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Survey of France: Paris, Provence, the Wine Regions and More

Program Number: 20781RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/29/2013 - 6/17/2013; 9/1/2016 - 9/22/2016; 9/22/2016 - 10/13/2016;
Duration: 19 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $4,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 44; 18 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience fascinating traditions, cultures and cuisines of France on a grand journey highlighting diverse cities and regions. From the D-Day Beaches of Normandy to the Loire Valley, from Bordeaux vineyards to sun-soaked Provence, come to appreciate all La Belle France has to offer.


• Go behind the scenes to learn about the construction and operation of the Eiffel Tower.
• Taste the terroir or “sense of place” in foods like quiche Lorraine, cheese from Normandy and wines from Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux.
• Visit two of the Loire Valley’s most stunning chateaux and stand in awe of the island fortress Mont Saint-Michel.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some stairs and uneven terrain.

Date Specific Information

5-29-2013, 9-1-2016, 9-22-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Paris and transfer to Bayeaux, 3 nights; coach to Chinon, 3 nights; train to Bordeaux, 2 nights; coach to Carcassonne, 1 night; coach to Arles 3 nights; coach to Lyon, 2 nights; coach to Colmar, 2 nights; coach to Reims, 1 night; coach to Paris, 3 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from U.S.
1 night
Arrival Paris
Coach to Bayeaux
3 nights

Delve into the story of the Normandy Landings at Utah and Omaha Beaches and the American Cemetery and Memorial. Learn about the Celtic connections of Normandy and Brittany and marvel at the ancient pilgrimage site of Mont St. Michel.

Coach to Chinon
3 nights
Highspeed train to Bordeaux
2 nights
Coach to Carcassonne
1 night

Visit two of the most beautiful chateaux of the Loire: Amboise and Chenonceau. Learn about the roots of the French Renaissance and the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. Explore centuries of wine traditions in Bordeaux and the vineyards of Saint-Émilion. Walk the ramparts of Carcassonne.

Coach to Arles
3 nights
Coach to Lyon
2 nights

Experience vivid scenes of Provence from the ancient streets of Arles and Avignon to the Roman roots of Arles. Learn about the uses of lavender and other aromatic herbs of Provence. Taste locally harvested olive oil at the mill. An expert-led walk in Lyon highlights the city’s history from the Middle Ages to the French Resistance and today’s trend-setting modern architectural developments. Taste wines in the Burgundy vineyards.

Coach to Colmar
2 nights
Coach to Reims
1 night

Learn about the French-German culture of Alsace-Lorraine as you explore Colmar and Strasbourg. Lay a wreath at the American Cemetery. Sample authentic Champagne and step inside the Reims Cathedral, where the kings of France were crowned.

Coach to Paris
3 nights

Examine the amazing collection at the Louvre. Take field trips to Monet’s Giverny and the Palace of Versailles. Learn how civil engineer Gustave Eiffel built the Eiffel Tower. Celebrate your journey with a dinner cruise on the Seine River.


The epicurious and the curious find much to admire in Western Europe’s largest nation, whose agricultural riches and terrain of beaches, mountains and fertile fields have drawn residents for thousands of years. The northern region hosts the nation’s Parisian capital, as well as unique Breton culture, while the sun-drenched Mediterranean coast sports the chic beach-goers and the terraced vineyards of the interior.

