Normandy & Loire Valley 2022

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Only one departure!
From$6,680 pp
Only one departure!
From$6,680 pp
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13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : September 13
Start: Paris, France
End: Paris, France

Photo Credit: Les Jardins d’Etretat © Clara Ferrand- Normandy Tourism

Normandy & Loire Valley: 2 nts Rouen, 2 nts Varengeville sur mer, 1 nt Cabourg, 2 nts Bayeux, 2 nts Chinon, 3 nts Paris

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book. 

Explore the gardens, agricultural landscapes, villages, towns and history of two of France’s most beautiful regions: Normandy and the Loire Valley. Beginning with Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, we finish with the grand gardens of Versailles in Paris. Along our route we’ll visit some 20 gardens, among them the very stunning and futuristic Jardines d’Etretat overlooking the sea; the rose gardens of Château de Mesnil Geoffroy; the Château de Boutemont with its red garden and topiary caterpillar; and Villandry with its most magnificent and amazing potager, a vegetable garden extraordinare. There will be visits to a market, a working apple orchard, a cheese farm and a winery, and tours of Juno Beach, medieval Bayeux, Rouen and Paris. Join us!

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / MAX 18 GUESTS

Tour Details

Explore the gardens of France and more…

– Monet Garden with guide
– Chateau de Canon Gardens with guide
– Juno Beach Centre & Park with guide
– Chateau Villandry with guide
– Versailles Palace Gardens and Park with guide
– Cheese Farm with tasting, Loire Wine Cellars with tasting

 

Pick Up Location & TIme

Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris)  (Google Map)
Time: TBA – Meet tour guide and group in arrivals

Drop off Location & Time

Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris)  (Google Map)
Time: TBA 

Price Includes

  • 12 nights' in 3-4 star hotels
  • Motor Coach with a/c & panoramic windows (based on a 34 seater),
  • 4 x dinners, 3 course (without drinks) & coffee at hotels
  • Tour guide for duration
  • Entrance included to all attractions in the itinerary

Meals

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 0 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Gratuities to Driver and Guide
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Max 16 passengers ( small coach)

 

Your Tour Hosts: Sara Williams and Bernadette Vangool

Retired as the Horticultural Specialist, University of Saskatchewan, Sara Williams has been hosting garden
tours for over 20 years – to Great Britain, Ireland, and further afield to Turkey, Iceland and Morocco. She is the author of many gardening books, including Growing Fruit in Northern Gardens with Bob Bors; and with Hugh Skinner, Gardening Naturally: A chemical-free handbook for the Prairies, Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies, and Best Groundcovers and Vines for the Prairies.

Bernadette Vangool is a self-taught gardener who has been gardening on her little plot in Saskatoon for forty years. She joined the Saskatchewan Perennial Society Board in 2004 and has overseen the planting and maintenance of the Meditation and Heritage Rose gardens at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park since 2003 in a volunteer capacity. Bernadette enjoys traveling and has joined Sara on several gardening tours.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Tuesday, September 13Paris - Monet's Giverny Garden - Apple Orchard Visit - Rouen

Arrival into Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Meet your tour guide before departing for Normandy and Giverny with time for lunch. Begin your tour with a visit to Monet’s Giverny Garden – it was here that Claude Monet lived for 43 years, from 1883 to 1926. With a passion for gardening, as well as for colours, he conceived both his flower garden and water garden as true works of art. Walking through his house and gardens, visitors can still feel the atmosphere which reigned at the home of the Master of Impressionisms and marvel at the floral compositions and nymphets, which were his greatest sources of inspiration. Continue with a visit to an apple orchard farm with 4,000 apple trees, divided into 10 cider apple varieties. See how the cider is made using traditional methods. Transfer to Rouen for welcome dinner and overnight. (D)

Accommodation: Rouen Hotel de la Cathedrale (or similar)

Day 2 - Wednesday, September 14 Rouen - Angélique gardens - Valérianes gardens - Rouen

Breakfast. Walking tour of Rouen to include sights such as the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral, the marketplace where Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431, a Gothic belfry which has housed the communal bells and clock since its construction at the end of the 14th century and the Saint Joan of Arc Church Next you will visit the Angélique gardens, which have been created around a lovely manor house and has the feel of an English Country Garden – a large lawn edged with beautiful flower borders, narrow paths packed with plants and flowers, and roses in abundance are some of the features of this peaceful setting. Time for lunch at the Salin de Thé. Finish the day at the Valérianes gardens, situated deep in the heart of the countryside, this three-acre intimate garden is a subtle composition of perennials and roses and includes a fine collection of trees and hydrangeas. This garden generates feelings of contemplation, tranquillity and escape. Return to Rouen for overnight. (B)

Accommodation: Rouen Hotel de la Cathedrale (or similar)

Day 3 - Thursday, September 15 Rouen - Lyons-la-Forest - Agapanthe gardens - Chateau de Miromesnil - Varengeville sur Mer

