Photo Tour to Normandy and Burgundy, France
September 6 to 15, 2019
Normandy and Burgundy are among the most beautiful regions in France. We begin in Paris where Jim will share with you his favorite photogenic places. Once we leave the city, you'll be mesmerized by the castles, chateaus, medieval towns, coastline, history, and art of this area. This is an unforgettable experience is seeing and photographing architecture that leaves you speechless. The opulence in many of the chateaus is simply not to be believed, and Jim will explain how to capture the sumptuous interiors perfectly with HDR. This photo tour also includes a hot air balloon flight over one of the great chateaus. There is nothing like aerial perspectives in beautiful light. We will photograph the beauty of many medieval environments at twilight every evening. You'll love this photo tour!
Tour Policies (please read)
Visit the photo gallery
DAY 1, Sept. 6, Friday.
Leave home and arrive in Paris on September 6 Take a taxi to the hotel and rest after the long flight. Meet Jim and the rest of the group in the lobby of the hotel at 5 pm for an early dinner, and then we will go to the Louvre for twilight photography. Overnight Paris.
DAY 2, Sept. 7, Saturday.
After breakfast, we will be the first in line at the Paris opera house. When the doors open, we will be able to photograph one of the great architectural treasures of Europe before there are many people cluttering our compositions. Next, we visit the spectacular Saint Chapelle Cathedral with arguably the most dazzling stained glass windows in Europe. This will be a great exercise in practicing HDR and wide angle photography. After lunch, we photograph the famous Sacre Coeur Cathedral with its dramatic facade. In the late afternoon, we photograph another amazing interior, the Lafayette Galleria. Built in 1912, it is an upscale department store with a ceiling that is so beautiful it’s hard to stop looking at it. On the top floor of the Galleria, we’ll photograph in the distance the famous Sacre-Coeur Basilica in sunset lighting. Our twilight photography tonight will be at the Eiffel Tower. Overnight Paris.
DAY 3, Sept. 8, Sunday.
Following breakfast, we head north out of Paris to Fontainebleau Castle. The exterior of this massive structure, parts of which date from the 12th century, is very photogenic, but the interior is unbelievable. Home to many of the kings of France, the ornate detail, the art, the rich fabrics, and outrageous opulence are great to photograph during our tour. In the early afternoon we head to Rouen, check into our hotel, and then we explore this medieval town rich in French history. It was here that Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English in 1431. The illuminated architecture is especially beautiful at twilight, and the Gros Horloge -- the 14th-century astronomical clock -- will be one of the great things we’ll photograph this evening. Overnight Rouen.
DAY 4, Sept. 9, Monday.
This morning we drive a short distance to Chateau de Beaumesnil, a beautifully situated 17th-century baroque style chateau. We then proceed west to the Atlantic Coast and photograph the impressive white chalk cliffs of Etretat where a solitary arch made of diatomaceous earth joins the cliffs to the sea. From here we drive south to pay our respects and photograph the American World War II cemetery, and then we drive to the picturesque port of Honfleur. We spend the afternoon here and take pictures at sunset and twilight before heading back to Rouen. Overnight Rouen.
DAY 5, Sept. 10, Tuesday.
After breakfast, we head toward Caen and photograph the ruins of the 10th century Church of St. Etienne. After lunch, we continue southwest and arrive at one of the most famous places in France -- Le Mont Saint Michel. We check into our hotel and then visit this granite island that has had fortifications on it since ancient times. The monastery from which the name is derived was established in the 8th century A.D. Although we will explore the island itself, the best photographs are taken some distance away. Sunset lighting and twilight are magical times to capture such an amazing place. Overnight Mont-Saint-Michel.
DAY 6, Sept. 11, Wednesday.
We get up early this morning to photograph sunrise on Le Mont Saint Michel, and then after breakfast we head toward Orleans, stopping for lunch in Le Mans where we photograph the remarkable gothic Cathedral of St. Julian. Arriving at our hotel in Orleans, we have the late afternoon and evening to photograph this beautiful medieval city. The Orleans Cathedral dramatically rises above the old town and affords spectacular photo opportunities from many different angles. Overnight Orleans.
DAY 7, Sept. 12, Thursday.
We leave early this morning to photograph one of the most amazing chateaus in France -- Chambord. Sunrise colors behind the magnificent architecture, plus the reflection in the moat, make awesome images. When the ticket office opens, we will take a tour of the interior. Later, upon arrival in Tours, you will have a half day at leisure to explore the city or work on your pictures. You can also go with Jim who will show you the amazing stained glass windows in the cathedral, quaint streets in the old town, and more. We will have dinner in the Place Plumereau in the old town, and great twilight photography surrounds us. Overnight Tours.
DAY 8, Sept. 13, Friday.
This morning we depart from our hotel early and drive to nearby Chateau Chenonceau. Weather permitting, we will take a wonderful aerial balloon flight over the chateau to take perhaps your all-time best European images. You can photograph the whole process of inflating the balloon, and then once aloft, the chateau should be bathed in low angled sunrise illumination. The golden hour creates rich texture, long shadows, and nature’s most beautiful light. When the chateau opens, we’ll take a tour of the interior to photograph the sumptuous designs of a time when money was no object and flamboyance was everything!
As a backup plan, Jim has reserved sunset this day as well as sunrise the following day to take the hot air balloon ride in case we can’t fly this morning. This gives us three chances to hedge our bets on the weather. Overnight Tours.
DAY 9, Sept. 14, Saturday.
This morning we head east to Bourges. Here we visit the imposing 13th-century gothic Cathedral Saint-Etienne. We have lunch here as well, and then continue on to Chateau du Nozet and photograph the elegant 18th century home and winery. From any angle, it appears stately and elegant. We arrive in Auxerre for late afternoon and twilight to photograph the lovely town illuminated against the cobalt sky. Overnight Auxerre.
DAY 10, Sept. 15, Sunday.
Early morning photography of this beautiful town is on the agenda before breakfast, and then in mid-morning, we head back to Paris, stopping en route at the magnificent 17th-century baroque-style Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte. We tour the inside as well as photograph the magnificent structure from various angles outside. We then return to the Paris airport where you can connect to your homeward flight. We expect to arrive not later than 2 pm.
Tour cost: $5875
Single supplement: $1350
Includes: 9 nights lodging, all breakfasts, all dinners, all ground transportation beginning first day of tour, all entrance fees, and hot air balloon flight.
Does not include: International airfare, all lunches, travel insurance, medical evacuation insurance, alcoholic drinks, items of a personal nature.