Road Scholar : Home
The Impressionists: A Retrospective

Program Number: 16940RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/1/2014 - 5/14/2014;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $3,938.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Art History/Criticism
Meals: 28; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Walk in the footsteps of Impressionists along the Seine, through Paris, Normandy, Provence and the beautiful Côte d'Azur. Discover the origins of these 19th-century painters and their groundbreaking brushstrokes as you study masterpieces in museums and explore the places, gardens and streetscapes that inspired them. Expert lectures and local experiences enhance your appreciation of classical Impressionism.


• Program led by a Study Leader specializing in Art History.
• Explore the masterpieces of French Impressionism at the D’Orsay, Orangerie and Marmottan Museums in Paris on expert-led visits.
• Follow in the footsteps of the artists to explore places they lived & painted: Montmartre, Rouen, Honfleur, Etretat, Provence, the Cote d'Azur & more.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles over uneven surfaces; some standing, both indoors and outside.

Extensive use of Paris Métro (subway system); Métro tickets provided.

Date Specific Information


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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Paris, 4 nights; coach to Rouen, 3 nights; train to Arles, 3 nights; coach to Nice, 2 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Paris
4 nights

Discussions orient you to the Impressionist era and its birth in the City of Light. With local experts trace the Impressionists’ footsteps in Montmartre, the area where artists such as Pissarro, Sisley, Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir, Monet, Zola and Vincent Van Gogh congregated. Have lunch at one of the local restaurants where great artists passed time. Explore the Orangerie, Marmottan and Orsay Museums. Hear a classical music concert at the Sainte Chapelle. Visit Auvers-sur-Oise, where van Gogh spent his last months.

Coach to Rouen
3 nights

Moving to Rouen, encounter Monet’s cathedral and the Normandy coastline, painted by Monet and Jongkind. Explore the coastal port town Honfleur, a favorite of the Impressionists. Find Monet’s water lilies in his Giverny garden.

Train to Arles
3 nights

Explore Arles on foot and study the city’s ancient history at the Roman Amphitheater. Consider the legend behind Van Gogh's ghost in Arles and Saint Rémy de Provence. Visit the studio of Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence and view the oft-painted Mont Sainte Victoire.

Coach to Nice
2 nights
Overnight flight to U.S.
1 night

Discuss the French Riviera and the painters it inspired, including Renoir. Visit the Matisse Museum and sample socca, the chickpea crepes found only in Nice’s open-air market.


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.

