The tour of France in 5 days will give you the opportunity to travel around the most beautiful towns and sights in the north and center of the country.
You will start your tour leaving from Paris towards Normandy: with the train, you will easily reach the train station of Trouville-Deauville and, then, you will start you trip. First, you will visit the amazing classic village of Trouville, situated along the ocean: there, you will take a look at the ancient palace called Hôtel des Roches Noires and you can visit the Villa Montebello, which houses the museum of the city.
You can walk along the beach and take a break by relaxing in one of the beautiful piers. Later, you will reach another small village, Deauville, the “queen of the Norman beaches“: Deauville has been one of the most prestigious resorts in France for the Parisian high society and played a major role in Proust’s “In search of lost time”. Deauville is a fashionable holiday resort, but it is also known for a famous international film festival, a race course and its harbour. You can walk along the beach, experience the unique atmosphere of the village and have lunch in one of the elegant restaurants in the village.
Later, you will move to the famous D-Day beaches, in order to experience a piece of global history! You will have the chance to explore the historical significance of the American sector, with a guide who will explain the significance of all the beaches and villages: you can take pictures, learn, reflect and understand how these events happened.
You will have lunch either in a historic café or in a traditional coffee shop. You will then see Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach, the place where American troops arrived via boat. At the end of the tour, you will also visit the Normandy American Cemetery and the Visitor Center.
On your second day, you will start your trip visiting some other D-Day beaches and the most important sights in the area. Then, you will be driven to Mont-Saint-Michel by minivan.
Mont-Saint-Michel is a village full of history: you can walk through narrow streets, admire breathtaking views and plunge yourself into the medieval era thanks to the impressive Gothic architecture. You can take a stroll on the bay – if the tide allows – in order to have a breathtaking view of the village. In particular, the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey will offer quite a unique experience: there, the beauties of history and architecture will give you a thrill that you will never forget! The Abbey, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, was built with different styles (Roman and Gothic) and it is divided into several parts: an underground church, the abbey-church and the monks living area.
Within the island, you can also shop, visit other specific sights and museums, as well as dine in some typical french restaurants. After that, you will be driven to the train station in Caen and, from there, you will take the train to the Loire Valley.
On the third day, you will reach Tours by train: there, a minivan will pick you up in order to guide you through the amazing Loire Valley and its chateaux.
The first castle is the Chateau of Azay-Le-Rideau: in this castle, built during the reign of Francis I (16th century), you will find a perfect example of Renaissance architecture. The chateau lies in the middle of the Indre River, with towers, turrets and influences from Italian art. Within the chateau, you can also visit a collection of Flemish and French tapestries which furnish the chateau’s apartments.
Then, you will visit the impressive Gardens of Villandry, in the Chateau of Villandry: they are known for their beauty and for their structure. There are three different levels: the water garden, the decorative flower garden and the kitchen garden.
You will have lunch in a regional restaurant in Tours; following, you will reach the Chateau of Chenonceau: it was built in the 16th century and later modified by Catherine de Medici.
You can take a walk in the French gardens and, later, you will leave with the minivan towards the Chateau of Chambord. It was built by Francis I, with 440 rooms and a fortress featuring Gothic roofs, turrets and façades.
You will spend your 4th day visiting the Bordeaux region. You will take the train in Tours and, in only 3 hours, you will reach the Bordeaux central station.
During the day, you will take one of the most famous ‘wine roads’: the road to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. You will have the unique chance to visit the best chateaux and vineyards in the region, comfortably seated in a private minivan. Furthermore, you will taste some high quality classified wines that you will never forget!
The region of Saint-Emilion dates back to the Roman age: it is the most famous area of the Bordeaux region, thanks to the Medieval village of Saint-Emilion, a small commune with dozens of historical monuments. There, you can find an impressive monolithic church, some ancient walls and typical streets, squares and buildings. With Médoc, Saint-Emilion is the main area in the region and it houses 4 Premier Grand Cru Classé A estates, the highest level of the classification of Bordeaux wines.
In every chateau you visit, you will have the opportunity to taste a different wine. Don’t miss all the sights in the village (part of the UNESCO World Heritage) and try some typical food, to have a better understanding of regional tradition!
You will also have the chance to visit the small Pomerol area, a ‘satellite’ which offers high quality wines made with Merlot and Cabernet.
On your last day, you will spend half a day making your way through the most impressive ‘wine road’ in the Bordeaux region: the so-called ‘castle road’, or D2 (Départementale 2) in the Médoc area. The driver of a private minivan will pick you up and will lead you through the highest quality vineyards and chateaux of the region.
Across this area, you will find and visit some of the most famous and renowned winery villages and chateaux of France and you will try the top wine appellations, like Moulis or Sainte-Estèphe. You will pass by and visit some magnificent and charming French chateaux and, there, you will taste different varieties of Bordeaux, along with some food tastings. All the red wines of the famous 1855 Classification are from Médoc: one of the most famous ‘appellations d’origine’ (controlled designation of origin) is the Margaux AOC. After the visits and tastings, your driver will bring you to Bordeaux, in order to experience on of the most beautiful cities in France.
First, you can take a walk in the Old Town (on the left bank of the Garonne river) and visit the famous district of Saint-Pierre: in this village-like part of the town, you can stroll around narrow streets, as well as medieval and Roman squares. The Roman and Gothic architecture will bring you back to past centuries as the Roman Cathedral, along with the Tower Pey-Berland, will offer unique and monumental insight into the history of the city. In this district, don’t miss the amazing Water Mirror, the icon of Bordeaux: it is a reflecting pool, situated in Place de la Bourse, which alternates mirror effects and artificial misting.
If you like, you can have a break in the CAPC – the Museum of Contemporary Art -, or in the historic Chartrons district. Otherwise, you can walk along the quay and have some tastings at the CIVB, a renowned school of wine. You can also visit the amazing City of Wine, an innovative and recent building which houses exhibitons about wine, where you will learn the ‘wine culture’.
If you like, in the afternoon you can move to the Dune of Pilat, the tallest dune in Europe, in the Arcanchon Bay: it takes around 45 minutes from Bordeaux, but you will have the opportunity to see one of the most magnificent natural sights in the world. From the top of the hill (110 meters above the sea) you can relax and enjoy the view.
Once back in Bordeaux, you will be driven to the train station, where you will take the train back to Paris.
✓ Plan your trip in advance
✓ Wear good shoes!
✓ In Mont-Saint-Michel, tides can rise above 50 feet!
✓ Don’t worry, you will have free time to relax and to visit the sights which are not on the program!
✓ On Sundays, you will find amazing and crowded markets in Bordeaux
✓ In the Loire Valley, guided tours are generally available at the entrance of the castles for free or for a few additional euros. Be sure to check the end time as not to miss the departure of the minivan for the rest of the excursion.