Delve into France’s artistic heritage on a journey from the renowned museums of Paris to Monet’s haunts at Giverny and Honfleur, to the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Itinerary or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Boats at harbor in Normandy’s Honfleur
 Japanese bridge in Monet’s Garden at Giverny
 Château de Chenonceau, situated over the River Cher in France's Loire Valley
 Cityscape of Paris
 Typical artist square in Montmartre
 Entrance to the Louvre Museum
 Claude Monet’s home Giverny

Art and Architecture of France: A Tailor-Made Journey

11 days from $6,935

Delve into France’s artistic heritage on a journey from the renowned museums of Paris to Monet’s haunts at Giverny and Honfleur, to the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

Overview

The following itinerary is a sampling of the experiences that we offer on a tailor-made journey to France. Working with our country specialists, you can customize your itinerary to fit your timing, your budget, and your interests, including accommodations, activities, and the places you visit.

Immerse yourself in France’s incomparable artistic heritage as you explore world-class museums, the homes and retreats of legendary artists, and the exquisite architecture and gardens of the Loire Valley châteaux. Enjoy tours of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay tailored to your interests by your private guide. Stroll among colorful boats and half-timbered houses in the charming port town of Honfleur, a favorite among the Impressionists. At both renowned and lesser-known châteaux in the Loire Valley, admire Renaissance architecture and stunning formal gardens. Along the way, visit Claude Monet’s home at Giverny, the castle retreat of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudet, and the manor house where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years.

Highlights:

  • Cruise the Seine past the famous monuments of Paris, and explore the haunts of famous artists on a private walking tour of Montmartre.
  • Experience the incomparable collections of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay with a private guide.
  • See scenes painted by Claude Monet at his home in Giverny and in the centuries-old port town of Honfleur.
  • Stay in a historic château in the heart of the Loire Valley and encounter history and remarkable architecture in châteaux from Chenonceau to Amboise.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 — Paris, France

Fly into Paris and meet your private driver for the transfer to your hotel in the city center. Start your exploration of Paris with a walking tour of Montmartre, a hilltop haven for artists since the mid-19th century. Here, Vincent van Gogh shared an apartment with his brother Théo, Degas painted his cabaret scenes, and Picasso and Renoir lived and worked. In the afternoon, embark on a cruise along the River Seine, sipping champagne as you take in views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and Île Saint Louis.

Day 2 — Paris

Delve into a world of incredible art today, touring two of the most revered museums in the world with a private guide. Begin at the Louvre, the former residence of the French monarchy, remarkable for its architecture as well as its world-renowned collections. Your guide will tailor the visit to your interests, so that you can see the highlights including the Mona Lisa or focus on the museum’s lesser-known treasures. After time for lunch, make your way to the Musée d'Orsay, where a fabulous collection illustrates the evolution of art in the 19th century from the neoclassicism of David and Ingres to post-Impressionism. Housed in a light-filled former railway station, the museum showcases the works of Manet, Cezanne, Morisot, Picasso and other greats.

Day 3 — Paris

Today is yours to explore Paris as you wish. Choose from among the city’s many museums, including the intimate Musée Rodin or the contemporary art hub of the Centre Pompidou.  Wander through a historic district, admiring the architecture, or soak up the ambiance on a walk through the Latin Quarter. Watch everyday life at the Jardin de Luxembourg or stroll the symmetrical Place des Vosges and the narrow lanes of Le Marais. Or head to the Bois du Boulogne to experience the breathtaking Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry.

Day 4 — Paris

On your last day in Paris, join your private guide for a tour of the grand Opéra Garnier. A gem of theater architecture filled with gilded statues and marble staircases, it is known for having inspired the the novel and musical The Phantom of the Opera. Then venture into the beautifully restored covered passages of Paris, created in the 19th century for merchants and shoppers, and enjoy free time to explore this elegant network of sky-lit, iron-and-glass arcades.

Day 5 — Giverny and Honfleur

Travel toward Normandy with your private driver today, stopping at Giverny for a visit to the home and gardens of Claude Monet. See the artist’s studio and apartments, designed by the artist and preserved largely as he left them. On a walk in the lovely gardens, take in scenes Monet painted, from ponds covered in waterlilies to a Japanese bridge. Follow the Seine to the medieval ruins of Château Gaillard, built by Richard the Lionheart during the Hundred Years' War, and tour Jumièges Abbey, restored in the 11th century after the early Christian structure was destroyed by Vikings. Settle into your hotel in the picturesque fishing town of Honfleur, situated where the Seine meets the sea.

Day 6 — Honfleur

This morning, join your guide for a private walking tour of Honfleur, tracing a history that dates back a thousand years. At the Vieux Bassin, or Old Harbor, stroll past brightly painted boats and towering waterfront facades, and delve into the cobbled streets of the historic center to discover half-timbered houses and the largest wooden cathedral in France. Learn about Honfleur’s affiliation with the arts: the town was painting retreat for Monet, Gustav Courbet, and native son Eugene Boudin. Take the rest of the day to explore on your own.

Day 7 — Chinon

Transfer to the train station in Caen and journey by local train to Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, where a private driver awaits to escort you to the medieval town of Chinon, set on the Vienne River. The remainder of the day is yours to relax or get acquainted with the town.

Day 8 — Châteaux of the Loire Valley/Chinon

Set out with your private guide on a full-day excursion to the remarkable châteaux of the Loire Valley. Your first stop is the Renaissance Château de Villandry, known for its exquisite formal gardens and its original medieval keep. Next, visit the lesser-known Château de l'Islette, perched on the banks of the Indre River. Tour the property, where Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudet often retreated to sculpt, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens. In the afternoon, encounter the French Renaissance masterpiece of Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, located on a small island once only accessible by drawbridge.

Day 9 — Châteaux of the Loire Valley

Begin the day at the Château de Chenonceau, known for its graceful arches that span the River Cher. Learn the intriguing history of the palace, which served as the residence of two of France's most powerful women: Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers. Continue to Château de Cheverny, a hunting lodge that still houses some 100 hounds that are still regularly taken out to hunt in the nearby woodlands. End the excursion at Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, home to a modern art collection and an annual international garden festival. Stay your final two nights in a stunning 16th-century château in the countryside near Tours.

Day 10 — Amboise and the Loire Valley

Journey to medieval Amboise, which straddles the Loire River. Tour the imposing 15th-century château, set on a hill overlooking the town. Then walk to the nearby Château du Clos Lucé, the manor house and gardens where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years and where some of his creations can still be seen scattered about the grounds. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 11 — Return home

A private transfer brings you to the Saint-Pierre-des-Corps station for your train ride to Paris. Upon arrival, another driver will escort you to the airport in plenty of time for your return flight.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

Related Tours