Explore the towns and landscapes that gave birth to the Impressionist movement.

Starting at: $5,850 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 <i>The Poppy Field</i> by Claude Monet, Musee d'Orsay, Paris. Credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resources, NY  The charming port of Honfleur  The cliffs and beach near Étretat, Normandy, near Le Havre  Giverny Gardens. Credit: Stéphanie Jeanjean

Paris and Normandy: Masters of Impressionism

8 days from $5,850

Explore the towns and landscapes that gave birth to the Impressionist movement.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

French Impressionism was the first major breakaway art movement of 19th-century Europe. Artists such as Monet, Renoir, Boudin, and others were creating 
a new and exciting oeuvre. Immerse yourself in the world of Impressionism as you visit the sources of their inspiration in Paris and Normandy, as well as important museums that display their masterpieces.

Special Offer! There is a 5% discount for travelers who take this itinerary back-to-back with The French Riviera and the Modern Masters. TGV train between the South of France and Paris and transfers between the hotels and the train stations at either end will be arranged. 

Highlights Include:

  • Paris: See Monet’s iconic Water Lilies and other works at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Explore the vast galleries of the stunning Musée d’Orsay in depth.
  • Rouen: Visit Rouen Notre Dame Cathedral, the subject of one of Monet’s most popular series, plus the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, featuring works by Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro.
  • Giverny: Enjoy a special tour of Monet’s home and garden and experience the setting that became the subject of many of his iconic works.
  • Normandy Coast: Explore the towns and seascapes where the Impressionists painted en plein air, including the harbor of Honfleur, the beaches and resorts of Trouville and Deauville, Le Havre, and the distinctive cliffs of Étretat along the Alabaster Coast. Plus, see an impressive collection of paintings by Sisley, Pissarro, Corot, Courbet, Renoir, and others.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Paris, France

Depart the U.S. for Paris on individual flights.

Day 2 — Paris

Arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport. Transfer to your hotel, Les Jardins du Marais Paris. Gather at the hotel for a welcome reception, then enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 — Paris

Begin at the Musée de L’Orangerie this morning to admire Monet’s iconic Water Lilies, as well as artwork by Modigliani, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, and others. Then take a coach tour of the scenic villages, canals, and river Seine to the west of Paris. See the landscapes that inspired impressionist painters and their forebears, including Bougival, Louvecinnes, Marly, and Le Port. Return to the hotel this evening for a presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B)

Day 4 — Paris, Rouen, Deauville

This morning, travel by private coach to Rouen. Begin with a guided tour of the Rouen Notre Dame Cathedral, the subject of one of Monet’s most-loved series. He painted thirty canvases depicting the cathedral’s beautiful façade at different times of day to capture the changes in luminosity. Our guide will take us "behind the scenes" of Rouen to see why both Monet and Pissarro were so inspired by the charms of the half-timbered houses and narrow streets of the medieval city. We will also observe the scenes on the left bank of the river Seine which were immortalized by Pissarro. We end with a visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts Rouen (Fine Arts Museum), which houses an outstanding collection of works from the Impressionist school including Monet, Pissarro, and Sisley. Continue to Deauville and check into your hotel. Enjoy dinner featuring local Normandy specialties. (B,D)

Day 5 — Honfleur, Trouville, Deauville

Meet with a local art guide in Honfleur for an artistic perspective on this incredible location, where Monet was a student of Eugene Boudin and discovered "open-air" painting. Tour the village, the port and quayside focusing on particular scenes and buildings, sky and light before visiting Musée Boudin. Visit Trouville & Deauville, two fashionable resorts along the Normandy coast to which artists flocked by train in the late 19th century. These Impressionist painters broke away unequivocally from the formalized and classical subjects of painters of the early 19th century by focusing on landscape, towns and scenes of daily life. Enjoy an evening lecture. (B)

Day 6 — Le Havre, Etretat and Coast

Today focus on the port of Le Havre, a famous haunt of Monet, and tour the Alabaster coast (Cote d’Albatre)—in particular Étretat. The coastline of chalk cliffs edged with green pastures stretches from Le Havre to Fécamp. We focus on Étretat’s stunningly beautiful rock formations interpreted by Monet in so many paintings. Visit the Musée d’Art Moderne Andre Malraux (MuMa), which displays a fine collection of Impressionist works including paintings by Boudin, Courbet, Corot, Sisley, Pissarro, and Renoir, as well as some Post-Impressionist collections. Our art guide will take us through the collection and end with a workshop exploring a wide range of themes such as Fauvism, Impressionism, and still lifes. (B)

Day 7 — Normandy, Giverny, Paris

Visit Claude Monet’s delightful house and gardens at Giverny. Take a guided visit of the Musée des Impressionnismes — this museum focuses extensively on the history of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism through the original masterpieces of great masters of the late 19th century to the present day. Return to Paris for a visit to the famous Musée D’Orsay. A curator-led tour will highlight the wonders of the Impressionist collection and also show how the large gallery on the fifth floor of the Musée D’Orsay has been redesigned, newly lit and newly painted, after being completed in 2012. This and the rehang allow for a full re-appreciation of the nuances of these unique paintings. Return to the hotel for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 8 — Depart Paris

Transfer to the airport for individual flights back to the U.S. (B)