Option 2: Paris
(2 days + Versailles)
Day 1: Paris
Today’s program takes us on a guided walking tour of the Rive Gauche, long considered to be the centre for Parisian creativity and arts. Historically, its main artery was the Rue St. Jacques, which follows the ancient underlying Gallo-Roman road. Stroll along St. Michel and St. Germain boulevards, see the Sorbonne University and the Pantheon, a monument housing the tombs of the giants of French philosophy and literature: Hugo, Voltaire, Zola and Rousseau. Cross the Petit Pont, arrive at Ile de la Cite and behold the magnificent cathedral of Notre Dame, a spectacular example of Gothic architecture, and deservedly famous since the Middle Ages. Complete the walking tour at The Louvre. Once a former fortress, this massive Renaissance royal palace was transformed by the Revolution into a people’s museum that houses a remarkable collection of more than 35,000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Today, The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. The tour will highlight masterpieces from Ancient Greece and Rome and paintings by Leonardo da Vinci (the Mona Lisa), Raphael and Rembrandt.
Sites Visited: Left Bank, Pantheon, Notre Dame, The Louvre
Day 2: Paris
This morning, visit Montmartre, a district long famed for it’s lively arts and bohemian atmosphere, which is beautifully anchored by the landmark Sacre Coeur Cathedral, one of the city’s most beautiful churches. Travel across town to visit Pari’s iconic landmark: the Eiffel Tower! Enjoy the panoramic vistas of beautiful Paris from the observation deck. At the base of the tower board a Bateaux Mouches for a guided cruise along the Seine river
Sites Visited: Montmartre, Sacre Coeur Cathedral, Eiffel Tower, Bateaux Mouches river cruise
Day 3: Paris - Versailles - Normandy (or vice versa)
Either travelling to or from Normandy, enroute discover the Chateau de Versailles, universally regarded as one of the masterpieces of French baroque architecture and the former playground and residence of the French nobility. Pass from the magnificent Grands Appartements of Louis XIV to the graceful Petits Appartements of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The highlight will be the spectacular Hall of Mirrors that was designed to overwhelm royal visitors and display the wealth and prestige of the French Monarchy. Weather permitting, explore the surrounding Park with its statues, ornamental ponds, and “follies”.
Overnight: Either Paris or Normandy
Sites Visited Enroute: Versailles