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Sofia Travel Co.
3907 Cherrywood Road
Austin, TX 78722

T: 214-493-3702


3907 Cherrywood Road
Austin, TX 78722


Salem Alumnae France & D-Day 75th Anniversary Tour

Join us for eleven unforgettable days exploring the legendary countryside of France, including the opportunity to experience the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy. From quaint seaside towns to stunning royal estates to the rolling vine-covered hills of Bordeaux, this journey encompasses the history, culture, and cuisine that has enshrined France’s legacy worldwide.


June 3-14, 2019


$4,595 per person, land only
$1,250 Single Supplement


June 14-18, 2019
$1,995 per person

Optional Group Flights

$1,645 round trip from Atlanta


Welcome from Betsy Overton of Salem Academy

Dear Alumnae and Friends,

I would like to invite you to join us in June 2019 as we depart on our third grand European alumnae trip, this year to France. We are excited to take you to the beaches of Normandy during the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day and the Allied invasion. In addition we will see tapestries and embroideries, rivers and gardens, museums and chateaux, cathedrals and concerts—all the while partaking of vineyard and fromagerie as often as possible. We will even have the option of participating in a cooking school whose instructor-chef has earned a Michelin star!! And, we will dine where Joan of Arc once did!!! 

On our check-list thus far, we have visited Ireland, London, Prague, Vienna, Bavaria, and Saxony. Last summer we explored our Moravian roots in Herrnhut, and we heard glorious music, including several concerts during the International Bach Festival in Leipzig.  Some of you have traveled with us for two years already, and I venture to say we will pick up in good conversation exactly where we left off last year.  Laughter and camaraderie will surely abound!

Betsy Overton Photo.JPG

Register now to join Salem alumnae and friends as we explore a special part of France, with an optional extension to Paris, and as we once again engage our five senses in a magical and mystical tour.  Our travel partner, Sofia Travel, is a boutique travel provider with over thirty years’ experience. Their expert staff will handle every detail to ensure quality and the personal touches that will make this an enriching experience that lasts a lifetime.  Please join us for this unique opportunity to connect with the Salem Academy and College community. Space is limited, so reserve your spot soon.


Betsy Overton

Salem Academy
Chair, Department of History
European history teacher
Trip coordinator

12 Day Itinerary


June 3/4: Arrive Paris, Transfer to Honfleur

Arrive in Paris and transfer to your superior four-star hotel and spa in the picturesque coastal town of Honfleur. Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner with your fellow Salem alumnae and settle in for four relaxing nights. (D)

June 5: Honfleur, Rouen

This morning, explore beautiful Honfleur on a walking tour through town before continuing to the nearby city of Rouen where you will explore the Gothic cathedral that inspired Claude Monet‘s cathedral series. See the marketplace where Joan of Arc was burned alive in 1431 and stroll through the antique dealer’s district among the stunning half timbered houses. In the evening, return to Honfleur for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

June 6: Caen, Bayeux

Today, on the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings that turned the tide of World War II, travel to Caen to see its famous memorial dedicated to the heroes of World War II. Then, head to the medieval city of Bayeux with its beautifully preserved timber framed houses and see the Bayeux Tapestry, a nearly seventy meter long embroidered cloth that depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. (B)

June 7: Normandy Landing Beaches

Today we head to the beaches of Normandy to participate in the international ceremonies surrounding the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. After seeing Utah and Omaha beaches, commemorate those who gave their lives at the US cemetery, the final resting place for over 9,000 Americans. (B,D)


June 8: Loire Valley, Tours

Leaving Normandy, we head to the legendary Loire River Valley. We began in the town of Tours, which has historically served as the main city of France since the time of the Roman Empire. This historic position explains the presence of numerous castles built by the kings of France or their principal ministers. After exploring Tours on foot, we sample the famous Vouvray wines and explore the troglodyte caves in which they are stored. We then transfer to the town of Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last days of his life, and settle into our castle hotel for three charming nights. (B,D)

