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

Program Number: 20781RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/4/2014 - 9/25/2014; 10/16/2014 - 11/6/2014; 4/23/2015 - 5/14/2015; 5/14/2015 - 6/4/2015; 9/3/2015 - 9/24/2015; 10/15/2015 - 11/5/2015;
Duration: 21 nights
Location: France
Price starting at: $4,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 49; 20 Breakfasts, 18 Lunches, 11 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

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.




Highlights

• 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

9-4-2014

Please note that this date operates in reverse and ends in Caen instead of Bayeux. This date also will stay in Strasbourg instead of Colmar.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-16-2014, 4-23-2015, 9-3-2015, 10-15-2015

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



5-14-2015

This departure will stay in Caen instead of Bayeux.
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
Departure

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.




France

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.



Accommodations
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
   Villa Montparnasse
  Paris, France 3 nights
   Suite Novotel Reims Centre
  Reims, France 1 night
   Hotel Hannong
  Strasbourg, France 2 nights
   Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
  Lyon, France 2 nights
   Best Western Le Lavarin
  Avignon, France 3 nights
   Mercure Carcassonne Porte de la Cite
  Carcassonne, France 1 night
   Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
  Bordeaux, France 2 nights
   Hotel de France
  Chinon, France 3 nights
   Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe
  Caen, France 3 nights
 Villa Montparnasse
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Villa Montparnasse is a quaint hotel on the left bank of the Seine. The colonial-style residence is located in the 19th century intellectual elite neighborhood opposite the famed Montparnasse Cemetery and next to the apartment where Simone de Beauvoir lived. This hotel is both charming and comfortable and is one block from a pedestrian street featuring restaurants and shops. It is within walking distance of two different metro lines both with direct access to the main monuments of Paris.
  Contact info: 2, rue Boulard
Paris,  75014 France
phone: +33 (0)1 56 80 34 34
web: http://www.villa-montparnasse.com/Villa_Montparnasse/Accueil.html
  Room amenities: In each room there is satellite TV, air conditioning, a mini-bar and a safe.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour front desk with English-speaking staff, bar / lounge, laundry service, smoke-free environment. Wifi is available in the lobby. Participants should be aware that hotel rooms in Paris are often considerably smaller than hotel rooms in the United States.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 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
web: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-7237-suite-novotel-reims-centre/index.shtml
  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

 Hotel Hannong
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Hannong is located in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, within a 10 minute walk of la Petite France, Place Kleber and Strasbourg Cathedral. The hotel has modern furnishings throughout with charming public spaces decorated with an ecclectic mix of fine art.
  Contact info: 15, rue du 22 Novembre
Strasbourg,   France
phone: +33 3 88 22 63 87
web: www.hotel-hannong.com
  Room amenities: Rooms features a safe, cable TV, desser and closet, bathrooms have hair dryer and soap and shampoo.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour reception desk staff with fluent English. The hotel has a wine bar where participants can relax and talk about the day's activities. High speed Internet WIFI is free of charge throughout the hotel. Room-service and laundry service are available.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 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
web: www.hotel-charlemagne-lyon.com/index.php?lang=en
  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