Bayeaux: Comfortable hotel. Chinon: Restored mansion in the center of town. Bordeaux: Historic boutique hotel. Carcassonne: Comfortable hotel. Arles: modern hotel in the heart of the city. Lyon: Hotel in the center of town. Colmar: Comfortable hotel. Reims: Hotel in the heart of the city. Paris: Charming hotel in the historic Marais district.
Meals and Lodgings
   La Sapinière
  Omaha Beach, France 2 nights
   Hotel Le Plantagenet
  Chinon, France 3 nights
   Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
  Bordeaux, France 2 nights
   Hotel L’Esplan
  Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, France 3 nights
   Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
  Lyon, France 2 nights
   Hotel Le Colombier
  Colmar, France 2 nights
   Suite Novotel Reims Centre
  Reims, France 1 night
   Villa Beaumarchais
  Paris, France 3 nights
 La Sapinière
Type: Hotel
  Description: La Sapiniere is a privately owned lodge-style hotel, situated in a quiet garden, located just steps away from Omaha Beach. The hotel's restaurant serves traditional French cuisine made with local ingredients. La Sapinière is a 6-minute drive from the American Cemetery and a 15-minute drive from Bayeux.
  Contact info: 100, Rue de la 2ème Infanterie US
St Laurent sur Mer,  14710 France
phone: +33 (0)2 31 92 71 72
  Room amenities: Rooms have private terrace or balcony, Wi-Fi Internet access, cable / satellite television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with shower, hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Breakfast Room, bar, Free Wi-Fi Internet access, private garden.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Le Plantagenet
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Plantagenet is made up of three buildings: two 19th century mansions and a modern annex - all set around an enclosed private garden. The hotel is situated on Joan of Arc Square, just opposite the banks of the Vienne River. The main pedestrian streets of the medieval town are just steps outside the door.
  Contact info: 2 place Jeanne d'Arc
Chinon,  37500 France
phone: +33 (0)2 47 93 36 92
  Room amenities: All rooms have air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, satellite television direct-dial telephone, iron and ironing board available, private bathroom with bathtub and/or shower, hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, Free Wi-Fi Internet access, computer with Internet access and laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In a 19th-century old mansion, Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre is located near the lively Saint Pierre district, surrounded by restaurants and boutiques. A buffet breakfast is offered daily at Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre. Guests can relax and enjoy a drink at the hotel’s lounge bar or enjoy food from the room service. The Quality Hotel is 2 minute walk from the Grand Theatre, 375 yards from Place des Quinconces and 500 yards from Saint-Andre Cathedral.
  Contact info: 27, rue du Parlement Sainte Catherine
Bordeaux,  33000 France
phone: +33 (0)5 56 81 95 12
  Room amenities: It has modern rooms with red and white tones and free Wi-Fi. Each air-conditioned room is fully equipped with a flat-screen TV and a Nespresso coffee machine. All rooms are serviced by an elevator.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel L’Esplan
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: In the heart of a village of Provence, this ancient charmingly comfortable mansion, distinctive of the 16th century, displays a contrasting harmony of elegant historic features and contemporary style. The cuisine in the restaurant is traditional and offers many specialties cooked with truffles, olive oil, fresh vegetables and herbs that will give you a real taste of the Drôme Provençale region.
  Contact info: 15 PLace de l'Esplan
Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux,  26130 France
phone: +33 (0)4 75 96 64 64
  Room amenities: Telephone, television, air conditioning, free WiFi, hair dryer, mini bar
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Terrace, Elevator, Heating, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Center, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A charming hotel that upholds the Lyon tradition of hospitality and prestige with an ideal location, it is conveniently located in the center of town just a stone's throw from Lyon Perrache Main Train and Metro Stations. The Best Western Charlemagne Hotel offers a mix of modernity and tradition at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône rivers.
  Contact info: 23 cours Charlemagne
Lyon,  69002 France
phone: +33 (0) 4 72 77 70 00
  Room amenities: Each room at the Best Western Hotel Charlemagne is equipped with satellite TV and private bathrooms. Rooms also have AM/FM alarm clock, coffee maker, dataports, and hairdryer.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Terrace, Non-smoking, Elevator, Safe, Heating, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Business Center, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Ironing Service, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Le Colombier
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Le Colombier is in the Little Venice district of Colmar town center. A buffet breakfast is served daily, and the Colombier Hotel provides a 24-hour front desk. Guests can relax in the bar or on the grounds.
  Contact info: 7 Rue Turenne
Colmar,  68000 France
phone: +33 (0)3 89 23 96 00
