This itinerary will take you to three of the culturally richest regions of France, at a relaxed pace and away from the beaten tracks.
We recommend flying into and out of Paris for this itinerary.
based on double occupancy.
Step by step
Paris: the capital of France & the city of lights
- Live the Parisian life! Comfortably accommodated for the first 5 nights of your trip in a charming boutique-hotel in a quiet street of the bustling Marais district, you will discover the French capital city’s must sees and hidden beauties.
- Being based less than 10-minute walk from Notre Dame Cathedral, you can explore Paris by foot, by boat or using public transportation with unique and interesting itineraries we have prepared for you. We also recommend our favorite restaurants and boulangeries in different districts of the city so you’ll know where to take a break.
- One day, walk on King Louis the 14th's footsetps in Versailles castle and gardens. You will enjoy a 5hr private guided tour to the palace and the garden, a great way to enjoy this unique and magestic site !
The Loire Valley, away from the beaten paths
- On the 6th day, you will pick up your rental car by the ring road in Paris so you don’t drive across the city. The drive to the Loire Valley is about 3hrs long.
- You will spend the following 4 nights of your journey nicely settled in a beautiful historic home nestled in a lively town, by the river. Your host will be happy to make many recommendations about wineries, wine bars or restaurants to experience the Touraine sweet life.
- Located on the banks of the Vienne River, you will jump back to the Medieval times and learn about Joan of Arc history. At night, one of the best restaurants in the region is less than a 1-minute-walk.
The Loire Valley: Chambord & Chenonceau area
- On the 10th day, you will drive towards the area with the most famous of the Loire Valley castles.
- Spend 3 nights at a welcoming Bed & Breakfast, between Amboise and Chenonceau: Your hostess is an excellent cook and she will show you what she knows during a fun cooking workshop, followed by a nice dinner shared with fellow travelers. We can have you work on the type of dishes/products you prefer, just let us know.
- On your way to Normandy, treat yourself to 2 nights in a luxury privately owned castle, 5 miles to Chambord Unesco Renaissance castle.
- You will stay in a comfortable room which may have original frescos dating back to 1620 on the walls (for the early birds) and also enjoy a vast park, tennis court and a huge swimming pool. In the evening, enjoy a drink in one of the many "salons" where you will always feel welcome.
From Saint Malo to the Mont Saint Michel
- On the 15th day, you will reach Normandy, which is only a 3hr drive and we will suggest a nice stop on the way.
- Stay in a former presbytery from the 18th century, located half-way between the famous village of Mont Saint Michel and the lovely port of Saint Malo. One night, enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your host, who is also a chef.
- A place you won't want to miss is the Mont Saint Michel: this sumptuous abbey stands on a tiny island in the middle of a bay and is truly the “8th Wonder of the Western world,” well worth a visit.
- We will also take you to very near Eastern Brittany : its lovely ports, granite stone towns and delicious crêpes are a real addition to your immersion into the Northern France culture.
- In Cancale, experience the Breton sailor's life on board a nice wooden boat. The Captain will tell you many stories and have you discover the finest local products with a gastronomic picnic.
Bayeux, Calvados & the Landing Sites area in Normandy
- Reside for 5 nights in a peaceful countryside house, located between Bayeux's old town and the Landing Beaches. Your hosts travel a lot and will be happy to share many tips with you.
- Jump into the local history: from William the Conqueror in the 11th century whose adventures are illustrated in the Bayeux tapestry, to the Battle of Normandy in 1944.
- From your B&B, you are within reach of all the D-Day sites and museums: from Sainte Mère Eglise to Ouistreham, Isigny, Pointe du Hoc, the artificial port of Arromanches or the Caen Memorial.
- Deauville and Honfleur are within driving distance as well. Honfleur really deserves a visit for its picturesque harbor and art galleries, and Deauville for its famous Grand Casino, horse track and luxury cars. This part of Normandy is also famous for its seafood, especially scallops from Port en Bessin and oysters from Asnelles.
- The Normandy back country might be less famous but is certainly worth a detour: the typical half-timbered villages, the Cider road, the beautiful English-style gardens, the apple brandy traditional manufacturers . . . and of course the cheese! A trip to Normandy would not be complete without tasting Camembert or Livarot cheeses!
Last Step: Giverny & Monet’s house and gardens
- You will stay for the last 2 nights of your trip in a gorgeous mansion, in the orchards, 2 miles from Giverny town. Val, your lovely hostess, will be available to make the most of your stay.
- We include here cut-the-line tickets to Monet’s house and gardens. The lovely Seine river valley towns also deserve a visit.
- On your last day, you are only a 1hr drive to CDG Airport where we suggest you return the rental car.
Private Guide to Versailles Palace
Walk on King Louis the 14th's footsetps in Versailles castle and gardens. You will enjoy a 5hr private guided tour to the palace and the gardens.
Loire Cooking Workshop
Spend a late afternoon with Valérie who trained in gastronomic restaurants. You will prepare a main course and a dessert, then you'll enjoy a savory dinner with your hosts.
Old Wooden Boat Tour & Picnic
In Cancale area, experience the Breton sailormen's life on board of a nice wooden boat. The Captain will tell you many stories and have you discover the finest local products with a gastronomic picnic.
Monet's House & Garden
Avoid wasting time standing in line, use the by-pass line to visit the house of Monet and its famous gardens. Follow in the footsteps of this painter and the American Impressionists in the small town of Giverny.