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13-Day Specialty Tour Featuring

Giverny, Normandy, Loire Valley, Versailles and Champagne

Detailed Day-by-Day Specialty Tour Itinerary

RATED EXCELLENT WITH 500+ REVIEWS

2019 WINNER!! 3RD CONSECUTIVE YEAR!

RECOMMENDED BY FROMMER’S FRANCE!

2022 DATES: October 18-30 – 2 Spaces Available

2023 DATES: April 11-24 and October 16-28

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2023 Tour Price: US$12,998 per person double/twin occupancy, 13 Days/12 Nights

2023 Single supplement for those wanting a solo room, meaning NOT sharing with another traveler, add US$1,840.

Our 13-Day Specialty Tour is also available to book on a private group basis

Day-by-Day Itinerary:

 

Day 1: Guides meet guests at Charles de Gaulle airport at 1 pm for transfer to our hotel along the Normandy coast – Visit GIVERNY – D

 

  • Transfer to our hotel in Normandy
  • Visit at GIVERNY en-route to hotel.
  • We’ll check into the hotel and settle into rooms. Welcome orientation and dinner together this evening.
  • Dinner Included.


 

Day 2: Full Day – Guided visits of the D-Day landing beaches and cemeteries with our friend and specialist guide, Florent – B, L

 

normandy guide
ABOUT OUR NORMANDY GUIDE :
Our World War II specialist guide, Florent, is a French native married to an American, and lives in Normandy. With a strong passion for and profound knowledge of World War II history, Florent received his Bachelor’s degree in history in 2011 and Master’s degree in business and tourism in 2014 from universities in France. With his degrees in hand he set out to interview WWII veterans in order to learn and preserve their stories, and show his gratitude for what they did to liberate his country. He spent three years traveling around the United States in a camper to accomplish his goal. He has also worked for the American Cemetery and, as a tour guide, on the battlefields of Normandy before starting his own guiding company.

As the most knowledgeable and passionate WWII guide we’ve ever worked with, Florent brings an unparalleled wealth of knowledge to the table. His understanding of the events of WWII runs deep, and is evident when he shares the stories he learned from the 1,000+ veterans interviewed. He recounts WWII history with great passion linking facts with the stories he learned, as if he had been there by their side during the war. He left me speechless and, at moments, in tears, the first time I interviewed him. He dug deep, and did the necessary to track down veterans who had never been interviewed. Today, Florent remains friends with the men he interviewed. Many have since passed, but Florent has vowed to keep their memories alive through sharing their stories with those who come to Normandy.

  • BREAKFAST.
  • Set foot on Hoc Point, where bunkers and cliff overhangs were stormed by American Rangers on June 6th, 1944. Trudge along Omaha Beach where 34,000 soldiers made landfall on D-Day. Honor 9,000 fallen soldiers in the American Cemetery, with rank upon rank of white tombstones aligned along the coast. Discover Arromanches and what’s left of the artificial port made from scratch by our British allies.
  • LUNCH:  At a local brasserie near the beaches.
  • Evening return to the hotel where guests have the evening free.
  • DINNER independently in town. Guides will offer recommendations.
  • Breakfast and Lunch included today.

 


 

Day 3: A 2nd Day of WWII Beaches & Historical Visits, Tour & Tastings at our Favorite Calvados Producer and Distillery – B, L

 

  • BREAKFAST.
  • MORNING:  Another day of WWII Beaches & Historical Visits.
  • Lunch:  Together at a beautiful country hide-a-way.
  • Afternoon:  Tour and Tastings at our Calvados producer. Taste the best Calvados: 8 years old, 12 years old and out of age.
  • DINNER independently in town. Guides will offer recommendations.
  • Breakfast, and Lunch included today.

 

 


Day 4: Depart from hotel in Normandy to Transfer to the Loire Valley, Visit WWII memorial in Caen – B, D

 

  • BREAKFAST.
  • MORNING:  Enjoy your final breakfast in Normandy. We’ll visit the WWII memorial in Caen before departing to the Loire Valley.
  • We travel to the Loire Valley to the beautiful Renaissance village of Amboise for our 5 night hotel stay; our home base to journey back in time through the medieval and Renaissance periods of French history. Known as the valley of the kings, this region served as center stage for the reign of the House of Valois Kings. Our visits feature stories of great accomplishments, as well as the dirty details of what happened behind closed doors, of the royal court. Learn how the kings, queens and their courts entertained daily life both inside and outside the bedroom.
  • Lunch: Independently en-route to the Loire Valley.
  • Afternoon: Check-in at our hotel in Amboise, settle into rooms, explore Amboise village.
  • DINNER: Together at our favorite best kept secret owned by local friends.
  • Breakfast and Dinner included today.

