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France

Discover the Heartland of France

Discover the Heartland of France

Tour Suggestion

From the dazzling allure of Paris to the stunning architecture of Orléans, the heartland of France is a veritable paradox of exquisite historical elegance combined with adventurous modern excitement.  Be captivated by the architectural marvels, sumptuous cuisine, and extraordinary history of this gorgeous country while contributing to the lives of others through musical performance.  Created especially for groups of musicians, this tour is uniquely designed to offer amazing concert opportunities in exclusive historical settings.   Honour the memory of history while strengthening your own experience as a musician as you embark on this life-changing journey of self-discovery and adventure.


Day 1: Beguiling Paris

The exciting, dynamic city of Paris welcomes you.  Your tour guide will meet you at the airport, where you will transfer into the city centre.
Excitement and intrigue awaits you at the amazing Paris Catacombs, a colossal network of former mining shafts and tunnels which contain the remains of an astounding 6 million humans.  Established in 1786 as an alternative to Paris' horrifically crowded cemeteries and mass graves, these Catacombs quickly became embedded in the city's culture.  Not for the faint of heart or meek of spirit, this thrilling journey catapults you back in time as you descend down into the darkness of Earth.   Stroll through the caverns and vaults to view the spectacular displays of human bones, often arranged into intricate patterns.  Learn about the fascinating history of these truly captivating tunnels.
Lunch with your tour companions at a café near the Catacombs.
This afternoon, a river cruise will allow you to discover the astounding sights of this gorgeous city.  Paris' most iconic sights, like the impressive Eiffel Tower, the inspiring Notre Dame, and the illustrious Louvre are featured while you relax on this scenic boat tour.  Enjoy the magnificence of Paris from the unique perspective that the river provides.
Hotel check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Paris.


Day 2: Classic Paris

This morning, you will have the unique and historic opportunity to perform in one of Paris' most celebrated historical buildings.  Take centre stage, surrounded by the spectacular beauty and rich history, to the delight of your audience.  Share your joy of musical performance while appreciating the stunning architecture and beauty of one of Paris' most illustrious buildings.
Enjoy lunch in this remarkable city with your tour companions.
After lunch, engage in a private guided walking tour to truly appreciate the fabulous wonders that Paris offers.  Explore the richly historic Île de la Cité, home to the iconic and splendid Notre Dame Cathedral.  Just across the river, the gorgeous Saint-Michel area, with its historic charm and architecture, will immediately immerse you in the glory of Paris.  Surrounded by beauty and culture, you will meander through the cobblestone laneways while gaining knowledge of this dazzling city.
Early this evening, a visit to the international symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, will only increase your appreciation of Paris and all it has to offer.  Climb the Eiffel Tower and view the city from a new perspective.  As you ascend this monumental structure, take a moment to walk across the glass flooring of the first level.    Feel a thrill as you make your way higher for breathtakingly stunning views in every direction.   A view of the huge Champ de Mars from your elevated position will give you a glimpse of your next destination.
The Champ de Mars, a huge green park near the Eiffel Tower, has been host to many historic events over the last three centuries, including frightful beheadings by guillotine, colourful festivals, and inspiring art exhibitions.  A peaceful walk through this serene environment allows you to reflect on your travels.
Dine on delicious local cuisine with your tour companions in the fine ambience of one of Paris' splendid cafés.
Transfer back to hotel, overnight in Paris.


Day 3: Remarkable Rouen and onwards to Caen

After breakfast, you will debark for Rouen, a city steeped in both charming cobblestones and spectacular architecture.  Visit the impressively ornate Rouen Cathedral, immortalized by Claude Monet, a great admirer of this majestic structure.   This illustrious Gothic cathedral, with its exquisite and ornate façade, has stood the test of time, and witnessed the great political, religious and cultural reformations throughout the centuries.   The interior, with its soaring arches, will impress even the most stoic of visitors.  Take time to truly appreciate this captivating architectural gem, standing as a testament of the Christian faith. 
Enjoy a relaxing lunch with your tour companions in this lovely city.
This afternoon, your adventure continues as you journey onwards to Caen.
Hotel check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Caen. 


