SAVE $150 per person on Airfare - Ends April 4, 2019SAVE $150 on Airfare - Ends April 4, 2019
AARP Members Save an additional $100 per personAARP Members Save an additional $100 pp
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Investigate Normandy's role in the 1066 and 1944 invasions that changed the course of history. Explore the beautiful city of St-Malo, the châteaux of the Loire and gleaming Paris.
Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.
On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 8:30 am, 11 am and 1:30 pm. After checking in, the capital's grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. At 5:30 pm, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at Le Sud, a local brasserie with a Mediterranean-inspired menu.
Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral—a masterpiece of the Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets beneath the Great Clock to the Old Market Square. Here, a superb modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc on this very spot in 1431. Continue to the charming fishing town of Honfleur and to your luxurious hotel located in the chic seaside resort of Deauville.
2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which occurred on June 6, 1944. Following the route of the Rangers and visiting the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Then with a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent near Omaha Beach before a visit to the D-Day Museum to see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay of Arromanches. There are poignant reminders of World War II as you travel past Juno and Gold beaches, which both played a part in the Normandy landings. This evening you are treated to a sumptuous dinner, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and local wines.
Journey through Bocage country for an exploration of the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. The abbey stands on an island and is reached by a causeway across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defenses huddles the small town—it's one street containing shops, cafés and hotels. Continue along the Emerald Coast to stunning Saint-Malo, situated on the Rance Estuary and one of the most charming places in France. A Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the City of the Corsairs. Walk through the maze of streets of Intra Muros, the walled city, to the cathedral, the burial place of Jacques Cartier and other celebrated voyagers. At your leisure, you can wander around the ramparts of the thick city walls, offering fantastic views over the old town and the bay. By night, the town's medieval maze of winding streets is abuzz with quaint bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you may wish to join an Optional Experience to Cancale, known throughout France of its oyster beds, for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other Breton specialties.
Head south to follow the valley of the Loire, passing the moated Angers Castle. Cross the Loire to Saumur, where a local vintner will guide you through tastings of the region's delicious wines. Journey to the fairy-tale Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restorations, take your time to admire the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th-century icon of the Loire Valley. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings.
With a Local Expert, head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious gardens. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens – a stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil. Return to your own superb chateau for relaxation and free time. At night, your Celebration Dinner starts with a glass of local sparkling wine and continues with excellent service and delicious Farm-to-Table dishes in the most wholesome setting, ensuring the memory of your meal will linger long after you've returned home.
Traveling through the vast wheat fields of La Beauce, Chartres Cathedral looms large on the horizon. Auguste Rodin called it the 'Acropolis of France,' and once inside you can marvel at the beautiful stained-glass rose window which floods the cathedral with color and light. From here, return to the French capital, where your Travel Director introduces you to all the fabulous sights including the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral and the immense facades of the Louvre. Behold the vast Place de la Concorde, where the guillotine once stood, then travel down the Champs Elysées to Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. After dark, the City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to experience one of the world-famous cabaret shows.
Departure transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8 am & 11 am.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|6 Apr 19||13 Apr 19||$2,925pp||Call 1-877-622-9109|
|27 Apr 19||4 May 19||$2,925pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|1 Jun 19||8 Jun 19||$2,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|15 Jun 19||22 Jun 19||$2,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|29 Jun 19||6 Jul 19||$2,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 Jul 19||13 Jul 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|13 Jul 19||20 Jul 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|20 Jul 19||27 Jul 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|27 Jul 19||3 Aug 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|10 Aug 19||17 Aug 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|24 Aug 19||31 Aug 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|28 Sep 19||5 Oct 19||$3,050pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|5 Oct 19||12 Oct 19||$2,975pp||Request Quote Book Now|
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $830 per person
Triple Room Supplement: from $90 per person
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $92 per person.
Airport Transfers: On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers operate at 8:30 am, 11 am and 1:30 pm. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8 am and 11 am.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
7 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.
The currency in France is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in France, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in France. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
The French have an ongoing love affair with food and wine. Meals are lovingly prepared and consumed leisurely through a bevy of appetizers and main courses, usually accompanied by a number of wines. Boeuf bourgignon (beef stew with wine, herbs and vegetables), coq au vin (chicken cooked with bacon in a white wine and herb sauce) and bouillabaisse (fish stew) are featured on many menus. Cheese lovers will not be disappointed with hundreds of varieties to choose from. And no visit would be complete without a visit to a pâtisserie, with its delicate pastries you will definitely be tempted.