  Room amenities: Guest rooms at Le Colombier have a loft design and modern furnishings. They are each equipped with air conditioning, and and have city views, flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Laundry, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Suite Novotel Reims Centre
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Suite Novotel Reims Centre is a modern, all-suites property located in the heart of Reims, in close proximity to the train station and conference center.
  Contact info: 1 rue Edouard Mignot
Reims,   51100 France
phone: +33 (0)3 26 89 52 00
  Room amenities: 80 efficiency suite-style rooms measuring 30 square meters with air-conditioning, data port for High-Speed Internet access, Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, cable / satellite television with English language channels, direct-dial telephone, alarm clock, tea and coffee tray, microwave, in-room safe, mini-bar, bathrobe, slippers, private bathroom with bathtub and shower, hairdryer. The fourth floor has designated smoking rooms, the rest of the hotel rooms and all public areas are non-smoking.
  Facility amenities: Breakfast Room, bar, Free Wi-Fi Internet access, 24-hour reception desk, snack and gift shop, laundry service, fitness center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Villa Beaumarchais
Type: Hotel
  Description: Nestled at the corner of the Passage du Grand Veneur, the Villa Beaumarchais echoes the charm of typical lanes of the Place des Vosges.
  Contact info: 5 rue des Arquebusiers
Paris,  75003 France
phone: +33 (0) 1 40 29 14 00
  Room amenities: Cable television, complimentary newspaper, air conditioning, phone, internet access, minibar, wake-up calls, private bathroom, bathrobes, hair dryer, pay movies, in-room safe
  Facility amenities: Buffet breakfasts, room service, air conditioning, mini bar, WiFi, safe.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and availability.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at Orientation at 5:00 p.m. at the program hotel. You will be staying at La Sapinière that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast on the final program day. You will be staying at Villa Beaumarchais the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Omaha Beach
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Participants who have scheduled pre-program nights in Paris will be transferred from the hotel in Paris to the program start hotel. Independent travelers should arrange with Road Scholar to meet one of the transfers to the program start hotel, either from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or from the Villa Montparnasse.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  Transportation from site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers may join the group transfer or take a taxi directly to the airport or take one of the Air France buses. Tickets can be purchased by anyone regardless of airline. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. By using the web link below, you can take advantage of these rates and book your transfer for arrival in or departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Travel to France
(Wednesday, May 29)
 In Transit: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Day 2: Arrivals and Transfer to Omaha Beach
(Thursday, May 30)
 Morning: 1) Arrivals at Charles de Gaulle airport and transfers to the program hotel in Omaha Beach. 2) Participants who have scheduled pre-program nights in Paris will be transferred from the hotel in Paris to the hotel in Omaha Beach. Independent travelers should arrange with Road Scholar to meet one of the above transfers to the hotel in Omaha Beach.
 Lunch: En route to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax. In the late afternoon you will meet with your group at the hotel for introductions, a review of the program itinerary and site orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner featuring the cuisine of Normandy.
Accommodations: La Sapinière
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: The Normandy Landing Beaches
(Friday, May 31)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: ON SITE LECTURE: "The Landing at Omaha." Transported in period WWII vehicles, your expert leads you through the American landing on Omaha Beach. You will learn about the ferocity of this battle and look at the landing from a number of perspectives.
 Lunch: In a restaurant in Bayeux.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Examine the Bayeux Tapestry, a lively description of the Middle Ages that describes the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The actual origins of the tapestry remain a mystery. Then, we pay our respects with a wreath laying ceremony at the US Normandy American Military Cemetery before exploring the cemetery and the visitor center. EXCURSION: Calvados and Cheese Normandy's Pride. Sample the region's renowned apple brandy at the Chateau d'Englesqueville, where the first US monument to WWII soldiers was built.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
Accommodations: La Sapinière
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mont Saint Michel
(Saturday, June 1)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart by private, air-conditioned motorcoach to begin our journey around France. FIELD TRIP: We explore a place the locals call "le Mont" - better known as Mont St-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Depart Mont St. Michel and travel through Brittany to the Loire Valley and the charming village of Chinon, on the banks of the Vienne River. The medieval town was a favorite residence of Henri II.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Plantagenet
