CULTURE, ART & HISTORY
- Exploring Cities
- Oyster Culturing
- Nature Walks
- Historic & Memorial Sites
- Art & History Museums
* We can make adjustments to this itinerary based on your specific interests, timeline, and budget.
* Do not hesitate to ask questions and request a customized itinerary.
DAY 1. PARIS, THE CITY OF LIGHT
Welcome to Paris and to the experiential learning adventure of a lifetime!
Your bilingual guides will meet you at the airport and begin orienting you to the new geography, culture, and cuisine, and they will set the tone for students owning their experience with active and engaged learning.
In the morning, you will check in to our hotel in the heart of Paris and get settled into our new rooms. Then, you will go for a hike through the city, following the footsteps of the French Revolution!
In the afternoon, you will enjoy lunch in a brasserie by the Champs Elysées, one of the most recognizable avenues in the world, home to many cafes, theatres landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, and the final stretch of the famous Tour de France bicycle race. Here, you will take in the sights and explore some of the avenue’s many shops.
In the evening, you will have dinner and then head to Comédie Française, the oldest active theatre in the world.
- Your guides will introduce the Story Approach and the teaching themes that will cohesively link together the incredible wealth of information you will learn on the trip.
- Your group will be introduced to the Expedition Mentality, our nuanced strategy for creating the strongest possible group culture.
- Our first nightly circle and bandana ceremony will reinforce the Expedition Mentality and set the tone for the best possible experiential learning trip.
DAY 2. PARIS, THE CITY OF LIGHT, PART II
Understand some of the most iconic sites in Paris in context
Today, you will visit the Louvre, a historic landmark of France and the world’s largest art museum! Opening in 1793 with only 537 paintings, the Louvre now is home to over 38,000 objects of art, ranging from prehistoric times to the 21st century. Then visit the Arc de Triomphe, framing the City of Light.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy lunch in a brasserie, and explore the local shops.
Afterward, you will visit the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. Learn about the devastating fire of 2019 and what this site means to France.
- Paris in context: what is the importance of this city globally, locally, historically and today
- Art, cuisine, architecture: what shapes a culture?
- Notre Dame: cultural icon
DAY 3. VERSAILLES
Today we explore the history of the French Monarchy and political structures
In the morning, you will travel to the Palace of Versailles, once home to the French monarchy, now home to the Museum of the History of France.
After exploring the museum, you will be given a guided tour of the Chateau of Louis XIV, where the monarch once went to find peace and quiet away from the activity in Versailles. You will hike through the lush gardens and then break for lunch.
In the afternoon, you will return to Paris to visit the Catacombs of Paris, a series of underground ossuaries built to deal with Paris’ overcrowded cemeteries. It is now a curiosity for many Parisians, with its geometric patterns and macabre decor.
In the evening, you will enjoy another dinner in this beautiful city.
- The Sun King: the French Monarchy & House of Bourbon 1600-1830
- French Revolution- who, why, and how
- Ancient cities: the growth of Paris over 2000 years
DAY 4. AUVERS SUR OISE
Connect with some of France’s most famous impressionist artists on a visit to this bucolic village
In the morning, you will travel to the Auvres Sur Oise, a famous town that was once home to artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. Here, you will visit the Château d’Auvers-sur-Oise, a 17th-century castle with sprawling gardens and the Museum of Impressionism.
In the afternoon, you will have lunch at the Auberge Ravoux, otherwise known as the House of Van Gogh. Afterward, you will explore the village and follow famous painting landmarks such as the Notre Dame d’Auvers and the tombs of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother.
In the evening, you will return to Paris for dinner, and then climb to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower for a spectacular view!
- French Impressionists: understanding this iconic style and famous artists
- History of Art in French Culture
- Paris and the countryside: comparing cultures
DAY 5. NORMANDY, HONFLEUR, & BOUCLES DE SEINE
Today we focus on regional differences and what has shaped modern French culture
In the morning, you will travel by bus up the Seine River to Honfleur, a city known for its beautiful port. It has been painted many times by famous artists such as Claude Monet, and is thought to have contributed to the Impressionist movement. Here, you will have lunch and explore the historic port and its history.
If the weather is right, you will take a tour of the Seine River. In the evening, you will spend some time relaxing and exploring local shops.
- Trade routes and settlement patterns in France
- The Seine: the lifeblood of France
- Local traditions of Normandy
DAY 6. D-DAY AND THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY
Understand the history and impact of WWII on Normandy through visits to key battle sites
Today you will visit the Utah Beach Museum, located on the beach where American troops first landed in 1944. Here, you will be immersed in the story of D-Day, through a collection of historic objects and oral histories.
After lunch, you will travel to Omaha Beach, another site of historic D-Day landings. Then, you will visit the Normandy American Cemetery and learn about those who lost their lives on D-Day through the many memorials, maps, and narratives onsite.
- France in the 20th century: impact of the World Wars
- Nazi occupation and French resistance
- WWII in a global context
DAY 7. BRITTANY- MONT SAINT MICHEL AND SAINT MALO
Delve into France’s medieval history and cultures
In the morning, you will visit le Mont Saint Michel, an island town in Normandy and one of France’s most well-known landmarks.
Afterward, you will have lunch and transfer to the village of Cancale to learn about an ancient tradition: oyster culturing.
- Medieval and Feudal France: social structures and legacies
- The Catholic Church in France
- Tide patterns and environment shaping culture
Overnight: Saint Malo
DAY 8. BRITTANY-BROCELIANDE
Today we explore the rich ecosystems of this area and how they have been used for millenia by inhabitants
In the morning, you will travel to the Broceliande Enchanted Forest. Broceliande is considered special for many reasons: its uncertain location on a map, unusual weather, and involvement in medieval legends. Here, you will hike through the forest, visit megalithic sites and mysterious fountains, and learn about Celtic legends and the myth of King Arthur.
- French literature and mythology
- Flora and Fauna of Broceliande
- Ancient peoples of France
DAY 9. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Today we reflect on our journey and connect to our lives back at home.
This morning, we make our way back to Paris. In the afternoon, visit Montremarte and Sacre Couer. Tonight, enjoy our final Parisian dinner and reflection.
- La Belle Epoque: Paris 1870-1920
- Connecting all we have seen, done, and learned on our experience
- What will I take back home?
DAY 10. HOME WITH INSPIRATION!
Today, you will catch your flight home, with memories of France that will last a lifetime!
Why settle for less?
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WHY CHILL EXPEDITIONS?
Learn about what sets us apart from other expedition companies.