Discover some of the most picturesque and interesting towns and villages in France.
Discover Monet’s inspiration at Giverny. Enjoy a visit to the magnificent gardens, house and art studio where Monet spent his most creative and memorable years. The Monet Foundation maintains the property as Monet kept it when he was alive and it stands today as a reminder of his amazing talent.
The Burgundy region offers a splendid selection of Romanesque and Gothic Cathedrals, churches and abbeys to be discovered. Wine enthusiasts can savor the fine wines of the region and tour the vineyards that wind through the seemingly endless wine routes. The Franche-Comte region borders Switzerland and it is showcased by the Jura Mountains. This region is known for its yellow desert wines.
The Loire Valley is a lavish region known as Chateaux Country. We combine two regions of France under this category, Centre Loire and Pay de la Loire. There are castles, manors and cathedrals that will more than satisfy your curiosity of the great historic wonders that are scattered throughout the region. There are plenty of opportunities to canoe, kayak and even river cruise on the longest river in France, the Loire. For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are more than 3,000 lakes and forests with wildlife and hiking. There are also amazing white wines that will make your trip to Loire most memorable.
Day 1: Arrival in Paris
Arrive in Paris. Private airport transfer. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to recuperate from your flight.
Day 2: Paris
Paris full-day tour (8 hours). The driver-guide will take you to see major monuments and sites: Notre Dame Cathedral, Marais district, Louvre museum, Garnier’s Opera, Vendome Square, Concorde square, Champs-Elysees, Arch of Triumph and Invalides. Lunch will be served at the new restaurant “Le 58 Tour Eiffel” located on the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. After lunch, free time to visit part of the Tower, then a 1-hour boat cruise along the Seine from where you can admire the most beautiful monuments from a different angle. You will have free time at Montmartre to discover the Sacre-Coeur Basilica and the artist’s square, Place du Tertre.
Day 3: Day Free to Explore
Explore Paris at leisure. You may want to explore the many museums or go back and investigate in depth some of the places seen yesterday or do some shopping, etc. We can also arrange guided tours of the museums and main monuments of the city.
Day 4: Claude Monet’s House in Giverny
Day trip by minibus to Claude Monet’s House in Giverny (10 hours). Visit Monet’s residence and gardens. You will discover the famous Japanese bridge, the water lily pond and the colorful world of the master of Impressionism. Also, visit of the new “Musee des Impressionnismes” nearby. Then on to Auvers sur Oise for a guided tour of the village where Vincent Van Gogh lived the last hundred days of his life and where he painted some of his most famous paintings. Visit of Auberge Ravoux where you will see the bedroom where he died.
Day 5: Reims and Champagne
Today, on to Reims and Champagne (10 hours). Stop at the cathedral in Reims for a guided tour of this magnificent Gothic masterpiece, the site of the coronation of French Kings for centuries. Next, attend a presentation on growing grapes before visiting a winery near Epernay. There, you will see the tools and techniques used in the making of sparkling wine: a press, vats, the storage of bottles, and the key stages of making champagne will be explained. This visit will be followed by a tasting session (one glass of champagne). Traditional lunch in Epernay, including two glasses of wine. In the afternoon, visit the world-famous Moet & Chandon wine cellars. Champagne tasting included. Return to Paris via the Marne River valley.
Day 6: Burgundy
Going south, this morning, to Burgundy (12 hours). In addition to world-class wine making, this prosperous region offers a rich political, religious and artistic history. It is the home of Cistercian abbeys and the departure point of crusades to the holy land, as well as a place for religious pilgrimages. Chablis, in the Serein River valley, is a quaint village surrounded by lush vineyards. Visit the Michel Laroche cellar and taste one of the world’s best white wines. Lunch in the ”Bistrot des Grands Crus” (beverages not included). Then, visit Vezelay, known as the ”the eternal hill”, a World-Heritage site. Guided tour of the (mostly) Romanesque basilica dedicated to Saint Mary-Magdalene and the crypt which holds relics of the saint. Free time to stroll around the village.
Day 7: Loire Valley
”Best for last” today. Trip to the Loire Valley (12 hours). Start this “Renaissance day” by a tour of the royal castle of Amboise which was the preferred residence of the royal court during the 15th century. Then, visit the Clos Luce, about a mile away, where Leonardo da Vinci lived until his death in1519. Models of machines he designed are on display inside the castle and out in the garden. Next stop is flamboyant Chenonceau built over the picturesque River Cher in pure traditional Renaissance style. On the way back to Paris, a short stop in Chambord for a panoramic view of the castle – no interior visit.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, check out and be ready for your private airport transfer. Return home.
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If you are searching for rich history, sumptuous cuisine, museums, shopping and pleasant surroundings. Whether you are the couple with an adventurous streak who thrives on adrenalin rushes, or the kind who loves all things quaint, or the type who just wants to relax and get pampered, or maybe a little of all the above, Metanoia Travel lets you fashion your ideal holiday — if you dream of doing it, we can make it happen.
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