Burgundy & Normandy Highlights

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 17 Days | Dijon to Paris
  • Group Size: Max 22

Trip Details

 

From our once-in-a-lifetime Burgundy river barge voyage to a deep dive into the rich history of Paris and the WWII sites of Normandy, embark on more than two weeks of unforgettable adventures in heritage and gastronomy. Float by canal to medieval towns and pastoral vineyards, and enjoy plenty of free time to roam gorgeous centuries-old cities, gardens, and grounds. To resist France’s allure is futile—this experience is nothing short of revolutionary.

Trip Highlights

    • Visit the Paris studio of renowned National Geographic photographer Reza for a behind-the-scenes tour and wine-and-cheese reception.
    • Cruise through Burgundy on a canal barge, disembarking to explore charming medieval villages and the idyllic French countryside.
    • Hear from a World War II historian in Normandy, and visit the region’s legendary D-Day beaches.

Itinerary - 17 Days

Day 1 — Dijon

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 — Dijon

Explore Dijon, medieval home to the dukes of Burgundy. Stroll its markets, the charming old town, and the Ducal Palace on a walking tour. This afternoon, settle into our river barge. (1B, 1D)

Day 3 — Longecourt-En-Plaine

Cycle to Gevrey Chambertin, a small but well-known Burgundy village. Located on the region’s Route des Grands Crus, the town is famous for its first-rate Burgundy wines. Visit the famous Château de Marsannay for a tasting, and continue to Côte de Nuits before meeting the barge in Longecourt-en-Plaine. (1B, 1D)

Day 4 — Auxonne

Start the day with a walk around a typical Burgundy castle, exploring its lush gardens. Continue the morning with a walk along the canal, stopping in small villages between Longecourt and Saint-Jeande-Losne. Embark the barge to continue towards Auxonne. Upon arrival, take a short train ride to the charming town of Dole for dinner and free time to explore. (1B, 1D)

Day 5 — Seurre

Enjoy a relaxing morning on board. Then continue on to beautiful Seurre and enjoy free time to explore this charming town at your leisure. (1B, 1D)

Day 6 — Verdun-Sur-Le-Doubs

Spend the morning exploring the fortified village center of Seurre and the surrounding countryside. This afternoon, take in a presentation by a local winemaker and enjoy a horizontal tasting. Then float on to Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, where three rivers converge: the Saône, the Doubs, and the Dheune. (1B, 1L)

Day 7 — Fragnes

Enjoy a full day of biking through vineyards and villages along the Canal du Centre. Stop in the charming villages of Chagny and Santenay along the way. Enjoy a wine tasting at the Château de Marsannay, followed by a stop in Meursault for an optional lunch before returning to the barge in Fragnes. (1B, 1L)

Day 8 — Beaune/Paris

Transfer to Beaune for a guided walking tour of the renowned Hospices de Beaune, a 15th-century charitable hospital that’s been funded for 155 years by the city’s annual wine auction. Delve into history and discuss the relationship of the hospice with the powerful merchants of Burgundy. Enjoy some free time to explore before catching the train to Paris. (1B)

Days 9 & 10 — Paris

Visit the historic Marché d’Aligre with a local chef and food expert. Rarely visited by tourists, this market is where locals come to shop for groceries. Meet vendors, enjoy tastings, and learn about the history of the market and the specialties offered here. Enjoy the rest of your time in Paris to explore on your own. (2B)

Day 11 — Giverny/Honfleur/Bayeux

Depart for Giverny, home to Claude Monet’s exquisite gardens. Stroll promenades lined by a rainbow of blooming flowers, and seek out scenes from the acclaimed artist’s most iconic impressionist paintings. Continue to the charming port town of Honfleur and wander its winding, cobbled lanes while soaking in a bygone maritime ambience. Arrive in Bayeux and enjoy dinner at a local creperie. (1B, 1D)

Day 12 — Bayeux/D-Day Beaches

Delve into World War II history with a local expert, hearing about the Allied invasion before visiting a local museum for an opportunity to handle relics from the war. Ride in a genuine WWII transport vehicle to the Secqueville-en-Bessin War Cemetery and take a guided tour of the grounds. This afternoon, visit the legendary Omaha Beach, the cratered cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery. (1B)

Days 13 & 14 — Mont-Saint-Michel/Bayeux

Perched on a tidal islet about a mile off the coast, the imposing medieval fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the greatest religious sites in all of Europe and has drawn pilgrims since the eighth century. Take an orientation walk, and then spend free time exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site, including the Gothic citadel of La Merveille and the charming 15th-century village that winds across the base of the abbey. Enjoy the next day to explore Bayeux on your own, and consider a visit to the see the Bayeux Tapestry Museum—home to the magnificent 230-foot embroidered account of the Norman Conquest. (2B)

Days 15, 16, & 17 — Rouen/Paris

Visit Rouen, enjoying free time to stroll its medieval streets. Continue to Paris, where we’ll visit the studio of renowned National Geographic photographer and explorer Reza. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of his workspace and enjoy a wine-and-cheese reception. The next morning, go on a CEO-led walk through the medieval center of Paris. Opt to visit the interiors of Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. Enjoy a final afternoon to explore the city on your own before departing the following day. (3B)

Related Trips

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

Dates

This expedition is not currently being offered.

Activity Level

Light/Moderate

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

What's Included

Internal flights, transport between destinations and to/ from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary. Optional experiences are at an additional cost

Accommodations
Aboard the Daniele river barge (6 nights), hotel (10 nights)

Meals Included
16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners. Allow an additional $675-880 for meals not included

Transportation
Private vehicles, Daniele river barge, bicycle, train, antique WWII vehicle

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.