Combining our once-in-a-lifetime Burgundy river barge experience with the rich history of Paris and the WWII chapter of France's north means over two weeks of cultural and gastronomical adventure you'll remember forever. Float by canal to medieval towns and pastoral vineyards, and indulge in plenty of free time to roam gorgeous centuries-old cities, gardens, and grounds. France is ready to excite all your senses.
Arrive at any time.
Enjoy an orientation walk in the morning to explore Dijon. Visit the Ducal Palace, the local market and the old town. In the afternoon, enjoy free time before transferring to the river barge and embarking the Danièle.
Depart Dijon for a full day cycling tour through the Côte de Nuits region along the Route des Grands Crus, lined with lovely vineyards and some of the most picturesque villages in the region. Enjoy a wine tasting in the quaint village of Vougeot before meeting barge in Longecourt-en-Plaine.
Start the day with a walk around the beautiful lush gardens of Château de Longecourt, a typical Burgundy castle. Continue the morning walking along the canal and looking at the various locks. Enjoy the Burgundy canal as we walk a 5km (3 mi) stretch of the canal between Longecourt and La Biètre lock. Climb aboard the barge and continue sailing to St-Jean-de-Losne. Free time in the afternoon to visit St-Jean-de-Losne.
You can rejoin the barge at any of the three locks along the way. Opt to use one of the bikes to ride ahead of the walkers.
Cruise along the Saône River before arriving to Chalon-sur-Saône. Take in a presentation by a local wine expert, and enjoy a horizontal tasting on board. Spend a relaxing afternoon walking through the footpaths around Chalon-sur-Saône. Choose to do some shopping in town or relax on board with a glass of local wine.
Cycle along the Côte de Beaune, stopping at villages and vineyards along the way. Explore the vineyards of Chateau de Chassigny-Montrachet while stopping to sample some wines. This mostly flat ride is an ideal way to experience quintessential Burgundy.
Enjoy a quiet morning on board before a walk to the Chateau de Santenay vineyard with an included wine tasting. Continue cruising to Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune. Upon arrival, opt to visit the Château de Couches, a spectacular medieval castle surrounded by beautiful countryside.
Transfer to Beaune, the historic wine capital of Burgundy. Enjoy a tour with a docent, exploring the Hospices of Beaune, a charitable hospital that has been funded by the annual wine auction for over 155 years. Delve into history and discuss the relationship of the hospice with the powerful wine merchants of Burgundy. Enjoy some free time to explore before catching the train to Paris.
Explore the historic covered Marché d'Aligre with a local chef and food expert. Rarely visited by tourists, this market is where locals come to shop for food. Meet vendors, enjoy tastings, and learn about the history of the market and the specialties offered here. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own.
Enjoy the day free to explore Paris. Opt to visit museums, shop or take a river cruise.
Depart for Giverny to visit Claude Monet's Garden, inspiration for the artist's water-lily series and named as one of National Geographic's "top 10 most magnificent gardens in the world." Continue on to the pretty port town of Honfleur for a walk with your CEO and some free time. Arrive this evening in Bayeux and enjoy a dinner at a local crêperie.
Depart Paris for Upper Normandy and the quaint village of Giverny. Impressionist painter Claude Monet lived and worked here from 1883 until his death in 1926. Monet felt that his flower and water gardens here were his greatest works of art and to this day, they are meticulously maintained. These served as inspiration for his celebrated water-lily series and have been named by National Geographic as one of the "10 most magnificent gardens in the world."
Honfleur sits on the estuary where the River Seine meets the English Channel and is considered one of the prettiest port towns in France. Its quaint harbour and historic buildings have always been a draw for artists, including Monet.
This morning we immerse ourselves in WWII history with a local, accredited expert. Begin with a lecture on the Allied invasion and visit a museum to view and handle WWII relics including vintage weapons, uniforms, and maps. Then board a WWII transport vehicle to visit Secqueville-en-Bessin War Cemetery to learn the significance of poppies, the ultimate emblem of military sacrifice. This afternoon continuing exploring with our CEO, visiting Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American cemetery and memorial.
Take in scenes of the D-Day landing which had a pivotal role in the history of the world. Visit the moving memorials and beaches and learn about the impact this event had on the direction of the Second World War. The Battle of Normandy Historical Area is considered an open-air museum and includes all the sites, museums and memorials associated with D-Day and the invasion. Old army bunkers and war relics still exist along the five beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, while museums and memorials throughout the region stand as forceful reminders of this decisive period of WWII. Nearly 30 cemeteries (including American, British, Canadian, French, German and Polish) hold the remains of almost 100,000 young soldiers who never returned from their service in Normandy. Today these memorials offer quiet space for personal reflection for every visitor, young or old, regardless of nationality.
Today enjoy an excursion to Mont-Saint-Michel, an island commune off the coast of Normandy. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the medieval fortress is considered one of the most stunning and imposing sites in Europe, with origins dating back to the 6th century. Take an orientation walk with our CEO then enjoy free time to explore. Opt to visit the abbey, monastery, or museums, or wander the winding lanes and cobblestone streets.
Enjoy a free day to explore Bayeux and its medieval centre. Wander its quaint streets to visit shops and cafes and opt to visit the cathedral and the famed Bayeux Tapestry.
Depart for the river port city of Rouen where we take an orientation walk with our CEO and enjoy some free time. Continue back to Paris where we visit the studio of renowned, National Geographic photographer Reza. Enjoy an exclusive behind the scenes tour with one of Reza's assistants to learn about his work in conflict zones around the world and how his stunning photos make it from lens to page. After, enjoy some wine and cheese in this artistic setting; if we are lucky, we may even get to meet Reza.
Rouen was an important city in the Roman era and Middle Ages, showcased by its historical (and beautiful) centre of Gothic churches and medieval half-timbered houses. it is most notable as the place where Joan of Arc was tried for heresy.
Enjoy a morning walk with our CEO in the medieval centre of Paris; the Île de la Cité. Opt to visit inside Notre Dame, and the Sainte-Chapelle. Afterward, take advantage of free time to explore the city.
This afternoon, you are free to explore on your own to discover the “je ne sais quoi” of this stunning city. Opt to visit the Eiffel Tower, explore the city's outstanding museums and churches, float down the River Seine on a cruise, or simply people-watch.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Explore Normandy & Burgundy
Duration: 17 Days
From Price: £3,429
Supplier Tour ID: EFWHNG/166209
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