French Heritage - Small Group Small Group
From 15/04/2023 to 19/08/2023
Additional Included Highlights.
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency.
We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times.
If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Welcome to Paris On arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, transfers leave for the hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. After checking in, the capital's grand boulevards and world-famous landmarks are yours to explore. At 17:30, join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Dinner at Brasserie Bofinger, a local restaurant with cuisine inspired by country recipes.
Day 2 - Champagne Region and on to Dijon Journey through the Champagne region. Continue to the Burgundy region, once a powerful duchy and synonymous with fine wine. Stop to savour a taste of Champagne, for which this region if world famous, with an expert vintner. Continue on to your hotel in Dijon.
Day 3 - Free Time in Dijon Relaxed Start Enjoy the Burgundy capital of Dijon. Its many handsome buildings recall the time when the Dukes of Burgundy were more powerful than the Kings of France. Perhaps take the opportunity to visit the wine capital of Burgundy, Beaune? In the evening, don't miss the chance of an optional Burgundy wine tasting and traditional dinner in the Premier Cru village of Fixin.
Day 4 - Chamonix Travel towards the M?connais and Beaujolais before turning east into the Alps. A scenic symphony awaits you as you ascend into the high Alps and climb towards Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest mountain. Your destination is the fashionable ski resort of Chamonix. In the evening you may choose to try a local pierrade at a local trendy eatery in a traditional chalet. This Optional Experience provides the chance to try a typical regional meal, cooked on a table barbecue using on a hot stone.
Day 5 - Lakeside Annecy and Grenoble Relaxed Start In the morning, embark on a beautiful journey to the lakeside town of Annecy, dramatically situated between lake and mountains, it's a medieval spectacle and a summer getaway for the French and the Swiss locals. Enjoy free time for lunch in Little Venice, aptly named for the network of canals criss-crossing through the Old Town. Explore the city's many lovely bridges at your leisure. This evening, savour a delicious raclette dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6 - The French Riviera to reach Nice Glorious mountain scenery will be yours to enjoy as you travel along a spectacular route, used by the Emperor Napoleon when he returned from his first exile to try to take the throne of France once more. Continue to the French Riviera to reach the elegant resort of Nice. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore as you wish. In the evening, why not walk through old town Nice, ending in Cours Saleya where dinner is at your leisure at one of the many lovely bistros?
Day 7 - Monaco and the C?te d'Azur Wake up ready to rub shoulders with the jet-set on the glamorous C?te d'Azur. Unlock the secrets of the French perfume industry with a visit to a perfumery, where fragrance experts waft exclusive scents from stoppered bottles. Then enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco and walk with your Travel Director through the old town to see the Royal Palace and yacht-filled harbour. Your exploration continues as you visit inside Monaco Cathedral, housing the tomb of Princess Grace. The rest of the day is set aside for you to enjoy the French Riviera at your own pace. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit to the medieval village of Eze and its hilltop Botanical Gardens for a spectacular view of the coastline?
Day 8 - Picturesque Provence Visit the medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence, perched high above the Riviera beaches. A walk through its winding streets reveals elegant fountains, vine-covered stone walls and views of mountains and sea. Enjoy a lesson in the French sport of p?tanque. Steady your hand and get ready to test your newfound skills as you take part in a game, completed by a glass of pastis, a French ap?ritif. Continue to Aix-en-Provence to see the sumptuous mansions lining the Cours Mirabeau and on to your hotel.
Day 9 - Free Time in Albi Enjoy a full day at leisure, to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Albi.
Day 10 - Cahors and Rocamadour Relaxed Start Stop in Cahors, famous for its Black Wine, and see the Pont Valentr?. You'll also have the opportunity to explore the open air market - full of fresh, seasonal produce and local delicacies, it's an experience to delight all of the senses. Travel to Rocamadour and enjoy free time to explore this medieval town perched on a cliff side above the Alzou River and known as a resting place for pilgrims on their way to Spain. Continue to the beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Can?da, its medieval core blessed with fine historic golden limestone houses.
Day 11 - Exploring the Dordogne Valley Start the day with a morning drive into the stunning Valley of the Dordogne to visit Lascaux II, where the world-famous prehistoric cave paintings have been faithfully reproduced.Enjoy a delicious Farm-to-Table Dinner, prepared with locally sourced ingredients and served with wines from the region.
