Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.
We recommended arriving a day or two early to fully explore this world-renowned city. The "City of Lights" is unlike any other place on earth. Known for its glorious monuments, museums, and markets, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, Montmartre to the Marais, Paris has something for everyone. Discover for yourself Paris' "je ne sais quoi."
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 our CEO and some free time. Arrive this evening in Bayeux and enjoy a dinner at a local creperie. 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 about the significance of poppies ?? the ultimate emblem of military sacrifice. This afternoon, continue 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 then 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 for some free time to explore the City of Lights. 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 Ile de la Cite. Opt to visit inside Sainte-Chapelle. After, indulge in a wine and cheese pairing lunch, then take advantage of free time to explore the city. Later this afternoon and evening, 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.