DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES

  • Duration:12 nights/ 13 days
  • Countries Visited:France
  • Highlights:Visiting the great Gardens, Vineyards and Chateaus of France
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare NYC/PARIS/NYC
    • Continental Breakfast daily with coffee/tea and juice
    • Lunch and dinner as noted
    • Accommodations for 11 nights in fine first class hotels
    • English speaking tour escort
    • Admission to all the gardens listed
    • Transportation by a private deluxe motorcoach
    • Visit to a winery and wine tasting
    • Baggage handling of 1 bag per person at airport and hotels.
    • Select International Travel Portfolio

DAY 1: Depart USA

on an overnight flight to Paris.

DAY 2: PARIS

Welcome to France. You are greeted by the Tour Escort and transferred to the hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure to become acclimated to a new time zone. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner with a selection of fine French wines at the charming Restaurant Sud-Ouset (4 courses with wine included – 2 choices of wine), located in the Latin Quarter in a 13th century vaulted cave. (D)

DAY 3: PARIS

After breakfast, at the hotel we see the sights of Paris. One always marvels at the beauty of this city discovering something new, fresh and exciting on each visit. In the afternoon, we tour the Gardens of the Luxembourg Palace. These grand gardens were built for Marie de Medici in the early 1600Тs. Andre Le Notre, who later designed Versailles was the first gardener here. Later they were frequented by Victor Hugo, Jean Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway. Today they are an integral part of the vibrant life of the Latin Quarter. (B. )

DAY 4: PARIS

Our morning starts with a visit to the Bois de Boulogne, an 845-acre park containing the chateaux and gardens of Bagatelle, with its three century history of intrigue and notable characters, including Marie Antoinette. In 1905 a friend of Monet, Nicolas Forestier, renovated the garden using the Impressionist presentation, with its lake containing water lilies, a charming walled perennial garden and the famous 9000 shrub rose garden. You also see the nearby gardens of Les Serres dТAutueil, the greenhouses that decorate the city with its flowers, with its 19th century glass house brimming with rare and exotic plants. Continue our busy day with a visit to the Museum and Jardins dТ Albert Kahn, whose gardens were created at the turn of the century by the great banker and philanthropist, Albert Kahn. (B.L.)

DAY 5: PARIS-VERSAILLES

We are fascinated today by the grandeur of Versailles. Our visit includes the sumptuous 17th century place built by the У Sun KingФ Louis the XIV. as well as the magnificent gardens stretching over 250 acres of canals, fountains, lakes, woodlands, flower gardens and statues. It is still one of the most spectacular palaces and gardens in the world. After Lunch at Restaurant La Flottille , situated in the Gardens of Versailles, we return to Paris for an afternoon at leisure, and the opportunity to visit one of the many museums. (B.L.)

DAY 6: PARIS

A day at your leisure to explore, discover and revisit. (B)

DAY 7: PARIS- GIVERNY-ROUEN

Depart for Giverny in the countryside of Normandy, to explore Claude MonetТs Home and his special creation, the gardens, which later became the inspiration for many of his masterworks. Following lunch at the Moulin de Fourges Restaurant, classified as a historical monument and situated in an old mill on the banks of the Epte River, continue to Rouen, where we have a stroll among the medieval streets and see the square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. We also visit the magnificent Cathedral of Rouen. (B.L.)

DAY 8: CALVADOS

Today we see the American Cemetary at St. Laurent, the Omaha Beach,and Pointe du Hoc. Also see Queen MatildaТs Tapestry and the 11the century Cathedral in Bayeux. In the afternoon we tour the country of cider, calvados and Camembert cheese, visiting some of the local producers along У La Route de CidreФ . A gourmet shopping stop at La Ferme de Beuvron in Beuvron-en Auge, for an opportunity to shop in the farmhouse outlet which stocks the best farm goodies of Normandy. (B.D.)

DAY 9: MT. ST. MICHELE

Our eyes behold one of the most dramatic sights in the world, the fortified island of Mont St. Michele in the Gulf of St. Malo. Here we visit the 18th century Abbey and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon depart for the splendid Loire Valley, where everything is sweetly in harmony. The weather never too hot or cold, the villages and chateaus built of the same white tufa which nourishes the vines, the pretty flower and vegetable gardens in front of every house, and the classic partnership of food and wine. Overnight Nantes. (B.D)

DAY 10: WINE COUNTRY

We begin our exploration in Angers, where we visit the welcoming Maison du Vin, and learn about the remarkable range of Anjou wines, including dry white, sweet white, fruity red, medium-dry rose, and sparkling. We then head for the source of Chenin Blanc, and Chateau de la Roche aux Moines. Here the wine is made based on the most natural methods possible, the phases of the moon and the stars. Continue through this gentle country and its many wine villages, to Saumur, most famous for its traditional sparkling wines. We visit a cave tunneled into the tufa (local limestone)cliffs where the top producers store their wines. Overnight Tours.(B.D.)

DAY 11: CHATEAU COUNTRY

Today you marvel at what many consider the Уqueen of the castlesФ Chenonceaux, built over the River Cher. Henri II built the castle for his mistress, but it was taken back by his wife upon his death. Here you visit the two impressive formal gardens: an Italianate garden made for Henry IIТs wife Catherine de Medici, and a French style garden made for his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Lunch at the Orangerie Restaurant, situated in the Park of the Chenonceaux Castle.
In the afternoon visit the Chateau de Valmer, with formal gardens from 1647 and a renowned producer of white wine, where we can tour the vineyard and have a wine tasting. We also visit Amboise, on the Loire River, with Clos-Luce, the residence of King Francis and Leonardo da Vinci, where the great artist spent the last three years of his life in the basement. You will see the working models of some of his inventions. Dinner at the hotel. (B.L.)

DAY 12: LOIRE VALLEY- PARIS

Stop in Chartres to see the 13th century Gothic Cathedral, noted for the finest stained glass windows in the world. Continue to Chateau de Courances, with the park designed by the great Andre le Notre, featuring a 17th century water garden and a gem of a Anglo-Japenese garden. Stop for lunch in a local restaurant. A short distance from the city we see the worldТs first rose garden, LТHay-les Roses. The Roseraie with its remarkable collection of 35,000 roses traces the history of the rose from ancient wild roses through to modern hybrids. Dinner at the hotel. (B.L.D.)

DAY 13: RETURN TO USA

Drive back to Paris CDG Airport for flight home. (B)

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