Let the Loire Valley awaken your senses as Chartres, the capital of light and perfume, comes to life with an explosion of colour and light. Through the dramatic composition of old and new, behold as some of France's greatest classical buildings are sensationally lit up as part of the Chartres Lumiere's 16th year.
4* MERCURE CHARTRES CATHEDRALE, CHARTRES
The hotel is opposite the 12th century Chartres Cathedral, said to be the finest example of French Gothic architecture and possibly the most beautiful cathedral in France. In a relaxing setting, this warm and welcoming hotel offers modern, air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, fridges and tea/coffee facilities. There is an on-site gym and a lift to most rooms.
Return ferry crossing
3 nights dinner, bed & breakfast
Choice of buffet menu
Tea/coffee after dinner
Take the channel crossing and head southwards towards the hotel, making suitable comfort breaks and photo opportunities along the way. Take time to explore the capital of light and perfume and its famed blue stained glass.D
Spend your first full day in Orléans with its famous châteaux, gardens and historic attractions. The city stands on a great bend of the Loire River and has a history inextricably merged with Joan of Arc who is celebrated all over the city. Wander through the attractive old quarter where 18th and 19th century streets with arcaded galleries evoke a gracious and prosperous history. View a breath-taking collection of artists such as Le Nain and Picasso at the Musee des Beaux Arts or visit the gracious mansion of Francois II who married Mary, Queen of Scots.Br, D
This morning travel east to the quaint medieval market town of Dourdan to witness first-hand its architectural heritage and rich past as a royal town. A little further afield, just east of Dourdan, sits the Chateau du Marais in all its 300-year-old elegant splendour complemented by a 550-metre lake which is worth a visit if time allows. As the natural light fades, prepare yourself for the spectacular illumination of the Chartres' architectural treasures through the Chartres Lumieres. In a dramatic combustion of old and new, modern technology highlights the city's ancient heritage with an innovative twist. Take a stunning self-guided walking tour through the city as its buildings light up in the annual display of modern art excellence.Br, D
After enjoying breakfast, check out of the hotel and begin your return journey.Br
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