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Sunday Market and the Medieval Fortress of Chinon
(Sunday, June 2)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FREE TIME: Enjoy the morning at leisure to rest, relax, attend religious services or visit the open-air market.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Visit the Castle of Chinon and learn the story of Joan of Arc’s visit in 1429 during the Hundred Years War. Walk the streets of the town, with its half-timbered houses that have changed little since medieval times.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Plantagenet
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Chateaux of the Loire Valley: Amboise and Chenonceau
(Monday, June 3)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore some of the most beautiful of the Loire Valley’s chateaus; beginning with Amboise, a favorite residence of the French Monarchy. Among them was Francis I, a generous patron of the arts who initiated the French Renaissance by bringing many Italian artists to his royal castles, including Leonardo da Vinci. Visit the Chateau du Clos Luce, a gift to da Vinci from Francis the first, where he spent the last three years of his life.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to the Chateau of Chenonceau. Beautifully situated upon the Cher River, it is called “the Ladies’ Chateau” due to the influences of the women who built it and influenced its design. Stroll Diane of Poitier’s elevated garden and the contrasting garden of Catherine de Medici. Return to Chinon.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Plantagenet
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: High Speed Train to Bordeaux
(Tuesday, June 4)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart to the TGV (high speed train) station and board the train to Bordeaux.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP on foot through Bordeaux’s historic center, including Saint-André Cathedral, a UNESCO listed monument. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: Taste the famous “canelets” the signature pastry of Bordeaux.
 Dinner: Savor regional cuisine.
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Bordeaux Wine Region
(Wednesday, June 5)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: LECTURE: “Bordeaux wines: History and economic impact on the region” FIELD TRIP: Explore one of the most prestigious areas of the Bordeaux wine region, Saint Emilion. Learn the centuries of history and legend from the time of the monk Emilion and visit the underground cathedral carved deep into the limestone. Enjoy some free time in the village. HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: Taste the wines of St. Emilion.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to Bordeaux. Free time to stroll the pedestrian streets of the historic center, footsteps from your hotel, and explore independently.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: The Walled City of Carcassonne
(Thursday, June 6)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart to Provence, stopping en route in Carcassonne. FIELD TRIP: Learn about the medieval crusade against the Cathars. The walled, city of Carcassonne is surrounded by 52 towers and two concentric walls forming two miles of battlements. Explore this medieval city with your local expert on foot.
 Lunch: Inside the city walls.
 Afternoon: Depart to the Provence region to the medieval, walled village of Saint Paul-Trois-Chateaux. The iconic village is one of France’s official truffle centers, where the Black Truffle of Tricastin (Tuber Melanosporum) is found. The village is also famous for having been the start of a stage of the 2011 Tour de France. LECTURE en route: "The Art of Living in Provence."
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Stroll the streets of this charming town at leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel L’Esplan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux
(Friday, June 7)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Walking exploration of Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux. Medieval remains include vestiges of 14th century ramparts, the Eglise St Jean, rebuilt in the 12th century by the Knights Templar, and the vestiges of a 14th century synagogue. Meet locals and get a sense of daily life in a Provencal village. Depart on an EXCURSION through the back roads of the Vaucluse, where rows of lavender color the landscape in deep purple and hill towns are capped by medieval castle ruins.
 Lunch: Taste the seasonal flavors of the region and the wines of the Vinsobres vineyards.
 Afternoon: Continue to the hilltop town of Grignan, immortalized in the letters of Madame de Sevigne, an icon of French literature. Visit the castle, built in medieval times and renovated through the ages, the castle was the home of Madame de Sevigne’s daughter, who married the Count of Grignan. Return to Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: Share conversation and an “aperitif” (French pre-dinner drink) with local residents.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Evening: Learn how to play “Petanque” – also called “boules” the traditional outdoor bowling game of Provence.
Accommodations: Hotel L’Esplan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: The Pont du Gard, Arles and Avignon