Day 12 - Paris, The City of Light Travel onwards to immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Paris where on arrival you are free to explore this fascinating city as you wish. As evening descends, the City of Light lives up to its name as the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory. For that special touch of excitement and glamour don't miss the chance to join an Optional Experience to one of the world-famous cabaret shows.
Day 13 - Romantic Capital on the Seine During your time in Paris, see the impressive Eiffel Tower, the imposing facades of the Louvre, the obelisk in the centre of the Place de la Concorde and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elys?es to Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe. Today enjoy an Insight Choice experience. Choose between shopping in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian for fashion, perfume or cosmetics with your Local Expert. Alternatively, join a Local Expert, an avid foodie, as you head into areas where Parisians go about their daily lives to explore small shops and sample local treats and delicacies. You are in for a memorable evening starting with a delicious highlight dinner at the historic restaurant La Coupole, serving delicious French cuisine and wine.
Day 14 - Rouen, Honfleur and Deauville Follow the River Seine to Rouen, capital of Normandy, to admire its ancient cathedral - a masterpiece of Gothic style and the subject of a series of paintings by Claude Monet. Wander through the narrow streets beneath the Great Clock to the Old Market Square. Here, a superb modern church commemorates the burning of Joan of Arc on this very spot in 1431. Continue to the charming fishing town of Honfleur and to your luxurious hotel, located in the chic seaside resort of Deauville.
Day 15 - Normandy Beaches and D-Day Landings Following the route of the Rangers and visiting the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial at Pointe du Hoc. Then with a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent near Omaha Beach. Explore Normandy with Insight Choice. Choose between visiting the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay or alternatively visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. This evening you are treated to a delightful dinner, which promises creative cuisine, seasonal ingredients and delicious wines.
Day 16 - Mont-Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo Journey through Bocage country for an exploration of the hilltop abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with your Local Expert. The abbey stands on an island and is reached by a causeway across the shining sands. Behind the outer ring of defences huddles the small town - it's one street containing shops, cafes and hotels. Continue along the Emerald Coast to stunning Saint-Malo, situated on the Rance Estuary and one of the most charming places in France. A Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the City of the Corsairs. Walk through the maze of streets of Intra Muros, the walled city, to the cathedral, the burial place of Jacques Cartier and other celebrated voyagers. At your leisure, you can wander around the ramparts of the thick city walls, offering fantastic views over the old town and the bay. By night, the town's medieval maze of winding streets is abuzz with quaint bars and restaurants. Alternatively, you may wish to join an Optional Experience to Cancale, known throughout France of its oyster beds, for a delicious meal of fresh seafood and other Breton specialties?
Day 17 - Villandry Experience Head south to follow the valley of the Loire, passing the moated Angers Castle. Cross the Loire to Saumur, where a local vintner will guide you through tastings of the region's delicious wines. Head to Ch?teau de Villandry, the jewel of the Loire, to visit the glorious sustainable gardens on a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience. Ensure you don't miss the water, ornamental and kitchen gardens. This stunning sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil grown organically to regenerate the local ecosystem. Continue to your chateau hotel, where you can relax like royalty in sumptuous surroundings.
Day 18 - Scenic Drive Along the Loire Valley Journey to the fairy-tale Ch?teau d'Azay-le-Rideau, considered one of the best representations of French Renaissance architecture. Having recently undergone extensive restoration, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley. Return to your own superb ch?teau for relaxation and free time. At night, your Celebration Dinner starts with a glass of local sparkling wine and continues with excellent service and delicious Farm-to-Table dishes in the most wholesome setting, ensuring the memory of your meal will linger long after you've returned home.
