France Family Vacation
(Esprit de France -
8 Days/7 Nights)
Paris, Giverny, Versailles, Normandy & the Loire Valley
The Esprit de France family vacation from Adventures by Disney begins in regal Versailles with a tour of the magnificent royal palace. Next, journey to the home of Claude Monet in the Giverny gardens to unleash your inner artist. Continue to the charming seaside village of Honfleur before exploring the stunning tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel. Revel in the misty beauty of Normandy as it spreads from poignant Omaha Beach through all 224 feet (68 m) of the incredible Bayeux Tapestry. Explore the opulent chateaux of the Loire Valley and bike through royal gardens. Finally, discover the genius of Leonardo da Vinci at Clos Luce before your trip triumphantly concludes in the City of Light. Experience the mystery and majesty of la belle France on this vacation of a lifetime!
Trip Highlights Include:
- Monet's House and Garden in Giverny
After a guided tour of Claude Monet's home in picturesque Giverny, unleash your inner artist in the gardens by creating your own impressionistic work of art.
- Magnificent Mont Saint-Michel
Visit the medieval monastery that sits atop this breathtaking tidal island. Explore the fascinating corridors and hallways of its ossuary, abbey, scriptorium and much more!
- Biking and Wine Tasting at Châteaux in the Loire Valley
Bike through the royal gardens of the exquisite Chateau de Chambord and taste the wines that make this scenic region famous at your home of 2 nights, The Chateau Hotel Domaine de la Tortiniere.
- Paris Museum Pass and Dining at the Louvre
Get front-of-the-line access to over 60 Paris museums and attractions with a provided museum pass. Then say "au revoir" to your adventuring friends at a private farewell dinner inside the famed Louvre museum.
- Omaha Beach and Privately Guided Tour of American Cemetery
Visit the renowned beach where the United States 1st Division landed on D-Day to secure victory in World War II. Learn the story of the invasion and its costs on a privately guided visit to the Normandy American Cemetery.
Esprit de France - Adventure Dates
- May 23-May 30, 2013*
- Jun 1-Jun 8, 2013
- Jun 13-Jun 20, 2013*
- Jun 27-Jul 4, 2013*
- Jul 6-Jul 13, 2013*
- Jul 13-Jul 20, 2013
- Jul 20-Jul 27, 2013
- Jul 27-Aug 3, 2013
- Aug 3-Aug 10, 2013
- Aug 10-Aug 17, 2013*
*= Departure is guaranteed to travel.
Esprit de France - Adventure Daily Itinerary
Arrive in Paris
Bienvenue! Welcome to Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Your Adventure Guide is there to greet you and help you with your luggage before you are transferred by car to your hotel in regal Versailles.
After your Adventure Guide checks you in, settle in at this woodland retreat nestled at the edge of tranquil Royal Domain of Versailles, less than a mile from Louis XIV's world-famous chateau. Steeped in tradition yet thoroughly contemporary, this hotel features a sumptuous décor and well-appointed accommodations.
Lunch On Your Own
If you arrive in the morning, feel free to indulge in one of the hotel restaurants for déjeuner or ask your Adventure Guides for lunch recommendations.
Gather with your fellow Adventurers for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. Sate your appetite with a delicious buffet of local and regional French cuisine as you sip that world-famous wine.
Meal included: Dinner
Château de Versailles
Our local expert leads you on a privately guided tour of the opulent Palace of Versailles. Be dazzled by the extravagant décor of this historic home to the Kings and Queens of France, including the notorious Marie-Antoinette. Admire the extravagant vaulted ceilings canopy ornate rooms with gilded royal portraits and sculptures. Peer through windows that look out over sophisticated gardens with immaculate topiaries. As you stroll through the dazzling Hall of Mirrors, reflect on the bygone glories of France royalty.
Lunch at Nymphéas Restaurant
Board a coach for a drive to Giverny, where you will dine from a selection of Claude Monet's favorite recipes at this verdant restaurant just across the path from the artist's home.
Claude Monet's Home and Gardens
Visit the home of this great Impressionist painter and discover its tranquil gardens bursting with vibrant blossoms and luxurious, leafy trees. Afterward, unleash your inner artist as you sit before Monet's famous water lilies with paper and pastel.
Honfleur On Your Own
After continuing north on the coach, stretch your legs as you explore this winsome seaside village. Once home to great artists such as the poet Charles Baudelaire and composer Erik Satie, Honfleur is also a cat lover's delight, as paintings of this iconic fisherman's friend appear on souvenirs and shop signs alike. You may choose to visit the 600-year-old chapel or simply stroll the quaint streets.
Dinner On Your Own
For dinner, select from some of Normandy's exquisite cuisine. Indulge in fantastically fresh seafood and salads, as well as creamy cheeses, mouthwatering apple desserts, hard cider and the celebrated apple brandy, Calvados. Feel free to ask your Adventure Guides for restaurant recommendations.
Royal Barrière Hotel
Take the coach to your home away from home
Breakfast and Coach Trip
Fuel up on a satisfying breakfast at the hotel before boarding the coach for 2 hours on a trip to awe-inspiring, unforgettable Mont St-Michel.
The silhouette of this formidable island fortress looms on the horizon as your coach approaches. Surrounded by a venerable town, this medieval Benedictine abbey was built in honor of the Archangel Michael who, according to medieval legend, will slay the dragon at the Apocalypse. With a local guide, explore rooms such as the ancient scriptorium, ossuary, chapel and crypt. Feel the island's enchantment as you wander down winding cobblestone streets on your own trek through town.
Lunch at La Mère Poulard
The rhythmical beating of eggs in copper mixing bowls can be heard down the street, beckoning hungry visitors to try one of their world-famous omelets! Feast on an enormous, fluffy omelet with a hot camembert starter and dessert at this quaint yet historic restaurant.
