THE CHATEAUX AND GARDENS OF FRANCE

  • Duration:13 nights 14 days
  • Countries Visited:France
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare JFK/Paris/JFK
    • Accommodations in fine hotels
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
    • Sightseeing and visits as shown
    • Services of a professional Tour Escort
    • Transportation by a private deluxe coach
    • Porterage for one suitcase per person
    • Select International travel portfolio

DAY 1: DEPART U.S.A.

YouТll leave this evening on an overnight flight to Paris.

DAY 2: PARIS-ORLEANS.

Morning arrival at Paris airport, where we are met by our Tour Director and then drive south to Orleans where we check in to our hotel. A free afternoon to relax or explore the city of Joan of Arc. This evening is our welcome reception. (D.)

DAY 3: CHARTRES – LOIRET

A full day of sightseeing begins with a visit to the Chateau De Courances, with its park attributed to Andre Le Notre, the greatest of all the French landscape artists. Classic water features from the 17th century contrast with the more modern Anglo Japanese gardens which is an absolute gem. Lunch in Chartres, where we will see the 13th century gothic Cathedral, one of the most impressive medieval buildings in France, noted for the finest stained glass windows in the world. Our afternoon visit is to the Chateau De Villeprevost, home of the Fougeron family since the 18th century and with an intriguing history. The small park was designed by a gardener of Versailles in the classic style of Le Notre. (B.)

DAY 4: ORLEANS- TOURS

Following the river Loire this morning, we pass the Chateau De Chambord, built in the 16th century and the largest in the Loire Valley. As a contrast, we visit the Chateau De Cheverny, a small 17th century house, privately owned and fully furnished. To Chenonceaux, where we visit the Chateau and the formal rose gardens of Diane De Poitier and Chatherine de Medici before arriving in Tours, our base for three nights. (B.D.)

DAY 5: AMBOISE- VOUVRAY

Our first visit today is to the Prieure de St Cosme, home of the 16th century poet, Pierre de Ronsard, with formal gardens laid out amongst the ruins of an 11th century monastery. Staying by the river Loire, we travel into Amboise, the residence of King Francis and home of Leonardo da Vinci. After lunch, we visit the Chateau de Valmer, formal gardens laid out in 1647 and renowned for its white wine. (B.)

DAY 6: TOURAINE

Along the Loire this morning to the Chateau de Langeais, an austere medieval fortress built in 1465. Crossing the river, we pass by Usse, the Sleeping Beauty Castle, on our way to Chinon, the residence of EnglandТs King Henry II. After lunch, we visit Villandry spectacular 16th century gardesn, famous for the ornamental vegetable gardens. (B.D.)

DAY 7: TOURS- CAEN

We leave the Loire behind today and head for Normandy. On the way we will visit the Manoir de La Massoniere, a private country house of the 15th century. The gardens, both formal and rustic, are quite enchanting. We will spend three nights in Caen the city of William the Conqueror. (B.D.)

DAY 8: CALVADOS

We drive along the coast past the beaches of the Allied Forces landing on D-Day , fifty three years ago, and visit the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. At Arromanches, one can still see the floating harbors that were an integral part of the invasiion. In Bayeux, we see Queen MatildaТs Tapestry, depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Later, we visit the Chateau de Canon, with thirteen УChartreusesФ fascinating walled gardens. (B.)

DAY 9: SUISSE- NORMANDE

Today we visit one of the Frances most dramatic sights, Mont St. Michel, a fortified island in the Gulf of St. Malo, which seems to rise out of the water. On our return, we enjoy the beautiful countryside of the Suisse-Normande and visit the Chateau Thury Harcourt. Although destroyed in World Was II, its park is in an outstanding setting.(B.)

DAY 10: CAEN- ROUEN- PARIS

This morning we visit Rouen where a stroll along cobbled medieval streets leads to the squire where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. This afternoon we visit one of Frances most famous gardens: MonetТs house and gardens at Giverny, Into the City of Lights, whichwe will tour this evening after dinner. (B.D.)

DAY 11: PARIS

Sightseeing with our local guide shows us the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, the louver the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame. After lunch, we travel a short distance outside of the city to 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. (B.)

DAY 12: PARIS

This morning we visit the lovely gardens of the Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne with its outstanding collection of roses. A short distance away, we find the gardens of Les Serres dФAutueil, the greenhouses that supply the city with it flowers. We return to Paris for a free afternoon for independent sightseeing. (B.)

DAY 13: PARIS

The morning is taken by our visit to the Palace of Versailles, the sumptuous 17th century palace built by Louis XIV. The magnificent gardesn stretching over 250 acres are considered to be the masterwork of Andre Le Note. An afternoon to visit the museums or do a little last minute shopping before this eveningТs special farewell dinner (B.D.)

DAY 14: RETURN TO U.S.A

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home. (B.)

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