Our Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley Tour will show you three of France’s most visited destinations. Normandy has historic landing beaches, cathedrals and Medieval abbeys. Continuing via Brittany we see the walled Saint-Malo, built on rock in the English Channel. The coast is renowned for its unusual, blush-hued sand and rocks. We visit a most famous abbey is Mont Saint-Michel. A majestic cathedral isolated from the mainland by a dangerous swamp, it is one of the highlights of any visit to the northern part of France.
Finally, we reach the Loire Valley, often called the “Valley of the Kings” with the highest concentration of castles anywhere in the world. Sumptuous buildings of turbulent history with extensive formal gardens and timeless nearby villages of stone houses are reflected in the mellow waters of the Loire and its tributaries. Visit the place where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years as guest of the French king, Francis I. Enjoy your chateaux hopping glancing into long gone lifestyles of past royalties.
- D-Day Landing Beaches
- Normandy with its picturesque towns
- The Loire’s most beautiful châteaux
4 days /3 nights – Weekly Paris departures on Thursdays & Saturdays
1st Day – Rouen, Honfleur and the Normandy Landing Beaches
We leave the center of Paris at 7:15 am. After a two-hour ride we make a stop in Rouen. Take a 2 hour walking tour of the city’s historic district featuring the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral, Gros Horloge (an astronomical clock that is one of the city’s treasures) and half-timbered houses. The pedestrian streets, which date back to the medieval era, give Rouen a unique charm that served as the inspiration for many Impressionist painters. Claude Monet painted several views of the Cathedral.
During the trip to Honfleur (56 miles from Rouen), you will pass the striking Pont de Normandie suspension bridge that spans the Seine estuary. In Honfleur, you will have some free time during which you can explore the harbor town with its picturesque streets and incredible houses with slate façades. Enjoy lunch at one of the town’s restaurants. Be sure to sit on the terrace to take in the sights of this typical Norman harbor town.
Next we go to the Beaches of Normandy, which are the must-see World War II sites where the Allies landed in 1944. First, we stop at the impressive American Cemetery in Saint Laurent/Colleville Sur Mer, which covers 70 hectares. Located above Omaha Beach, this site honors the American soldiers who lost their lives during the Battle of Normandy.
After driving for another half-hour, we a brief stop at Arromanches beach. You can still see the remnants of the pontoons for the artificial harbor that was built in England and brought to the site by the Allies so that they could land at high tide. Then you will be taken to the Caen Novotel (or a similar hotel) where you will have dinner and spend the night.
2nd Day – Saint-Malo and the Mont Saint-Michel
The second day is spent in Brittany. After breakfast, we drive to the fortified city of Saint-Malo, which was once infamous for its privateers. First, a tour of this beautiful city and its considerable historic heritage, and then time for lunch on your own. Notable sights include the city walls, Château, Saint-Malo Cathedral, and Fort National.
The bus will then leave this Breton town to take you to Mont Saint-Michel. No trip to France is complete without a visit to this town perched on a rocky peak. Let your guide lead you to the town entrance with its drawbridge and along the Grande Rue, which ends at the famous abbey on the top of the mountain. Enjoy a guided tour of this Gothic Benedictine abbey, which boasts a refectory, cloister, and garden offering a superb panoramic view of the sea. Afterward, you will have some free time during which you can stroll the bustling streets and take in the incredible view of the Mont Saint-Michel bay while you make your way down the city walls.
The bus will leave Mont Saint-Michel at 4:30 pm for Angers. About three hours later the bus will drop you off at the Angers Centre (or a similar hotel) where you will spend the night. You will find many restaurants near your hotel to have dinner.
3rd Day – Châteaux de Langeais, Clos Lucé, and the Villandry Gardens
The morning of the third day starts with breakfast before setting off again to explore the Loire Valley.
About 100 kilometers from Angers lies Château de Langeais, the first stop on your tour of the Loire region. Your guided tour of Langeais, which is a mostly intact fortress, will take you on a journey through French history thanks to the castle’s depiction of medieval life made with highly realistic wax figures.
After this first Loire Château tour, you will have lunch in Amboise, about 45 minutes from Langeais, at a restaurant of your choosing.
The early afternoon will be spent touring Château du Clos Lucé, which is just a ten-minute walk from Château d’Amboise. Built-in 1500 and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, this French castle was where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. On the guided tour you will learn about the private life of this Renaissance genius who spent the last three years of his life there as the guest of Francis I. The artist died at the château in 1519.
he next stop on the tour is Château de Villandry, about sixty kilometers from Amboise. Your guide will lead you through the Villandry Gardens. Magnificent paths lined by linden trees separate the various parts of the garden with its many terraces and themes. The lush vegetation and incredible colors are sure to delight you.
You will then settle in and have dinner at the Mercure Tours Nord (or a similar hotel).
4th Day – Châteaux de Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Chambord
The last day of the tour will be spent visiting three of the most beautiful Châteaux of the Loire Valley. After having breakfast in Tours, you will board the bus and set off for Château de Chenonceau (about 30 kilometers away). On your guided tour of Chenonceau, you will have the chance to admire this splendid château with its lavishly appointed rooms. A Renaissance masterpiece, the castle’s unusual architecture makes it look like something out of a fairytale that has just emerged from the Cher river. Called the “Château des Dames”, Chenonceau was built and renovated over many years by several famous French women such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici.
After a 45-minute ride, the bus will drop you off at Château de Cheverny. During the guided tour of this 17th-century aristocratic estate, which is still inhabited by descendants of the original family, you will learn how French people once lived by visiting the birthing room, the small boudoir, and the private dining room. Cheverny boasts exquisitely decorated royal apartments and a grand park with an impressive pack of hounds that participate in hunts to this day. Lunch will be served at the Saint Hubert Cour Cheverny (drinks not included).
The trip culminates with a tour of the most majestic of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley, Château de Chambord, which is about 20 kilometers from Cheverny. During your guided tour of Chambord, you will be impressed by its fascinating architecture. Be sure to admire the imposing, intricate double-helix staircase and visit the former royal chambers and other rooms located on the castle’s many levels. Take in the panoramic view of Chambord’s park from the immense terrace, decorated with impressive chimneys.
The bus is scheduled to leave Chambord around 4:30 pm and return to the center of Paris around 7 pm.
- Porterage service on hotel arrival and departure
- Lunch on Day 4
- Accommodation (3 nights) in 4-star hotel (double room accommodation with bathroom)
- Return transport from/to your residence in Paris, depending on the tour selected
- Entrance tickets for the various monument and museum visits
- Services of a professional guide
- Buffet breakfast and evening meal in the hotels
- Transportation in an air conditioned coach
- Dinner on Day 2 in Angers
- Lunches on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Four Star Hotels:
- Novotel de Caen – modern spacious bedrooms, hotel bar, restaurant, garden area and outdoor swimming pool.
- Angers center Hotel – comfortable bedrooms with TV minibar, hair dryer. Hotel bar, fitness club and restaurant.
- Hotel Mercure Tour Nord – located North of Tours with spacious bedrooms and nice fittings.
Price Per Person in Euro:
- Tour with hotel pick up and drop off – € 881
- Tour with no transfers – € 839
- Single supplement: € 121
Book This Tour with Blue Danube Holidays.
You can combine this tour with a one of our cruises:
- Paris and Normandy – Cruise BD115
- A Taste of Bordeaux – Cruise BD114
- Provence on the Rhone – Cruise BD116
- Champagne Canal Boat Cruise – BD1150
- Cruise to the Loire on Canal Boat – BD1151
- Canal Boat Cruise to Provence – BD1152