A nature and adventure tour that combines the striking landscapes of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. After three days in Paris this tour heads for the “Frenchest” part of France, the Loire Valley, before continuing on to the scenic western tip of France, where you will explore the magnificent landscapes of Brittany and stop near the famous D-Day beaches of Normandy.
This trip will be customized according to your wishes.
Paris is more than just a city – the name itself is legend. From the late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century the focus of the entire country was on Paris, the center of western culture and a major influence on western history.
The city's layout and buildings reflect its cultural and political significance: the Champ-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame. Paris is also considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the world. The museums of the French capital are unparalleled. From the Louvre to the Orsay, from the Centre Pompidou to the Rodin to the Cité des Sciences, each museum offers a unique aesthetic experience. Moreover, names like Faubourg, Saint Honoré and the Avenue Montaigne are reminders that Paris is famous for fashion. A shopping excursion with a stop for pastries at a picturesque street café is a must in Paris. Whether you prefer the opera, a ballet, classical music, jazz, a night club or a dance revue, the word Paris is synonymous with night-life. In the surrounding localities you can experiences aristocratic Paris: Versailles, Fontainebleau, Saint-Germain and Vaux-le-Vicomte. Here travelers are invited to escape to the glitter of the Louis XIV era.
This enchanting little hotel is situated in the heart of Paris, in the shadow of the Louvre. It is so close to St. Germain l'Auxerrois that you can hear the hymns from the former “King's Church” and see the Gothic windows from your bedroom.
In the cellar there is an old printing press that was used to print illegal leaflets during the French Revolution. It is said that the reception area was once the Café Momus (a debating club of the revolutionaries) and it was here that Puccini allowed parts of his opera “La Boheme” to be played. Breakfast, true to Parisian custom, is served in your suite. The hotel is air conditioned. Sophie Aulnette has managed the hotel for the past 10 years and personally attends to her guests' comfort. Tickets to local museums and other attractions can be purchased at a shop near the hotel.
Rental car pick-up
Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Vehicle: Audi A3 or similar (CDAR)
Location: Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (Desk at Airport)
They say that France is frenchest along its longest river. The world famous historical monuments in the Loire Valley (including over 600 castles) are found in a surprisingly unspoiled wooded landscape.
Inside the castles it is easy to imagine the bawdy Renaissance festivals that were once held by their royal owners. The most important castles are in Chambord, Azayle-Rideau, Chenonceau, Blois and Amboise. The old town of Bourges featuring St. Stephan's Cathedral and the Hôtel Jacques-Coeur is worth a detour, as is the Château de Chinon. The Loire Valley is known as the “Garden of France”. The Sologne contains over 1.2 million acres of lakes and woodlands. The Brenne National Park to the south is inhabited by many threatened species of plants and animals.
The 18th century winery was thoroughly renovated and converted into a guesthouse in 1996. The property includes a large park containing a heated swimming pool.
The rooms are modern but furnished with antique furniture. Breakfast is served in the vaulted cellar with its arched ceilings or in the winter garden with a view of the park. The young hosts are very dedicated to their establishment and have given the place a friendly, cheerful atmosphere.
For centuries the 300,000-inhabitant city on the Loire was the capital of Brittany. This is demonstrated by outstanding buildings such as the Castle and the Cathedral.
The large university gives the venerable ducal town a youthful flair, especially on the Place du Bouffay in the old town, where every day except Mondays a vegetable market takes place. Also one of the most famous brasseries in all of France can be found in Nantes: La Cigale, dating back to 1895. There one can taste wonderful food surrounded by the splendor of the Belle Epoque. Also recommended is a two-hour boat trip on the Erdre, a tributary of the Loire.
This tastefully furnished country house is situated in the middle of the vineyards of Muscadet. Thomas emigrated from Germany over 20 years ago to open the inn.
After extensive renovation of the over 400 year old house, a successful contrast was created between modern interior design and the rustic building. Breakfast is served on the wooden terrace (weather permitting), with honey and eggs from their own bees and hens and homemade jam for a special treat.