(Saturday, June 8)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Head to the Pont du Gard, the aqueduct that was one of the wonders of the Ancient world. Walk the paths around this awe-inspiring construction, built in over 2000 years ago yet still in very good condition. Continue to Arles. FIELD TRIP on foot through Arles, including its Roman Amphitheatre, Antique theater, the 12th - 14th centuries cloister of Sainte-Trophime and the places painted by Van Gogh.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to Avignon. Situated on the banks of the Rhone, the city’s destiny changed during the period in the 14th century when it became the seat of the Papacy. Visit the Palace of the Popes to learn about the intrigue, politics and wealth of the Avignon popes. Return to Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Hotel L’Esplan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Botanical Garden of La Garde Ardhemar and Old Lyon
(Sunday, June 9)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: EXCURSION: Meander through the back roads that follow the Rhone River, to La Garde Adhemar, a perched village overlooking the Rhone Valley. A walk through the Botanical Gardens is a feast of sights and scents, with its aromatic collection and medicinal plant collection. Continue up the Rhone River valley to Lyon, situated at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone Rivers. On the summit of Lyon’s highest hill, La Fourviere, take in an awesome view over the city and surrounding countryside.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Descend from La Fourviere hill on the funicular. Explore the Old Town of Lyon on foot. Walk through the fascinating “traboules”: Although a couple of Old Lyon's traboules date from Roman times, most were constructed by silk weavers in the 19th century to facilitate the transport of silk in bad weather. Resistance fighters found them equally useful during WWII.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Lyon and the Silk Industry
(Monday, June 10)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: LECTURE: Silk made Lyon a major industrial city in the sixteenth century when Francis I had weavers from Italy brought to Lyon to set up a factory. It was here, in 1804, that the Jacquard loom was invented. FIELD TRIP: Learn the intricacies of silk production have evolved through the ages and its importance in the economy today, with a visit to a silk workshop.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free Time to explore Lyon independently.
 Dinner: Experience the food traditions of Lyon, also with origins in the silk trade, at a traditional restaurant called a “bouchon”, where the emphasis is on a convivial atmosphere and hearty cooking
Accommodations: Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: From Burgundy to Alsace
(Tuesday, June 11)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Depart to Beaune, at the heart of the Burgundy wine region, and visit the Hospices of Beaune, with its exquisite Burgundian-Flemish architecture and preserved medieval décor. The Hospices hold and annual wine auction which is known as the “greatest charity sale in the world” whose proceeds benefit the hospital. HANDS ON EXPERIENCE: End your visit with a wine tasting.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue on the journey around France, traveling from the Burgundy region to the Alsace-Lorraine. Arriving in Colmar, a FIELD TRIP to the Bartholdi Museum explores the history and works of the French sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty.
 Dinner: Taste the specialty of Alsace, a “choucroute garni” (Sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes). A vegetarian selection will also be available.
 Evening: Field Trip: Explore Colmar on foot at night, when the lights twinkling on the Lauch River reflect upon the timber-framed buildings – a mixture of French and German architecture that make Colmar one of the most pleasing towns to stroll in the region.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Colombier
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Strasbourg and the Villages of The Alsace Wine Route
(Wednesday, June 12)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Drive to Strasbourg and walk with your local expert through Strasbourg's la Petite France, a corner of the Grand Île (the Main Island) where the Île river splits up into a number of canals, and cascades through a small area of half-timbered houses. Learn about medieval life in the UNESCO World Heritage city as you stroll this historic quarter and view the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame.
 Lunch: Enjoy a specialty of Strasbourg, the Quiche Lorraine.
 Afternoon: EXCURSION: The Alsace Wine Route travels through picturesque villages and vineyards. Stop to stroll through the streets of a picturesque village and taste wines of the region. Return to Colmar.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare. Perhaps you’ll try “tarte flambee” the Alsatian version of pizza.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Colombier
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Reims: City of Kings and Champagne
(Thursday, June 13)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Depart to Reims.
