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Paris, Normandy and the Battlegrounds of France:
80 Years Later

This adventure combines the beauty, culture & elegance of Paris ... with stories of courage & sacrifice, on the beaches and battlefields of Normandy.

June 4 through June 15, 2024
(USA Departure June 3, 2024)

PARIS • GIVERNY • LA HAVRE • ÈTRETAT • CAEN • BAYEUX
NORMANDY • ARROMANCHES • MONT-SAINT-MICHEL • DINAN

The journey begins with three days in Paris, the City of Lights. Our time in Paris will feature the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Èlysèes, the Eiffel Tower, a visit to the Louvre Museum, and so much more. Then, we'll visit two botanical gardens inspired by the artist, Claude Monet. And then, on to one of the most historic regions in France, Normandy. This region is most noted for the Allied invasion of German-occupied France on June 6, 1944, exactly 80 years ago.  We'll travel much of the route where brave, young Americans battled their way across France on a course to liberate the French countryside, and ultimately, Paris. This tour will place some personal emphasis on one of the unsung heroes of the 79th Division, Private Joseph Mattie, the uncle of David Shick, Co-owner of Wherever Tours. Not only will the group visit his gravesite at the American Cemetery in Normandy, but also the location where he gave his life for his country at the age of 21. Following our stay in Normandy, we'll return to Paris and explore the magnificent Palace of Versailles.

Includes:

• All ground transportation and airport transfers whileon the scheduled tour (excludes domestic transfers)

• 11 nights of hotel accommodations

• Porterage at the hotels

• 12 days of touring with English speaking guides

• All entrance fees as specified and included on the itinerary

• 19 included meals (8 dinners, 11 breakfasts)

• One glass of wine with dinners

• Estimated round trip group airfare (if selected)** additional purchase required

Book as low as

$4,173

per person/double occupancy

*when paying with check or money order
(airfare, optional trip insurance and 
gratuities not included)

Itinerary:

Day

1

Arrival in Paris

Tuesday, 4-Jun-2024

Autumn in Paris
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Welcome to the City of Lights! Paris became known La Ville-Lumiere during the reign of Louis XIV when lanterns were placed on nearly every main street to usher in the Age of Enlightenment. Today, there are over 296 illuminated sites in Paris including the most famous landmark, the glittering Eiffel Tower with shines each night with garlands containing over 20,000 light bulbs. In this magnificent setting, guests will arrive at the airport and will be given a private transfer to your hotel. This evening you are invited to join our welcome reception followed by dinner in the hotel.

Place Setting

D

Hotel Ampere

|

Paris

(or similar hotel)

Rough Terrain * Climbing Stairs * Excessive Walking

Day

2

City Tour of Paris, Louvre

Wednesday, 5-Jun-2024

The Pyramid at the courtyard of the Louvre
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After a restful night at our Parisian hotel, prepare to explore many highlights of France’s capital. On our city tour, expect to be dazzled by the one of the world’s major centers of history, commerce, culture, and gastronomy. We will begin our Parisian adventure with an early start at the hotel’s buffet breakfast. After breakfast, your tour director will join you on our bus for an exploration of some of the main historical, architectural and cultural sites of western civilization. Our city tour of Paris will take us down the famed Champs Elysees to the Grand-Petit Palace and the Arc de Triumph. Later, we will see the Medieval Quarter of Paris, Notre Dame, Trocadero Square and the Eiffel Tower and finally, to the old Castle of the Kings. Entry into the Louvre Museum will be the highlight of the today's tour.
Later we will gather as a group and make our way to dinner at the notable Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon railway station. This celebrated restaurant, designated as a historical monument in 1972, was named after the French luxury night express train, the Calais-Mediterranee Express. The train ran from 1886 to 2003 and enjoyed international fame as the only train wealthy passengers would take between Calais and the French Riviera. Paintings from the most popular artists at the turn of the century and indulge in a menu that offers rich, traditional French cuisine and, of course, fine French wine.

