Lourdes, Chartres, Normandy, Mt. St. Michel & Paris
11 Day Tour
Day 1: Departure
Depart from Nashville Airport on your overnight flight to France.
Day 2: ARRIVE IN LOURDES
Upon arrival in Pau Pyrénées Airport this morning your tour manager will meet you right outside the small terminal. Embark on a short drive to Lourdes. Check-in to your hotel and relax or explore before dinner. Following dinner, you will have free time to pray the Rosary.
Day 3: LOURDES
In the morning, you will wake up in this small town that is nestled within the Pyrenees Mountains. During your time in Lourdes, you will pray and meditate in yet another site of Our Lady’s apparitions. Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in 1858, and announced herself as “The Immaculate Conception”, near the Grotto of Massabielle. At the first two apparitions, little Bernadette prayed the Rosary with Our Lady and left without any exchange of words. During the following apparitions, Our Lady emphasized God’s love for us, penance and the necessity of performing acts of penance for sinners. Throughout your time in Lourdes, you will have the opportunity to attend Mass at the Grotto of where Our Lady appeared to Bernadette; watch a video presentation that explains, in detail, the story of Lourdes; drink water from the miraculous spring that has healed many; and submerge yourself in the healing baths. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to experience Christ’s unconditional love as you meditate upon the “life size” Stations of the Cross that overlook the Grotto of Massabielle. Also, while in Lourdes, you will walk in and meditate upon the footsteps of St. Bernadette.
Day 4: LOURDES
Today we will take a full day excursion from Lourdes to Betharram and Bartres. St Bernadette lived in the village of Bartrès. The Bartres villa is located near the famous “Way of Bernadette”, the path she used to take to walk down to Lourdes.
Day 5: CHARTRES
After an early breakfast this morning we journey North via high-speed TGV train to Paris. Riding at over 200 miles per hour across the heart of France is an experience by itself. It’s the quintessential European way of travel. We’ll land in Paris at just past lunch time. A luxury motor-coach will be waiting for a short transfer to Chartres. Check-in and relax. You’re right in the center of the Gothic culture.
Day 6: CHARTRES
Today we will take you on a tour of Chartres and its Cathedral. Considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, the flying buttresses and twin “spires” (one is actually a pyramid) were constructed between the 12th and 16th centuries, and served as inspiration for countless buildings that came after it. Seeing it all through the eyes of a learned guide is nothing short of transformational. Often the Cathedral is compared to an inexhaustible library and delights in decoding its iconography.
Day 7: CAEN – NORMANDY
This morning we depart Chartres and drive through some of the most beautiful European landscapes. We’ll ride through the La Mans, famous for it’s speed track, the Loire Valley region, all the way to Brittany and the Atlantic. In the afternoon we visit the lovely island monastery of Mont St. Michel. This medieval abbey, once an important pilgrimage site, is surrounded by water at high tide. Then continue to Caen for the overnight.
DAY 8: PARIS
Today walk in the footsteps of history as you visit many of Normandy’s important World War II sites. See what is remaining of the temporary Mulberry harbor constructed at Arromanches to help offload cargo during the invasion. Entrance to the Arromanches 360 Cinema is included. Next pay tribute at the American Cemetery and Museum at Colleville-sur-Mer before descending from the bluff to walk along Omaha Beach. Late afternoon we will begin our drive to Paris. Bienvenue à Paris! Get acquainted with this graceful city’s cobblestoned streets, charming cafés and vibrant neighborhoods. Paris is called the “City of Light” for its role as a center of education during the Age of Enlightenment (it was also one the first cities to adopt streetlights). After dinner, perhaps stroll through Montmartre to the white-domed Sacré Cœur.
DAY 9: PARIS
Your day begins with a guided sightseeing tour that takes you past some of the most famous attractions in Paris. Your expert local guide will show you the splendid Seine, Napoleon’s final resting place at Les Invalides and the Gothic wonder of Notre Dame. We spend our afternoon exploring the Louvre and discover the many famous masterpieces that call it home. See the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory and the Venus de Milo as you wander through the galleries. From its beginnings as a royal fortress to its current status as the world’s most visited art museum, the Louvre has long been at the center of Parisian culture and home to a collection of 35,000 works of art from around the world. After dinner your tour manager will show you the dazzling shops, cafés and bustling sidewalks of the Champs-Élysées before you ascend to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Enjoy the spectacular view of twelve of Paris’ grand avenues which extend from the monument like spokes on a wheel to the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre.
DAY 10: PARIS
The morning is yours to explore the Eiffel Tower or any lesser-known attractions of your choice, such as the MuseeMarmottan-Monet, home the famous artist’s Impression, Sunrise, from which the Impressionist artistic movement purportedly drew its name. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner cruise down the beautiful Seine and take Paris at night! Aurevoir a Paris!!!
Day 11: DEPARTURE
Depart for the USA.