May 2 - May 17, 2019 

Flavors of France

Flavors of France

France with its traditions of gastronomy and wine will stimulate your senses. With this particular itinerary you will become familiar with the finest flavours of Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne. We will certainly entertain you; visiting cultural and historical locations , while discovering sensorial pleasures. Paris, one of the most alluring locations in the world, gives you a very warm welcome. We visit Dijon, Paris’s sister, Colmar the “Ville Fleurie” (Flowering City) and the medieval towns of Beane, Strasburg and Reims. Again, back to Paris where you will say “au revoir” to France with an exquisite dinner with panoramic views, at the Eiffel Tower.
PARIS, Mercure Montmartre – 4*
DUON, Oceania Le Jura – 4*
STRASBURG, Cour du Corbeau – 4*
RIEMS, Best Western Plus Hotel de la Paix – 4*
DAY 1: PARIS

Arrival at Paris airport. After clearing customs, you will meet your private tour manager and board our deluxe air-conditioned coach. First, a stunning panoramic tour, where you will see Paris’s most famous sights and monuments: Place Vendôme, the Opera House, the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, the Orsay Museum, Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and the Invalides. We come to a stop at the Eifel Tower where we climb aboard a riverboat to take a cruise along the Seine. Here you can admire the amazing architecture of the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral while seated in the fully-glassed boat with terrace. In accordance with, the arrival time we can also include a visit to the Eifel Tower, Paris’s most popular monument. Check in at your hotel, dinner and time to rest. (Meals: B. D.)

DAY 2: DIJON

After your petit déjeuner, our France experience begins with a tour of the Burgundy Region. We stop in Vézelay and visit the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, the largest Romanesque church in France, only 10 yards shorter than Notre Dame in Paris. We continue to Dijon, which is just as chic as Paris, without the big city vibe. We will take a pleasant walking tour that begins at the spacious Place de la Libération, where you will see the huge Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne. Rising behind the palace, is the ancient Tour Philippe le Bon, the tallest structure in the historic centre. You might wish to climb it if you’re up to the 316 steps! We will stroll along Rue de la Liberté, Dijon’s main pedestrian street for shopping. Here, we will taste the Kir, the famous drink made from crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and white wine. Dinner and overnight stay in Dijon. (Meals: B. D.)

DAY 3:  BEAUNE

After breakfast and check out, we visit another gem of Burgundy, the city of Beaune. This lovely medieval town is nestled in the heart of a vine-growing region. We will visit the city centre exploring the striking 15th century Hôtel-Dieu des Hospices before heading out to drive past fields dotted with vineyards, as we head to the Renaissance Chateau Clos de Vougeot; the castle was established by monks in the 12th century. Now, another culinary experience awaits you! We hunt among the hazel, hornbeam and black pine to find a real local luxury, the Burgundy trufe! We will also have a tasting of this fragile (and very expensive!) musky scented fungus. Drive back to Dijon for dinner and overnight stay. (Meals: B. D.)

DAY 4:  COLMAR - BARR - STRASBOURG

Today we head to the heart of Alsace to visit the picturesque city of Colmar. Centre of culture since the 13th century, Colmar was an important city during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. We will walk along the tree-lined Krutenau Quarter, also known as “Little Venice.” Our local guide will give you an introduction to the famous sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, Auguste Bartholdi, who was born here. We continue our journey along the Wine Route, from south to north, below the wooded foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Along the way, you can find hundreds of inviting wine cellars with excellent wines, just waiting to be discovered. We will be stopping in the village of Barr for a delicious tasting, and will end our day in Strasburg with dinner and overnight stay (Meals: B. D.)

DAY 5: STRASBOURG
Good morning Strasburg! After breakfast we will take a tour of the city, on foot. We will visit Notre Dame Cathedral, a richly decorated gothic masterpiece of pink-tinted Vosges sandstone. You will be suitably impressed by its high bell tower (466ft) and the remarkable Renaissance Horloge Astronomique (Astronomical Clock), one of the world’s largest clocks. In the afternoon we visit Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg. This site is one of the symbols of Alsatian heritage and ofers breathtaking views over the Alsace plain, the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. The armoury and canons of this impressive castle permit you to step back in time to the Middle Ages. Dinner and overnight stay in Strasburg. (Meals: B. D.)
DAY 6:   REIMS

Today we explore the Champagne region, skipping the famous vineyards and searching for smaller cellars where we can taste excellent champagne. We visit Reims the square Drouet d’Erlon, the Reims Cathedral where the kings of France were crowned and the Carnegie library. Reims is also a city of Art Deco like New York City and Miami. You will be able to admire many ornamented facades with low reliefs, cut of corners, wrought iron gates and guard rails, mosaics made with ceramic and stainless steel windows. We will also visit a winemaker and his cellar for a wonderful Champagne experience. Dinner and overnight stay in Reims. (Meals: B. D.)

DAY 7:  PARIS

Before heading back to Paris, it is well worth a detour to the idyllic village of Hautvillers, known as the birthplace of champagne. In the 18th century the monk Dom Pérignon realised here, in the ancient Benedictine abbey of Hautvillers, the champagne wine-making process. Dom Pérignon’s tomb rests today in the chancel of Saint-Sindulphe abbey. After, we arrive in Paris where you will have some free time for shopping. You will be entertained this evening with a feast for the eyes as well as the palate as you join our farewell dinner in the Eifel Tower. Dinner and overnight stay in Paris. (Meals: B. L. D.)

DAY 8: DEPARTURE

Transfer by private coach from the hotel to the airport in Paris. (Meals: B.)

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