Place Setting

B

Hotel Ampere

|

Paris

(or similar hotel)

Day

3

Free day in Paris, Optional visit to the Eiffel Tower and Seine River Cruise

Thursday, 6-Jun-2024

Arc-de-Triomphe, Paris
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On your third day in Paris, you will have a free day to explore and discover some of the esteemed jewels of Paris on your own. Your tour director will suggest to you several exciting alternatives, ranging from shopping, exploring on your own, or planning a day at one of Paris’ incredible museums. An optional excursion will be offered. This will include a visit to the Eiffel Tower, with it's breathtaking views of Paris, followed by a scenic Seine River cruise through Paris.

Place Setting

B

Hotel Ampere

|

Paris

(or similar hotel)

Day

4

Mantes-Gassicourt, Giverny Gardens

Friday, 7-Jun-2024

Seine Bridgehead, Mantes-Gassicourt
(August 20, 1944)
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This morning, you will indulge in fresh croissants and delicious French pressed coffee for breakfast in our hotel, before departing for La Havre. Along the way, we will visit Mantes-Gassicourt, the historical site where General George Patton’s Third Army was the first o the allied troops to cross the Seine River and set the stage for the Liberation of Paris. Expect to witness the historical landscapes first-hand with many opportunities for photos of the sites. Additionally, we will stop in Giverny to explore the breathtaking Monet gardens. This evening, your tour director will join you for specially prepared dinner at our 4 Star, Le Havre hotel

Place Setting

B, D

Eastern Garden Inn

|

Le Havre

(or similar hotel)

Day

5

Le Havre City Tour, Ètretat Gardens

Saturday, 8-Jun-2024

Étretat Gardens with Statue of Monet
(Cliffs of Étretat in background)
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Today, we explore Le Havre on the far northern coast of France. This ancient city boasts a beautifully restored city center, a gorgeous alabaster coastline and picturesque fishing villages. Significantly, Le Havre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its key role as part of the Atlantic Wall fortifications during World War II. The city was devastated during the Battle of Normandy when 5,000 of its inhabitants were killed, family homes and medieval architectural structures were demolished. The rebuilding of the city center was overseen by the modernist architect, Auguste Perret. In the afternoon, we'll head a short distance north along the Atlantic coastline to visit the acclaimed Ètretat Gardens, inspired by Claude Monet. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the Cliffs of Ètretat which inspired Monet to create his painting of the same name. Upon returning to our hotel we will have a casual dinner of traditional foods of Normandy.

Place Setting

B, D

Eastern Garden Inn

|

Le Havre

(or similar hotel)

Day

6

Caen, Bayeux

Sunday, 9-Jun-2024

Bayeaux, Normandy France
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History buffs will relish today's agenda. On our way to the city of Bayeux, we will make a morning stop at Caen, the notable city of William the Conqueror, who is buried there. Like Le Havre, much of city was destroyed during the Battle of Normandy. To honor the site and its people lost, a memorial museum, Memorial de Caen, was erected in the name of peace. Prepare to experience this moving, historical memorial dedicated to peace. Interestingly, the memorial aims to represent both the Allied and German points of view.
In the afternoon, a short drive will take us to the historical city of Bayeux, a place that witnessed both the landing of William the Conqueror, and the city first liberated by the Allies on June 16, 1944. Once arrived, we will meet up with a local tour guide will take us on a lovely walk to visit the renowned Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the historic events leading to the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror. For dinner this evening, you may choose to have a meal at a local restaurant serving traditional fare or stay at the hotel for an early dinner and time to rest before tomorrow's busy agenda in Normandy.

Place Setting

B, D

Mercure Omaha Beach

|

Le Havre

(or similar hotel)

Day

7

Normandy, American Cemetery

Monday, 10-Jun-2024

Nazi Bunker,
Pointe Du Hoc
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Prepare yourselves for today’s full immersion into the history of World War II as we visit the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument which is located on a cliff eight miles west of Normandy American Cemetery and overlooks Omaha Beach, France. As aficionados of this crucial period in western history are aware, this site marks the spot at which U.S. Army Rangers scaled 100-foot cliffs and seized German artillery that could easily have fired on American landing troops at Omaha and Utah beaches.
While visiting Pointe du Hoc, our group will have a local tour guide show us the exact battle-scarred sites that helped determine the end of the War. During today’s tour, we will observe first-hand views of the left flank of Omaha Beach, the American cemetery and monument, and the Cannons of Longues-Sur-Mer. As we will return later in the evening, we can expect a beautiful French meal in the hotel’s dining room.

