Paris is one of the world’s most fascinating and historic cities, its charm and graceful ambiance has enchanted travelers throughout the ages. No one can consider themselves a “world traveler” without spending time discovering the wonders of “The City of Love”. During your half-day walking tour, you’ll be guided by a local Parisian guide to the best historical sites Paris has to offer. You’ll also have plenty of free time to explore on your own and find the hidden gems the city has to offer, or to spend extra time in some of Paris’ more iconic sites, such as the Louvre Art Museum or the Cathedral of Notre Dame. And let’s not forget that Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, the cities amazing shopping can easily entice you to fill an extra suitcase!
After Paris we’ll travel to the coast of Normandy for an in-depth tour of the invasion beaches of WWII. Amazing, intriguing, enlightening and yet somber, this area is the site of one of the most cataclysmic events to happen in history. An expert local guide will bring to life the events of June, 1944 and along with visits to the American war cemetery and the museums dedicated to the landings, you’ll be able to appreciate the monumental achievement of the men who fought here.
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1 - Bienvenue a Paris
Arrive in Paris today and make your way to your 4-star hotel, located in the heart of the city. Later this afternoon we'll meet for a welcome party and walk to a nearby restaurant for an amazing dinner. French cuisine is known worldwide, and tonight you'll be introduced to some regional classics. From rustic country fare to the most technical haute cuisine, French gastronomy is considered to be some of the best on the planet. An after dinner stroll along a bistro-lined street is the perfect end to your day.
Day 2 - Monuments of Paris
This morning after breakfast a local guide will meet you at your hotel to begin your private Paris adventure. Using the local metro and our feet, we'll explore the city visiting both the we'll-known...and some lesser-known districts and venues. We'll end in the Marais district at one of our favorite Paris restaurants, where you'll again be treated to some wonderful local fare. The afternoon is free to wander Paris, visiting the museums, shopping along the Boulevard Saint Germain, or perhaps just soaking in the wonderful street atmosphere as you stroll.
Tonight we meet again for a magical experience...the Eiffel Tower under the stars! This famous monument is one of the most photographed in the world, but at night it's even more beautiful.
Day 3 - Normandy
This morning we'll board an early train for a short trip to the beautiful medieval town of Bayeux, near the coast. Using the town as our base, we'll spend a full day exploring the incredible WWII sites of the area, the location of one of the most historic events in human history, the invasion of Europe by the Allies. Our first stop will be the quaint but famous town of St. Mere Eglise, epicenter of one of the nighttime airborne landings that preceded the coastal landings. Then you’ll have time to visit the fascinating Airborne Museum in St. Mere Eglise, which chronicles the largest airborne assault in history as 14,000 troops of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions parachuted into Normandy on the night of June 5-6, 1944, to start the invasion. The museum has an astounding array of equipment on display including a C-47 aircraft and a Waco glider. Many interactive displays highlight the operation and the men who pulled it off. Then we'll visit Utah beach and get a chance to walk its shores and imagine the events that occurred there. By now it will be lunchtime so we’ll take a quick break to have a bite at a local brassiere.
After lunch we’ll visit the Museum of the Landing, located on Utah beach. The museum recounts the story of D-Day from the preparation of the landing to the final outcome and success. This journey immerses visitors in the history of the day through a rich collection of objects, vehicles, materials, and oral histories. The museum’s star is an authentic B-26 medium bomber.
If time permits, we'll have a chance to visit the infamous rocks and bunkers of Pointe du Hoc, the fortified German artillery position situated on the cliffs between Utah and Omaha beaches. Its position dominated the landing beaches and was a major obstacle to the invasion. The US Army Rangers scaled the cliffs under the huge guns and assaulted the position in the pre-dawn darkness of June 6.
As the afternoon shadows lengthen we’ll journey to nearby Saint Laurent to visit Bloody Omaha beach. 34,250 Americans landed here, but in the first wave over 1,000 men were killed, nearly 50% of the assaulting troops. We'll have time to walk the beach and try to imagine what it must have been like for the men coming ashore under intense fire.
