Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley Tour

11 days from $5,889 pp twin share

  •     Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
  •     Small group size with a maximum of 28 travellers
  •     Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
  •     Character hotels in superb locations
  •     Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
  •     Guaranteed group departures

Tour Overview

Sleep in a picturesque chateau in the Loire Valley, walk amongst the flowers of Monet’s Gardens and Chateau Villandry and dine on exquisite seafood in the ‘pirate town’ of St Malo. Stand on the Normandy beaches, visit magnificent Mont-Saint-Michel and sip Benedictine in a Palace! C’est magnifique…

Highlights

  • Relax over 3 nights on the verdant Normandy Coast in the classic seaside resort of Cabourg, see the historic Bayeux tapestry and visit the fascinating ’D’Day Landing Beaches and museum
  • Wander through Monet’s glorious gardens, Rouen where Joan of Arc was burned, visit Fécamp to sip Benedictine where it was invented and relax in ‘painting by numbers’ Honfleur
  • Stay 2 nights in the ‘pirate town’ of St Malo, explore magnificent Mont-Saint-Michel, the oyster capital of Cancale, medieval Dinan and the chic 18th century resort town of Dinard
  • Sleep 4 nights in an enchanting Chateau nestled in the spectacular Loire Valley, visit the famous city of Tours and relax in the pretty village of Langeais
  • Visit the ornate gardens of Chateau Villandry, historic Fontevraud Abbey and romantic Chateau Chenonceau. Explore Chinon and Amboise to visit Da Vinci’s Chateau du Clos Lucé
  • Visit the Atlantic port of La Rochelle, and sip Remy Martin in Cognac
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner in the first class Hotel Burdigala in Bordeaux

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Paris to Cabourg in Normandy

Your tour commences this morning in Paris. After meeting your Tour Manager, we board our coach and follow the River Seine drive north-west to Giverny for our first stop, a visit to the house and gardens of the impressionist artist Claude Monet. World famous, these colourful gardens with lily ponds and shaded walkways are instantly recognizable as the inspiration for so many of his classic artworks.
 
Lunchtime will be spent in the medieval city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. The old town still boasts wonderful half-timbered buildings and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Later we will continue to the Normandy Coast where we will stay the next three nights in the traditional resort town of Cabourg. 
 
Created as a fashionable French seaside resort in the 1880’s Cabourg still offers that ‘olde worlde’ experience of café lined, seaside promenades and smart belle époque villas and hotels. Your welcome drink and dinner tonight is a perfect way to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers. 
 
 
 
Meals:
D
Hotel:
Hotel Les Bains, Cabourg in Normandy

Day 2: Cabourg in Normandy

We will spend a fascinating morning driving through the lush Normandy countryside, dotted with small, pretty villages, ancient farms and apple orchards, to explore the famous WWII Normandy landing beaches. At Arromanches-les-Bains we will visit the fascinating Landing Beaches Museum. From here, looking out over the English Channel you will clearly see the remains of Mulberry ‘B’ Harbour, often referred to as the ‘key to Normandy’. This afternoon we stop in the historic town of Bayeux, which sits on the River Aure, and enjoy a visit to see the magnificent Bayeux Tapestry, depicting William the Conqueror’s invasion of Britain in 1066. 

Meals:
B

Day 3: Cabourg in Normandy

After time at leisure to explore Cabourg, we head east to explore the pretty harbour town of Honfleur which is located on the estuary where the River Seine meets the English Channel. Lined with 16th, 17th and 18th century houses the old harbour is filled with colourful fishing boats. It is no wonder it was one of the classic ‘painting by numbers’ settings. Make sure you wander around the cobbled stone streets to find the perfect bistro for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Palais la Benedictine in Fécamp. 500 years ago a Benedictine alchemist discovered a secret elixir that we now know as Benedictine liqueur. Built by Alexandre le Grand who made a fortune with this brew, the opulent interior of the imposing gothic/renaissance style palace is rich in art, sculptures and a wonderful old library. Following a guided tour we will enjoy a tasting of this ancient elixir. 