Place Setting

B, D

Mercure Omaha Beach

|

Bayeux

(or similar hotel)

Day

8

Arromanches, Colleville-Montgomery

Tuesday, 11-Jun-2024

American Cemetery, Normandy Beach
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Our tour of this area and our study of World War II historic sites continues today. We will explore Arromanches-les-Bains, a seaside resort at which liberating Allied troops installed an artificial port to be able to supply 9,000 tons supporting material to the previously landed troops. An expert local guide will weave together an onsite narrative to help us to understand the significances and meanings of the landing of the American troops and the Battle of Normandy at a deeper level.
After our extensive tour of Arromanches, prepare for slight change of pace as we head to the lovely town of Colleville -Montgomery. Here, we will revisit the with the momentous events of June 6, 1944 as seen through the eyes of French Resistance fighters and the role of William “Bill” Millin on that day. As told in the 1962 film, The Longest Day, we will see the places where the soldier, Millin became a singular figure in D-Day lore, as he stood on the bow of his landing battleship and started to play “Road to the Isles” as a clarion call to all in area. Played over a loudspeaker, this touching tribute from the Scotsman drew cheers from accompanying ships and earned Millin the nickname of “the Mad Piper of Sword Beach.” In the afternoon, we pay a visit to Le Grand Bunker or the Museum of the Atlantic Wall on Sword Beach. This unique museum is devoted entirely to the history of the Atlantic Wall and displays five levels of the former German bunker at Ouistreham. The bunker is completely renovated to appear as it would have looked in June of 1944 and is the last visible evidence of the one of the most significant battles of World War II. Tonight, we will dine in the hotel’s restaurant.

Place Setting

B, D

Mercure Omaha Beach

|

Bayeux

(or similar hotel)

Day

9

Mont-Saint-Michel

Wednesday, 12-Jun-2024

Island of Mon-Saint-Michel
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Today, we head southwest toward the enchanting island of Mon-Saint-Michel. Expect lots of free time on the island to explore the historic monuments, its famous 11th century Abbey and the extraordinary regional restaurants featuring the legendary meats produced by local cattle grazing on salt marsh meadows. This evening, we have prepared a locally sourced dinner complete with distinctive wine, desserts and music of the region.

Place Setting

B, D

Mercure Dinan Port

|

Dinan

(or similar hotel)

Day

10

Tour of Historic Dinan

Thursday, 13-Jun-2024

Stunning view of Dinan
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As our trip begins to wind down, we will still have a full day of adventure in store for us as we explore the medieval hilltop town of Dinan. Among the sites we’ll see are the Gothic St. Malo’s Church, the Jacobins Theatre, the Romanesque St. Saviour’s Basillica and the Chateau de Dinan. You will have free time to walk along the walled perimeter of the town or walk along the charming town streets along the river Rance. A local tour guide will be on hand to offer historical walking tours during our day. Our last night in Dinan will be spent in a local restaurant to experience a typical night out on the town.

Place Setting

B, D

Mercure Dinan Port

|

Dinan

(or similar hotel)

Day

11

Palace of Versailles

Friday, 14-Jun-2024

Palace of Versailles
image001_edited.png

We begin our travel back to Paris today in anticipation of our last dinner together and departure tomorrow. Before we arrive at or Paris hotel, we will stop to one of the most historic palaces in France, the Palace of Versailles. Most notably, the palace was the site of the signing of the peace treaty that ended World War I. Ironically, the treaty was so harsh on Germany, it became motivation for Hitler's rise to power, and ultimately, World War II. Afterwards, we'll arrive at our Paris hotel to freshen up for a gala dinner, as we prepare for to bid au revoir to France in grand fashion. Expect lots of succulent food, local wine, music and dancing!

Place Setting

B, D

4-5 Star Hotel

|

Paris

(or similar hotel)

Day

12

Au revoir Paris!

Saturday, 15-Jun-2024

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After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport for your return flight home.

Place Setting

B

Departure

|

Departure

(or similar hotel)

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