Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of France as you make your way from incomparable Paris to Normandy, Brittany, and the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Quote or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Panorama of Paris  Chenonceau, one of the most romantic chateaux in the Loire Valley  Tour Paris' right bank  Visit the Sacre Coeur crowning Paris' Montmartre neighborhood  Place De a Concorde Fountain  Flowers in a Parisian market  Paris at night  Versailles Garden and Chateau Exterior  The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles  Claude Monet’s home Giverny  Grounds at Claude Monet's house, Giverny  The historic port of Honfleur  Mont St. Michel, Normandy

Paris, Normandy, and the Loire Valley: A Tailor-Made Journey to France

12 days from $9,850

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of France as you make your way from incomparable Paris to Normandy, Brittany, and the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690
Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Les Jardins du Marais

Paris, France

A peaceful hotel in the fashionable Marais district, Les Jardins du Marais is set away from the bustle of the streets but just a short walk from the historic Place des Vosges and the impressive Picasso Museum. The four buildings that make up the hotel encircle a central courtyard lined with elegant tables and small gardens. The contemporary hotel bar features bold velvets and quirky furniture, though you can chose to have breakfast or an evening drink in the courtyard. There are also plenty of delightful restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The elegant rooms offer all modern amenities including a complimentary smartphone. There is also a chic spa and modern gym.

Number of nights: 4

Hotel le Dauphin les Loges

Honfleur, France

The family-run Hotel le Dauphin les Loges is spread across three 17th-century houses with half-timbered façades or slate tiles typical of Normandy. Located in the heart of old Honfleur directly across from Saint-Catherine's Church, it's just a short walk from the Vieux Bassin (old port) with its brightly painted fishing boats and busy restaurants and cafes. Warm and friendly service is a priority at the Hotel le Dauphin les Loges and as your suitcases are whisked up the very narrow staircases to your room, you can relax in the breakfast room which transforms into a tea salon in the afternoon. The rooms are small but full of local style and character. 

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Villa Lara

Bayeux, France

This family-run hotel in the heart of historic Bayeux, is located on a quiet, tree-lined square by the Aure River. Inside the marble entrance, there's an intimate bar, a library, and a fireplace, giving the Hotel Villa Lara a chic and relaxed atmosphere that is complemented by exceptional service. Opened in 2012, the hotel was thoughtfully designed with spacious rooms and modern conveniences. It offers a contemporary take on classical elegance with replica furniture, plush fabrics, and subtle lighting in both guest rooms and public spaces. Opposite the hotel, a small bridge leads into town where you'll find the 11th-century Bayeux Cathedral, the renowned Bayeux Tapestry, and medieval half-timbered homes.

Number of nights: 1

La Maison des Armateurs

Saint Malo, France

Located in the heart of St Malo’s historic Intra Muros district, La Maison des Armateurs is a tastefully-appointed boutique hotel just steps from the city’s main sites and restaurants. Rooms are stylish and simple, featuring modern amenities. Public spaces include a comfortable lounge with a fireplace and a breakfast room, each with original artwork.

Number of nights: 1

Le Clos d'Amboise

Ambiose, France

Once a 17th-century family home, Le Clos d’Amboise retains the same elegance and tradition it enjoyed during its heyday. Quiet reading rooms, warm fireplaces, and creaking floorboards give the impression of visiting the home of a family friend. Rich tapestries line the corridors, chandeliers dangle from the beamed ceilings, and there is the occasional touch of the exotic in the Egyptian art on the walls. Rooms are just as welcoming, appointed with period-style furnishings and antique lamps and mirrors. There is also space to relax with a drink in the intimate library or the courtyard. The heart of medieval Amboise is just a ten-minute walk away. 

Number of nights: 3

Tailor-Made Benefit

When you travel on a tailor-made journey, you will receive a Friends of the Smithsonian Archivist Circle membership. Benefits include:

  • Recognition in the Friends of the Smithsonian Honor Roll displayed electronically on the National Mall in the Membership Reception Center
  • Invitation to a special welcome tour for new members at a Smithsonian venue
  • A Smithsonian Institution annual engagement calendar with full color images of exceptional art and artifacts
  • A complimentary Smithsonian museum guidebook
  • Subscription to the award-winning magazine Smithsonian
  • 20% discount at Smithsonian Museum Stores, 10% discount at selected dining facilities, at SmithsonianStore.com, and Folkways Recordings
  • Special member rate for tickets to the Smithsonian's IMAX® theaters and Einstein Planetarium
  • Admission to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City
  • Weekday access to the Friends of the Smithsonian Reception Center

If you are already a member of the Archivist Circle or above, you will receive The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects by Richard Kurin.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

DK Eyewitness France (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
A Traveller's History Of France
By: Cole, Robert
Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
By: Hemingway, Ernest
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary 7
By: Janes, Michael, Carillet, Jean-Bernard, Masclef, Jean-Pierre

Also Recommended

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
By: Robb, Graham
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
By: Baxter, John
The Sun King (New York Review Books (Paperback))
By: Mitford, Nancy
Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
By: King, Ross
The Normandy Battlefields: D-Day and the Bridgehead (Then & Now)
By: Marriott, Leo, Forty, Simon
D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
By: Ambrose, Stephen E.
Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (Penguin Classics)
By: Adams, Henry
Chateaux of the Loire Valley
By: Robert Polidori, Jean-Marie Perouse de Montclos
The Food of France
By: Waverley Root
France: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions, 14)
My Life in France
By: Child, Julia, Prud'Homme, Alex
Houseboat on the Seine: A Memoir
By: Wharton, William
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.