 Best Western Le Lavarin
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Le Lavarin is just minutes from Avignon's town centre.
  Contact info: 1715, rue Chemin du Lavarin
Avignon,  84000 France
phone: +33 4 90 89 50 60
web: http://www.hotel-du-lavarin.fr/en/
  Room amenities: Satellite TV, safe-deposit box, tray with tea and coffee, hair dryer, individually controlled air conditioning and WI-FI.
  Facility amenities: Bar and restaurant, swimming pool, garden to relax, and bicycles for rent.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Carcassonne Porte de la Cite
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located near the Canal du Midi and just a short walk from the lower part of town. It welcomes you to a lush green space at the foot of the medieval city of Carcassonne.
  Contact info: 18 Rue Camille Saint-Saëns
Carcassonne,   France
phone: +33 04 68 11 92 82
web: http://www.mercure-carcassonne.com/
  Room amenities: The rooms include air conditioning, a hair dryer, a safe, a telephone, a desk, satellite / cable TV, and WiFi.
  Facility amenities: WiFi is available throughout the hotel. There are restaurants onsite serving traditional dishes of the region. There is an outdoor pool open in the summertime.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 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
web: http://www.qualityhotelbordeauxcentre.com/
  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 de France
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located in the heart of the medieval Old Chinon. It offers a beautifully renovated, 16th century building complete with stylish, comfortable rooms with balconies overlooking the chateau and a charming square with a fountain. The inside of the hotel welcomes you with authentic charm, comfort and respect for tradition.
  Contact info: 47 Place du Général de Gaulle
Chinon,  37500 France
phone: +33 02 47 93 33 91
web: http://www.bestwestern-hoteldefrance-chinon.com/
  Room amenities: The rooms offer cable satellite television, a telephone, dataports, coffee and tea maker, a hairdryer, an iron and ironing board, AM/FM alarm clock, room service.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a fitness center, an onsite restaurant and room service.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe is located in downtown Caen in front of the racecourse and is within walking distance from the Exhibition Center. There is a lot to discover in the area, including two medieval Abbey Churches and the Castle of Caen, all founded by the Duke of Normandy and the Memorial of Caen - Museum for Peace.
  Contact info: 4 PLACE MARECHAL FOCH
Caen,  14000 France
phone: +01 49 02 00 33
web: http://www.caen-hotel-centre.com/
  Room amenities: The 88 spacious bedrooms offer a very trendy graphic atmosphere with beige and chocolate tones. All the rooms are equipped with a bathrooms with a bathtub or shower and a hair-dryer, a flat screen TV and international satellite network, a telephone, a safe attress and free WiFi access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers high speed internet, a fitness center, a restaurant, and room service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins at orientation at 5:00 p.m. at the Paris hotel. You will be staying at Villa Montparnasse that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the Caen hotel. You will be staying at Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
n/a
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  Transportation to 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 hotel. 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. www.parishuttle.com/index.php?partner=P60WEN
  From End of Program
  Location:  Caen
  Nearest city or town:  Bayeux
  Nearest highway: A13 and A84. A13 is a toll-road while the A84 is a toll-free motorway.
  Nearest airport:  Caen-Carpiquet Airport
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air-inclusive program and depart on the group date. Independent travelers may join the group transfer or take the TGV from Caen to Paris. Please consult www.sncf.com for more details.
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: Departure from the U.S.A.
(Thursday, September 4)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Day 2: Group Arrival Paris
(Friday, September 5)
   
