Roma Randles, Lingua Musica Founder & Cultural Advisor
Deborah Tresise, Tour Leader & Manager
Discover the magic of France
- Enjoy a mini breaks rich in French history and culture.
- Indulge in the richness of French art, history and culture, from Parisian elegance to the breathtaking beauty of the Dordogne region, steeped in fascinating history and surrounded by castles, chateaux and vineyards, concluding with a stay at the Relais Saint Jacques situated along the Pilgrim Trail of Saint Jacques.
Per person, twin-share: About AUD$4,500
Single Supplement: About AUD$950
- 8 nights accommodation in 3/4* hotels including all breakfasts.
- All transportations (private a/c buses, high speed rail journeys).
- Lunches or dinners as per the Itinerary.
- All guided excursions mentioned in Itinerary.
- 4 x classical music performances.
- Qualified and experienced local guides in all locations.
- Services of Lingua Musica throughout tour.
What is not included:
- International air fares
- Transfer from the international airport to the Hotel Le Regent at the commencement of the tour
- Expenses of a personal nature, including room service and mini bar charges
- Porterage charges, apart from one bag per person porterage where arranged
Departing 9th September 2020
We start our beautiful short tour in Paris, France's capital and major European city, global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Paris is often referred to as the city of love and romance, with its 19th-century cityscape criss-crossed by beautiful tree-lined wide boulevards and its many bridges spanning the River Seine.
Our boutique Hotel Le Regent is an historical French residence of charm and comfort right in the middle of the lively Latin Quartier, within an easy walk to the many of the most important attractions, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Musée du Louvre, Musée des Artes Décoratifs, Musée de Cluny, Eglise Saint-Sulpice and of course the River Seine, with its vibrant Parisian markets and street artists situated along its banks and its historic islands with their myriad of tiny streets and traditional Parisian stores, the Ile de La Cité and the smaller Ile Saint-Louis.
Day 1: Paris
e meet in the late afternoon for our Welcome Briefing. Our local guide will then take us on an interesting stroll through the bustling narrow streets of this fascinating quartier, with its multitude of cafes, bookstores, boutiques, antiques and flowers. This quartier is also home to the famous Ecole des Beaux Arts. Our first Parisian experience will conclude with our Welcome Dinner at the famous Le Procope, the oldest restaurant in Paris.
Day 2: After breakfast we will set out for a guided walk, including via minibus, to the Musée Rodin. Following a talk about the life and works of Rodin there will be ample time to admire the works of Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917), forever the supreme master of sculpture, and to wander through this so beautiful and interesting small chateau with its delightful gardens. We will lunch in the charming Restaurant Rodin, situated in the gardens.
Our afternoon will be spent at one of the most interesting of the Parisian Museums, La Musee National du Moyen Age, located in the famous Boulevard St Michel.
We will make our way back to our hotel via an easy stroll along the Boulevard St Germain and including a visit to the wonderful medieval Eglise St Germain and an interlude for a coffee or aperitif at the Cafe de Flore, Les Deux Magots or another of the very famous cafes frequented by Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and their renowned associates. Their animated discourse of yesteryear readily spring to mind. These cafes were the centre of the Existentialism movement. The Boulevard St Germain remains today to be the top intellectual and cultural site for Parisian life.
Evening at leisure. Time for you to explore the very lively Parisian Latin Quarter, right on our doorstep.
Day 3: This morning we set off on another journey of discovery, again through the Latin Quartier, however in the opposite direction towards the famed Ile de La Cité and its Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (sadly still not restored following the devastating fire of 2019). We will also visit one of the most famous bookstores in the world, Shakespeare and Sons, situated on the Left Bank. This is a remarkable institution, originally started in 1919 by the undaunted efforts of American, Sylivia Beach. We will continue along Rue Saint Louis en L'Isle, with its numerous pretty cafes, where we will enjoy a traditional Parisian lunch. An absolute must along this routei is the beautiful little Eglise Louis en Lille, with its baroque interior, so calm and restful, a welcome soujourne from the bustle of the Parisian streets. Our time in Paris may coincide with one of the classical performances regularly held in this Eglise.
We will have time to rest before attending dinner and a Music Performance later in the evening.
Day 4: Today we have set aside for you to enjoy independent discovery. Options include a visit Musée de l'Orangerie of Monet's Water Lillies fame, wander through the Jardin Tuileries, Le Louvre or the Musée Dorsay. All are equally wonderful. Or simply explore Paris in its entirety using the famous "hop on/ hop off" tourist bus service.