Day 4: Commemoration in Caen

After enjoying breakfast, you will be transferred to Juno Beach for a guided tour of this historical sight, which was so incredibly vital to the successful outcome of World War 2.  Discover how the joint efforts of the Canadian Army, the British Navy and the Canadian Navy valiantly pushed forward and fought, under heavy resistance, to capture the beach and surrounding areas.  Reflect upon the sheer horror that the young men on both sides of this terrible war faced, with many making the ultimate sacrifice for their respective governments and countries.
Continue onwards to the Omaha Beach Memorial, which pays homage to the American commitment to the triumphant result of D-Day and World War 2.   Take a moment of silence at the brilliant, shimmering beach monument, Les Braves, which commemorates the valiant efforts of these young men.   The beach, still marred by the bunkers and World War 2 artefacts, is a poignant reminder of the appalling effect of war on mankind.   An on-site museum also offers a more in-depth look at this iconic historical day.
This afternoon, you will visit the Caen Memorial and Museum, which features man's history of bloodshed, particularly in the 20th century.   Highlighting the events and battles of World War 2, this museum also features exhibits on civilians involved in the war and the life of the German soldier.  Dedicated to the perseverance of worldwide peace, this memorial ensure that the atrocities of history will never be forgotten.   Be certain to visit the three glorious gardens, each honouring the successes and sacrifices of the Canadian, British and American forces, respectively.   The serene environment of the garden truly evokes feelings of peace and tranquillity.
While at the Caen Memorial and Museum, you will have the incredible opportunity to pay your respects to these brave soldiers through the power of music.  Dedicate your performance to their memory as you lift up your music in unison and peace.
After your performance, visit the Port of Caen to enjoy a delicious crêpe dinner.   Featuring a colossal plethora of crêpes, ranging from savoury to sweet, and complex to simple, you will be certain to find the perfect crêpe to suit your tastes.   Revel in this unique and delightful dinner with your tour companions.
Transfer back to the hotel, overnight in Caen.


Day 5: Caen to Angelic Angers

After breakfast, take part in a guided walking tour of beautiful and spectacular Caen.  Discover the mighty and impressive Caen Castle, constructed in 1060 by William the Conqueror.  Located in the centre of the city on the summit of a hill and currently housing two fine museums, this ancient castle is steeped in colourful history and legend.   A patron of Caen, William the Conqueror also funded the design and construction of the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames.   As William's marriage to his beautiful cousin, Matilda of Flanders, was not supported by the Pope, William built the two great abbeys as part of his atonement, thus securing papal forgiveness.   Each abbey, illustrious in architecture and beauty, serves as the final resting place for the royal couple, with Matilda residing at the Women's Abbey and William residing at the Men's Abbey.
Depart by coach for Angers, enjoying lunch en route with your tour companions.
Upon your arrival in Angers, indulge in a fascinating tour of the Cointreau distillery.    This unique triple sec, bursting with the flavour of both bitter and sweet oranges, was first sold in 1875 by the Cointreau brothers, one of whom was a confectioner.   Enjoy a pleasant tour of the distillery, learning about the interesting background of this beloved drink, often enjoyed in cocktails as an aperitif.   Post-tour, indulge yourself by trying one of the delicious Cointreau-based cocktails.
Hotel check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Angers.