Meals:
B

Day 4: St Malo in Brittany

Crossing to Eastern Normandy, we visit the amazing structure of le Mont-Saint-Michel. The 11th century Romanesque abbey is perched atop a rocky outcrop linked to mainland France by a kilometre long, narrow causeway. The giant monastery dominates the tiny village below, and the entire complex has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. 
 
Entering Brittany we make an afternoon stop in the ‘oyster village’ of Cancale. The region’s giant oysters have been famous since pre-Roman times, and from the old fishing port you will see the seven square kilometres of oyster beds stretching out to sea. Take time to stop in one of the pretty fishing house restaurants and try a few freshly shucked oysters, and maybe a glass of wine. 
We will stay the next two nights on the Emerald Coast, in the ‘pirate town’ of St Malo. 
 
 
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Grand Hotel Courtoisville, St Malo -Brittany

Day 5: St Malo in Brittany

This morning we will visit the attractive and beautifully preserved village of Dinan. The whole upper town is filled with historic, half-timbered houses which date back up to 600 years. Down near the old port you find stone houses and bridges, and cobbled stone streets lined with craft and artisan shops. The town still has kilometres of ancient ramparts and a massive viaduct built by Gustav Eiffel. Next we enjoy lunchtime in the classic sea side resort of Dinard, with its sea front that is lined with 19th century villas and townhouses. Time to shop and enjoy lunch in the old town centre. Later we catch the ferry across to the old port of St Malo. Arriving by boat we can get the very best view of this fully walled and fortified town. Originally an island stronghold, the town grew on the wealth bought in between the 16th and 18th centuries by the ‘authorized’ pirates and freebooters. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore the cobbled streets, alleys filled with shops and cafés. Perhaps enjoy the 2 km walk along the ramparts that completely encircle the old town.

Meals:
B

Day 6: The Loire Valley

Travelling south we make our way to the verdant Loire Valley where, during the 15th and 16th centuries, the Kings of France and their courtiers created their grand holiday palaces. First stop is in the city of Angers with its massive 13th century granite château. In the afternoon we will make a stop in Saumur, famous for its castle and elite riding school. Later we reach our wonderful Château hotel where we spend the next four wonderful nights. This evening we enjoy dinner in our Château. 
 
 
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Château De Rochecotte
Chateau Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France
It was once said that if all the châteaux of the Loire were ladies at a masked ball it would be Chenonceau you would beg to dance with! Set amidst beautiful gardens and straddling the River Cher, we of course include a visit to the gardens and interior of this magnificent Château. But to do the Loire Valley justice we stay four nights here in our own château, and we also take in so many of those other ladies at that ball from Villandry and da Vinci’s Château du Clos Lucé, as well as some of their suitors… Amboise, Langeais, Chinon and Fontevraud. Uniquely Albatross! 

Day 7: The Loire Valley

After a leisurely start, we make our way to the city Tours. As you would expect of a regional capital there is much to see, from the Cathedral Saint-Gatien and the adjacent cloisters of La Psalette, to the shopping, the vieille ville (old town) and Place Plumereau filled with al fresco cafés and bars. A great place to relax over lunchtime. Late afternoon, after time at leisure back at our Château to relax, freshen up and explore our château and its magnificent garden walks, we enjoy a leisurely evening in nearby Langeais. The enormous château which dominates the beautiful village can still be visited, and this evening you will have the chance to discover your own intimate bistro for dinner. 
Meals:
B

Day 8: The Loire Valley

This morning we enjoy a visit to the magnificent Château Chenonceau, spanning the River Cher on a series of graceful arches. Possibly one of the most photographed of the Loire châteaux this was the former home of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. Explore the stunning gardens and interior of the château. Later we stop to explore the charming riverside town of Amboise, on the banks of the River Loire, with its Royal Palace, where Leonardo da Vinci once lived as a guest of King Francois I. We have included a visit to da Vinci’s residence – Château du Clos Lucé. Here in the underground rooms you will see on display, forty machines designed by this amazing inventor. After freshening up back at our château your evening will be free in the old town of Tours around Place Plumereau, to discover your own provincial bistro for dinner. 
 
