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

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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. Then, 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 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–Troyes–Burgundy

Start your fascinating journey through France’s most beautiful areas. Stop in Troyes, a former Roman settlement and capital of champagne. Hear about its ancient history and admire the half-timbered houses during your walking tour. Next, concentrate on Burgundy with its numerous châteaux, mouthwatering gourmet food, and excellent wines. Look forward to Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite an exciting stay at Château de Chailly in Pouilly-en-Auxois, your home for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 4Burgundy. Excursion to Dijon & Beaune

Hear about the powerful Dukes of Dijon during your walking tour of Dijon and admire the ornate buildings along the Rue des Forges. A scenic drive along the vineyards brings you to picturesque Beaune. Visit the INNER COURT of the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu with its magnificent gothic architecture and unusual tiled roof. Next, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a WINE TASTING at the famous Marché Aux Vins wine cellar to try out the various Burgundy wines. (Breakfast)

Vineyard in Beaune, France Vineyard in Beaune, France 
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DAY 5Burgundy–Chamonix

Leave the Burgundy area for an exciting drive into the French Alps to the world-famous ski resort of Chamonix at the foot of the Mont Blanc, where the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924. Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite A traditional Fondue Savoyarde dinner awaits you at Chamonix’ most popular Brasserie de l’M. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 6Chamonix–Chambéry

Morning at leisure to explore this pretty town and enjoy its healthy air before leaving for Aix-les-Bains, a former Roman settlement at Lake Bourget, which for almost 2,000 years has been frequented by people to visit the sulphur springs. Overnight in Chambéry. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 7Chambéry–Grasse–Cannes

This morning, join the famous Route Napoleon, the road Napoleon took when he escaped from Elba. Enjoy spectacular views of the Alps on your way south and stop in Grasse for a visit of one of France’s most famous PERFUME FACTORIES, Fragonard. Learn everything there is to know about the centuries-old art of perfume making before arriving at the French Côte d’Azur. Time to enjoy the private beach with sunbed and umbrella at your hotel in Cannes. (Breakfast)

Cannes is one of the best known cities of the French Riviera 
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DAY 8Cannes. Excursion to Nice

Join your Tour Director for a walk to the OLD TOWN of Nice this morning to see the flower market. Time to dabble in the Mediterranean Sea or to stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais. Choose from our optional excursions to the artists’ town of St. Paul de Vence and to Monte Carlo to see the palace and church in the Old Town of Monaco and to visit the world-famous casino. (Breakfast)

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DAY 9Cannes–Aix-En-Provence–Avignon

Visit one of France’s most elegant cities, Aix-en-Provence. It was the birthplace of Cézanne and has always attracted artists from all over the world. Enjoy a walk through the maze of small streets and along shaded Cours Mirabeau, and admire its famous cafés and fountains. Don’t forget to try out the local calissons confectionery. Next is Avignon, a city completely surrounded by a wall at the Rhône River with the famous bridge of the song Sur le Pont d’Avignon. (Breakfast)

See the seemingly never ending lavender fields in Provence Avignon Palace of Popes Provence Lavender Fields 
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DAY 10Avignon

This morning, start with a visit to the magnificent PALACE OF THE POPES, and hear about the time that the popes resided in Avignon during the turbulent 14th century. Afternoon at leisure; choose from our optional excursions to make the most of your stay. (Breakfast)

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DAY 11Avignon–Pont Du Gard–Arles–Nîmes

Stop at the impressive Pont du Gard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 1st century as part of the Nîmes aqueduct that was constructed by the Romans to bring water from the spring of Uzès. Continue into the Camargue and stop in Arles, a former Roman settlement. Follow your Tour Director for a walk through its narrow streets and relive the Roman times when you visit its AMPHITHEATER. Arrive in Nîmes, another former Roman colony dating back to before 28 BC, and admire the magnificent Maison Carré, one of the best preserved temples in the former Roman Empire during your orientation of the OLD TOWN. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Pont du Gard 
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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 12Nîmes–Carcassonne

In the beautifully preserved, medieval town of Carcassonne, Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite enjoy a leisurely walk on the ancient BATTLEMENTS, and time to wander through the narrow little streets before checking in at your hotel. (Breakfast)

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DAY 13Carcassonne–Cahors–Rocamadour–Périgueux

Enter the Dordogne, a fascinating area with a history that goes back 25,000 years and still has visible traces of those times. It is also famous for the coveted black truffles. Stop in Cahors, a city that became very wealthy through banking and trading in the 13th and 14th centuries. Admire the impressive Pont Valentré, dating back to the 14th century, and hear about the turbulent times during the Hundred Years’ War and about the Black Death. Next, a true highlight: visit Rocamadour, spectacularly built against a cliff and a well-known stop over the centuries for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Continue to Périgueux for your overnight stay. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Santiago de Compostela is visited by over 100,000 pilgrims a year 
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DAY 14Périgueux

Périgueux was an important Roman center and today is renowned for its delicious fois-gras pate. Join your Tour Director for a walk through its medieval quarter and see the St. Front Cathedral built on the St. James of Compostela Pilgrim’s Way. This afternoon, maybe an optional excursion to Château de Hautefort, one of the most prestigious castles in the area, followed by dinner. (Breakfast)

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DAY 15Périgueux–Bordeaux–Paris

Drive to Bordeaux and board the high-speed TGV TRAIN to Paris. This evening, enjoy a special farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant to celebrate the success of your journey through beautiful France. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 16Paris

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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