Tour: RB - 2014 (RB) - 2014 / 2015

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Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Arc de Triomphe in Paris
The Eiffel Tower 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 choose from our optional excursions to the magnificent Louvre Museum, to Montmartre, and a cruise on the beautiful Seine river. (Breakfast)

The Seine River in France 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.
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower


Imagining Paris without the Eiffel Tower is like London without Big Ben or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. But no sooner had the architect Gustav Eiffel beaten his 700 competitors in the design competition for the 1889 Centennial Exposition, celebrating a century since the French Revolution, than a vocal outcry began to halt construction of the edifice. Three hundred famous French artists and writers signed a petition in the newspaper “Le Temps” denouncing Eiffel’s radically modern design as “useless and monstrous,” a blight upon the elegant fabric of the City of Light. Others critics were even more vicious, describing the proposed tower as a “tragic street lamp,” a gymnasium apparatus…incomplete, confused and deformed,” “a giant ungainly skeleton,” “a half-built factory pipe,” “a carcass” and even “a hole-riddled suppository.” Nature-lovers argued that it would disturb the flight patterns of Parisian birds. Even as the iron lattice began to rise, Parisians continued to refer to it by the less-than-flattering nickname, “the metal asparagus.” Of course, no sooner had the tower opened in 1889 than the rabid criticism evaporated.
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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–Pont Du Gard–Avignon–Aix-En-Provence

Stop at Pont du Gard and admire the largest remaining Roman Aqueduct in France, a monumental feat of engineering completed in the year 19 BC. Continue to Avignon, a town on the Rhône River that in the 14th century became the residence of the popes. During your walking tour, 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. Next is the pleasant town of Aix-en-Provence, where you will stay for two days. (Breakfast, Dinner)

See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence Provence Lavender Fields Avignon Palace of Popes Pont du Gard 
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DAY 5Aix-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, wander through the maze of small streets and along shaded Cours Mirabeau, and Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a café au lait with calissons (a traditional French confectionery). Balance of the day is at leisure. Why not join our optional excursion to spectacular Baux-de-Provence to make the most of your stay? (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Aix-En-Provence–St. Paul De Vence–Monte Carlo

Enjoy a highlight visit to the picturesque hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence. Marvel at the many art galleries and little shops. Then, turn to the glittering Mediterranean Sea and reach the miniature country of Monaco, built on a rocky peninsula and famed for its nightlife. Capture the spirit and beauty of this magical place in your overnight surroundings situated on the Cap d’Ail harbor. You may wish to join an optional excursion to see the palace and royal church of Monaco town, and to try your luck at the Monte Carlo casino. (Breakfast)

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DAY 7Monte Carlo. Excursion to Nice & Èze

Morning at leisure to dabble in the blue Mediterranean Sea. In the afternoon, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite drive along the Basse Corniche to Nice, “Queen of the Riviera.” Free time to explore and walk along the famous Promenade des Anglais. Continue along the Moyenne Corniche with spectacular views to the town of Èze. Here, enjoy a unique highlight: Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite visit the famous Fragonard perfume factory and CREATE YOUR OWN FRAGRANCE before joining a special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant 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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