14250
France
Brittany and Normandy: Distinctive Beauty, Proud Ways of Life
Discover the unique cultures of Northeast France as you learn about traditional cuisine, artistic heritage, ancient landmarks and the region’s deep ties to the sea.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 14250RJ
Length
16 days
Starts at
3,999
Flights start at
950
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
16 days
15 nights
33 meals
14 B 10 L 9 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival in Brest / Transfer to Quimper
Quimper
L,D
Hotel Escale Oceania Quimper

Morning: Arrivals at the Brest Bretagne Airport (BES). There will be a group transfer from the airport to the first program site in Quimper.

Lunch: A light snack/sandwiches upon arrival at the hotel.

Afternoon: Check-in at hotel and have time to freshen up and relax before meeting for 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.

DAY
3
Introduction to Brittany
Quimper
B,L
Hotel Escale Oceania Quimper

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing on both cobblestones and paved streets for up to two hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will begin the morning with a lecture titled, "Introduction to the Region of Brittany." Next, a field trip will take us on a walking exploration of the historic center of Quimper, the capital of the ancient Cornwall region. We will stroll over the footbridge to Saint-Corentin Cathedral, with its Gothic-style façade, constructed between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Your guide leader will lead you on a visit to the Musée Départemental Breton to learn about the cultural traditions of Brittany. You will view the traditional dresses, handcrafted furniture and hand painted ceramics called "Faïence." The remainder of the afternoon is free to visit more of the museum or for independent exploration.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
4
Outstanding Landscapes of Brittany
Quimper
B,L,D
Hotel Escale Oceania Quimper

Activity note: Today's activities include travel by coach and walking, as well as standing on both paved and unpaved ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart from the hotel to Pointe du Raz. There will be a lecture en route titled, "Outstanding Natural Landscapes of Brittany." During the field trip at Pointe du Raz, you will see the impressive panoramic view at the very end of the Cornwall Peninsula, where the coast juts out into the sea. Next, the coach will bring you to the Bay of Douamenez, where legend has it that the beautiful city of Ys was swallowed up by the sea. Following this visit, the coach will make a short travel to Locronan. An en-route lecture will tell you about Brittany's religious heritage and saint cults.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will take a guided walk in Locronan, once one of the most important places for pilgrimage in Brittany and for cloth production from the 15th to 18th century. You will also have some free time before returning to Quimper.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy an exclusive private performance of traditional Celtic music and dances.

DAY
5
Pont-Aven
Vannes
B,L,D
Hotel Escale Oceania Vannes

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing for up to two hours on cobblestones and paved streets, as well as travel by coach.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart to Pont-Aven. There will be a lecture on Paul Gauguin and the Pont-Aven School. You will learn about the Pont-Aven group of painters. The school, like a medieval guild, lived together in the inns, painting outdoors together and discussing art during the evening. The arrival of Guiguin in Pont-Aven in 1886 was like a catalyst, converting the energy and talent into an avant-garde artistic movement. Later, we will take a field trip on foot through Pont-Aven to see sites that inspired the artists. We will visit the Chapel of Tremalo and the crucifix that inspired Gauguin's "Yellow Christ" painting, an important work in the Symbolist Movement.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: The coach will depart to Vannes (one hour drive) where you will check in at the hotel. Then we will take a field on foot to discover the old town of Vannes. You will see its ramparts, harbor, and half-timbered houses.

Dinner: At a local restaurant where you will learn the difference between savory buckwheat galettes (main course) and sweet wheat flour crêpes (dessert) in a traditional Breton crêpe meal in the land of their origin.

Evening: Enjoy the evening at leisure.

DAY
6
Prehistoric Sites of Locmariaquer & Carnac
Vannes
B,L
Hotel Escale Oceania Vannes

Activity note: Today's activities include travel by coach, as well as walking and standing on both paved and unpaved ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will enjoy a lecture at the hotel titled, "Introduction to Pre-history, Archelogy, and Ethnology in Brittany." Next, we will depart by coach to visit the Locmariaquer megaliths, some of the most significant Neolithic remains in Europe. You will view the Broken Menhir of Er Grah, the largest known single block of stone to have been transported and erected by Neolithic man and the Merchant's Table, a famous dolmen carved with images.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will travel to Carnac, which has the world's greatest concentration of megalithic sites. Predating Stonehenge by around 100 years, there are over 3,000 upright stones, most around thigh-high erected between 5,000 B.C. and 3,500 B.C. by the pre-Celtic people of Brittany. We will then take a short ride to Trinite Sur Mer and have a brief stop there before heading back to Vannes.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
7
Josselin Castle/ Rennes
St. Malo
B,L,D
Best Western Alexandra

Activity note: Today's activities include two hours of coach travel, as well as walking and standing for up to an hour and a half.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will depart by coach to Josselin Castle. With its three majestic towers overlooking the Oust River and its flamboyant Gothic facade, this castle is a remarkable testimony to feudal Renaissance architecture. Château Josselin is the ancestral home of the Rohan family, who has inhabited the castle for the past ten centuries. Enjoys some time to wander through the sumptuous rose garden and park.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will depart for Rennes. We will discover Rennes on foot and learn about the city's Celtic remains, its medieval timber-framed buildings and its high-tech present.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

DAY
8
Saint Malo
St. Malo
B,D
Best Western Alexandra

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing for up to two hours on paved and cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Explore Saint Malo, a walled port city on the English channel notorious as the home of French privateers and pirates. Hear the tales of "Bretons and the Sea--Past and Present."

