April 25 – May 6, 2014
Joie de Vivre translated means "carefree enjoyment of life." That is what we'll experience on this custom-designed tour that will include the most beautiful and historic regions of France during this 12-day tour. Of particular significance, we will visit the Allied Forces' landing sites during the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II.
Arriving in Nice, capital of the French Riviera, we'll discover narrow winding streets, terra cotta-clad structures, elegant buildings decorated with friezes and bas reliefs, and a fantastic waterfront. The next day we'll depart for Eze, a medieval village famous for its charm, shops, art galleries, and breathtaking view of the sea.
Next, it's onward to Monaco, located between mountain and sea. We'll see the famous starting line and track of the F1 race that winds its way through Monte Carlo, and visit Saint-Paul de Vence, a haven for the rich and famous.
Our next French Riviera stop is Cannes, host of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Cannes is famous for luxury shops, restaurants, hotels, and a beautiful waterfront avenue. Then we travel northward to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world.
Our next stop is Aix en Provence, whose beauty was immortalized by painter Paul Cezanne. We journey to Avignon and experience numerous highlights in this historic city before traveling through Provence's countryside to discover sun-drenched orchards, olive groves, and red roofs. The area seduced artists like Van Gogh. Not to be missed is Saint Remy de Provence, an ancient village of beautiful old homes and fountains.
Next we board a first-class car aboard the TGV high-speed train, which whisks us to Tours, the Capital of the Loire Valley. The train makes the 500-mile journey in four and a half hours! We'll sightsee in Loire Valley and experience wine tasting in Vouvray.
We then head toward Normandy to the fairy-tale island of Mont Saint Michel, one of Europe's most popular attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we'll enjoy beautiful views of the coast and explore main street with its 15th century homes.
It will be an honor to visit Caen's Peace Memorial, D-Day battlefield sites, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery in Arromanches on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
We'll marvel at the beautiful landscape along the Seine River and then visit Claude Monet's House and Gardens in Giverny. Then it's on to Paris to see the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Montmartre, Sacre Coeur, and Notre Dame Cathedral. We'll take the elevator to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower for a bird's-eye view of the city and then board one of the bateau-mouche docked at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a River Seine dinner cruise.
The next morning we'll discover treasures of the Louvre, including "Venus de Milo" and "Mona Lisa," during a guided tour. We'll also have time on our own to visit other galleries of the Louvre. This afternoon, we travel to nearby Versailles to visit its magnificent palace and gardens.
Trip includes round-trip air transfers from Dubuque to Chicago, round-trip air to France, all sightseeing and admissions noted, deluxe motor coach on tour, English-speaking tour manager and AmeriClub escort, first-class hotels, ten breakfasts, two lunches, eight dinners, TGV train, gratuities and trip insurance.
Cost for this inclusive tour will be finalized soon. Call Julia and request a brochure with complete details.