Lastly, we'll spend time at the nearby American Cemetery of Normandy. Located on the coast, between Arromanches and Grandcamp Maisy, this vast site overlooks Omaha beach. It reunites the graves of 9,387 soldiers fallen in combat. The chapel, Memorial, and the Walls of the Missing complete the site. The Visitor Center pays homage to the courage and the skill that were required to conduct Operation Overlord and to ensure Europe's liberation, together with the utlimate sacrifice made by those who are laid to rest within this site. Truly a moving experience.
After a full day experiencing this historic area, we'll retire to our hotel in Bayeux city center to relax and recover from an amazing day. Tonight we’ll sit down to a marvelous dinner at one of the local bistros.
Day 4 - Bordeaux
This morning we’ll have an early departure by train for Paris, where we’ll connect with the speedy TVG train, arriving in Bordeaux in the midafternoon.
NOTE: In lieu of the Normandy portion of the Paris extension, you can opt for a free day in Paris on Day 3, then reconnect with your group for the train to Bordeaux. During day 3 you have the option to visit the amazing Palace at Versaille.
Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels
Paris - 4 Star Novotel Paris Les Halles: The Les Halles is a chic and trendy four star hotel in central Paris, with an amazing location. Modern and elegant, this contemporary hotel boasts a host of luxury services and amenities near the Marais district. To ensure guests enjoy a fun and pleasant stay, there is always something happening at the Novotel Paris Les Halles: admire the arty decor and eye-catching murals by artists Mel and Kio, enjoy a signature cocktail or savor the tea time on our Private Garden or their welcoming piano bar.
Bayeux - 4 Star Chateau de Bellefontaine: The Verdier Family is pleased to welcome you to a charming estate, located in the Norman countryside in the heart of the Pays du Bessin.
The castle was built in the late eighteenth century developing a manor dating back to the fifteenth century, offering its current clientele the luxury of the "Castle Life". The Château de Bellefontaine, is an integral part of this rich region, marked by the epic of William the Conqueror and by the Allied Landing during the Second World War. The scenery is total, the bicentennial park opens the field to the tranquility of the countryside , the moat of the Castle, its diversity of swans and ducks takes you to the romanticism of a forgotten era.
Bayeux - 4 Star Grand Hotel Du Luxembourg: The Grand Hôtel du Luxembourg welcomes you in the tradition of the charming hotels of Normandy, in a unique setting right in the city centre. In the heart of the medieval town of Bayeux, close to the most emblematic places, the Grand Hôtel Du Luxembourg is a hotel full of history.
Discover this magnificent establishment, with its staircase inherited from the Age of Enlightenment, its elegant stone and its wrought iron banister, a work of art in itself. Over the centuries, the hotel has been the property of several emblematic figures such as Messire de Brunville and Monseigneur Nesmond (Bishop of Bayeux), who acquired it in 1666. Visited by Louis XVI, Gustave Flaubert and Mademoiselle Georges (mistress of Tsar Alexander and Napoleon), the Grand Hôtel du Luxembourg is in itself a priceless testimony of past centuries.
- 2 nights, double occupancy accommodations at a 4 Star hotel in the historic city center of Paris
- 1 night double occupancy accommodations at a 4 Star hotel in Normandy
- Daily breakfast, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, (water and local wine included with lunches and dinners)
- Half-day private tour of Paris with local guide
- Evening tour of Paris with local guide
- One full day of private tours in Normandy
- Entrance fees for all museums in Normandy and the American cemetery
- Transfers in private coach to/from Caen railway station
- Arrival transfer by train from Paris to Caen
- Departure transfer by train from Caen to Paris, and on to Bordeaux via high speed train (for those on one of our France tours)
- Gratuities for meals, coach drivers, and local guides (Gratuity not included for your full-time local Normandy tour leader)
- Local tour leader for the entire tour
What´s not Included
- Gratuity for your primary local Normandy tour leader
- Visa fees, if applicable
- Meals not specified in itinerary, any drinks other than water and local wine at group meals
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.