Paris to Normandy: Exploring History, Culture, and Beauty
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Day by Day
Day 1: Paris
Private Transfer from the Airport to Paris Center
A private driver will pick you up from the airport and drive you safely to Paris center in a premium vehicle.
Arrival at your accommodation
After the check-in you may want to take a stroll through the neighborhood.
Day 2: Paris
Private Tour of the Louvre Museum “The Highlights” with a licensed guide
As one of the largest museums in the world, the Louvre has over 35,000 pieces on display from prehistory to the 19th century, spread across more than 650,000 square feet of gallery space. Explore the museum’s huge collection and its greatest works of art, with a licensed guide.
Before it became a museum in 1793, the Louvre had long been one of the principal palaces of the French Kings. Located right in the heart of Paris, the Louvre’s galleries stretch for 786,000 square feet. It is home to the world’s largest collection of artworks, spanning more than 7,000 years from ancient civilizations to the 19th century. The museum’s collections are split into eight different departments: Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Etruscan & Roman antiquities, Near Eastern antiquities, Islamic art, Paintings, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, and Prints & Drawings.
Spend time discovering these collections with your guide, who will show you some of the museum’s most famous works and tell you about the stories that lie behind them. Marvel at the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1506, the Venus de Milo, a celebrated Greek sculpture dating from 100 BC depicting the goddess Aphrodite, or the giant 33-foot-long painting of the Coronation of Napoleon, painted in 1807 by Jacques-Louis David to commemorate the crowning of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame.
Day 3: Paris
Suggestion: Shopping 1st arrondissement
The 1st Arrondissement of Paris is a mixture of famous historic and cultural attractions, spectacular parks, hidden gardens, and shopping areas ranging from haute couture fashion showrooms to the largest mall in Paris.
Discover and explore unexpected treasures here- 19th-century shopping arcades, fascinating street markets, and popular jazz clubs and wine bars. The beautiful district called La première, in French also offers many excellent hotels in all price ranges, and a wide assortment of superb bistros, brasseries, bakeries, and restaurants.
Eiffel Tower Tickets with Summit Access (with Elevator)
Visit the very top of the most famous monument in the world – the Eiffel Tower! At 984 feet high, you will admire the unarguable best ariel views that Paris has to offer and see the main monuments such as the Louvre Museum, the Invalides, and many more from an unparalleled perspective.
However fantastic views are not the only thing you’ll see at the very top. The office of Mr. Eiffel himself is a room he had reserved at the top of the tower to welcome his visitors.
In several places there are illuminated panels with some pictures from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sometimes even more recently. We see the engineers who designed the tower, Gustave Eiffel the contractor, the architect Sauvestre and Emile Nouguier, the designer. There is also a sign explaining how the inauguration of the tower took place in 1889, and the opportunity to see up close the technical installations at the top of the tower.
Finally, there is a champagne bar on the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower with a server offering two varieties of champagnes by Moët & Chandon (Impérial Brut or Rosé). How many chances in your life will you get to sip champagne at the very top of the Eiffel? Not very many, but here is an opportunity now – best to take it!
Day 4: Paris - Deauville- Honfleur
Transfer from your Accommodation to Paris Train Station
A private driver will pick you up from the hotel and drive you safely to the railway station in a Peugeot 508, VW Sharan, VW Caravelle, or similar.
Train from Paris Saint Lazare to Deauville in First Class
Private Transfer: Deauville Train Station to Honfleur
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between the Deauville train station and Honfleur.
Welcome to Honfleur!
This coastal town is located on the Seine estuary and is now easily accessible by the new bridge, the Pont de Normandie. This elegant bridge briefly held the record as the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge.
The pretty port and houses around Le Vieux Bassin (the harbor area) are the main attraction now, as they were 120 years ago when visitors started arriving at Honfleur. This port, built in the 17th century, is surrounded by beautiful, tall buildings. You will notice that many ancient houses have facades clad in tiles, a traditional technique in Normandy and Brittany. There are numerous cafes. It is a lively place for a promenade in the summer.
On one side of the port is the unusual wooden spire of the 15th-century church of Sainte Catherine. It is the oldest church in Honfleur and is now home to the town’s maritime museum, the Musée de la Marine. Wander behind the church, where you will see the town’s famous salt storage buildings, the Grenier à Sel. These 17th-century buildings stored salt, used to preserve the cod caught by the town’s fishing fleet. These buildings now host exhibitions and concerts. You can go inside and admire the spectacular wooden roofs.
