Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then to the Rouen area for an overnight stay.
We travel to Tours in the Loire Valley where we enjoy a little time at leisure in Tours centre, before continuing to the pretty village of Azay-le-Rideau with its small but incredibly beautiful château. (Please note: entrance costs for châteaux or places of interest are at additional cost). After time at leisure in Azay le Rideau, we continue to our hotel in Chinon, a smart ‘bourgeois’ town, where we stay for two nights Breakfast, Dinner
Today’s full-day included excursion takes us through the countryside to visit some of the Loire Valley’s most beautiful villages. We travel first to the picturesque town of Blois, then continue to Amboise on the banks of the Loire River. Amboise is famous for its château, and the Clos Lucé manor house, the place where Leonardo da Vinci lived and ultimately died. We end the day at the village of Chenonceaux, home to the Château de Chenonceau built over the river Cher. The château has extensive parks and gardens created by its many mistresses. (Please note that entrance costs for châteaux or places of interest are at additional cost). Breakfast, Dinner
En-route to Rocamadour, we visit the memorial village of Oradour-sur-Glane. Scene of a terrible massacre on 10th June 1944 by the German SS, the village has been frozen in time ever since. We then continue our journey to the Dordogne region, and the village of Rocamadour where we stay for two nights. Breakfast, Dinner
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the pilgrimage town of Rocamadour, where Saint Amadour was reputed to have lived as a hermit. The village is perched high on a limestone cliff in the heart of the Dordogne, and here you'll find many small chapels, including the Chapelle de Notre Dame with its famous Black Madonna, a 12th century carved wooden depiction of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast we begin the journey to Carcassonne, famous for the defences of the medieval city. The city exists in two parts – the more modern ‘Bastide St Louis’, which contains the Cathedral of St. Michel, and the walled 'Cité Medieval', whose fortifications were built over many centuries and featured in the religious wars between the Cathars and Albigenses. This afternoon we enjoy time at leisure for exploration before we continue to our hotel in the Carcassonne area for an overnight stay. Breakfast, Dinner
This morning we travel to the hill-top town of Béziers, where the Canal du Midi crosses the river by means of an aqueduct. After time to discover the town’s rich history, we continue our journey to Aix-en-Provence, where we stay for three nights. Breakfast, Dinner
Our included excursion takes us to the lovely seaside resort of Cassis, with its picturesque fishing port and town square. You will have time to relax, take in the pretty harbour, and perhaps enjoy a drink in one of the nearby cafés. Breakfast, Dinner
Enjoy free time in Aix-en-Provence, or why not join us for a full-day optional excursion to one of the most impressive natural sights in Europe, the magnificent Gorges du Verdon, with its dramatic scenery and vast chasms. Our day begins with a visit to Moustiers Ste Marie, a pretty hillside village known for its decorative ceramics and its history. Legend has it that the knight Bozon de Blacas was held captive by the Saracens in the 10th century and pledged to hang a star above his village if he could ever return home safely. The star that shines above Moustiers today is only fifty years old but was painted gold following an unfortunate fall over ten years ago. Worn thin by the wind, the iron had snapped sending the star crashing into the ravine below. One month later, the star was once again hung above the village.
We continue to La Palud sur Verdon, where we have time for lunch before a scenic drive around the famous ‘Route des Crêtes’, which offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic viewpoints of the canyon. The Verdon National Park is spread over two French departments, encompasses 43 towns, and has an area estimated at nearly 178,000 hectares. Rich in flora and fauna, and an area of spectacular natural beauty, the Gorges du Verdon is one of Provence’s greatest attractions. Breakfast, Dinner
This morning we explore the wild, rugged, yet intensely beautiful scenery of the Ardèche, seeing quaint villages clinging to the hillsides. We travel to the spectacular Ardèche gorge taking the scenic route through the gorge, from St. Martin d’Ardèche to Vallon Pont d’Arc, stopping at one of the viewpoints to admire the pretty vistas. We have a little time at leisure in Vallon Pont d’Arc before we travel on to the Lyon/Macon area for an overnight stay. Breakfast, Dinner
We have an early departure this morning as we travel north to the Paris area where we have an overnight stay. This evening, be sure to take advantage of our optional visit into the Latin Quarter, a bustling area of restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops to the south of the Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame. Here, you can enjoy the atmosphere and sample the local bars and restaurants. Breakfast
Return home. Breakfast