Villandry. There is plenty of time for us to explore its majestic interiors and even more magnificent grounds. Be sure to peek out of an upstairs window for a birds-eye view of the parterre planting, with intricate patterns laid out in meticulously trimmed hedges and vivid flowers. Taking it all in is thirsty work. So on our way back to Chinon we enjoy a detour at a regional winery and linger over a glass or two. (B)

Hotel:    Hotel Diderot 

Ninth Day explore Château de Chenonceau  and Montlouis-Sur-Loire

Château de Chenonceau gives us the opportunity to stroll through manicured gardens and explore the fascinating museum. While at our own Château, deep in the heart of the Loire Valley, we turn into lords and ladies of the manor with a night spent in stately surrounds – but not before a guided tour of the gardens and an indulgent farewell dinner. (B, D)

Hotel:   Chateau de la Bourdaisiere 

Tenth Day visit Chartres then finally Paris 

A fitting finale to our tour is a visit to the celebrated Cathedral of Chartres, reckoned to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France. Its soaring spires and ornate 13th Century stained glass windows are a sight to behold, and a beautiful image to take back to Paris where we say “au revoir”.(B)

Travel Highlights

  • Private transfers to and from the airport
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily
  • 4 x evening meals
  • Cooking demonstration and dinner
  • Cheese tasting
  • Cider and calvados tasting
  • Wine tasting
  • Guided château garden tour
  • Included Entrances: Monet’s House and Garden at Giverny, Angers Castle, Bayeux Tapestry, Mont St Michel, Chateau de Villandry and Chateau de Chenonceau.

The Difference

Taste locally produced wine, cheese, cider and calvados

Immerse yourself in Normandy history, from the Bayeux Tapestry to the D-Day beaches

Sleep in the storybook surrounds of a grand French château

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
  • All Tours are Guaranteed Departures.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA protected

Best prices, more information and booking

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