Day One - Arrival in France
We catch the ferry to Calais and continue our journey to our hotel on the outskirts of Paris where we will have dinner.
Day Two - Château de Versailles
The Château de Versailles is not just a fabulous palace with some of the most impressive formal gardens in Europe; it is also a symbol of the absolute monarchy that was swept away at the end of the 18th century. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was built over nearly 50 years and four different campaigns; each adding an extension to what would be the ‘showcase’ of France.
Tonight, we enjoy dinner back at the hotel.
Day Three - Paris, Seine Cruise & Musée du Louvre
We enjoy a full day in Paris, starting with a city tour, where we view many of the iconic landmarks and elegant architecture of France’s capital. We then board our boat for a cruise of the River Seine where we enjoy a relaxing lunch as we see Paris from a different perspective.
In the afternoon, we enjoy an audio guided tour of the Louvre, originally a royal palace and now one of the finest art galleries in the world, home to some of the most celebrated works of art including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
Afterwards, we head up to the Montmartre district of Paris where we enjoy dinner together before returning to the hotel.
Day Four - Château de Chantilly & Basilique du Sacré Coeur
The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest masterpieces in France’s cultural heritage. The château is the work of the Duke of Aumale, son of the last king of France, Louis-Philippe and has been preserved as it was in the 19th century with a fabulous collection of precious books, paintings and decorative art. The breathtaking grounds, laid out principally by André Le Nôtre, include immense mirrors of water, several fountains and an exceptional collection of statues.
We then head to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, located on a summit in Montmartre, the highest point of the city. Thanks to its position, the basilica affords spectacular panoramic views over Paris. Designed in a Romanesque-Byzantine style, construction began in 1875 and it was finally consecrated in 1919. Due to being built of travertine stone, which constantly exudes calcite, the basilica remains white even with weathering and pollution, while the interior boasts the largest ceiling mosaic in France.
Back at the hotel, we enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Day Five - Jardins de Claude Monet & journey home
As we make our way back to Calais, we visit the famous gardens of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet in Giverny. Restored to Monet’s original designs, they were the inspiration for many of his famous paintings, including the Water Lilies series. Later, we catch our return ferry home.