Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Paris - Loire - Brittany - Normandy, France - 9 nights
Available year round

 

This exceptional tour will lead to wonderful places such as the eternal city of Paris, the Loire Châteaux, the famous Mont Saint-Michel and Normandy. You will enjoy a relaxing stay, experience the French “Art de vivre” enjoying a luxury tour that will capture your imagination and introduce you to some of the wonderful highlights that France has to offer. Want to change up the itinerary? No problem - let us know how you'd like to tailor it to fit your needs and budget!

 

 

With this discovery trip you will stay in four fabulous 4* hotels, spending three nights in Paris, two nights in Loire Valley, two nights in Saint-Malo (Brittany) and two nights in Deauville (Normandy). You will dine in Michelin starred restaurants, enjoy a private tour of Paris in a vintage car, visit Chambord - famous for its castle - and you will see several chateaux including the Château de Chenonceau. In addition, you will experience Saint Malo in Brittany, the famous monument Mont St. Michel whose origin dates from the 8th century, Giverny with Monet's Garden and you will have a private guide for a tour of Normandy's landing beaches.

 

We give you additional options below for even more spectacular activities so be sure to inquire if any catch your eye!

 

 

 

ITINERARY

 

Day One - ARRIVAL IN PARIS

 

Afternoon arrival at the airport Paris Charles de Gaulle / Roissy. 

 

Transfer to your first hotel (40 minutes driving)

 

Check in your 4* hotel in the center of Paris. The rooms in this hotel are bold and elegant. They offer thorough comfort in a classic and contemporary style. A painted reproduction from an oeuvre at the Louvre is placed at the head of the bed in each room. 

 

Dinner at local restaurant, a 1* Michelin at walking distance of your hotel.

 

Overnight at your hotel**** (Paris) 

 

Day Two - ETERNAL PARIS

 

Breakfast at your hotel. 

 

Private tour of Paris in a 2CV Vintage car (1h30). This tour will make you discover the "must-see" monuments. Keep your eyes wide open and admire Paris.

 

This panoramic tour will take you through the centuries and tells you about the history of Paris and the richness of the city’s cultural architectural and artistic heritage. Discover the best of Paris: the Place de l’Opéra, the Champs-Elysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and much more…

 

Lunch at your leisure

 

Visit of the Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle. Its construction was a veritable technical and architectural achievement. "Utopia achieved", a symbol of technological prowess, at the end of the 19th Century it was a demonstration of French engineering personified by Gustave Eiffel, and a defining moment of the industrial era. It was met immediately with tremendous success. Today is the France’s symbol in the world and the showcase of Paris,

 

Guided visit of the Louvre Museum: Louvre Masterpieces (1h30)

 

Discover the highlights of the museum: among many other masterpieces, the "Vénus de Milo", The Wedding Feast at Cana, Monna Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa or the Apollo Gallery…

 

Optional: Private guided visit with an expert guide: Please inquire about additional cost

 

Dinner at local restaurant, 1* Michelin at walking distance of your hotel.

 

Overnight at your hotel**** (Paris) 

 

Day Three - VERSAILLES OR PARIS FROM THE RIVER???

 

Today we give you 2 options from which to choose:

 

OPTION 1: A day in the Château de Versailles

 

Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Versailles (35mn driving)

 

Private guided tour of Château de Versailles

 

The Château de Versailles, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful.

 

Thanks to the many guided tour themes, an authorised guide will open the doors to little-known areas that are not accessible to individual visitors, to discover the Estate, its greatest historical figures, its collections and the high points of its history. 

 

Lunch in a restaurant located on the canal front of Parc de Versailles.

 

Free time to visit the gardens and the park of the Château

 

From the central window of the Hall of mirrors the visitor look down on the grand perspective that leads the gaze from the Water Parterre to the horizon. This original perspective, which preceded the reign of Louis XIV, was developed and prolonged by the gardener André Le Nôtre by widening the Royal Path and digging the Grand Canal. This vast perspective stretches from the façade of the Château de Versailles to the railings of the park.

 

Free visit of Marie-Antoinette's estate

 

From the Petit Trianon to the Queen’s Gardens, passing by the Hamlet, the Estate, opened in 2006, reveals Marie-Antoinette’s private life. Louis XVI’s wife loved this place where she could return to the pleasures of simple, rural pursuits, away from the pomp of Versailles.

 

Return to Paris (35mn driving)

 

Dinner at your leisure.

 

Overnight at your hotel**** (Paris) 

 

OPTION 2 Paris from the River

 

Breakfast at your hotel. 

 

Meeting with your guide at your hotel and transfer to Notre-Dame cathedral (by bus, taxi or metro). 