Paris: Comfortable hotel in the heart of the historic quarter. Rouen: Comfortable, centrally located hotel. Arles: Comfortable, centrally located hotel. Nice: Comfortable hotel in the heart of town.
Meals and Lodgings
   Villa Beaumarchais
  Paris, France 4 nights
   Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
  Rouen, France 3 nights
   Best Western Atrium
  Arles, France 3 nights
   Hotel Nice Riviera
  Nice, France 2 nights
 Villa Beaumarchais
Type: Three-Star 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 prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Right in the centre of Rouen, at the foot of one of the most beautiful cathedrals in France, the Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale is an ideal hotel for exploring the attractions of this medieval city including the Old Market Square and the Gros Horloge clock tower. Ideal location, not far from the station, in the peaceful pedestrian area of Rouen.
  Contact info: 7 Rue de la Croix de Fer
Rouen,  76000 France
phone: +33 2 35 52 69 52
  Room amenities: All guest rooms are air-conditioned, each with a private bathroom, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi internet.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, Air Conditioning, Laundry, Dry Cleaning, Fax/Photocopying, Free Wi-Fi
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Atrium
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Hôtel Atrium is situated in downtown Arles. Constructed in 1987 around an authentic 19th century arlésienne house, the hotel has been entirely renovated and today offers you comfort, modernity, and technology. The common areas, as well as the bedrooms, include free unlimited WiFi for all the hotel and restaurant guests to use. The hotel offers 90 bedrooms, a lounge bar with a piano, a large, flat screen, LCD television, 5 meeting rooms, a pool with an unobstructed view of Arles, and a well-lit restaurant where you will be served light and inventive cuisine with influences of the southern region. The hotel is accessible for persons with disabilities.
  Contact info: 1 RUE EMILE FASSIN
Arles,  13200 France
phone: +33 04 90 49 92 92
  Room amenities: All guest rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned, and have private bathrooms. Each bedroom has a hairdryer, a telephone, a desk, a closet, a flat screen, satellite TV with 9 international channels: (Rai uno, Rai tre, TVE, ZDF, BW, RTL, CNN, Eurosport and Viva), and WiFi Internet access. There are also rooms available for persons with disabilities. The entire hotel is non-smoking. Snacks are available upon request and breakfast can be taken back to your hotel room.
  Facility amenities: Discover and enjoy Provencal cuisine at the beautiful restaurant. The restaurant has two dining areas. One is bright and spacious, with a glass dome ceiling; the second is more cozy, with intimate lighting and decorated with a neo-baroque style. The lounge bar lounge invites you to enjoy a cocktail, update yourself on today's news, watch the LCD television, read a newspaper, or even play a tune on the Atrium's mythical, white grand piano. The swimming pool is open from May to September. The start of each summer season heralds the opening of the beautiful roof terrace. The hotel also includes: Dry Cleaning and Laundry service (24h turnaround) Massage Service (by appointment) Free daily newspapers in French, English, Spanish and German. A business center with a postal service and fax and copier.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Nice Riviera
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This hotel is in the heart of Nice, a short walk from the Promenade des Anglais. It features a fitness room and a spa center with a heated swimming pool, a spa bathtub and a sauna. A buffet breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s luminous breakfast room or in the comfort of guest rooms. The hotel's lounge bar, Riviera Café invites guests to use the free Wi-Fi or enjoy a drink by the fireplace. Guests have free access to the hotel's on-site spa center. The hotel is half a mile from Nice Train Station and a 15 minute drive from Nice Airport. Place Massena and Vieux Nice are just over a quarter mile away.
  Contact info: 45, rue Pastorelli
Nice,  06000 France
phone: +33 (0)4 93 92 69 60
  Room amenities: Guest rooms at Nice Riviera feature environmentally friendly, bamboo parquet floors and colorful cushions and bed throws. Each room has a private bathroom with a bathrobe, slippers and toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Newspapers, Elevator, Safe, Soundproof Rooms, Heating, Baggage Storage, All Spaces Non-Smoking (Public and Private), Air Conditioning, Sauna, Fitness Center, Solarium, Hot Tub, Indoor Pool, Room Service, Meeting/Banquet Facilities, Airport Shuttle, Business Center, Dry Cleaning, Ironing Service, Currency Exchange, Bicycle Rental, Fax/Photocopying. Wi-Fi is available in public areas and is free of charge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Call Road Scholar Travel Services for rates and bookings.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with Orientation at the hotel in Paris at 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Villa Beaumarchais that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the hotel in Nice. You will be staying at Hotel Nice Riviera the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: not applicable
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest city or town:  PARIS
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle airport
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. The group transfer time(s) will be made available in the final mailing, sent approximately 5 weeks before the program start date. Paris Shuttle, a third party service, offers a discounted shared shuttle and private transfer rates to Road Scholar participants. The rate they offer is about 10% discount off their published rate. Use the website below to take advantage of these rates and book your transfers for arrival and departure from Paris. You will need to pay in advance with a credit card to confirm reservations and print your own voucher. (Please note when using this link that the website does not indicate that the prices are discounted.) The most convenient, although not the cheapest, means of transportation to your hotel is to take a taxi. The cost should be between 40 and 80 euros depending on traffic and the amount of luggage you have. After collecting your luggage at the airport follow the signs to Taxis.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Nice
  Nearest city or town:  NICE
  Nearest highway: A8
  Nearest airport:  NICE
  Transportation from site: Airport transfers from the hotel to the departure airport are included in your cost if you have booked your airfare through Road Scholar and are departing on the day that the program ends. Independent travelers can take a taxi from the hotel to the airport (approximately 30 minutes for approx 30 euros). Or use airport shuttle line n 98, getting on at Albert 1er, approximately 10 minutes by foot from the hotel.
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: Departures from the U.S.
(Thursday, May 1)
 In Transit Overnight: International flights to France.