Day 5: Honfleur - Bayeux
Discovery of Honfleur Tour
More than 1,000 years old but incredibly well-preserved thanks to the creation of a protected area in 1974, Honfleur still holds the same fascination for its visitors.
During this visit, you will walk through the old districts of Honfleur’s center. Your guide will reveal to you in particular the impressive structure of the Salt Granaries (17th century) which were once used to store the salt of the gabelle.
Then you continue towards the famous Old Basin and the Lieutenancy. Finally, you will end with the discovery of the amazing Sainte-Catherine church, built between the 15th and 16th centuries and unique in France: all made of wood with its separate bell tower.
The typical and authentic charm of this small town will captivate you!
Private Transfer: Honfleur to Bayeux
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between Honfleur and Bayeux.
On the way – Visit Domain d’Apreval
Producer of Organic Apple Juice and Ciders, Pommeau and Calvados of Normandy and Calvados Pays d’Auge, the Manoir d’Apreval is a family family property located in Pennedepie, in the Northern Pays d’Auge between Honfleur and Deauville Trouville.
Guided visit of the domaine followed by the tasting of gingerbread together with their three specialties: Cider, Pommeau and Calvados “Réserve.”
Welcome to Bayeux!
The Bayeux Tapestry is, without a doubt, the most famous tapestry in the world and an unmissable site when you are in this part of Normandy. The tapestry depicts the conquest of England by the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, in the 1077 Battle of Hastings. An extraordinary feat, the tapestry is about 80 meters long and 50 centimeters high and is a fascinating document that provides a great deal of valuable information about life at that time.
Bayeux itself is an attractive town with a well-preserved medieval center surrounding its renowned cathedral. Notre Dame dates in part from 1077, although most of what we see today is in gothic style and was built in the 13th to 15th centuries. The medieval streets around the cathedral also have medieval houses, some half-timbered, and many other historic buildings of interest.
Bayeux is a popular base for exploring the beaches where the allied forces landed in 1944 at the beginning of the reconquest of Europe. The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy recounts the action seen in Normandy from June 6th to August 29th, 1944. Nearby, Bayeux also houses the British war cemetery in Normandy. The cemetery is very moving and immaculately kept. A lovely mix of perennials and red roses decorates each of the graves.
Day 6: Bayeux
Caen was destroyed almost entirely in 1944 during WWII. It is a remarkable achievement that Caen has kept so many of its historical monuments, given the terrible battle that besieged the town following the Normandy beach landings. After the war, the city passed through 15 years of reconstruction and continued to improve afterward. In recent years it has made further significant efforts. Caen now has an attractive, carefully restored, historic center.
Start your visit at the Château Ducal. This castle was built by William the Conqueror to house and protect his residential palace. It was destroyed in the war, but the massive and impressive ramparts remain. These provide great views of the city and are a popular place to relax and visit. Down below the ramparts, the main town lies in between the superb Abbaye aux Hommes on one side and the impressive Abbaye aux Dames on the other. The Abbaye Aux Hommes is a beautiful building and incorporates the Abbey of Saint Etienne where much of the town sought shelter during the 1944 bombings. Caen’s pleasure port, next to the Abbaye aux Dames, is a lively place with many cafes and restaurants.
On the edge of the town center, the Caen Memorial is a recent addition to the town. It is an impressive museum that explains the history of the war during the 20th century. Exhibits and displays help explain both world wars, including the Normandy landings, the battle for Normandy, the Nazi genocide and the Cold War.
Private Visit to the Haras du Pin National Center and Horse Show
The Pin National Stud – often known as the “Versailles of the Horse” – was built on the orders of Louis XIV in a verdant setting covering more than 1000 hectares (2500 acres).
During the course of this tour, you will have a presentation of the history of the stud and the evolution of its missions commented by your guide. After the introduction, it is time to move on to the different stables, from showcasing the original stalls which are preserved and which has now been transformed into a museum space to discovering the home of the artists in residence – where you can approach the horses, the stars of our shows. The visit ends with the horse-drawn carriage shed, which is a beautiful collection carefully preserved at the Haras du Pin.
