Grand Tour of France (4780) - 2016 / 2015

14 Day Tour from Paris to Paris


Grand Tour of France
Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard
See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence
Vineyard in Beaune, France
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Mont St-Michel in Normandy, France
Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Provence Lavender Fields
Vineyard in Beaune, France
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

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Get to know France from the inside on this exciting vacation. From Paris, head north to Rouen, then Honfleur, overnight in Caen, and visit 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 that’s 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, then carry on to 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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Individual headsets

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

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

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

Guides:

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

NOTES:

  • March 31 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,D)


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)

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 70 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. (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 River to reach your hotel for two overnights. A chance this evening to join an optional dinner at a 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–La Rochelle–Cognac–Bordeaux

Travel on the comfortable Autoroute L’Aquitaine. Next stop is the picturesque town of La Rochelle, situated on the Atlantic coast. Continue eastwards into the world-famous Cognac region to visit the HENNESSY MUSEUM in Cognac. Then, journey to Bordeaux for an orientation walk. (B,D)

Day 7Bordeaux–Dordogne–Rocamadour–Toulouse

Today 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. Get a view of the Maison Carrée, one of the bestpreserved 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. Visit the famous Roman AMPHITHEATER. 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 returning to the French capital and “City of Light,” Paris. Don't miss the optional evening cabaret show, a real Parisian spectacle. (B)

Day 13Paris

In the included sightseeing with a local expert are many of the best-known Parisian sights: Notre Dame Cathedral, 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 Bercy (ST) or Novotel Defense (F)
CAEN Mercure Côte de Nacre (ST) at Herouville
MONT ST. MICHEL Hotel Vert (ST) or Ibis Avranches Baie du Mont St. Michel (ST) at St Quentin sur le Homme
LOIRE VALLEY Novotel (F) at Amboise or Villa Bellagio (ST) at Blois
BORDEAUX Mercure Centre Meriadeck (ST)
TOULOUSE Radisson Toulouse Airport (F)
AVIGNON Ibis Pont de l'Europe (ST) or Ibis Styles Sud (ST)
FRENCH RIVIERA Park Inn (ST) at Nice or Quality Mediterranee (ST) at Menton or Ibis Styles (ST) Nice Vieux Port
LYON AREA Lyon Ouest (ST) or Parkest (ST)
PARIS Kyriad Bercy (ST) or Mercure Porte de Versailles Expo (F) or Ibis Styles Fontenay (ST)

Buffet breakfasts; 5 dinners


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: 3 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!

UNESCO World Heritage Sites


The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Grand Tour of France:

  • Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments
  • Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge
  • Mont Saint Michel and its Bay
  • Palace and Park of Versailles
  • Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)


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