June 9: Amboise

We begin our exploration of Amboise at the Royal Châteaux Amboise, a place of residence for French kings from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Discover the sumptuous terraced gardens and opulent chambers as well as its most famous guest, Leonardo da Vinci, whose tomb is on the site. Then, visit the Châteaux du Clos-Lucé where Leonardo spent the last three years of his life, and learn about this legendary Renaissance man.  Then, visit the gardens of the château Deville Landry known as France’s archetypal potager, a kitchen garden elevated to a regal grandeur. (B)

June 10: Loire Valley

Today, take an optional visit to two unforgettable estates. Begin at the Château de Chambord, the most famous example of French Renaissance architecture.  Enjoy a horse and bird of prey show and relive the nightly tournaments of Francis I of France with their medieval exhibition. Continue to the castle of Chenonceau, known as the “Château des Dames” for the succession of powerful French noblewomen who each made an impact on the castle. Walk through the gardens design by Catherine de Medici before taking an optional river cruise down the Loire River on one of the traditional ships of the region. (B)

June 11: Bordeaux

Leaving the Loire Valley, head to Bordeaux, the major port of western France, world famous for its full-bodied red wines. After checking in to our centrally located hotel, take a walking tour through the remarkable urban architectural setting, including the quays of the Garonne, the Place de la Comédie, and the Place de la Bourse with its Miroir d’Eau. Sample the famous canelés, delicious cakes flavored with rum and vanilla, and settle in for three nights. (B,D)


June 12: Cooking Class, Lunch Cruise

Today, take an optional hands-on cooking class in a Michelin-starred restaurant under the expert guidance of Head Chef Nicolas Magie and his team. Discover sweet and savory themes, oenology and gastronomic classics, before enjoying the fruits of your own labor with a grand lunch. Alternatively, take an optional lunch cruise on the river Garonne to discover the city in a new light along the Port de la Lune and the UNESCO front. (B)

June 13: Bordeaux Vineyards

Heading into the countryside, we spend the day exploring the great Vineyards of Bordeaux. Travel the famous Route des Vins to discover the world’s most famous winegrowing region, visit three distinct wineries, and sample their choice selections. In the evening, we conclude our tour with a closing ceremony and gourmet French dinner out in Bordeaux. (B,D)

June 14: Depart France/Paris Post-Tour Extensions

Depart France or continue for four unforgettable nights in the City of Light. (B)

post-tour PARIS extension


June 14: Depart Bordeaux/Arrive Paris

Depart Bordeaux on a short flight to Paris, the City of Light. We see many of Paris’ world-famous sites, including the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower, on the way to our boutique hotel just a short walk from Notre Dame Cathedral. In the late afternoon, tour the Louvre Museum during their special (and less crowded) evening hours as we see unforgettable masterpieces including the Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa. (B,D)

June 15: Paris Walking Tour, Seine River Cruise

In the morning, depart on foot as we explore France’s greatest church, the magnificent Notre Dame, and marvel at its Gothic beauty and lasting legacy. Then, continue exploring the Île de la Cité at the stunning Sainte-Chapelle. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure before an optional evening dinner cruise along the Seine River for the best perspective of Paris’ elegant waterfront. (B)

June 16: Monet’s Garden at Giverny, Versailles

Today, depart Paris on an optional day tour to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. Restored to the beauty that Monet envisioned during his life, this bucolic setting is a portal into Monet’s passion for nature and color. Then, continue to Versailles for a private tour of the State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, Louis XV’s daughters’ apartments, the coach Gallery, and more before enjoying time wandering the stately gardens. (B)

June 17: Chartres Cathedral

Enjoy the day in Paris or take an optional morning excursion to Chartres Cathedral, known worldwide for its 176 stained glass windows and nine carved portals. After an afternoon at leisure, we gather together for a final group dinner in one of the world’s most spectacular settings as we ascend the Eiffel Tower for a gourmet dinner with unforgettable views of Paris. (B,D)

June 18: Depart

Depart Paris for your return flight home with unforgettable memories! (B)


We'd love to travel with you!

If you'd like more information about this tour, please contact us or give us a call at (214) 493-3027.

This trip is managed and organized by Sofia Travel and offers Salem Academy & College alumnae and friends a chance to explore France together.  The trip is not sponsored by Salem Academy & College.  Travelers personally assume all risks and responsibilities associated with their participation in the trip.