Hidden Paris

St Denis, patron saint of Paris, lost his head to Romans, but carried it to a fountain and washed it before burial - photo courtesy of David McSpadden
St Denis, patron saint of Paris, lost his head to Romans, but carried it to a fountain and washed it before burial - photo courtesy of David McSpadden
Grave of Marc Schoelcher, porcelain manufacturer, accompanied by one of his workers, at Père Lachaise - photo courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène
Grave of Marc Schoelcher, porcelain manufacturer, accompanied by one of his workers, at Père Lachaise - photo courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène
Sacré-Cœur - photo courtesy of Matt Brown
Sacré-Cœur - photo courtesy of Matt Brown
Père Lachaise cemetary - photo courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène
Père Lachaise cemetary - photo courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène
Prehistoric bison sculpture from the Cave Tuc d'Audoubert, Musée d'Archéologie Nationale, St-Germain-en-Laye - photo courtesy of Claude Valette
Prehistoric bison sculpture from the Cave Tuc d'Audoubert, Musée d'Archéologie Nationale, St-Germain-en-Laye - photo courtesy of Claude Valette

Speed across the channel by Eurostar to explore a side of Paris rarely seen by tourists. The newly-conserved Roman remains hidden beneath the courtyard in front of Notre-Dame, underground crypts and miles of catacombs beneath the bustling streets. This is a very different vision of the ‘City of Light’: the secret archaeology tucked away amid late 19th century avenues and grand boulevards. No visit to Paris would be complete, however, without a trip to the Louvre to examine some key royal archaeological discoveries hidden among its galleries.
Enjoy unrivalled special access to the Roman baths that lurk below the Medieval wonders of the Musée de Cluny. We also enjoy a specially arranged visit to St-Denis Archaeological Unit - which carries out ‘rescue archaeology operations’ each year, within the town’s boundaries.

  • Go beyond the Parisian boulevards to the hidden medieval streets and secret sites closed to the public
  • Dine in the Michelin-starred Tour d’Argent, believed to be the oldest restaurant in Paris - overlooking the Seine and Notre-Dame
  • Spend six nights in a faultless luxury hotel in one of the most exclusive areas of historic Paris

Themes

  • Historic Churches
  • Great Cities

Practicalities

  • Small Group
  • Just One Hotel

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

We depart from London aboard the Eurostar, and glide into the Gare du Nord. After arriving at our hotel and checking in, we gather for an introductory exploration of the historic Marais district, venturing on foot through this, the oldest part of the city, where a 12th century fortress remains tucked away among fashionable streets.

Day 2

We visit the infamous Palais de Justice and, hidden within it, the royal Sainte-Chapelle and former Revolution-era prison the Conciergerie. We end the day at the Carnavalet Museum, dedicated to the history of Paris.

Today we explore hidden Paris properly, beginning at the Egouts. The sewers of Paris, are comprised of 2,000 km of dark passageways beneath the surface.

Day 3

This afternoon, we leave the city centre behind with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, set in the leafy suburb of St-Germain-en-Laye, just west of Metropolitan Paris.

We’ll begin the day with a Special Access visit to the St Denis Archaeological Unit, where a member of staff will introduce finds from this part of the city.

Day 4

The Roman and medieval past of Paris continues to blend together as we visit the cathedral of Saint-Denis — built on the site of a former Gallo-Roman cemetery — after lunch.

We end the day with a special meal at the Michelin starred Tour d’Argent, one of the oldest restaurants in Paris, with views out across the Seine to the towers of Notre Dame.

Day 5

We start the day at the Arènes de Lutèce, site of the Roman amphitheatre. We continue to the snow white confection of Sacre Couer, and the nearby church of St Pierre, where a Roman temple to Mars is tucked away within its holy grounds. The afternoon is spent in the hilltop Right Bank neighbourhood of Montmartre. Here, we visit the atmospheric cemetery — Paris’ third-largest necropolis — and the Musée de Montmartre, housed in the oldest building in the area.

This is followed by Special Access to the Musée de Cluny in the afternoon, where we visit the Roman baths that lurk beneath the museum.

Day 6

We begin the day with a visit to the iconic French Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

After exploring the medieval cathedral, we round off the afternoon with a visit to Paris’ ultimate hidden attraction — the subterranean Catacombes de Paris.

Day 7

We leave Paris behind and speed northwards across the channel on our return to London.

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

We travel to Paris. We check into our hotel, before enjoying an introductory exploration of the historic Marais district.

Day 2

We visit the infamous Palais de Justice and the royal Sainte-Chapelle and former Revolution-era prison the Conciergerie. We end the day at the Carnavalet Museum

Day 3

We begin the day at the Égouts, the sewers of Paris. This afternoon, we leave the city centre behind to visit the National Archaeological Museum. We also enjoy special access to the St Denis Archaeological Unit.

Day 4

The Roman and medieval past of Paris continues to blend together as we visit the cathedral of Saint-Denis. We end the day with a special meal at the Michelin starred Tour d’Argent.

Day 5

We start the day at the Arènes de Lutèce, site of the Roman amphitheatre. We continue to the snow-white confection of Sacre Coeur. The afternoon is spent in Montmartre, where we visit the atmospheric cemetery, and the Musée de Montmartre. This is followed by special access to the Musée de Cluny.

Day 6

We begin at the iconic Notre Dame de Paris and view remains beneath its forecourt. We finish the day with a visit to Paris’ ultimate hidden attraction — the Catacombes de Paris.

Day 7

We return home today.

What's Included

  1. Tour Manager
  2. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  3. Meals - All meals included - dinners with wine
  4. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  5. Field Notes
  6. Hotels - 6 nights in a luxurious and historic hotel in the heart of Paris, facing the Tuileries Gardens, and just a few steps away from many sites
  7. Trains - Scheduled return trains from London to Paris

Hotel Info

6 nights in a luxurious and historic hotel in the heart of Paris, facing the Tuileries Gardens, and just a few steps away from many sites

Book now

2017 Tour Details

Sat 7th October - Fri 13th October

Call for availability

£2,695

ex. flights: £2,525

sgl supp: £485

HPA17

Led By: John Shepherd

Guide Lecturer

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