Meals:
B

Day 9: The Loire Valley

Our first stop of the day will be to visit the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud. Built nearly 1000 years ago, this is the largest Abbey in Western Europe. The Romanesque abbey church with its royal tombs and the renaissance cloister, have all been beautifully restored and the complex is now a museum and cultural centre. Lunchtime will be spent exploring Chinon, with its massive castle looming over the narrow cobbled streets of this riverside town. Time permitting in the afternoon we will detour from our route to pass through Usee, to make a photo stop at the 16th century château overlooking the Loire and Indre River Valley. Accredited as the castle in Charles Perrault’s story ‘Sleeping Beauty’ it is also sometimes called the ‘Castle of Dreams’. We then visit the gardens of Château Villandry which got its inspiration from the classic gardens of the 16th and 18th century. Different levels of the gardens include ponds, topiary, ornamental hedges and an extraordinary kitchen garden covering 12,500 square metres. Dinner tonight is included at your Château. 

Meals:
B
D

Day 10: Bordeaux

Arriving on the coast, our lunchtime stop will be in delightful La Rochelle, arguably one of the most attractive and unspoiled towns on France’s Atlantic seaboard. Later we make a stop in the town of Cognac to enjoy a tour though the famous Remy Martin Distillery, including a mini train ride and tasting. We arrive in the bustling city of Bordeaux, on the banks of the Garonne, and make our way to our centrally located hotel. Tonight enjoy a splendid farewell dinner at our hotel. 
 
 
 
Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Hotel Burdigala

Day 11: Bordeaux

Your tour ends today after breakfast. 

Meals:
B

Incredible Value Inclusions

  • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
  • Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
  • 10 nights specially selected hotel accommodation 
  • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
  • Breakfast daily 
  • 5 dinners including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Welcome drink in Paris
  • All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
  • Local guide for visit and tasting at Palais la Benedictine in Fécamp
  • Personal audio system whilst on tour
  • Albatross travel app
  • Free WiFi available on most coaches and at hotels
  • End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guide
 

Your Hotels

Hotel Les Bains, Cabourg in Normandy

Hotel Les Bains, Cabourg in Normandy - 3 nights

The modern ‘Les Bains’ spa hotel is beautifully located right on the broad sandy beach, just a 5 minute walk to the heart of the town. Our sea view rooms have a balcony and offer all the comfort and facilities you would expect in a 4-star hotel.
 
 
Grand Hotel Courtoisville, St. Malo

Grand Hotel Courtoisville, St. Malo - 2 nights

Set in its own gardens only 50 metres from the sea, this first class, elegant spa hotel has been attracting visitors for over 100 years. Set in a grand, stone, villa style building the hotel boasts an indoor pool and excellent spa facilities. 

Château De Rochecotte, The Loire Valley

Château De Rochecotte, The Loire Valley - 4 nights

Surrounded by 20 acres of parks and gardens this 4-star hotel is set within an 18th century château in the Loire Valley. Exuding french luxury and style encapsulating the extravagance of a bygone era, the Château de Rochecotte features elegant rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. 

Hotel Burdigala, Bordeaux

Hotel Burdigala, Bordeaux - 1 night

The Hotel Burdigala offers contemporary refinement within a 5-star setting and is located within walking distance of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux as well as the historic centre of Bordeaux. The hotel restaurant offers a fantastic menu and a fine selection of wines are available at the Bacchus bar. 
 

Dates and Prices

Start Date End Date Price Per Person Guaranteed to Depart Availability
14 Jun 2017 24 Jun 2017 AUD $5,889 Space Limited - Call Now
14 May 2018 23 May 2018 Space Available
11 Jun 2018 20 Jun 2018 Space Available
30 Jul 2018 8 Aug 2018 Space Available
29 Aug 2018 7 Sep 2018 Space Available

No Additional 'On Tour' Costs

Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!

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