PARIS, NORMANDY, LOIRE VALLEY & THE CHAMPAGNE REGION
Discover the heart of France on this enchanting tour taking us from the famous “City of Lights” through historic Normandy and on to the lovely Loire Valley and Champagne region. No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, and Arc de Triomphe plus enjoy dinner in the city’s famous Montmartre area. We’ll also take in the country’s natural beauty with visits to Giverny and Monet’s House & Gardens which inspired the famous impressionist painter’s most famous works. Explore Mont Saint-Michel with its medieval abbey and take a step back in history to learn about one of our most famous days in history: D-Day. In the Loire Valley and the Champagne region, we’ll visit some of France’s most stunning châteaux like Château Chambord and Château de Chenonceau and enjoy wine tastings!
For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.
Did you know that you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 10 or more travelers.
- 2 nights in Paris
- 3 nights in Normandy
- 2 nights in Loire Valley
- 2 nights in the Champagne Region
- City Tour of Paris—Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe & more!
- Monet’s House & Gardens (Giverny)
- Versailles Optional Excursion
- Mont St. Michel (Normandy)
- Normandy Beaches
- Normandy American Cemetery
- Château de Chambord (Loire Valley)
- Château de Chenonceau (Loire Valley)
- Wine tastings in Loire Valley & Champagne region
- Reims Tour
- Round-trip airfare from New York Area (passengers may also book this tour without flights)
- airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Intra-France ground transportation and transfers
- Accommodations at first-class hotels
- 15 meals: 9 full buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 4 dinners
- Glass of wine with included dinners
- Comprehensive sightseeing tours including admissions fees
- Experienced English-speaking Tour Director throughout
Day 1: Depart USA
Your fascinating Heart of France tour begins this evening with an overnight flight to Paris.
*Passengers who did not purchase flights will join the tour in Paris on Day 2.
Day 2: Arrive in Paris (France)
Arrive in the beautiful city of Paris, also known as the “City of Lights.” For centuries, Paris has been one of the world’s most important cities and certainly one of the world’s most beautiful. Not only is Paris the capital of France, but it is considered the global capital for cuisine, art, fashion, and more. After meeting our Tour Director at the airport, we’ll travel to our hotel. We’ll have some free time to say “bonjour” to Paris before our welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening.
Crowne Plaza Republique or similar | Dinner
Day 3: Paris
Today we’ll enjoy a guided orientation tour of this magnificent city. We’ll see the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, Latin Quarter, Pantheon, Place Vendome, and the Paris Opera and more. The tour will end with the afternoon free to explore on our own or to take an optional tour to Versailles. In the evening, we’ll come together for our transfer to Montmartre, a famous section of the Right Bank or “Rive Droite” in Paris for a farewell dinner at an authentic Parisian restaurant.
| Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Paris/Normandy
After breakfast, we’ll travel to the lovely town of Giverny which rose to fame in 1883 when famous impressionist painter, Claude Monet, “discovered” the village and moved there. Here, we’ll visit the Monet House and Gardens and see firsthand the place that inspired many of Monet’s most famous works. Our next stop is Rouen, one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe located on the River Seine. Upon arrival in Rouen, the capital of Normandy, we’ll enjoy a walking tour and visit the famous and imposing Notre Dame cathedral, which was the subject of a series of paintings by none other than Claude Monet. We’ll also visit the Place du Vieux-Marche (or “Old Marketplace”), where Joan of Arc was executed for heresy in the 15th century and where a church was built in her name in 1979. We’ll continue to our hotel in Caen, the heart of the Normandy region. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner at our hotel.
Mercure Caen Côte de Nacre or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Mont Saint-Michel
Note: Mont Saint-Michel is hilly with lots of stairs and might pose a challenge for those with difficulty walking.
Today we’ll travel to the rugged coast of Normandy and savor breathtaking views of magnificent Mont Saint-Michel which was built on an isolated island in the gulf of Saint-Malo. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mont Saint-Michel is reached by causeway. The lower towers and medieval sea wall protect a small village, capped magnificently by the commanding Abbey dedicated to the Archangel Michael. We’ll enjoy a visit of the spectacular interior of the Abbey which was designated as a monument historique in 1874. Prior to the causeway, Mont Saint-Michel was an isolated island that pilgrims could approach mindful of a tide that could seep in at any time. Afterwards, we’ll return to Caen.
Day 6: Normandy Beaches/American Cemetery & Memorial
Today we’ll experience and learn about one of the most famous days in history: D-Day. We’ll visit the Normandy Beaches including Omaha Beach near the coastal village of Colleville-sur-Mer. Omaha was one of the principal beachheads where the U.S. Army stormed ashore on D-Day (June 6th, 1944). Explore Pointe du Hoc, located between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, where a group of American Army Rangers defied all odds by scaling a massive cliff at a critical moment during the invasion. Continue to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a spectacular and emotional setting located on a bluff overlooking both Omaha Beach and the English Channel. We’ll later visit the city of Bayeux, home of the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry and the fortress of William the Conqueror before we return to our hotel.
