Hotels not included: 
Hotels not included
  • Normandy + Brittany (4 Days) Description

    Day 1

    The first stop on your journey will be ROUEN, the capital of Upper Normandy that has been developing since the Romans. You will start with a stroll through the old town where you will have a close look at the house of the Exchequer, the 15 C Archbishop Palace, the splendid Renaissance Palace of Justice, the "Grosse Horloge", Rouen's most popular monument, a clock from 1527 with its superb belfry topped by a dom. You will stop at the Place du Vieux Marche (Old Market Square) where Joan of Arc was burnt on a stake, before having a private guided visit of the cathedral Notre Dame de Rouen, one of the most beautiful examples of French Gothic, immortalized over 20 Times by Claude Monet.

    After the discovery of Rouen, you will continue your journey driving to the lovely, romantic town of HONFLEUR, located on the Seine estuary, that has a holiday feeling all year around. Its character and ambiance have inspired painters, writers and musicians for centuries.

    You will delight in walking around the old dock, the narrow winding streets where the fishing fleet unloads fresh fish and shellfish every day, stopping to admire the slate facades of the old houses.

    After enjoying lunch in one of the typical bistros on the picturesque quayside of the old dock, you will have a closer look at the St Catherine's church, a rare example in Western Europe constructed entirely of wood with its narrow massive oak belfry covered in chestnut wood.

    Then onto our 3rd destination: BAYEUX, the first French town to be liberated by the Allies on June 7th 1944, very fortunate not to have been damaged during the War.

    You will visit the beautiful 12C cathedral that still keeps watch over this charming, old fashioned town with its stone and timber framed old houses, nicely restored, its pedestrian precinct through which you will wander before your guide takes you to the Centre Guillaume le Conquérant (William the Conqueror's Center) for a visit of the Tapestry of Bayeux, a jewel of Romanesque (the oldest tapestry in the world 1067 X 203 feet long) , that relates in a very realistic account the events of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and that is without doubt one of the most accurate and lively documents to survive from the Middle Ages, providing detailed information of the cloths, ships, arms and general lifestyle of that period.

    (Entrance tickets included).

    Night in Bayeux.

    Day 2

    After breakfast, we start our journey with the visit of Pegasus Bridge, one of the 3 most famous bridges in World War II (with Remagen and Arnhem) that was captured by Major John Howard and his gliderborne company in a coup de main operation.
    Drive to Arromanches where we will visit the remains of the artificial harbour, build by the Allied Forces in less than 15 days and watch a 360° movie that makes you relive the feelings of the Allied soldiers in first hours of D-Day.

    Then onto the German coastal artillery battery at Longues sur Mer which played a vital role in the D-Day landings firing on the Allied shipping.

    After lunch in a typical norman restaurant (at your convenience), visit of the moving American Cemetery of Saint Laurent followed by a drive to Omaha Beach where so many young Americans lost their lives.

    The tour will end with the visit of the visually spectacular Pointe du Hoc where Colonel James Rudder and his Rangers accomplished a memorable feat of arms on the cliffs on June the 6th 1944

    Night in Bayeux

    Day 3

    Many writers have tried to define the "Marvel of the Occident", some say that it is to the sea what the pyramid of Keops is to the desert, some describe it as an imaginary manor-house, stupefying as a dream palace, others say that is is not dry land and yet not the sea. Surrounded by the sea with one of the highest tidal ranges in the world the Mont St. Michel is simply unique.

    On the Mont St. Michel, the tour will begin with a guided visit of the Abbey founded by Aubert at the beginning of the 8th Century and that became a major cultural and pilgrimage centre during the middle ages . You will admire the Romanesque Church, the Gothic "Marvel" with the monk's Cloisters and Refectory, the Knights Room, the Guest Room, the Undercroft, the Refectory, as well as various chapels: St. Stephen, St.Martin, Our Lady Underground, St. Mary Magdalene, Crypt of the 30 Candles.

    After lunch, stroll through the steep-sided narrow streets of the town and its ramparts.

    (Entrance tickets to the Mont St. Michel Abbey included).

    Leaving Mont St Michel behind you, your guide will drive you to ST.MALO, built with the same grey stone as the Mont St Michel and that was originally in the Middle Ages a fortified island at the mouth of the Rance River.

    Modern St Malo traces its origin to a monastic settlement in the 6th century. In later times it became notorious as the home of a fierce breed of pirate-mariners. For 4 years (1590-1594), St Malo even declared itself an independent republic. Jacques Cartier, who colonized Canada, lived and sailed in St Malo, as did the first colonists of the Falklands.

    Your guide will take you for a visit of the superb citadelle, stroll with you through the old streets within the walls of the lively and very characterfull town before leaving you at your hotel for the night.

    (Night in St Malo)

     

    Day 4

    After Breakfast you will leave St Malo and drive to CANCALE a picturesque fishing village, the "Oyster capital of Brittany", where along a pleasant coastal path you will walk to Pointe du Grouin that views across the bay towards Mont St Michel.

    The onto DINARD, that sprawls around the Western approaches of the Rance estuary with its casino, spacious villas ,social calendar of regattas and the beautiful "Plage de l'Ecluse" with the unexpected statue of Alfred Hitchcock. . You will follow the enjoyable footpath that leads to "Pointe du Moulinet" from where you will have a marvelous view over to St Malo and where you will enjoy a nice lunch in a typical restaurant of the region.

    After lunch you will continue to DINAN, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Brittany is located on a 75 meters (220 feet) high hill over the Rame River and offers a unique overview of the Rame. From here, by Saint-Sauveur Basilica, where the heart of the constable Bertrand Duguesclin is buried, you will notice that the river is under the influence of the tides. That’s why from St-Malo to Dinan, the people call it the sea river and from Dinan to its source further inland it is the river. Dinan became the Duke of Brittany territory in the late 13th century that’s why huge city walls were built. The wealth, until the French Revolution, was exhibited through Saint-Sauveur Basilica, the private mansions, the Belfry...But thanks to all the stores, inns of the city that you can still see today the main aspects of Dinan are the timber frame houses very well preserved covering the period that goes from the 15th to the 17th century. Dinan is an amazing journey through the middle ages.

    Then, your private guide will drive you back to Paris.

    Extra charge for a pick up and/or a drop off outside Paris

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