 

Private guided visits with an expert guide (4h – appointment at your hotel – transportation not included)

 

Visit of Notre Dame Cathedral

 

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. It was built in the Middle Ages, at the far end of the Île de la Cité. Badly damaged during the French Revolution, the cathedral was restored in the 19th century by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. Its many visitors come to admire its stained glass and rose windows, the towers, the steeple and the gargoyles. On the cathedral's parvis, a bronze star inscribed 'zero kilometre' indicates the centre of the country in terms of road distances.

 

Visit of the Orsay Museum

 

Admire the world's largest collection of Impressionist art! 

 

Discover the Orsay Museum, known for its masterpieces of Impressionism, but not only... Presented in a former train station, the collections of the musée d'Orsay are among the most famous in the world. The museum presents the artistic production of the period 1848-1914, a decisive period in the art history which gave birth to the masterpieces of Impressionism. You will thus admire great artists such as: Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Garnier, Courbet, Carpeaux, Nadar or Guimard .

 

Lunch in a local restaurant in Paris.

 

River cruise on the Seine.

 

From the Louvre Museum to the Cathedral Notre Dame, passing by the Eiffel Tower, discover the most beautiful monumlents in Paris the time of a cruise along the Seine (1-hour cruise commented in French and English).

 

Optional: Exclusive private cruise on the Seine to enjoy the best of Paris: Please inquire about additional cost

 

Live an exceptional experience in Paris, alone on the Seine, away from the crowd, aboard an elegant motorcraft built exclusively from varnished mahogany and chromed finish. This authentic venetian taxi was created in Venice by master craftsmen, in the spirit of the Rivas and ChrisCrafts of the 30s (a bottle of Champagne included).

 

Dinner at your leisure.

 

Overnight at your hotel**** (Paris) 

 

DAY FOUR - ALONG THE LOIRE RIVER

 

Breakfast at your hotel and check out. Transfer to the Loire region (2h10 driving). Chambord, is world-famous for its castle and forest park, national hunting reserve for presidential hunts.


Lunch in a Chambord restaurant with beautiful views of the castle.


Visit of the Château de Chambord

 

This iconic castle and its landscaped gardens offer one of the best views of the Loire Valley. 

 

Far from the stress of daily life, the Château of Chambord stands completely surrounded by nature. It is located between the untamed royal river and the wild woodlands, which is home to many boar and deer. Just two hours south of Paris, Chambord opens up to the Loire - a river now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites for its "living cultural landscape". An essential stage on your journey, Chambord is the largest and most prestigious of the French Renaissance châteaux. Let this majestic stone colossus give you a real feeling for the life style of François I.

 

Optional: Private guided visit of the Château de Chambord (1h30): Please inquire about additional cost

 

During this visit you will discover all the secrets of the château and places that visitors do not have access to normally. 

 

Transfer to your hotel (1h driving) and check-in at your 4* Relais & Châteaux. 

 

In the heart of the Loire Castles, discover this former hunting lodge refurbished in a magnificent hotel. This establishment is as majestic as it is vast. Take the time to let yourself be charmed by this setting and enjoy a bucolic atmosphere to relax in the heart of nature.

 

Dinner in the gourmet restaurant of your hotel (1* Michelin): a prestigious table and a seasonal cuisine in harmony with the region. The charismatic restaurant manager of this establishment and his staff always provide a friendly atmosphere, making this restaurant a must see in the area. 

 

Overnight at your 4* Relais & Châteaux (Loire).

 

Day Five - CHAUMONT & AMBOISE: HISTORY OF THE KINGS

 

Breakfast at your hotel and transfer to Amboise (20 mn driving)

 

Visit of the Château d'Amboise (with an audio-guide), a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. This iconic castle and its landscaped gardens offer one of the best views of the Loire Valley. The château became the first royal residence in the Loire Valley that introduced the Italian style thanks to Charles VIII. This construction has been later pursued by Francis I and the Tuscan genius Leonardo da Vinci, who was buried in the château’s chapel.

 

Optional: Private guided tour of the Château d'Amboise (1h): Additional cost - please inquire

 

Transfer to Chenonceau (20 mn driving)

 

Lunch at Château de Chenonceau.

 

Visit of the Château de Chenonceau (with an audio-guide), a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. Chenonceau Castle is an exceptional site not only because of its original design, the richness of its collections, its furniture and its decorations but also because it was administrated and protected by women, who were all extraordinary and who, for the most part have marked History (1 hour).

 

Optional: VIP private guided tour of the Château de Chenonceau: Please inquire about additional cost

 

Return to your hotel (35 mn driving)

 

Dinner in the gourmet restaurant of your hotel (1* Michelin). 

 

Overnight at your 4* Relais & Châteaux (Loire). 

