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Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley

Operated by: Insight Vacations

8 Days from $2,875 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Chateau Villandry, Loire Valley, France

Countries Visited

France ...more France

Locations Visited

Paris, Rouen, Deauville, Omaha Beach, Arromanches-les-Bains, Gold Beach, Mont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Malo, Angers, Saumur, Chateau de Rochecotte, Azay-le-Rideau ...more Paris, Rouen, Deauville, Omaha Beach, Arromanches-les-Bains, Gold Beach, Mont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Malo, Angers, Saumur, Chateau de Rochecotte, Azay-le-Rideau
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Paris

    On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. After checking in, the capital’s grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at Rural, a local restaurant with cuisine inspired by country recipes.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
  2. Day 2 Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville

    Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of 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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville.
  3. Day 3 Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings

    Follow the route of the Rangers and visit 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. Explore Normandy with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay. Alternatively, visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. This evening you are treated to a delightful dinner, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and delicious wines.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Barrière L'Hôtel du Golf, Deauville.
  4. Day 4 Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo

    Journey through Bocage country and explore the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. Situated on an island, the abbey is reached by a bridge across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defences huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes 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?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hôtel Le Nouveau Monde, St Malo.
  5. Day 5 Villandry Experience

    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. Head to Château de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious sustainable gardens on a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens. This stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages and purple basil which has been grown organically to re-generate the local ecosystem. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Château De Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
  6. Day 6 Scenic Drive Along the Loire Valley

    Journey to the fairy-tale Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restoration, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley. Return to your superb chateau for relaxation and free time. This evening, 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.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Château De Rochecotte, Saint Patrice, Loire Valley.
  7. Day 7 La Beauce and Chartres to Paris, City of Light

    Travelling through the vast wheat fields of the the Beauce region, Chartres Cathedral, nicknamed the 'Acropolis of France' by August Rodin, looms large on the horizon. Meet Malcolm Miller, a passionate historian, for a tour of this architectural delight. Once inside, marvel at the beautiful stained-glass rose window which floods the cathedral with colour 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 Élysées to Napoléon'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.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Pullman Paris Centre Bercy.
  8. Day 8 Au Revoir Paris

    Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00.

    meals Breakfast
Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Bayeux: Visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England.
  • Arromanches-les-Bains: Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Travel Director

  • : "Paris is truly a delight to all the senses – seeing the iconic architecture, hearing about the history, smelling the wonderful bakeries and tasting the local specialties during our foodie walk."
  • : "I love to see how guests react to Paris because, despite its fame, it still surprises. It’s a majestic city, which shines in the daytime and sparkles at night."
  • : "I decided to become a Travel Director because I love the joy of discovery. When people see a place they've dreamed about, tasted something they've only read about, and hear the music and stories of a place they're exploring, we all share a joyful creation of lifelong memories."

Authentic Dining

  • Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine.
  • Saumur: Fun and informative, discuss the grape varieties and local terroir while sampling wines of the Loire Valley.
  • Chateau de Rochecotte: Enjoy a delicious farm-to-table Celebration Dinner, prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfast (B), and 3 Dinner with Wine (DW)

Top Rated Highlights

  • Rouen: See the cathedral, the Great Clock, the Old Market square and Place du Vieux-Marché where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
  • Honfleur: See this charming fishing town.
  • Omaha Beach: Follow the route of the Rangers, visit the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial.
  • Omaha Beach: With a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent.
  • Bayeux: Visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England.
  • Arromanches-les-Bains: Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay.
  • Mont-Saint-Michel: Savour your first sight of the fortified island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Cross the causeway for a guided tour with your Local Expert through the maze of halls and vaults of the abbey.
  • Saint-Malo: Your Local Expert guides you trough the intertwined streets of the walled city to arrive at the cathedral. Later enjoy the chance to walk along the fortifications and explore the cities nightlife at your leisure.
  • Angers: Enjoy exploring the western gateway to the Loire Valley in the little town of Angers and see its imposing chateau.
  • Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: During your visit to Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, facades of the Louvre, the River Seine and its romantic bridges, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe.

