Bienvenue a Paris! Let’s explore an area of France full of history, beauty, culture and intrigue. Northern of France, an area I had not visited before was more than I expected. Rich in history, beauty and culinary delights it was an immersive experience perfect for the discerning traveller. I enjoyed the small group experience of Back-Roads Touring complete with a local, informative tour leader and professional driver. In the comfort of a Mercedes minivan, 15 of us eagerly took of on a 9 day journey of discovery.
We first stopped in Giverny to visit Monet’s Garden. Before that we went on a walking tour to see the grave of Monet, a commonwealth grave where 7 british soldiers on a Lancaster plane that crashed nearby are buried and a dolmen (which should have cured all of your skin problems) that are in the graveyard, just next to the church.
After we’d left Giverny we stopped for a quick photo stop at the castle and bridge (where the old water mills would have been) in Vernon.
We then left for Harcourt were we visited the arboretum (we saw some fantastic Lebanon cedar trees, a magnificent plane tree amongst other remarkable trees) and the castle before tasting some local delicacies.
We then got to our hotel (des loges) for two nights in Honfleur where we had a first group dinner at the recommended “le bistro du port”.
The destinations and experiences were plentiful, however the most interesting included Giverny and Monet’s Gardens.
The picturesque seaside town of Honfleur, Normandy and it’s war history with visits to Ranville, Bayeux, Omaha beach and the American cemetery in Colleville sur Mer.
Then onto stunning Mont Saint Michel and its famous and breathtaking Abbey, where I stayed for the midday mass service.
Other points of interest included the gastronomic experiences of local French cuisine, mussels, oysters, crepes and delicious local wines. We explored the famous Chateaux’s learning about there history, restorations, and rather colourful pasts.
We walked through vineyards and apple orchards, including a very special stop at a 10th century underground cave in the Loire Valley, where we were fortunate enough to be invited to a private tasting of a 2003 reserve with a local winemaker.
Our tour concluded with a visit to the quaint town of Chinon and Chartres’s stunning cathedral, before heading back to Paris. With time to spare, discovery around this city of lights ended perfectly with a special finding of a Roof Top Bar in the heart of Paris offering stunning 360 degrees views of Paris at sunset, the perfect ending to an incredible French Sojourn!
Contact me to book, Au revoir for now!