 

Day Six - WELCOME TO BRITTANY!

 

Breakfast at your hotel. 

 

Transfer to Saint-Malo (3h10 driving)

 

Lunch at your leisure

 

Check-in at your 4-star hotel, ideally situated in the heart Saint-Malo, facing the sea and close to the old town. The rooms are stylishly decorated with fine, high quality materials; the hotel’s contemporary design maintains a soft and warm atmosphere… an invitation to a voyage across the globe.

 

Private guided visit of Saint-Malo, the City of the Corsairs (2h)

 

Discover Saint Malo, the most popular and authentic city of Brittany. You will have a stroll around the majestic townwalls, learn a lot about corsairs and brave explorers who have marked this free-spirit town, walk in tiny narrow streets full of charm and, perhaps, rest at some typical « café » or « creperie » to taste some delicious local treat.

 

Dinner at the gourmet restaurant of your hotel: With exceptional views over the bay of Saint-Malo, this offers a gourmet experience through world cuisine.

 

Overnight at your 4-star hotel in Saint-Malo.

 

Day SEVEN - LE MONT SAINT-MICHEL

 

Breakfast at your hotel. 

 

Transfer to the Mont Saint-Michel (50 mn driving)

 

Private guided visit of the Mont Saint-Michel with your guide (2 hours)

 

Mont Saint Michel stays a mythical and fascinating place. Its silhouette is world renowned but its history remains mysterious to many people. Now maybe it's time to learn more about this strange monument standing in the middle of the sands, which origin dates from the 8th century. This magical mountain contains plenty of stories that join the Great History. Do you want to learn more about it?  

 

Lunch in an unavoidable restaurant at the Mont Saint-Michel

 

For nearly 50 years this restaurant offers over 700 recipes inspired by ingredients sourced in Normandy and Brittany. This delicious, simple cuisine has impressed gastronomes around the world thanks to carefully selected ingredients and an unequalled culinary savoir faire.

 

Time at your leisure at Le Mont Saint-Michel OR to discover Cancale (45 mn driving) or Dinard (45 mn driving).

 

Return to your hotel (50 mn from Mont Saint-Michel / 25 mn from Cancale / 20 mn from Dinard)

 

Dinner at the gourmet restaurant of your hotel.

 

Overnight at your 4-star hotel in Saint-Malo. 

 

DAY EIGHT - full day normandy landing beaches

 

Breakfast at your hotel and check-out.

 

Transfer to Saint-Mère-Eglise (2hours)

 

Full day Normandy landing beaches, with a private guide.

 

Both moving and fascinating, this day-tour will have you discovering the Normandy D-Day Battlefields. After explaining the outstanding military preparation of the Overlord operation, we will stop at Omaha Beach to have a stroll on the beach and try figure out what the young soldiers have experienced. Next, the American Cemetery, its beautiful marble headstones lined up over the emerald green lawn. Pointe du Hoc and its ground shattered by extremely violent bombardments, will help you figure out the heroic acts of the Rangers. 

 

Optional: Private guided tour in a Willys Jeep: Please inquire about additional cost

 

Enjoy the unforgettable experience of a private guided tour in an Authentic 1944 WW2 Willys Jeep. You will visit the Utah Beach landing beach, drop and landing zones of the 101st & 82nd Airborne Divisions and cross the main historic places of D-Day; Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, La Fière, Angoville-au-Plain, Hiesville, Ravenoville etc.

 

Lunch at your leisure.
Transfer to your next hotel in Deauville (1h35 from Sainte-Mère-Eglise)

 

Check-in at your charming deluxe 4-star hotel, in Deauville. Located nearby the famous boardwalk planches of Deauville and the romantic Honfleur harbor, this charming hotel welcome you in a bucolic setting at the heart of the Normandy countryside.

 

Dinner at the gourmet restaurant of your hotel.

 

Open onto the lush countryside, this restaurant offers you an inventive cuisine showcasing top notch local products. In a warm coral and prune ambiance, the Chef draws his inspiration from Normandy specialties, reinterpreted with brio in a modern spirit.

 

Overnight at your 4-star hotel in Deauville.

 

DAY NINE - A DAY AT LEISURE IN NORMANDY

 

Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Honfleur (30 mn). Free time to discover Honfleur

 

Ports don’t come any prettier than Honfleur on the Seine’s estuary. Glorious historic houses jostle for position on the quays, as do galleries and restaurants. Packed with cultural sights, Honfleur has a wealth of attractions to delight its many visitors.

 

Lunch at your leisure in Honfleur.

 

Transfer to Etretat (50 mn) with free time to discover this fascinating site.