Day 19 - Au Revoir Paris Your departure transfer will arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 or 11:00. Choice Highlights Choose between two carefully selected activities Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert. Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and sample local treats and delicacies along the way. Choose between two carefully selected activities Bayeux: Visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. Arromanches-les-Bains: Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay. Well-being : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests). : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches. : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols. : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues. : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day. Top Rated Highlights : Celebrated across France on 14 July, Bastille Day commemorates the end of the French monarchy. On select departures, witness the remarkable display of fireworks lighting up the warm summer sky and perhaps join in one of the traditional balls. Dijon: Explore Dijon with your Travel Director to learn all about the history of this fascinating city, famous for its mustard and wines. Chamonix: Stay in France's mountaineering capital. Annecy: Enjoy free time in the Little Venice area. Nice: Enjoy exploring the beautiful coastal town of Nice on the French Riviera. Eze: Visit a perfumery to learn about the French perfume industry and discover your signature scent. Monaco: Enjoy a drive along part of the Grand Prix circuit and wander the old town with your Travel Director to see the Royal Palace and the yacht-filled harbour. Monaco: Explore inside Monaco Cathedral. Saint-Paul-de-Vence: Discover the beauty of this hilltop town and why it became a refuge for artists. Aix-en-Provence: See the mansions of the Cours Mirabeau, a lively thoroughfare in Aix-en-Provence. Sarlat-la-Caneda: Explore the cobbled streets of Sarlat-la-Can?da and see the historic golden limestone buildings. Montignac: These caves contain some of the oldest and finest prehistoric art in the world. For preservation reasons, they have been replicated in all their glory. Paris: Shop in quaint boutiques like a true Parisian with your Local Expert. Paris: With a Local Expert, explore the iconic sights and streets of Paris. See famous landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the facades of the Louvre. Stroll the banks of the River Seine and admire romantic bridges, and enjoy a drive along the Champs Elys?es to the Arc de Triomphe. Rouen: See the cathedral, the Great Clock, the Old Market square and Place du Vieux-March? where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Honfleur: See this charming fishing town. Omaha Beach: Follow the route of the Rangers, visit the bunkers and the Rangers Memorial. Omaha Beach: With a Local Expert, spend a few reflective moments at the American Military Cemetery of Saint-Laurent. Bayeux: Visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum and learn about the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy becoming the King of England. Arromanches-les-Bains: Visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches and see the remnants of the artificial port in the bay. Mont-Saint-Michel: Savour your first sight of the fortified island of Mont-Saint-Michel. Cross the causeway for a guided tour with your Local Expert through the maze of halls and vaults of the abbey. Saint-Malo: Your Local Expert guides you trough the intertwined streets of the walled city to arrive at the cathedral. Later enjoy the chance to walk along the fortifications and explore the cities nightlife at your leisure. Angers: Enjoy exploring the western gateway to the Loire Valley in the little town of Angers and see its imposing chateau. Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: During your visit to Ch?teau d'Azay-le-Rideau, your Local Expert will show you the subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor within this 16th century icon of the Loire Valley. Travel Director : "I love to see how guests react to Paris because, despite its fame, it still surprises. It's a majestic city, which shines in the daytime and sparkles at night." : "I decided to become a Travel Director because I love the joy of discovery. When people see a place they've dreamed about, tasted something they've only read about, and hear the music and stories of a place they're exploring, we all share a joyful creation of lifelong memories." : "Paris is truly a delight to all the senses - seeing the iconic architecture, hearing about the history, smelling the wonderful bakeries and tasting the local specialties during our foodie walk." Authentic Dining Paris: Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at a local restaurant in the heart of Paris for a delightful Welcome Dinner, served with wine. Colomb?-la-Fosse: Journey through the Champagne region. Stop for a taste of the bubbles which have made this region famous worldwide, with an expert vintner. Grenoble: Enjoy a delicious raclette dinner in Grenoble. Cahors: See the Pont Valentr? as you enjoy a tasting through the markets. Sarlat-la-Caneda: Enjoy a delicious farm-to-table dinner, prepared with locally sourced ingredients, and served with wines from the local region. Paris: Join an avid local foodie on a walk through the streets of Paris. Visit a variety of patisseries, boulangeries and chocolatiers and sample local treats and delicacies along the way. Paris: Rendezvous with your friends at a typical French bistro for a rousing highlight dinner with wine. Bon Appetit! Saumur: Fun and informative, discuss the grape varieties and local terroir while sampling wines of the Loire Valley. Chateau de Rochecotte: Enjoy a delicious farm-to-table Celebration Dinner, prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Dining Summary: 8 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 18 Breakfast (B) Insight Experiences Saint-Paul-de-Vence: Join a p?tanque player to learn the secrets behind this traditional French discipline. Steady your hand and get ready to test your newfound skills in a game. End with a glass of pastis, a French ap?ritif. Make Travel Matter Loire Valley: Discover the sustainable gardens of Ch?teau de Villandry. In the scenic Loire Valley, explore France's finest formal gardens. Now a hub for sustainability preserving the estate's biological diversity, learn all about the a sea of fragrant green herbs, silvery cabbages, and purple basil, all grown organically to re-generate the local ecosystem. Their aim is to preserve a remarkable garden, maintained with meticulous care, while incorporating maintenance work into a balanced ecosystem. They have partnered with a local university to bring biodiversity back into the gardens. Villandry Gardens advance UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life On Land.
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