Day 2: Arrival in Paris
(Friday, May 2)
 Morning: Your group leader will meet you in Terminal 2E and show you the various amenities and breakfast options. Program only participants and those arriving in other terminals will need to make their way to Terminal 2E and meet at gate 7/8 for the departure transfer as soon as they arrive. Please note that rooms are not generally available until early to mid-afternoon, so you should plan to drop off your luggage at the hotel and then take some time to explore Paris or relax and have a leisurely lunch on your own. There are Paris maps available at the hotel, and your group leader and hotel staff will be present to provide recommendations and directions.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Check in at your hotel and take the afternoon to unpack and relax before orientation. We will gather in our private meeting room where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Paris of the Impressionists / Musée d'Orsay
(Saturday, May 3)

Note: This day includes walking and standing up to two miles over the course of the day. In addition, there will be use of the metro which is typically accessed with stairs. Elevators or escalators may NOT be available. Participants must be able to navigate stairs on their own.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will have a lecture titled, “Impressionism and its Place in Art History." We will then depart by coach for an overview of Paris. Our field trip will focus on the city's role in the Impressionist movement and in the artists' lives.
 Lunch: At the Musée d'Orsay.
 Afternoon: Explore the Musée d'Orsay with your art historian study leader. The museum houses French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, as well as the masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. We will then return to the hotel by Metro.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: L'Orangerie and Montmartre
(Sunday, May 4)

Note: This day includes walking and standing in the museum. At Montmartre, there is some walking uphill at a leisurely pace. The funicular and metro will also be taken.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take the metro to L'Orangerie. There you will explore the museum with your art historian study leader. We will then take the metro to Montmartre.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will spend the afternoon in Montmartre where we will enjoy a guided walk beginning in Anvers to La Bonne Franquette. We will walk the winding streets of the "village" in which many Impressionists worked and lived. This walk includes a route past artists' studios, cafes, and houses. We will also visit the Basilica of Sacre Coeur and then relish some free time in Montmartre. We will then take the funicular and metro back to the hotel.
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Boat Cruise on the Seine / Concert La Saint Chapelle
(Monday, May 5)

Note: This day includes transportation by Paris metro which involves walking and unavoidable stairs.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a free morning to do as you please.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant near Notre Dame.
 Afternoon: Take delight in a walking lecture titled, "Seine River, Source of Inspiration for the Impressionists." Enjoy the opportunity to stop at the same viewpoints seen in famous paintings by Impressionists. While walking along the Seine, stand in the places immortalized by artists such as: Signac (Arts Bridge), Pissarro (Pont Neuf), and Caillebotte (European Bridge). We will then take a boat cruise and later enjoy free time to visit the inside of Notre Dame with your group leader.
 Dinner: On your own.
 Evening: This evening you will hear some classical music at a concert located at the Sainte Chapelle. We will then return to the hotel on the metro.
Accommodations: Villa Beaumarchais
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Musée Marmottan / Auvers-sur-Oise / Transfer to Rouen
(Tuesday, May 6)

Note: This day includes travel by motorcoach and walking up to two miles over the course of the visit to Auvers-sur-Oise.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will depart by coach for Musée Marmottan. On this field trip, we will view masterpieces from Claude Monet and his friends. Monet's "Impression at Sunrise" gave the Impressionist movement its name. We will have an on-site lecture titled, "Monet and the birth of Impressionism".
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Auvers-sur-Oise. En route, we will have a lecture: "From Daubigny to Van Gogh". Later, we will take a field trip to the Auberge Ravoux to visit Vincent Van Gogh's room. There will be a guided walk: "The Painter's Houses" which includes the cemetery where Vincent and Theo Van Gogh are buried. In addition, the viewpoints of the paintings done by Van Gogh in Auvers will be looked at. Later we will depart for Rouen (1 hour 15 minutes). Check-in at the hotel will be done upon arrival.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Rouen
(Wednesday, May 7)

Note: This day includes walking and standing up to two miles on cobblestone and pavement.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will have a lecture in the hotel titled, "The Search for Light in Normandy". We will then take a field trip on foot to the city of Rouen where we will see the Cathedral, captured in all its shades and angles by Monet.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Rouen.
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Honfleur / Etretat
(Thursday, May 8)

Note: This day includes walking and standing for up to two miles during the visit, walking on cobble stone and paved streets and three hours of travel by coach.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Honfleur (an hour), a gem of a harbor village lying on the Normandy coast, which became very popular with the artists Boudin and Jongkind in the second half of the 19th century. We will then take a field trip to the Eugène Boudin museum. Later, we will have a walking orientation and guided visit of Honfleur.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Etretat (an hour). Monet, as well as Jongkind, painted the sea and the cliffs pierced by a natural arch. We will then take the coach back to Rouen (an hour and 30 minutes).
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Giverny / Departure to Provence
(Friday, May 9)