 

Nature has carved fabulous shapes out of the white cliffs at Etretat. The extraordinary site drew Impressionist painters aplenty. The picturesque resort was also chosen as the setting for the stories of a favourite French children’s character, gentleman burglar Arsène Lupin. 

 

Transfer to Deauville (1h10)

 

Free time to discover Deauville. 

 

An internationally renowned resort, Deauville oozes style. Glamorous events abound, from prestigious horse races and polo to the annual Deauville American Film Festival. Golf and thalassotherapy sea-water pamperings are easily to hand. Enjoy the elegant hotels, boutiques and restaurants, not forgetting Deauville’s greatest pull, its magnificent beach.

 

Optional: Horse riding on the beach: Please inquire about additional cost

 

A discovery of Normandy would be incomplete without a mention of this region's passion for horses. Discover the Normandy from on high, perched in the saddle of your trusty steed. 

 

Transfer to your hotel (10mn)

 

Dinner at the gourmet restaurant of your hotel.

 

Overnight at your 4-star hotel in Deauville.

 

DAY TEN - a day in giverny

 

Breakfast at your hotel and check-out.

 

Transfer to Giverny (1h30 driving).

 

Visit of Monet’s garden 

 

Monet has always been fascinated by the play of light and reflections of clouds on water. His numerous paintings done on his floating studio, in Argenteuil or on the Dutch canals, show his fascination with inverted reflections in these liquid mirrors. In 1893, he acquires a piece of land situated at the end of the Clos Normand, on the other side of the railway line, and diverts the narrow arm of the river Epte, the « Ru ». The thus- created pond will become the « Jardin d’eau » (water garden), today present on the walls of the world’s greatest museums. 

 

Lunch in a restaurant located just in front of the Claude Monet’s house and settled down in an old farm from Monet’s time. You will be charmed by the terrace surrounded with flowers, as an invitation to extend the atmosphere of the visit of the gardens (3-course menu already paid for, drinks not included). 

 

Visit of the “Musée des Impressionismes”: in addition to the temporary exhibitions, the museum has a permanent display of works that reflect Monet’s influence on his contemporaries and on the generations that followed him. 

 

Transfer to Paris airport (40 mn driving)

 

 

GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of  2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 20 participants.

 

(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Nearest Airport: Paris Charles de Gaulle / Roissy (40 minutes to first hotel)

 

 

*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.

 

 

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

 

2019 Fees Per Person


Double Room/From US$4675
Single Room Supplement/From US$1574

(dependent on hotel availability)

 

*Please inquire about lower pricing for 4 or more persons

 

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation 

 

Deposit

After availability is confirmed, a 30% nonrefundable deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date. 

2019 Dates

Available year round (based on availability)

 

 

Included

*Nine (9) nights in four - 4* hotels, in double rooms: (3 nights in Paris in a Classic room – 2 nights in Loire Valley in a Standard room – 2 nights in Saint-Malo in a standard room – 2 nights in Deauville in a standard room)
*Nine (9) breakfasts
*The local tax
*Five (5) lunches
*Eight (8) dinners
*All the visits, activities and entrance fees mentioned above in the itinerary

 

Not Included: Airfare, travel insurance, personal expenses, transportation, drinks and beverages (except when specifically mentioned), the optional services (please inquire about rates), any extras.

 

For further inquiries or to register, click here.

 

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CANCELLATION POLICY


Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

 

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

Jeanette P., Livonia, Michigan

"Jo-Ann is a pleasure to work with. She is very accommodating and responds almost immediately to any emails that are sent. I have worked with Jo-Ann on several trips now and will continue to do so. This trip was amazing! It couldn’t have been any better. We loved all the sights that were planned and our accommodations were fabulous, especially the cave and the last one in Deauville. In order of our favorite experiences, the Willy Jeep tour definitely stood out and then Mont St Michel and Chateaux Chenonceau. The cave hotel was such a surprise and we loved it and the staff there was so friendly. We enjoyed all the hotels and it was a very memorable and thoroughly enjoyable trip. Thank you for this amazing experience!"

Michael T., Fenton, Michigan

 "Excellent and amazing experiences!" 
 

 

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HOMESTYLE TUSCAN COOKING 

Hi Jo-Ann - We wanted to let you know that we had an AMAZING time at the cooking school. My mother and I could not have had a better time. Paola and Simonetta were such wonderful hosts and teachers. We were treated like family. The house and property were beautiful. The hands-on cooking classes were so much fun...we learned so many great recipes that I cannot wait to test on my friends back home. I will definitely be recommending this experience to all of my friends and colleagues. Thank you so much for all of your help in setting up this once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. It is something neither one of us will ever forget!

 

Best, Erin S. and Flor V.,
New York, New York

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