Package inclusions are subject to change
8 nights in boutique accommodation
Experienced Back-Roads Tour Leader and Driver
Premium mini-coach transportation
Calvados tasting session in Normandy
Bourgueil wine tasting session paired with local cheese
Local produce tasting session in Normandy
Daily European-style breakfasts (B), 5 dinners (D)
Entrance included to all attractions in the itinerary, including: Monet’s garden, the American Cemetery and Memorial, Mont St-Michel, Château d’Angers, Château de Villandry, Château de Chenonceau, Chartres Cathedral
- 03/27/2020 - 04/04/2020
- 04/17/2020 - 04/25/2020
- 04/24/2020 - 05/02/2020
- 05/08/2020 - 05/16/2020
- 05/15/2020 - 05/23/2020
- 05/22/2020 - 05/30/2020
- 05/29/2020 - 06/06/2020
- 06/05/2020 - 06/13/2020
- 06/12/2020 - 06/20/2020
- 06/19/2020 - 06/27/2020
- 06/26/2020 - 07/04/2020
- 07/03/2020 - 07/11/2020
- 07/10/2020 - 07/18/2020
- 07/17/2020 - 07/25/2020
- 07/24/2020 - 08/01/2020
- 08/07/2020 - 08/15/2020
- 08/14/2020 - 08/22/2020
- 08/21/2020 - 08/29/2020
- 08/28/2020 - 09/05/2020
- 09/04/2020 - 09/12/2020
- 09/11/2020 - 09/19/2020
- 09/18/2020 - 09/26/2020
- 09/25/2020 - 10/03/2020
- 10/02/2020 - 10/10/2020
- 10/09/2020 - 10/17/2020
Guaranteed departure dates are 4/24/20, 5/8/20, 5/15/20, 5/29/20, 6/12/20, 7/10/20 and 9/4/20. Blue-Roads tours require at least 6 participants.
La Belle France
Normandy | Brittany | The Loire Valley
Step into a land of renowned artists and royal crusaders, hilltop monasteries and valley castles. This tour takes us from France’s dramatic northern shores to château-sprinkled countryside, breaking off to see WWII sites, explore centuries-old villages and sample home-grown delicacies.
THE BACK-ROADS DIFFERENCE
- Indulge in a Bourgueil wine and cheese tasting session
- Stroll the charming local market in the port town of Honfleur
- Take in the storybook surrounds of the Château de Chenonceau
Day 1: PARIS – HONFLEUR
Our first impressions of France will be formed in Giverny, Normandy, at the home of Claude Monet – one of the world’s most celebrated artists. The vivid colours in every room paint a picture of his life, and the gardens outside are brimming with flowers in every shade. Our next stop will be the Arboretum d’Harcourt, a historic arboretum set in the grounds of the Château d’Harcourt. Here, we’ll have plenty of time to meander through the castle, explore the gardens – and even enjoy a local produce tasting session. Our home for the next two nights will be the charming port town of Honfleur (which you may recognise as the subject of a fair few Impressionist paintings).
Day 2: HONFLEUR – NORMANDY – HONFLEUR
This morning we’ll visit Honfleur’s bustling market and wander past its historic buildings and 17th-century harbour on a walking tour. Then: we’ll track the Route du Cidre to Normandy, pausing to taste the fruits of the region’s orchards – from cool, crisp ciders to heady, amber-hued calvados – making for a delicious end to our day.
Day 3: HONFLEUR – NORMANDY BEACHES – ARROMANCHES-LES-BAINS
Today we’ll turn our attention to the windswept shoreline of the Normandy beaches, where we’ll visit the sites of the D-Day landings of 1944. Afterwards, there’s the opportunity to pay a poignant visit to the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. And this afternoon? We’ll stroll through the medieval town of Bayeux on a walking tour before moving on to Arromanches-les-Bains.
Day 4: ARROMANCHES-LES-BAINS – MONT SAINT-MICHEL – DOL-DE-BRETAGNE – DINAN
This morning we’ll drive on to the enchanting Mont Saint-Michel, crossing the tidal causeway to wander the buzzing island village and explore the abbey. Later, on the way to Dinan, we’ll stop off for photos at Dol-de-Bretagne – where we’ll see the famous Menhir de Champ-Dolent. Tonight, an included dinner awaits us in a traditional Breton crêperie.
Day 5: DINAN
Today is yours to spend however you wish in Dinan. Wander cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses, take a closer look at the Basilique St-Sauveur, visit the old bridge… You certainly won’t be short of things to do!
Day 6: DINAN – ANGERS – CHINON
Today will find us deep in fairytale territory as we travel towards the Loire Valley. Here, the landscape’s skyline is peppered with the turrets of castles. Our first port of call will be Angers, which was once the medieval stronghold of the Plantagenet kings. After spending some time absorbing its history at the castle, we’ll move on to Chinon – where we’ll dine together at a local restaurant.
Day 7: CHINON – CHÂTEAU DE VILLANDRY – CHINON
Next stop: the Château de Villandry, which is famous for its impeccably manicured gardens. Taking in so much beauty is thirsty work, so on our way back to Chinon we’ll enjoy a detour at a Bourgueil winery – where we’ll visit the vineyard and cellars before sampling a glass or two (along with some delicious local cheeses).
Day 8: CHINON – CHÂTEAU DE CHENONCEAU – MAINTENON
Today’s château? Château de Chenonceau, where we'll take some time to stroll through the idyllic gardens and explore the fascinating museum. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to Maintenon – where we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day 9: MAINTENON – CHARTRES – PARIS
A visit to the celebrated Chartres Cathedral will make a fitting finale for our tour. It’s believed to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France – and it’s a beautiful image to take with us back to Paris, where we’ll say au revoir.