10. Mont Saint-Michel & Chateaux Country 3-Day Tour from Paris
Drive through the beautiful French countryside to discover Middle Age and Gothic-inspired architecture, and learn the intriguing history of Normandy and France from an expert guide. Cross to the tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel, and soak up the refinement of prestigious Loire Valley castles, such as the vast royal Château de Chambord. Day 1 (Friday): Traveling by luxury air-conditioned coach, depart Paris via the western districts and take the Normandy motorway as far as Mont Saint-Michel. Arriving at approximately midday, stop for lunch at the 4-star Relais Saint Michel, offering fantastic views across to the island. After lunch, ascend to the Abbey on the summit of the mount for a guided visit of its Gothic and Romanesque interior. Enjoy some time at leisure exploring the narrow, hilly streets before your departure for Angers, cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty, where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Hotel Mercure Lac de Maine (or similar accommodation). Day 2 (Saturday): After a hearty breakfast, drive to Langeais, passing Cunault and Saumur en route. Driving by vineyards, enjoy views of romantic castles on the horizon. Arrive at Château de Langeais to explore one of the best-known examples of late medieval architecture. Continue with a guided visit of Clos-Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci's last dwelling place. Stroll through the stunnning gardens of Villandry, and visit the old historic district of Tours on the lower reaches of the Loire. An evening meal will be served at your overnight stop in Tours at the Hotel Mercure. Day 3 (Sunday): Take a guide tour of the Château de Chenonceau, built on the site of an old mill across the River Cher. Continue to the decorative Château de Cheverny, used by Tintin creator, Hergé as the inspiration for his fictional Château de Moulinsart. After lunch at the Hotel Saint-Hubert, go to the Château de Chambord to explore the largest and most imposing castle in the Loire Valley. Admire the distinctive French Renaissance architecture, which blends impressively with traditional medieval forms.