Lunch: Lunch on own.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Saint Malo.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

DAY
9
Mont Saint Michel and Cancale
St. Malo
B,L
Best Western Alexandra

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing on both cobblestone and paved streets, as well as travel by coach. At Mont Saint Michel, there is a walk of 0.56 mile from the bus car park to the shuttle, (each way) and many flights of steep steps to climb, as well as dark and narrow passages in the Abbey. Bring a small flashlight and if needed, a collapsible, rubber-tipped walking stick or cane.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Discover Cancale, a typical fishing port. At a marine farm, learn the details of oyster farming and regional traditions with a film in English, "Oyster Breeding: A Local Tradition" followed by a tasting of oysters and fish pâté.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore a place the locals call "le Mont," better known as Mont Saint Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Perched on a small rocky island connected to the mainland at low tide, Mont Saint Michel is a Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel Michael.

Dinner: Dinner on own

DAY
10
Bayeux
Caen
B,D
Best Western Hotel Moderne

Activity note: Today's activities include travel by coach and walking nd standing on paved and cobblestone streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach to Caen, stopping in Bayeux en route. While in Bayeux, we will examine the Bayeux Tapestry, a lively description of the Middle Ages that depicts the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The tapestry is nearly 230 feet long and depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England. The actual origins of the tapestry remain a mystery, but legend has it that William's wife Mathilda and her ladies-in-waiting embroidered it. Visit the museum using personal audio guide, and watch a film in English about the making of the tapestry.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy free time to explore Bayeux on your own. Later in the afternoon, we will depart by coach to Caen.

Dinner: At the hotel.

DAY
11
Normandy Beaches
Caen
B,L
Best Western Hotel Moderne

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart to Omaha Beach where 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: The coach will depart for the U.S. Normandy American Military Cemetery where we will pay our respects with a wreath laying ceremony before exploring the cemetery and the visitor center. Next, your expert will lead you to Pointe du Hoc to learn about the Ranger Assault. We will then finish the afternoon with 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.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
12
Caen Memorial / Arromanches
Caen
B,L
Best Western Hotel Moderne

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing for up to two hours in the museums, as well as travel by coach.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by coach for a field trip to Arromanches. Your WWII expert will explain the importance and creation of the "Mulberry Harbors" and the stubborn German Battery at Longues-sur-Mer. We will then visit the D-Day Museum in Arromanches. Next, the coach will depart for the Caen Memorial with a lecture en route titled, "Bayeux and the French Resistance."

Lunch: At the Caen Memorial restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy a tour of the Caen Memorial Museum and the film about the D-Day landings in the auditorium.

Dinner: On your own.

DAY
13
Honfleur/ Rouen
Rouen
B,D
Hotel Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing on both cobblestone and paved streets, as well as travel by motorcoach. The Rouen hotel is situated in the heart of the historic center, which has limited access for motor coaches. There is a walk of 0.34 miles (about 7 minutes) from the drop-off point, to the hotel. Your luggage is carried from the coach to your hotel room and back by porters.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart to Honfleur, a gem of a harbor village situated where the Seine meets the English Channel. Honfleur has preserved the traces of a rich historical past with its picturesque streets and timber-framed houses. The changing light on the Seine estuary inspired Courbet, Monet, Boudin, and many other painters of the Impressionist movement. Stroll the picturesque Vieux Bassin (Old Port) at leisure.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Honfleur, perhaps to visit the museum dedicated to the paintings of Eugène Boudin or the church of Sainte Catherine, one of the largest wooden churches in Europe. The coach will then depart for Rouen in the late afternoon. We will check in at the hotel upon arrival.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

DAY
14
Rouen
Rouen
B,D
Hotel Mercure Rouen Centre Cathedrale

Activity note: Today's activities include walking and standing for up to two hours on both cobblestone and paved streets.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field trip on foot to the city of Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy: Notre Dame de Rouen cathedral (painted by Monet), the flamboyant gothic church of Saint Maclou, the old market square where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake, and the charming cobbled streets of the Middle Ages.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time in Rouen, perhaps to visit the Fine Arts Museum or people-watch from the table of a sidewalk café.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

DAY
15
Giverny
Paris
B,L,D
Best Western Premier Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Today's activities include travel by coach and walking and standing on both paved and unpaved ground.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The coach will depart to Giverny where you will visit 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 Impressionismes.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time in Paris.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY
16
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Group departure transfer by coach to Charles de Gaulle Airport. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar learning adventure and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!