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About the Northwest Region

Northwest France includes Brittany, known for its Celtic roots, the incredible natural beauty of its coastline, and its ancient villages. Friendly and peaceful Normandy stretches from the Landing beaches to Giverny; from elegant Deauville to Auvers-sur-Oise.

This region, within easy reach of Paris, also features the hundreds of châteaux of the Loire Valley. Stately homes such as Chateau La Guillotière and palaces competing with Versailles beckon you from Blois to Tour.

The Loire Valley is also home to some of the finest vineyards and wineries in the world.  Visitors can take organized or self-guided wine tours where they get to experience first-hand where the grapes are grown and how wines, such as Pouilly-Fume, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet, Sancerre, Cabernet Franc, are produced and vinted in the beautiful French countryside.

One client's moving account of her experience in Normandy during the summer of  1994:

“I think you should visit Normandy,” said Claudette, who happened to be visiting Paris while we were there.  My husband and I had just completed several days of meetings at the Sorbonne.  Then on July 14, we watched the Bastille Day Parade, where German soldiers marched for the first time since before World War II.   We had missed the 50th anniversary ceremonies of the June 6 D-Day invasion and had not planned a visit there.  However, we did know that we should trust Claudette’s advice.


So, we took a train to Bayeux, admired the tapestries, rented a car and drove to Ferme de Vacqueville, our farmhouse home away from home.  The following days we visited the beaches and shed tears as we wandered the cemetery.  We learned what we should have known before: France was not won in a day.  The Normandy area was recaptured bit by bit as allied forces slowly made their way through the countryside.  In the summer of 1994, each village and town was celebrating its own day of freedom.  Strung high above the entrance to each village were British and American flags and a white sign with large letters, “Welcome Liberators.”  As Americans we were deeply touched.


We learned that Saint-Lo was honoring its day with a concert.  We made our way to the town and sat in a crowded Cathedral that still bore the marks of wartime destruction--deliberately not repaired as a memorial to the fallen.  As a tribute to forgiveness the orchestra played the Bach Requiem.  In the silence of the Cathedral when all was done, we heard bagpipes playing in the darkness outside.  With others, we looked over the edge of a cliff to a street below.  There, bagpipers lead hundreds of children dressed in white, carrying white balloons.  We followed them to a park.  Although we did not understand the long speeches, a reenactment on the hillside above explained the town’s capture and eventual liberation.


It was 1 a.m., and we were preparing to leave when we heard Glenn Miller orchestra sounds coming from a previously unseen bandstand.  To those of us too distant to remember its horrors, this was our sound of the war years.  “String of Pearls.”  Tuxedo Jct.”  “American Patrol.”  People began to dance.  We joined them.  And then as if  blanketing us all in a safety net, it began to rain, gently.  Soothing us.  We were overwhelmed by the meaning of  this American sound in this beautiful town in France.  I always cry when I tell this story.  As Claudette had said, it was important that we go to Normandy.

 -Mary Ann A., Seattle