21095
France

The Best of Northern France: Paris and Normandy

Alongside scholars and local experts, find out how the history, architecture, cafés and cuisine makes these two regions both so unique and both so distinctly French.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 21095RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,699
Flights start at
825

At a Glance

Experience two faces of France on this journey that combines field trips led by top-notch Road Scholar experts with plenty of time for independent discoveries. Begin by discovering Paris’ grand boulevards, Gothic architecture and world-class museums. Then venture to Normandy to explore its Celtic-influenced culture, medieval history, natural beauty and tantalizing cuisine.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking up to 3 miles per day during scheduled activities; cobblestone street, uneven ground and hilly terrain. Use of the metro in Paris; walking up/down stairs with railings as elevators/escalators are not always available at each station. Must be prepared for large crowds in Paris.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Paris’ markets, museums and cafés and take a field trip to the opulent Palace of Versailles.
  • Learn the story of the Allied Invasion of Normandy as you explore the D-Day landing beaches.
  • Discover Mont Saint-Michel, a medieval island fortress and abbey that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. Hotels vary by date. Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "The Best of Southern France: Provence and the Cote d'Azur" (#21096) for even more learning in France! We’ll even pay your train fare from one program to the other! Due to the fire at Notre Dame, the cathedral is closed to visitors. Road Scholar programs that visit île de la Cité will be able to see the outside of the cathedral, but we will not be able to go inside.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
My Life in France
by Julia Child
The touching and famous story of Julia Child in France, where she learned to cook and fell in love with French cuisine, all in her own words.
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
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.
The New Paris
by Lindsey Tramuta
Move past the clichés and learn about what makes up Paris today. Explore the open-minded sensibility, diverse populations, and hidden corners of The New Paris.
The Food & Wine of France: Eating & Drinking from Champagne to Provence
by Edward Behr
Behr seeks out the best of French food, in encounters from Champagne to Provence, to tell the stories of French artisans and chefs who work at the highest level. He shares what he learns from these experts on French traditions and how to best enjoy this food.
A Traveller's History of Paris
by Robert Coles
A fast-moving, short survey of French history with a focus on Paris from its foundation, through the heady days of revolution and up to modern times.
From Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest, August-September 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Historian Joseph Balkoski follows the U.S. 29th Infantry Division out of Normandy and into Brittany in the northwest corner of France, where the division was tasked with seizing the port of Brest.
Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement
by Atlas Indispensable
This pocket atlas contains detailed maps of every neighborhood in Paris, as well as details about bus and metro stops.
Markets of Paris
by Dixon Long & Marjorie Williams
An in-depth guide to the best markets in Paris. Dive into the heart of French culture and navigate the markets like a local with maps, tips, and handy phrases.
F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders
by Piu Eatwell
An alphabetized catalogue of quirky French culture and history tidbits.
The Flaneur: A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris
by Edmund White
A 'flaneur' is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment. Edmund White, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
by John Baxter
Australian critic and writer Baxter draws on his second career as a literary tour guide in his adopted city for this witty memoir, laced with terrific tales.
Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
In this unforgettable narrative of D-Day, Joseph Balkoski describes the minute-by-minute combat as it unfolded on Omaha Beach, allowing soldiers to speak for themselves as they recall their attempts to maneuver bombers through heavy cloud cover, the claustrophobic terror aboard transports, and the relentless fire that greeted them on the beach
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
by Joan DeJean
A captivating history of the growth, design, and planning of Paris, telling the story of how the modern city came to be.
1066, The Year of the Conquest
by David Howarth
A crack medievalist and storyteller, Howarth brings to life the momentous events of 1066 in rich, anecdotal history -- a classic portrait of the Norman invasion and conquest of England.
Murder in the Marais
by Cara Black
Literate and thrilling, with a strong sense of the geography and flavor of Paris, the first in a series of mysteries starring Aimee Ledoc shows off the French-American detective's wit and wile. The series continues with Murder in Belleville (FRN562), Murder in the Sentier (FRN563) and many more.
The Hotel Majestic
by Georges Simenon
The most famous fictional detective in France, Maigret, tackles a case in the heart of Paris.
The Secret Life of the Seine
by Mort Rosenblum
After losing his Paris apartment, Rosenblum, a born storyteller, takes to a houseboat moored on the Seine. The result is this entertaining tour of the places and people he encounters during his explorations along the river.
Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
by Tyler Stovall
A history of black Americans who settled in Paris, France, from 1900 to the present.





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