Breakfast. Morning visit to Lyons-la-Forest – a hidden gem situated in the heart of Normandy’s largest forest, the Forêt domaniale de Lyons-La-Forêt. On arrival, visitors are met by an array of magnificent half-timbered, pink brick or tinted cob (clay and straw) houses. The village boasts tearooms, little restaurants, the odd hotel, antiques shops and the beautiful 18thcentury timber-framed covered market which the group will have time to explore. . Time for lunch before we leave Rouen. Visit to the Agapanthe gardens which have been developed over the last 20 years with a tapestry of verdant greens only possible in the northern, wetter parts of France, which are punctuated with white and blue flowers with masses of hydrangeas, wisteria and, of course, the wonderful agapanthus. Final stop of the day will be at Chateau de Miromesnil with its woodland setting, park, and a beautiful adjoining vegetable garden, which is divided into squares by grass walkways. The Park is enclosed by a high seventeenth century brick wall and has an old Cedar of Lebanon and notable collection of clematis. Dinner and overnight in Varengeville sur Mer. (B, D)

Accommodation: Varengeville sure mer Hotel de la Terrace (or similar)

Day 4 - Friday, September 16Varengeville sur Mer - L’Etang de Launay - Cheese Farm Visit - Le Jardin de Vastérival - Varengeville sur Mer

Breakfast. L’Etang de Launay belongs to Jean-Louis Dantec, a former art dealer. When he acquired this 6-hectare sloping land, there was no sign that it would become what it is known as today ‘a paradise on earth.’ Thanks to the humid and cool climate, the garden is home to thousands of species, such as hydrangeas, dogwoods, grasses, maples, prunus, conifers… and especially birch trees. Jean-Louis Dantec gardens with little outside help. Stop for lunch before visiting a working Cheese Farm to understand the process of cheese making. Afternoon visit to the well-known Le Jardin de Vastérival created by Princess Sturdza. The garden includes maples, conifers, hydrangeas and hellebores, arboretums, conservatories, and themed gardens such as the pleasure garden, water garden and botanical garden to just name a few! Dinner and overnight Varengeville sur Mer. (B,D)

Accommodation: Varengeville sure mer Hotel de la Terrace (or similar)

Day 5 - Saturday, September 17Varengeville sur Mer - Château de Mesnil Geoffroy - Etretat - Cabourg

Breakfast. Morning visit to the Château de Mesnil Geoffroy, boasting its French-style park that has kept its maze in period hedges. Straight alleys, gravelled terraces, topiaries, and small boxwood are some of the park’s features, but this gem is best known for being home to the largest private rose garden in Normandy with 2,000 roses and an astounding 1,756 different varieties. Divided into two parts, it is devoted partly to the history of roses and partly to perfumes. Stop for lunch. Continue with a visit to the gardens of Etretat, situated on top of the cliffs overlooking the iconic “Needle” rock cliff of the Etretat coast in Normandy. The blend of landscape art, land art sculptures, and dramatic natural landscape makes the gardens a delight for both garden and art lovers. Enjoy a walking tour along the cobblestone streets of Honfleur and discover the special atmosphere which inspired many impressionist painters such as Eugene Boudin and Claude Monet. Visit the Old Harbour, one of the most charming sites in the city. Admire the famous St. Catherine’s Church, the oldest wooden church in France. Overnight Cabourg. (B)

Accommodation: Mercure Cabourg (or similar)

Day 6 - Sunday, September 18 Cabourg - Chateau Champ de Bataille - Chateau de Boutemont - Château de Canon - Bayeux

Breakfast. Visit to the Chateau Champ de Bataille with its magnificent French-style gardens which offers visitors a breath-taking discovery of the philosophy of humanity through the 7 degrees of creation. Jean de La Varende wrote: “Here reigns magnitude. The decor only intervenes after the declaration of power.’ This idea guided Jacques Garcia when he recreated, starting from almost nothing. Next stop is the Chateau de Boutemont – a beautiful chateau in the style of a large medieval manor house, surrounded by pretty gardens in a mix of French and Italian styles. On the whole the gardens are very green with lots of topiaries, but it is the flourishing vegetation with the backdrop of the beautiful buildings that is the attraction. Stop for lunch. The third chateau of the day is the Château de Canon with its walled “chartreuse” gardens, which are unique in France and bear witness to the Age of Enlightenment. The composition is the same as it has always been since the mid-18th century; a mirror of water, formal flower beds, wild copses, streams, and canals and not to be missed – the chartreuses, genuine open-air greenhouses. Overnight Bayeux. (B)

Accommodation: Novotel Bayeux (or similar)

Day 7 - Monday, September 19Bayeux - Juno Beach Centre - Castillon-Plantbessin - Bayeux

Breakfast. Walking tour of Medieval Bayeux, the first city in France to be liberated following the 1944 Normandy Landings and best known for the Bayeux tapestry, made to commemorate events in the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The large Norman-Romanesque-Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux, consecrated in 1077, was arguably the original home of the tapestry. Included is a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry. Time for lunch before visit of the Juno Beach Centre, highlighting the contribution that Canada made to WWII. The permanent and temporary exhibits alternate between  areas of emotion, reflection, discovery, and remembrance. Wander through the Juno Park along JUNO Beach, which surrounds the museum and explore the historic site through the remains of the Atlantic Wall. Visit to the gardens of Castillon-Plantbessin, created by passionate gardeners 15 years ago, these gardens are a succession of thematic gardens. Garden of scents, oriental garden, English garden, terrace garden… enough to showcase more than 2,000 varieties of plants. Overnight Bayeux. (B)