Mont St-Michel On Your Own
Spend time wandering the rambling cobblestone streets to discover shops and curiosities galore. Climb the winding Lace Staircase for the gorgeous gallery on the abbey roof. Or visit the cloisters for their vertiginous views.
Cider and Calvados Tasting
Climb aboard the coach for a ride to Les Vergers de Ducy orchard, where you will tour the orchard and cider production areas. After sampling a traditional pudding dish native to Normandy, taste delicious cider and the simmering sweetness of Calvados.
Deauville and Dinner On Your Own
Known as the "lady of the French coast," Deauville awaits with its stylish restaurants and bustling nightlife. Return to your hotel from the orchard and explore this upscale resort town before enjoying le diner. If you need restaurant recommendations, your Adventure Guides can help find the perfect meal for you.
The Bayeux Tapestry
Travel to Bayeux to see the astonishing Bayeux Tapestry—a 224-foot (68-meter) embroidered cloth that tells the story of the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Junior Adventurers play a game to find William the Conqueror.
Ride the coach to Omaha Beach where the United States 1st Division landed on D-Day to secure victory in World War II. The story of the invasion and its costs come to life on a privately guided tour of the area, the visitor center and Normandy American Cemetery.
Arromanches les Bains and Lunch On Your Own
This quiet waterfront hamlet nearby Omaha Beach played an important role in the Allied invasion during WWII. Have lunch at your leisure in this delightful seaside village. If you've not yet had a traditional French crèpe, here's your chance to visit an authentic French crèperie.
Automobile Museum in Le Mans
En route to the Loire Valley, we stop at Le Mans—a town famous for its motorsports—for a brief visit to the Musée Automobile de la Sarthe. Check out the wide range of autos that includes sleek race cars and unique vintage vehicles.
The Loire Valley
Journey to the heart of the Loire Valley and settle into your fairytale castle in the town of Tours—Le Chateau Hotel Domaine de la Tortinière—where you will be staying for the next 2 nights.
Welcome to Loire Dinner
Relax at this delicious buffet dinner in a private room at the hotel. Share travel tales and photos of the extraordinary trip so far.
Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
Biking at the Château de Chambord
Pedal through the charming countryside on the grounds of this towering Renaissance castle that was once a summer playground for French royalty from the 16th through 18th centuries. Those Adventurers who prefer a slower pace may choose to take a leisurely stroll or visit the shops in the area.
Lunch at Hotel le Grande Saint Michel Restaurant
End your scenic ride in time for lunch on the terrace of this restaurant overlooking the Château de Chambord.
Château de Chambord
Walk through this massive château that was abandoned for decades until King Louis XIV restored it to its former glory and transformed it into a grand hunting lodge. With its twin spiral staircase and decorative moat, this imposing structure was the inspiration for the Beast's castle in the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.
Château de Chenonceau
Travel to the gorgeous Château de Chenonceau that stretches out into the glassy waters of the River Cher. The opulent rooms are rich with priceless antiques and vibrant tapestries draped against the palatial walls. Learn about some of its past occupants—such as Diane de Poitier, the mistress of King Henry II, and Catherine de Medici, his wife—and their extraordinary creative contributions to the exquisite décor.
Adult Wine Tasting and Junior Adventurer Dinner at the Château
Return to your castle for a wine tasting and dinner from a select menu as Junior Adventurers gather in a separate room for their own private feast. C'est delicieux!
Disney Movie Night
End the day curled up with your petits as you are treated to a private showing of a Disney movie.
Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Private Tour of Château du Clos de Lucé
After breakfast at the hotel, trek to the home of the genius artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci. Take a privately guided tour of this château where da Vinci finished some of his greatest works, including the Mona Lisa. Stroll the Parc Leonardo da Vinci where his work is brought to life by giant interactive machines, numerous translucent canvases and entertaining sound posts. The Junior Adventurers will especially enjoy exploring the garden's imaginative structures.
Lunch in Orléans
Enjoy your dejeuner in a private room at a restaurant in Orleans. Located on the Loire River, this former Gallic city was where the Druids—a royal class of Gauls—met each year before Julius Ceasar destroyed it during the Gallic Wars.
The Eiffel Tower
Soar up towards the stars for a sky-high experience your family will never forget! Embark on a guided walking tour of the top 2 levels of this Parisian icon and discover the "heights" of art.
Arrive at Hotel Napolean
Travel by coach to the City of Lights, so named for the many great intellectuals and artists who have inhabited this enthralling city. Steps away from the Champs Elyseés, this elegant hotel features old world décor with modern amenities. Make yourself at home in the cradle of the arts!
Dinner in Paris On Your Own
Now is the chance to venture out and experience the grand French ritual of le dîner! Your Adventure Guides will help you find the perfect restaurant for an extraordinary family meal as only the French can create.
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Paris Comme Vous Voulez!
Spend the day on your own as you wish either shopping, exploring and simply soaking up the splendor of this exciting city. You will be provided a museum pass that gives you access to over 60 museums and attractions. You will also receive a transportation pass that allows you travel to city highlights by the Seine River on the Batobus boat or the L'Open Air double-decker bus. Be sure to ask your Adventure Guides for lunch and other destination recommendations!
Farewell Dinner at the Louvre
Dine in the height of elegance in a private room at the Louvre overlooking the famed glass pyramid entrance. Relive the magnifique memories of your trip with your fellow adventurers as you enjoy a surprise after dinner!
Meals include: Breakfast and Dinner
Breakfast at the Hotel
Bid your fellow adventurers a bon voyage as you enjoy one last meal in Paris.
Transfer to Airport
Board pre-arranged transportation to the airport and say au revoir until you return!
Meals Included: Breakfast