 


Day 5: VIP Winery Tour, Tastings & Discovery at Friend’s Estate, Privately Hosted Lunch, Chenonceau Castle & Gardens – B, L

 

  • Loire Valley wine lunchBREAKFAST.
  • Morning:  WINERY TOUR, TASTINGs & DISCOVERY with my friends Fred & Louisa at their winery:  An exclusive invitation to visit our friends Fred and Louisa’s winery where we’ll go behind the scenes to learn about the region’s wines and the labor of love this couple has poured into their passion for wine-making.  Fred’s family has been in the wine-making business since the 15th century.
  • LUNCH:  Privately Hosted Lunch at our Family Friend’s Historical Wine Estate
  • Afternoon:  We say goodbye to Fred and Louisa and head to the Castle and Gardens of CHENONCEAU. A castle shaped by women, this castle represents the greatest accomplishments of royal women during the Medieval and French Renaissance periods. Enjoy stories of Queens and their courts, royal love affairs, the first ever fireworks display in France, parties and deception, and how royal debt nearly led this castle to be confiscated by the French state.
  • EARLY EVENING: Return to our hotel in Amboise.
  • DINNER:  Independently in Amboise village. Stroll through the village, enjoy cocktails at sunset overlooking the Loire River and dinner at one of the many favorite places in the village.
  • Breakfast and Lunch Included Today

 


 

Day 6: Chambord Castle & Gardens, Cooking Class at Home with Dinner Together – B, D

 

  • BREAKFAST.
  • Morning into AFTERNOON: Tour Chambord Castle, the masterpiece of our Renaissance King Francis I. We depart to  Chambord Castle. There will be an introduction to the history of Chambord Castle and the region as it existed during the reign and presence in the Loire of the House of Valois and early Bourbon kings.  We share stories about two of France’s most influential Kings, Francis I and Louis XIV, their royal lifestyles, and personal guests at the castle, as well as steamy stories of what went on in the personal lives of the kings, queens, and their courts.
  • LUNCH:  Independently at Chambord
  • Evening: Fun culinary class with celebrity Chefs, Friends, a husband and wife team, Christophe and Angelique at their Family Home. Master Chef Angelique and “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (MOF) and Master Chef Christophe welcome us for an evening at their family home.  Christophe worked alongside his friend, celebrity Chef Alain Ducasse on the development of Ducasse’s new worldwide culinary project and “Ecole de Cuisine” concept. Both are passionate about the culinary arts, and have received top awards from and along with Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon.
  • Dinner: Following cooking class, we toast to a wonderful evening with our Chefs with cocktails followed by a gourmet dinner together.
  • Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today

 


 

Day 7: Royal Castle & Town of Blois, Lunch Together – B, L

 

  • loire valley tour itineraryBREAKFAST.
  • Morning:  We depart to the town of Blois. Guided tour of the historic districts of Blois town and the Royal Castle of Blois. We’ll share stories about some of the most note worthy events of French history: a Queen’s death, two marriages that would forever change the future of France, important accomplishments by the French monarchy, an assassination, royal deaths, 2 sisters, details of the rigors of daily life during the Renaissance, and quirky facts about royal marriages and deaths.
  • LUNCH: Together at one of our favorite Chef’s restaurant.
  • Afternoon: Leisure time to explore town and shop (no forced shopping)
  • DINNER:  Independently in Amboise village. Stroll through the village, enjoy cocktails at sunset overlooking the Loire River and dinner at one of the many favorite places in the village.
  • Breakfast & Lunch are Included Today

 


 

Day 8: Royal Castle of Amboise, Leisure Time, Dinner Together – B, D

 

  • cooking at homeBREAKFAST.
  • Morning: Our day begins at the fairy tale, Royal Castle of Amboise, a spectacular masterpiece where you’ll hear tales of love, heartbreak, vengeance, gore, and power struggles. The castle reflects all of the refinements of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and embodies the qualities of a traditional French royal chateau.
  • Lunch: Independently in Amboise
  • Early Afternoon: If you didn’t get a chance to visit Clos Luce and wish to do so, take time following our visit at Amboise castle to visit the famous Clos Luce, home of Leonardo da Vinci who came to live the final years of his life as guest of French King Francis I or explore the village.
  • Dinner: Together in the countryside.
  • Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today

 


 

Day 9: Departure from the Loire Valley to Versailles, Tour Chateau de Versailles, Check-in at Versailles Hotel, Dinner Together – B, L

 

  • BREAKFAST.
  • Morning: This morning we check out of our Loire Hotel, and depart to visit the Chateau de Versailles and enjoy a guided tour of the Chateau.
  • Lunch: Gourmet Picnic Lunch prepared by friends, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chef and his Master Chef wife, en-route for Versailles.
  • Afternoon: Check-in at our hotel in Versailles.
  • EARLY Evening: At leisure to explore or enjoy drinks at a local cafe.
  • Dinner: Independently in Versailles.
  • Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today

 


 

Day 10: Departure from Versailles to Champagne, Check-in at Reims Hotel, Champagne House Tour & Tasting at Pommery, Welcome Dinner hosted by Pommery – B, D

 

  • champagne tourBREAKFAST.
  • Morning: This morning we check out of our Versailles hotel, and depart for Reims, capital of Champagne.
  • Lunch: Independently en-route. Guides will offer recommendations.
  • Afternoon: Check-in at our hotel in Reims.
  • EARLY Evening: We embark on our first Champagne House Tour and Tasting at Pommery.
  • Dinner: Welcome Dinner privately hosted at Pommery Champagne House.
  • Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today