Day 7: Normandy/Château de Villandry/Loire Valley
This morning is free to explore Caen (Normandy) independently before we travel to the Loire valley, famous for its old-world villages and charming châteaux (castles). En route we’ll pay a visit to the Château and Gardens of Villandry, the last of the great Renaissance châteaux built on the banks of the Loire River. The estate’s renowned architecture is matched (if not surpassed) by its magnificent gardens, which are spread across three levels and are truly a sight to see. You’ll continue to your upscale hotel, where we’ll enjoy an included dinner.
Novotel Amboise Hotel or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Château de Chambord/Château de Chenonceau/Wine Tasting
This morning, we’ll visit Château de Chambord, the undisputed crown jewel of the region and arguably the emblem of the French Renaissance. Originally King Francois I’s weekend hunting lodge in the early 16th century, the Château evolved into one of the most expensive and excessive architectural projects by a French monarch. Next, we’ll continue to Château de Chenonceau, the second most visited château in France (after Versailles), where we’ll be blown away by the magical architecture that was constructed in harmony with the beautiful River Cher. On the way back to our hotel we’ll enjoy a delicious wine tasting at the magnificent Caves du Pere Auguste winery with its wide variety of refreshing wines to enjoy. After we return to our hotel the evening is at leisure.
Day 9: Loire Valley/Reims
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Champagne Region by coach. En route, stop in Château-Thierry which was the site of one of the first actions by the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during WWI. We’ll visit the Belleau Woods & Château Thierry monument prior to some brief time wandering around town to see the château and a quick lunch before continuing to Reims, the “City of Kings”. Upon arrival in Reims, explore the town with a local guide including the Notre Dame de Reims which was the place where French kings were coronated after 816. The tour will end at your hotel with the evening at leisure.
Mercure Reims Centre Cathedrale Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 10: Champagne
After breakfast, we’ll enjoy a tour through the famous Champagne Region visiting two local wineries with an included tasting and a farewell lunch. Our tour will end at our hotel with the evening free at leisure.
| Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11: Reims/USA
After breakfast, we’ll say “au revoir” to France as we head to the airport for our return flight to the USA. Our exciting journey ends as we touch down in the U.S.
*The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights today, on Day 11, in Reims.
Prices and dates below include round-trip airfare from the New York area (JFK or EWR). Travelers may choose to purchase the tour only, and arrange their own arrival in destination.
|2022 Tours||Tour Only||With Flights|
|Flights not available||Select|
|2023 Tours||Tour Only||With Flights|
* Departures designated as "Guaranteed" may be canceled or rescheduled only under Extraordinary Circumstances, for example in situations deemed to be unsafe or nonviable due to local conditions. See Terms & Conditions for full details.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplement applies when not sharing a room. Select a date above to see the rates for that specific departure.
Reservations and Payments
Reservations can be made online or by phone (1.800.337.7773) and will be confirmed upon receipt of your non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, which must be received at the time of reservation. Deposits are $300 per person. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Baggage fees may apply. Space and prices subject to availability. Please see the smarTours Terms and Conditions for complete booking information.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.
Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.
- From approx. $97 Per Person
Join an optional excursion to Versailles for a fascinating visit of the Château and the brilliant hall filled with mirrors and chandeliers, numerous galleries, salons, and royal apartments, all lavishly decorated and fitted with ornate furnishings. The magnificent fountains, supplied by almost 100 miles of pipes, spray jets of water in a forceful dance. You will also have an opportunity to explore the palace and grounds at your own pace.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Crowne Plaza Republique
10 Place de la République, 75011 Paris, FranceWebsite
Mercure Caen Côte de Nacre
2 Place Boston, Citis, 14200
Herouville Saint Clair, France
Novotel Amboise Hotel
17 Rue des Sablonnieres
37400 Amboise, France
Mercure Reims Centre Cathedrale Hotel
31 Boulevard Paul Doumer, 51100 Reims, FranceWebsite
Departing the U.S.: For the safety of everyone in the group, smarTours has implemented COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
Please note destination entry requirements are changing rapidly. smarTours will communicate entry requirements in your Tour Documents 10-14 days prior to departure. For up-to-date information, please click the links below.
- Entry requirements
- State Department Travel Advisory Updates (France)
- Center for Disease Control Updates & Information (France)
Your flights from New York to France and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure.
|2022: Sep 8||Newark (EWR)||United Airlines||6:40 PM||11:45 AM|
|2022: Oct. 13||New York (JFK)||American Airlines||5:45 PM||1:45 PM|
|2023: Apr. 20, May 18||New York (JFK)||British Airways||7:35 PM||9:00 PM|
|2023: Sep. 14||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least 3 ½ hours. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
The above airlines do not accept advance seat assignment. Actual seat assignment will be provided at the airport. Please note that smarTours is not involved with your seat assignments.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging the entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour: Land-only services start upon independent check in at hotel in Paris on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on our tour page. Land Services end after breakfast at Reims hotel on Day 11 of the itinerary listed on our tour page.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. Visas are not required for American passport holders. Non U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates as to the most current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 7 – 10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour.
You may expect daytime temperatures averaging in the 60’s and 70’s in the Summer and the 50’s and 60’s in the Spring and Fall.
NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING
The hotels used on this tour have several dining choices from coffee shop to specialty restaurants. Average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a cafe is about $25-30 per meal per person. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency. You can either exchange U.S. Dollars into local currency in advance of your trip, or you may use your debit card to withdraw local currency from an ATM. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (no more than 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece (no more than 18”x10”x8”). We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.