Make Travel Matter

  • Loire Valley: Discover the sustainable gardens of Château de Villandry. In the scenic Loire Valley, explore France’s finest formal gardens. Now a hub for sustainability preserving the estate's biological diversity, learn all about the a sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil, all grown organically to re-generate the local ecosystem. Their aim is to preserve a remarkable garden, maintained with meticulous care, while incorporating maintenance work into a balanced ecosystem. They have partnered with a local university to bring biodiversity back into the gardens. Villandry Gardens advance UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land.

Insight Experiences

  • Chartres: Join Malcolm Miller, a passionate historian, for a fascinating tour of Chartres Cathedral. Marvel at the stained-glass windows, a riot of rich blues and reds, justly considered the finest medieval glass in France.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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April 2022
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$3,075
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$3,150
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$2,875
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$3,125
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$3,225
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October 2022
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$3,150
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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Diane Caldwell
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Service
Friendly and knowledgeable tour guide(s). Well planned, traveler's interests taken into consideration. Truly enabled everyone to get to know each other, which made the trip a lot more fun!!
Vacation
The beaches of Normandy were especially important to me, as my father had landed on July 4 right after the D-Day invasion. The chateaus in the Loire valley were lovely and the history that went with them brought them to life even more.
James Sindelar
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Service
Agent friendly and knowledgeable. Very easy to handle details.
Vacation
Excellent itinerary, accommodations, and coach. Tour director was the best ever. Could not have been better.
James Mersmann
Sunday, May 12, 2019
Service
All went well and reliably. Airfare was surprisingly reasonable. My travel specialist did what she could to save costs.
Vacation
Our travel director was well-informed, bright, and helpful. She was enjoyable company, and she took good care of us.
Judy Jacobs
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Service
The tour director was personable and efficient, the tour pace was perfect, and we ended with a stay at a French Chateau - it does not get better than that.
Vacation
wonderful trip, great value - included dinners were very nice
Katherine Stewart
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Service
Rob Rainwater was the agent with GET that helped me book my trip. He was very kind and helpful. He also booked the flight for me. It was a wonderful trip with Insight, and as soon as I got home, I wanted to book my next trip right away. I think this 9 day trip was perfectly balanced- from the tour of the Normandy beaches of D day, to visiting castles, chateaus and gardens with wine tasting and great food. Our local experts were fabulous. I learned a lot about D day invasion and the 100 year war.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your kind words. We will be sure to pass them on to Rob and we 're so happy you're looking at other trips in the future.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Vacation
Hotels were wonderful, breakfasts were exceptional, our Travel Director, Fred Faes was experienced and very competent
Trusted Customer
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Service
Kept us up to date and good communication.
Vacation
Well worth the expense. Travel was comfortable. Hotels were superior, food excellent! Never felt really rushed, just the right amount of "down time."
Trusted Customer
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Service
I had a nice vacation with Insight. It was the online booking with GET that was poor. I booked early and then for 6 months heard nothing back. Apparently 5% of what they email online goes into spam. If they are aware there is a problem, then they need to follow up with better communication. I would never book with GET for a trip again.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are terribly sorry to hear about your frustration and difficulties when booking your trip on our website. We will be certain to share this information with our Marketing and IT departments for immediate review and improvement. Thank you for letting us know.
Monday, July 2, 2018
Vacation
It was a nice vacation. Accommodations and food were very good.
Lucille Effinger
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Service
Have used them in the past and will probably use again. Have always had good servce.
Vacation
Great trip. Have always had good experience with GET
Vicki Baker
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Service
I would recommend them. Everything was well organized and scheduled. The hotel selections were very good. The bus itself was very comfortable and kept very clean by the bus driver. Our tour guide, Nicolas Canfeld, was excellent. He kept us informed, shared information about the sites we visited, and was very courteous and helpful. I really enjoyed being able to stay in the same hotel for two nights - we did this twice during the seven night tour. I'm not a big fan of bus tours since my favorite way to travel is cruise ships. But I was pleasantly surprised by this tour and would consider another one with Grand European.
Vacation
Beautiful countryside and excellent tour!
Trusted Customer
Sunday, May 14, 2017
Service
Travel agents were very helpful in booking flights, even working around our extended stay. Enjoyed Gigi's informative commentary on our rides. Local experts were knowledgeable and interesting. Optional dinners and other experiences were fun and educational. Hotels were top-notch! Not quite as active as we might have liked though.
Vacation
Beautiful and historic area in France.
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