Tour: RA - 2013 (RA) - 2013 / 2014

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris
Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Paris, France

Welcome to Paris! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions, and leave the hotel for a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite welcome dinner with wine at one of Paris’ lively restaurants. and enjoy an orientation drive to get a first impression of the “City of Light.” (Dinner)

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DAY 2Paris

Guided sightseeing features the highlights of Paris, like the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, and Champs-Elysées. Visit magnificent NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL and admire its Rose Window, and for a panoramic view, take the elevator to the second floor of the EIFFEL TOWER. Choose from exciting optional excursions, like to the magnificent Palace and Gardens of Versailles and evening excursions. (Breakfast)

The Eiffel Tower in Paris The Arc de Triomphe standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle 
Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral


Europe’s most famous cathedral, whose twin Gothic towers loom above France’s most beloved river, the Seine, actually owes a lot of its international success to the author Victor Hugo. Back in 1831, when Hugo wrote his classic novel about a hunchbacked bell-ringer at Notre Dame who falls in love with a beautiful gypsy, the medieval cathedral had fallen on hard times. During the Revolution in 1789, it had been seized, looted of its treasures and converted into an atheistic “Temple of Reason.” Even worse, after the monarchy was restored in 1815, Notre Dame was used as riverside warehouse – its once-splendid glass windows now dimmed and its facades decaying pathetically above the Île de la Cité. But Parisian’s indifference to their landmark ended suddenly in 1831, when Victor Hugo published his romantic novel the “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” (called “Notre-Dame de Paris” in French). The book was an international bestseller and lured armies of tourists to Paris in search of its Gothic cathedral setting. Hugo used this groundswell of public interest to lobby the French government for renovations of his beloved Notre Dame. From 1845 to 1864, repairs were indeed carried out – the clogged medieval streets nearby were cleared, revealing the marvelous edifice we see today.
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DAY 3Paris–Honfleur–Deauville–Bayeux

A pleasant drive through the rural area west of Paris takes you to the picturesque town of Honfleur, with its enclosed harbor, and the elegant resort of Deauville on the coast. Time to explore both towns before heading to Bayeux, where you can admire QUEEN MATILDA’S TAPESTRY, depicting in extraordinary detail William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. (Breakfast)

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DAY 4Bayeux–Normandy Beaches–Mont St. Michel–St. Malo

Along the Normandy Beaches, scene of the Allied Forces’ landing on D-Day, June 6th, 1944, arrive at the famous ABBEY OF MONT ST. MICHEL, spectacularly perched on a rocky isle in the Gulf of Saint Malo and enjoy an included lunch. Overnight in St. Malo. This evening, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a special dinner with wine at a local restaurant, where you can try out specialties of the region. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Abbey of Mont St. Michel 
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DAY 5St. Malo–Loire Valley

Enjoy a scenic drive through Brittany to the Loire Valley for your overnight stay in Blois. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Loire Valley–Chenonceau Castle–Bordeaux

Visit the 16th-century castle of Catherine de Medici, lovely CHENONCEAU, a fairytale castle with a moat, drawbridge, and towers. Continue to Bordeaux, and join your Tour Director for a walking tour through this pretty city on the Garonne River. Tonight, savor dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Chateau Chenonceau 
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DAY 7Bordeaux. Excursion to St. Emilion

In the morning you can join an optional excursion to Arcachon. Situated at the southern entrance of the Atlantic Ocean, Arcachon Bay is crowned by Europe’s largest sand dune, the Dune de Pyla. This afternoon, your highlight is Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite a visit to St. Emilion, world famous for its wine, where an exclusive WINE TASTING awaits you. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 8Bordeaux–Biarritz–Lourdes

A wonderful stop at the coast to visit Biarritz, an ancient fishing village turned trendy seaside resort. Continue to Lourdes, one of the world’s most famous places of pilgrimage. Visit the GROTTO where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858, and this evening, you can join the memorable rosary and candlelight procession. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 9Lourdes–Carcassonne–Nîmes

From Lourdes to the beautifully preserved, medieval, walled town of Carcassonne for a leisurely walk on the ancient BATTLEMENTS and time to explore the town on your own. Continue to pretty Nîmes, and find out what both this city and Genoa, in Italy, have to do with jeans trousers! (Breakfast, Dinner)

View of Genoa from port 
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DAY 10Nîmes–Aix-en-Provence–Nice–Monte Carlo

This morning, drive through the splendid vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon and arrive at Aix-en-Provence, one of France’s most elegant cities. It was the birthplace of painter Cézanne, and has always attracted artists from all over the world. Later, head for Nice. Join your Tour Director for a walk along the Promenade des Anglais. Spend the next two nights in Monte Carlo. (Breakfast)

See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence Provence Lavender Fields 
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DAY 11Monte Carlo

Enjoy this enchanting resort on the Côte d’Azur at your own pace. Browse through the elegant shops or you may wish to join an optional excursion to the famous artist town of St. Paul de Vence. (Breakfast)

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DAY 12Monte Carlo–Grasse–Grenoble

Arrive in Grasse, where an expert will give a lecture about perfume making in the most famous Fragonard PERFUME FACTORY. Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite You will get a special little gift to take home with you. Next, drive along the spectacular Route Napoleon through the French Alps past medieval towns to Grenoble. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 13Grenoble–Lyon–Dijon

Leave the Alps and arrive in Lyon. Orientation features a panoramic view from FOURVIÈRE HILL with its basilica to enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the city and its Roman ruins. Then, drive north into Burgundy, where road signs read like the wine list of an expensive restaurant. On to Dijon, which was the capital of Burgundy from the 11th to the 15th centuries. During your orientation, hear about the various dukes who ruled over the area, then have the rest of the afternoon to browse the shops and enjoy this charming city. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Lyon, France 
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DAY 14Dijon–Paris

Enjoy a ride on the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. Optional excursions are available to the magnificent Louvre Museum to admire the Mona Lisa, and to the Moulin Rouge dinner show, the best way to say, “Au Revoir, Paris.” (Breakfast)

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Louvre

Louvre


Today, a thick pane of bullet-proof security glass keeps artlovers a safe distance from the most famous painting in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Wife of Francesco Giacondo,” known in French as “La Joconde” and English as the “Mona Lisa.” But back in 1911, it was simply hung on the walls of the Musée du Louvre like any other canvas. That was until a former museum employee named Vincenzo Perrugia strolled into the gallery before opening hours on August 21, noticed the room was empty, took down the Mona Lisa and walked out of the Louvre with it under a painting smock. When the loss was finally noticed, the police were mystified. For two years, the whereabouts of the masterpiece was unknown, while French detectives made various wild guesses. (It had been stolen by the Germans. By anarchists. By evil geniuses. By lunatics.) They actually arrested the country’s top art critic, Guillame Apollinaire, then let him free. Then, out of the blue in 1913, an Italian art dealer in Florence was contacted by a man calling himself “Leonardo” who claimed to have the Mona Lisa and wanted to see it hang in the Uffizi, Italy’s top art museum. Although he found it hard to believe that the thief could be so reckless, the dealer tipped off the police and agreed to meet the strange Leonardo in a Milan hotel room. There, the nondescript fellow opened his suitcase, emptied out his socks and underwear, opened up a false bottom in the case to reveal the Mona Lisa – and was immediately arrested.
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DAY 15Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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