Day 5: Deauville/ Honfleur
Departing after breakfast we transfer to Gare Saint Lazarre for our comfortable 2 hour first class TGV train from Paris to Deauville. On arrival at Deauville/ Trouville we will be met by our driver as well as our local escort who will take us on a short walking tour of this elegant seaside city. You will have ample time to peruse the glamorous shops as well as stroll along the surprisingly wide sands of this fashionable resort, and to enjoy lunch wherever you wish.
Later in the afternoon we rejoin our minibus (with our luggage stored safely) and embark on a delightful drive through the Normandy countryside, arguably one of the prettiest regions of rural France. Within the hour, we will arrive at beautiful Honfleur, situated on a charming port. What a place!!! An enchanting maze of cobblestoned streets and squares, intriguing squares, tucked away delights as well as the abundance of boutique stores specialising in a vast array of delights, ranging from local salt to clothing finery and exotic sweets and liquers, including of course the local Normandy Cavados. You will delight in the variety of art and creativity displayed in the windows of the local ateliers.
Most intriguing is the special architecture of Honfleur .... half timbered structures in every direction, from houses to hotels to halls and gorgeous facades of churches, and including the home and studio of Honfleur's noteable resident, composer Erik Satie.
We stay in Honfleur in the Hotel Le Cheval Blanc, overlooking the pretty port and its fishing boats. Time to settle in before heading our to dinner in the port and recital to be held in the home of Erik Satie.
Day 6: Musee de la Tapisserie, Bayeux
After breakfast we embark on an excursion to visit the famed Musée de la Tapisserie, situated in close by Bayeux. This incredible work of art depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. Thought to date from the 11th century, this great work is absolutely huge in outline, incorporating some seventy scenes, many with Latin titles, embroided on a linen cloth with coloured woollen yarn. In Bayeux we will also visit the beautiful cathedral and you will have time to wander at will, having lunch where you choose.
We will arrive back at our charming Hotel Le Cheval Blanc with time to rest before dinner and perhaps our recital, if not the evening before.
Day 7: D-Day landings, Pointe du Hoc and Monet, Giverny
Our excursion today will be to the D-Day Landings, an hour's drive away. Pointe du Hoc is considered to be an excellent location for an overall view of the very long miles of beaches which togather constitute the D-Day Landings. The area covers some fifty miles and there are different categories of Landing Beaches, according to the countries involved ... American, Canadian, English etc. All in all, it is an area which witnessed the most courageous and triumphant endeavours which saw the liberation of France .... and ultimately the end of WW2. Our local guide will tell the story so strongly, and one gains so much information simply never fully known about.
Following a casual lunch in Deauville, we will take a comfortable drive to Claude Monet's beautiful home with its exquisite gardens at Giverny. You will have time to wander, recognising the many scenes portrayed in Monet's many famous paintings. His famed Water Lillies series is exhibited at the Musée de l'Orangerie which you may visit during your time in Paris.
This evening we will stay at the medieval riverside town of Vernon, a short drive away. Dinner will be at a nearby artistic restaurant.
Day 8: Chateauroux and Nohant
Departing after breakfast, today we will drive to Gare d'Austerlitz, Paris, from where we will embark on TGV train travel to Chateauroux. We will be met at the station by our driver, and a 20 minute drive in our private minibus will bring us to Nohant, situated in the valley of the River Indre, and its very beautiful and special Chateau Nohant ... for seven years, the home of Frederic Chopin and his lover, George Sand. It is 210 years now since Chopin's birth in 1810 and this beautiful area of Nohant and its chateau are more interesting and popular than ever. These famous personages engaged in a very intense affaire, while at the same time working separately on their own artistic creations. Weekends at Chateau Nohant were lively and cultural affairs, frequented by their friends and associates, Franz Liszt and other leading intellectuals of the day. All of the furniture and accoutrements of the chateau have been preserved in their original arrangements, which makes for its delightful engagement with the many visitors each day.
We will spend the day visiting Chateau Nohant and the many locations associated with the pair, including lunch in a pretty setting and ending with a Chopin recital, before winding our way back through the gorgeous French countryside, to Chateauroux where we will stay for two nights at the charming Relais Saint Jacques hotel, with its expansive and exquisite gardens and situated along the Pilgrim Trail of Saint Jacques de Compostelle.
Our final evening on tour will be spent in this charming hotel and including our special Farewell Dinner.
Day 9: Our delightful short break discovery tour will conclude after breakfast. A transfer will be provided from the hotel to the Gare de Chateauroux for your TGV travel back to Paris.