Day 6: Anticipation in Angers

Begin your day with a walking tour of gorgeous Angers, a wonderful city that seamlessly merges the opulence of the ancient world with the modern, cosmopolitan amenities of today.    A combination walking and tram tour will help you discover this amazing city, steeped in charming architecture, elegant market squares, and wonderfully unique cafés.    Admire the famous half-timbered houses, dating back to Medieval times, with their striking white plaster and dark beams.   The Angers Cathedral, with its soaring Gothic towers and arches, conceals a treasure trove of wonders on the interior.   Be inspired by the vibrantly coloured stained glass rosettes, the colossal Grand Organ, and the intricate paintings and carvings.   If time allows, escape to the transformative Terra Botanica, an amusement park themed around botanical gardens and nature.  Both thrilling and relaxing, the Terra Botanica is a unique and refreshing experience.
This afternoon, visit the Angers Castle, whose impervious walls and towers have braved many epic battles and events throughout the centuries.   The iconic, striped walls of the mighty fortress are truly striking against the plush, vibrant gardens which surround them.   Dating back to the 9th century, this splendid castle was expanded and improved upon in the 13th century under the direction of Louis XI (also known as Saint Louis).   Stroll along the formidable battlements and admire the fine views from the lofty towers.  Take time to view the vibrant Apocalypse Tapestry, a rich and vivid illustration of the Earth's eventual demise, is both stunningly beautiful and morbidly disheartening in nature.
Explore the Old Town at your leisure this afternoon.   Take time to admire the fine architecture, indulge in an afternoon snack at one of the local cafés, or simply relax and enjoy yourself.
This evening, dine at one of the celebrated local restaurants.  The simple yet delectable regional cuisine will be certain to delight.
Overnight in Angers.


Day 7: Angers to Terrific Tours

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you will transfer to Tours.   A true mélange of historical charm and vibrant youthful energy, Tours is both energetic and elegant in nature, creating a truly unique blend of culture and character.
On your way to Tours, stop in pleasant Chinon to visit its picturesque Chinon Castle, gracefully perched on a hill above the peaceful Vienne River.   Consistently used as a strategic fortress since Roman times, this monolith of a castle conceals a wealth of history within its sturdy walls.   This amazing castle complex is actually divided into three main areas, each linked together by bridge and heavily guarded by towers and a steeply-inclined dry moat.    Visit the royal residence, restored and decorated in the style typical of the 15th century, to understand more about daily life in this stronghold.   Discover the exciting and rich history of this fortress, which include the iconic Knights of Templar, both English and French kings, and the venerated Joan of Arc.
Enjoy lunch with your tour companions.
After lunch, you will continue your journey onwards to Tours, a beautiful University town with a youthful energy and immense historic beauty.    Orient yourself with a guided walking tour of this stunning city, viewing architectural gems like the striking Tours Cathedral with its ornate Gothic exterior or the gorgeously intricate Hôtel Gouein, the former home of a wealthy merchant.   Tours' plethora of charming bridges allow for pedestrians to effortlessly cross the peaceful Loire River, and create a serene backdrop to the cosmopolitan city. 
This afternoon, discover the beauty of this city at your leisure or engage in an entertaining cooking workshop.  Dependent on your date of travel, you might have the opportunity to participate in a culinary class at a city staple, the Halles de Tours, a wonderful marketplace specializing in fresh, local ingredients.
Enjoy regional cuisine with your tour companions at a celebrated local restaurant.
Hotel check-in.
Overnight in Tours.


Day 8: The Opulence of Orléans

This morning, you will disembark from Tours and travel to Orléans, filled with architectural wonders, splendid parks and green spaces, and the vibrant, rich history of its culture.    Along your way, enjoy a stop at the spectacular Chambord Castle, an enchanting gem of history and architecture.   Admire the iconic French Renaissance exterior of this colossal structure, which was designed for pleasure and aesthetic, rather than defence and protection.   Inspired by the architecture of Constantinople, Francis I insisted that the intricate rooftop of his castle reflect his love of the vibrant city, with its lanterns, cupolas, and gables.   Upon exploration of the interior of this mammoth beauty, you will discover the stunning double spiral staircase, an amazing design highlight of the castle.    The lavish décor of the royal residence is truly captivating and provides insight into daily castle life.
After your exploration of this spectacular castle, you will have the opportunity to share your love of music with visitors.  Take the stage, enchanting your audience with musical melody in this charming castle.
Continue onwards to beautiful Orléans, enjoying lunch with your tour companions soon after arrival.
This afternoon, discover all that Orléans has to offer by participating in a guided walking or bicycle tour of this enchanting city.   Discover the Place du Martroi, the bustling city centre of Orléans. Enveloped in charming architecture and cosmopolitan elegance, the Place du Martroi also is home to the famous statue of Joan of Arc on Horseback, which dates back to 1855.   Explore the exquisite Rue Jeanne d'Arc, resplendent in fine architecture but quietly modern with its efficient tramline.
Visit the gorgeous Cathedrale Ste-Croix, famed for its association with the saintly Joan of Arc, who prayed for God's help here while attending mass in 1429.   Admire the stunningly vibrant stained-glass interiors, which celebrate the life and victories of Joan of Arc with their vivid displays of colour and beauty.   The lovely Hôtel Groslot, once the private residence of one of Orléans most esteemed citizens, conceals a rich and colourful history.  Explore the wonders within as you learn more about the splendid past of this lavish historical marvel.  Make sure you visit the lovely gardens as well.
Enjoy free time at your leisure as you continue to discover the secrets of this magnificent city.
Hotel check-in and dinner with your tour companions.
Overnight in Orléans.