Wine is the most popular drink in France and is consumed at both lunch and dinner. Coffee is generally served black, unless a café au lait or café crème (with milk) is requested. For a simple and inexpensive lunch or snack, stop by a local bakery or food cart for a baguette au jambon (ham sandwich), crêpes, or a buckwheat galette filled with melted gruyère cheese and mushrooms. Many restaurants also offer a simple three course menu at a reasonable price.
We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
In France, a 15% service compris is included by law in the price of food and drink. Tipping in addition to this service charge is never expected, but always appreciated. If you’d like to leave something extra, keep in mind that even in the fanciest restaurants, people rarely tip more than 5-10%. A good rule of thumb is to leave an extra €1 for every €20 spent. Rather than adding gratuity to your credit card slip, leave coins in the tray where the check was presented to ensure that your waiter receives it.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
WORLD WAR I BATTLEFIELDS OPTION: 4 DAYS
This emotive journey takes you to iconic battlefields, war cemeteries and memorials honoring those who fought around the world.
Priced from $1,450 per person, twin share. Single Room Supplement from $250. Triple Room Discount $70. Pre-paid gratuities (optional) $46.
DAY 1: FROM PARIS TO YPRES BATTLEFIELDS AND LILLE
Depart Le Méridien Etoile at 9 am bound for Flanders Fields. Visit the Ypres Salient battlefields including Hill 60, Polygon Wood, the Passchendaele Memorial and Tyne Cot Cemetery. In the town of Ypres, hear the Last Post sounded at the Menin Gate. Continue to your hotel and join your Tour Director for a Welcome Drink.
Meal: Welcome Reception
Hotel: Mercure Lille Center Grand Place
DAY 2: TIME FOR REFLECTION AT FROMELLES AND VIMY RIDGE, THEN ONTO AMIENS
See the Australian cemetery of Fromelles, before continuing to the Canadian National Memorial at Vimy Ridge. Take in a visit to the trenches preserved just as they were during the Great War with a Local Expert, who tells stories of battles that raged the now silent pastures. Continue to Amiens and perhaps visit the impressive cathedral.
Hotel: Mercure Amiens Cathedrale
DAY 3: THE BATTLEFIELDS OF THE SOMME
Meet your Local Expert to explore the key battlefields of the Somme. Visit the Lochnagar Crater, the South African and New Zealand Memorials at Longueval, Newfoundland Memorial and Museum and the Franco-British Memorial at Thiepval. Enjoy a stop in Albert to see the church. Afterward, explore Beaumont-Hamel on the
way back to Amiens where you will have the afternoon at leisure. Maybe do a little shopping or spend some time in the historic Saint-Leu district.
Hotel: Mercure Amiens Cathedrale
DAY 4: RETURN TO PARIS
Visit the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and the Franco-Australian Museum in the local Victoria School. Stop to explore Le Hamel and then continue
to Péronne. On return to Paris, a stop is made at Charles De Gaulle Airport. (Please do not schedule flights before 8 pm.) Alternatively, the coach will drop you at Le Méridien Etoile hotel.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy an evening introduction to this superb 'city of lights' as we take a leisurely drive admiring the gorgeous buildings that adorn the banks of the River Seine. We will stop to allow you to capture some of these fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this excursion may take place before sunset.
Adult Price: €21
A short drive along the Emerald Coast road of Brittany takes us to the famous fishing village of Cancale, known throughout France for its oyster beds on the Bay of Mont St.Michel. On the menu in our delightful and rustic sea front bistro, a selection of sea food and other Breton specialties, finished off with a traditional seafarer's tot of rum!
Adult Price: €63
You are introduced to the splendour and luxury of French court life with a visit to Château de Chenonceau. Set on elegant arches spanning the River Cher, it is said to be one of the most beautiful buildings in existence. A local expert recounts tales of King Henri II's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, as you tour the home she loved, but from which she was driven by the vengeful Queen, Catherine de Medici. One of the jewels of the French Renaissance, admire the rich decor, stroll beneath the trees of the Broad Walk and the formal gardens where roses and clipped lavender are laid out in typical French style.
Adult Price: €40
Good company, good wine and delicious local specialities are the hallmarks of a great evening out in the Loire. Enjoy dinner in a traditional family-owned and operated gastronomic restaurant.
Adult Price: €66
One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.
Adult Price: €139
Why not enjoy an evening of excitement and glamour and a glass of champagne at a dazzling French cabaret show? Depending on availability it might be dinner with wine and cabaret at the world famous Moulin Rouge – the original Parisian cabaret – immortalized by the award winning film!
Adult Price: €162
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