History lovers and culture connoisseurs will delight in this eight-day exploration of France’s Norman villages and WWII military sites. Stroll through Claude Monet’s evocative garden, marvel at the medieval cities of Bayeux and Rouen, and visit the Paris studio of acclaimed National Geographic photographer and explorer Reza. Cap off the experience with two days in Paris to toast la vie en rose.
Arrive at anytime.
Depart for Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s gardens, named by National Geographic as one of the “10 most magnificent gardens in the world.” Stroll promenades lined by a rainbow of blooming flowers, and seek out scenes from the acclaimed artist’s most iconic impressionist paintings. Continue to the charming port town of Honfleur and wander its winding, cobbled lanes while soaking in a bygone maritime ambience. Arrive in Bayeux and enjoy dinner at a local creperie. (1B, 1D)
Delve into World War II history with a local expert, hearing about the Allied invasion before visiting a local museum for an opportunity to handle relics from the war. Ride in a genuine WWII transport vehicle to the Secqueville-en-Bessin War Cemetery and take a guided tour of the grounds. This afternoon, visit the legendary Omaha Beach, the cratered cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery. (1B)
Perched on a tidal islet about a mile off the coast, the imposing medieval fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the greatest religious sites in all of Europe and has drawn pilgrims since the eighth century. Take an orientation walk, and then spend free time exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Gothic citadel of La Merveille and the charming 15th-century village that winds across the base of the abbey. (1B)
Enjoy the next day to explore Bayeux on your own. Step into the city’s stunning Gothic cathedral, and consider a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum—home to the magnificent 230-foot embroidered account of the Norman Conquest. (1B)
Visit Rouen, enjoying free time to stroll its medieval streets. Continue to Paris, where we’ll visit the studio of renowned National Geographic photographer and explorer Reza. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of his workspace and enjoy a wine-and-cheese reception. The next morning, go on a CEO-led walk through the medieval center of Paris. Opt to visit the interiors of Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Enjoy a final afternoon to explore the city on your own before departing the following day. (3B)
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