In this tour, you will also get to see the equestrian show where horse dressage demonstrations and other dizzying acts in multiple disciplines follow one another. Free-roaming horses, acrobatics and show jumping make this show a very complete presentation of the equestrian art.
Day 7: Bayeux - Mont Saint-Michel
Full Day Private Driving Tour of Mont Saint-Michel
You will depart from Bayeux for a day trip to visit one of the most popular and emblematic sites in France: Mont Saint-Michel and its bay, a unique place between sky and sea. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has the distinct characteristic of being built on a rocky islet, surrounded by a magnificent bay with the highest tides in continental Europe.
Your certified guide will help you discover all aspects and reveal all the secrets of its famous abbey. From here, you will admire one of the most beautiful and largest bays in the world. Stroll through the maze of streets in the village. Visit the Benedictine Abbey founded at the beginning of the 8th century. It is one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. A jewel of Romanesque, Gothic and flamboyant arts, don’t miss the cloister, the refectory and the garden overlooking the sea.
At the end of the visit, you will have free time to have lunch and fully enjoy Mont Saint-Michel for two hours before heading back to Bayeux.
Suggestion on the way – Avranches
This lively little town is located near the Bay of Saint-Michel and has a rich cultural heritage.
During the landing operation of the Allied troops in June 1944 on the beaches of Normandy, Avranches was subjected to a heavy bombardment, to which large parts of the urban area fell victim. Despite this, the city harbors numerous cultural assets and, thanks to its location on the Bay of Saint-Michel, is an excellent starting point for visiting the monastery mountain that rises from the sea off the coast on a rocky island.
It is worth taking a stroll through the lively streets. The Scriptorial Museum houses important historical writings, manuscripts, and prints from the Middle Ages of Mont Saint Michel Abbey. The museum was built in the castle complex at Place d’Estouteville.
A medieval monument is Avranches Castle, built in the 11th century on the foundations of a Roman fort. The former bishop’s palace now houses the Museum of Art and History.
Day 8: Bayeux - Paris
Private Transfer Bayeux to Bayeux Train Station
A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between your hotel and Bayeux train station.
Train from Bayeux to Paris Saint Lazare in First Class
Transfer from the Train Station to your Accommodation
A private driver will pick you up from the railway station and drive you safely to your accommodation in a premium vehicle.
End of the day in Paris
Paris, the French capital, is renowned for its historical sights and monumental beauty. Superb Haussmann style townhouses, grand avenues and boulevards, legendary museums, churches, and parks offer endless opportunities for excursions and visits.
While in Paris, you may want to stroll through the city’s chic boutiques, catch a performance at one of its famed operas or cabaret shows, enjoy a nice meal in one of the many gourmet restaurants – and, last but not least, wander about the lively side streets, and picturesque narrow alleys reflecting the authentic Parisian ambiance and art de vivre.
In Paris, the city of love and light, you will be spoilt for choice!
Day 9: Paris - Versailles
Half-Day Private Tour to Versailles with Tour Assistant Driver – Visit on Your Own with Audioguide
Your tour assistant driver will pick you up at your accommodation in a premium vehicle.
Versailles is perhaps the greatest symbol of France’s monarchy, a stone’s throw away from Paris. Lavish and extravagant Versailles is imposing and bound to impress.
Explore this Château on your own with an audio guide: the Palace of Versailles was the official residence of the Kings of France Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI and their courts from 1682 to 1789. Inside there are more than 700 rooms and stretching over 721,000 square feet, this massive palace stands as a testament to the Sun King’s never-ending quest for grandeur.
Marvel at the palace’s most beautiful rooms, the King’s Grand Apartments, the Queen’s Grand Apartments and the Coronation Room. Admire the incredible Hall of Mirrors, conceived by the famous architect Jules Mansart. Commissioned in 1661, the ground and gardens of the palace are studded with works of art including statues, fountains, and flower beds.
After the tour, your driver will drop you off safely at your accommodation.
Day 10: Paris
Transfer from your Accommodation to Paris Airport
A private driver will pick you up from your accommodation and drive you safely to Paris airport in a premium vehicle
About This Trip:
- Enjoy 24/7 English-spoken telephone assistance while traveling
- This itinerary includes transport, activities, guides, accommodations with breakfasts, and other listed services
- Price is in USD per person, assuming double occupancy. Note that prices and availability are subject to change.
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