Best of Our West Europe Tour

18-Day Holland & France Favorites Tour

Below is a brief summary of the itinerary. For a full description, see "Itinerary". The hours in parentheses ( ) indicate time on the motor coach between stops.

DAY 1 - Overnight flight from the U.S.A to Amsterdam.

DAY 2 - Arrive at the Amsterdam Airport. Meet your tour manager and travel (1½ hr) to your Rotterdam Hotel for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Dinner)

DAY 3 - Delight at Holland’s largest collection of windmills as you approach (¾ hr) to Kinderdijk. After a short photo stop, travel (¾ hr) from Kinderdijk to the quaint streets of Delft. Drive from Delft  (¾ hr)  through the neighboring city of The Hague for photo stops before continuing (¾ hr) to a cheese farm for an included dinner. Return (½ hr) to your Rotterdam Hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 4 - Following a tour (¼ hr) through Rotterdam, travel (1 hr) across the bridges, dikes and Islands of Zeeland Stop for photos of the Zeeland Storm Surge Barrier and continue (½ hr) to the historic harbor village of Veere. After crossing into Belgium (1¾ hr), end your day in Bruges. (Breakfast)

DAY 5 - Motor (2 hr) to a comfort stop near Calais. Travel (2½ hrs) to Rouen, where you will have time to walk through town. Continue (2 hrs) to Bayeux, for a viewing of the famous Bayeux Tapestry. A short ride (½ hr) will bring you to your Normandy hotel, where you will be staying for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 6 - Spend your entire day touring the Normandy Beach Area. Begin by traveling (½ hr) from your hotel to La Cambe. From La Cambe (½ hr) stop in Sainte-Mère-Église, where paratroopers landed during WWII. Next travel (¼ hr) to visit the bunkers and museum at Utah Beach. From Utah Beach motor (¾ hr) to Pointe du Hoc. End the day with a short ride (¼ hr) to Omaha Beach to pay respect in the American Cemetery. Return (¼ hr) to your Normandy hotel. (Breakfast)

DAY 7 - This day is devoted to the enchanting Loire Valley.  Make a rest stop in the morning (2 hrs) as you travel (2½ hrs) to the town of Amboise. After an independent lunch in Amboise, continue (½ hr) to Chenonceaux, to visit a one-of-a-kind castle that spans the River Cher. Transfer (¾ hr) from Chenonceaux to your Loire Valley hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 8 - A full-day of travel through France's picturesque landscape, with rest stops in the morning (1¾ hr) and midday (2½ hrs) for independent lunch. Continue (1¾ hr) into the wine region of Bordeaux, making a stop to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint-Émilion. Transfer (1 hr) to your hotel, centrally located in the city of Bordeaux, where you will be staying for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 9 - Full Day in Bordeaux. A walking tour will be followed by free time in and around Bordeaux. The afternoon includes wine tasting at a vineyard and a drive along one of the famed wine roads (3 hrs driving round trip). (Breakfast)

DAY 10 - Depart from Bordeaux (1¼ hr) to a comfort stop. Continue (1¼ hr) to a romantic village along the way, for an independent lunch stop. Traveling south (2¾ hrs), reach today’s final destination of Lourdes. (Breakfast, Dinner)  

DAY 11 - In the morning enjoy some free time in Lourdes. From Lourdes, (1¼ hr) make an independent lunch stop and continue (2½ hrs) to the hilltop fortified settlement of Carcassonne. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 12 - Depart Carcassonne (1 hr) and make a comfort stop as you travel (2 hr) to the impressive aqueduct of Pont du Gard. Continue (¾ hr) to Châteauneuf-du-Pape for wine tasting. Afterwards, a short ride (½ hr) takes you to the center of Avignon, where you will stay for the next two nights.  (Breakfast)

DAY 13 - In the morning travel (1 hr) to the hospital in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where Vincent van Gogh lived and painted a year before his death. Continue (½ hr) to Les Baux-de-Provence. Enjoy exploring this hidden gem, tucked amongst the mountains before returning (1 hr) to your hotel in Avignon. (Breakfast)

DAY 14 - From Avignon travel  (1½ hr) to a comfort stop in the Provence region. The rolling landscapes of Provence gives way to the playful scenes of the Riviera as you approach (2 hrs) Cannes.  From Cannes (½ hr) make a stop in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, before reaching (1 hr) your Nice hotel. After an early independent dinner, the tour manager will offer a transfer (1 hr in each direction) into Monte Carlo, departing at 7:00 p.m. and returning by 11:00 p.m. (Breakfast)

DAY 15 - Travel (½ hr) from Nice to St. Paul de Vence to take in the beautiful view. Return (½ hr) to Nice to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 16 - Transfer from Nice to Paris (5 hours) with all the comforts of the TGV high speed train.  Independent dinner near at your hotel or at a restaurant within walking distance. (Breakfast)

DAY 17 - Free day in Paris to pursue your personal interests and . . . of course, shopping at the renowned Parisian boutiques, department stores and open air markets. Transfer (½ hr in each direction) to Place de la Concorde with options to visit the Louvre, Orangerie Museum, Champs Elysees, Opera area, or Notre Dame Cathedral. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. . Your tour manager will invite you to join them on the metro to the Montmartre district, the Old Town of Paris. Independent dinner in Montmartre or near your hotel. (Breakfast)

DAY 18 - Transfer (1 hr) to the Paris Airport for the return flight to the USA. (Breakfast)