The route will take you through the gently rolling hills of the back country parallel to the coast. An interesting tradition in the region are festivals that feature play-like performances honouring local saints.
Brittany has over 700 saints, some of whom are linked to pre-Christian druid legends. The route covers part of the Circuit des Enclos Paroissiaux, a scenic stretch that leads to many religious monuments and historical churches.
The historic duchy extends from the Pointe du Raz in the extreme northwest to Quimperlé in the southeast. The name “Cornouaille” is derived from Cornwall.
In the 5th and 6th centuries, Christianized Celts fled from the pagan Anglo-Saxons from Cornwall across the Channel to Brittany. Under the first ruler, Dagan, they founded a kingdom which became a source of legends. Tristan and Isolde are said to have lived here. Her castle is said to have been in Plmarc'h.
Old trees and metre-high rhododendron bushes line the driveway through the 87 hectares of parkland to the Manor House.
The guest house is located in the former riding stables dating from 1890, which housed the estate's racehorses. In 1990, when the horses were relocated, a spacious guesthouse was created, where old and new meet in an exciting way. Even the smaller rooms are large enough to feel comfortable. Each of the eight guest rooms has its own staircase. The pictures hanging throughout the house are striking. They depict dream landscapes painted by the young host himself. It is four kilometres to the sea. Several good restaurants are nearby.
With its sandy beaches and granite cliffs, the northern edge of Brittany represents one of the most scenic coastlines in France.
The route will take you through the back country parallel to the coast. An interesting tradition in the region are festivals that feature play-like performances honouring local saints. Brittany has over 700 saints, some of whom are linked to pre-Christian druid legends.
The 120 kilometer long Emerald Coast is located between Cap Fréhel to the west and Mont-Saint-Michel in the East. The name is derived from the color of the emerald green sea, which breaks against the weathered cliffs.
In between are small sandy coves, which at low tide turn into wide, golden beaches. During the 5th and 6th century Irish monks landed on this varied and beautiful coast. They were running from the Anglo-Saxons and at the same spread Christianity in Brittany. Countless place names that start with Saint remind of those days. Almost every village here has its own saint whose bones are often kept in the church.
This château is a true treasure. Surrounded by a vast park, it sits on the crest of a hill facing a lawn that rolls gently down to a small lake replete with white swans and a little bridge.
This handsome stone mansion was built in 1763 but has roots in the 12th century. It has been owned by the same family from the beginning. The charming host, Comte de Roquefeuil, can tell fascinating stories of the châteaucolourful past and the role of his ancestors in various battles. The hotelinteresting interior is impeccably maintained. All of the rooms are decorated with antique furniture and family portraits line the walls. On the ground floor there is a foyer with a sweeping staircase on one side and a cosy library, a billiard room and an elegant dining room on the other. The bedrooms have the same elegant decor and are decorated with family antiques. Mont Saint Michel and the landing beaches of Normandy are nearby.
Along the “Côte de Nacre” on the English Channel, there are many small and big resort towns with sandy, wide beaches, which glistens in the sun like mother of pearl.
The bathing areas are interrupted now and again by rocky sections. Given the serene atmosphere one can hardly imagine that one of the biggest battles of world history has taken place here. On 6 June 1944 the Allied invasion was started along the entire coast, which is also known as Operation Overlord or even more familiar: D-Day. Thus began the planned opening of a western front of the anti-Hitler coalition. For those who want to find out more, a visit of the Circuit de Debarkement, the most important places of the invasion, is essential.
Monet allegedly claimed that there was nothing he could do besides painting and gardening. His gardens are themselves a work of art and not merely a collection of flower beds.
The famous impressionist specifically designed the gardens as a source of inspiration for his paintings. Conversely, he converted images in his head into real arrangements in his park. The painter achieved his dream at great effort and expense: six gardeners were hired to help him implement his ideas. Beds were created that overflow with flowers from early spring to late autumn. Monet skillfully arranged the flowers and plants to provide a full range of carefully coordinated shades of color. Such famous works as the water lily and the Japanese bridge paintings were created in Giverny, where Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. Today his gardens are a living museum open to the public.
Rental car drop-off
Location: Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (Desk at Airport)