Tour: RB - 2013 (RB) - 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 welcome dinner with wine at one of Paris’ lively restaurants. Also enjoy an orientation drive to get a first impression of the “City of Light.” (Dinner)

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DAY 2Paris

Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Louvre, and Champs-Elysées. Visit magnificent NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL, and for a panoramic view, take the elevator to the second floor of the EIFFEL TOWER. Time to explore Paris on your own or to join an optional excursion to the magnificent Louvre Museum to admire the Mona Lisa. (Breakfast)

The Arc de Triomphe standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle The Eiffel Tower in Paris 
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.
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 3Paris–Versailles–Beaune

Enjoy a special visit to the magnificent PALACE AND GARDENS OF VERSAILLES before heading for Burgundy. Arrive in Beaune, capital of the region, where a special Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite WINE TASTING awaits you at the famous Marché Aux Vins wine cellar. Later, head for your overnight hotel, Le Cep, ideally located in the heart of the medieval town and just a couple of steps away from the famous Hôtel-Dieu and Notre Dame Basilica. (Breakfast)

Vineyard in Beaune, France Vineyard in Beaune, France Brilliant stained glass inside the Notre Dame Basilica in Canada 
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DAY 4Beaune–Avignon–Pont Du Gard–Nîmes

Avignon is a town on the Rhône River that in the 14th century became the residence of the popes. Take pictures of the magnificent Palace of the Popes and the famous bridge, and browse through the colorful shops that sell traditional products of the Provence, like cloth, honey, herbs, and candy, like nougat. Continue to nearby Pont du Gard, and admire the largest remaining Roman Aqueduct in France, a monumental feat of engineering completed in the year 19 BC. Next is the pleasant town of Nîmes, where you will stay for two days. (Breakfast, Dinner)

See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence Avignon Palace of Popes Provence Lavender Fields Pont du Gard 
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DAY 5Nîmes

Follow your Tour Director on a walking tour of the town. Balance of the day is at leisure. Choose from our optional excursions to spectacular Baux-de-Provence and historic Uzès to make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Nîmes–Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is one of France’s most elegant cities. It was the birthplace of painter Cézanne, and has always attracted artists from all over. Explore its center during your walking tour, and enjoy a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite light lunch at one of the many cafés to try out French pastries and get a real taste of this pretty city. Time to wander through the maze of small streets and along shaded Cours Mirabeau, and to admire its famous cafés and fountains—and don’t forget to try out the local calissons confectionery. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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DAY 7Aix-en-Provence–Grasse–Nice–Monte Carlo

Arrive in Grasse, and learn all about perfume making during your visit to the famous Fragonard PERFUME FACTORY. Then, turn to the glittering Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Nice, “Queen of the Riviera.” Free time to explore and walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais. A few more miles along the coastline to reach the miniature city of Monte Carlo, built on a rocky peninsula and famed for its nightlife. Tonight, capture the spirit and beauty of this magical place in your overnight surroundings situated in the Cap d’Ail harbor. Enjoy a special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant in Monte Carlo, to celebrate the success of your vacation. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Promenade des Anglais – promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice, France 
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DAY 8Monte Carlo

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Nice). (Breakfast)

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