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Paris, Normandy & Loire Valley

PARIS, NORMANDY & LOIRE VALLEY

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Price: from $2,499
 
 
Awe in the history that floods the must see beaches of Normandy tourism, get swept away in the romantic elements of the Loire Valley, and sip on incredible wines offered on our Paris, Normandy & Loire Valley tours! You won’t miss a single aspect of French beauty, culture or history. We offer a first class France vacation that has to be experienced to be believed, so book your dream vacation today!

Itinerary at a glance Tour Highlights Your tour includes
  • 3 night in Paris (1 night in the beginning & 2 nights at the end)
  • 3 nights in Normandy
  • 2 nights in Loire Valley
  • City Tour of Paris – Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe & more!
  • Monet’s House & Gardens (Giverny)
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame (Rouen)
  • Mont St. Michel (Normandy)
  • Normandy Beaches
  • Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial
  • Chateau de Chambord (Loire Valley)
  • Chateau de Chenonceau (Loire Valley)
  • Wine Tasting (Civray du Touraine)
  • Versailles Optional Excursion
  • Round-trip airfare from New York
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • Accommodations at first class hotels
  • 11 meals: 8 full buffet breakfasts (B) and 3 dinners (D)
  • Glass of wine with included dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours including admission fees
  • Experienced English-speaking Tour Director throughout

Click on the tabs below to learn more!

Day 1
Depart USA.
Your fascinating  journey to France begins this evening with an overnight flight to Paris.
Day 2
Arrive Paris (France).
Arrive in the beautiful city of Paris, also known as the “City of Light.” For centuries, Paris has been been one of the world’s most important cities and certainly one of the world’s most beautiful. Not only is Paris the capital of France, but Paris is considered the global capital for cuisine, art, fashion, and more. After being picked up at the airport by your Tour Director, you’ll be taken to your upscale hotel. You’ll have some time to say “bonjour” to Paris before a welcome drink and briefing at your hotel. Mercure Vaugirard Porte de Versailles

Day 3
Paris/Giverny/Normandy.
After breakfast, travel to the lovely town of Giverny. The town rose to fame in 1883, when the famous impressionist Claude Monet “discovered” the village and moved there. Here, enjoy a visit to the Monet House and Gardens and see firsthand the inspiration for many of Monet’s most famous works. Your next stop is Rouen, one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe located on the River Seine. Upon arrival in Rouen, the capital of Normandy, you’ll enjoy a walking tour and visit the famous (and imposing) Notre Dame cathedral, which was the subject of a series of paintings by none other than Claude Monet. You’ll also visit the Place due Vieux-Marche (or “Old Marketplace”), where Joan of Arc was executed for heresy in the 15th century and where a church in her name was built in 1979. Continue your journey and arrive at your hotel in Caen, in the heart of the Normandy region.  Mercure Caen Centre Port de Plaisance Hotel (B)
Day 4
Mont St. Michel.
Today travel to the rugged coast of Normandy and savor the breathtaking views of magnificent Mont St. Michel, built on an isolated island in the gulf of Saint-Malo. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont St. Michel is reached by causeway. The lower towers and medieval sea wall protect a small village, capped magnificently by the commanding Abbey dedicated to the Archangel Michael. You’ll enjoy a visit of the spectacular interior of the Abbey, which was designated as a monument historique in 1874. Prior to the causeway, Mont St. Michel was on an isolated island that pilgrims could approach mindful of a tide that could seep in at any time. Return to Caen and enjoy dinner at your hotel.(B,D)
Day 5
Normandy Beaches/American Cemetery & Memorial.
Spend a remarkable day experiencing and learning about one of the most famous days in history: D-Day. You’ll visit the Normandy Beaches, including Omaha Beach near the coastal village of Colleville-sur-Mer. Omaha was one of the principal beachheads where the U.S. Army stormed ashore on D-Day (June 6th, 1944).  Explore Pointe du Hoc, located between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, where a group of American Army Rangers defied all odds by scaling a massive cliff at a critical moment during the invasion. Continue to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a spectacular and emotional setting located on a bluff overlooking both Omaha Beach and the English Channel. You’ll later visit the city of Bayeux, home to the world famous Bayeux Tapestry and the fortress of William the Conqueror, before returning to your upscale hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
Day 6
Normandy/Chateau Villandry/Loire Valley.
Morning at leisure to explore Caen (Normandy) independently before traveling to Loire Valley, famous for its old world villages and charming chateaux (castles). En route, pay a visit to the Chateau and Gardens of Villandry, the last of the great Renaissance chateaux built on the banks of the Loire River. The estate’s renowned architecture is matched (if not surpassed) by its magnificent gardens, which are spread across three levels and are truly a sight to see. You’ll continue to your upscale hotel, where you’ll enjoy an included dinner. Novotel Amboise Hotel (B,D)
Day 7
Chateau de Chambord/Chateau de Chenonceau/Wine Tasting.
This morning, you’ll visit Chateau de Chambord, the undisputed crown jewel of the region and arguably the emblem of the French Renaissance. Originally a weekend hunting lodge for King Francois I in the early 16th century, the Chateau evolved into among the most expensive (and excessive) architectural projects by a French Monarch. Continue to Chateau de Chenonceau, the second most visited chateau in France (behind Versailles), where you’ll be blown away by the magical architecture that was constructed in harmony with the beautiful River Cher. On the way back to your hotel, enjoy a delicious wine tasting at the magnificent Caves du Pere Auguste winery, with a wide variety of refreshing wines to enjoy. Return to your hotel, and your evening is at leisure. (B)
Day 8
Loire Valley/Paris.
After breakfast, travel back to Paris for your second taste of one of the world’s greatest cities. Upon returning to Paris, enjoy a guided city orientation tour of this magnificent city. See the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Latin Quarter, Pantheon, Place  Vendome, and the Paris Opera. The evening is at leisure with endless possibilities. You may wish to take a stroll along the famous River Seine, where you’ll savor spectacular views, before you select an authentic Parisian restaurant or cafe for dinner. Mercure Vaugirard Porte de Versailles (B)