Day 9: Extraordinary Orléans to Perfect Paris

After breakfast, you will depart Orléans for a visit to the fascinating and luxurious Palace of Versailles.  Originally built in 1623 as a small hunting lodge, it was redesigned by Louis XIV as a testament to his power and glory in a style truly befitting royalty.   This colossal centre of the French court was lavishly decorated inside, and meticulously landscaped outside.   With vast grounds which included lakes, fountains, a variety of gardens and even a farm, Versailles was certainly a centre of opulence.   Enjoy this incredible historic building, along with its amazing gardens, while you learn about the complex history of both Versailles and the royal families who called it home.
After exploring the lavishly wonderful Palace of Versailles, you will continue onward to Paris. 
This afternoon, roam through the fantastically vibrant Forum des Halles, the colossal marketplace of Paris.  Originally established as a market for fresh foods, produce and wares in the 12th century, the marketplace eventually evolved into the huge variety of food, fashion, restaurants, and even a cinema that you see today.   Stroll through the various levels and areas of this massive marketplace, immersing yourself in the daily life of locals. 
On your last evening of the tour, revel in a farewell dinner with your tour companions.   Indulge in the delicious flavours of traditional Parisienne cuisine while you recount your travel adventures with friends. 
Overnight in Paris.


Day 10: Farewell   

Begin your journey home or continue on your own adventures.


Performances: the mentioned locations and timeslots are just examples. They depend on group size & type, travel period and budget. No instrument rental included, locations like churches, public spots, schools or hotels, chair rental not included, audience is not guaranteed and subject to additional fees.


Copyright program and pictures: © APPINA TRAVEL GmbH

Alin Bartke

Phone +49 89 189345 21

Fax +49 89 189345 22

Email alin.bartke(at)appina-travel(dot)com

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Your advantages

  • Deep into the French culture and history
  • Visit of places of WW2 with insight into American and Canadian history

Accommodation pre-booked for you

Middle-class hotels

Services

  • 9 × overnight stay (2 × Paris, 2 × Caen, 2 × Angers, 1 × Tours, 1 × Orléans, 1 × Paris)
  • 9 × buffet breakfast
  • 9 × dinner at hotels or restaurants (3-course menu with tap water)
  • All city taxes
  • 1 × coach transfer according to program
  • 1 × tour escort during the trip
  • 3 × organization of a performance
  • 1 × guided visit of Catacombs Paris
  • 1 × cruise on the River Seine
  • 1 × guided city tour of Paris
  • 1 × visit of Eiffel Tower (elevator tickets to top level)
  • 1 × guided city tour of Rouen with visit of Rouen Cathedral
  • 1 × entrance fee to Juno Beach Centre with Juno Quiz and guided visit of Juno Park Bunkers
  • 1 × visit of Omaha Beach Memorial
  • 1 × visit of Caen Memorial and Museum
  • 1 × guided city tour of Caen
  • 1 × visit of Caen Castle
  • 1 × visit of Cointreau distillery
  • 1 × guided city tour of Angers
  • 1 × visit of Angers Castle
  • 1 × visit of Chinon Castle
  • 1 × guided city tour of Tours
  • 1 × visit of Chambord Castle
  • 1 × guided city tour of Orléans
  • 1 × visit of Cathedrale Ste-Croix
  • 1 × visit of Versailles Castle with audio guide
  • 1 × visit of Market halls

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