Note: This day includes travel by motorcoach, walking up to two miles on cobblestones and paved streets, and over two hours of train travel.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will depart for Paris via Giverny. We will have a lecture en route titled, "The Influence of Japanese Art on Impressionism." We will take a field trip to Giverny, Monet's house and garden with its famous water lily pond. Take some free time to explore the gardens at your leisure or walk over to the Musée des Impressionnismes (formerly the Giverny Museum of American Art).
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We depart by coach for Gare de Lyon where we will then take the TGV to Paris. We then will continue onto Avignon where we will depart by Coach to Arles. (45 minutes).
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Check-in at the hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Atrium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Arles and Cézanne in Aix en Provence
(Saturday, May 10)

Note: This day includes travel by motorcoach, walking and standing on cobblestone streets. No coaches are allowed in neither the historic centers of Arles nor Aix-en-Provence.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take a field trip by foot through the historical center of Arles, including the café painted by Van Gogh, the Roman Amphitheater, Antique Theater, The Cryptoportico, and the 12th-14th centuries cloister of Sainte Trophime. We will return to the hotel and then depart by coach for Aix-en-Provence. (An hour and 15 minutes). There will be a lecture en route: "Paul Cézanne's Provence". A field trip will be taken to Atelier Cézanne (Cézanne's Studio).
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Aix-en-Provence before returning to Arles.
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Best Western Atrium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Van Gogh in Saint Rémy
(Sunday, May 11)

Note: This day includes travel by motorcoach, walking on cobblestone and paved streets, walking and standing in the museum, and walking in the market.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we will take the coach to Saint-Remy-de-Provence (45 minutes). We will then explore the Provençal village where Van Gogh spent the second to last year of his life, after being exiled from Arles. We will stop just outside of the village to take a glance at Glanum, an oppidum, or fortified town, founded in the 6th century BCE. It contains two Roman monuments of the 1st century BCE, a mausoleum and a triumphal arch. We will then take a field trip to Les Baux de Provence where we will walk through the weekly open air market, filled with local products and scenes of everyday life.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to St Paul de Mausole's hospital where Van Gogh was confined. We will then return to Arles by coach.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Best Western Atrium
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Nice via Château Grimaldi / Cannes
(Monday, May 12)

Note: Your luggage will be transported from the Hotel in Arles to where the motorcoach is permitted to pick up passengers on the main boulevard, a 7-10 minute walk. Travel by motorcoach (3 hours plus stops en route).

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to Cagnes sur Mer, making a stop in Saint Paul de Vence.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant to discover specialities of Provence.
 Afternoon: We depart by coach to enjoy a field trip to Renoir's house in Cagnes sur Mer to see some of Renoir's masterpieces and personal furniture. We also will visit Château Grimaldi. There will be a lecture on site titled, "Renoir Exploring the Riviera". We will arrive in Nice in the early evening.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Nice Riviera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Nice Overview / Matisse Museum
(Tuesday, May 13)

Note: This day includes walking on unpaved ground, cobblestone and paved streets, as well as walking and standing in the museum.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will have a lecture at the hotel titled, "Painters and the French Riviera from the 19th century up to the 20th." We will then depart by coach for a city tour of Nice and the Matisse Museum. The Matisse Museum is situated on Cimiez Hill in the Hotel Regina where Matisse lived. It gathers a collection of works left by the artist and his heirs to the city of Niece where he lived from 1918 until 1954. Enjoy a walk through olive groves and the Cimiez cemetery where the graves of painters are located.
 Lunch: On your own in the open air market of Old Nice.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in the city.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Nice Riviera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Wednesday, May 14)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfers from the Nice hotel to the Nice Airport for flights home. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast
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

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Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur

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Fodor's Paris' 25 Best

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Letters on Cezanne

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Monet's Garden in Giverny, Inventing the Landscape

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Parisian Chic, A Style Guide

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Renoir, My Father

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Description: Originally published in 1958, the great filmmaker's portrait of his father remains the standard biography of the Impressionist master -- personable, informative and affectionate. With 12 color plates.

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

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The Masterpiece

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Vincent Van Gogh, The Passionate Eye

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