 Lunch: In a restaurant near the cathedral.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Discover Reims cathedral, one of the most beautiful examples of gothic architecture of the 13th century, where Clovis, first king of the Francs was baptized in 498 and where many of France’s kings were crowned. Continue to the Capitulation Museum, where on May 7, 1945 at 2:41 a.m. where General Eisenhower had set up his supreme headquarters, the Allied Forces brought an end to a war that had waged for more than five years, by obtaining the capitulation of the Third Reich.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Suite Novotel Reims Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: The Making of Champagne and the American Monuments of World War I
(Friday, June 14)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: Depart to the center of the champagne production, the village of Epernay, to learn how this sparking wine is produced during a visit of a champagne cellar.
 Lunch: Taste champagne made by a small, independent wine maker and lunch on local cheese, bread and charcuterie at the wine cellar..
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP/ On Site LECTURE: Retrace the stories of the World War I battles of Château-Thierry and Belleau Woods at the memorials that commemorate the men who fought and lost their lives here. Continue to Paris.
 Dinner: In a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Monet’s Giverny and Versailles, the Palace of the Sun King
(Saturday, June 15)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Learn about Monet and Impressionist painting as you drive to the village of Giverny . Visit Claude Monet’s house and garden with its famous water lily pond.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Continue to Versailles, the opulent palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Visit the palace and its Hall of Mirrors then enjoy some time to explore the gardens on your own. Return to Paris.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 19: Paris: The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre
(Sunday, June 16)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Explore the iconic symbol of modern Paris, the famous Eiffel Tower on an exclusive “behind the scenes” visit. Learn the history from its construction by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 to its present day use in telecommunications. Learn how the elevators are controlled in the machinery room. Gain special access to the technical area under the first level of the Tower, with its breathtaking view. Continue to the Louvre, where you can explore at your own pace, guided by your personal MP3 audio guide created exclusively for Road Scholar.
 Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.
 Afternoon: Free Time. Included option to explore the Cathedral of Notre Dame with your local expert.
 Dinner: ENRICHMENT ACTIVITY: View Paris from the water, a completely different perspective, during a Farewell Dinner aboard a Seine River cruise boat as you celebrate your journey around La Belle France.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 20: Departures
(Monday, June 17)
 Breakfast: In the hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Group departure transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Paris Musee Jacquemart-Andre
The Jacquemart-André Museum, founded by collector Édouard André and his portraitist wife Nélie Jacquemart, is in an opulent mid-19th-century residence on one of Paris’ posher avenues. It has furniture, tapestries and enamels, but is most noted for its paintings by Rembrandt and Van Dyck and Italian Renaissance works by Bernini, Botticelli, Carpaccio, Donatello, Mantegna, Tintoretto, Titian and Uccello. Don’t miss the Jardin d’Hiver (Winter Garden), with its marble statuary, tropical plants and double-helix marble staircase. Just off it is the delightful fumoir (the erstwhile smoking room) filled with exotic objects collected by Jacquemart during her travels. The salon de thé is one of the most beautiful in the city. For additional information, visit
  Musee National du Moyen Age
The National Museum of the Middle Ages is housed in two structures: the frigidarium (cooling room) and other remains of Gallo-Roman baths dating from around AD 200, and the late-15th-century Hôtel de Cluny, considered the finest example of medieval civil architecture in Paris. The spectacular displays at the museum include statuary, illuminated manuscripts, weapons, furnishings, and objets d’art made of gold, ivory and enamel. But nothing compares with La Dame à la Licorne (The Lady with the Unicorn), a sublime series of late-15th-century tapestries from the southern Netherlands now hung in circular room 13 on the 1st floor. Five of them are devoted to the senses, while the sixth is the enigmatic À Mon Seul Désir (To My Sole Desire), a reflection on vanity. For additional information, visit
  Musee de L’Orangerie
Located in the southwestern corner of the Jardin des Tuileries, this museum, with the Jeu de Paume, is all that remains of the once palatial Palais des Tuileries, which was razed during the Paris Commune in 1871. It exhibits important Impressionist works, including a series of Monet's Decorations des Nymphéas (Water Lilies) in two huge oval rooms purpose-built in 1927 on the artist's instructions, as well as works by Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Sisley, Soutine and Utrillo. For additional information, visit
  Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
The rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is a street in the 8th arrondissement. Although relatively narrow and nondescript (especially in comparison to the avenue des Champs-Élysées), it is cited as being one of the most fashionable streets in the world, thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Moveable Feast