Day 9
Paris/Optional Versailles Excursion.
A full day at leisure or perhaps join an optional excursion to Versailles for a fascinating visit of the Chateau and the brilliant hall filled with mirrors and chandeliers, numerous galleries, salons, and royal apartments, all lavishly decorated and fitted with ornate furnishings. The magnificent fountains, supplied by almost 100 miles of pipes, spray jets of water in a forceful dance. You will also have an opportunity to explore the palace and grounds at your own pace. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at an authentic Parisian restaurant in Montmartre, a famous section of the Right Bank (“Rive Droite”) in Paris. (B,D)
Day 10
Paris/USA.
After breakfastsay “au revoir” to your Normandy, Loire Valley andParis tours and head to the airport for your flight back to the USA. Your exciting journey ends as you touch down in New York. (B)

Optional Tours

To enhance your visit to France, your tour director will offer you optional tours. All rates are in Euros. Payment must be made in Euros (cash). Additional optional tours may be added for your enjoyment.

Paris
Versailles Excursion ($72 Euros per person)
Join an optional excursion to Versailles for a fascinating visit of the Chateau and the brilliant hall filled with mirrors and chandeliers, numerous galleries, salons, and royal apartments, all lavishly decorated and fitted with ornate furnishings. The magnificent fountains, supplied by almost 100 miles of pipes, spray jets of water in a forceful dance. You will also have an opportunity to explore the palace and grounds at your own pace.

Trip Preparation

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Your flights from New York to France and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules.  We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure.

Departure Date

 

Airport

 

Airline Depart Return
Sep. 21

New York (JFK)

Swiss Airlines

9:00PM

4:000PM

 

Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight.  We recommend at least 3 ½ hours.  Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Swiss Air and Iberia Airlines do not accept advance seat assignment. Actual seat assignment will be provided at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignments.

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. Visas are not required for American passport holders. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 10 – 7 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.

CLIMATE

You may expect daytime temperatures averaging in the 60’s and 70’s in the Summer and the 50’s and 60’s in the Spring and Fall.

NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING

The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a cafe is about $20-25 per meal per person. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency. You can either exchange U.S. Dollars into local currency in advance of your trip, or you may use your debit card to withdrawal local currency from an ATM. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations. 

BAGGAGE

Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (no more than 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece (no more than 18”x10”x8”). We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

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Average rating:  
 5 reviews
by Pat and Anne Morris on smarTours
Paris, Normandy and Loire Valley

We just returned from our 10 day trip to France and were very pleased with everything. OUr tour guide, Vic, was extemely knowledgeable and helpful with any and all requests. He had great information on each area we visited and we thoroughly enjoyed all he offered in history, local customs and France in general. We had a very small group (14) which I really liked. Only negative for being so small was we needed a minimum of 14 people for the optional Versailles tour and because not all our group wanted to go it could not be offered. However, Vic was able to set up a driver to get us to Versailles and The Louvre. He also helped us get the tickets ahead of time, a real time saver if you are doing those 2 sites. That action on his part was extremely accommodating and saved our Paris experience. Local guides were very good as well.All the hotels were very nice, very clean and well situated. Breakfasts were delicious and all hotel locations in each area were very well placed for getting around.It was a very busy itinerary but not so much that we weren't able to have some down time. We travel so that we are able to see all that we can and this trip did not disappoint.This is our second time with SmarTours and would book with them again.

by Karen Akers on smarTours
Paris/Normandy Sept. 2016

Nadine, our tour director was very personable and knowledgeable. Our group was a nice medium size, 25, so the bus wasn't crowded and we could each stretch out. This was our first time and we enjoyed it.

by Carolyn T. Linn on smarTours
Wonderful Trip!

'Just came back from the Paris-Normandy-Loire Valley tour. It was excellent! The places we visited were outstanding, and our guide was very knowledgeable. He even included sites that weren't scheduled to give us a better travel experience.

by Jim Buffington on smarTours
Excellent experience

The itinerary was well conceived and very well carried out. The pace was very brisk, and at times tiring. But, there was a high level payback in the excellent sites and information from our guides. Our primary guide, Vic, was excellent.

by Laurel on smarTours
Unbelievable value

Wow! Took his tour on August 6 2015. What an incredible experience. France was such a treat and this itinerary was perfect. Hotel are good, pace was reasonable, tour guide was superb,and driver very professional and safety minded. We were a small group (17) yet every side trip was available. There were a few unexpected surprises, our hotel in Caen was not in town as advertised, and this hindered our access to restaurants for dinners, but our guide Patrick was there to help in every respect. Having Patrick with us was like touring with a big brother to watch over all of us!

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