Accommodation: Novotel Bayeux (or similar)

Day 8 - Tuesday, September 20Bayeux - Loire Valley - Château du Rivau - Chinon

Breakfast. Depart Normandy for our drive south to the Loire Valley. Lunch before visit to the Château du Rivau, a medieval Loire château in the midst of 14 fairy-tale gardens. Here all the senses are awakened with 500 varieties of fragrant roses and an extraordinary vegetable garden, providing produce for the château’s restaurant. See the medieval castle, which was fortified in the 15th century, the royal stables and the 14 gardens. Overnight Chinon. (B)

Accommodation: Chinon Hotel Lion d’Or (or similar)

Day 9 - Wednesday, September 21Chinon – Chateau de Villandry - Chateau Chenonceaux - Chinon

Breakfast. The Loire Valley is known as the ‘Garden of France’ and the Chateau de Villandry is the most amazing of all the Loire Valley Gardens. The gardens cover 9 hectares and include six distinct gardens including a water garden with ponds and fountains, an ornamental garden with intricate patterns of clipped boxes filled with different flowers according to the seasons, and an enormous vegetable garden. The vegetable garden is one of the most beautiful parts of the garden and will have you desperate to overhaul your vegetable plot when you get home. Lunch before visit to Chateau Chenonceaux gardens, which are made up of a number of individual gardens, the main two being those of Henry II’s wife Catherine de Medicis and his mistress Diane de Poitiers. There is also a maze, a green garden, and a cutting garden to see. Diane’s garden is a French formal garden, based on eight grass triangles, and in the centre is an ornamental fountain. Roses and 3000m of santolina form a part of the permanent structure of the garden. Catherine’s garden features an avenue of orange trees, climbing rose trees and flower borders on the edge of the moat. In 1825 the green garden was created for the Countess of Villeneuve who wanted an English style garden. End the day visiting wine cellars with tasting. Overnight Chinon. (B)

Accommodation: Chinon Hotel Lion d’Or (or similar)

Day 10 - Thursday, September 22Chinon - Chateau de Chaumont - Chaumont-sur-Loire - Paris

Breakfast. Visit to Chateau de Chaumont, where you will continue your association with Henry II’s wife and mistress – see the historic apartments such as the Chamber of Catherine de Médici, and the Chamber of Diane de Poitiers which are furnished in the 16th century style, then through to the private apartments such as the dining room and the main salon that are decorated in a more recent style. The grand spiral staircase in the centre of the castle is among the highlights. The gardens are less formal than those found at many of the Loire castles, you can stroll through the wooded parkland as well as seeing the kitchen garden. Lunch in Chaumont-sur-Loire before our drive for overnight in Paris. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin d’Eiffel (or similar)

Day 11 - Friday, September 23 Paris - Versailles - Paris

Breakfast. Today will be a full day visit of Versailles: The Palace of Versailles was once the residence of the French Kings; Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI and their courts, from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789. Admire its Baroque architecture, artworks, sumptuous decoration, and the furniture created by greatest craftsmen of the age. See the stunning Hall of Mirrors. Lunch in one of the Versailles restaurants. Outside, discover the gardens of Versailles and admire their artworks (more than 200 statues), fountains, ponds, flower beds and woodland. Visit the King’s Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the picturesque Queen’s Hamlet. Overnight Paris. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin d’Eiffel (or similar)

Day 12 - Saturday, September 24Paris - Jardin de Luxembourg - Tuilleries Gardens - Trocadero Gardens - Parc Andre Citroen - Paris

Breakfast. Enjoy a city tour of Paris including the Arc De Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and Champs Elysees. Stop and visit four of the gardens in the city. Jardin de Luxembourg designed in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, is one of the most centric and beautiful parks in Paris, overflowing with flowers and houses several metal benches surrounded by numerous statues and sculptures. Tuilleries Gardens, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is a
pleasant place for walking – admire the Maillol statues which stand alongside those of Rodin or Giacometti. Time for lunch. Trocadero Gardens was created for the Universal Exposition in 1937, and this green space offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. The centrepiece of the gardens is the famous Warsaw fountains which, with its 20 water cannons, offers a remarkable water display. Finally, Parc Andre Citroen is one of the newest parks in the capital with a beautiful view of the
Seine and the only green space in Paris that opens directly onto the river. The Park is divided into three themed areas: the Jardin Blanc, the Jardin Noir, and the big central park area. Farewell dinner and overnight Paris. (B, D)

Accommodation: Hotel Jardin d’Eiffel (or similar)

Day 13 - Sunday, September 25Paris

Breakfast. Transfer to Charles de Gaulle airport for return flight home, unless extending your stay. (B)

Dates and Prices:
Departure Dates Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2022: September 13  $6,680 $8,220

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected]  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

Map

Photos

Photo Credit: Les Jardins d’Etretat © Clara Ferrand- Normandy Tourism