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Description: A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.

A Traveller's History of France

Author: Robert Cole

Description: This fast-moving survey covers the conquests of ancient Gaul through the heady days of revolution to modern times.

Adventures on the Wine Route, A Wine Buyer's Tour of France

Author: Kermit Lynch

Description: A delightful and warmly anecdotal book, highly recommended for anyone touring the wine regions of France. Lynch brings the domains and appellations of French wine to full-blown life, and his portraits of the grand personalities who make the wine are priceless.

Cathedrals and Castles, The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages

Author: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg

Description: This pocket-size encyclopedia of the art, architecture and culture of the Middle Ages features hundreds of drawings, color illustrations and a brief chronology.

D-Day June 6, 1944, The Climactic Battle of World War II

Author: Stephen Ambrose

Description: Written by the best-selling historian Stephen Ambrose, this well researched book draws together interviews and government documents to tell the gripping tale of D-Day. This comprehensive account contains 32 pages of photos and eight maps.

Eiffel's Tower

Author: Jill Jonnes

Description: Jones captures the thrill of the modern in this sprightly tale of the tower, the 1889 World's fair that inspired it -- and the cast of characters who gathered in Paris for the ocassion, including Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the artists Gauguin, Van Gogh and Whistler.

Eyewitness Guide France

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb guide to all of France features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.

Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

Author: Fodor's

Description: This shirt-pocket map and guide includes essential information on the city's history, highlights and sightseeing, ideal for a short visit to the City of Light.

France Map

Author: Michelin

Description: A colorful, accurate and up-to-date map of France at a scale of 1:1,000,000.

France, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: William Rodarmor (Editor)

Description: This collection contains literary gems from all corners of France--not just Paris--by a select group of 20th-century French writers, from Colette to Georges Simenon.

French Provincial Cooking

Author: Elizabeth David, Julia Child (Introduction)

Description: More than just a cookbook. In this influential classic, David includes a long introduction on the origins of food traditions in France, and asides on history, food traditions, literature and the pleasures of rural France.

Made in France, A Shopper's Guide

Author: Laura Morelli

Description: Both a fascinating history of France's artisanal legacy and an insider's shopping guide, the book includes illustrations, maps, a primer on French shopping culture and craft festivals.

Michelin Green Guide Wine Regions of France

Author: Michelin Travel Publications

Description: A comprehensive driving guide, organized alphabetically. It's an excellent planning guide, especially useful for the independent traveler.

The Food of France

Author: Waverly Root

Description: An evocative and beautifully written survey of French food. First published in 1958 and revised in the mid-1970s, the book covers the important regions of French cuisine by dividing them into domains of Butter (northern France), Fat (Alsace) and Oil (the south).

The Roman Provence Guide

Author: Edwin Mullins

Description: Mullin's succinct history and guide to the many monuments, arches and other antiquities of Provincia Nostra, the first Roman territory outside Italy, covers the must-see archaeological sites of Provence and neighboring Languedoc in detail. With 2 maps and 60 black and white photographs.

The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food

Author: Adam Gopnik

Description: Gopnik (Paris to the Moon) opens this witty cultural history of food in 18th-century France, birthplace of modern taste and of the restaurant, tracing our current preoccupation with gastronomy with humor and learning.

Two Towns in Provence

Author: M. F. K. Fisher

Description: Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description.

Wine and War, The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure

Author: Donald Kladstrup

Description: This thrilling account of how the vinters of France saved their crops -- and their bottles -- as the Nazis approached shows that to be French is not just to fight for your country but also for your wine. Kladtsrub, who writes for Wine Spectator, and his wife Peatie, the authors focus on the activities of five winemaking families in Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.

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