 Morning: Arrivals at the Charles de Gaulle Airport and transfers to the program hotel in Paris.
 Afternoon: Check-in at the hotel and take time to freshen up 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 Montparnasse
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Exploration of Paris
(Saturday, September 6)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for a field trip to the Eiffel Tower. Explore the iconic symbol of modern Paris, 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. We will then 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: On your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city at your own pace.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Giverny / Versailles
(Sunday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Learn about Monet and Impressionist paintings during a visit to the village of Giverny. Explore Claude Monet’s house and garden with its famous water lily pond.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to Versailles, the opulent palace of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Visit the palace and its Hall of Mirrors, and then enjoy some time to explore the gardens on your own.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Villa Montparnasse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Château Thierry / Reims
(Monday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for a field trip where we will 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. We will take part in a wreath laying ceremony. We will depart for the center of the champagne production, the village of Epernay.
 Lunch: Taste champagne made by a small, independent wine maker and enjoy a lunch consisting of local cheese, bread and charcuterie at the wine cellar.
 Afternoon: Learn how sparkling wine is produced during a wine cellar visit. We will next travel by coach to Reims.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Suite Novotel Reims Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Reims Cathedral
(Tuesday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided visit of the Reims Cathedral. Considered one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture of the 13th century, it is where Clovis, first king of the Francs was baptized in 498, and where many of France’s kings were crowned.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Strasbourg where we will check-in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Strasbourg and Alsace Wine Route
(Wednesday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: 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: Lunch & Wine Tasting in Riquewihr.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for a field trip to Colmar. Enjoy a guided walk through the city and a visit to the Bartholdi Museum. We will then return to Strasbourg.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Hannong
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Beaune
(Thursday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart for Beaune.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will visit the Hospices de Beaune, with its exquisite Burgundian-Flemish architecture and preserved medieval décor. The Hospices hold an annual wine auction, which is known as the “greatest charity sale in the world” and whose proceeds benefit the hospital. Afterward, we will depart to Lyon where we will check-in at the hotel.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Lyon
(Friday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a walking tour of of the fascinating "traboules" and explore the Renaissance Quartier of Lyon. 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.
 Lunch: 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.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Best Western Charlemagne
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Lyon / Avignon
(Saturday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Atop the summit of Lyon’s highest hill, La Fourvière, take in an awesome view over the city and surrounding countryside. Descend from La Fourvière hill on the funicular.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The coach will depart to La Garde Adhémar. We will then transfer to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Lavarin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Arles / Les Baux-de-Provence
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy an on-site lecture titled, "Arles France's Roman Roots in the South of France" and a walking tour to learn about the games enjoyed by the Romans in the amphitheater, a splendid and complex piece of architecture which still remains standing in the middle of the city.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart for Les Baux-de-Provence where we will visit the area as well as an oil factory. Afterward, we will return to Avignon.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Lavarin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Avignon / Pont du Gard / Châteauneuf-du-Pape
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the medieval city of Avignon on foot and enjoy a visit to the Palace of the Popes to learn about the history of papacy in Avignon. If time allows, you can then individually visit the Saint Benezet Bridge, known as "Le Pont d'Avignon," made famous by a children's song.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will depart to explore the Pont du Gard. Afterward, we will depart for Châteauneuf-du-Pape and visit a winery before returning to Avignon.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Le Lavarin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Carcassonne
(Tuesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for Carcassonne.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided walking exploration of Carcassonne. Later, take some time to explore on your own before checking in at the hotel.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Carcassonne Porte de la Cite
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: St. Emilion / Bordeaux
(Wednesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for St. Emilion with a rest stop en route.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore several centuries of history and legends from the time of the monk Emilion to the carving out of the amazing monolithic church. You will be able to see paintings in the Chapelle de la Trinité and learn the secrets of the catacombs. You will also taste the wines of St. Emilion. Afterward, we will depart to Bordeaux.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Exploration of Bordeaux
(Thursday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided walking exploration of Bordeaux.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Take some free time to explore Bordeaux at your own pace.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Bordeaux / TGV Tours
(Friday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will continue our exploration of Bordeaux.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The coach will drop us off at the TGV Bordeaux station where we will depart for Chinon. We will check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
 Dinner: A a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel de France
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Châteaux of the Loire Valley: Amboise and Chenonceau
(Saturday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will take a field trip to explore some of the most beautiful Loire Valley châteaux; 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. There will be a lecture en route on the French Renaissance. This morning will also take us to the Leonardo da Vinci museum.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will continue on to the Château de Chenonceau. Beautifully situated upon the Cher River, it is called “the Ladies’ Château” due to the women who built it and influenced its design. Stroll Diane of Poitier’s elevated garden and the contrasting garden of Catherine de Medici. We will enjoy a wine tasting before returning to Chinon.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel de France
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 18: Chinon - Market and Visit of Chinon
(Sunday, September 21)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy the morning at leisure to rest, relax, attend religious services, or visit the open air-market with the group leader.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will take a field trip to the Château de Chinon.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel de France
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Chinon / Mont Saint Michel / Caen
(Monday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach to Mont Saint Michel with a rest stop en route.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: We will explore a place the locals call "Le Mont" - better known as Mont Saint Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Afterward, we will depart by coach for Caen with a rest stop en route.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: D-Day Academy: Omaha and the American Cemetery
(Tuesday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: There will be an on-site lecture titled, "The Landing at Omaha." Your expert will lead 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 by transportation in a WWII period vehicle.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will pay our respects with a wreath laying ceremony at the U.S. Normandy American Military Cemetery before exploring the cemetery and the visitor center. Our expert will then lead us to Pointe du Hoc to learn about the Ranger Assault. Next, we will have an excursion to sample the region's renowned apple brandy at the Château d'Englesqueville, where the first U.S. monument to WWII soldiers was built. We will then return to the hotel.
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 21: The Normandy Landing Beaches
(Wednesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We will depart by coach for the Caen Memorial, a major museum commemorating WWII. This is a self-guided visit, and you may wander at your own pace through the different galleries focusing on WWII, the Cold War, and Peace.
 Lunch: At the Memorial.
 Afternoon: We will depart by coach for Bayeux for an independent discovery of the legendary tapestry that is part of UNESCO's "Memory of the World" registry. Take some time to linger over each of the 58 scenes which depict in exquisite detail the Norman invasion of England.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Departures
(Thursday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Group departure transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport. 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

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 www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com
  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 http://www.musee-moyenage.fr/
  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 www.musee-orangerie.fr/
  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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