Cosmos

Grand Tour of France (4780) - 2014 / 2015

14 Day Tour from Paris to Paris


Grand Tour of France
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Vineyard in Beaune, France
Avignon Palace of Popes
Mont St-Michel in Normandy, France
Take in the beautiful sites of the French Riviera
Rouen Cathedral
Provence Lavender Fields
Vineyard in Beaune, France
Pont du Gard
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

Get to know France from the inside on this exciting vacation. From Paris, head north to Rouen, then Honfleur, an overnight in Caen, and the historic Normandy D-Day landing beaches from World War II. On to Bayeux, the enduring beauty of Mont St. Michel, Angers with its cathedral, and along the Loire Valley for two overnights. Travel through the countryside famous for its cognac and champagne production and visit Poitiers, a picturesque town of Roman heritage, as well as seaside La Rochelle. Spend a night in Bordeaux and continue through the Dordogne to the cliffside village of Rocamadour before reaching Toulouse. An orientation tour shows you medieval Carcassonne on the way to Nîmes, Pont du Gard, and an overnight in Avignon. Visit Arles, made famous by Van Gogh, and the enchanting town of Aix-en-Provence. Next up: the magnificent French Riviera. Head northwest via the Route Napoleon, visiting a perfume workshop in Grasse and then Lyon on the banks of the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Stop in the delightful town of Beaune, the region’s wine capital. Return to Paris, the “City of Light,” with included sightseeing of the main attractions and leisure time to soak in the romantic atmosphere.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Sightseeing:
Visits to Rouen, Honfleur, Caen, Normandy Landing Beaches, Bayeux, Mont St. Michel, Angers, La Rochelle, Cognac museum, Bordeaux, Rocamadour, Carcassonne, Nîmes, Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, Grasse, Beaune

Scenic Highlights:
Loire Valley, Perigot Noir, Dordogne, Cognac, French Riviera, Burgundy wine country, Route Napoleon, Pont du Gard

Guides:

Local Guide for city sightseeing in Paris. Professional Tour Director while touring

NOTES:

  • April 8 and 15 Departure - Easter week
  • December 20 Departure - New Year in Paris including "Reveillon" dinner
  • On Sunday departures, overnight is at Blois instead of Amboise. Itinerary changes as follows:
  • Day 4: Mont St. Michel–Angers–Blois. (B)
  • Day 5: At leisure in Blois or optional excursion to Chenonceau & Amboise Castles. (B,D)
  • Day 6: Blois–Poitiers–La Rochelle–Bordeaux. (B)


Day 1Arrive in Paris, France

Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2Paris–Rouen–Honfleur–Caen

Drive first to the fine old city of Rouen and walk through its center, rich in gothic architecture. Next, stop in lovely Honfleur before reaching Caen for an overnight. (B,D)

NOTE:
June 1 & 3, August 19 & 26, September 2 & 7 Departures overnight in Le Havre instead of Caen.

Day 3Caen–Normandy Landing Beaches–Bayeux–Mont St. Michel

Time to see Caen before a visit to the legendary beaches where the Allied troops landed more than 60 years ago. The highlights are Arromanches, St. Laurant, and the American Cemetery at Omaha. Next, journey to Bayeux, where you can admire the famous tapestry (entrance fee extra). Then, southwards to the unique beauty of Mont St. Michel, which stands on an island reached by a causeway, for an overnight. (B)

Day 4Mont St. Michel–Angers–Loire Valley

Time this morning to enjoy a visit of Mont St. Michel before a mid-morning departure to Angers to visit its cathedral. Then, along the banks of the Loire to Amboise for two overnights. A chance this evening to join an optional dinner at a typical local restaurant. (B)

Day 5Loire Valley

Time at leisure or join the optional excursion to see some of the most spectacular castles of the Loire, steeped in the history of noblemen and kings since the 11th century. Gothic spires, medieval turrets, great fortresses, and beautiful châteaux make for splendid panoramas. (B,D)

Day 6Loire Valley–Poitiers–La Rochelle–Bordeaux

Travel on the comfortable Autoroute L’Aquitaine as far as Poitiers. Next stop is the picturesque town of La Rochelle, situated on the Atlantic coast. Continue westwards into the world-famous Cognac region to visit the Hennessy museum in Cognac. Then, journey to Bordeaux for an orientation walk and an overnight. This evening, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7Bordeaux–Dordogne–Rocamadour–Toulouse

Drive into the heart of one of France’s most scenic regions, the Dordogne. Stop in the dramatically located medieval town of Rocamadour, perched high upon a cliff. Southwards by way of Cahors to Toulouse for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 8Toulouse–Carcassonne–Nîmes–Pont Du Gard–Avignon

Drive this morning along the Autoroute des Deux Mers for an orientation walk in Carcassonne. Then, continue eastwards to Nîmes, an elegant city famed for its busy boulevards shaded by lotus trees. Also visit the famous Roman amphitheater. Get a view of the Maison Carrée, one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the whole of France. Short picture stop at the famous Pont du Gard, before reaching Avignon for an overnight. (B)

Day 9Avignon–Arles–Aix en Provence–French Riviera

South this morning to visit Arles, the most famous of all the Provence towns, known the world over by the paintings of Van Gogh. Stop in Aix-en-Provence to see its main street, the Cours Mirabeau, lined with plane trees and its 17th-century palace, houses, and fountains. Finally, to the French Riviera on the shores of the Mediterranean. Don’t miss the optional evening excursion. (B)

Day 10French Riviera

Take the opportunity today to enjoy all the amenities of the French Riviera. (B)

Day 11French Riviera–Grasse–Lyon Area

First to Grasse for a visit to a perfume workshop. See more of Provence and follow one of France’s great panoramic routes, the one Napoleon took on his return from Elba in 1815. From Grenoble, join the expressway to the Lyon area. (B,D)

Day 12Lyon Area–Beaune–Paris

Travel through the picturesque vineyards and fields of Burgundy to medieval Beaune, the region's wine capital since Roman times, where you visit the famous Hôtel-Dieu before continuing to the French capital and “City of Light,” Paris. Don't miss the optional evening cabaret show, a real Parisian spectacle. (B)

Day 13Paris

Included sightseeing with a local expert starts with an inside visit to Notre Dame Cathedral. Then, many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne, Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles and, to celebrate the success of your tour, a French farewell dinner might be just the ticket. (B)

Day 14Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Paris if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach


PARIS Kyriad (ST) at Bercy or Novotel Defense (F),
CAEN Mercure Côte de Nacre (ST) at Herouville or Mercure (F) at Le Havre
MONT ST. MICHEL Hotel Vert (ST)
LOIRE VALLEY Novotel (F) at Amboise or Villa Bellagio (ST) at Blois
BORDEAUX Mercure Bordeaux Centre (ST)
TOULOUSE Radisson Toulouse Airport (F)
AVIGNON Ibis Pont de l'Europe (ST)
FRENCH RIVIERA Park Inn (ST) at Nice or Ibis Styles (ST) at Nice Vieux Port
LYON AREA Park Inn (ST) or Park Inn (ST) at Mâcon
PARIS Mercure (F) at Porte de St. Cloud or Novotel Defense Park (F) or Holiday Inn Express (ST) at La Villette

Buffet breakfasts; 5 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Bordeaux


With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

CLARA CRAWFORD

Years of Experience: 2 years

It would delight me to show you France - the most visited country in the world. This is a place of enormous variety in its history, natural beauty, and the magic of Paris! Add to this the fantastic food, wonderful wines, and musical language and you'll truly fall in love with the country and its people!

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As recommended by Budget Travel