 


 

Day 11: Champagne House Tour & Tasting at RUINART, On to EPERNAY for a Gourmet Bistrot Lunch, Afternoon: Champagne House Tour & Tasting at Moët & Chandon– B, L

 

  • OTBP Champagne TourBREAKFAST.
  • Morning: Ruinart : This morning we visit one of the most prestigious Champagne producers of the region. Ruinart was one of the very first Champagne producers – recording the first wine with “bubbles” in 1729.  Onward to Epernay there will be opportunities to view the vineyards.
  • LUNCH: Together in Epernay at our favorite gourmet spot.
  • AFTERNOON:  Moët & Chandon:  Champagne House Tour & Tastings at the House of Moët & Chandon.
  • LATE AFTERNOON: Return to Reims.
  • Dinner: Independently in Reims. Guides will offer recommendations.

 


 

Day 12: Champagne House Tour & Tastings at MUMM and TAITTINGER – B, D

 

  • BREAKFAST.
  • Morning:: Champagne House Tour & Tastings at the House of Mumm.
  • LUNCH: Independently in Reims. Guides will offer recommendations.
  • AFTERNOON: Champagne House Tour & Tastings at the House of Taittinger.
  • LATE AFTERNOON: Return to hotel and remainder of late afternoon for leisure time to visit personal interests. Visit the Cathedral where the Kings of France were crowned, the historic districts of Reims and other historical monuments, such as the Basilica St. Remi.
  • Dinner: Gourmet Michelin-star Farewell Dinner Together to celebrate our travels together through four magical areas of France!

 


 

Day 13: Tour Concludes, Transfer from Reims to Charles de Gaulle Airport – B

  • BREAKFAST.
  • Morning:: Check out of our Reims hotel, and departure to Charles de Gaulle airport for return home. If you’re planning to stay on Paris and are departing by train back to Paris, please contact us, and we can help to coordinate your transfer.

 


 

Everything Included in the price of this Specialty Tour:

  • Fully Guided sightseeing, walks, excursions, and cultural visits throughout the tour by professional Off the Beaten Path, LLC (OTBP) Company Tour Guides. OTBP Guides are UNESCO award winners, contributors to various France Travel Guidebooks, and are accomplished authors. OTBP Tour guides are professional France history and regional-specific history specialists who make learning the tidbits, gossip, anecdotes and stories of France fun and memorable throughout the tour.
  • 11 nights luxury boutique accommodations in each region.
  • 24 Meals Included – 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners.
  • All premium wines, champagnes, and non-alcoholic beverages at group meals!
  • All entry/participation fees for all visits, activities and excursions as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Roundtrip transfers on Day 1 and Day 6 of the tour at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
  • Bottled water provided daily.
  • All ground transportation throughout the tour.
  • COMFORT ZONE– 100% Easy. Designed for the interests of all walking abilities.

 

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:  International airfare to/from France, entry fees for optional visits not specified in the above itinerary, some meals as noted in the itinerary, laundry services, personal purchases, gratuities to guides and professional driver.

Authentic Experiences Throughout!  Experience France like family friends going beyond tourist hotspots to meet and spend time with some of France’s best loved and highly recognized artisans, chefs, and winery owners who are our family friends, and welcome you to their workshops, kitchens, and family homes!

 


 

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RATED 5 STARS BY HUNDREDS OF HAPPY TOUR GUESTS

OVER 500 VERIFIED FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ON TRUSTPILOT

A WORD FROM Our Guests:

“This was my third trip in the same number of years with Christy and Off the Beaten Path. While on her trips you can tell how much effort there is on the off season to make every single week perfect. From the pick up at the train station to the teary goodbye at the airport, everything is perfectly planned and executed. The hotel in St. Remy is magical, and the tour guides Philippe and David are exceptional. If you are considering a trip with OTBP, go for it and come home with new friends, a love of Provence and a longing to return as soon as you can!” — Beth Bower

“We had an excellent tour with Christie and her crew in the Loire valley. We did things that only a true insider would have access to-dinner at a Michelin chefs house, helping/learning to cook at a highly rated restaurant in their kitchen. This was in addition to seeing the sights and touring the castles. A truly unique experience that is off the beaten path. We will use her again when going back to France.” — Karen Berner

“France Off the Beaten Path was so great the first time that I had to return to Off The Beaten Path for a repeat visit. Everyone that works for Christy is excellent and full of life. Loved their tours to Van Gough, Dinner at Catherine’s home, picnic in the woods, wineries – And the only max at 16. So we really got to know each other. Highly recommend.” — Lauren

“Outstanding tour of truly beautiful areas of Provence by a very friendly and knowledgeable guide who spoke perfect English. Gorgeous accomodation, very special restaurant experiences, and an effort made to avoid arriving at tourist hotspots with the hordes made it all the more enjoyable.” — Geoff & Lorrene Evans

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